This interview originally appeared in Time Out London in November 2011
Parisian techno producer Brodinski tells Kate Hutchinson how he has spun his feelings into a new mix for the Fabric compilation series to celebrate the art of DJing and the life of his late friend, DJ Mehdi…
Once a playful, blog-hopping techno raver, as heard on 2009's 'Suck My Deck' compilation for Bugged Out, 24-year-old DJ Brodinski comes of age on his latest mix for Fabric's compilation series. It delves into the more sophisticated realms of deep and classic house, acidic techno and disco, resulting in an irresistible soundscape that's as much for listening to at home as it is for dancing to in the discothèque. Touchingly, he has also dedicated it to his friend, DJ Mehdi, who died in a tragic accident when he fell through his roof in September.
But not only has Brodinski got the official mark of approval from one of the world's clubbing institutions, the mix also signifies a new phase in his career: it's time to get serious. He's about to move to LA, launch a new label called Bromance, and is producing with new Parisian talents like Gesaffelstein and Canblaster on a variety of new tracks and EPs.
That's all while splattering YouTube with new genres in his spare time, whether it's moombahton or his drowsy “chopped and screwed” re-rubs of hip hoppers Lil' Wayne and Aaliyah, in homage to the codeine-and-cough-syrup-fuelled hip hop remix style made popular by Houston's DJ Screw in the '90s.
He may be whipping his career into shape, but Brodinski still has time to show us his sensitive side…
Read the full Q&A after the jump.
Fabric mixes are like a DJs' own night-time story. What's yours? 'I just want to show people that I'm a DJ. Most DJs are actually producers who DJ, but most of the work I do is about DJing. I've also been listening to a lot of this kind of music for a while and it's not exactly what I'd be playing in the club - it's deeper and it's darker. I wanted to do something different, something that people can listen to while you're walking down the street or on a trip somewhere. I'm always very surprised that people listen to club music at home.'
Are you trying to bring back and celebrate the art of being a DJ? 'I've been trying to do that since the beginning. DJs mix compilations as a producer would make an artist's album. Today with the internet you can have every type of music you want for free. But still, I think people respect the fact that a DJ is trying to put their art and what they have in their hearts into a mix. It's a snapshot of a moment in music and in your life - and you're giving that to your listeners.'
Like Jackmaster is doing in the UK? He also did a FabricLive mix this year yet he hasn't produced anything… 'Jackmaster is a genius. He's the ghetto Ivan Smagghe! But the culture in France is completely different to the UK - it has always been about production, never about the DJ. You can see it obviously in David Guetta, who is French and one of the world's biggest DJs - but he is not a DJ, he's a producer of cheesy house music. I see people like Ivan Smagghe as a DJ-god, and Jackmaster is like that, too.'
I suppose that's what's good about your new label Bromance: everyone else can produce the tracks and you can put them out! 'Exactly [laughs]. I can give definition to the music I like through my new label - and it's good because I don't have to do production. It's music I love, not necessarily the music I play. It'll also be a good alternative to the DJ life.'
You've got two tracks from your label on the mix, 'I Still Love You'by Switch and 'Control Movement' by Gesaffelstein, and both are very quirky. Are they good markers of the Bromance sound? 'Yeah, it's a really good approach to putting out music. I have this project called Gucci Vump [with The Shoes] and I'm just trying to do hip hop beats and global sounds and weird stuff with that. We're also doing a chopped and screwed mixtape for the label, which is coming out in December. And I want to release some stuff that's in a new style of music called “lean house”. It's like screwed and chopped techno music and the groove works really well. It's all very different but people get it. I think it's kind of a bad time for the DJ job, because people want to see producers, but it's a really good time to be listening to music.'
And you're moving to LA, which is where Switch is based. Coincidence? 'Actually, I asked Switch if I could release on his label, Dubsided, but he wants to keep it for his own music. I'm moving to LA in December [where Switch is based] and I want to ask him if he maybe wants to work with me. He's a game changer right now. But [I'm moving because] I need some change and LA has the best vibe about music right now in the entire world.'
Who do you have a bromance with? 'The first release is going to be a split EP between Gesaffelstein and I. He's such a talented producer and 2012 is going to be a big year for him. He wants to release an album - I already heard some stuff and it's pretty amazing. I also used to work with Yuksek on production and we're still friends and doing our Krays project, but now I'm working with the Club Cheval crew - Canblaster, Samtiba, Myd and Panteros666. Our new track is called 'Let the Beat Control Your Body', like the old-school 2Unlimited track, and Louisahhh!!! is singing on it, she's a singer from LA. There's quite a lot going on!'
What do you listen to at home? 'Mostly super-cheesy rap and R&B, like Drake, and chopped and screwed music. IIt's kind of my alter ego: when I'm behind the decks, I know exactly what to do and what to play and what will feel good. But it's different when I'm at home.'
Were you excited that Drake used young producers on his new album? 'Most of the tracks on the album are made by really new producers and it's amazing. The tech-house track with Rihanna and Drake that Jamie XX did is one of the best. The album was leaked on the internet so I haven't bought it just yet, but my friend DJ Mehdi was the biggest fan of Drake so I know that he'll be missing listening to this album right now and I'm doing it for him. Mehdi thought that everything Drake writes rang really true for him and I know that Drake respected what Mehdi did, too. So I'm happy that the album leaked and that I can listen to it right this second.'
Would Mehdi have approved of the selection on your new mix? 'Actually, I remember when he was still with us, I finished the mix and I was waiting for the mastering so I could send it to him, but it was too late, so he never listened to it. But he worked on the Riton track that's on the mix and I know he loved the old-school stuff, like the Bicep one I put at the beginning. This mix is all about feeling, all about what I feel, and what I want people to feel about this kind of music. I know Mehdi was all about feelings and what he loved. It was the best thing for me to do, to dedicate the mix to him, because all I wanna do is be like him, giving everything I know, everything I love and everything I feel to people.'
Brodinski launches ‘FabricLive 60: Brodinski' at Fabric on Fri Nov 18 and the mix CD is out now.