By Elektra Complex
Artist, producer and DJ, Gilb’R has been one of the most influential and well respected personalities in dance music in recent memory and a staple in the French electronic music scene.
As the head honcho of Versatile Records, he has not only defined a diverse sound but also provided a trusted artistic vehicle for talents such as his long time collaborator I:Cube, and their Chateau Flight project, Acid Arab, The Maghreban and Joakim to name a few. His most recent personal release, “Le Maitre Des Illusions”, has been garnering the appraisal of his most acclaimed peers, such as Prins Thomas, Eric Duncan, Josh Wink, Cosmo Vitelli and Tim Sweeney among others.
With a talent and music knowledge praised across the globe, it was only fitting to invite Gilb’r to headline the festivities for Discosodoma’s One Year anniversary on the 9th of May, alongside Justin Vandervolgen and our first guests from Athens, Amateurboyz, in the laser pit.
Some say you have the midas touch when it comes to your DJ sets and live performances. Your most recent Panorama Bar appearance left us literally craving for more with your set being declared the highlight of the day. What for you makes a good party?
Well, that's very kind from you, thanks. At first, it's the sound system; when it's really good you can really play what you like and and drive the people into some weirder territories. Then of course, the people. Also the lights are important. I like when it's quite dark so the relationship with the crowd is more intimate.
Is it important for a DJ to build a common narrative with the dancers on the floor? How do you usually lure them into your vision for the night?
Ideally, I like to open, this way you really have the time to build a vibe, playing some non-dance music at the beginning, just to set a mood, and then slowly I'll bring in some rhythm. I like to challenge people a bit and when they trust me, then we can have some fun together.
For more than 15 years, you have been actively present in the French dance scene, through your tenure at Radio Nova and the launch of Versatile Records. What have been the highest and lowest points in your opinion?
The highest point for me is always something yet to reach; I'm not very nostalgic. However we do have a lot of exiting releases to come this year. And for me the lowest was when our distributor went bankrupt with a lot of our money.
In past interviews you have revealed that you come from a hip-hop background. Do you still find your younger self in your present?
Totally, even though I'm 45 years old. I have a son who is almost 18, one day he came to a party I was playing with a friend of his, and that was quite something to see them both on the dancefloor till the end. Younger self as you call it, it is something which never goes away.
Is there a style of music with which you haven’t worked with yet and you would entertain the idea of updating it with modern elements?
Not really. I explore quite a lot of territories with Chateau Flight, and also with the rest of the artists I work with, from Acid Arab to Zombie Zombie, so in that field I am quite spoiled.
If you were presented with the opportunity to play anywhere in the world, what would be your instant choice?
Some wild jungle outdoors.
Would you do it all over again in the same way, if you had a second go at life?
Yes, I've been very lucky to make a living with what I do. It gives me time to do a lot of other things too and evolving alongside the artists I'm working with is very exiting and refreshing, because they are in constant evolution, even the ones like I:Cube that are there from the beginning.
Are there any exciting new projects you could share with us?
I have a 12 inch on Versatile that will be out this week. I also have a new band called The Explosion, we just finished recording an album which will be released on the French label Desire. It is quite far from dance music, much more contemplative.That is released in September. And probably some new Chateau Flight music too.
What shall we expect from your set on the 9th of May?
Big basslines, rollin' beats and some extravanganza.
Join Gilb'R for Discosodoma this Saturday 9th May at Dalston Superstore from 9pm - 5am