TF Archives

The delightful the debonair Monsieur Dimitri from Paris

Author: Michelle Pirovich
Sunday, January 11, 2004
He is house music's best dressed bad boy. As smooth on the turntables as he is in the Playboy Mansion, Dimitri from Paris knows a thing or two about style, be it the latest suit, disco blend or Japanese robot.

It started out as a case of stolen recognition. Dimitri, as he was then known was causing quite a stir amongst David Morales, Frankie Knuckles and Louie Vega. The commotion was over a remix he had done for Bjork, but unbeknownst to him the 'Dimitri' actually taking credit for this track was Dimitri from Dee Lite. Rightfully pissed off, Dimitri made the decision to extend his name to 'Dimitri from Paris' to avoid this faux pas from happening again.

"We never actually met and I don't hold a grudge. I was hurt and angry though, he was stealing recognition that I was trying so hard to get. But, it helped me come up with the name that really launched my career, so I should probably be thanking him," laughs Dimitri.

Openly referred to as the 'Quintessential Gentleman' and the 'Dapper Frenchman', Dimitri's debonair and well groomed appearance have him standing much farther a field from the majority of today's 'gentlemen'. As this Turkish born Parisian's fondly recalls, his penchant for fine attire goes back to the 'Rat Pack' days.

"My mother would take me to see classic American movies from the 40s and 50s, movies like 'Wonderful life' by Frank Cappa, my favourite movie ever. Cary Grant, James Stuart, everyone from those movies was super sharply dressed and I loved their beautiful suits and hats. Then I started developing a taste for spy movies, 70's cop shows and James Bond, that's really where my teaching of style comes from."

Whilst we may not see Dimitri lounging around in sweat pants and a hoodie, Dimitri doesn't necessarily associate style and comfort with high fashion.

"I don't always wear a suit, particularly in clubs, they stink up my threads. I do wear jeans, Japanese made Levis which are a replica of the fifties pants, very comfy. You should always be comfortable within your idea of what style is and it doesn't have to be expensive. I'm not a designer label freak at all, giving into fashion is all wrong most of the time."

Draped in designer labels or not, Dimitri regularly DJs for fashion barons Chanel, Lagerfeld and Gaultier, for nothing compliments glamorous girls in glamorous fashion more than glamorous music.

Inspired by the continental jet-setting faux-jazz of the '50s and '60s, Dimitri ardently points out that he needs music to be both 'glamorous and emotional'.

"A lot of current dance music is very uneventful; it has a beat but nothing particularly memorable. I'm attracted to percussion, strong rhythms and vocals, music that is very harmonic and melodic."

It is this distinctive combination that Dimitri has once again displayed for Defected's stunning compilation series, 'In the House'.

"Defected has always put out house music of the highest quality. When I was asked to do a mix for them I was very happy to become a part of that family."

As with each of his compilations, Dimitri aims to concentrate the various waves and sounds from one of his 5-7 hour DJ sets into a 2 hour cd.

"I want to put out a digest of what I do as a DJ. Generally a mix of music from the seventies, personal classics like 'I love music' by the O Jay's, my trademark disco tracks, early nineties house tracks from say L'il Louis, underrated tracks, and if I find new music that I love which is very difficult for me to do, then I absolutely have to put it on.

From there I need to link these styles in an interesting way which is where the difficulty lies, to find a track that isn't just a filler."

When he's not mixing compilations Dimitri is busy creating his own original pieces. In 1996 Dimitri released 'Sacre Bleu' through Yellow Productions, a highly acclaimed collection of 'inspiring and wonderfully witty works'; it was named Mixmag's Album of the Year and sold several hundred thousa