There have been few party crews that have gravitated to the heights that Distrikt Paris has reached in the last 12 months. As is usually the case though this is definitely not a case of overnight success and their upcoming anniversary events are the culmination of 4 years of hard work, hard-partying and the combined efforts of their ultra-talented resident artists and the tireless team that orbits them.
Over the years, the Distrikt crew have welcomed some of the scenes most influential selectors to their many parties including Onur Özer, Varhat, Evan Baggs, Max Vaahs, Traumer and Vinyl Speed Adjust and their discerning music taste, enviable skills, and wide-reaching party network has taken them to most Parisian hotspots including FAUST, Nodd Club, Dehors Brut, the late CONCRETE as well as Club der Visionaere, Wax Bar, RED58 and Hoppetosse. To celebrate a most definitely successful 12 month and their 4th year in operation the Parisian crew will be throwing not one but two birthday parties. The first of these will take place on Friday, December 6th at Cabaret Suavage and will feature sets from Quest B2B Christian AB, TC80 (Live) and residents Poggio B2B Blanco. The second and perhaps Distrikts’ true anniversary will be a full-throttle NYE warehouse affair where they will be welcoming like-minded heads from BinarySound, Rakya, Reshuffle Music, Point, Sentaku and AnimalCrossing.
Discussing with co-founders and residents DJ’s Ismail Bouchkhi AKA Escko and Bassam Idballi AKA Bassam the origins of Distrikt Paris and the vision for the brand Ismail gave great insight, “Distrikt Paris was officially born beginning of November 2015, at this time the Parisian scene was focused on the club culture especially in our musical identity (minimal house).”
He continues, “Our goal, in effect, was to remove the Parisian audience from the classic club or festival ambiances, fostering their sense of liberation without oppression. We attach great importance to the comfort of our public, by offering them authentic, original spaces and competitive prices. We also strive to offer other forms of art within our events. Above all, we value a free, party spirit, all in a controlled environment.”
Since setting up Distrikt 4 years ago there have been many highlights and successes for the 8-man team of creatives that make up the collective and Bassam is happy to share this success with the city, “From the very beginning and after the success of our first event, we felt that we were really creating something new. We had a lot of support and after a few events, other crews started to organize warehouse parties with the same music style. We were really happy to see that our vision was shared and enjoyed that much.”
Bassam goes on to say, “We organized ’60 Degres’ events with Crazyjack and Amstram Gram and this was a real achievement for us. Bringing more than 2000 people together in a big warehouse, to enjoy minimal house music wasn’t something that had been done before in Paris.”
The Parisian club scene has been a major player house and techno since the beginning but in recent times there have been a few curve balls thrown their way, Ismail gave his thoughts on the state of affairs, “We were all shocked and saddened to see the club scene collapsing around us. All over Europe, political repression is trying to stigmatize our scene.”
“In Paris, we have already lost a lot of clubs, CONCRETE being the most famous case. These last few months there has been unfair license suspension due to drug issues (ones that have been professionally handled by club staff). To me, blaming a club, who respects all of the security and prevention protocols, for an overdose, just doesn’t make sense.”
When it comes to the issues that are faced in Paris Bassam is unsure of its solution but is very much focused on finding one, “It’s complicated to figure out a solution for all the struggles in the club scene. Underground electronic music is starting to have a wider audience in Paris, but somehow, it’s still persecuted. We, ravers and event organizers, should all come together to make finding solutions easier. We need more prevention and less blame.”
Moving on to the subject of their upcoming record label Ismail points out one of their reason for setting up the imprint, “As DJs first, we’ve always dreamt of sharing our vision of music, but I think that after 4 years we have had enough time to mature our tastes. Launching our first Distrikt label was the next logical step for us.” Bassam was also upbeat regarding the progression of Distrikt, “The label will definitely get our project to the next level, it will allow us to express ourselves a lot deeper, musically. This is important for us as we will be releasing talented artists that are close to Distrikt and we consider as friends. For the moment, we already have 3 confirmed releases. All we can say is that the first one is an EP from our very own Moroccan producer Kosh including an outstanding electro remix from our friend Janeret. The label will be eclectic and widely defines our musical universe.”
Bassam gives fresh insight into Distrikt’s future plans, “We are also working on a residency in a club in Paris, with one event every two months. We will be working on showcasing our label around the world for the release parties. This should make 2020 a very tough year for us as we’re also working on several other projects. So, stay tuned, there is more and more to come.”