We kick off the year Funkin’ Donuts style with a quick reflection on the work of Parisian Disco Deity Dimitri From Paris.
2018 is finally upon us, bringing with it new music, tours and shenanigans from our favourite groups and artists, and some pretty exciting thoughts and ideas here at TFSR. It’s going to be a great year for sure, not least because we have the absolute pleasure of kicking it off with a piece about the wonderful Dimitri from Paris. This is an article that’s long been in the mix to put up on the site, having been such huge fans for a number of years and with plenty of material to review from the year just gone. Happy new year!
We referenced Dimitri briefly a few months back in the Jean Tonique: Something to talk about review when making a point about the incredible music coming out of France, and those names have served as a useful roadmap for some potential articles for 2018. Brexit may well indeed be a thing, but they’ll have to do more than that to stop us importing all this French groove over.
Saying that, Dimitrios Yerasimos (to give his real name, cool right?) isn’t as Parisian as we may be led to believe. He was actually born in Peckham to Turkish parents of Greek descent, but moved to France as a youngster where he grew up and subsequently began his career. Like many DJ’s and producers, he started out in the world of radio, and whilst working for Radio NRJ introduced France to their first ever house music show. Perhaps unlike other DJ’s and producers however, he was at the same time producing runway soundtracks for high-end designer brands including Yves-Saint Lauren, Chanel and Jean-Paul Gaultier. All of a sudden it becomes clear why the man is so impeccably dressed all the time.
2017 experienced a large influx of musical gems from Dimitri, thanks to the release of a handful of EP’s and singles, including Erodiscotique (Episode 4) and horn-heavy Parribean Disco. The former is a three-track club oriented collection of electronic hits, including Don’t you feel the same, an excellent disco-house track guaranteed to bring the house down. Two-track Parribean Disco conversely keeps the cowbell but holds the electro, trading it for some fantastic brass jive.
The main event of 2017 however was undeniably the release of a mighty two-disc CD mastermix, comprised of re-masters, remixes and re-edits of hits from the prolific label Salsoul. The first CD includes Dimitri’s top picks from the Salsoul archives, featuring remixes from some of the biggest names in the game – Shep Pettibone, Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan among them. These individuals (alongside others not present on the CD, such as TFSR’s MVP John Morales) were pivotal in showing the world how a quality remix is really somewhat of an artform, requiring time, patience and plentiful flair. By virtue of being born within that generation and carving his equally unique path, it would be fair to consider Dimitri among those ranks.
The second CD features ten of Dimitri’s own re-edits of tracks allegedly quite close to his heart. Xlassics from Skyy, Loleatta Holloway and The Jammers are given that unique Dimitri touch to create a classy, crisp and fresh collection of old school disco tracks.
There are vinyl copies available, however the expense and inconvenience of collecting records may be all too pronounced when attempting to get hold of a copy of this beauty. The re-sale sold out in record (haha) time, with imported copies going for £100 or more.
We’ve ensured there’s a degree of breadth to the selected tracks here, so hopefully for those readers new to Dimitri From Paris there are better odds of finding something you’ll resonate with and then you can truly get acquainted. Whilst some of us often wish that we could have the chance to experience life back when disco first reared its glittery head, we can take some solace knowing that there are masters at work in the present day breathing new life into the ever vibrant genre.
For us UK dwellers, if you’re quick or lucky enough to grab a ticket then the next opportunity to get your disco dose will be 10th March at the Ministry of Sound, London. Mr From Paris is on somewhat of an international tour at the moment, so it might be some time before he’s back on English soil. We hope to see you there!
All the best,