A versatile artist and label owner of Memento Records, IDRISS D has a lot of experience under his belt when it comes to house and techno music. Next year, the imprint celebrates its 16 years anniversary and we’re very happy to have him here for the feeder insider interview series so we can find out more about his recent endeavours, his future plans for the label as well as other insightful thoughts on production and music, in general.
DJ / producer / Italy / electronic
feeder.ro: Hello, Idriss! The world is slowly putting itself back after last year’s crisis, and the threat is far from over still. How did this affect your activity, and what did you do during those hard times?
Idriss D: Hello feeder dream team. My unique business is generated from music and events, so basically, this has frozen my activities. My dj tours and my db artists booking agency, as many of my colleagues, sadly. But, we kept pushing my label, Memento records. We didn’t stop pressing vinyl or selling to keep the team busy and connected with our fan base.
f: Recently, you returned behind the decks and managing a cool place called Playa Boho Riccione, where you invited many talented artists to join you for unique events. How did you find this place, and what makes it so special?
ID: Playa Boho is our new baby business; we took it over in December and made it new with our proper organic style and good sound system. Its a beach club: beach + restaurant + lounge. With the restrictions, we are just bookings friends dj with, of course, great skills. But no rave. Just experimental music. We follow all the Italian rules, and for now, nobody is allowed to dance.
f: Next year, your label Memento Records will celebrate its 16th anniversary, and the catalogue is solid: artists from all over the world with top-notch productions, your own works and the DIB series, vinyl, digital, everything. What are the plans for the future? Is there going to be a special release or event to capture this moment?
ID: Yes, basically, I had a plan with my team to make a significant 15th year anniversary.
This is a scoop. I’m telling it just to feeder.ro. We were planning 16 shows in 16 cities to celebrate this. Covid broke this plan, so we’ll celebrate hopefully 16 years.
Working on the same goals and touring. And, of course, we’re signing new releases. Each one is special. I release just records. I love, I test, there is no compromise with friends, or, sadly, we can’t check demos. We have so much material as we need first to give it a priority.
I’m also working on my new album for 2022.
f: What about your other activities? How do you manage to be a DJ, producer, artist manager and label curator all together? The program must be hectic…
ID: Hectic, but I love it. I’m used to working many hours a day since I was little. I suffered a lot to reach specific goals and will still do. I have 15 hours a day to work my things, which are enough. A fantastic team of db artists who manages many sections for the music and events side.
f: When it comes to your music, what is it that inspires you? Let us know more about what drives you and how the production process goes, as well as the secret behind a good DJ set.
ID: I used to sell vinyl in my records shop. Then in my living room, on the phone taking orders, packing and shipping.
So my connection to the music, especially the vinyl, is so intimate. Means I’m used to listening to a lot of records, which makes my versatile sets. I can go for long sessions from minimal trippy stuff to more pushy hypnotic tracks. The most important thing is to surprise the crowd. If the dj plays just hits, what the crowd expects, it is not a dj; it’s a jukebox.
I never wanted to be a mainstream dj or putting fire on the crowd track after track. I could grow faster. Nop… I’m here, doing what I love, growing slowly, but growing.
f: Having extended experience and a comprehensive career, what is your point of view on the international electronic music scene’s evolution? Is there room for more? What about the ROminimal movement?
ID: The good thing as covid break permitted to people to think. The crowd had the time to listen to music, discover quality. Promoters had the time to think about the mistakes, about artists they would love to book. Thinking as maybe it’s time to quality, and this is a big goal. Not all of them but even a part, it’s a great point. So the evolution from my point of view will be more and more quality. Promoters will respect the restrictions and will be forced to work with tiny crowds. Good djs, they’ll see the difference 🙂
The RO minimal sound… I’m sen sensitive to this topic… Cuz who knows me knows that the RO movement is part of my life and that I used to do warm-ups for 10 years. It is big crowds, also as Cocorico or Amnesia Milano, where other Djs were ready to open with pushy sound. I was the guy who was building it up slowly, pretending a patient crowd and was 80% RO material.
We all need to thank RHADOO, who made this sound international, resistant. Made digging hype, with just records. No marketing, no management. This shows how the music legacy is essential. Since then, you guys have had amazing talents, solid djs and classy producers.
f: Italy is well-known for its rich cultural heritage of music and arts and its modern, vibrant nightlife. How did this influence you throughout time? Is there something specific to the Italian scene?
ID: I’m so thankful to Italy. I landed here in march 2000. Worked hard and still, but also because Italy gave me satisfaction to develop projects. All Italian people are ravers. Going out at the weekend is part of the lifestyle. So yes, I built up my image in the beautiful Italia. Grazie.
f: Can you tell us a bit more about your studio schedule or if you’re working on new materials? Also, what is your favourite gear lately?
ID: I’m working on a project with a famous Algerian singer based in Paris. Souad Massi, what’s an honour for me. Also, I’m planning to release an album in 2022. Unfortunately, I don’t have time for this because of the Playa Boho project, but I started working on some tracks. I’ll restart in October.
I’m a fan of effects, so def the eventide series. Also just tried the new I-instruments SX-I (MK2). The delay functions are coming from another planet. Synths, prophet 5, erica. I’m, of course, dj more than a producer, so everything in the studio is boutique. Just what I need to produce my ideas.
f: Where will you perform in the upcoming period?
ID: I’m playing in Chicago this coming Saturday at Arc festival b2b with dj Pierre. Then I’ll finish working with my team in Playa Boho till the middle of September. Then if nothing changes again, I’ll tour in France, Tunisia and South America. I’m talking with my friend’s promoters – mission – to organize a Memento night in RO. Fingers crossed.
f: Let us know a few insightful thoughts about music, the world, the people, the connection between them and what it means to you. Thank you!
ID: What I missed in this challenging period is the connection with the people. From the airport arrival, hugging the promoter, club parking, bars, till the booth, of course, the crowd. I missed this. I missed the faces of those who support me when I’m playing and also the ones who didn’t like that track at that moment. And myself challenging to bring him up. Working with the proper passion makes me wake up happy every day to do more, more and more.
Missing some colleagues. Sure, our long calls and advice. My character is to collaborate with people who I appreciate. To help, with asking nothing in change. I’m really like this. My goal is to see who I’m giving a hand, happy and thankful, even if our scene is part of the start system and everyone wants the cake for himself. Who knows me knows as I’m not like this, and this will always payback!!!!
Words by feeder.ro
About feeder insider
feeder insider is a series of interviews that explore the universe surrounding music and visual arts while connecting the local to the international creative scene.