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Interview: Don Turi

today07/02/2024

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Don Turi is a French DJ / Producer with a mastered education in driving beats. Being a previous drummer has given him a distinct sound and an appetite for techno. With a new single “Not Noise” on bORDEL Records, we sat down with him recently to find out more…

Hey Don Turi, how has 2024 started off for you so far?

Hi Only Techno! As I often do, my year started with a solo creative retreat. January is always a bit quiet for parties, so I take the chance to retreat to a country house with my machines and make music. I think it’s one of the best ways to start the year for me. I came back to Paris to mix at the Glazart at the invitation of Electric Rescue, so my return started with a bang!

Can you share the story of how you got started in the music industry and what inspired you to become a DJ and producer?

I started as a jazz drummer a long time ago! From a young age, I was very attracted to electronic music and production. I used to record and produce for the bands I was a part of when I was a teenager. My real start in the music industry was as a drummer for French pop/electro scene artists, first on stage and then increasingly in the studio. After an accident that forced me to stop for a few months, I decided to sort through all the music I had produced for myself – my notebooks, so to speak. That’s when I released my first track with Get Physical. I felt I had something to say through my productions, so I continued to write my little story – my Blue Ballet, my Teknoid Shadows, my Digital Clash…

How would you describe your style as a DJ and how has it evolved over the course of your career?

I try to build my DJ sets around my productions, paying attention to the atmosphere of the club I’m in. It also depends on the time I have; I don’t build the same journey if I have an hour and a half or four hours to take the audience with me. On longer sets, I can mix Hard Tech and two hours later play my track “Connection Lost” featuring La Chica! I also like to prepare little “naughty remixes” of very popular tracks. Recently, I did one for “Killing In The Name” by Rage Against The Machine (it’s on my Soundcloud if you’re interested) and another for “Right Here Right Now” by Fatboy Slim – when I play them in a club, it creates an amazing vibe!

What has been your favorite DJ performance experience and what made it memorable for you?

It was Ricardo Villalobos at Melt Festival, I think in 2010. It was hypnotic! It was simple, no ego, nothing pretentious… it was just simply magical thanks to his DJ instinct and inspiration.

As a DJ and a producer, do you find that one role influences the other in your creative process?

Yes. In the beginning, I only did live shows with my synths and drum machines. In that case, you just play your music for an hour and a half and that’s it. But when you do a four-hour DJ set, you can’t just play your music; you play others’ as well, and so you have to mix your productions with those of other producers. That’s a bit more complicated! My latest productions are really aimed to be played in clubs, mixed with other artists’ productions, and thus played by other DJs during their sets.

You have another single on Bordel Records out now “Not Noise” – how did you approach it, and how does it differ from the last one, “Break It”?

“Break It” is almost a pop track for me. The vocals take up a lot of space and play a leading role. In “Not Noise,” even though there are vocals, they blend with the instrumental to create a single texture; you can almost forget them. Another important difference is the structure. In “Break It,” there are distinct and well-defined parts, whereas in “Not Noise,” I had the image of a tunnel with turns and some light changes in mind, but it’s the same road. I was looking for that sensation of trance and discovery that one can have on a journey.

Can you share any other upcoming projects or releases that your fans can look forward to in the near future?

On March 15th, we’re releasing the EP “Digital Clash” with bORDEL. I’m very excited about that. I have ongoing collaborations, notably with Ghost Dance, and I hope it will be released soon. I’ve also finished producing a track with a wonderful young singer named Supérette, and I think I’ll release it quickly as well. There are other collaborations in the works, but I’m superstitious, so I won’t talk about them here – but stay tuned!

With the global scene continuously evolving, what do you see as the future trends or developments in electronic music?

It’s a tough question. We’re living in a new era for music with the democratization of production tools, social media, streaming, artificial intelligence… These aren’t new phenomena, but it’s hard to predict how they will evolve in the coming years. What seems essential to me is that there will always be creators and people touched by these creations! There will always be people wanting to dance and be amazed. I don’t think that can change. So, I’m going to focus on that!

Collaboration is ever more popular in the music industry. Is there anyone that in a dream world you would like to work with and why?

If we’re talking dreams, can I mention artists who are no longer with us? Like Miles Davis, Prince, David Bowie, or Kurt Cobain. I also would love to work with Eminem. He said nobody listens to techno; I’d like to change his mind! More seriously, artists like Chris Liebing or Richie Hawtin, who are big figures in the techno scene, inspire me a lot, and I’d love to collaborate with them. Or even my compatriot Enrico Sangiuliano.

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