183 Dj Sundae


01. The Black Dog - Control Needs Time [Dust Science, 2015]
02. E-Talking - 12 [???]
03. DJ Oa$is - GOAT LIFE! [FuckPunk, 2020]
04. · n s y d e · - Eye In The Oil [· n s y d e ·, 2016]
05. Mental Overdrive - Lockdown [Love OD Communications, 2020]
06. Terrace - My beautiful garden [Djax-Up-Beats, 1991]
07. Schwefelgelb - Reflex [n-PLEX, 2020]
08. Risa Taniguchi - Wobbel [Kneaded Pains, 2020]
09. Passarani 2099 - 1:43200 [Nature Records, 1999]
10. Seefeel - Charlotte's Mouth [Avante Garde Mix] [Astralwerks, 1994]
11. The Kiwi Animal - Just How Close [Massage Records, 1984]

Laurent Richard is a Parisian visual artist, record collector and selector under the name of DJ Sundae. Having been immersed in the skateboarding scene since his own early days, Laurent evidently knows his way around niche subcultures, music, outsider art and all things expressive, treasuring obscurities through his current record label Idle Press. DJ Sundae has also been the person behind “No Weapon Is Absolute” on NTS Radio with Cosmo Vitelli, the curator behind a few stellar records, the runner of what was Hollie Records, an ace behind the club decks and much more, all detailed further in our interview.

DT: Hello Laurent, how have you been during the pandemic?

DJ Sundae: I’ve been doing well overall. Of course, it’s not that easy being isolated but surprisingly enough I kind of enjoyed being back to a “normal” life without clubs and nightlife for a while.
I took advantage of this free time to finally go back to skateboarding and learn new things in graphic design. We did have here a summer almost without any restrictions, this helped a lot also.

DT: Concerning the Parisian scene, have the local artists been receiving any form of support regarding the forced hiatus?

DS: For most of them, yes. A bit of administration struggle for self-employed like me, but it worked at the end, fortunately.

DT: As a record collector you must be accustomed to listening to vast quantities of music at home – nevertheless, have your listening habits or preferences changed in any way since the clubs shut down?

DS: Except that I first took a “forced” break with club oriented music at the beginning of the pandemic, it didn’t change my habits that much.
I kept on listening to the same amount of music, swapping tracks with friends and fortunately kept on doing radio shows & podcasts on the same rotation.

DT: Has being part of the skateboarding scene influenced your path in music or other subcultures?

DS: More than anything else, I guess. In the first place it was the music used in early skate videos by companies like Powell & Peralta, Blind or World Industries in the early 90’s. From the early hip hop experiments of Skatemaster Tate to Dinosaur Jr. or even John Coltrane, it was an incredible introduction to a wide spectrum of music. A vision totally embraced at the time by the new local skate shop called Short Brain in my hometown of Montpellier in south of France. This is where I first saw some DJs / skaters playing Funkadelic, the first Mo’ Wax & Ninja Tune records, dcBasehead, and surely this was where I first heard of techno and rave as the members of Spiral Tribe were also hanging around at that time. This is also where I started DJing, then in skate contests and later in parties. Still trippin’ on the music supervision in skate videos to this day!

DT: Going further on the subject of musical roots; your collaborative radio show on NTS, “No Weapon Is Absolute”, features a lot of ‘alternative’ tunes and many classics from My Bloody Valentine, Daniel Johnston, This Heat, the more recent Ariel Pink and others. Do these influences translate into the dance music that you play?

DS: Yes, because I look for similar sensations in both electronic / dance music and acoustic / non-programmed tracks. It can be minimalism, linearity & intensity or even better “hypno monotony” (such as Spacemen 3). I can understand that those similarities are not necessarily obvious at first sight but for me it’s mostly about musical notes and how they are organized in space, whatever the genres.

DT: How would you generally describe the Paris music scene that surrounds you, considering that (at least from an outsider perspective) it seems to be a vast and saturated hub of techno / rave happenings? 

DS: In the last years, the Paris electronic music scene has radically changed. I guess it all started with the opening of Concrete, a real club with strictly techno / house line-ups & a proper sound system / warehouse vibe that was truly missing here. Since then, certainly techno and rave never stop to expand, but this new dynamic also brought about room for more different music. Venues like La Station, young promoters Bruits de la Passion, web radios Rinse France and LYL, among many others, have contributed to redefine an alternative & complementary landscape with exciting and adventurous line-ups and by pushing the new scene. The last couple of years were definitely the best that I experimented in Paris nightlife since I moved there. 

DT: One definite landmark in your career is the all-encompassing art pop compilation Sky Girl, a combined effort of multiple artists compiled by yourself and Julien Dechery over a few years, released in 2016. Could you tell us a bit more on how you decided to put it together?

DS: When I met Julien in Paris in a disco party some years ago, we quickly realized that we shared the same passion for folk & DIY pop private press records, which was quite unusual in the diggers / DJs scene at that time.
Then we started swapping some music and then the idea of a compilation of our respective favorite rare tracks had become suddenly obvious. The original idea was to focus mainly on 80s US private press music, but it slightly moved to something
wider, from 60s garage tracks to 90s DIY pop. We tried to find a unity in all those sentimental miniature tracks from different times & genres. The first version was a bootleg CD exclusively for sale at Paris Colette shop and the second one, the official version, was released later on Michael Kucyk’s freshly launched label Efficient Space. We couldn’t dream of a better home for the second life of Sky Girl, Michael did an amazing job all the way.

DT: Where do you think your affinity for outsider music, artsy minimal wave, etc. comes from?

DS: Somehow it’s the kind of music that I would have love to do myself, semi-amateur musical abilities mixed with an art student sensibility and you have a few hints.

DT: Why do you personally find it important to archive, compile and re-release older works?

DS: Sometimes re-releases of forgotten gems can be relevant for our present time, but if it’s all about revival or strictly trivial I can find it also pretty useless. 

DT: Idle Press, your current label, dropped its first release in 2016. What was your motivation behind starting the new imprint? 

DS: I didn’t plan to create to a new label after the ending of Hollie Records. After that I was asked to edit the track Pitch - What Am I Gonna Do For Fun (a lost NYC electronic no wave track from 1982) for a Colette (again!) compilation, which didn’t happen, but I ended up with the rights of the track. I decided to release it by myself and asked Tolouse Low Trax to remix it. From that, it was clear that Idle Press will be more electronic oriented than Hollie Records. 

DT: Having in mind that you’ve only put forth 4 releases over the years, what is the process of deciding on and preparing music for the label?

DS: I’m not actively seeking for new music to release but if a friend or anyone sends me some music project that I like, I know that I have the possibility to release it, nothing more. 

DT: What are some of your favorite possessions from your record collection?

DS: Despite how many records I can have, I always come back to the same 20 / 30 records: Tim Buckley, Smokey & his Sister, Rowland S. Howard, Brigitte Fontaine,
African Brothers Band and some jazz favorites like Mary Lou Williams or Shamek Farrah, to name a few. 

DT: Was there something you’ve perhaps rediscovered over the quarantine?

DS: I relistened a lot to Kate Bush - Aerial, Movietone - Day & Night, PJ Harvey & John Parrish, Blue Velvet soundtrack & some World Music / Dean Blunt releases.

DT: Lastly, what are some of your plans and hopes for the future, even if it is a time of uncertainty?

DS: Like everyone, I’m hoping things will get back close to normal at some point in 2021. I miss traveling & my friends abroad among many things.
Regarding musical projects, my second tape on The Trilogy Tapes has just been released, but nothing planned on my label for now.

Interview: Viktoras Urbaitis, Photo: Lukas Gansterer Published: 10 Dec 2020
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