We absolutely love the “My Favourite DJ” series on Resident Advisor because it allows for the world’s premier party starters to put their center-stage egos aside and completely let their guard down to give their idols props. It’s very humbling to hear someone like the legendary Carl Cox dish on who gets his booty moving on the dancefloor.
Carl Cox says Laurent Garnier always goes that little bit further.
I’ve known Laurent for over 25 years, and there’s no question that he’s my favourite DJ. He has a great attitude and an amazing passion for music, arts and life in general. We like to play alongside each other as much as we can. He understands where I’m coming from musically and vice-versa, and whenever we DJ together we definitely push the musical envelope. He’s as good at pulling out obscure records as I am—and that makes me want to work harder. I definitely raise my game around Laurent.
When people see us play they’ll see it’s more than just music for music’s sake. I like the way he’s not scared to play anything. You might hear some dubstep, some drum & bass, techno, classic Detroit sounds, even the odd bit of disco—he crosses boundaries. And every record he plays, he plays with conviction and belief. I can go as far as I can go, but because he’s French, he can go a little bit further!
Ripperton admires the way James Holden stays true to his vision.
What makes the difference between a good DJ and a very good DJ? One option (the one I will follow here) is the ability to make people travel, through the DJ’s vision, without any compromise. There are some DJs who know how to break rules, elevate the debate, make electronic music sound better and fuller, and most of all inspire the whole scene. So when I think about what I’ve just written, one name breaks through the clouds: James Holden.
The first time I heard James playing live as a DJ was in Lausanne, at the Loft club back in April 2005. I remember that night perfectly because it was the first time I heard a DJ playing such a wide range of music, from Afx to his fabulous remixes of Britney Spears, and I saw the whole club being driven crazy. Since then, I had the chance to be part of the Border Community family and to play with James several times and he’s never stopped amazing me. His results as a DJ have the same effect on 300 people in a basement as on 5000 people at the main stage of a festival, and all this with the same musical selections.
The albums, remixes and compilations that he’s done during the last decade are simply milestones in the electronic garden. More than ever I’m convinced that DJing is an art in itself, equal to production if it’s done by a visionary. Staying independent and true to your vision means a lot of work and courage. Sometimes I wish that more people in our business had more talent, heart, sense of family and generosity like the gentleman we know as Holden.
Jacques Renault digs Maurice Fulton’s party jams and unpredictability.
When I first started going out and listening to DJs, I was hearing almost everything mixed up—jungle, soul, reggae, disco, house etc. So, from the beginning I was always impressed by someone’s ability to change styles and tempo while making and maintaining a certain party mood. I don’t know how it happened, but then it went from “anything goes” to “must be a sub-genre” (or something like that) and I sort of got stuck in that zone listening to the same thing over and over. Thankfully that didn’t last long as I wasn’t hearing enough changes to keep me that interested.
I moved around a bit and then with the beginning of the 2000s, I was back hearing more variety again with DJs at venues big and small. Maurice Fulton stood out for me as one of my favorites, mostly because of his history and variety of releases. I always feel like I’m not going to know what he’ll throw in the mix next. Disco, acid house, slow/fast, new/old—when he DJs everyone is on their toes loving the track if they know it or not. Of the selectors in the world, his transitions are always spot on, and make me excited for what feel-good party jam he’ll play next.
Nice pick, Jacques!