Paris based graphic designer & DJ Laurent - aka DJ Sundae - is a discerning selector with an eclectic taste. Whether delicate, liminal strains of ambient and folk, atypical forms of dub and post-punk or hallucinatory fixes of acid and interstitial electronics, there’s a unity and a careful sense of consideration to a Sundae mix that makes them a reliably rewarding listen.
A route to certain moods – ruminative or celebratory – and a constant source of discovery. With roots in hip hop, scratch DJing and an early engagement with records via his local skate shop in Montpellier, Laurent has a long history of collecting music and channelling his inspirations. From formative years scouring for examples of early electronics, through familiarities with folk icons and melancholic outliers, to an important exposure to the first strides of rave and techno, Laurent has acquired an appreciation for a wide spectrum of sounds.
Regular appearances on Cosmo Vitelli’s NTS show No Weapon Is Absolute, mixes for the likes of Left Alone, People & Places, Knekelhuis / Intergalactic FM and Red Light Radio, and cassettes on Perks & Mini and The Trilogy Tapes, have all demonstrated, in their own way, an eye for special and singular records, and a natural subtlety in bringing them together, whilst a particularly memorable highpoint came courtesy of ‘Sky Girl’, a compilation he co-curated alongside Julien Dechery for Efficient Space (a release we covered extensively here).
Alongside DJing and curating archival compilations, Laurent runs the label Idle Press, an operation with a refreshingly measured approach. What might be perceived as a sporadic release schedule, is on reflection, a welcome change of pace in a landscape of often manic activity and overload. Only release what you love, a sentiment that’s patently adhered to, judging by what’s emerged so far. Downtown disco curios by Pitch, an underrated outing by Ransom Note favourites Smagghe & Cross, ethno-stylized ‘proto-trance’ edits by Alexis Le-Tan, and the psychotropic slow burn and profound dimensions of Karamika / 3rd Wave member and Düsseldorf stalwart Gordon Pohl - under the new nom de plume V2A - have conveyed a disparate yet well-defined identity.
Attuned to the gentle, the exceptional and the bizarre, Laurent’s myriad projects and mixes are always a compelling prospect to dive into. With this contribution to Ransom Note’s ‘Wednesday Alternative’ series, Laurent presents an up-tempo hour of music, steeped in an inconspicuous sense of prowess and a characteristic spirit of unpredictability.
Who are you, where are you and what are you?
I’m Laurent and I’m based in Paris. I’m a DJ and sometimes a graphic designer. I’m also running a label called Idle Press.
What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
A night train.
Where was the mix recorded?
At home, where I record most of my podcasts.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
On headphones while walking.
What should we be wearing?
Good sneakers, obviously.
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
Anywhere with a proper set up, good cables and Logic Audio.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Not Waving « I know I know I know », from 2016, just rediscovered it.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
Lovefingers « Baby Lovefingers Mix » 501 on Beats in Space or Sonic Boom’s selections called « Assise, Debout et Couchée » for the French newspaper Liberation.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
If I could, it would have been with Walter Gibbons. He’s my favorite DJ from the early days of disco in NYC, besides being a true innovator in the art of remixing, he was also a fantastic DJ with a unique approach to rhythm. I’m thinking specifically of some private mixtapes that he did before his death that I really liked but unfortunately they’re not online anymore.
What was your first set up at home and what is it now?
The simplest BST mixer ever with two belt drive turntables. Now it’s one CDJ, one MK2 and a TTM56 Rane mixer, from my scratching days.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
In the club, I don’t think it’s that important except if I have to play the very last track of the night. I’m thinking more in terms of intro & outro when I’m doing podcasts for the radio or other online channels.
What were the first and last records you bought?
The first record that I owned as a kid was Nina Hagen’s African Reggae 12”. Last record I bought is the new Brannten Schnüre 7” on I Dischi Del Barone.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
If it was an animal what would it be?
A cartoon character, Cheech Wizard by Vaughn Bodé.
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Not one, but several records that I bought mostly for mixtapes purposes but never match with anything, it’s more a matter of vibe/mood than beat matching issues.
Anything else we need to discuss?
A mixtape for The Trilogy Tapes. On Idle Press: an EP by Gordon Pohl from - Karamika, Musiccargo - as V2A and some limited mix CDs.
A word for Andrew Weatherall. I guess I was lucky enough to play several times before him (and Ivan Smagghe), and he was definitely the coolest legend you'll ever meet behind the decks. May he rest in peace.
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