INTERVIEW

“THE PSYCHEDELIC AND THE FUNKY EMERGE IN EVERYTHING I PLAY” –  Carlos Souffront shares with Holy Water his Detroit front yard….

 

To give the opportunity to the people curious about Carlos Souffront, will you give us a short intro about yourself?

I grew up in Metro Detroit, always with a strong love of music, buying and playing records, listening to Detroit radio and making mixed tapes.  I discovered house and techno in the late eighties, and soon after ventured out into the Detroit underground party scene, this environment was the primary inspiration for me to become a DJ.  DJ’ing has always been more of a passionate hobby than a career, I’ve dedicated my professional life to that of a Fromager. 

 

Now 16 years in WCBN must of mean something parallel to your djing experience, in which way these two worlds convey with each other?

I became a DJ the University of Michigan radio station WCBN-FM Ann Arbor upon the invitation of BMG of Ectomorph.  He had been hosting the long-standing dance music radio mix show Crush Collision for many years, and was happy to have me come and help present music.  Eventually, i took over the show and still host it today.
I’ve always considered radio a good outlet for my musical creativity, I could experiment and with mixing style and musical eclecticism without the pressure of satisfying the dance floor.  Furthermore, I indulge my varied musical obsessions, so sometimes I’ll play very quiet and pretty, other times loud and heavy, sometimes classic and catchy, or obscure and difficult, sometime focusing on rhythm, other times atmosphere, other times tonality, other times melody.
When I play in public, I try to satisfy the dance floor a bit more, while keeping true to the sound that’s inspiring me at the moment.  Since I play in public so rarely these days, I tend to have a canon of ‘party records’ that I enjoy but also provide security, I need time to become comfortable with the public experience to play beyond the canon and delve a bit deeper into the selection.  I do not have this problem in private settings.  But the public setting does raise the stakes of performance, and sharing music with a present and appreciative listener can be sublime.

 

From playing at your first residency at Zoot’s Coffee and Sound, and as like other residencies such as Detroit’s legendary Sardine Bar, Labyrinth. etc., where you have built a time line in Detroit’s dance scene, do you think your sound and djing has been well corresponded in Detroit? Is there a possibility that other places in the world or U.S., your sound has found a better fit?

Of course there is this possibility, but I have not yet played there, and Detroit has come the closest!  For me, the most enjoyable aspect of DJ’ing is about sharing music with like-minded friends, it is about cultivating nostalgia, serendipity, memory, sartori.  Since Detroit has always been my home, and DJ’ing for me is a very personal expression, it naturally feels most at home there.  That is not to say that I don’t enjoy playing elsewhere, I have made friends in music all over!

 

Without calling it ‘Eclectic’, in such a way, your sets have the possibility to convey Techno, House, Acid, Electro (not sure about Disco) in to your own sound, seemly the composition of one’s sound. Will it be because it is sequential to your exposure in many different musical dance environments? We heard something on your mixes spelling out loud ‘Funk it’, is it your alibi?

The environment that informs my ecleticism the most these days are the underground parties my crew throws in Detroit.  They attract a diverse audience, so we respond with musical diversity (of which disco of course is an essential part).  They are my favorite parties to go to, for me there is this sense of sanctity i don’t see much elsewhere.  I try to reflect this when I play, honoring the songs, letting them breathe.  Also, I have strong musical biases, so I’m sure common threads of the psychedelic and the funky emerge in everything I play.

 

Zoot’s Coffee and Sound, Detroit.

 

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