Kitsuné Trip Mode: Jerry Bouthier Exclusive Interview!
The mix’s mastermind and Kitsuné’s long time friend & collaborator Jerry Bouthier makes a leap forward by introducing a gorgeous, dreamlike slant to DJ mixes. Music director of Vivienne Westwood’s labels for five years and collaborator of numerous designers Jerry’s honed a new craft by conceiving the soundtracks of the London, Paris and Milan catwalk shows of some of the most innovative talents in fashion.
Originally a club DJ for whom unsurprisingly it is essentially about making people dance, Jerry developed a challenging musical approach focusing on heart-melting emotions and atmospheres while remaining funky and danceable.
Read below the exclusive interview he made for the Kitsuné Journal as we asked a few questions on this enlightening piece of work.
Kitsuné Trip Mode Mix was recently released on Kitsuné. In the mix, there are some fine inspiring tracks, how did your put it together? What coherence is there between them all?
“I put on the side the most magical and inspired tracks I could find for a while, pretty much regardless of styles as long as it had some kind of groove and warmth to it, and tried to build an enchanting evolution/development out of them. Finding outstanding ingredients is the key, after that it’s mostly about the cooking, there’s much dramatic production and fine-tuning going on to enhance the atmospheres and try to carve a grand, blissed out picture. I try to stay clear from too much of the same thing, it gets boring quickly, well to my ears anyway. Combining as many moods as you can is intoxicating, the wildest the better like in fashion shows, a little madness is always a good thing. The coherence stems more from the emotions of each piece and how one takes you onto the other, than focusing on one single genre or feel. I was trying to bring inspired catwalk moods onto the dancefloor for something a little trippy and feminine.”
After many years of experience in the industry, how do you think the global electronic musicscene will evolve in the next few years?
“Oh like everybody else I read Bob Lefsetz’s write ups to find out about that kind of stuff haha. I’m essentially a music fan surfing the waves for better or worse. I regularly get excited like a 16 year old and I’m off embracing a completely new way of looking at music, until something else comes along haha. As electronic music’s commercialisation goes bananas, it all ends up formatted one way or another, like fast-food. I love music made with machines… not by machines. It’s still got to be humans with sensibilities controlling them and getting the best out of them, one of the most important skills in the studio. Everybody uses the same equipment and the same tricks, it’s all so predictable. Hopefully there always will be genuine musicians with imagination and inner poetry to resist the dollar signs and achieve personal work. Good ideas and strong melodies never go out of fashion.”
You’ve been part of the Maison Kitsuné family for a long time, tell us again how it all started…!
“Gildas and I are house heads at heart, we’ve done our fair share of raving. But we also like guitar-based indie pop and gigs as well as beatsy, groovy stuff… we were bound to bond. I fell in love with Kitsuné’s concept as soon as it kicked off. It proposed more than just another record label, the music was different sounding, often exciting, and its vision encompassed spirit and lifestyle: a seducing equation if there ever was one. I was resident dj at BoomBox the infamous east London night that shook things up a few years back, Gildas – a regular behind the decks there – offered me to do a BoomBox mix on Kitsuné to keep a snapshot of those wild times. More mixed cds followed. The Kitsuné Soleil series we’ve been doing together is another good one, the soundtrack to your holidays, sweet, fun and relaxed but not naff. What I probably like most about Kitsuné is the fact that it doesn’t have a particular sound as such, it simply stamps its seal of approval on interesting artists, the spectrum’s limitless.”
Last Saturday, at the Kitsuné Trip Mode Release Party in Paris, you put the dancefloor on fire! What is your recipe to a good DJ set?
“I believe the recipe to a good dj set is to seize the moment. I never play the same set because depending on the place and the time, the mood can be pretty different. I try to be attentive and see what vibe people are in so I can contribute, not simply do my thing regardlessly. I’m like the kid with fun toys, the records, and would rather play with others than on my own. I’ve always considered deejaying’s important thing is to assess who’s in front of you and what the expectations are, there’s a lot of sociology involved. There are various school of thoughts when it comes to deejaying, but for me it’s about winning people’s trust from the word go, once that’s established you can take them with you almost anywhere.”
You’ve been living in the British capital for some time, give us an idea of the London nightlife!
“It’s become a bit like Ibiza without the sunshine haha. Extremely cosmopolitan, people from every walk of life and nationality. Thecapital of Europe if you ask me, nowhere’s as mixed and colourful on this continent. London’s night buses, an institution dear to all clubbers, are like lunatic asylums on wheels with people singing, screaming, mingling, smooching, sometime fighting, the lot… and more often than not you don’t even hear a word of English. It’s quite something haha. Apart from that I’d say that the nightlife in London’s pretty corporate these days, essentially about putting bums on seats, and cliquey too, long gone’s the time of One Nation Under a Groove. It could do with an injection of passion and originality in the way it runs its clubs. There are tons of things going on, every artists/djs under the sun headlining events but what’d be cool is a place you want to go to because it’s got a great, different vibe and an interesting crowd, add to that a decent music policy and you’ve got a winner. Who gives a damn about the dj? In a great club, it’s who you’re gonna meet and socialise with that matters, no the dj. It’s become a business like any other, when it should be about heart and extravagance. BoomBox offered a glimpse of that but it’s been back to normal since it ended it seems to me although there are small things going on here. Apart from Disclosure and the house come back of course, but that’s more of a mainstream scene in the UK I guess.”
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
“In fashion I loooove the work of Comme des Garcons’ genius designer Rei Kawakubo, so collaborating with this unique mind would be as mind-blowing as working with Vivienne Westwood (in respect Rei’s pretty much Vivienne’s Japanese equivalent). Same with Viktor & Rolf, their world’s so fascinating and stylish. Both have much humour too, crucial. In cinema, the more childish films of directors Wes Anderson and Spike Jonze, ‘Moonshine Kindom’ and “Where The Wild Things Are’, touched me on several levels (and more than some of their other films). I’m forever indebeted to my childhood and the emotions it provided me with, innocent perceptions that have help build my sensibility without blinkers and that I cherish hard by resisting many adults’ behaviours towards music. Sourcing and composing music for that type of movies would be an absolute treat. As far as music goes there are tons of gifted artists I adore out there, but right now I’m quite happy to keep on digging with JBAG’s other half Andrea Gorgerino as our music project’s fully formed now. The only down point is to our dismay we haven’t managed to integrate permanently a vocalist-friend, which is a shame cos the way JBAG functions is very much like a band. I’d be amazing to have one vox fronting it all. So if there are any candidates out there, please get in touch!”
What are your upcoming projects musically speaking?
“I spend a lot of time in the studio working on JBAG with Andrea, we’ve just released our 3rd single ‘Through Blue’ featuring our buddy Tomek, the singer from Kamp! the Polish band that deserves to break globally, the track’s included on the ‘Kitsuné Trip Mode’ mix too. JBAG’s now working on the follow up, with the singer of Shindu hopefully, and an album too which we want to be more experimental although still melodic. We’ve just remixed the next single on my label Continental which will be the re-release of Scarlet Fantastic’s ‘No Memory’, a late 80s hit that was an anthem for Andy Weatherall at the Boys Own parties during the summer of love; the lyrics wonderfully encapsulate hedonism and teenageoptimism. This song’s legendary so I’m really chuffed bringing it back to life in 2014 with radical new versions from the likes of Luke Million (The Swiss), Sean Hi-Fi (ex-singer of the Soup Dragons), Monday Club, ELIOT etc and JBAG of course. Hopefully ‘Kitsuné Trip Mode’ will become a regular occurrence, can’t wait to bring out some more beautiful, spooky moods in the mix on Kitsuné.”
Shop Maison Kitsuné on NET-A-PORTER here and get a free Kitsuné Trip Mode Mix download card!
Get your copy of the catwalk-inspired Kitsuné Trip Mode Mix here
Read more about the mix and Jerry Bouthier x Bernstock Speirs collaboration on the ‘Highbury Eden’ hat!
Stream below the Kitsuné Trip Mode Minimix!