Gregory Darsa aka DJ Gregory has been an integral part of the French house scene since the mid '90s. His POINT G alias began in 1996 and was relaunched three years ago, with only (highly collectable) vinyl records available up until this point. Now with the retrospective 'POINT G Live', Darsa unveils a number of exlusive and special remasters through the triple vinyl 'The Unreleased Files', including a digital album and bundle of raw live material.___________________________________________________________________________________________
Together with DJ Deep and Alex From Tokyo you presented 'A Deep Groove' in the afternoon slot on Parisian station Radio FG in the mid '90s. How significant was this station at the time?
In the mid '90s, Radio FG was a gay radio station who heavily supported electronic music back then - one of the very few, if not the only one to do so at the time. It was a permanent flow of house, techno, trance and NY garage. With DJ Deep and Alex from Tokyo we had the midday slot mixing from 12:00 - 14:00 from Monday to Saturday, spinning classics and the latest news - good ol' days!
Speaking of Radio FG, the station was featured heavily in Mia Hansen-Løve’s recent film Eden, documenting the rise of Parisian house in in the 90s. Have you seen the film and do you think it was a fair representation of the scene at that time?
I have seen the movie yes. Mia is actually the sister of Sven Hansen-Løve, who was part of the Cheers collective with Greg Gauthier
. The Cheers party was a popular NY garage party in Paris. Now regarding a fair representation, I would say there are bit and pieces of truth, but it doesn’t embrace the full spectrum of what I saw happening back then in Paris.
In the early '90s, dance music in France wasn’t a cool thing to be involved in. There was a very negative cliché about the raves that still exists today to a certain extent. It’s only in the late '90s that it finally became something culturally important. The big major labels wanted to have a hit, the promoters invested in it and organised non-illegal parties, etc. Everybody felt that it was a new path for all of us and back then almost everybody supported each other, which was a very healthy environment for creativity.
Why did you move to New York and how did that change you as an artist?
I moved to New York from 1998 to 2000. My best friend had moved there in 1990, so from then until I moved myself I had been there every summer. That’s where I really did my musical apprenticeship. After playing for a while in Paris and doing the radio show, which I kept when I was in NYC, I wanted to go there to learn more about the process of production. The time that I spent there was really worth it. And when I got back to Paris, my head was clear. I had a lot of ideas and understood that I had to find my own touch as I couldn’t beat what the Americans were doing.
When you were living in Amsterdam D’Julz offered to re-release your early POINT G track ‘Chicken Coma’, then Apollonia’s Dan Ghenacia asked to reissue ‘Underwater’. Were you surprised when your early work started getting picked back up by other DJs?
Me and D'Julz had a chat at ADE
one year and he was the very first one to tell me about those old beats, and Loco Dice
was playing it too. Then Dan asked me if he could use “Underwater" for the very first release of Apollonia, so i understood that it would be cool to jam those sounds again, that’s why I started the POINT G
Your POINT G persona stripped away the extravagant sampling culture prevalent at the time for a simpler jackin' sound. You later distanced yourself from POINT G by bringing a wider range of sounds into your productions including a lot of world rhythms on the Africanism project and later with your DJ Gregory label Faya Combo. Do you inhabit a different headspace when producing under each name?
Yes exactly, POINT G tends to be more simple and very beat oriented, whilst the productions on Faya Combo were more about going to a big studio and dealing with more channels.
Your upcoming POINT G LP will be your first ever digital release. Can you tell us a bit about the album?
As I have been releasing POINT G records on vinyl only for three years, I thought it was time to release what I’ve been doing with the POINT G live project. So the LP includes singles and a long format with also a triple vinyl pack with new versions of POINT G classics.
Defected are about to release you entire DJ Gregory back catalogue, why now?
I did ask the same to them actually! And indeed they want to re-issue the Faya Combo catalogue, according to me certain tracks are not that current but there are also some cuts that I’m really happy to see re-issued like 'Elle' or 'Solaris', that the youngsters may not know. So it’s in that respect, it’s a good idea I think.
We recently interviewed D’Julz who said that he thinks there will be another French touch explosion. Who are your favourite up-and-coming French producers at the moment?
There are a lot of new cats around in Paris! Just to mention a few, I really like Lazare Hoche
, Francois X
, Siler & Dima
, Didier "Gros Poney” Alline, La Blaizade, "One Eye" Molly - check them out!___________________________________________________________________________________________
You can buy the 'Point G Live (Deluxed Edition)' here
. You can watch Point G (Live) at the Half Baked Easter party at Studio 338 next Sunday 27th March, with Dan Ghenacia, Mike Huckaby, Cabanne, DJ QU - tickets available here
Track list:Point G Live (iTunes)
‘What’s The Point’
Plus 1 hour live mix:Point G Retrospective Mix (iTunes)
‘Peggy’ (90’s NYC interview)
‘The walk’ (Live revamp)
‘Indian’ (Epic dub)Point G Live - Sampler (Beatport Digital Release)
‘Have You’Point G Live - ‘The Unreleased Files’ Triple Vinyl LP
A: Braka (revamp)
B: Indian (revamp)
C: Druker (revamp)
D: Druker (revamp dub)
F: Hands (Lazare Hoche reshape)