"Now I feel more confident to be back at the studio, and to make music with more serenity"
Eliott Litrowski creates music that works in all settings and transcends genres. His openness to a wide range of sound is what has both made him a widely loved favourite, but also someone who operates in his own parallel musical world. We had a chance to talk to him, so enjoy your reading and check out his latest releases.
Hi Eliott! How’s it going?
Hi, good. Thank you!
What was your first foray into the world of electronic music?
The first one was in a Drum’n’Bass rave in the north of Barcelona. I was 16.
But what really got me into Electronic music was my first experiences at Rex Club and Pulp Club in Paris. That really got me in for sure.
In and out of the electronic music circle, who is an inspiration to you?
It is a hard question to be honest! I guess I found inspiration by experiencing interesting architecture. It can generate a lot of emotion that surely have an effect on my music. Architects like Tadao Ando, John Pawson, Carl-Frederick Svenstedt really inspire me. Architecture is part of my everyday life. So, it is definitely is an inspiration.
I also find inspiration by listening to a lot of music. I am a big Chicago House fan and it has always been an important source of inspiration. People like Ron Hardy, Larry Heard, Steve Poindexter, etc. Like a lot of people, I guess. Without them, there would be absolutely nothing. But today I get a lot of inspiration by listening to Electro / IDM Artist such as EOD or DMX Krew and the Italo / Electronic scene of Rotterdam / The Hague.
Can you live on music? Do you need to combine your creative work with other works?
I can’t only live from music. I work as an architect as well. It’s a difficult but good balance for me. I really learned how to combine both and I am really happy about it. Today one goes with the other. I have sometimes a lot to do on both sides, but I’ve always managed to finish all my projects and do all my gigs.
You have a really eclectic sound when mixing and producing, what has influenced you to be so musically varied in your approach?
I like to produce the music I like to play. My set are always quite eclectic. I never do the same set and I like to adapt to the party. If I have to change from Disco to Techno from one record to another, I have no problem doing it. I like to make my set enjoyable for everyone. I’ve always loved DJ’s that really read a dancefloor and really try to make a big party out of it. Dj’s like David Vunk for example are the ones I like to see. He is technically very good. Fun and very lively to watch and there are many different moments during the same set. It needs to be entertaining and we need to discover music.
To be honest I learned producing music by myself that is why I am always experimenting, learning and changing my way of doing music. My production follows what I like in the moment and are changing from one record to another, sensibly, like my sets. They are sonorities & texture that I often use in my production and they give identity to my music.
Would you like to share a set? Can you tell us more about it? When and how was it recorded?
Here is a set I did b2b with Voiski. I think it is interesting because we knew each other for a while but it’s the first time we played together. We were not supposed to. He played live at Ved Siden Af in Copenhagen and I was supposed to close the night from 5 till 8am. He came in the middle of my set asking what’s up. I told him “They really like when I play hard”. He told me “Need any help?” with a BIG smile and we started to play together. It was really fun. We played 3 hours till 10 am. Techno, Trance, Electro, Italo, Pop. I really had a lot of fun. It was a good combo and Ved Siden Af is a super club.
What makes a good mix to you?
A mix with variations, technically adventurous and where you discover new music.
For people that have never heard you play before, how would you describe your sound to them?
When Drexciya meets Larry David?
How much of your youth and life in France has influenced your choice in sound & style as a DJ and producing
I have been going out a lot in Paris and started at a very early age. I have been following a lot of French DJ’s such as Ivan Smagghe, Jennifer Cardini, The Hacker or Gilb’r. There was a lot of German DJ’s playing in Paris as well such as Superpitcher, Michael Mayer or Tobias Thomas. It definitely shaped my ears and I really started to buy records at that time. I started playing similar stuff. Also trying to mimic them. They were my references. Some of them still are!
Of course, when I started to play more in clubs, I started to get influenced from less know artists, friends...
Being part of the label Cracki Records, playing a lot with La Mamie’s or at the parties organized by 75021 definitly changed my sound a lot. I started to include more house, disco, Italo in my sets. I was more curious. Today I still have this imprint for sure! And that is thanks to them.
What is the current state of dance music in France? And how does it compare to other cities you’ve played in?
France is very, very strong in terms of artists and parties. I think it has always been, but since 5 years it’s booming. Parties are good almost everywhere you go and it is very interesting to travel around in the country. That makes it even more interesting. I miss it to be honest.
I can’t really compare it to other countries… Every country is different and has its own pros and cons. But you have a very special energy in France. I played my favorite gigs in France (because it is also where I played most). Some gigs at 75021 or Concrete, or in Britany (people are crazy out there) with my friends from Midi Deux. I will always remember these parties.
What can you tell us about your last job on the Permanent Vacation label? How did your encounter with the label arise?
Permanent Vacation is a very iconic label. I have records from the label since I started buying dance music. They released artists I really like such as DMX Krew, John Talabot, Massimiliano Pagliara. I have been working on few tracks and I wanted to see if a label such as Permanent Vacation would be interested in my music. I think it is important for me to send my music to labels I trust to get their feedback. It’s a good way to gain confidence with your work.
The process was very random. I just went on their website and send them some tracks. I got a reply couple of days after from Benjamin Fröhlich. He was very positive and I saw that he listened to some of my tracks 5 to 8 times. He said he liked it and invited me to be part of their compilation. Honestly, I was truly happy. Even more because I was surprised that he replied. It is also nice to experience working with bigger labels. Everything is so smooth and professional. The promo is very well done and they were really nice with me!
What inspired you to create the track? What was your criteria? What did you want to transmit? tell us about the makings of this track, where was it written, over what time period and if you picked up any new tricks whilst producing it?
It went pretty fast. Last year, I sat in my studio in Copenhagen with a friend of mine, Vincent Ruyz. I’ve already had a sketch of the track, but something was missing. After a couple of hours jamming, Vincent came with this beautiful pad. That was it. The track was complete. It was just some detailing work after that.
What do you admire most about the Permanent Vacation label?
I think it is one of those labels I was following a lot when I started listening to dance music. It’s an institution that still delivers quality today!
What have you learned in your experience collaborating with labels like Moustache Records? Tell us how you and David Vunk first met?
David and I met in Paris at a party we were both playing. Our tastes are very similar and we had fun, so we kept in touch. Over the years we met more often and one day I decided to send him some music for Moustache. I’ve always liked the label, and I really wanted to release on it. It was also the first time I was releasing an EP outside of France.
Working with David was really fun, he is a character! He gave me a lot of advises about my mixes, I am really happy about the result, it was an important step for me to work this release.
Do you still make regular trips to physical record shops? Any favorite you can always rely on?
Yes, I do. I like to go to 313 Vinyl Collective and CAN in Copenhagen. In Paris, I like to go to Dizonord. It’s one of my favorite record stores. I also like to go to Audio-in in Berlin. I always go there when I play there.
What makes you happy?
What pisses you off?
How do you deal with C19 confinement with your work?
Well, I worked from home for 2 months and barely moved out. It was fine at the beginning but it became stressful very quickly. This period generated a lot of anxiety. I feel extremely lucky to have been able to work and kept my mind busy. Today everything seems to get back to normal slowly. I wish to be back behind the decks very soon because I miss it a lot. I also moved part of my studio at my place. I did music during this period but, to be honest, I was not very in the mood for that and I did not produce so much. Now I feel more confident to be back at the studio, and to make music with more serenity.
Has this situation influenced your creative perspective? What social and musical implications do you think this situation can lead to?
Yes, I think it did! I was just not very creative during that period. It was too stressful to generate something positive from it. Even if I had a bit more time, I preferred to relax instead of trying hard to get something out of it.
I hope that situation will open the eyes of political leaders about how fragile it is to be an artist and to make a living out of it. Some people from the music industry decided to give up, and some promoters and clubs went bankrupt. It has had a significant impact and there is a need for more support in the cultural and artistic sector in general.
I hope there will be changes. Artists have used alternative ways to perform during this time. It was interesting to observe, and quite positive, but I hope we are not going to be stuck online for too long.
Something about your current or future projects? Where can we continue to see and hear?
I have a track coming out on a V/A in July on Bordello a Parigi and another collaboration with Voiski coming out in December.
My next EP was supposed to be out before summer, but it has been postponed. I don’t have the release date yet. It will be released on Something Happening, Somewhere, a label from Ultrecht with a very special remix!