The electronic dance music talent that has come out of Paris, France has been nothing short of remarkable. Electro artists like Busy P, Justice, DJ Mehdi, Riton and Brodinski are considered some of the most skillful producers within their genre. But what about Parisian house music? David Guetta is obviously the biggest name out there, but Paris is also home to a true progressive house legend: Tristan Garner. He is considered by many DJ’s and house fanatics alike as a bootleg master, seamlessly combining two or three tracks and formulating a new, fresh tune that can make any DJ seem like a god. His originals are also supported by some of the best in the business (Laidback Luke, Avicii, John Dahlback), and his tunes ‘Give Love’, ‘Caribe’, ‘Panama’ and my personal favorite track ‘Fuckin’ Down’ with Gregori Klosman are works of musical art. Listen to a few of his unbelievable productions below, along with one of his bootlegs that manages to sound better than the original tracks! Then learn all about the French touch, what it was like to play at the Techno Parade in Paris, and Tristan’s advice to young producers after the jump (read more!).
Tristan Garner Vs. Crystal Waters – Gypsy Woman
Tristan Garner – Give Love
Tristan Garner – Caribe
Tristan Garner & Gregori Klosman – Fuckin’ Down
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EO: First and foremost, what is your full name and where are you from?
Tristan: My real name is Tristan Garinet, I’m 26 , and i was born in Nice (French Riviera). I moved to Paris when I was 20, mainly for my studies, but with the secret dream to start a career in the music industry.
EO: At what age did you get into electronic music and when did you realize you could make a career out of it?
Tristan: I started really young. Like a real nerd, I began at 12 years old and I fell in love with computers, hard drives, codes and programming. I wasn’t into house music at all. I used to do piano studies, but I was more into rock & nu-metal music. Then at 14 a friend of mine made me discover a program called “Reason” and it changed my life ! At this time , computer music was really close to programming, which is why I directly fell in love with this new stuff and began to listen to dance & house music in order to create my own music. I realised really late I could make a career of it. In 2007 I spent one year in Sweden to get my diploma and at that time “Give Love” was already big so every weekend I was booked in a club. I failed my Swedish exams ( lol ) so i decided to take a one-year break to focus on my music. This break has lasted for 4 years now !
EO: How has the Parisian dance scene influenced your sound? I know there are lots of awesome acts coming from there.
Tristan: The Parisian scene and the French Touch has influenced me a lot. 1997-2003 : The best years for me. Daft Punk, Cassius, Alan Braxe, and Fred Falke are the founding fathers of the modern House Music and all the productions you can hear today are directly linked to these guys. When I have no more inspiration, I listen to their music, and it helps me a lot to find new ideas, chords etc…
EO: I know you are more progressive house oriented, but do you still listen to the Parisian electro stuff like Daft Punk, Justice, Busy P, DJ Medhi, SebAstian, Brodinski, etc?
Tristan: I don’t play their music but I’m always listening to these guys (what we call the French Touch 2.0). I really love the groove they put in their productions. And I love the way they really don’t care about mix/mastering etc… It still sounds raw and dirty! Today all the house and progressive house tunes are way too clean . I’m fed up with all these tracks with a big and clear mastering but with really poor ideas. These Justice/Busy P guys are right when they say Music First !! And a little secret : my first album planned for this year won’t be a progressive album at all ! It’ll be a mix of rock/pop & house !
EO: How has your sound evolved since ‘Give Love’? Was that song your first big break?
Tristan: ‘Give Love’ Arias remix pushed me a lot in France on TV & majors radios. It’s crazy but in France, for the mainstream people, I am only famous for this track ! The real international big break is “Last Forever” with my mate Norman Doray. I really started to tour abroad with it …But It’s really difficult for me to define my actual sound. Of course i got a better mix and my tracks are more complex, but my process of music writing is still the same.
EO: I know that when I search for your monster song ‘Caribe’, it usually says Tristan Garner presents ‘Caribe’. Is this just a way to exhibit this production as a HUGE accomplishment and show that it is an elaborate track that you were really proud of?
Tristan: At that time I wasn’t sure if I wanted to release it under my real name, cause it was more of an experimental project for me. So I decided to choose the nickname ‘Caribe’ for these tribal/ethnic projects (Caribe+Panama). But then, nobody cared about this nick-name and DJ’s still put “Tristan Garner” as the artist. So I thought it was a clever choice to keep my real name .
EO: What was it like playing in the Techno Parade in Paris? I think I have watched that video of you dropping your edit of John Dahlbacks ‘Pyramid’ 45 times.
Tristan: Techno Parade is just HUGE !! It was the third time I was booked this year and I still feel like a kid when I spin in front of 1 million people !! But it’s a real mess ! You can’t imagine how hard it is to play on a moving truck !!
EO: You have more or less cemented yourself as the bootleg master, with tons of artists supporting the following: Afrojack Vs Felix Da House Cat Feat.Swivel Hips – Silvercreen On Acid (Tristan Garner Bootleg), Alan Braxe & Bangalter Vs Size – Yeah Vertigo (Tristan Garner Bootleg), and Avicii VS Tv Rock & Axwell Feat. Live Element – Bromance in the Air (Tristan Garner Bootleg). Where do you get your ideas for your bootlegs? Does it start with a vocal sample that you might think will go well over an instrumental?
Tristan: Ah ah ah yes this year I’m up for the “King Of The Bootleg” trophy !! In 2010 the “Bromance In The Air” & my Dennis Ferrer bootlegs were played everywhere !! It’s just crazy! You know I started making bootleg because I was really shy behind the decks. And it was the only way to feel confident in what I played !! Then I got into the habit of doing it and now 90% of my DJ set is made of my own bootlegs/mashups and edits. I can’t explain how I do them. Actually thanks to my piano studies I can sing a track over another one. So I can immediatly know what can fit well with a track.
EO: How did you and Gregori Klosman hook up? How long did it take you guys to produce the banger ‘Fuckin’ Down’? Which is your favorite remix of that track? I am partial to the Antoine Clamaran remix :)
Tristan: I met Gregori 5 years ago as we were both signed to French Label Pool E Music. This guy is one of my best friends. I was the first to believe in his talent, and I was right ! When we produced ‘Fuckin Down’, everybody told me “who da f**k is Greg” ? But now he’s working with Chuckie, Bob Sinclar, TV Rock & many more. Â 2011 will be his year for sure ! Talking about ‘Fuckin Down’, he sent me a demo 2 years ago, but he wasn’t sure it could work as it sounded really weird!! I was so astonished by his demo I decided to rework it. We built it in one night , one shot !! I can’t choose a remix as they all have their own style.
EO: I know you said on your twitter that you would recommend that new DJs sell their CDJ’s and just start producing originals. Is that how you were successful? By working on producing and then DJing down the line once your originals were noticed?
Tristan: It’s true !! If you are a beginner, even if you kick Eric Morillo’s ass behind the decks, nobody will book you ! To tell you the truth, when i was 15 I worked as a waiter to pay for my first Technics. I suppose I wasn’t a good waiter because I only could afford a PC. And I told you, Â it changed my life ! So forget about beeing a “DJ”, be an artist first ! Learn productions, spend nights and days working on your tracks, and then you’ll have the time to learn how to DJ.
EO: Do you have a producer/DJ friend who was injured by your cat Charly ?
Tristan: My cat is a real psycho !! Actually he has the famous “Tourette’s Syndrom” so sometimes he turns into a Lion and starts to devour everything he finds ! That’s why i stopped co-production lol! (The artist who was scratched by Tristan’s cat was Gregori Klosman)…
EO: Lastly, any big plans for 2011. Any chance we will see you in the states soon? We would love to see a set from you over here!
Tristan: 2011 will be a big year for me. I’m working a lot on my label and my Xtra Life parties. The first one in Paris last month was a real success, so we’re already planning the next one. I also have my first album coming. But I want to produce more than a classic album. Stay tuned, it’ll be huge !! And finally all my next releases. 4 new tracks before this summer and a dozen remixes ;) I just signed also with a new DJ/management agency called IMD , so get ready for a US tour this year !
EO: Thanks Tristan! Everyone, for more info on our buddy Tristan Garner, check out the links below. Definitely keep an eye out for this guy. He will be a heavy hitter in 2011.