Rodriguez Jr.'s First Club: Fat Bass Drums and Chicago House From DJ Deep
"Back then it was real deep house, with roots and bollocks, not this elevator music they call deep house nowadays."
My First Club takes us back to the beginning, transporting DJs and producers back into the depths of their memory, asking them to take us on a trip to those pivotal first nights in clubland. This week's subject: Rodriguez Jr.
My hometown of Montpellier, in the south of France, had some decent clubs. We used to spend our weekends at clubs like le Bus, la Dune, eventually La Villa Rouge, or Le Souleil. But the best parties were actually happening elsewhere, either in the countryside, in the woods surrounding the city, or on beaches.
I had my first clubbing experience back in 1995 when I was 17-years old. I had never been excited about going out before this age. I used to spend my time with my computer and synths. Back then, the only way to discover new music then was in record shops, in the music press, or with friends. So we often had to travel to Paris or London, where record shops were bigger, to grab new records and discover new sounds.
During one particular trip to Paris, I had the opportunity to visit The Rex Club with friends. It was a huge revelation for me. The Rex Club is one of the places where everything began in France, in terms of dance music. Laurent Garnier, the owner of The Rex Club, used to do his famous Wake Up parties there. It actually was the temple of techno music in France. It's still one the best clubs in Paris and it's always a special moment for me to play there. I also like to pop up for a drink or just to dance when I am in town.
That night, I spent eight hours dancing without any break! I remember everything—the flashing lights, the low ceiling, the smoke, and most important, this fat, raw bass drum knocking my belly. Oh yes... it was this sexy deep house from Chicago by a DJ named DJ Deep. Since then, I have never stopped loving it. I also remember the people all around me sharing this ecstatic moment of joy. That was when I really realized this whole music movement was actually a cultural revolution.
DJ Deep was playing, well, deep stuff. It was sexy as hell... sexy beats. My dance music knowledge was much more limited back then, but it was a blend of house music from both Chicago and New York. At that point, I was mostly listening to Laurent Garnier, Derrick May, Derrick Carter, and eventually Josh Wink. I was really into everything from Detroit and Chicago — house and techno. I still am.
DJ Deep performing at The Rex Club alongside Kerri Chandler in 2013.
I think DJ Deep is still playing more and more these days and has, in my opinion, been one of the best ambassadors of house music in France since the beginning. He's a true legend in many respects. It was the real deep house, with roots and bollocks, not this elevator music they call deep house nowadays.
Rodriguez Jr. will perform in Vancouver at Gorg-O-Mish on Friday, September 11. For more information and tickets, visit the event page. Rodriguez Jr. has also just released his first EP of 2015, 'Chrysalism,' which you can find here.