Based in Chamonix, France Philippe Petit is the owner of Knotweed Records and Decision Making Theory. Two labels that has quickly risen up in the techno scene basically because of good quality productions. Philippe himself has had a productive year so far with a release on his own label Knotweed and various others.
In this episode Philippe showcases how he puts together different styles of techno and brings it all into a musical journey.
Could you say that your hometown has any influence on you as a producer and DJ?
Well, I had three hometown over the years (Brussels, London and now Chamonix) and they all have played a key role in where I am today music-wise. Brussels is where I grown up and developed my musical tastes, which are very diverse. It is the place where I learned to play the guitar and played in punk and metal bands for many years. It is also in Brussels that I started to go out clubbing, discovered dance music and had my first DJ gigs.
When I arrived in London, I started to focus much more on the club scene. We started going out a lot. At Bar Rumba (That’s How It Is – on Monday nights) and at the Blue Note to start with. Then the End opened in 1995 and their Saturday techno evening, often focused on the Detroit scene, became key to our week-ends. Ultimate Base was another great one on Thursdays in the late nineties (curated by Jim Masters and Carl Cox), and of course through the years the Burundi/Lost/Spacebase parties (organised by Steve Bicknell) were (and still are) for sure one of the most fantastic and influential techno parties, period.
In addition, I met Marco Lenzi (owner of Eukatech record store) who helped shaped my ears by giving me great advise when buying techno and house records. All that definitely cemented my love for techno. Five years ago, I moved to the mountains where I could finally focus on production in a fantastic healthy environment that was very influential to the end results. It is in Chamonix that both Knotweed and DMT were born.
Which key elements do you search for when deciding what to put out on your labels ?
Energy and Originality. You can immediately recognise the sound of all the guys on Knotweed, whether it’s Myk Derill, Gonzalo MD, Terrence Dixon, Opuswerk or Myles Sergé. With so many records being released at the moment, I don’t want to release just another techno record that sounds like everybody else. It might make it a bit more difficult to build your audience and get your sounds recognised, but that’s fine with me: I am not in a hurry.
How do you see the techno scene ten years from now?
Hard to say. I do not think it will be very different from now. What will be interesting will be to see if there will be a new techno capital developing.
Some DJs are consequently spontaneous while playing a set, are you also spontaneous when playing?
I am completely spontaneous when playing. Of course I spent some time preparing my record case before a gig, but once I start playing, I just completely let myself go where my mood and the audience’s reaction takes me.
What are your plans for upcoming releases this year?
My year has been busy so far with releases on DMT, Knotweed, EartoGround, One Off and Space. There is a new Knotweed coming out this week (Myk Derill). I have the new DMT 005 coming out late July. I did two remixes that should appear just after the summer on very nice vinyl labels. Finally Knotweed 014 (Myles Sergé) will be out probably in September and you should expect to see a new Dutch name for Knotweed 015 by the end of the year. More info soon.