For this week episode we traveled a bit far to present our guest Eric Cloutier, a true artist that became an attraction for the dedicated seeking heads of deep techno. If you appreciate techno music for the depth side and sophistication played with tight technical skills and genuine feelings, Eric Cloutier is definitely the name on your agenda. He was kind enough and accepted our invitation for an interview, to find out cool facts about him.
Hello Eric, how are you?
Doing well right now. Relaxing in Stockholm before my gig tonight with Abdulla Rashim, and enjoying some down time before a long weekend at Berghain ahead of me.
When did you first realized that electronic music is attached to the inner you?
It took me a few years to realize that it was really what I wanted to do, but somewhere around 1999 I started making progress with playing and was really finding a strong connection with the music and its scene, and I knew I had to make it a big part of my life after that.
You started to spin records since 1996, how would you compare the party concept now-days vs. the 90’s era ?
Eh…that’s hard to say. They’re similar in a lot of ways, but they differ quite a bit, too. Parties in Detroit were far more illegal – breaking in to warehouses and doing things very underground – and afterhours were more of a friend’s related thing, hanging at someones house, as opposed to a whole separate party. But overall, the motive is the same. Things are a bit more of a business than they were before, and laws and the police keep people from doing underground events much anymore, which is both good and bad, but there’s a bigger fan base, and people seem more interested in learning about older artists and exploring new sounds.
You brought the likes of Richie Hawtin or Luciano, can you tell us how important this was for your confidence?
Booking people for Oslo in Detroit was an awesome experience, for sure. I got to book and work with artists I respected and hear them on an amazing sound system in a killer venue, plus play with them from time to time. Its always intimidating when you’re just a random DJ playing with such important artists, but getting strong feedback and making friendships with some of them that still last to this day is always a great feeling.
You are on a European tour right now, in what countries can we hear you play?
I’m spending three months overseas to work on music, both by myself and with some friends, as well as play a bunch of gigs, but I’m mainly sticking around the classic European cities – Berlin, London, Rome, Paris, Stockholm, Glasgow – and a few other smaller ones, like Nice, Aix-en-Provence.. More gigs are being added as I’m overseas, too, so keep an eye on my Resident Advisor page to see what’s coming up!
We know that you already played in Berlin and London too, which crowd impressed you the most?
London has never ceased to amaze me – the Toi.Toi crew and its attendees are some of the best I’ve ever seen, so I love going back there to play, but nobody can ignore how great it is to play in Berlin. Every city has been a joy, though – impossible to pick a favourite or a best!
You were asked to spin at Labyrinth Festival in Japan. A lot of good artists rise from Japan, how is the crowd there?
The audience in Japan is probably the best in the world. They’re so attentive, they’re amazingly enthusiastic, and they’re passionate beyond belief. I’ve felt some love at events before, but both times in Japan have been epic.
How would you describe your own sound, from the studio?
Hard to describe. Most people who know my sound know that I keep it fairly deep and trippy, but I’m working on both house and techno tracks right now. Hard to really pinpoint sounds since I’m focusing on lots of different moods and exploring with production.
First set that we listened from you, was like a depth dreaming techno with tripping space dub elements. Can you describe with your words what a djact means to you, because for us was very pleasant to enjoy it.
I think a DJ set should tell a story. It should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. It should take you on a journey. It should give you a range of emotions and leave you wanting more. I think its important to not focus on playing promos and focus on playing quality. Who cares how old or new, perfect or flawed a track is – if it moves me, I hope that I can move you by playing it properly.
Imagine yourself settled for good in Europe’s scene, how much will be Detroit missed?
I always miss Detroit, but Detroit was a stepping stone in my life, just like everything else, and its foolish to dwell too much on the past when working towards your future. Without that city I wouldn’t know as much as I do about music, and wouldn’t have had the chance to meet, perform with, and learn from some of the DJ’s I still follow and respect today.
How is a simple day going for you, from morning until sleep time?
Right now while I’m in Europe its a lot of waking up and traveling, with hoping I can talk to my girlfriend back in NYC in the afternoon. But I’m still working on music and hunting for records online all day, just like I do back home. But when I’m back home in NYC, I wake up early and spend a good portion of the day in the studio, in between some snacking on food, exercising, and internet debauchery.
What is your favorite food? Do you like to cook?
My favourite thing to eat, any time of day, will always be a cheeseburger. In fact, my rider even states that I would like to have one for my meal before gigs! Hahaha!! But I’m always exploring with food – duck, rabbit and a good steak will always be high on my list of favourites. As for cooking, I can make a few things really well, and I’m definitely capable of making sure I don’t starve, but my girlfriend is the one who feeds me most of the time…and she’s an absolutely amazing chef.
Hope we can meet someday, now that you are on-tour. Thanks for accepting our invitation.
Thanks for having me! Its a nice feeling to know that my sound is spreading to more and more people, so I’m hoping that the next year brings me some fantastic opportunities, including making my way to Romania for a gig!