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DJ Dimitri finds depth in disco
Source: canoe.ca
Posted on: May 7, 2008 07:40 MST
Filed under: Electronic

DJ Dimitri

Dimitri Yerasimos well remembers his first visit to the storied Playboy mansion in Los Angeles. Hugh Hefner's monument to all things sexually charged did not, he says, meet his expectations.

It exceeded them.

"It looked like something out of a James Bond movie," he enthuses. "The whole building had a '70s disco flavour to it."

The occasion was the 2000 Stateside launch of A Night at the Playboy Mansion, a slick collection of disco grooves compiled by the Turkish native who was billing himself as Dimitri From Paris.

Nearly a decade later, Paris is still home to Yerasimos. And the veteran DJ is still most at home when spinning vintage disco records. Which, of course, calls for a long overdue Return to the Playboy Mansion -- a funky two-CD mix divided into Partytime and Sexytime halves. And generously seasoned with disco.

"I love disco because it works as well on the dance floor as it does listening to it at home," Yerasimos explains. "I like the organic factor it has; it was recorded with live musicians. It's just because there was no other way to do it back then, but today almost everything is done on a computer and ... you lose a lot of that organized chaos.

"It's like, everyone is listening to mp3, which is like a downgrade from listening to CDs, which were already a downgrade from listening to vinyl. But nobody seems to really care about it. They're happy listening to that music because it's convenient to listen to it on a computer.

"A lot of the practicality and the convenience of things have shadowed the fact that things might have sounded better before. That's why it's good that there are people like me who keep on digging those tracks."

And it is good we shall have the man in our midst tomorrow, as Yerasimos brings a touch of the Playboy mansion to Capital City. The visit comes as part of a promotional tour for the prolific DJ's latest mix-session. And while Yerasimos has created two albums of fine, loungey original music, it's clear he remains most comfortable manipulating the music of others.

"I started deejaying because I love music that has a beat," he says. "I love the energy that can flow out of it. And I also love the technical side of deejaying, which allows me to interact with the music -- to bend it in different directions. If I listen to something and I think it's good but I'd like to change a few things I can actually go and change them.

"You can't see a movie and go, I really like that but the ending is not what I wanted. Let me change it.' But that's what I do with music. I re-edit the music because I hear it and think, 'I would have done this differently.' I love that interaction with the music. It's just a hobby, really."

Hef could not have said it better.

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