LABELS: TIME HAS CHANGED / SAVED / SCI + TEC / VIVA / FORM / INTACTO / SURUBA / BITTEN / INMOTION / DETONE / UPON YOU
Damien Almira aka Timid Boy first rose to prominence in 2003 with his Dj residency at the famous Rex Club in Paris for the Ellen Allien’s BPitch Control parties. Spinning alongside of top Dj’s (Paul Kalkbrenner, Jeff Mills, Luciano, Seth Troxler, Jamie Jones, Booka Shade, Roman Flügel, Kiki, DJ Hell, Dusty Kid, Supermayer, Francois K, Paul Ritch, dOP…), his reputation grew quickly in the European scene.
Damien was also a very well-known French music journalist, specialized in electronic music, Deputy Editor of the prestigious musical publications Trax. This enabled him a deeper understanding and appreciation of electronic music. His passionate and zestful interpretation of the deep, hypnotic house & techno sound seduced Resident Advisor which put one of his podcasts as the “Mix Of The Day” on its website homepage.
Damien runs Time Has Changed with Acumen. The label has fast become one of the hottest French house labels with key releases and remixes from Oxia, Barem, Carlo Lio, Adam Shelton, Okain, Kiki, Alexkid, Jef K, Glimpse, Marco Resmann, Mihai Popoviciu, Alex Celler, Ross Evana, Marcman, Todd Bodine.
Timid Boy releases on famous labels such as SCI + TEC (Dubfire’s label), Viva (Steve Lawler’s label), Form (Popof’s label), Intacto, Upon You, Bitten (2000andOne’s label), Great Stuff, Barraca, Tuning Spork (Jay Haze’s label), Dame Music, Rawthentic, Inmotion…
He gets great supports and charts from Richie Hawtin, Luciano, Marco Carola, Seth Troxler, Steve Lawler, Sasha, Reboot, Solomun … His tracks and remixes often reach the Beatport charts, like “Chicago Story” (top 10 tech house) or his remix for Zoë Xenia (top 10 deep house).
Timid Boy organizes his own parties ‘Time Has Changed’ in Rex Club in Paris and use to play famous clubs as Panorama Bar, Bar 25, KaterHolzig, Air (Tokyo), D-Edge (Sao Paulo), Salon Daomé (Montreal), Cocoon, Tresor, Rex Club, Spartacus Club, Mac Arena Beach Club (Barcelona) and has success tours in Japan, USA & Canada, Mexico, Brazil & South America.
In spring 2013, Timid Boy released his first music video Baisers Volés : a ride inside a fairy and funny Paris, where a timid boy kisses unknown girls in front of intrigued tourists and amused Parisians… the final scene sets up as a tribute to the famous photography Baiser de l’hôtel de Ville by Robert Doisneau.
This video has known a nice success: MTV and French TV channel D17 broadcast it, a lot of famous French media support it on their homepages (Telerama, LesInrocks, Trax, Tsugi…).
Official music vidéo link : http://youtu.be/TyFK8dkt55I
Hello Damien! How Are You? What do you have scheduled for today?
Hey, my main goal of the day was to make a podcast for My Favourite Freaks. To be honest I don’t like make podcast. When I’m playing as a DJ, there’s a game between the audience and me, I look at them, I “test” them, I “play” with their reactions… Making a podcast alone in my studio, with as only audience a wall, well, it’s like I miss something, I’ m a bit lost… So here I decided to focus on some tracks I’d like to play in my gigs, in the way to make a podcast which show what I could play in a party, but without going too far in a way to have a cool listening at home, in a car or wherever out of a party…
You are label owner (Time Has Changed), producer and touring almost every weekend. How do you manage this massive schedule?
Hum. 5 years ago I was – also with these activities – deputy editor of Trax Magazine (first electronic magazine in France), so at this time it was really difficult, it was hell, I dreamed that day could be 36 hours and weeks 12 days ! I missed time. I had my day job, and pass edall my free time to develop the label, my music and play the week end. Honestly that was not easy and not funny. But electronic music is my passion, since I’m 15 years old I have decks in my bedroom, be DJ was my dream. At one point I had to take a serious decision. My boss offered me to become Chief Editor of Trax Magazine. A great job. But not my dream. And a really full time job. Say yes would mean “ciao music production, djing…”. So I decided to decline the offer and to stop journalism to 100% focus on production, djing and label. So now, of course it take time to manage all of that, music, label, djing… but it’s nothing compare to that time when I was also deputy editor during the day week. Now I just have to be organized, I work a lot, but it’s ok. I live my dream so all good !
Please tell us a bit about your latest releases!
Hum, earlier this year I released my first EP on Dubfire’s label Sci+Tec. It was a great honor to be on the label of a big artist like this. This release, as my latest one “Gangsta EP” on my label Time Has Changed show my “hard” side. It’s a style I called hardgroove, a kind of „hard“ tech-house or „soft“ techno. I also had a nice release on a great mexican label called Tenampa, « Wire & Unconfortable EP », with a big remix from an artist i loved since year called Chaim, this ep show a more « house » side, a psyche house side, it’s more what i regular play in club – hardgroove is more for big room…
Tell us a bit about your upcoming releases! Is there anything special planned for 2015?
I have a lot of stuff to come. I collect some stems from my track “Shout Her” for a special project for Dubfire & his label Sci+Tec which will be out soon Beatport. I’m really excited about my next EP on Nic Fanciulli’s label Saved which gonna be out in october. It’s my first EP there. It’s a label i love so much and i’m big fan of Nic Fanciulli. There’s a track there called « I Can Do It » which is one of my favourite i made since a long time. There’s also a track with my friend Arno Joey, a great singer that you could already listen on Popof’s album out now on Hot Creation. I’m also working on a new EP on my label, a new edition of the track « Extasy » – original released in 2014 – with new fresh remixes from PaulC & Paulo Martini, Digitaria , myself, and also a new music vidéeo around this track. I’m really excited by this video, i hope it gonna have the same success than my first one called « Baisers Volés » which was played on MYV & most of électro pop internet media in France.
As you are touring a lot, please tell us something about your experience around the globe. What is your favourite city or country and why?
Paris is really on fire since some years. There are so many good parties, for all kind of electronic music lovers, from young rave kids to 40’s years clubber. From Beghain to Hot Creation… From warehouse to nice rooftop… Paris was not like this some years ago. It’s a real pleasure to see the town move like this. It’s a golden age for our music there. But I won’t say it’s my favourite. I don’t really have favourite. Since years I met great people, great parties, fantastic audience everywhere in France or in the workd… from my hometown Montpellier to Brazilia, from New York to Dedelemont in Switzerland, from Paris to Belgrad !
What was your funniest or craziest experience while touring?
Hum, there are quiet a lot. I remember during my first tour in Mexico, a promoter come catch me on a really nice car to bring me to my next gig. The guys he was with were so kind with me, really nice., really polite. They looks also good friends, we spoke a bit, they explain me they know each others since a long time, do a lot of stuff together… So I said, for joke, “oh you’re gang”,! The guy on my side very seriously answered, : “yes he control the north of the city”. I thought he was joking ! Not at all. Shit ! Well, I feel a bit stress for some seconds but a the end everything was cool, and this gig was one of my best of the tour and the guys were my best host of the tour !”
What were your TOP 5 gigs so far?
Well my first Rex Club for sure, in 2003 for the release party of « Berlinette » from Ellen Allien. At this time she really started to be a big star in France, everybody in Paris was so excited by this event. For me, it was 2 dreams which come true : i always dreamed to play in Rex Club, i passed hours dancing on this club looking at the dj booth, saying to myself « one day i will be at his place ». And i was also a big fan of Ellen Allien, So, well, as you could imagine i was super stress… During the dinner with the team and Ellen, it was impossible for me to salute with glasses, my heads were shaking too much so i pretended that i did not drink alcool… But at the end everything was fine, she really liked my mix and I became resident for her party at Rex after that!
My first Panaorama Bar was a bit the same. It was a dream to play there. A 4 hours set. I was more stress than for my high school final test ! Around 30 friends went specially from Paris to see me: a total magical experience.
My first (and last) gig at Bar 25, a sunday afternoon, in august, full of sun, it was impossible for me to sleep the night before! I was too stress… Ha ha, but it was so great! I really enjoyed playing. Since that gig I really like the afternoon summer feeling! Bar 25 was so great club, funny, crazy, free… I felt again this nice vibes when I played at Salon Renate in early 2015. Great club Another nice memory is my gig at Piknic Electronic Barcelona, the first edition: I made the closing set after DOP’s live act. They are so good on stage, so intense. I was nervous to play after them in front of 2000 people. But all was good, the audience was powerful. A great memory set.
To say a last one : my set at D-Edge in Sao Paulo some years ago. One of the best club of this country. I plaa
yed in the main room: I was supposed to stop around 9am, I stopped at 12am. Fantastic
What are your top 5 tracks that are really working the dance floor in your sets at the moment?
I play again a lot my track “Extasy”: I’m happy with this one, a good balance between old school ravey gimmick and modern hardgroove rhythms.
Most of the remixes made by System 2 are fantastic. The one for Danny Serrano is really big !
I play a lot of stuff from guys from my label Time Has Changed, Marwan Sabb, Hollson , Thurman, they are great parisian producers, and of course stuff my associate Acumen.
I play ago also an old classic “Superman “ from Savas Pascalidis. I’m not too much into his new techno stuff. But i was big fan of his early works on his label Lasergun or Gigolo at the early 00’s.
Thank you for your time and this interesting interview!
Interview by Stefan
Pepe Mateos – Royal Flow ( Timid Boy remix) // Flow Music
Apollonia – Trinidad // Apollonia
Premiesku – Jojoman (Djebali Remix) // 20/20 Vision
Timid Boy – I Can Do It // Forthcoming release october 19th on Saved)
Lui Maldonado – Jungle (System 2 Remix) // Zinc Records
Paul C & Paulo Martini – Upsidedown// Terminal M
Savas Pascalidis – Superman // Gigolo
Danny Serrano – Transitions feat. Forest (System 2 Remix) // My Favourite Freaks Music
Ben Grunnell – Aria // Makossa
Pablo Bolivard – Last Changed (Jay Shepheard Remix) // Galaktika Records
Boards Of Canada – Dandelion // Warp