Photo credit: Marie Staggat What began as a challenge to fight creative stagnation, soon grew…
Being in a city as artistically eclectic as Berlin, the Let’s Discult concept is naturally a reunion of artists but also friends. A fusion of Alexis and Tristan, the two DJs forming Let’s Discult Soundsystem, with our friend and graphic designer Paul Laburre.
This melting energy allowed the crew to create a real community through the organization of open-air events in the heart of the city, but also offering regular live stream shows featuring some of the finest local and international guests, and promoting artists that they love with high-quality podcasts.
This whole adventure led them to create their own label giving them the opportunity to promote and share their own genuine sound.
After a successful first release, they’ve teamed up with artists from different backgrounds to achieve a well-rounded range on the second one. This new 4-track EP includes tracks from Discult Soundsystem, JMF, Bs As Deep, and Shakèd.
Today the team shares the Let’s Discult Soundsystem/Records history, vision, and upcoming release ‘Lets002 – Various Artists (Vinyl Only)‘.
Electronic Groove: Hi, guys! It’s really cool to have you down with us for a chat. How have you been holding up in Berlin?
Let’s Discult: Hi there! We are really happy to be with you today. Well, to be honest, it is hard! Despite the global lockdown, cultural venues closing, loss of incomes, and inspiration, it is really sad to see your project forced to be paused when you were just about to take off. But we don’t give up and keep doing what we love the best we can!
EG: So, what’s the story behind Let’s Discult? How did it all get started?
Let’s Discult: It started first by creating, Tristan and I (Alexis), our musical project Discult Soundsystem. We met in France, in Montpellier, during another extended after-party, and we ended up playing together. We clicked instantly about the way we were both mixing. A few years from that moment, and after having our own adventures, we finally met again in Berlin, where Tristan was living and this is where it all started.
Discult Soundsystem was born and we started producing music together, creating our identity. One crazy fact is that our very first track, from our first EP, has been noticed by Laurent Garnier, who played it a few times on his radio show and for livestream shows. It surely brought people to check out our music, but we were just starting and had no other content for them to dig on at that moment.
A few years after the Discult Soundsystem creation, we decided to create more and started to organize live-streamed parties in our flat in Neukölln. We called those events ‘Let’s Discult’. It was pretty new back in the days, and people were attracted by that project. Basically, people could watch other people having fun at our place. The living room was damn packed and we were inviting local guests to play along with us. I think you can still watch those videos on youtube. We don’t want to delete them, this is history (laughter).
The funny fact is that the formal dance floor is now our studio. Later, we also created a podcast channel, digital and physical events, and those Livestream shows evolved to more classical ones focused on the artist.
Electronic Groove: And now it’s evolved into a whole theme park in a way with your ‘Kermese’. Could you explain the ‘Kermese’ to us?
Let’s Discult: ‘Kermesse’ is the word we like to choose when we want to explain what ‘Let’s Discult’ open-airs are. We are trying to create a place, an atmosphere, where you feel like a kid on the playground. An outdoor venue full of activities with handmade & innovative games and contests, a delirious photo booth with outfit coffers for everyone, massage stands, clothes shops, creative and craft bars, food stands, record shops, a lot of chill places, and many other crazy things. Of course, it all comes along with a big thematic decoration and a huge dance floor with carpets all around. the whole thing being live-streamed for the first events. Once again you should be able to find the videos on youtube. Can’t stop watching them, I have very good memories!!
In the end, it is like a festival vibe but more compact and intimate, smaller as well. I like the fact that everywhere you are looking there is something intense happening. Surrounded by people doing crazy stuff. A proper party!
For the Let’s Discult events we are devoted to promoting local artists and creatives. There are so many talented people in Berlin, we just have to connect!
Electronic Groove: And since last year, you guys are a label as well. What’s going on there? You’re releasing a new VA, right?
Let’s Discult: Indeed, after throwing more and more events in the city, open-airs, in clubs as well as raves in the woods we decided to step up. We are pretty happy because, I think, we succeed in creating our own musical identity within the Let’s Discult project. People know what music to dance to when attending our events. It’s gonna be groovy, housy, punchy, and 10.000% danceable! The next logical step was to share our identity with the world by proposing a music selection that can be played by others. And today the second opus is about to pop up, which is really exciting.
” We are pretty happy because, I think, we succeed in creating our own musical identity within the
Let’s Discult project”
Electronic Groove: What was the selection process like for the VA? How do you guys select which tracks to publish? What do you guys look for in a demo?
Let’s Discult: I think we all forget the power of a great VA. Having 4 amazing tracks, produced by 4 different artists which mean 4 different identities, it’s priceless. They all sound totally different but fit perfectly on a VA release. Typically, the type of record you always take in your bag because will surely fit whatever crowd you have.
Honestly, we don’t have any process, the music has to be good. I mean, it has to fit our groove. We have the idea to start a digital series, so even if it is not fitting one of our VA on wax it could take place in one of our digital series. We like the music at its full range and therefore open to all kinds of grooves but check out our music before sending demos 😉
Electronic Groove: How many people work at Let’s Discult? How much sacrifice does it take to do all these things at once?
Let’s Discult: The primary Let’s Discult base comprises Tristan, Paul, and myself. Paul is a graphic designer and the one behind all our visual identities and contents. He’s also a mastermind of creativity. Tristan and he can build all the dancefloor/decoration you’ll ever need haha, they’re the best!
Then, over time, a lot of important people join the project and they are helping with ideas, hands, and motivation. But I’m gonna tell you the truth, the magic of Let’s Discult comes from them, as they are the best party people team you could have. They are all such characters, all of them, always on fire, all the time. They make the party greater, for every single event. Keys to success? Team with them!
Regarding the sacrifice question, I think for all events it is about time, energy and a bit of money investment, but when it is working as planned, this is one the best feeling you can have!
Electronic Groove: What advice would you give to someone starting their own record label? What advice would you give to artists who are looking to get signed by a label?
Let’s Discult: One thing which is primordial for us is to think about the record as a DJ. One of the worst things is to have a track that starts or ends badly. Personally, I kindly ask the artist to extend the beginning or the end if it’s too short, simply because I wanna play this record! The smoother the track’s progression, the more pleasant it is for mixing. What a better feeling to have 2 tracks playing together perfectly for a few minutes.
The other important thing is the quality, if you’re not able to provide a good mixing/mastering go and pay someone that does. It really makes the difference in the end. If your ears don’t hear, the body will feel.
For the artists, I would say: don’t waste too much time in searching labels to be signed on. Even if it’s important in the beginning, just don’t block yourself to that step. When you think that your music worth it, invest your time and money into your own project/imprint. Trust in yourself and go ahead!
Electronic Groove: We’ve also heard about ‘rave excursions’… What’s this all about?
Let’s Discult: This is an alternative project in reaction to the current situation. We know that we are not allowed to organize official parties or raves for sanitary reasons, so we are planning on offering a moment of escape while respecting local measures. Do we have to be outside? ? No problem. Do we have to be on movement? Then we will.
Assembling speakers on a trolley, waving the Lets Discult flag, walking around parks and forest, playing music, and seeing people dance with smiles on their faces. This is what it is about right? We miss it so much! You have to know that, before being artists, we are party people!!
“Before being artists, we are party people!”
Electronic Groove: What’s in store for Let’s Discult for the rest of 2021? What new milestones are you looking forward to?
Let’s Discult: A few things actually, we, as Discult Soundsystem, have a track incoming on our friend L&F’s label +98, for a physical release. For this track we’ve teamed up with our dear friend Kumanope from the innovative imprint Omakase in Marseille, be sure to check it out!
The digital series will pop up in the coming months as well, on our Bandcamp. We are going to work on the 003 of course! A few gigs will be announced soon, likely, and of course, we are all waiting to be able to organize a hell of a party in order to push the last years straight into the past, for good!
Electronic Groove: Thank you for sitting down with us guys! We wish you all the best for the future!
Let’s Discult: Thank you for having us. It is always a pleasure to share what is driving us.