Interview: Brodinski

Louis Rogé rose to prominence during the initial wave of hype radiating from French Ed Banger sound of the 2000s. While fashion’s fickle halo may have faded on that scene, the man we all know as Brodinski has remained relevant; establishing himself as a DJ, producer and remixer of the renown – you heard his remix of Danny Brown’s ‘Die Like a Rockstar’, right? Not content with producing records, he’s decided to turn curator, launching his new Bromance Records in November 2012 with manager and collaborator Manu Barron. Functioning as a platform to showcase artists that have caught his ear and stirred his belief, Bromance has rapidly built up a string of singular releases. We caught up with him to shoot the breeze on life in LA, what drives the label and why he has never bought a slab of vinyl in his life.

Electronic Beats: I read somewhere that you’ve never bought vinyl in your life. Is this really true? 
Brodinski: I discovered music via the Internet, and I don’t regret it. It’s a generation thing.

It’s becoming more common for people not to go through these little coming of age rituals; buying their first record, vinyl or whatever, because music is always available for free. Do you think that’s going to have ramifications in the future? 
People like Soul Clap or Blawan are playing a lot of vinyls. Recently, I made a remix for Jon Convex as G. Vump (my side project with Guillaume from The Shoes) and it only comes out on vinyl, which is really weird for me. But I do hope that this ritual will come back for future generations.

What was the impetus behind forming your own label?
My manager and I created our label Bromance in order to releasing the music we want, when we want.

Did you have a mission statement when you set out?
I’m just releasing music that I love, that I believe in, and that I can play in clubs.

I noticed the records you’re putting out cover quite a broad range and you’re not afraid to be somewhat strange…that Gesaffelstein track ‘Belgium’ with the huge shocks of mentasm riffs, for example, or that monstrous ‘90s-style rave record ‘Now U Realize’ by Club Cheval.
Club Cheval are my producers. When I heard ‘Now U Realize’, I just loved it! The whole vibe means a lot to me, and I love the fact that we’re all doing different kinds of music!

What are some of the challenges of launching a label in 2012?
It’s an investment of money and time, but I think the whole point is to make people listen to the music I love. I don’t see Bromance as a money-making venture. It’s all about passion.

Are there any labels out there right now that you feel are getting it right?
French labels like Marble and Sound Pellegrino. Labels such as Rush Hour, Osgut Ton, Turbo (of course), Pelican Fly and Zone are amazing too.

It seems so long ago since you were roped in with the whole French scene in the mid-2000s. Did you feel you had to prove your diversity to shake off the associations?
You mean the whole first-era Ed Banger stuff? They inspired me more than anybody else, musically and humanly. We’re really good friends and even if we’re not playing or releasing the same kind of music, I will always collaborate and do business with friends. That’s the best way to have fun in this amazing job that we’re doing.

Do you find that life in LA has any discernible influence on the music you’re making? 
I moved there last January. It’s an amazing city and the music scene is pretty crazy too. I work with locals now; I signed Pipes recently, and Louisahhh sings on my two last singles on Bromance. You can find amazing DJs there too, like Stevie B From Pipes, Thee Mike B, Rick Rude, the Body High guys (Samo Soundboy & Jerome From LOL Boys). Such an amazing vibe. It’s the beginning of something!

Your Fabric mix was dedicated to your friend Mehdi, who sadly passed away last year. Was it strange carrying on with making music when you’ve lost one of your friends and fellow artists?
Definitely. It’s still difficult to talk about that, about him. I loved him, as a friend and as a mentor. I will try to keep his memory alive for the rest of my life. Mehdi was such a light, he was a walking smile. I dedicate Bromance to him, but I wish he were here to see what we did. He would be proud. Photo: Dimitri Barclay