When Brice Coudert isn’t busy championing homegrown techno talent or bringing some of the world’s best DJs to Parisian dance floors week-in, week out with his club Concrete, he’s fervently organizing France’s premiere underground festival, Weather. Coudert is the beating heart of both Concrete and Weather, and as we reported from last year’s edition his desire to revive and celebrate the French capital’s clubbing culture is very much embedded in both events. And while Weather may scale up the swagger of Concrete, it never compromises the distinctly Parisian feel to club music that Concrete is renowned for. We thought then that for the 2016 guide to Weather, Coudert should introduce us not only to some of the best talent playing at the festival, but also give us some insider tips on where to visit outside of it. And you can check out our tips for other must-visit European summer festivals here.
Day 2 @ Winter Stage, 21:00: Venetian Snares' Live Set
I was originally going to book Venetian Snares at Concrete when it occurred to me that it might be better to have him do it at Weather, as I was looking for a very special live act for the festival—something totally out of bounds. He recently explained on his Facebook page that his new live performance won’t be based on any loops, that the music will constantly change and evolve and that it won’t contain any of his own productions. It’ll just be a long improvisation, which definitely sounds radical and exciting to me!
Day 2 @ Summer Stage, 6:00: Donato Dozzy B2B Nuel As Aquaplano
In my eyes, Donato Dozzy definitely rules techno today. His music brings something fresh thanks to his technical skills and ability to create strong atmospheres that unfold like real pieces of poetry. He’ll play a long sunrise set on Sunday morning back-to-back with his friend and fellow Italian talent Nuel as Aquaplano. Although they’re usually booked to play on techno stages, we preferred to program them on a more house-oriented one so they could offer something a little different. They’re some of the best DJs for this kind of music—they go from really deep techno to hypnotic deep house and ambient—so I think an Aquaplano set is the best way to close out the stage at sunrise. You can definitely expect a lot of magic and a lot of goosebumps.
Day 2 @ Summer Stage, 2:00: Robert Hood's Hip-Hop Set
When Robert Hood played our Weather Winter Festival last year, we had a conversation with him about hip-hop, particularly the great ’90s era. He showed some interest in “maybe” playing a set in that style for us someday, and since I had already been thinking about adding some hip-hop to our program for a long time, we figured Hood was the perfect man to bring it. This little hip-hop break will probably bring the crowd to a different place, and that’s exactly what we want.
Day 3 @ Autumn Stage, 21:00: Richie Hawtin
Many people of my generation have at least one strong festival memory of Richie Hawtin driving people crazy and turning the dance floor upside down. This summer will be his first time at Weather, and it’s definitely the perfect year for it because he released a really dope new album a few months ago that shows he’s still able to deliver really good techno. The venue we’re using for the festival is an airport and aerospace museum, which totally fits with Richie’s futuristic musical universe. We asked him to close the festival on Sunday evening with a three-hour extended set.
Day 3 @ Winter Stage, 6:00: Antigone Live Set
Antigone is a Concrete resident and definitely one of France’s biggest techno producers at the moment. He’s released several very strong records in the past few years, and his last two on Token have shed even more light on his talent. I asked him to work on a live act and to present it for the very first time at Weather. Since then he’s been working really hard on it, so I’m pretty sure the performance will be a highlight of the weekend. He’s going to play Saturday night at peak time on the techno stage, and since he plays very deep and musical stuff with a strong and always-danceable rhythmic backbone, we’re sure it’ll be a perfect interlude.
Techno Import and Syncrophone Record Stores
It seems obvious that we should recommend some record shops to visit while you’re in Paris. We’re very lucky to have two of the best stores—Techno Import and Syncrophone—on the same street: Rue des Taillandiers. They both offer new and secondhand records, and both teams are amazing and extremely passionate. They’re also both good for more than just vinyl hunting, as going to one of these shops is perhaps the best way to meet real Parisian party people and underground artists. These stores are really the heart of Paris’ techno and house scene.
Chateau de Versailles
This may be a little obvious, but if you’ve never been to Versailles, you must see French history in all its beauty and excess. If you’re looking for a nice place to recover after Weather, I really recommend spending the afternoon in the castle’s garden. It’s outside the city, but definitely worth the ride.
Institut du Monde Arabe
Institut du Monde Arabe is a complex dedicated to Arabic culture. The building itself was designed by the famous architect Jean Nouvel, and it looks really amazing. The view from the rooftop is one of the best in Paris, and there’s also a restaurant there, so you can have dinner or a drink while enjoying the panorama. We actually did a Boiler Room there two years ago with Joe Claussell to promote the festival.
Nuit Debout at Place de la République
For over a month now, something special has been going on at Place de la République: people are spending nights there to protest a new set of labor laws the government wants to pass. They go there to exchange ideas, protest, eat and dance with a kind of “peace and love” spirit. You’ve probably heard that Parisian people are really good at complaining and protesting. This could be a good occasion to experience that firsthand and attend a real social movement.
Parc de Belleville
If you want to chill in a place with an almost panoramic view of Paris from north to south, you have to go to the Parc de Belleville. It can be a nice alternative to the very cliché Butte Montmartre, plus the neighbourhood is much less crowded and touristy.