Gilles Peterson Talking to Springfestival
From Tokyo to London, from Cuba to Paris, Mr Worldwide Gilles Peterson finds a moment in his busy schedule and gives us an exclusive interview.
Gilles Peterson: Wow - big statement! I'm just doing my thing - playing music I like and supporting certain artists both new and old.
springfestival: Traditional music from all kind of regions combined with beats became increasingly popular - Baile Funk, Socca, Kuduro just to name a few. Are those guys saving us from the boredom we have with electronic music today?
Gilles Peterson: I just think it adds to the pot - perhaps the fish and chips needed a bit of spicy sauce to go with it.
springfestival: Everybody has talked about the financial bubble which just burst and we are talking about the next internet bubble which is about to burst. Do you see the same thing going on in the festival circuit? For example in the UK, there is no Glastonbury or Big Chill this year. There appears to be in some areas almost a sense of festival fatigue?
Gilles Peterson: I'm not sure - I just think that in the UK there has been a sudden rise in festivals these last 10 years - but as with all business there are success stories and failures - the same thing happened with super clubs too - the way I look at it it that festivals runs by passionate music people like Bestival will always survive - the Big Chill was sold several years ago and was always going to be the first to suffer sadly - when the bank managers arrive!!
springfestival: Do you see festivals as completely saturated, with only key acts helping to sell out, or do you think the festival scene is going through its own re-moulding?
Gilles Peterson: I'm not sure - as I said above the festivals that survive and prosper tend to be the ones that our run by people who care - yes it helps to have big acts headlining sometimes but equally if you can make your reputation the big acts will want to play your festival - I think that's healthy.
springfestival: What do festivals have to offer in the future?
Gilles Peterson: Quality and comfort!
springfestival: You travel the world over – how do you see the state of its leading clubs?
Gilles Peterson: Most clubs are places I'd rather not be - the best clubs for me are the ones run by people who care (same as festivals) my faves are in Tokyo (Eleven/Air/The Room) Tel Aviv (The Block) Singapore (Zouk) and NYC (Cielo) - I wish there were more like this - sadly London is lacking a great club for me these days - I like Fabric and Plastic People but I think its time for me to open one up!
springfestival: Where do we go in contemporary electronic music? How do you see the health of the electronic music world now across the spectrum, from techno to jazz?
Gilles Peterson: That's a hard question - I think music is as strong as ever right now - I'm excited about it - its just important that more platforms such as Sonar or Spring or RBB keep appearing - I love the Boileroom for instance and the scene in LDN at the moment - it feels like there's room for the new generations to feel comfortable about being able to take part and not feel excluded -the music is always growing - watching Nicolas Jaar headlining the roundhouse and selling out 2000 people at the age of 21 was very encouraging.
springfestival: When we watch documentaries of the Paradise Garage and The Loft in New York back in the days, we see an immense effort in building something special there. Custom made sound and light systems, nerds working to improve them every week for hours, wooden dance floors with sand underneath to relax knees, a constant pushing for better quality to experience music in a better way. Where are we today? Are those halycon days unreachable - will they ever come back?
Gilles Peterson: I wish there were more clubs like this but you know - they do still exist - you just have to find them
springfestival: You are immensely popular in Austria and your Worldwide Show is a must hear every Sunday for a lot of people. What happened to BBC Radio 1 and why did you move to BBC radio 6?
Gilles Peterson: I'm not sure! all that I know is that I'm on at a much better time with a much bigger audience now so I'm happy!
springfestival: You are old mates with our most popular music export in recent years - Kruder & Dorfmeister. You've been featuring Dorian Concept and Ogris Debris in more recent days. Do you have anything more on the radar what's coming from Austria at the moment?
Gilles Peterson: That's why I'm coming to Spring Fest - to check the new generation!