STANDARD CULTURE: You have been a key figure of the Parisian nightlife scene for a few years as a DJ and a promoter of fantastic parties like 'La Furie' and 'Flash Cocotte'. How would you translate 'Flash Cocotte' in English?
DACTYLO: We wanted a name that didn't sound or mean anything clear or existent, something impossible to translate, just a state of mind. The important thing was to make sure people understand that when they come to Flash Cocotte, they land in a parallel universe. We wanted to start from scratch and create our own set of codes and standards, our own mythology. What matters to us is the ongoing exchange with our crowd. We actually call each other 'Cocottes.' I really think that, no matter your language, you just have come to a Flash Cocotte to understand its spirit.
Dactylo Mix for Wad Magazine
We've been seeing you in the Parisian clubs and underground parties since the mid 90's. You were part of the entourage of Daft Punk. What kind of memories do you keep of this period of time?
That period was very exciting. Paris seemed to be the center of the world. We were full of enthusiasm and youthful passion. We were loving a style of music that did not exist in Paris, which did not exist elsewhere in Europe. Something had to be done and we knew that Daft Punk were doing something big. We witnessed the birth of the French Touch with the feeling of being part of something important. It was exhilarating to feel all this creative energy. That being said, I must admit that I was really young! I followed it all through a kid’s eyes, I was a satellite of the scene.
Before doing it professionally, you used to organize parties at your parents house. One night, you had to rebuild a wall in your house after a party. Breaking a wall sounds like a nice starting point for a new beginning...
At first, I just thought I’d celebrate my birthday. It had to be a party like everyone does when their parents are away. I invited my friends and their friends and people spread the word. Soon I was overwhelmed and the party became a huge mess. I don’t know if it was a turning point, but I realized I had built a strong network of party people. That was before the hegemony of social networks...when parties were growing from word of mouth: crazy times!
Midnight Magic Heat (Dactylo remix)
You have been naming your mixtapes 'Sex Tapes'. Do you consider the music you play has a special sex-appeal??
I think my most beautiful love story is definitely the one that I live with music. I often fell in love in clubs. When I think of people I love, that I liked or desired, there is always a soundtrack. I associate my crushes to musical moments. Naming my mixtapes Sextape was a very sensual nod to the relationship I have with the music and the night. I also think that I tend to make my sets have a certain sex appeal. Maybe I always try to the make the audience fall in love with me!
Judging a DJ is part of your job. Which DJ really surprised you recently?
That’s a tough question. It is always hard to judge the work of someone else and I must admit that it's not easy to surprise me. I’ve been lucky enough to see the biggest DJs in the world and I always like to see Prosumer, MCDE, Harvey, Kerri Chandler, Soundstream... When I get the chance, I love to see these great DJs playing in small rooms or playing all night because then they can go further and take more risks. I also have great admiration for the work of my fellow resident DJs... Together, we write the musical history of Flash Cocotte at four hands with the crowd.
Jef Barbara I Know I'm Late (Dactylo Remix)
What is your state of mind when you go out in NYC clubs or walk around here at night looking for the next party?
In Paris, I know everyone when I go out. When I'm in New York, I feel like a kid again. Discovering new places, new parties and people. I feel free, I let myself go on the dance floor. It's very refreshing and inspiring. I still run into people I know randomly though! I guess even in a different city we are all still attracted by the same things after all! I also love the way New Yorkers party. There’s no cleavage between week nights and weekend nights. You guys party from Monday to Sunday without interruption...And New Yorkers seem so fond of French people: everyone seems adorable and it helps you feel good!
Sunday, November 9th, Le Bain presents Nouveau York featuring Dactylo and Jacques Renault from 9pm to 3am. Doors open 2pm and Miss Sabado will play music for Sunset after 5pm. The Standard, High Line.