After months of sifting through entries and looking for the “whole package”, Funkagenda picked the winner of his Shinjuku Remix/DJ competition: Berlin based DJ and producer Alex Dimou. Impressed with his skills in production and the quality set submitted, Funkagenda invited Dimou to play alongside himself, Norman Doray and Paul Thomas at the Ministry of Sound in London on Dec. 3.
Dimou’s sound is fresh and eclectic, pulling in elements of deep house, nu disco, soul and techno. The mix that secured him the winning spot featured his own productions along with sounds by artists like Nicolas Jaar and Daniel Bortz. Funk wasn’t the only one impressed. At mybeatFix, we couldn’t wait to get on our hands on that mix.
After pulling some strings, turns out we got a whole new mix by Dimou exclusively for us! Click here to download it. We even got a word in with Adam to find out why he chose Alex, and an interview with Alex learn more about him.
What is it about Alex’s set and remix that made you choose him as the winner?
I was looking for somebody who had a real grasp of what a remix is. When I start a remix, I listen to the parts and I try to see how they will work in my style. One of my golden rules is to try to use as many original parts as possible. Straight away, Alex’s mix opens with my lead used as a clever backing part. I knew from the first few moments that I was going to be impressed. He had pitch-shifted parts of mine to create new progressions, and completely flipped the style and tempo. There wasn’t a single part that I could fault. Then hearing it in context, along with stuff that he normally plays, it all slotted into place. It was placed well in the journey, and the mix as a whole was very satisfying to listen to. He was a clear winner.
How do you think Dimou’s style will contribute to the party at Ministry of Sound?
Well these days it’s difficult to find good openers, but his classy, deep house will make perfect early-doors music for The Box. It’s quite an honor too because Ministry of Sound have never had a competition winner play in the main room. In fact, I don’t think they have even had one play the bar, but they were so impressed by his style and skills, they changed their stance for this event… That in itself speaks volumes about his talent I’d say.
How do you feel to have been picked by Funkagenda out of hundreds of entries for your mix and remix of Shinjuku?
Honored and lucky! Honored because Funkagenda chose me out of hundreds of other entries and lucky because I have been given the opportunity to do one thing that other DJs (including myself) have only dreamed about: play in the main room at Ministry of Sound. Especially alongside a DJ like Funkagenda whom I’ve admired since day one! Besides his obvious talent, Adam is also a very clever man.
How are you similar to the artists you’ll be opening up for in the main room of Ministry of Sound on Dec. 3?
I am not! And that’s a good thing! Every artist is individual and has his own taste and style in music. In my opinion, if a DJ is similar to another DJ (even if the other guy is a superstar), he has failed. I think that my music is suitable for an early set. It will make people nod their heads while they have a drink, and it will also help building up their excitement for the following DJ.
How long have you been producing, and how have you changed musically in terms of style since you began?
I’ve been producing for more than four years now (since I was 19). I studied Sound Engineering in Athens, Greece, and when I finished, I released my first EP. But I’ve changed a lot since then. I used to make (what I think was) techno. Then I went over to deep house until I finally settled in my current style, which I can’t really explain. I think it’s a mix of Boston house drums, new disco elements, detroit basslines, soul vocals and a techno structure — all of these in an 80′s package!
Has living in Berlin helped you grow as a producer? What are your favorite clubs there?
No doubt! I moved from Greece to Berlin one and a half years ago, but I started visiting it a lot earlier. Berlin is the perfect place for DJs, producers and almost every kind of artist. You can feel the art in every level. In a weird painted building, in the colors of the U-Bahn’s seats, in a small cafe in Kreuzberg. The clubs there are awesome too. Besides Watergate and Berghain which are my favorite, the real deal is in the small bars: Golden Gate, Maria, Club de Visionaire, etc. You can find upcoming DJs and you will dance to tracks you have never heard before.
With another door opening for you by winning this competition, where do you hope to take your career within the next few years?
I honestly don’t know. I can’t make plans. The only plan I can make is what I’m going to have for dinner. You never know how life turns out. But I really hope that one day I will have releases in labels like Toolroom, BPitch Control and Get Physical. But the only thing I can do right now is keep producing and hope for the best.
You’re touring pretty consistently around Europe. Do you have plans to head overseas?
I love to travel but I hate to fly! That’s something I have to work on. Europe has so many destinations you can go to, but I would love to play overseas! One of my dreams is to be able to some day make a trip to the USA and visit one of the big clubs in Miami, a cool house bar in Chicago, a small underground techno dungeon in Detroit and a soulful, smoky and mystical jazz bar in New Orleans!