Brought up on disco, funk and hip-hop in Dijon in eastern France, DJ W!ld took his name from the seminal 1983 hip-hop documentary Wild Style — adding the exclamation mark for extra effect. After moving to Paris, his main influence in his early days of DJing himself was Laurent Garnier, and the impeccable way the French pioneer put together house, techno and all manner of other styles of music in his magnificent elongated DJ sets.
In the mid-1990s W!ld collaborated with Peter Rauhofer to make ahead-of-its time electro-houser ‘Magic Orgasm’ as House Heroes, but swerved the ‘French Touch' wave of filtered disco house and ended up with a residency at Fuse in Belgium, via New York and Brazil. As the noughties progressed, he teamed with Chris Carrier for the Catwash project and set up Catwash Records.
But it was when he was made a DC10 resident in Ibiza for Circo Loco in 2009 that he truly became hot property.
‘When You Feel Me’, W!ld’s third artist album, is packed to the rafters with cool cuts — 27 of them in all. CD1 is largely of a disco hue, slo-mo groove-locked tracks like ‘Breathe’ and ‘Sweet Like Your Pussy’ tipping a nod to languid Metro Area-style disco-funk, while ‘Love Every Day’ — more of a tech house number — pays homage to '70s weirdoes Sparks. Stuffed with other tracky, groovy cuts, you’ll be feeling exactly what W!ld is all about after a quick blast of his latest long-player.
“I just have a very creative flow at the moment,” he says. “The double album reflects my more housey, sexy summer side on one part, and a darker techno sound on the other — but all still around 118bpm.”
Here are the 10 records that drove W!ld wild…
01. MOODYMANN ‘Tribute’
“Moodymann is consistently one of my favourite producers. His tracks are all about being sexy, groovy, funky, incorporating the whole spectrum of black, and sample-based, music. He really influenced my way of working in the studio.”
02. SUPRÊME NTM ‘Le Monde De Demain’
“NTM was the first concert I ever went to, in 1988. They were a fantastic group, the French Public Enemy, proof that we could make music as well as the Americans… this was a special time in my life, when I was all about breakdancing, graffiti and the Zulu Nation!”
03. ALEEM FEATURING LEROY BURGESS ‘Release Yourself’
“Disco music has played a big part in shaping my producing style to this day. This track was a Larry Levan, Paradise Garage special. A real anthem with a very clear message that became so inspirational and motivating to me, about releasing myself on the dancefloor and in my life, and following my passion…”
04. PUBLIC ENEMY ‘Fight the Power’
“What more can be really said about Public Enemy? It was all about revolution and freedom with them, no compromise ever. This track was also one of the main tracks in Do The Right Thing by Spike Lee, which is one of my favourite movies. Fight the power!”
05. SERGE GAINSBOURG ‘Love On the Beat’
“Serge is the French genius I love the most, and this track is all about sex! Dirty words, dirty sound and the music evokes the same feelings. He really influenced me from my early teenage years on… you can still find so many sex references in most of my productions.”
06. EDDY GRANT ‘Time Warp’
“Still reach for this in the club! It’s a big, hard-hitting disco tune with a strong electronic vibe running through it. This track is a killer on the dancefloor! I started listening to disco at the age of 13. My father used to have some cool records, I used to steal some of his albums and just listen to them over and over again. This one is a real classic: released in 1981, and so ahead of its time.”
07. GANGSTARR ‘You Know My Steez’
“This track was another big influence on me from back in the day. I used to listen to this during my teen years whilst breakdancing or graffiti-ing. We did it all in Dijon around 1990. I love Guru’s rhymes, and obviously Premo is one of the best producers of all time, so this group is just the bomb… almost impossible to find bad stuff from them!”
08. DBX ‘Losing Control’
“DBX, aka Daniel Bell, is a legendary techno artist. His live sets are outrageous, so enthralling and full of energy. Laurent Garnier played this track at L’Enfer in my hometown Dijon, at just about the time I was getting into electronic music and the scene — I was about 16. It blew my mind right open about the possibilities of techno and the crazy atmosphere on the dancefloor!”
09. DJ SNEAK ‘Throw Your Hands’
“Mr Sneak is a talented producer, and a very cool guy. His productions always elicit a fantastic response amongst true house heads. All the ingredients in his productions speak to me. They are powerful, freaky, groovy, with a funky and smoky Latin flavour. This track is about one thing and one thing only, and that is getting the whole club dancing!”
10. KERRI CHANDLER ‘Atmospheric Beats’
“Kerri is the one artist who got me into deep house. His signature fat deep dubs are irresistible. This track was the anthem of one of the best radio stations in Paris back in the '90s. It seems a bit obvious to pick it, but it is such a great track. All the parts work together so harmoniously, you can’t help but be taken away every time you put it on. It’s good to see Kerri playing clubs like DC10 so often these days, everyone always sings along to this one!”
DJ W!LD headlines DJ Mag Sessions at Egg LDN on Saturday 22nd November. Get tickets!