“Sunsets, happiness, passion, groove, simplicity”. That’s how the Paris-based wunderkind Zimmer, describes his “Horizontal Disco” universe. Having grown up between France and California, the cosmopolitan producer and DJ has quickly become one of our favorites. He first caught our attention last year with his brilliant first single “Cruisin'”, which, followed by his solid four-track debut EP “Horizontal Disco” on Discotexas, has made of the pool area our second home.
By now, all disco lovers should know what to expect from Zimmer: sultry slo-mo disco jams, warm, feel-good melodies, deliciously floor-friendly edits, not to mention his awesome tapes, perfectly made to expand your disco horizons.
Zimmer has just pulled over at La.Ga.Sta. for a little chat about music, his influences, travels and future plans. He was kind enough to share with us his new “Vertical Disco” rework of Chic’s 1977 classic “Everybody Dance”, which you can grab for free below. Get prepared for more from Zimmer to set your ears on fire.
La.Ga.Sta.: What made you decide to turn to music in the first place?
Zimmer: It’s the art form that gives me the most emotions.
What is your source of inspiration?
I like to picture the places where my music will get played. I want to create the soundtrack for the perfect beach-party: a party where everyone unites, dances and smiles. Sounds super cheesy, but I’m sure it’s what most people want.
You have described your work as “Horizontal Disco”. Is there any particular reason for that?
Horizontal is a reference to poolside lounge chairs, and to the bedroom… The new Chic rework, on the other side, is what I call “Vertical Disco”. It’s made for dancing.
Annecy, California, Paris: which one of these places feels most like home?
You could even add Berlin and Guadalajara to the list, cities where I’ve lived during the past 2 years. I feel at home in all these places. I like to be always on the move. As a kid, I loved being the American in France, and being the Frenchy in California. However, Paris is my home right now, and it feels right. Even though there are not so many disco producers, the club scene is exciting right now, with places like Wanderlust.
How do you think living in Paris has affected your sound?
It didn’t influence me that much, I think, as I started making music in Paris. Living in Berlin last year had more influence on my production, it opened my mind to a deeper sound.
Has becoming a DJ/producer affected your studies in any way?
I think it’s more the opposite. I studied product design, and in the last years I had a lot of free time to work on projects, but instead I used it to work on music. However, I’m proud to have graduated in both business and design school, even though I was really busy with music.
Which is your favorite sound?
The piano. The possibilities are endless, plus I’ve played piano for 10 years when I was a kid.
Do you think nu-disco is over?
It’s weird how everyone seems to say this, because our musical scene has never been that big. The Magician’s remix of “I Follow Rivers” is being played on the radio, and clubs are full when “nu-disco” DJs play. Maybe it’s just a terminology thing. The term “nu-disco” doesn’t work anymore, but this type of music is still gaining momentum. I was talking with RAC the other night and he said the scene should be called “post-house”. Not sure it’s the right name, but the scene for melodic house, mixed with elements from Disco and Pop is becoming bigger by the day.
Which are your five favorite tracks for summer 2012?
Which is your favorite destination?
Somewhere I’ve never been before. I love discovering new places. Although as it’s super rainy in Paris right now, I’d love to hop on a plane for Tulum in Mexico!
What are three things you must always travel with?
MacBook: I’ve got my whole life in there, and it’s my primary tool to make music.
HD 25 headphones: I can have studio quality sound wherever I am.
DSLR camera to capture what’s around me.
Which record do you love to listen to while driving your car?
I don’t drive, I take the metro all the time. But if I’m in a car, I love to listen to the radio to discover random music. I wish I had more time to extend my horizons beyond house and disco.
What’s next for Zimmer? Should we expect a new single soon or more remixes?
There’s going to be more remixes, the release schedule for the end of the year is really busy. For two of these I only used the vocals, and to me it’s almost like an original. I’ve really enjoyed working this way recently. It took some time before I figured out the remix process but now it’s something really inspiring. I’m finishing a new single, though, working on the vocals. Release date is still far ahead. Anyways, I’d rather have a few quality releases than a lot of mediocre tunes, so I take my time and try to limit the number of projects.
Tell us a few things about your rework of Chic’s “Everybody Dance”…
I’m really excited. I made this at first as a tool for my DJ sets last November. The rework is basically just a huge build-up for the best part of the original. I play it almost at every set, and it’s usually the most epic moment, people react really well to the tune. So I thought more people could enjoy it, and here it is!
Head over to Zimmer’s Soundcloud page for more “Horizontal Disco” heat!