On 25.08.97 Studio K7 release the latest edition of the acclaimed DJ Kicks series, a "real phat hip hop" set crafted by DJ Cam.
Hip hop has always had a special resonance in Paris, the home of 24-year-old Laurent Daumail, aka DJ Cam. The style found roots in the french capital’s immigrant cultures and drew strength from its collision with French lyricism. The fluent rap of MC Solar was an early result, and its success opened a lot of doors to those artists woh were to follow.
Public Enemy, Erik B. & Rakim, Gangstarr and Massive Attack – this was the music Cam was listening to as made the transitin from graffiti tagger and business student to the international DJ, producer, remix artist and owner of the Inflamable record label that he is today. New York underground hip hop remains Cam’s favourite music. "It’s most beautiful music in the world, the most powerful music."
Cam calls hiw own sound "abstract hip hop", and his acclaimed album, Substances, offers a definition: streetwise beats laced with film samples, jazzy touches, eastern influences and great swathes of symphonic strings. Imagine DJ Krush, DJ Shadow and Massive Attack all gathering join some smoky Left Bank jazz caf√©. It’s an instrumental music that vaults all language barriers. As often as not the rhythm is implied rather than present, but hip hop provides both the music’s structure and its production technique. "Even if all the music isn’t really hip hop," says Cam, "the way I make it is very hip hop."
"I’ve got two sides," claims Cam. "One for production and one for playing live." At the decks, he’s likely to be found spinning hard, fat breakbeats and heavy jungle. But on this specially crafted DJ Kicks mix – including Bronx Theme, a track composed exclusively for this album – he returns to his first love, plucking music from the UK, USA, France, Belgium and Switzerland to mix abstract hip hop with the real underground deal.
Asked to define the philosophy of this mix, done live and direct complete with effects, Cam just gives a Gallic shrug and smiles: "A real phat hip hop DJ Kicks."
Apart from productions under his own name, DJ Cam has also worked with Tek 9, DJ Vadim, DJ Krush, Menelik,
Silent Poets and Dee-lite’s Lady Miss Kier. Previous DJ Kicks mices have been contributed by Carl Craig, Stacey Pullen, Claude Young, Nicolette Rockers Hi-Fi and Kruder & Dorfemeister. Each edition has included, like this one, a track exclusive to DJ Kicks.