DJ Psychiatre

DJ Psychiatre

In recent years, DJ Psychiatre has made his mark on France’s electronic music scene with records built around classic/melodic house, with digital and vinyl releases on labels such as Shall Not Fade, Blaq Numbers and Dance Around 88. Outside of music, he also practises as a psychiatrist (as his name suggests). We caught up with DJ Psychiatre as he returns to Pont Neuf Records for the upcoming EP, ‘Glad To Be Back’.

DJ Psychiatre - Interview

Hey Sylvain, great to chat to you. How’s your year been going so far?
Hey, thanks for inviting me to this interview. I would say this is a pretty standard start to the year, nothing to complain about.

Next month, you’re returning to Pont Neuf records with a brand new EP, ‘Glad To Be Back’. We’d love to know about this release as well as your partnership with Pont Neuf.
Pont Neuf is a label I have been a fan of since their very beginning. I tried sending them demos some years ago without success, but I guess time has changed. Last year, we released “Enter The Chill Zone EP” together which was the highlight of my musical year and still remains one of my all-time favorite release. The EP comprised tracks I produced during the previous years, and by the time of its release, I had plenty of time to produce more. “Glad To Be Back EP” is very different, the tracks are much more club-oriented and piano-focused and I think it’s a fantastic follow-up to the previous release. I am thrilled to be able to release on a label such as Pont Neuf, and our relationship has been great since.

Fantastic progressive/piano house sounds on ‘Glad To Be Back’, did you use any analogue pieces of kit during the production process?
I produce everything with my computer and a MIDI keyboard. Back in the day, I tried investing into analog gear (MPC, Juno 106, TR8S, Minilogue) but never got the time to learn and use them properly. I eventually sold everything, I guess you have to make choices, right?

Over the last few years, your music has been used to raise funds for many charitable organisations. Why do you think music is such a great tool for raising awareness?
I don’t think music is a better tool than any other tool for charity fundraisings. I believe that when you try to help these organizations, any help is appreciated. I used music because that’s what I know most obviously. It’s affordable for people and easy to diffuse/stream on the internet which makes it a great tool, but other forms of media are great too (video streaming, posters, second-hand clothing sales).

You’re known as an avid collector of vinyl, regularly broadcasting vinyl only mixes on Twitch; why do you think it’s important for physical records to exist in such a digital world?
I would like provide an extended answer as I believe it is a difficult and interesting question: While it’s true that I am a vinyl collector and I am very passionate about it, this has been a long process of thinking. I recognize that it’s a rather selfish and expensive passion, and I feel very fortunate to be able to afford vinyl records. Firstly, as a DJ, I consider myself as a “selector” and I don’t know many effect tricks, hot cues stuff, or other tools nowadays DJs may use with great knowledge of the CDJs. When I am mixing digitally, I don’t know what to do on stage when the songs are beat-matched and there are still 4 minutes to wait, feeling awkward before the crowd. Mixing with vinyl adds a level of excitement and spontaneity to my DJ sets, making them more enjoyable both for myself and the audience in my opinion. Secondly, I am the kind of person who can become emotionally attached to objects or art forms. I like obscure stuff, objects with stories behind them, funny looking daily tools, and I tend to collect a lot (audio tapes, sneakers, tattoos, paintings). I like physical releases because they are tangible objects involving multiple individuals in their creative process (including artwork designers, motion designers, mastering engineers). I have a feeling I am not the only one as I see more and more physical supports being brought to Bandcamp (USB sticks, dildos, rocks), I get a sense of ownership and connection that’s lacking with streaming services. Additionally, in the digital age, ownership of digital content can feel precarious. While you can technically “own” digital games or music files, there’s always the risk of losing access if servers are shut down or platforms change their policies. This uncertainty is one of the reasons why I appreciate physical media—you truly possess something tangible. For instance, if a platform like Spotify were to shut down, the music library I’ve built over the years would be at risk. However, I also acknowledge the convenience and accessibility of digital files and streaming services, and I regularly use them alongside my physical collection. It’s not a black-and-white choice, as there’s room for both in today’s music consumption landscape.

As a French DJ, do you have any favourite local record shops?
I live in Rennes, which is kind of a small city compared to Paris, Lyon or Marseille so there are not a lot of record shops. I am used to visiting “Blindspot : Les angles morts” which has a highly diversified selection, perfect when for you are not sure what you are looking for. Otherwise, I often order stuff online via Bandcamp directly or HHV, but I have never had the chance to visit this shop.

By day a psychiatrist, by night a DJ! How do you balance these contrasting professions?
In the past, I used to make a lot of music and study a bit on the side. Nowadays it is the opposite. To be honest, I would say I am mostly a psychiatrist and not so much a DJ. I work at a public mental health hospital and I am genuinely passionate about my job. It’s sometimes funny because patients can find me (as a musician) when searching my name on the internet. I still make music on weekends or holidays but I must admit it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find the time.

Do you have any projects planned for the rest of 2024 you can tell us about?
Maybe you should keep an eye on Pont Neuf Records because I have a feeling our story is not over. Also, I have a really big gig this summer next to Rennes soon to be announced. I cannot wait!


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