January 14, 2020 | Guest Mixes

#79 Paul Rimbaud for Deeprhythms

An absolute pleasure to welcome Paul Rimbaud as a guest, The Distant Worlds label bossman has

a keen ear for emotive, atmospheric and dreamy electronic music. In the (often hilarious) interview he goes in-depth about the label, his record-buying habits, the current state of electronic music and life in general.

The mix clocks precisely at 60 mins, I truly wish it was longer. Breaksy electronics, a bit house & what have you - all seamlessly blended together. Bliss!

Hi there Paul, thanks for taking the time to make a mix for DR! Can you introduce yourself briefly?

Hello, I’m Paul Rimbaud. I live in South East London and run the label, Distant Worlds.

How did you get introduced to electronic music? 

In all honesty, growing up in the late 80s and early 90s it was pretty hard to avoid in my part of the world - it was everywhere. I always remember gravitating towards synth based stuff even in the pop music I heard on compilations when really young, stuff like New Order and Depeche Mode, Erasure and then when I first heard acid house on Top Of The Pops that was it, no way back.

Can you tell us a little about how you started with DJ’ing in the first place and what motivated you back then? 

I started buying records in 1992, a lot of my mates were a fair bit older so I was tutored quite well, not too many embarrassing rave records from that era in the collection. The first 12 I bought was Jumpin Jack Frost’s Remix of News At Ten on Absolute 2, proper ‘ardcore! 

I got into it really young, I have great memories of going to the local dance music shop (Bluebird, Bromley) with my nan in toe in the early 90s hahaha, banging hardcore coming out of these speakers bigger than my nan while I picked up my tunes, barely a teenager, and nan none too pleased with the soundtrack. 

After a while got fed up only listening to these records with headphones on at the bottom of the stairs, on my dad’s record player. Then began a systematic campaign of pestering and Jedi mind tricks on my parents until successfully getting a set of belt driven decks and Numark mixer (if you learn on belt drives you are set for life by the way!). 

Your label, Distant Worlds, started in 2017 and is already nine releases strong. How did this happen?

Well a lot of preparation before the label was off the ground meant that I had a lot of music ready to go from the get go. In fact, Derek Carr’s release (DWT002) was hit by pressing problems and suffered at least a 6 month setback which slowed me down considerably else we could be sitting at an even higher number. 

I don’t like to have as much music prepped now as it can mean that some artists have to wait far too long for their music to get out there so I’m trying just to keep an eye on one release or so into the future now.

The sound of the label is consistently inter-galactic and dreamy - where do you find the music & the artists from?

Initially I hit up my favourite producers from the preceding years who, at that time at least, I thought hadn’t been represented enough on vinyl and was lucky enough to get positive responses. 

There’s a vague sound in my head that every release has to have at least some element of, an aesthetic l suppose but yeah, intergalactic and dreamy is as good a description as any.

What has been the most rewarding part of running Distant Worlds?

Equal parts the riches, the women and the drugs.

You are an avid vinyl fan and record collector. Tell us a little about your collection and how you go about finding records to buy?

My collection is basically in different shelves/boxes/bags for various genres. Big collection of early hardcore and proto-jungle. Got bleep sections, acid, IDM, world/leftfield/tribal etc and then… TECHNO haha!

Drunken Discogs binges around midnight are a constant source of inspiration (and surprise upon arrival). 

Otherwise Matt at MyVinylRecordBox knows my tastes so well that I can trust him to build me a stack of records every month or so that he knows will suit. Damo B’s radio show is a constant source of financial ruin as every episode is bound to open you up to more essential purchases. 

You still can’t beat record shopping in the real world, though it’s getting harder all the time to find the real gems. I know a few people in shops around London and Barcelona who know my tastes well enough to recommend me things I may have missed too so always good to keep your head in with your local vinyl dealers! 

Otherwise always good to listen to other people's podcasts and mixes or old digitized mixes to seek out obscurities. In particular I like finding uploads of old pirate radio station output as they were much more likely to play the kinda tunes that maybe didn’t reach the clubs or even get a big reach beyond their area at the time.

Can you tell us a little more about that and your current musical endeavors? 

I occasionally get offers to play out but I’m rarely keen, if so it will inevitably be an early slot so I can play weirder slower stuff and also because fuck staying sober until 2AM to play a set. Far too old for all that now. 

Otherwise musically, I like a lot of stuff outside our scene too so I have an eye on maybe doing something else at some point, completely unrelated.

Do you have any fond musical memories from your childhood? 

Of course. Paul Simon’s Graceland album was on a constant loop in my mum’s car when I was a kid and I still love that album as much as ever, basically anything that Paul Simon has done in fact.

My dad got me into the Beatles at a young age, great memories of going to see the Bootleg Beatles with him numerous times at The Royal Albert Hall, usually around Christmas time - about as good a Christmas tradition as you can get! 

What was the first record or a song that made a lasting impression on you? 

Well the whole Graceland album as I said before but apart from that I would probably have to say Strawberry Fields Forever was the first time I realised that music could be more than just something you just ‘hear’.

That woozy, trippy, druggy feel of it definitely peaked my interest in the psychedelic, I mean what child could resist hearing “nothing is real”. The Beatles are a gateway drug! 

What would you consider to be some of the most personal records to you and why? 

Euphoric enough to be able to still lift the hairs on my neck more than 25 years on and the ‘London massive’ refrain always felt to me like it was our little secret inside the M25. Not true obvs but I was young and information was harder to come by back then haha.

This record will forever take me back to a bush doof at the start of the 2000s in Eastern Australia. One of those moments where the music and setting are just perfection. 

This tune was the first that made me realise electronic music could be playful, minimal and cerebral as opposed to simple dancefloor fodder.

Got to be my favourite band of all time. I’ve seen them many times but I was lucky enough to catch one of their final performances, one New Year’s Eve in London. This tune reminds me of that and goes to show that the avant garde can still do melody.

If this doesn’t make you smile then you’re already dead. 

In my opinion, we’re living in exciting times musically. A lot of indie labels & artists are releasing amazing music just for the love of it with a DIY attitude - without any compromises or commercial pressure. Do you share this view and where do you think it comes from?

I really see it as a positive on the whole apart from a few trustafarians clogging up the pressing plants with their little vanity projects but they soon fall away and move onto the next thing. 

The accessibility is great and I see commerce is the enemy of any art so music produced with no expectation (or necessity) of commercial success will always appeal to me more.

The ease of procuring small runs are great for people to test the waters so it’s definitely been an equaliser, I’m sure a few of the bigger boys don’t like it but for the end listener it’s really healthy. 

As for where its come from, I don’t think it ever really went away, the DIY ethos has been prevalent since the punk era, certainly co-opted by acid too. 

The internet, and social media in particular has shrunk the world in such a way as to make us more aware of various niches, sure, but go deep into any obscure field of music and you will see people have been doing this for years just to a smaller audience, or at least a less vocal one. 

For instance, I recently discovered an IDM/drone label from the early 2000s that put out some great records in tiny numbers on 7-inch only, based in a tiny village in Kent (Timo's note: Awkward Silence, I guess?), that seems to have escaped the notice of anyone bar John Peel at the time. If you have ever followed any small acts or artists closely you will notice plenty have always put out their own presses in small runs to friends and family. 

The quantities pressed in a lot of these circumstances were very close to an average techno record of today however. Scenes and microcosms of scenes can survive for years with very little oxygen but the instant connective nature of today allows a small audience to be spread a lot wider and then social media encourages them to be that much more vocal about it.

You've curated a lot of music for both the label and for your DJ sets, who are the artists and DJ’s you think deserve more attention than they get currently? 

Nowadays more than any, recognition seems to come as a result of your marketing prowess as opposed to your musical prowess. 

Some of the best nights I’ve been to were soundtracked by virtually anonymous DJs, hidden away in the corner. Local scene DJs throughout the world have consistently impressed me more than any big name DJs headlining bills. Accordingly I think there must be due soon some kind of rejection/reversal of the current model, the underdogs will always give a better account of themselves than somebody who’s ascended the gravy train. 

So, my recommendation, wherever you happen to be is check out the local talent, go out, meet people, drop the big name DJs and look for something special, a little more tucked away.

For me, I would love to see Damo B get more bookings as he is instrumental in pushing the sound I am most interested in.

Chris Seddon is a great DJ, always digging deep, who always delivers without fail - would love to see him playing out more.

Brian Not Brian is probably the most eclectic DJ I know of, who is steadily getting the recognition he deserves - a real DJ’s DJ and encyclopedia of music.

As for artists, life is probably a little easier for them, at least in terms of exposure. However, it’s getting harder and harder to hear DJs play their tunes out. ‘Virtual’ exposure is broader than ever but there seems to be fewer and fewer opportunities to hear a lot of this music in its intended setting. 

Having said that, I’m really happy to see Mihail P slowly getting the recognition he deserves and I reckon his star is gonna shine bright this coming decade.

Spin Fidelity is somebody producing awesome music as is Gilbert and I would love to see them blow up this year. 

Magnonic Signals and Innate as labels are destined for good things in the year ahead.

I really like what Gated Recordings have been doing with their first few releases and I predict big things for those guys, all very much deserved. 

Otherwise Exalt should get a lot more recognition, they have a catalog that sits together so well.

In the same spirit, Verdant has a more than an enviable back catalog that also shares that idea of a record label weaving a loose narrative thread throughout its output.

Hopefully the coming decade should shine a light on all these guys for the great stuff they continue to do.

So the mix, can you tell us a little something about that?

I so rarely, these days, put out a mix of newer stuff so the intention was to just play some of my recent favorites. Obviously a couple of old tunes made their way in there. In all honesty I meant to showcase some faster 140 bpm tunes I rarely get to play.

The idea was to start slow and build up but the mix went WAY off the rails before I got there. When I listened back to the first hour though it sounded good so I thought it worth keeping. Unfortunately, it meant the last tune fades out a little early but it’s preferable to the car crash of a mix that was coming!

Many thanks Paul! Anything else? 

Just to say thanks for the invite and thanks to everybody who supports the releases as well as all the artists - wishing you all well for the new decade!


01 - Giraffi Dog - 351 Nation
02 - Donna Trump - Bears Ears
03 - Bliss Inc. - Offensive Username
04 - Escape Artist - Silicone Valium
05 - D. Tiffany - Butterfly Foundation
06 - Low Tape - Signals
07 - Central - Ma La
08 - Priori - 4see
09 - Urulu - Minor Forms
10 - DJ Life - Peia
11 - Toke - Pad Odyssey
12 - Rekab - Winter Harmonics
13 - Insync Vs Mysteron - Planetarium
14 - Patrick Conway - Know The Future
15 - Octo Octa - Imminent Spirit Arrival
16 - Sleep D - Danza Mart
17 - Roza Terenzi - Metal Glo (Luca Lozano & Mr Ho Mix)
18 - Nathan Micay - Feed The Planetary Sharks
19 - Dawl - Nebulon
20 - The Boys From Chariss - Bubble & Squeak

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Paul Rimbaud

Location: London, UK
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The Distant Worlds label boss

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