24-12-2013 | 11.06
If only I were a little girl, I’d fall in love with Jean Pierre instantly. He’s got the looks, he’s got the skills, and he knows how to put it delicately. Can’t believe the youngster started out with collecting trance records. “I’m from Breda, the same city as Tiësto and Hardwell,” he explains. “There was nothing else, I learnt to mix with hit parade music.”
Jean Pierre Enfant was 14 years old at that time, one year later things were about to change. It was the famous Exhibitionist album by techno stalwart Jeff Mills, that showed him his future direction. At the age of nineteen Jean Pierre moved to Amsterdam, where he, besides studying, wanted to obtain a foothold in the nightlife. Together with friends Dennis, Kolja and Daan, Jean Pierre formed Les Enfants Terribles (LET). They did a showcase in ClubUp during the Amsterdam Dance Event of 2010. After, the quartet took a trip to Berlin.
“There we were, sitting at the bar in the PanoramaBar. We did what we had to do, and all of a sudden we noticed the symmetry, the flawlessly perfect layout of the club. We became aware of its deliberate balance and all the details – just what is needed to be valid unconsciously as well. We knew right away that was to become our standard too. No boorish partitions, but natural boundaries, we create organically. Just draw a line on the floor and see what it does, you know. Turn things around, think what you can do, not what you can’t. That’s our philosophy. Our first parties were one offs, but we had Funktion-One sound systems. That really delivers. And yes, production-wise everything was to our satisfaction, but not promotion-wise. Later we hosted our own parties at the Undercurrent venue, and in 2011 LET landed in Trouw. After some palaver things took the right turn. It was the final weekend of 2011 and we hosted De Verdieping, which makes the LET Weekender our second birthday.”
Jean Pierre drinks coffee, he’s dressed in black (or dark grey, for that matter), and his long, blond hair gives him a somewhat redeeming character, underlined by a youthful smile and a wondrous look. Still waters run deep.
Nowadays I feel techno is shifting towards a more soulful sound. “Techno has long been raw and industrial, it was very pounding,” he tells. “But there is a rapidly growing countermovement, with both body (the power) and soul (the emotion). I believe people want to be carried away more. To me music is the frame of reference of my life at that moment. I grew up listening to the sound of Motown, but my dad enjoyed disco and he even bought some house records. Those I occasionally play now, preferably on a Sunday morning in Trouw, when I feel there is need for more house. The thing is, you can loose yourself way better to a soulful sound. Yeah, I guess people still feel like venting their frustrations, but the soul gives the music a feminine touch, it emphasizes the loving side. Take DVS1, he literally hears his own frustrations, but maintains to play steady. Never please, that doesn’t work. I truly feel that when I bring my own shit.”
The most striking about Jean Pierre is, on a personal basis, his genuine smile while playing, the way he oversees his crowd. “I want the people to know me, not just to be this DJ whit a couple of cool records. Ever more often I recognize familiar faces. Trouw is for sure that club where everyone does what he feels like doing. By so, Trouw is also a haven. I’ve got no idea what there’ll be after Trouw. But I do know Amsterdam is coming up, truly. Being part of it does make us feel exclusive in some kinda way. LET will go on, definitely. Also, Amsterdam is getting a more solid sound of its own. We have plenty of opportunities and room for experiment, there’s still so much to explore.”
“If, for some reason, I don’t make it as a DJ, I’ll start my own private intelligence service.” Jean Pierre mentions his study Political Science, and how he needs it to be tickled intellectually, how it creates a way of thinking, personal development.
“The thing is, I can understand why artists can hardly resist narcotics. It gives structure to a structureless life. Art has no ending, it just keeps on going.”
So we’re talking art now. Alrighty, what is your definition of art?
“Art is an illusion, it’s a distraction from what is supposed to be real, it’s an emotion, in any form. Art is also one of the first indicators of changing tendencies in society.”
“I’m an artist, because I create this emotion, this illusion. LET looks at a club night as a work of art, and you, the people, are a part of it. The better the acoustics, the better you feel, that’s a fact. You know, everything has a frequency, molecules vibrate. You can affect that with sound, very interesting. So music can move you into your comfort zone, and pull you out, just like that. That’s the best part. Sometimes it takes a radical record, and you’re moved, you throw your hands in the air.”
Awesome for sure, I totally dig this modern day techno cat. Catch him and the rest of Les Enfants Terribles this weekend at their very own weekender.
Text: Nelis Oomen