Penrose shares a mixtape and tells us about the best upcoming events in Paris

We’ve been speaking to members of the Generator family across Europe. This time we’re talking to DJ, producer and member of the Generator Paris café staff Charles Renaud aka DJ Penrose.

Penrose's music is sharp, tightly produced house – samples of organs, snippets of voices, rolling kicks drums; it's a winning formula. But as we discovered after listening to his mixtape – made exclusively for Parallel – his sounds and interests can’t be confined to a single genre; it shows someone enamoured by Americana, listening to West Coast hip-hop and Grand Theft Auto soundtracks.

We spoke to Penrose, also known as Charles Renaud, about the Paris DJ-ing scene, his favourite record shops, and his exclusive mixtape for us.
 

Hi Charles. Tell us about yourself. Where are you from and what do you do?
Bonjour! I'm Charles aka Penrose. I’m 24 years old and grew up in Brittany, in the west of France. I lived in Liverpool for one year after my studies, but I’ve been living in Paris for almost two years. I’m currently working at Generator Paris and DJ-ing when I’ve free time!

How long have you been DJ-ing? Do you produce music too?
It’s been six or seven years now. I do produce music too, slowly…I like things to be perfect! I’m working on different projects but would love to release an EP before the end of 2016 – something serious.
 

What’s the DJ scene in Paris like?
It is quite huge. There are a lot of house and techno venues and many different clubs. I used to have my own collective with some friends: District Paris. We mainly used to book DJs from Detroit. We didn’t run it that long, eight months, but we had a lot of fun and have some good memories of those nights.

I’m probably about to join a new collective, Haribo House, as a resident DJ! I met them recently through a good friend. They have a huge house in the south of Paris, which they use for massive house parties. I already played there a few times; it reminded me of life in Liverpool! They also organise events in bars and clubs across Paris. So, basically, when you know people in Paris and you wanna play, it’s not that hard. (Although, obviously you have to be good!)

What are some of the best venues you've played at?
In 2015 with District Paris, we played at Djoon [13th arrondissement], for a resident night called "Detroit Madness". Basically, we booked one headliner DJ from the Detroit scene (Terrence Parker, Los Hermanos, Andrés, Mike Huckaby...) and then we played as well. Most of those events were really successful, and the Djoon crowd was amazing! 

Then after that I was resident DJ at Wanderlust [13th arr.] during summer 2015, and played their eight or seven times. It's a very popular place to go out in Paris, especially during the summer: there is a massive terrace and it's always full of people. To be honest it's not my favourite place to go out, but I had great times playing there – especially when I took over the decks after Louie Vega!

Do you play vinyl? If so, where do you go to buy records?
I do play vinyl! In Paris, Syncrophone [12th arr., near Bastille] is a nice shop. I go there at least once a week for their very good house music selection. La Source [10th arr., near République] is also a good one; I’ve found some masterpieces there.

Looking at the tracklist for your mixtape, you've obviously got an affinity for Americana.
Absolutely, I used to be a proper gangsta! As long as I’ve listened to music hip-hop has been one of my biggest influences – US and French. Then my mum bought me Homework, the first Daft Punk album, and my love for electronic music was born!

Finally, are there any good gigs or festivals coming up in Paris our readers should know about?
There’s a brand new club that’s just opened: Nuits Fauves [13th arr.]. The line-up is always huge, every single weekend. I really recommend it! There is also a night inside one of Paris’ train stations: Hors Serie #1 at Gare Saint Lazare [8th arr.]. It’s happening on 3 September – you can’t miss that one!  

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