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Drivetrain talks new Celestial EP, Soiree Records and Detroit’s music heritage

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Detroit producer and founder of house and techno label Soiree Records Drivetrain lays down immersive 4-track EP Celestial inviting listeners on a journey of midnight tones and atmospheric grooves.

Taking time out of his busy schedule, Drivetrain shares an exclusive insight into his craft as a producer and the vision of Soiree Records.

Hey Drivetrain! Thanks for joining us. Can you share a quick introduction to yourself?

I’m Derrick Thompson, founder of the long running Detroit-based house/techno label Soiree Records International.

Congratulations on your new compilation Celestial, for anyone who hasn’t yet heard, how would you describe the tracks included?

Celestial EP features deep house tracks by myself (Drivetrain) and G-Prod, (the Gaugain brothers from Bordeaux, France). I’ve also done a Drum & Bass remix of my track and G-Prod have included an acid remix by the Paris, France icon, David Duriez.

There are varying influences from orchestral to tribal sounds, where do you find inspiration for your music?

My inspiration comes from the unlimited genres of music that I listen to. I play several music instruments and therefore, I explore many styles to expand my knowledge, skill and influence.

Celestial features collaborations with G-Prod and David Duriez, tell us how you came to connect with these artists?

I’ve toured France many times and in my travels I’ve met many artists including both G-Prod and David Duriez. We have very similar musical interest. So a musical collaboration was inevitable. G-Prod have several releases on Soiree Records already and I’m sure they’ll have more in the future.

Tell us about your Soiree Records label. Why did you found the imprint and what do you hope to achieve?

I launched Soiree Records at a time when I was finding it difficult to find a good home for my music. Major labels seemed uninterested and smaller labels generally had a different focus. So I founded my own label with a goal of releasing my music and the music of like-minded artists who were in the same struggle of getting proper exposure for their music. We have achieved that goal as our releases are distributed worldwide on vinyl, digital and streaming formats.

Who are some artists that you’ve worked with at Soiree Records who we should check out?

Many of the early artists on Soiree Records have moved on to become legends in their own right. To name a few, Scott Grooves, Norm Talley, DJ Minx, Theo Parrish, Jerry The Cat, etc. More recently some artists you may be familiar with include, Rennie Foster, CloudMasterWeed, Gary Martin, FBK, DJ Sinjin, Jerome Baker, Ellery Cowles, Teknobrat, J.Garcia…I could go on and on.

Detroit is steeped in electronic music history. What is the scene like today? What are the best aspects and does the scene there face any challenges?

Detroit has always been rich in music culture. We can go back to the legendary R&B Mecca of Motown. Or the celebrated jazz roots even prior to that. Today, the groundwork of Detroit’s original electronic music innovators and those who immediately followed, joined by new generations of creators who respect that impact, continue revolutionizing a music genre that moves the world. The challenge is keeping the music pure and not watered down.

If you could collaborate with any artist on the planet, who would you choose and why?

I think I’d want to collaborate with a living legend or a musical genius. Someone who has inspired my creativity from the beginning. Like a Stevie Wonder. I guess it’s ok to dream.

Outside of music, what are your other passions and how do you enjoy spending your time?

I’ve become very involved in all things physical fitness. That includes many forms of exercise, eating and life style. When you live a busy and complex life, you need to feel good and have as much energy as possible.

Finally, what are your plans for summer 2024?

There are several performances I’m looking forward to for the summer; live and DJ. But also I like to take time for personal enjoyment, holidays in the sun, time with family and general chilling out before the hustle and bustle of the autumn/winter season.

Drivetrain Celestial is out now on Soiree Records.

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