Biesmans: The “Grace, Attitude and Philosophy” of Laurent Garnier
Biesmans: The “Grace, Attitude and Philosophy” of Laurent GarnierSeptember 22, 2022
With Role Models, we learn more about today’s most exciting acts — and the artists who inspired them. This time, Biesmans explains how Laurent Garnier’s repertoire has inspired his approach to production.
After moving to Berlin back in 2013, Belgian artist and self-confessed hardware fanatic Biesmans found his calling in the German capital’s club scene. He got a job working as the sound technician at one of the city’s most famous venues, Watergate, with the club later releasing his debut EP. The past three years, in particular, have seen Biesmans’ production prowess come into complete focus, with dozens of releases and remixes on respected labels like Correspondant, AEON, 17 Steps, Disco Halal, Running Back, and more. His unique POV-style jamming videos have blown up online, and his live skills are turning heads across the electronic music spectrum.
After releasing his highly-praised debut album Trains, Planes & Automobiles back in February of 2021, Biesmans has returned to Watergate Records for the release of his wildly ambitious Watergate 28 — the next volume of Watergate’s prestigious mix series. Going above and beyond for this 17-track release, the compilation mix features all original productions and collaborations with acts like Zombies in Miami, Mala Ika, Mathew Jonson, Adana Twins, and more.
Having completed this epic sonic journey alongside some of dance music’s most revered acts, we caught up with Biesmans to find out the artist who has most inspired his craft. His answer: Laurent Garnier.
Biesman’s Watergate 28 EP #2 drops on September 30th. Buy it on Beatport.
Who has most inspired you on your journey to becoming a DJ/producer?
I guess there is never just one person that inspires you, but Laurent Garnier definitely stands out.
How did you first discover them?
Funnily enough, it is not with “Crispy Bacon” or “Colored City” but with The Sound of The Big Babou The Sound of The Big Babou that I’ve discovered Laurent’s work. I remember seeing the video clip on MTV and I was immediately hooked on that raw, punky, sound. I also listen to a lot of rock, and the edgy side of The Big Babou drew me in. It was something I couldn’t find in any other electronic music that I was buying at the time. After that, I started digging through his repertoire and obviously fell in love with what I found.
What made them someone you wanted to emulate?
I can’t say I wanted to emulate Laurent. I mean, even if I wanted, I wouldn’t come close, so I gave up that “dream” quite quickly! No, but, his music just stood out from what I knew at the time, and it fascinated me so much to see how people like Laurent could break into mainstream radio and yet stay so damn credible. I mean, here is an artist offering people something completely different than commercial dance hits and pulling it off with so much grace. This attitude became such an inspiration to me, and to this day, I’m carrying that philosophy with me.
Have you ever met them in person? Or worked with them?
Yes! We first met digitally somewhere in 2017 after I sent him some promos. To my surprise, he actually listened, liked my music, and started playing it! I kept on sending him more music and eventually met him very briefly after a set in Panorama Bar. Last year I found out that he mentioned my track “After All These Years” in his documentary Off The Record and the idea to invite him to Watergate started growing. The idea became reality in August (in the light of 20 years of Watergate), and I was lucky enough to play before him! As you can imagine, this was a super special and inspiring moment for me!
Did you have any other mentors along the way?
Definitely! During my studies in electronic music at PXL, I had two amazing mentors. Arne Van Petegem and Micha Volders. I worked with them over the course of three years so it’s hard to explain how much I’ve learned from these guys. They really helped me to think outside of the box and pushed me to experiment with sounds and machines. I’m still super grateful for that time with them!
Why is representation so important in the music industry?
House and techno come from Black and LGBTQA+ communities, and this diversity was taken away from the scene for a while. I think it’s so important we keep this industry diverse to keep it alive and fresh. We simply need input from all sides!
Do you hope to one day serve as an example for the next generation?
Yes, I do! I often post mini tutorials in my stories on Instagram, and the responses are always so positive. I also did a few online classes, and people wrote to me to say they got inspired after watching it. These messages really feel good! Inspiring people to create is such a beautiful thing, and I hope I can continue doing that!
Lastly, tell us about the chart you created.
I’ve gathered some of my favorite Laurent gems alongside some artists that have inspired me throughout my career so far and added a few new Biesmans tracks as well.
Listen to Biesman’s ‘Role Models’ chart below or check it out on Beatport.