The DFA operative will be headlining the Sydney event next month.
As a DJ, Renault has held residencies at Happy Endings and Tribeca Grand, and was recently voted "Best NYC DJ" in Paper's nightlife awards. Currently making waves as one-half of Runaway, Renault is becoming one of the current disco renaissance's most respected proponents.
Support at the mid-May date will be provided by Sydney duo Canyons, and Melbourne-based DJ/producer Junji Masayama.
This will be your first time performing in Australia. No doubt many of your US contemporaries have made the trip out here—have you heard anything of note about the Australian dance music collective?
Actually, I've only heard great things about Australia, no joke! I've played with a few familiar names from Australia here in NYC. Recently, [I've been speaking to] guys like Ryan from Canyons, and Nathan at Future Classic, which has been very cool. And of course people like Brennan Green who have plenty of good things to say. I'm definitely looking forward to it!
Over the years you've dabbled in a variety of genres; not only dance music, but orchestral and punk. In your current production state, do you ever find yourself thinking back to the times spent enveloped in genres other than disco—surely your knowledge of instrumentation comes into play?
Absolutely. Finally, my string riffs and horn stabs have found a home! I never knew I'd be behind a mixing desk back then putting those ideas into my own tracks. It's funny looking at it, because I didn't really get into being a DJ until '97. I was basically a punk kid looking for the right punk scene, with an upfront classical and jazz background. It wasn't until I went to Cold Rice at Kaffa House that I realized I wanted to learn what it was to be a DJ and continue to look for my niche with music. I'm still looking back from then to now all the time. I don't shut it out. I've been slowly bringing it back and can clearly see how it works. You hear arrangements in all works that contribute to your own. I'm totally into it.
You used to only DJ with vinyl—is this still the case, or have you taken advantage of the digital DJ revolution? Do you have any thoughts on vinyl versus CD versus digital?
I will always prefer playing vinyl over CDs, but the modern age doesn't allow that, does it? Well, maybe some people would disagree, but I'm not about to bring my laptop to a club, either. Often, I'll play places where the turntables feedback, or the needles are messed, or something else ridiculous. Basically, I travel with both CDs and vinyl out of necessity. Sure, I have some great unreleased or exclusive things that are only on CD that I will definitely play without hesitation, but I also have some of the same tracks I brought on vinyl on CD, as well, just in case something goes wrong. I don't want to be limited or have to choose; the sound will be number one, always. If a club has done it right, and there are clean CDJs, and the vinyl sounds good going through a decent rotary mixer, then you get me fucking smiling and into it. That's how we all want to feel, right?
What's happening on the production front, at the moment? Is anything going to be unveiled in Australia?
[There's] lots of good stuff happening in the studio; I've got my Chairlift remix of "Evident Utensil" on Sony, a Stefano Testa remix on Rebirth Records, and my Canyons remix on DFA, all out very soon. I am also producing a Brooklyn band, The Hundred and The Hands, which has been very productive, as they are compiling tracks for their upcoming album and tour dates. Runaway, of course, is still making new tracks including a remix we did of Mugwump's "Tellakian Circles" for Mule Musiq, and a remix of Roland Appel's new single "Snow in the Springtime" for Will Saul's Aus label, coming out this summer. Marcos and I have some new material to go along with our upcoming project called "On the Prowl" that you'll be hearing about soon. And, as always, I continue to work on my own mixes and edits of the songs I play, love and learn to love. I've been working on a few new things especially for this trip, so I'm looking forward to playing some new material while I'm in Australia.