With Tokens, his album from last year, still winning over the likes of Marco Carola, Loco Dice, Luciano, Ricardo Villalobos and Radio Slave, ROB CHADWICK chats to Julien about his new-found fame…

French producer Julien Chaptal is one of the upcoming artists of the new Amsterdam electronic underground. Spearheaded by labels such as 100% Pure, Intacto and Remote Area, and clubs like 11, Studio 80, Sugar Factory and Flex Bar, the Amsterdam scene is now back on the international map. Julien has been a vital part of this renaissane, and much of that is down to his album Tokens, which dropped at the tailend of last year on Remote Area. With his schedule now full to brimming, we caught up with the DJ and producer to find out more…

Tell us a bit about your breakthrough. It seemed to be quite sudden.
It’s not something that happened over night actually – it took quite a while. I’ve been producing since 1999, but my first release came out with Le Clic in 2005, and my first solo release was on Remote Area the year after. I’ve been performing live a lot in Holland since 2003, both with Le Clic and later on my own. I think that has been the way for me to break though, here least, but the releases helped putting me on the international circuit.
The past year has been a whirlwind for you. Did you ever expect Tokens to gain the publicity that it did?
It was a real pleasant surprise to see the album being received so well by so many people. I put a lot of work in it, the whole process was quite intense, and I liked it a lot more than producing an EP. Making an album really made sense for me at the time. It’s something I’d wanted to do for a while, so when the label gave me the chance, I immediately took it. I produced most of it here in my studio, and then moved all my gear to France at my dad’s place to finish it. When I was done, I knew I had achieved what I wanted with it, but I didn’t know it would get so much attention.
You have released most of your own music through Remote Area. What’s the label to work with?
Dylan [Hermelijn] already had a lot of experience running a label when he started Remote Area. He was running 100% Pure Records with Sandy Huner for the best part of the nineties, so when he asked me to be part of his new project I knew I was dealing with someone who knew what he was doing. Dylan has gathered a few DJs and producers from Amsterdam and offered us to release our productions, and right away it was clear that he was someone with a strong vision. Since then, the label has grown to be what it is now, and I’ve always been really happy with the way things are going. It sounds a bit clichéd, but it really feels like being part of a family. We are all friends in the label – we even go on holiday. together!

A lot of DJs have stories behind their tracks. Are their particular inspirations behind your music?
Of course there are stories behind a lot of the tracks I’ve made. It’s impossible to sum them up in a few sentences though. The inspiration usually comes from what I experience in life at the moment I make the music. It can be from listening to other people’s music in clubs or at home, but also from a new synth or drum machine. At the end of the day, I mostly get inspired by dancefloors – I make dance music.
You have recently remixed for 2020Vision and Breakoutaudio. What’s next for you with regards to production?
I have an EP coming out on 2020Vision very soon. I’m really excited about it as the tracks are already getting good feedback. I’m mostly busy with remixes at the moment. I’ve just finished one for Yakine on Adult. There are also remixes coming up on Cr2, Kiara, ThirtyOneTwenty, Vivid, Suruba, Rejected and Mintgum. After that, I’ll be releasing a track on the Remote Area compilation coming in October, and hopefully a new EP in December or so.
Is there anyone you’re listening to at the moment that we might not know about?
I’m receiving great music from a few people lately, but if I have to name one it is Tom Ruig. He’s a young producer from Amsterdam who just made an amazing remix for Ali Nasser on Soweso, and loads of cool new tracks as well. His sound is very housey and fresh. Keep a look-out for him in the future…

Visit and And go to for a free DJ mix from Julien, plus details of his upcoming release for 2020Vision



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“It really feels like being part of a family. We are all friends in the label – we even go on holiday together”
julien chaptal