When someone sticks with a certain kind of activity through its highs and lows for the most part of his life, you can definitely call it a passion. With Gilbert Cohen alias Gilb’R, you would even have to speak of a calling. From his days as a musical programmer and DJ for the legendary Parisian station Radio Nova to his productions, remixes and partnership with I:Cube as Chateau Flight and maybe most important with Versatile Records.
The history of modern French electronic and dance music would look very different without this man and his label. Debuting with the established house classic Sunshine People, it soon spread into all kinds of directions. Versatile the fundamental podium for I:Cube’s sound kaleidoscope, the Chateau Flight project, Joakim’s various skinning actions and artists like Zombie Zombie or Etienne Jaumet. Sticking to his love for DJ culture with 12”s and Gilb’r wider and open-minded approach to music with the album projects, Versatile really lives up to his name.
An approach that can be easily applied to his work with I:Cube, too. Their Chateau Flight journey according to I:Cube follows “no system, [has] no formula, [and is] always a bit different…” Not the worst take if you want yourself and your listeners kept on your toes. From their first remix for Pierre Henry to singles like Cosmic Race or the Baroque EP for Innervisions, Chateau Flight stayed true to change and challenge.
That might be difficult to sustain, but every adventure needs great thrills and Gilb’r is definitely still in the middle of one. Continuously playing versatile DJ sets from Brooklyn to Bombay and back again, you can catch him playing heavy techno and house sets as often as free-spirited dance music affairs, and if the vibe and place is right, all of it thrown together in one melting pot. According to music journalist wisdom, Gilb’r is simply what they call a DJ’s DJ.
And if you are still in doubt of all of that, you just have to check the brilliant Versatile blog (versatilerecords.com/blog) to check his inspiration information. To quote the man himself: “We just never stopped being music nerds.” And we should be glad for that.