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Label Lounge: Exploring Algerian DJ/Producer Idriss D and His Memento Imprint

Idriss D

Idriss D’s musical journey began in a family of musicians in Algeria, with his grandfather and uncles being prolific artists in Chaabi and traditional music. Later, he developed a passion for Funk, Disco, and Black Music through radio shows and the influence of his friend Nadir, a DJ. In the early 90s, he entered the club scene in Alger, influenced by DJs Adel and Chafik. Chafik invited Idriss to play for the first time at Rai Hamidou club. 

After relocating to Italy, he worked in an insurance company to support his musical passion. After three years, Idriss opened a record shop and organised parties in Mantova, quickly gaining recognition for his mixing skills, unique style, and captivating dance vibes.

Memento was born in 2006 in the thick fog of the Pianura Padana area, between Mantua and Bologna, which is worldwide famous not only for Tortellini and Parmesan but also for techno music and the deep style. A city that constantly monitors the first steps of the far Detroit.

It was born as a creative outlet for Idriss D’s musical vision. Berlin and the minimal style showed their power during those years, and Idriss decided to contribute to the scene, creating the label Memento partly for fun.

We’re delighted to welcome Memento boss Idriss D as our next Label Lounge guest: 

Thanks for joining us today, Idriss. Where are you talking to us from, and what have you been up to over the last few weeks?

No, thank you for having me on this series to talk about my beloved Memento! I am writing this from my home in Riccione (Italy). I took a break from all the flying and gigs for a little while to rest, recharge and prepare for the promotion of a new album I have just announced, which will be out in March, as well as focus on all of the releases to come on Memento and events. There is always a lot of admin when you run a label!

Tell us about the influence and vision behind Memento.

Memento Records releases electronic music, and the influence was always mainly Detroit-based, but we can go in many different directions, such as Dub or Breakbeat on a number of the releases. It’s not specific to one genre of electronic music.

What artists have released music on the label, and what artists would you like to sign music from in future?

A very long list! One of my goals is to release some more material from Arapu and DJSotofett.

What do you look for when curating releases for Memento?

Tracks with character. I am very honest with the music I receive, but of course, I sometimes can’t listen to it all. It becomes impossible. I have a lot of people in my network that I can rely on to send me new material on a consistent basis, so if I see something come in from someone I know we love, then, of course, it is reviewed. As much as I love a track, it has to be road-tested and played to a crowd. You really know when things are going to work that way.

What release on Memento has had the most significant impact and why?

I think when we started, it was a different time, and we were doing this trippy minimal sound with light kicks. I think there were maybe 3-4 other labels really supporting this sound at the time when Minimal was exploding. So naturally, we also got more recognition through this sound.

I think the release that had the most impact was the Carl Craig release under his alias as ‘Tres Demented’. It also came with a Luciano remix. Just two really big artists that help cement the name of the label on a larger scale.

What other labels are you currently enjoying and why?

Wilson Records, Planet E, Timeless, Opia, Junction Forest, Club Vision. They all have a different direction, BUT they are all labels that are necessary for the bag of a DJ who plays a dynamic set. I believe Memento can have all these directions in one label.


What is your favourite track ever released on Memento and why?   

Tres demented, aka Carl Craig. It’s an iconic track by a techno hero, Carl Craig. Detroit, for me, is the base of what I play, and having this on my catalogue was and still is a dream.

What characteristics make a good label boss?  

Working 18 hours a day, taking risks, exploring new sounds, down to being a victim of hope or the system, and taking care of the team whilst always valuing their input.


What advice do you have for other potential label bosses and aspiring artists? 

To create their own style and spirit whilst investing in quality at every level possible. Remembering that this will take years, any immediate success will bring a short life. It’s all about longevity and building something with exceptional foundations.

Idriss D

Lastly, what can we expect from Memento in the coming months?

A truly mind-blowing release from Somne is coming in May, which the whole team is so excited about. So, keep an eye out for news on that across our socials. I am also dealing with a few secret acts for up-and-coming releases, as well as creating interesting lineups for the XS weekly residency we have at Club Macarena in Barcelona.

Memento Records


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