News

A Sit Down With DJ Thomas Newson

10.05.2018


Thomas Newson, at the age of merely 15, joined the family business to become an internationally renowned DJ and producer. From monster hit “Flute” to his US bus tour with Hardwell, Thomas Newson is following in his father’s footsteps. Having had three tracks hit #1 spots across Beatport’s progressive house, electro house and main charts, Newson has experienced unprecedented success in what is still the first phase of his career, and established himself as one of Dance music’s brightest young stars along the way.

 

 

"I just love to try different things. My friends tell me that the track keeps getting better and better with every play."



 

 

You play and produce Electro House & Progressive House. How would you describe your own music, what is distinct about it?


I make music that suits massive festivals but also intimate dance floors alike. I energize heavy duty beats with a melodic sensibility which is also perfect for the radio market.

You are one of the few artists who had two tracks in the Top 10 on Beatport, "Flute" and "Pallaroid". Did you expect so much success from these tunes?

Nope never… It was crazy to have two tracks in the top 10 at the same time, and before that I had nothing, those two tracks really launched my career and still can’t believe that those tracks were a big success for me.

You have songs on Armada Music, Revealed Recordings, Spinnin’ Records and more. Is there a reason why some songs are particularly on some labels or was it just totally random?

Nope not really, it was just random. I just want to release everything on the big platforms.

How long have you been doing music?

I started when I was 14 years old, but I only did it for one week because computer games were more important for me. When I was 16 years old, I started making music again and after one year I had my first release on Spinnin’ Records. 

Where do you get the inspiration from when producing music?


Depends, sometimes on tour, sometimes being in a different city or area in my country. For example I traveled 2.5 hours up north in my country, hung out and made some music with my friends Jaz Von D & Magnificence just for fun and I got a lot of inspiration at that time. Just to be in a different city.


How do you feel your sound has evolved since you began your career?

In the beginning of my career, it was a lot of EDM. I’m still doing a lot of EDM stuff, but I want to focus on Spotify right now. Because it’s really blowing up. So more stripped down music, a bit more chill, and groovy. I’m experimenting with a lot of music right now. So more Future Bass, and more radio stuff. So a little bit has changed but a bit more groovy and EDM.

Are there any special moments during your career? Any ups or downs you remember over the last years?

Yeah last year, I had a writer’s block for more than 6 months and that was horrible. I really had no idea which direction I wanted to go with my music because everyone was focusing on spotify and still is and the fans want EDM and the promoters want something cool and unique and more commercial stuff. But now I’m gonna do a mix between both!

What has been your favorite place in the world to perform?


I think Tokyo was one of my favorite places that I’ve traveled to. The reason for that is because Tokyo has such a different culture to where I live, so I really like the contrast with the culture of my own country.

https://soundcloud.com/thomasnewson/sunnery-james-ryan-marciano-vs-thomas-newson-ill-house-you

A Sit Down With DJ Keys N Krates

10.05.2018


Dance music as we know it has evolved into a force that the mainstream has borrowed and copied from for decades, each year ushering new sounds and trends. For the Canadian trio of Keys N Krates, they are less focused on the sounds of the now as they are re contextualizing  the sounds of the past, leading to results that, incidentally, are trendsetting in their own right.

 

"Being three people, we always say it’s our greatest advantage and our greatest disadvantage."



 

Explain your love/obsession/general affinity for 808s and pitched up vocals?

We love pitching vocals up because we find it just brings out this hectic emotion and energy in them. It also reminds us of so many great reference points, from Just Blaze to UK bass music. And really, what’s better than an 808 kick?

When you were growing up, what were you listening to?

I was listening to rap music, some house like Masters at Work and the Strictly Rhythm-type 90s house, like I’m a 90s child, so I was buying like house records and hip hop records at the same time…and the thing is, I was always more into rap music I think because I lacked the context of early 90s house, like I would buy the records, and I loved the records, but unless you were going to warehouse parties or going clubbing in the early 90s you didn’t quite understand house music the way you should, and I think I sort of lacked that. I knew it secondhand from older friends, but I was like a bit young to be going to house clubs, but I was going to rap concerts and in DJ battles from a really early age, so I was part of hip hop and b-boy culture really early on…Matisse was always super into R&B and soul and stuff like that, and Tune was also into hip hop as well, but he was into all kinds of music, he listened to a lot of rock…Tune loves Phil Collins.

Top artist, DJ, producer on your radar.

Drake, Hudson Mohawk, Hit Boy, Party Next Door, Meek Mill, A$AP Mob…

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

Probably our new lighting tech.  His name is Hunter and he’s from Oklahoma. His story telling is second to none.  He’s a real character.  You just sort of have to meet him.  He’s also a bad ass on the lasers though.

In the studio, as a collection, what is your strongest suit? and what would you like to improve upon?

We have three of us, so there's a lot of good ideas always coming from someone. I think when an idea gets laid down, there are three minds scrutinizing it. So it's really hard to get past that wall if the idea isn't really good. The downside is that there are three of us in the kitchen and it takes a really long time to make little decisions, like -- do we like this entire song, do we like the sound of that snare, is there enough reverb on that hi hat. Whereas if you're one dude, you just make those decisions and it just is what it is. It's really a double-edged sword.

You want to be remembered for?


As some crazy Canadians that made some good-ass music that was really needed at the time. One can only aspire to that.

How do you typically go about seeking out collaborations and choosing which songs to remix?

Well for the most part we grab samples, ideas, and source ideas that inspire us individually and present them to the rest of the group. If everyone digs it, we will all work on it until it becomes a beat or a track or we scrap it.   The three of us are always digging for sounds and samples, so it really just comes down to what we get ideas with.  We haven’t done a tone of collaborations yet.  We’ve brought in some vocalists and rappers to sing and rap stuff that we’ve gone back and chopped up to make tracks with.  We haven’t collaborated with a ton of other producers yet, because working among the three of us is already enough of a collaboration.

The best piece of advice you actually followed?


Use as few sounds as possible to get your point across when making music.

https://soundcloud.com/keysnkrates/sets/cura

A Sit Down With DJ Flosstradamus

06.05.2018


One of the most iconic names in trap music, Flosstradamus boast of a cult like following. After sparking the birth of a dance music movement following the release of their massive remix of Major Lazer’s ‘Original Don‘, the bass-heavy project has dropped some of the genre’s most memorable classics. Now solely led by Curtis Cameruci, Flosstradamus continues to move from strength to strength with his stellar production work and truly turnt live performances. With another promising year on the horizon, we caught up with Curt to talk about the future of trap music, his plans for 2018 and much more!

 

"For us, we’re always being influenced by whatever’s happening around us and we keep an open mind so it’s really important for us to keep an ear to the ground and also keep an open mind about all the music that comes our direction because it all ends up eventually sort of influencing what we wind up making."



 

So you have a couple hit EPs under your belt and your first full-length album is in progress. How will the new album compare with your previous tracks?

Well, we started developing tracks recently for rappers. We’re making demos for musicians to produce songs for their albums, and then Mikey Rocks from the Cool Kids passed on a track that we produced for him, so that ended up being “Total Recall,” which we put out as a preview for our fans. It was the first of the year, we were like “2012, here you go, have a free song.” It did well for us. It was a style that we’ve been developing, mixing Southern trash drums and a harder style, aggressive house samples.

When it comes to producing, are you guys on the same page or do you bump heads? Go with the flow and agree?

We both have different styles, so we will bring two separate things to the table. Usually he will start something and I’ll finish it, or vise-versa.

How would you describe the "trap" genre?

I would say it’s Southern hip-hop-influenced dance music. We take a lot of the elements of big house music, big club music, and we take a lot of influence from southern hip-hop music, combine those together, give it a little shake, and that’s what it is.

In what ways do you think your sound and look has changed over the course of Flosstradamus, if at all?

We went from being two DJs using four turntables and two mixers, rocking small clubs playing sets of other peoples music, to an act who has found their own original sound. The funny thing is our original sound is a production version of our DJ sets. Ever since 2005 when we started, we were always mixing electronic music, and southern rap. Now we do the same thing, only when we play our live sets, we’re playing mostly our own music off Ableton, and we’re doing it to 5000 people instead of 50… and we’re doing it in hoodies!

Do you have any pre-show food rituals or habits?

We have learned the hard way over the years not to go so heavy with the pre-show meal. We try to keep it light—like with sushi, salad, vermicelli. Or else we will be snoozing on stage.

Any pros and cons of working as a DJ duo versus being independent artists?

The pros are that we get to inspire each other and push each other and influence each other. Like he’ll send me some new music, almost a new genre or something, and it totally blows my mind, and then we’ll incorporate it into what we’re doing. But the cons are that as DJs you can get stuck in your own head and you want this this way, like, “This is the way it is,” and you have to think about someone else. At the end of the day, I might want to play “Cotton-Eyed Joe” in a set, and he probably doesn’t want to play “Cotton-Eyed Joe,” and I’ll leave it out of the set for that.

Flosstradamus continues to remain as one of the most defining names within the trap music game. How would you like describe your decade long journey within the industry that has seen trap music become one of dance music’s most loved genres?

I`m very fortunate to be doing what I love for a living! I have always loved hip hop and dance music. I`m happy to be able to combine both of them and experiment with new sounds and vibes.

What do you plan accomplish in 2018? Any upcoming projects on the horizon?

I’m starting off the new year releasing a new song every month. My first one is a song called 2 Much featuring 24 hrs.

https://soundcloud.com/flosstradamus/mvp-feat-smokepurpp

A Sit Down With DJ Danny Howard

06.05.2018


Danny Howard has been a household name for dance lovers for the past three years, starting his rocket to fame on the white isle where he won the BBC Radio 1 Superstar DJ competition and soon after secured himself a slot on Radio 1 with ‘Dance Anthems with Danny Howard’. At an admirable 26 years old, it’s fair to say that Danny’s done pretty well for himself.

 

"A fast pace, something that you enjoy and know, but the key word is energy – if there’s energy in the music that will come through into your running."



 

How has your sound progressed in the last 3 years?

I’d like to give you a definitive answer on that, but I can’t. My sound is just so all over the place – and not in a way that I don’t know what I’m doing, or I can’t make my mind up, it’s because I think it’s important for me as a broadcaster to try and represent different areas of dance music where I can. In my club sets it’s still more the big-room house side of things, but on the radio I can play anything from drum’n’bass to house to deep house to big room to Electro… If it’s good music and it’s got the key ingredient which is energy, then I’ll play it!

What is it about dance music that is so special? Why are you so passionate about it?

I think because so many sub genres fall under the umbrella, you can connect with so many different types of people, so many different tastes. It’s the only genre that can bring so many different types of people together. Alone it can make you feel good. At a party it can set the atmosphere off.

Do you listen to music while you run?

Always. I can’t exercise without listening to music. A lot of my friends at university did research into whether music enhances performance, and I don’t care what the results were on that because in my case it does. If you’ve got a good mix on, or a song that you like, it helps you run or push yourself that little bit further.

Apart from the mighty Judge Jules – which DJ’s have inspired you in the past and would you most like to perform with?

Jules is a legend and a true pioneer of dance music. He’s the perfect example of how to play the ‘game’ in the DJ world as it’s a tough industry to be successful in so if I have a career like him, I will be very happy! Aside from Jules, my hero is Erick Morillo. Another legend and I’ve never seen anyone work a dance floor like this guy! Simply unbelievable.

You have played numerous venues around the island. Do you have a favourite? Also, do you find you have to vary your style depending on which venue you play?


Great question and yes I do! Pacha I play straight up house, little bit of tech, little bit of deep and just stuff with great groove. At Cream, Amnesia, I treat it a bit more like a festival set so theirs definitely a lot of ‘bigger’ moments and theirs no greater feeling of making that legendary terrace go crazy. I think it’s the perfect combination for me playing the two venues and it tests my versatility as a DJ…


What do you like to do in Ibiza other than DJing? Do you have a favourite place/beach/restaurant?

Café Mambo has to be one of my favourite spots – their chicken strips are out of this world.  Give them a try! Also I really like KM5 and Bambuddha Grove to eat or if you’re in San Antonio, give ‘Tapas’ a try. If you get the opportunity, get across to Formentera… the best beaches I’ve ever seen in the world!

What’s the best thing about Ibiza?

That’s easy – the music and DJs.  But there’s so much more – the amazing food, beaches, and the culture you ought to immerse yourself in when you visit. Then there’s hiring a boat for the day, or sitting at Café Mambo with a bite to eat as the sun sets and a DJ plays behind you. It’s a really special part of the world.

What`s the best advice you could give to student who want to become DJs?

The advice I’d give is to work hard, take opportunities because you never know what will happen – the only reason I entered that competition was because my friends and family heard the advertisement and told me to enter. You never know.

And if your life hadn’t taken you down the music path, where do you think you’d be today?

I’d always planned to be a sports psychologist because that’s what I studied at university. My original plan was to be working with the athletes at the 2012 Olympics, but when 2012 finally arrived I was actually working at Radio 1! I don’t think anyone could have guessed that, least of all me!

https://soundcloud.com/dannyhowarddj/danny-howard-havwest

A Sit Down With DJ Ricardo Villalobos

20.05.2018


Ricardo Villalobos is a Chilean DJ and producer. He is well known for his work in the Minimal Techno and Microhouse genres, and is one of the most significant figures in today's minimal techno scene. Though he loved music, he could never see himself as a musician. In the late eighties he began to make electronic music. From a very young age he has been a a big fan of Depeche Mode, even following their tours around Europe to listen to them.

 

"People playing records have to be DJs their whole life."



 

You've been making music for over ten years...


More like twenty years I think. My first record that came out was 15 years ago.


How do you manage to keep your music so organic when a lot of electronic music is so mathematical and precise?


First of all, one of the disadvantages of electronic music is that it sounds not organic. Electronic music is a sound expression that is very limited compared to acoustic music. Compared to a recording of sound and space, sound of a room, the sound of nature, the sound of a trumpet or a cello or whatever. The whole frequency, the spectrum is more developed, much nicer and touches you more than electronic music. Electronic music in itself only has a chance to survive if it is going to have a marriage with acoustic music. Sound design came to an end two three years ago with the last record of Autechre. You see that all the companies at the moment who were doing incredible synthesizers before are now selling piano sounds and trumpet programs and string programs. So sound design came to an end and now the acoustic thing has become more important. This all has to do with the approach of trying to put something organic inside electronic music and make it danceable but in an organic way. 


Would you say innocence is important for you?


Yeah, I think for me, since I started until now, nothing changed, really. I have the same innocence approaching music, because for me, music is something; you collect sensations, emotional reactions to the music. And it has nothing to do with an intellectual process with thinking in itself. It’s a language, like something is talking to you and approaching you, and in one moment you have an emotional reaction to that. And when you’re listening to some other music, this emotional remembrance is coming back.Yeah, we had like this. My parents were absolutely up for it, for letting me make parties in the basement, so we had really amazing people, like Carl Craig was 22 years old, playing for 12 hours on his first ecstasy. No, it was not his first ecstasy, but he’s a calm guy, really. But this moment, it was amazing. We had so much fun, but we still have so much fun. We still have wonderful situations. We still have the friends after it, since 20 years, we still like having them play, still doing it since 20 years. And it’s getting better and better. The more music we have collected, experienced, the better the surprise it is to listen to it, after 15 years, “Yeah! I know this record,” and you are sitting all together listening to this record, it’s amazing. And this is what’s still happening. And as long as you are still playing the music you like when you are doing it, then you can’t go wrong. Going on, and it doesn’t matter if it’s two hours or three hours or five or 20 hours playing.


In terms of jazz, since I believe you’re a fan, do you look at what you’re doing from the perspective of spatial imaging or the endurance of the player and longevity of the track more?

I appreciate especially the spaces and recordings with microphones. And what I try to do with electronic music is try to sound as good and free and as spacey as an acoustic recording. This is the big reference for me, but it’s nearly impossible. Because the electronic frequencies are more defined and the rooms, you have to create rooms with spaces and reverbs. All the other effects you can use as something abstract, but the reverbs… Humans are experts in reverbs, it is the one thing we are really experts in; we know if we’re in a kitchen, an elevator, a big hall. Microphone recording lets in this space where the sound was recorded, but with electronic music, it is an effect that is light years behind. 

We've heard you say before that you don't like making albums, that you much prefer making singles.


For sure. The thing is an album is pressed into a form, the form of 80 minutes, the form of having different kinds of music in order to show all the kinds of music that you like. So you have to put everything inside the album and show a little bit of your musical side, your softer side and your harder side. All these stupid things are the expectations of people about any album. My concept is really doing timeless music for the dancefloor. For this situation where you go to a hospital for mad people hospital perhaps. You go inside the club and you forget about time, you forget the name of your father, where you live and whatever. I make music for this situation even if the people are taking drugs or not.


What is your reference for success? How do you judge when you’ve succeeded in these goals?

I don’t have any references. I am fighting with the problem that if I bring out an album everyone is comparing it, measuring the success with it. But if to be not successful means you are not having to do the things that get you interviewed in the magazines maybe I don’t want the success. The problem is we have to deal with the thing of success and it’s lot of bad sides, the side of hype. The hype is an enemy for art, doing what you really want, which is playing music and not talking to millions of people who want to have a little bit of your time because they want a little photo or conversation or whatever, and it really distracts you from what you really want to do–which is to play a nice party with a nice soundsystem, which is the only reason I am doing what I am doing. That’s the problem you have to deal with, all the things that have nothing to do with the music.

https://soundcloud.com/ricardo-villalobos-off/envoy-seawall-ricardo

Police Say ‘No Criminal Suspicion’ in Avicii’s Death

23.04.2018


Artist, DJ, and producer Tim Bergling, a.k.a. Avicii, died Friday afternoon in Oman, according to a statement from his rep. According to multiple media reports, sources within the Oman police department have said they have “no criminal suspicion” in the Friday death of famous Swedish DJ.

Swedish superstar gone


Avicii, whose real name was Tim Bergling, died Friday at a resort in Muscat, Oman of undisclosed causes at the age of 28. Two post-mortem examinations have been conducted, with authorities ruling out foul play.

One of the most popular and successful electronic dance-music artists of all time — he scored a No. 4 hit on the Billboard 200 in 2013 with “Wake Me Up” and regularly appeared in the Top 5 of Forbes’ “Highest-Paid DJs” lists — he retired from live performing in 2016 at the peak of his success, citing health reasons.





He had suffered from health problems for several years, including acute pancreatitis, exacerbated by excessive drinking. That make him retire from performing two years ago (in 2017) to take a break from touring and the exhausting lifestyle that comes with it. He had his gallbladder and appendix removed in 2014 but said he had quit drinking at the time.

He said at the time: "I'm still traumatized. But I'm sure I will again.
Avicii told Time in 2013 that the illness was caused by excessive drinking.

"Yeah I was drinking way too much, partying in general way too much," he said. "Then I got a pancreatitis attack [at 21], which is very rare. So that forced me to do a 180 and stop drinking."

He don't give up music


After his retirement, DJ explained in a 2017 posting on his site that he had no intention of giving up music completely, writing "We all reach a point in our lives and careers where we understand what matters the most to us."

Avicii returned to studio work with gusto, releasing an EP last fall called “Avici” that he said was the first third of his third studio album, and his label chief,Geffen Records’ Neil Jacobsen, told Variety Friday that the artist was hard at work on new material.

“We were working on it and it was his best music in years, honestly,” Jacobsen said. “And I know because I [A&R’d] all of his albums. He was so inspired. He was so psyched. We had done a month of grinder sessions. We had to actually put end times on the sessions because Tim would just work for 16 hours straight, which was his nature. You had to pull him out. Like, “Tim, come on. Go to bed. Get some rest.” … It’s just a tragedy. We have this incredible, magical music.”

Jacobsen declined to provide further details about the recordings, and said he would sit down with Avicii’s family in the coming weeks to “try and do what we think Tim would want us to do.”

Swedish fans hold memorial


Fans gathered in Stockholm on Saturday to pay tribute to the 28-year-old Swedish superstar. They danced, played his music and hugged.

Avicii thrilled clubgoers with his catchy hits, flashing lights and soulful collaborations. He was one of the world's most successful DJs and a big name in the musical genre known as EDM, or electronic dance music.

EDM community mourns


After the news broke of his death Friday afternoon, musicians mourned his death on social media, sharing messages of shock and grief.


"Devastating news about Avicii, a beautiful soul, passionate and extremely talented with so much more to do. My heart goes out to his family. God bless you Tim," wrote Calvin Harris, while Marshmello shared, "At a loss for words...Rest easy brother."


"My sincerest and most heartfelt condolences to the friends, fans and families of @Avicii," Deadmau5 tweeted. "Banter aside, nobody can deny what he has accomplished and done for modern dance music and I'm very proud of him."


 

https://twitter.com/steveaoki/status/987406550166900742?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.usatoday.com%2Fstory%2Flife%2Fpeople%2F2018%2F04%2F20%2Favicii-28-found-found-dead-oman-tim-bergling%2F536618002%2F&tfw_creator=usatoday&tfw_site=usatoday

https://twitter.com/CalvinHarris/status/987385354175959041?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.usatoday.com%2Fstory%2Flife%2Fpeople%2F2018%2F04%2F20%2Favicii-28-found-found-dead-oman-tim-bergling%2F536618002%2F&tfw_creator=usatoday&tfw_site=usatoday

https://twitter.com/MartinGarrix/status/987405458372726784

A Sit Down With DJ Jochen Miller

29.04.2018


Netherlands-born, Jochen Miller, started his career at an early age. DJing was one of his hobbies as a teen, playing under the alias “DJ Jochen”. Now, many years later, his name, which he started using as a replacement alias in 2003, is known worldwide. Throughout his career, he’s played at massive festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival, Ultra Music Festival, and Tomorrowland and many club events.

 

"Music is and has always been my passion, so to start producing my own music was a very natural step for me."




Working closely with Armada Music over the years, what is your favorite thing about working with that label?

The enthusiasm of my label manager Onno is very inspiring and has pushed me even further as an artist.

In the past few years the festival circuit has totally exploded, as has the popularity of EDM and other genres of electronic music. Can you tell me a little bit about how you think that’s affected the scene and the music being made?

Yeah, in the US, it's blowing up so fast. There are so many different styles. It's so big. Like trance is still big and i think it's coming up again. There was never a big hype around trance, but it's still coming back right now very big. EDM is still up there. Deep house is taking over right now as well. There are so many different styles of music and I think for everyone who likes EDM and these different genres, everyone’s got a great festival nowadays and I think that's a really good thing.

Your latest release "Rotunda" was produced with Markus Schulz. What is it like working with him? 

Markus and I met up in Miami this year at the WMC. We had been really appreciative of each other’s work and were thrilled that we were able to create some time in our schedules to hit the studio together. We got into a great flow immediately and the result of that you've heard! It was great fun working with Markus, as he's not only really professional but also just a great guy to be around!

What typically inspires you whilst producing?

That's totally different every day, one time it's just the fact that the sun is shining, the other time a beautiful sound, then my daughter, my wife or a movie...

As a well-known international producer, I wonder what made you decide to become a music producer. What were your motives back then?


Well, I’ve been a DJ for as long as I can remember, started at a very young age. But even back then, I was always editing the tracks I played, a little shorter here, an extra vocal, a little more bass there… So at a certain point I felt the urge to actually start making music myself, to try to produce the tracks I would want to be the highlight in my sets.



How often do you take days off from work? What do you usually do in your days off?


I have no time for rest at the moment. I just got back from a tour in Canada. Six gigs in four days, six flights, and five night in the hotel rooms. I only went back home for one day, then I am here. The week before I was even in USA. I’m so busy making an album too. I have to arrive home next Tuesday at 6 o’clock in the morning, continued heading to the studio at 7 AM. Then at 8 o’clock, I will arrive at the studio. The studio where I’m working in right now is near the Schipol airport. That’s the reason I go directly from the plane to the studio. But I love what I am doing. For me, it’s the best job in the world. I’m tired, but I love what I’m doing. A lot of my energy come from the crowd all the time.

If you could only listen to three songs for the rest of your life, which three would you choose?

Well. There has to be a Coldplay song in that list, as I’m a huge fan. If I had to choose, I think ‘Adventure of a Lifetime’ is my favorite. Then there’s a Dutch song by Marco Borsato called ‘Dochters,’ which is about the relationship between a dad and his daughter, a very beautiful song that gets me every time I hear it, because it’s so recognizable for me being the father of a girl. And of course I’d like to hear at least one of my own songs, maybe ‘Rotunda’ or ‘Lost Connection.’

What is the best part of life as a DJ?

To be able to be involved in music all day each day, in every aspect of it. Whether it’s producing my own music, editing other artist’s music or playing both, I just love it all. And it never ceases to amaze me that wherever in the world you go, no matter what culture or religion, music is the language we all understand.

What is the best and worst advice you’ve been given throughout your career?

The best advice I've been given is to stay my own course no matter what. I'm very ambitious, but I cannot play or produce a certain style of music just because it's hot at that moment. Of course my style in music may have changed slightly over the years, but that's just my taste evolving. Can't remember the worst, when given unwanted and bad advice, it goes in one ear and out the other. I don't have time to contemplate on that either, there's tracks to be made and parties to attend.

https://soundcloud.com/highcontrastrecordings/jochen-miller-evan-kendricks-eternally

A Sit Down With DJ Hook N Sling

17.05.2018


Sydney-born DJ and producer Hook N Sling, aka Anthony Maniscalco is recognized as one of the most exciting genre-blending house producers to come on the scene in recent years, a title which has lead him to places most only dream about.

 

"I don’t wanna be some chair or some shit. I wanna be like in the thick of things, I wanna see what`s going on."



 

 

Throughout your career you’ve garnered an impressive list of remixes for the likes of Calvin Harris, Fedde Le Grand, Miike Snow, NERVO, Wolfgang Gartner, and more. Is there a specific remix you enjoyed making the most and are there any records that you plan on remixing in the future? 

The one I enjoyed the most, that’s a hard question, but the one I’m probably the happiest with was the one I did for an Australia band called Miami Horror. Also the mix I did for the NERVO girls which was of ‘We’re All No One’.  That kind of put us in the studio together, every now and then there is something I’m really proud of. For the time being I have no plans to remix anything in the future, I’m doing all original music at the moment.

You have a new track out, what was the inspiration and process behind ‘Arms Around Me’?


I didn’t write the vocals to be honest with you, it was Digital Farm Animals who I collaborated it.  Hearing the vocals, I just put my own twist on it. It was around the time I was working on ‘Love On Me’, sent it to Galantis and there’s where it all took off. ‘Arms Around Me’ was kind of the same process except this came about as more of a collaboration. So, I suppose I wanted to give it a feel good, festival vibe. That`s a hard one, but i like Progressive / Melodic  on the heavy side… I’m also not afraid to mix up tempos and genres.





Do you prefer working in the studio or doing live shows?

At the moment I really enjoy being in the studio. I’m working on these new songs I’m really happy with and I’m excited. I feel like I’m in a place right now where I’m onto something new that I really like. Kind of finishing records a lot quicker, I’ve got a clearer vision for my music right now. There have been times in the last couple of years where my head has been too cloudy and I don’t know how to finish a record, I don’t know what I want it to sound like. “Is it good enough? Is it too deep? Is it too loud?” It fucks up your radar… like a self-analytical kind of radar. The thing is, that’s the worst thing you can be when you’re a musician– you can never make the right decision, because if you do make the right decision, you think you haven’t. It’s really important to be confident in what you’re making.


When collaborating with more than one person, like the Galantis duo, how does that impact the production process? Is it more or less difficult having multiple cooks in the kitchen?

To be honest, I think it makes it easier. It depends on the personalities involved. Like if you’re a very controlling kind of person, and you send over your parts to the other collaborator, and you’re like, “By the way, don’t touch this, don’t touch that, don’t touch that…” if that’s the kind of person you are, then you’re never going to be a good collaborator. I remember talking to Christian on the phone about this record, and he was like “I think this is the best way to do this,” and my response to him was like, “Do what you think sounds good. I totally trust what you want to do.” Then obviously there are a few changes right at the end like back and forth, coming together on the final version, but you just have to trust the other person otherwise you just do it yourself.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I really want to check out more of Europe. I have not done much of Europe yet, I would really like to do Ibiza again. I haven’t been there in a while and I would just want to experience that again. I would also really like to play in Japan, I am curious to see what the scene is like out there. Plus I can go snowboarding! It’s like a paid holiday.

How do the festival and club scenes differ in the States compared to Australia?

The festivals are quite similar, but when it comes to clubbing there’s a different sound happening for sure. You’ve heard of the Melbourne Bound sound? Guys like What So Not, Flume, Peking Duck – they’re pushing a new sound that’s really amazing. It’s steppy, bass music with broken beats. The production is quite pitch, and you sometimes have the warped vocals. What So Not just did the Mothership Tour with Skrillex, so that sound is starting to cross over here as well.

What do you predict the next big trend in dance music is going to be?

I don’t know. Making these predictions, I could say like jam tempo or deep house is going to be the next big thing but no one really knows until some of these producers take inspiration from these new movements that are coming through and they create a new sound; because the inspiration is obviously coming from one of these new movements that are coming through, like house music or even bass music, and I think once that funnels into a big room sound, which is the kind of stuff I play, then what is going to be up next…I have a feeling it’s going to be a very mix mashed kind of sound. Like it’s not going to be a progressive sound or it’s not going to be a deep sound because we’re at a stage now where I think every one is taking a lot of inspiration from a lot of the genres.

https://soundcloud.com/hooknsling/shoot-down-the-sun

A Sit Down With DJ Deniz Koyu

27.04.2018


German DJ Deniz Koyu has established himself as one of dance music’s go-to producers, a he cites Fedde Le Grand, Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell, Avicii and more as some of his biggest fans. Musically-minded since he was five years of age, Deniz has constantly been immersing himself in the world of DJ’ing and producing, pumping out high quality releases through acclaimed labels like Refune, Axtone, and Flamingo Records.

 

"Music wise, I think my music is getting more energetic, and you spend so much time in the studio and you just evolve with your production techniques, so everything is getting better."



 

You’ve definitely hit world stage at the right time with the EDM surge, which you’re no doubt a part of. How does it feel to see dance music blow up in such a big way?

It's awesome to see the huge commercial success of dance music as a worldwide phenomenon right now. But to be honest I totally wouldn't care if that wasn't the case and dance music would not be mass compatible, not crossover into radio, and remain in the clubs only. I make this music 'cos I truly love it, not for the reason of commercial success in that sense.

Most DJs end up defining themselves by a signature sound, but your songs are all very unique. Is the variety a conscious decision?

Well in the beginning when I did tracks like Tung and Bong I started with a very specific signature sound that everyone immediately labeled the “Deniz Koyu sound”. However I didn’t want to be reduced to only this one sound, so I took it from there and kept developing my sound and style. That keeps it a lot more interesting and I get the chance to show people my wide range of production skills. What matters to me is that I only create music that I personally feel and enjoy, and that is how you end up with a signature sound that is more of a musical fingerprint rather than just one synth patch. When you listen to a track like “To The Sun”, it’s musically much more complex and melodic than my older work, but my fingerprint is still all on the groovy bassline, the beat and the sonic character in terms of mixing and mastering, which I do all by myself. And since I do everything by myself from the empty project until the master file, there’s no way to get rid of your fingerprint whether you want it or not.

I’ve heard through the grapevine that Tiesto is a fan of both of your music. He said that Danny was up and coming and he also plays Deniz’s music at his shows. What’s that like? 

It’s like one of my dreams coming true. It’s one of the biggest goals of a DJ: getting respect from Tiesto, or someone like him. That’s amazing. It’s one of the biggest goals.

Do you find you get noticed a lot when you walk down the streets here?

Especially during Miami Music Week. There’s always someone who recognizes you. There’s a lot of fans down here and I’ll often get stopped. It’s cool, though.
We found out that piano was the first music instrument that you played. Can you still play it?


A bit, though I’ve forgotten most things. I learnt piano when I was a kid, took lessons for about 4-5 years. Today, I think I wouldn’t be able to play classical piece of piano. But what’s important for music production is that you know how to grab the chords and how you move your fingers on your keyboards. That’s how you can compose your music. But again, I think It would only take me a short amount of time to learn it again and to play some classics.

Who were your big DJ influences?

To be honest, I never had a personal superhero DJ who I wanted to be like. I always listened to many artists from different genres including indie/electro pop, house, rock, some trance, and a lot of techno, so I somehow got inspired by the sum of these. In terms of DJ live performance it would be guys like Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox, Erick Morillo or Erol Alkan.

Where’s your favourite place on earth and why?

That is a tough question as there are so many great places on earth, but one of my favourites is Rio De Janeiro. It's a paradise on earth and really beautiful. If I had time for vacation now that would be my first choice.

So, what’s the craziest show you’ve played and what happened? 

This is always a tough question. I can never pick out one favorite show. I can only say my favorite ones in 2012. Those for me were Ultra Music Festival, the Cosmic Opera show with Axwell in New York was a really good one, then one show I did in Ushuaia was really good. Then I played 3 Sensations. All of them were amazing, especially one I played in Istanbul in Turkey, which is my home country. I came there for my first time to play, plus I played back to back with Fedde la Grand, so it was double the excitement. Then, I had a couple of really great shows at the end of the year. I play on New Year’s Eve with Dada Life in New York, in Brooklyn, in a warehouse to 8,000 people. It was really sick. Just the night before that I played in Chicago, and I think that show maybe was my favorite show of 2012. I played with Porter Robinson and Hardwell at the Congress Theatre. I think this was my favorite.

If you could talk to yourself at age 18 what advice would you give yourself?

The number one advice that I would give to myself is to be careful with what kind of contracts you sign. When I was 18 years old I signed a couple of really shitty contracts just because I didn’t know what I was doing and there was some bad stuff in there. I had to get out which was a bit tricky but in the end I figured out that it would be smart to read all of it and maybe change the contract a little bit.

https://soundcloud.com/sickindividuals/ultra2018

A Sit Down With DJ Sick Individuals

23.04.2018


Sick Individuals, are the next generation leading figures in the scene getting support from the king of EDM, Hardwell. Rinze Hofstee and Joep Smeele work together as Sick Individuals and starting with “I AM” and “Blueprint”, which hit No.1 in the chart, are the new generation’s respected duo in the scene. They’ve been enrolled in big festivals around the world such as Tomorrowland, Ultra, Mysteryland, Sensation, Creamfields and check below the exclusive interview with the upcoming stars.

 

 

"We love telling a story in our music, while making it very energetic."



 

 

As a DJ, you have not stopped mixing all over the world. What are your favorite destinations so far?


It is a difficult question because we had the chance to discover many destinations. Each place has a different vibe. The public in the United States loves the breaks and our musical identity, including our personal Edits. When they like, they let you know directly, it's a big dose of adrenaline. India provides totally different sensations, people smile all the time, with a positive vibe and incredible energy. Each destination has its charm, just as each festival, each club, gives you different sensations. That's the charm of the big tours, by the way.

How do you get the inspiration from when producing music? 


Travelling the world helps a lot! But also listening to other genres or being inspired thru friends and family. 


It seems like you guys do a lot of remixes, as well as your own beats. Which do you prefer to produce?

The combination of the two makes it exiting. Sometimes it is easier when you start from scratch with your own productions. We like to record vocals, instruments and to create sounds out of nothing that are unique. Sometimes the parts of a remix give us inspiration and creative impulses so we can work faster. We love to work with vocals that inspire us to create new harmonies and to bring something different then the original. If you’re not listening to the lyrics you should still be able to feel what the singer is meaning, then you’ve got something we like to work with.

What has been the craziest thing you have witnessed in your career, either on the road or in the studio, by another producer or fan? 

Well there are a lot of things we’ve witnessed, but a recent one is this: We were headlining on a German Festival and having a good time, then all of a sudden the USB stick that was formatted twice before because of problems decided to just stop and fucked up the CDJ. The music stopped and we couldn’t get it running – fatal error on all linked decks. Our camera guy has it on video, and the look on Ray’s face is priceless. We were happy to have a backup USB with a good track to get the party going again, but we’re never gonna use that USB again!

What was the best and the worst gig you ever played and what was the funniest thing ever occurred during any of your performances?


Our worst gig? Well… there was a time when we played on a moving train for farmers heading to Austria. It was a “wrong booking” where the audience was expecting country music…you do the math! Two passengers called our music ‘gay’ and despite a week of preparation from us, it was “embarrassing”. The crazy thing was that the train was going so fast that you had to hold yourself while you were playing. The decks were shaking, so it made it really hard to beat match. It was really terrible. I guess that story also matches the funniest gig ever. Back then we couldn’t laugh about it, but we find it hilarious now.


Do you guys plan on branching out into different genres, like besides progressive house?

We are working on a lot of different things but we are not going to make trap, or hip-hop. Maybe people would say it’s a different genre but for us it’s just a little slower, or the break down is different and not so club-y and the mix is a little warm.

What kind of hobbies do you guys have in your free time?

We don’t have that much free time. When we aren’t working, we are sleeping!
What is the best trait that separates S.I. from other DJ/Producers?


We love to be creative, try to be different not for the sake of being different but because it keeps things fresh and exciting. We love to make music, but we just can’t make tracks that sound almost the same. Of course we use some of the same elements but after a while we really wan’t to do something new. That’s why our music is versatile.

Tell us about your musical background.  Did either of you play any instruments or produce other types of music before you got into house music production?

Back in the day Ray was into hip-hop beats, and Jim was a real trance fanatic.  Together we found our ‘Sick’ sound a couple of years ago and we are still trying to perfect it.  We’re always aiming for the highest quality! We both play piano and are synth-addicts.  Ray is a vocalist and guitar player as well. You can hear him in some of our tracks! His mother was actually a soprano in classical music.

What are your plans for the 2018? Any new surprises?

So we have a big collaboration coming with Hardwell in early 2018, that’s going to be a big one for us and it’s always a pleasure working with Hardwell in any capacity. We dropped the track during his Revealed Recordings party during ADE and the whole place erupted, so we’ve got a really good feeling about it, for sure. We’ve got a lot more new music coming, of course, some big tour dates coming up and as we said previously, we’ll be taking the This Is SICK concept out to our shows and really upping the level when it comes to what we do on the road with the visuals as well as the music. Essentially we’ll keep doing what we’ve always done, and that’s to make the new year even bigger and better than the one before!

https://soundcloud.com/sickindividuals/ultra2018

A Sit Down With DJ Underworld

29.04.2018


It’s been 20 years since the future that legendary electronic group Underworld faced was shining its brightest. The long journey of Karl Hyde and Rick Smith began in the early ’80s, with the pair achieving minor success in the new-wave band Freur. Then, with a pared-down lineup and a new name, the duo went on to have an abortive late-’80s run playing synth-rock as Underworld.

 

 "I knew if I tried drugs they’d take me so far over the edge I might never be able to come back."



 

Did you guys get into the club culture at all, or did you feel like you were already misplaced from it by the time you got there?

Well, when we were making that second record, we went to see Adrian Sherwood. And it blew us away, mostly because of what Adrian did with the sound system… you know, turning off the highs and the mids and the lows, and kind of playing with the sound. He was using the sound system like an instrument. Shortly after that, we were taken to our first rave, and that completely sealed it for us. Because there we were seeing an audience that wasn’t looking at the stage. There were no lights on the DJ, none at all, they were all on the audience. The audience was the main act. And then in other rooms, there were bumper-car rides, and different videos being played… it was like the ultimate Pink Floyd gig. And it just felt like we were completely on one side of it. I wanted to be part of it.

What songs are you excited to play live?

All of them. I really am because they all pose very interesting questions, they all demand very different headspaces. So going out and playing any track from this record is going to be a challenge and it’s going to be a challenge in terms of playing in a different headspace and I like that.

Since the band is quite a bit different now, did you consider changing the name?

Yeah, a few people said that, but we couldn’t think why. Because there was nothing wrong with the name and we certainly weren’t ashamed of our past. There’s no reason to disassociate ourselves from the work that we’d done. Besides that, logically there were a lot of people what knew about us and we’d spent a long time communicating with them. So it seemed logical to keep the name.

Do you have an idea of where this new sound of Underworld fits into the electronic dance music world or you don’t care?

No, I don’t think about it because that’s baggage to think about that. What was very prevalent in Underworld’s mentality in those early days, dubnobass and Second Toughest, whenever somebody put a label on us we moved somewhere else and that felt right. Then we made “Born Slippy” and a lot of people said, “All you need to do now is write a bunch more ‘Born Slippy’s’ and you’ll be made for life.” And we just kind of looked at them and went, “We’re just going to do something else if you don’t mind.” What we have is a journey into the unknown, I have no idea where this is going and that is what makes me want to be in Underworld.

What was the story with your live painting?

Well, the guy who helped me put it together was John Warwicker from Tomato. Rick and I have worked with him over the past 30 years.

What's your new label and what's the idea behind that?


I started a project that wasn't techno, it was more my 'whatever goes' side. It's a band called The White Lamp, which is me and vocalist Pete Josef. The first track came out on Futureboogie and I didn't put my name to it. We've hit nearly 2 million YouTube hits now, including the Ron Basejam remix. Our second release was on Sonar Kollektiv and again nobody knew it was us. I just wanted to put some stuff out without my name and see how it went and it did really well. Our third release came out on Hotflush, Scuba's label. We put it out on some really cool labels to do the groundwork, get the name out there, but the fourth single, which is ready to go, is going to be on a White Lamp label. We have a release early in 2017, Ron Basejam's done a mix for it again and Maxxi Soundsystem.


In concert, you always have a video camera with which you project the audience onto the stage. What happens with that video? Do you save it? I heard you’re having a contest where fans can submit clips that could be played in their cities.

We’re still talking about how it. I didn’t know that information was out. So, well done! I like being pushed. Are you living in my garden shed? Yes, we’re planning on using fan-made videos during the show. We’ve been putting some backstage footage online as well, everything from audience shots to some obscure stuff, which we wonder about putting out. Occasionally, you get an exhibitionist, so you have to cut away. Unless it’s an exhibitionist the audience wants to see more of.

Do you listen to music when making art?

No, I can’t. It would distract me. I listen to talk and sports radio a lot instead.

https://soundcloud.com/underworld/sets/beaucoup-fish-2017-reissue

A Sit Down With DJ Little Louie Vega

06.05.2018


A godfather of global dance music, Louie Vega has painted an award-winning career from a palette mixed with everything from salsa and afro-beat to jazz, hip-hop and soul. What distinguishes the Grammy winner and 4-time nominee as one of the best living house music deejays is his ability to evolve alongside the times, distill the current musical landscape through his unique taste and put his own timeless spin on it.

 

"Dedicated is what we are. The people do this to us – all over the world there are many who seek this music and come to get enlightened through the DJ."



 

About your Djing… What trax have been tearing it up for you in club-land?


Two tracks tearing up on the dancefloor are:

1) “Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard On You” (Louie Vega Remix) 
2) “Dance” (Dance Ritual Mix) 3 Winans Brothers & The Clark Sisters 
see I play lots of music as well not released for a few months. These are coming out in April and may 2015 look out for them, they are monster songs / tracks.

Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece or album that's particularly dear to you, please? Where do ideas come from, what do you start with and how do you go about shaping these ideas?

When I work on an album I usually start with tracks I’ve created to give it a base, a cluster of grooves. I then start working with lyricists to get the first few songs. then I choose the artist. Sometimes the artist is already on board and I may have something in mind for them, or I will speak to them and see what they want to talk about. If I’m working with another lyricist I will convey that to the lyricist along with my ideas. Or in some cases the artist writes lyrics so it can work that that way as well. I’ll come with a track and hand over to the artist then they will either feel the track or may want more and I will go back in and add more to compliment what the artist wanted, then they will start with lyrics. I will check the first phase of lyrics starting with the title. It has to hit me regarding the title, then if we are good move on and let's get the lyrics in place. I may have melody on a piano, or Rhodes already which guides the lyricist to follow my melody, or the lyricist / artist may have a melody already then I will compliment it later in my production. That’s just a few of many ways it can come about.

Where do you continue to seek musical inspiration?

My inspiration comes from many places all over the world, especially in New York. It can be a performance from an artist, my record collection, a night at Roots, even hanging out with family and friends. My mind is always moving with many musical ideas and collaborations that come to mind.

Tell us about your studio, please. What were criteria when setting it up and how does this environment influence the creative process? How important, relatively speaking, are factors like mood, ergonomics, haptics and technology for you?

My studio is called Daddy’s Workshop, in New Yersey. It is located in the lower part of my home.
Love working there, the mood is magic, there are lots of vinyl records everywhere in cubes, and there are pictures of many I’ve worked with over the years. There is a DJ set-up on one side of the room, which resembles that of one of the NYC super clubs back in the day, and there is a studio set-up on the other side. They are face to face with each other. from the scent of the room to the lighting the mood is just perfect for making music, and when anyone comes over, the feeling is just right for them to perform at best. Everyone who has been there loves it and magical recording sessions have happened for over 10 years.

If we could go back to one record in your history and relive that process which would it be?

The Nuyorican Soul project. Especially the photoshoot for the album. Everyone was in a New York restaurant, hanging out just having fun, getting to know one another since at sessions we mostly worked with the icons separately. All the artists on the Nuyorican Soul project in the same room, photographer Dah Len working his magic to create those historical pictures – it summed up what Kenny and I loved to do: bring together lots of talent, get the best out of them and create art! That’s when we realised what we had done: not just made a monumental album, but unified musical forces. I’m proud to say I’ve achieved that with ‘Starring... XXVIII’ too.

Tell us about Vega Records. What artists are you currently producing and are excited about?

Vega Records is developing nicely. We have a new album out now by Luisito Quintero titled Percussion Maddness. Anane just finished recording her new album Selections with her new single “Walking on Thin Ice” released next month. And Mr. V’s new album Welcome Home will be released this fall, which we licensed to Defected Records. His first single will be “Da Bump”. A video is being produced as we speak. Singles from all artists above will be released this coming fall and winter.

Have you been touring more than usual?

With the DJing thing being so huge now, I’m playing a lot in so many places. But it’s very important to get inspiration from all these different energies you get in different countries. This album is very multicultural—African, Latin, jazz and soul—and it’s wonderful to travel to all these places, because it feeds into the music.

You're still a very busy man.

Yes, I do DJ. I do a lot of DJ gigs and I also have a band. It's called E.O.L. Soulfrito and I have a bigger band called Elements of Life. With E.O.L. Soulfrito, we actually just came back from Cuba. We played at the jazz festival on January 18 in a beautiful theater, and it was for the Two Beats, One Soul project. It's a new project, an album that I'm on and a documentary that's coming out by Vivian Chew and Ray Chew. A lot of great artists are on this project; there's Eric Benét, Sergio George, Jean Rodriguez, Jon B., all the Cuban musicians... I ended up doing four songs. So we went out to Cuba to perform the songs. They asked me to come in and produce two songs, and a few weeks ago we just went out and performed in this beautiful theater called Teatro Mella. You know, I got to see the whole scene in Cuba, it was amazing. I played in a club called F.A.C. — Fábrica del Arte Cubano — wow, it was really wonderful. I had a great time. I think we might be touring that project in the U.S.

https://soundcloud.com/little-louie-vega/little-louie-vega-live-from

A Sit Down With DJ Butch

06.05.2018


His musical influences came from his brother, when he used to record techno mixes from the radio as he was out partying all night long. He absorbed every influence that entered his ear. If there would be one word how to describe Butch, it would indeed be ‘diverse’. ‘Techno heads love him, house heads love him, as well as the deep and dirty and the light & bright. Few artists flow through genres and emotional landscapes with such ease and fluidity as Bulent, challenging preconceptions of the dance-floor and the expected outcome in the process.

 

"I work every day of the week and I think this continuity has worked very well for me."



 

How would you explain the rapidity of your success at the beginning of your career? Indeed, since your first track there was a buzz around you. You tracks could be found in the playlists of prominent names such as Richie Hawtin, Dubfire, Villalobos, Luciano and many others.

That´s not easy to answer…I think I had the luck to meet the right people at the right time that supported me during years and I was always working really hard in the studio. I´m still doing that…there are weeks when i´m in the studio until deep in the night for 5 days in a row. Apart from that i´m always trying to produce music that works on the dancefloor but without being too obvious and DJs appreciate that.

You dove into dance music when you were a teen and haven’t swam out of it for over 20 years already. Have you ever thought, what would you be in a parallel world if you hadn’t got that record player when you were 12?

In a parallel universe I am now in prison and in another parallel universe I am a visual artist of some sort, maybe a painter or making videos.

You’ve had a phenomenal amount of releases since 2007 and now you’re back with a new EP “The Persistence of Memory.” With such an impressive back catalogue, where do you continue to find inspiration for what you create? And with such an obvious wealth of ideas, how do you manage the issue of quality verses quantity? 

To be honest, I’m thinking all the time about music and I can’t switch off. It’s a good thing but it’s also a problem. It’s bad for your social life because I’m pretty focused. I have produced a large quantity of music, and I do a lot of music, but I’m not fast. I spend so much time in the studio. I wake up at 7 a.m., I’m in there by 9 a.m., and I don’t leave again till seven at night. I can make a track in one week minimum, and sometimes it takes up to three. Quantity comes from a lot of work and focus, some people can do a track in two hours, but I can’t.

How would you describe your influences and how have they changed over the years?

Musically, we were influenced very early by different Genres from hip hop to rock. The fact that we also produce our own music in addition to the DJing, each set is unmistakable and many songs get put a new stamp on. The Main product of us are Mashups, which we always create for our Yearmixes and Promomixes, own songs and remixes. The reason for that is because we love EDM tracks with hard drops but at the same moment we want the crowd to identify with the song and want them to sing with it. Due to that that we mix a well-known charthit with a banging EDM drop. So the people can sing, identify with it and at the drop totally go crazy. Sometimes we also use 90s tracks to call some nostalgic feelings.

After many years and a honorable career you certainly noticed some changes in the electronic music scene, like fashions and transition phases. Where do you think we are now, musically and artistically speaking? Do you like the modern scene? Pick a past decade when you would like to be DJing.

I wish I could DJ a Soul Train episode of the 70s, that would be fucking awesome! There are so many parallel trends happening right now, I can find 1000 things I dislike about music nowadays and 1000 things that I love right now.

With reference to your release schedule over the past five years, on average how many hours a week would you spend on production in your studio?  Do you get the opportunity to practice your Dj’ing, or does production always take precedence?

I started Dj’ing when I was 12 and practiced nearly every day until I was 18.  I was into Turntablizm then, which really takes loads of practice.  I actually took part in and also won many Turntablizm competitions.  I actually stumbled over this old video from 2004, where I’m scratching my arse off so to speak.  You can check it out on YouTube, actually below.  Behind the turntables I really feel at home, just really like riding a bike for me, but I don’t do in my spare time.  I don’t have any turntables at home anymore, they’re in the studio/office now.  I buy new songs and play them for the first time at the weekend.  I like it like that.  Often I get to hear things in the songs that way for the first time just as the club-goer does, and it gets us on the same wave-length, cos I’m just as excited to hear what’s coming up as they are.  I honestly think I’m a better DJ than producer, because that’s not only where I come from, but also what I produce for. But producing definitely takes up my tour-free time.

Any particular artist or style that created your obsession within electronic music?

I couldn’t name a specific artist, there are too many to single one or two out. All music influences me but I guess the music from Wildstyle and Beat Street sets the underlying tone. This is where Hip Hop and Electronic Music are still one, where dance music has a real edge and a  mean beat and is about skills and danceability. Still, as I say, I really love all kinds of music!

You are being referred to as one of the most versatile producers in electronic music. What makes you desire exploring diverse genres in electronic music?

Genre names are only that: names. I don’t go about making friends depending on their names. I have friends called Yusuf, Sebastian, Ho, Carmen, Seth, Rimah, Thomas, because I don’t care about the name, but about the person. The same goes for the music. I don’t like a song because it is House music. I like many songs, which can be placed in the genre of House music. That doesn’t mean I might not also like a song, which people categorize as Experimental Glitch Techno, whatever that may be. I don’t care what that means, I care about the feeling I get, when I hear the song. That’s how I work on my music as well. I don’t think: I want to make a Techno tune. I just make a tune. It’s other people’s job to call it Techno, my job is just to make what I make.

https://soundcloud.com/superbutch/sets/butch-dj-sets

A Sit Down With DJ Josh Wink

07.05.2018


Josh Wink is one of the pioneering DJs in the American rave scene during the early 1990s. He played records all over the world, but as his career has progressed, he has stayed true to his roots, never selling out and always maintaining his integrity, always coming home to his beloved Philadelphia.

 

 

"For a DJ set I really need to get the feeling and vibe of the crowd. This helps clear my mind and get focused on the moment. I don’t really prepare for shows, I love the spontaneous flow of creative ideas and energy as I do my thing."



 

 

Having been involved with music for so long, how does it feel to still be around and still relevant after two decades?

I am happy and blessed to be doing what I loved then, today, and still have the passion for what I do now. Both as an artist, DJ and record label guy. It feels great to have made music 20 years ago that people are still playing, and to compose music now, which people are currently playing!

How much does DJing inform your production? Like do you take tracks on the road with you and feedback the response they get in the club to their final forms?

When I make dance-music It’s KEY for me to be able to ‘Test” out the tracks on a dancefloor and get ideas of how people react to the music. Then I go back in the studio and tweak away from these ideas. I record all my sets, so I listen to what I do live and then put these live, spontaneous ideas into the final product.

Is there a way that you feel your style, or the way that you go about producing music, has really changed over the past 20+ years?

I’m one to be able to kind of control what I do. I mean, controlling my destiny rather than hearing others and having them influence the way I sound. A colleague of mine, from the UK actually, was with me at the opening of a club. There’s a club in Ibiza called ‘Space’, and ‘Space’ opened up a nightclub in Brazil and I was part of the opening party there two years ago with ‘Carl Cox’ and myself, ‘Mark Knight’, and ‘Yousef’, and ‘Nic Fanciulli’, and a bunch of other people. And, a couple of people were listening to me DJ, and this is at the time when a track of mine wasn’t out yet, it was called ‘Balls’, which was released two years ago, and he came up to me and said, “What is this track? I’ve been listening to you DJ the whole night and this is the only one that I want to know what it is. I don’t know what it is but I have a feeling it’s you”. I said, “It is me, how can you tell?” He said, “Well you have a sound when you produce music. Whether it’s House or Techno, it’s some organic ‘Josh Wink’ sound, I can’t explain it, but I know it’s you”. 

How would you describe your style from when you started out and how it’s progressed over the years?

It’s kind of stay true to the integrity for what got me into this music, which is based on: Chicago, Acid House and Detroit-Style Techno. It changed very much as progress in terms of the benefits of having better electronics in my studio and the production and the engineering. It’s (pretty much) stayed true, I don’t find myself feeling the need to be caught up in trends or whatever’s popular and I just “stick to my guns”. That make’s me happy and I can live with myself… it’s a very important thing and I haven’t felt that I have strayed because I only wanted bookings or something like that. In terms of DJ’ing and also making music as well.

What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic career?

Meeting the person described above. If I didn’t meet him, I wouldn’t be doing this interview with you now. Biggest moment. Hearing acid house music from Chicago in 1986. Meeting King Britt in 1988 when production & friendship started.

How have you managed to maintain your own release schedule and run a label since 1990?

It's hard! I'm not as prolific as I want to be. As I'd like to be in the studio more- making music. But, it's important to balance the travel and the production. I look forward to getting in the lab and making more! I love what I do! I love being creative in the studio and I desire more! But it's work to keep the balance and notice the importance of both travel, production and label releases! I have a Matty B, a great person, who makes things possible for me to travel, while he manages and runs the label!

You are from the generation that coincided with the rave explosion. What was it like in Philadelphia during the 90s?


Innocent! That`s what I can say! As most cities in the USA. It was a great time for music and culture. Racially mixed, age mixed. In clubs, and in any venue you could find and use. It was a great time.


Do you have a preference for playing more intimate club shows or this grand scale events?

I like them all. But I prefer more intimate settings like ‘Fluid’. I appreciate what I do and I appreciate the purpose for what each one does. I know what to do at the big events and I know what to do at the small events but I’ve always been a more personal guy. You know ‘Fluid’ used to be a club called ‘Zero’ and I was associated with that place since 1990. It’s pretty amazing, when I used to do my night there, I had Richie  there, I had Carl [Cox] there, I had ‘Adam Beyer’ there, I had ‘Loco Dice’ there, I had ‘Marco Carola’ there. I mean all of my friends just kind of came through, the list goes on and on. You get 130 people in there and it’s just jam packed and we’d charge $12 at the door. People would come up just thanking me and saying “how amazing” and “how did you work this out?”. There’s something unique about it. 

Your most recent single is called 'Resist'. In a socio/politico sense, just what do you think we should be resisting?


The resist movement, in terms of our cultural development as human beings, has always been around. We've been resisting as a human culture for years and years and years. It's gotten to a point now where it's just a peaceful way to express your political views, when the organisation who's running the political scheme is not doing something you like. So, you use your inalienable rights to peacefully protest and resist what may be happening rather than just taking the teaspoon of sugar with the medicine just to make it go down, become complacent, “things are just the way they are, I can't do anything about it”. So, I think it's important.


https://soundcloud.com/joshwinkofficial/profound-sounds-episode-20-live-uebel-gefahrlich-hamburg

A Sit Down With DJ Dinka

07.05.2018


The queen of Progressive House; the pioneer of ­summery beach anthems; a multi talent on the modern dance ­music horizon.
"Tamara Hunkeler", known as "Dinka", has a love for the uplifting side of EDM. Tamara brought a breath of fresh air into the house music scene and quickly gained a fan base for her music all around the globe.

 

"I always attempt to create a musical journey for every listener, and therefore melodies are the most efficient message to join forces and bring out the most touchy songs to the people!"



 

You were born in Switzerland." It is really a beautiful country where many artists were born and grew up. Do you think if you were born somewhere else - would you be making music?

Of course, my homeland is very inspiring to me - I think you already know how beautiful nature is here. However, I believe that each of us finds our own way, analyzing the opportunities that are open to us. If I were born in another country - maybe I would not have the choice that introduced me in Switzerland, and it may very well be that I would find myself in something else. Who knows…

The name ‘Dinka’, is related to the African culture, coming from the name of an African tribal group in Southern Sudan. How did you come across the name and why did you decide to keep your stage name that?

I’ve been amazed by their story of fighting for their culture. And it seemed to be the right start to connect continents. I want people to be aware of everything happening on this planet. And on a second level to accept and share similarities rather than go crazy about differences.

Tell me about Helvetic Nerds? 

Helvetic Nerds is a DJ group from Switzerland, Helvetic takes the name from Helvetika, and we consider ourselves nerd, be the word Helvetic Nerds. Our members include Chriss Reece, Daniel Portman, Leventia, Passenger10 etc. We often gather and make songs together. 

Your creativity is concentrated mainly around the style of progressive house, your music is very melodic and multifaceted. Have you tried yourself in other styles, or is progressive house the love of your whole life?

When I was younger, I listened mostly to trance. But in general, I like completely different music, but progressive house stands out clearly among all genres and directions.

The EDM scene in India has been growing at a immense pace, are you looking to collaborate with any Indian artists in the future?

I’m always interested in international collaborations you know. I’m working on a project with an Irish singer at the time, but as I mentioned maybe there will be an opportunity in the future.

You have close to 26,000 fans on ­Facebook now and about 5,000 on Twitter. How important do you think social media is for upcoming producers and artists? Does a DJ getting booked for shows depend on the popularity gained through social media?

Yes and yes, it is important.
What`s on your mind as you`re looking onto a huge crowd down to your original tracks?


When I’m looking at a crowd, I think of all the sleepless nights I had to actually get this far, and how these are the moments that make it all worthwhile.

Some of your works include live instrumental parts, for example, in the track "On the Beach" there is a chic guitar solo. Is it really a record of live sound, or is it a masterpiece of sound engineering?

I always use live instruments, because no synthesizer is able to convey the atmosphere and sensuality that is inherent in the sound of the same piano or guitar. If you do not put your soul into the music, creating it in the studio, then the listener is unlikely to "hook" it.

You have traveled much throughout your career, and still do today. What has been your most inspirational trip and why?


Definitely Japan. It was and still is my favorite Asian country. The way people handle life regarding treating each other, regarding handling every day business is impressive and inspiring.




https://soundcloud.com/world-of-dinka/tech-house-mix-feb-2018

A Sit Down With DJ Flying Lotus

04.05.2018


Writing about Flying Lotus for XLR8R's readership is like introducing the Pope to a Catholic church—everyone already knows just about anything that could be said on the guy's behalf, and they would much rather see what he has to say, anyway.

 

"When I’m making music I really want to create a mood. When I make albums, sometimes it’s not necessarily about the sound."



 

How did you come up with the name Flying Lotus?


It comes from lucid dreaming. When I know I’m dreaming, the first thing I want to do is go flying around. If I were a superhero, that’s the only power I’d want. I’d just want to be able to see the world from that different point of view. It gets deeper as we go, but fuck it. That’s a story for another time.


You are the grand nephew of Alice Coltrane, a great jazz composer and wife of jazz legend John Coltrane. Do you think growing up with that kind of pedigree helped shape your creative endeavors? Have you always known you’d be deeply involved with music?

It had a big effect on me. If anything, I just knew you can do anything. If you pursued art in a way that was genuine, passionate, and you really pushed it, you could make something. I have examples of that in my family. That holds people back a lot of times. They don’t have examples to go by. So it seems way less tangible and more of a dream that you can make it in art. But, if you have these people around you, I think it becomes a little bit more of a reality.

What were your first live shows like—were you playing in places that had Top 40 DJs on other nights, or rock clubs?

I started out playing underground parties, illegal parties, and eventually I started getting into some decent clubs, and from those clubs came festivals, and so forth.

You’ve worked with some amazing artists. George Clinton, Thom Yorke, Kendrick Lamar, etc. You even worked on a song with Michael McDonald for Thundercat’s latest album Drunk. Are there any artists you really wish you could do songs with even if they are not in the same genre, per se, as you?

I really would love to do a track with Beyoncé. I don’t know how it would sound. She invited me over before Lemonade came out. She played me the album just as it is now. I was hoping it wasn’t done yet.

Tell us what you remember about the earliest tracks you made.

They were really inspired by Dr. Dre, like West Coast-sounding, dark hip-hop with minor chords and shit.

Do you usually work that way with directors?

It all depends on who you’re dealing with. I think, with some people, you have to trust them. The reason why you choose the people is because you trust them. So, I think that, to some degree, I want to step away from the shit, but at the same time, I want them to know what it means to me.

What made you want to start working with rappers again?

Phases, man. New people. It's so inspiring hearing all these new sounds and seeing all these new people pop up from around the world who are really dope. There are these people who were in the crowd when I started and now they're on stage. Years ago you only had guys like Kanye and Jay-Z and it was like, "What could they possibly tell me?" And, "How can we relate anymore?" That’s not inspiring to me. But now it feels right again.

Why should people seek out your music?


I think I’m bridging a gap. I bring elements of both ambient and hip-hop in my sound. I’m trying to merge these worlds, because they’re not different. It’s all bass music to me.


What's the hardest part of starting a new record?

Having a theme—knowing what to say, what needs to be said from you at that time and place and space and where the industry is at, music is at, my interests are at. Just getting your head wrapped around that, and then being able to say, "Okay, you know what, this is where I want to go."

Who are you listening to in particular that's inspired you?

Jeremiah Jae. I've been familiar with his music for some time now and he moved from Chicago to L.A. and having him here has been motivating and inspiring. Whenever I think about not doing anything, we meet up and he’s working on like a million things. His presence is motivating.

https://soundcloud.com/flyinglotus/medication-meditation-ft-krayzie-bone

A Sit Down With DJ Scndl

04.05.2018


Coming from down under, SCNDL are conquering the world with their energetic beats.  As part of the Melbourne Bounce revolution, the duo of Tom Grant and Adam Amuso brings unique elements such as trap, dubstep, and melodic breaks to the ubiquitous bassline.   Their string of massive remixes (Flo Rida, MAKJ, TJR, TI) and collaborations bang dancefloors around the world.

 

"The actual elements in our tracks aren’t really reliant on any one genre for inspiration we love a lot of different genres and try to incorporate as many into our tracks as possible – hence the Dubstep and other obscure influences you may hear in them."



 

You are one of the most renowned figures of the up-and-coming Melbourne Bounce sound, signed on Ministry Of Sound Australia and ranked #11 at the inthemix Australia Top 50 of 2015. How did each of you get in touch with electronic dance music in the first place, how did you get into DJing and music production, how did you meet and what made you team up?


We both listened to a lot of Hardstyle when we were younger and that was probably our first experience with dance music, we fell in love with it then and it’s been a journey ever since! We met at an after party, we were both DJing separately, got drunk and decided we’d give writing music together a crack, so we spent countless hours watching YouTube tutorials on music production and I guess the rest is history!

What is the story behind alias and how did you two meet each other?

We met at an after party about two and a half years ago, got drunk together and the rest is history. I wish I could tell you some fancy story behind the name but to be honest we just thought the word "scandal" sounded cool and decided to take out the vowels. Vowels are pretty mainstream. 

Where do you see the music going in Australia and as you tour?


I think the way that the music industry is at the moment is that everything is kind of joined together. Dubstep is kind of coming back now with a bit more happy vibe and bounce has moved from very minimal roots with just a baseline and a couple synths to now incorporating elements of EDM and Dubstep. I think that the music is going to keep adding little influences from this and that. I don’t think there are really any rules of where it is going to go and it is going to keep going the way it has. It has changed so much since we started doing bounce and really everything has pretty much changed since we started doing this.


You play and produce Electro House & Melbourne Bounce. How would you describe your own music in just a few words?


High energy dance music! We love incorporating as many influences from other genre’s as we can, we focus heavily on the melodic elements and we write the music we love!

What is each other’s most annoying habit whilst on tour?

We’ve never been away for this long together so I guess you’ll have to check back with us in a month! Haha I’m sure we’ll have a few more habits to criticize then.

What were the best and the worst gigs you ever played and what were the funniest things ever occurred during any of your performances?


We’ve definitely had our fair share of both of these haha! We once had this show in the middle of the Australian desert, when we landed there was nothing for MILES… The gig was more like a hall birthday party than a club haha. On the flipside of that, we played to 10,000 people in Canada a few months ago across 2 massive festivals! That was one of the most unreal experiences we’ve ever had, the love they had for our music was very humbling!



If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?

Showtek for SURE! They're the best in the business in our eyes and they have really shaped our sound and our drive in this industry. 



Another tune that is getting the EDM community wetting themselves at the moment is your Remix of TJR & Vinai ‘Bounce Generation’. Martin Garrix and W&W are all over it, the tune is out on Spinnin next week, talk us through your approach to this mix…

We definitely approached this remix with the intent to put our own spin on it, and because the original is SUCH a great record we needed to find what it was missing, so we started with a new breakdown and from there everything just worked…we’re so proud of the mix and humbled Spinnin are releasing it!

If you could go back and talk to yourself when you were 18 years old what advice would you give yourself?

Go to the after party and meet Adam. Just do exactly what you are doing right now and everything is alright, you aren’t doing too bad don’t be too hard on yourself.

https://soundcloud.com/scndl/tanz-electrik-scndl-2k18-remake-zatox

A Sit Down With DJ Bjorn Akesson

25.04.2018


His remixes are in high demand by top DJs ranging from W&W, Darren Tate and RAM to Orjan Nilsen. All his releases have been widely supported by all the top DJ’s including Armin van Buuren, Andy Moor, Tiesto and Markus Schulz and featured heavily on all their CD compilations, over 50 to date.

 

 "It’s important to be a role model as a DJ when many people look up to you. Living a healthy life is something I will always stand for."



 
Have you attended music school to learn how to produce, or are you totally self-taught?


Completely self-taught, although I’ve learned a lot by speaking to other producers online. This has been mostly from the technical aspect; I don’t know anything about music theory or chords etc. I just feel them.

Is there too much envy in the DJ scene?

There is, but at a certain level I think it’s good. In many cases it results in DJ/producers working even harder to reach new heights.

What/who does inspire you when you make your own music?

Inspiration is everywhere, all around us, wether it’s an emotional experience, an amazing view or a person. Not really sure where it comes from in the end.  Other than that I take my inspiration from all genres and types of music there is. If you listen to the same type of tracks all the time it will be harder for you as a musicmaker to get fresh ideas and create something different.
Can you describe your actual studio set up at the moment? Your favourite piece of hardware & software?


Just using software at the moment, Cubase 7 with a lot of plugins. I love working with Sylenth1 and V-Station amongst others. And of course, I have a pair of studio monitors plus a midi controller.

Who’s your favorite up and coming artist?

Nhato, he’s a hidden gem and I’m not sure why he hasn’t broken through yet.

What’s the worst thing that ever happened surrounding one of your gigs?

The occasional misspressed button, making the track start from the very beginning in the middle of a track.

Is there a song of yours which your particularly love more than the others and why?

That’s really hard to say to be honest as they are all different and special in their own way.
However one of my favourite is Robot Religion, a track that not many of the big DJ’s played but has been a huge hit in my own DJ sets and for my fans.
Can you remember the most unusual track that you dropped in your set and the crowd was caught by surprise but they liked it very much? Do you like to surprise your crowd, or do you prefer to go the tried and trusted way?


I always want to surprise the crowd, and if I can play something totally unexpected I will. I’ve dropped dubstep and drum n' bass tracks a few times, sometimes it works very well, sometimes not so well. It’s just one track in a set though, so I don’t see the harm in doing that.

You make some of the most innovative trance tracks out there today, how do you keep creating new ideas and avoiding that mainstream “pop” sound that’s so prevalent?

Thank you! Well I wouldn’t mind if it sounded like mainstream “pop” as long as I like it, believe in it and isn’t a copy of something else. I always try to make my own thing and really avoid to copy something else because that is not really inspiring. So to answer the question directly, I don’t intend to keep it to sound in a certain way, the track builds itself and develops naturally.

And if you had one piece of advice for any artist trying to make it, what would you tell them?

Be yourself, create your own sound, don’t go a direction you don’t feel. Work hard and don’t give up. It’s a very tough industry and the competition is fierce. It’s unfair and you don’t always get the treatment you deserve, but if you really believe in yourself then you will make it!

https://soundcloud.com/bjornakesson/vival

A Sit Down With DJ Icona Pop

25.04.2018


As far as pop music is concerned, Sweden has been, and always will be, the land of danceable tunes. And while our parents had Abba, in all their majestic, pop-rock-cum-disco glory, us millennials have been blessed with the infectious, synth-pop offerings of Icona Pop. The Swedish duo, comprised of Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, first got us grooving with their rapturous breakout hit, "I Love It" back in 2012, and since then they've hardly pressed pause.

 

"Every time we create something, we just keep it in our little Icona Pop bubble. We make decisions that we are proud of and create the music that we feel like. We would never put out a song that we were not super proud of."



 

Your latest single "First Time," was the first song you guys wrote together. How did you go about about reprising it?


We always wanted to show it people. So we took it into the studio and did a rework that reflects where we are now in our lives.There's a little sadness to it as well because it's remembering how it used to be. But things change, and things go forward. Instead of being sad, let's relive it in our memories. Let's make new first times now that we're a little bit more mature than the first time we got drunk. Hopefully we are.


Can you recall the first time you heard one of your songs on American radio?

We were driving down the strip. We had a show there and this promoter was like, “I heard your song on this Sirius Radio station.” And he put it on and it was our song. We were like, “Oh my god, it’s really happening!”

Who are your musical influences?

We listen to kind of everything from reggae and classical music to pop music. I think we're more about sounds rather than just listening to the certain artists. We were very inspired by Prince from the beginning and then Chemical Brothers, The Knife, Patti Smith, Rihana and Beyonce. Then we have the very good stuff from the '90s, the one-hit wonders. They have a very special place in our hearts. It's hard to say one artist or one song but yeah, I think it's very spread.
Which women in musician inspire you?


All the of female bands,, so the Spice Girls were a huge influence, but we love PJ Harvey, Patti Smith, Tina Turner, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Robyn. There are so many women who we are so proud of.

Where was your favourite gig and why?

Tricky so many good ones. But we’ll never forget the gig we had at Roskilde Festival this summer. It was magic.

Y’all gig so much, at the end of the night which hurts more – your ears from the sound or eyes from all the cameras and flashes?

Definitely our ears, we can just wear shades for all the flashes.

What do you wear on stage?

It depends, our last tour outfits were made by an amazing designer called ann Anne Sofie Madsen. We felt like pop warriors.

Definitely, you look sickening. If you could go back to when you were 18 years old which was just two years ago I guess, what advice would you give yourself?

I would definitely tell myself not to be so harsh on myself. At that age you want to do so much and you don’t know anything and you just try to fit in and understand. I would say that things will be okay.

Have you experimented with sounds other than club synths for the album?

From the beginning, we've always been club kids - we love dancing. We love the whole club scene. But of course it won't be 15 tracks all like 'I Love It'. I promise you. It will be kind of a spread album with some slower songs and some totally different rhythms. Although we are two girls that love to dance, we also go through a lot of other stuff and emotions as well.

https://soundcloud.com/iconapop/brightside

A Sit Down With DJ Groove Armada

24.04.2018


From their roots in raw house music and 90s raves, there's little that Groove Armada haven't turned their hand to over the course of their two decade career. Aside from their own instantly recognisable productions, Cato and Findlay have clocked up a famed Late Night Tales compilation; played a key part in establishing one of London’s biggest music festivals, Lovebox; played iconic live shows at some of the world's best venues, and released eight studio albums which collectively have sold millions of copies and garnered both Grammy and Brit nominations.

 

"I always find it hard getting on conceptually with self-indulgent DJs. The role of the DJ is to entertain, first and foremost, rather than educate."



 

You'll be representing our capital city. Talk us through your relationship with London, what were your early clubbing experiences there?  


My first London clubland experiences were at raves in industrial estates around the M25. When I moved down here, I was in Clapham North and Club UK was the scene of some of the best and wildest nights inside a licensed venue that I’ve ever seen. My first big DJ gig was at a night called Rude in SW1. It was me and Mark and Adrian Luvdup. By the time GA started, we were playing at TummyTouch parties in what where then the disused warehouses of Shoreditch. We were at the opening of Ministry and of Fabric, which makes the return of our Fabric residency all the more special. 


What are your thoughts on the dance scene at the moment? 

I thinks its in really good shape, for me in terms of DJ’ing its in a great place right now, because we’re coming out of the end of a long minimal curve and into a more house music end of minimal. So it’s a sort of stripped down minimal bass line, which always appeals, and a bit more of the rocking house music feel on top. There’s loads of that stuff out there right now.


How do you feel about Lovebox now? How has it changed? How does it fit into the current festival landscape?

I think what they’ve got now is a really professionally run dance event in London. It’s very different from what we’d imagined it to be. For us, the line-ups I love were when we had Roxy Music, Dizzee Rascal and Grace Jones on the same line up. Now if you look at the line-up it’s much more of a who’s who of contemporary dance music. They’re doing that really, really well and I think it’s been really successful. That’s better in a way but it feels like a very different animal. It’s been run in a very slick fashion.


The track from the 80s that is still relevant to today’s music

‘Touch Me’ by Fonda Rae was so ahead of its time, it sounds contemporary even now.

How do you find London's clubbing scene is at the moment? How have you seen the parties develop over the years? 


It goes in waves. From small raves in disused buildings, to the golden club era of Turnmills, Bagleys, The End, SW1, Ministry, Fabric, Heaven... and back down again now to the smaller basement vibe. Musically there have been years when house has been pushed to room 2 by the new style on the block. But house is timeless and always comes back. 


Over the years, the sound Groove Armada has evolved a lot—do you feel most comfortable in the house scene?

I’m not too sure. On all the vast variety of music that has been made over all the different albums over the years, I think it sounds great—I think we’ve acquitted ourselves well in all of the fields that we’ve gone into. But the way that the cycle has gone, we are now back in a world where this type of house groove is so engrained in us, and we have always spent a lot of time on dance floors and after-parties, so it just feels natural.

Are there any funny stories you can tell us before you two became Groove Armada as you are today? 

I just remember running clubs and losing a lot of money! We used to run a club night called Captain Sensual At The Helm Of The Groove Armadaand we booked Dave Seaman and lost our shirts on him, so that was good. It was the same time as Euro '96, and we booked Dave Seaman to come and play on the same day England beat Spain, and the headline coming out on Sunday morning was Seaman sinks Armada which made me chuckle. So we got sunk by David Seaman, us and the Spaniards on the same day!


Looking at your career now, is there anything you haven’t done that you still want to? Any goals or future collaborations you’d love to do?

We’ve been lucky because we’ve done a lot of amazing things. We’ve toured a lot of amazing places. We’ve done Glastonbury, the Sunday night closing slots and all that. It’s been amazing. We were on the road with a pretty unique gang of people in terms of road crews and musicians who’ve never changed. It was the same team. It was a sort of weird communist commune type of thing – basically a 15-year long stag do.


Can you just explain the reasons why you wanted to return to your house roots?

Around the Black Light touring bit, there was a sense that we were always playing on the main stage of a dance tent; we were always doing the same slots, coming on after Laidback Luke or Calvin Harris, and it wasn’t really the scene that we wanted to be part of. At the end, we did the two nights in Brixton and it just felt like that was the right time to close that chapter—it was a great way to end, right at the top. The music was all sounding great, but that big electronic scene was not where our heads were at. Instead, we felt the need to go back to what we had always done—and we decided to go that way, playing nice house sets, having a good time, rather than pushing this large EDM–size stone.

https://soundcloud.com/weapons-music/groove-armada-keep-rock-in-edit

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