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A Sit Down With DJ Jack Beats

14.05.2018


In a bass music/electro scene that becomes more and more crowded every day, Jack Beats are doing well to stand out with a sound totally unique to them, instantly accessible and flipping' easy to rave out to. Some kinda twisted hybrid between house, hip hop, Dubstep, Electro and Drum'n'bass, the quality of their output and DJ sets makes even more sense when you look at the duo's pedigree: Niall Dailly is part of Turntablism legends Scratch Perverts, and likewise Ben Giffen was part of hip hop DJ crew The Mixologists.

 

"One of the best things from dance music is that energy you can get from going with the audience as well. If you get it wrong you get it wrong, but if you get it right then that's kind of what DJing is all about."



 

You grew up in Scotland. Is it a place that fosters music? What was the scene like while you were growing up there?


I was really lucky actually, when I was really young I was a skater and used to hang out with a friend, who was one of the better skaters, and all his older friends. A lot of those guys were listening to hip hop and I was 13 and didn’t know a great deal about it. So these mix tapes began circulating our school and that kind of fostered this whole teenage existence of listening to music that people 10 years older than us were listening to. So it was a great place in that respect. This might sound weird but I don’t know if I’d be where I was today if I hadn’t networked through the Edinburgh club scene and stuff. I don’t know if it would be good place for everyone; I think the club scene is quite quiet up there now.


Who are some of the artists, dance music or otherwise, who you guys have been feeling and been inspired by lately?

Man, there’s loads. From like people over here, people like Route 94, he’s doing some really cool stuff. He’s about to have a really big song out here. I mean, the likes of Dusky and Kidnap Kid .The Catz`n Dogzdudes, really into them. There’s so many cool sounds happening at the moment, really. AC Slater’s doing some really cool stuff out in LA with his sort of “Night Bass” stuff and his new sort of 2014 sound, with Taiki & Nulight and all those guys on his Party Like Us label… I’m just trying to think… Man, there’s so much all the time. It’s still a cool reflection of what we’re sort of feeling.

You have a history of pulling from diverse sounds such as Bassline, drum & bass, Electro house, and even Dutch house and Baltimore club and beyond. How do you synthesize all those sounds into your work, and what are some of the musical styles that excite you at the moment?

I would say the parts of tunes that are synthesized or not often varies, but generally speaking, Basslines/leads/pads, etc. are always designed on synths. Drums these days are a mix of sampled and designed drums. Specific samples are sometimes redone/replayed on synths, but usually we use and process the sample itself for its unique sound. 

Is there like any specific end-game to what you’re doing in the studio? Are you guys trying to do an EP or LP, or are you just getting in there and exploring your sound again?

I think we just got excited about really writing some good music again. Not that we weren’t writing good music.

You’re doing a US tour in support of Vibrate. What do you have planned for the fans?

Upcoming tour is gonna be sick ‘cause first, we will have brand-new visuals for it. Also, am bringing Mika, who’s not only an amazing DJ but a really good friend, too, so you know the shows are definitely gonna be special. Expect dark, bass-heavy underground club music.

Do you have any pre-gig rituals or superstitions?

Good pre show dinner - bad gig & visa versa. Never works out that way tho.

What's your lamest claim to fame besides DJing?

One of us is an alpine plant expert.

https://soundcloud.com/jack-beats/jack-beats-vibrate-tour-mix

A Sit Down With DJ Cedric Gervais

11.05.2018


In the world of electronic dance music, Grammy awards and DJ’s are not usually synonymous with one another. Everything changed when DJ and producer, Cedric Gervais, was awarded for his remix of Lana Del Rey’s," Summertime Sadness". Since then, Cedric has been dedicated to making music for his fans. He’s been touring all over the world with upcoming shows in Jakarta, Tokyo, Osaka, and Manila, and isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon.

 

"I never make music expecting it to become a hit on the radio, or win any awards or anything like that, I make the music I love and that I want to play in my sets."



 

 

How and when did you first begin exploring dance music?

My father owned a club in the south of France. I would always bug him to let me play when I was a teenager but he would always tell me that I wasn’t good enough. Eventually he gave me a shot and I fell in love with it.

What do you think distinguishes you from all of the other artists in the industry?

I think it’s my hair!

Do you prefer creating your own original tracks over remixing?

I like both. For now though I’m sticking with my own music. I don’t think I’ll be remixing anything more unless it’s something that I’m really excited about.

Do you feel there is a difference between the European crowd and the American crowd when you go on stage to play?

Yes, there is definitely a difference between the two. For example, the European crowd its more House music vs. the American crowd, which is more Trap and Electronic. In Europe, there is really not that big rave type thing it’s more House and Techno. So when I am on tour in Europe, I play completely different than the way that I play here in the States.

Few DJs can count themselves among the curated list of Grammy winners. How has winning one affected your life, personally and professionally?

It affected me in many ways. I mean, when you win a Grammy you have a lot of people that want to work with you. People that normally would never have spoken to you or even thought about working with you. Yeah, it’s winning a Grammy, but it’s also making a song like Summertime Sadness that sold 8 million singles worldwide. When you do something like that, lots of people suddenly want to work with you. Winning a Grammy is like winning an Oscar for an actor. For the rest of your life, they’re gonna call you a Grammy-winner. So, yeah, it’s pretty cool. I’m still the same guy, though—I don’t give a shit.

How did you felt when you won the Grammy for "Summertime Sadness" Remix? Was it some of your goals?

It was not one of my goals, it was an incredible achievement, I didn't expect that, like I said when I did the record I didn't expect all that, I didn't expect to be the biggest radio record and selling… and every the DJ playing it. Like I said I was happy with my friend playing it. And When I won the Grammy it was the biggest thing.

You have been experiencing and touring various events around world. How did you enjoy the journey and which one gives you the most impressive moment in your life so far?

I love the journey and traveling the world, I’m very fortunate to do what I do and be able to travel so much and meet so many great people. My most amazing experience was my last tour in Asia, especially when I got to stay in Tokyo, it's such an amazing city and I can’t wait to come back.

Do you have any advice for new producers who are just now trying to break into the scene? 

You got to make music. If you want to be a DJ, you have to learn where the DJ comes from, the history, the different genres. You have to know how to play in clubs, how to play in festivals, how to tell a story, and how to make people dance. I from a background as a resident DJ, and I think knowing how to make people dance is very important. Producing is very important, and if you share it on Soundcloud, people will find it and play it. A lot of artists were discovered by guys like Tiesto, when they were simply passing him their tracks.

https://soundcloud.com/cedricgervais/one-night-feat-wealth

A Sit Down With DJ Will Sparks

11.05.2018


At just 21 years old, Australian producer Will Sparks has experienced the kind of success many musicians hope to achieve over the course of a lifetime. Already recognized as the king of Melbourne bounce, Sparks reigns supreme not only in Australia, but globally as well, having performed at some of the world’s largest festivals alongside the industry’s most important names.

 

 

"Keep your head on your shoulders, remember who you are."



 

What was your musical upbringing?


I grew up listening to acts like The Bee Gees, John Farnham, and Rod Stewart. From 12 to 17 I was into a lot of old school rock and metal. I would write my music with guitar. Then I encountered dance music and Melbourne bounce and I started putting my guitar riffs on the computer, and it eventually developed into what I’m making now.

How did you become an international DJ supremo so quickly?

I think every person who is successful got to where they are from extreme hard work, passion, dealing with the lows and picking them self back up. A big one would have be being kind to everyone no matter what, networking, making friends and having time for the people that support you etc. The social network is your key to success these days, music wise. If you make music that a large majority of people enjoy then it will create hype and probably end up hitting millions of new feeds.. Basically if you say you can’t do it, then you’re right.

What live music performances have impacted you, or helped shape your career?

I saw Deadmau5 live in 2010 which changed my life. Also in recent years again, KSHMR does something no one does; it’s a new level that only he is on.

How is the dance music scene evolving?


It’s always changing. Radio won’t play anything but slow vocal bendy tribal music. Crowds will only go hard if you go hard. So music is getting quicker, more ‘full on’ Love how the Psy trance style is becoming well known. Always been my favorite. Brazilian bass is gonna turn even cooler too.


Which artist would you most love to collaborate with and why?

Showtek, their sounds are so unique and they’re just all round legends at what they do.

What do you think is important in a live performance?

You have to be energetic and have a personality. They want to like you as a person, not only your music.  You do have to play good music I guess – well, that depends on who you are. You have to do a mixture of songs that people know and your new stuff. I could do a whole set of stuff that people don’t know but I don’t do that, because you have to keep them alive somehow.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

It’s all just a ball rolling – amazing things are happening so frequently, I get told I’m playing at the best club in the world or at EDC and then Ultra want me then I sign to Ultra and I get all these deals happening. A big highlight would have been when I came second in Australian Top DJs behind the Stafford Brothers. That was really cool, because it was my first ever charting in the Australian Top DJs so I came second then I got the Breaking Best New Artist award. It all happened in a year, I made some songs which all charted on Beatport then I came second so it was all pretty exciting!

Where is your favorite place in the world and why?

So far, Best Food & Wine, Palermo – Italy & Lyon – France. Holiday wise probably have to be Airlie Beach/Hamilton Island. Clubbing – Vegas or Melbourne at its early stages of the genre.

https://soundcloud.com/willsparks/will-sparks-senseless-1

A Sit Down With DJ Coone

14.05.2018


Few know him from the very beginning... from the nights built by moving our bodies to the drum in dark, underground venues to Protect the Innocent and The Name of My DJ. Some of us recognize him by singles such as Xpress YourselfD.W.X and Free Again.

 

"I am convinced that in the end you can run everywhere if the quality of your music is good."



 

How did you become a DJ?

My older brother was a DJ, so I learned being a DJ because of my brother, you know, he played records in his bedroom, and then he started playing national radio stations, that’s how I rolled into it, you know.

Where do you draw your inspiration from. How does it all start when you jump into the studio to make a fresh new track?

My inspiration comes from many places. I like to listen to a wide variety of different music and I tend to pick things up from the feeling and emotion in other songs, or just things that I go through in my life.

The collaboration with Wildstylez & Cimo Frankel has been getting a lot of attention, currently at #3 on the Beatport Hard Dance charts. What is this tracks meaning to you, personally? Take us behind the scenes with it if you can.

It was a track for my recent album Global Dedication. Our intention was to make it the summer anthem of the album. That's also the reason why I have not played this track throughout the year already... Because it's a track that breathes summer. If you listen to the lyrics, you will hear that it's about walking into a festival venue and getting overwhelmed by positive vibes, being untied as one, and that wherever you are in the world, it feels like home.

Do you notice the fact that Hardstyle is still growing?

Hardstyle has always been an interesting musical genre. The audience is and has always been very dedicated. But that’s also the reason why it gets a lot of criticism… And we’re now at a point where the style is splitting up. Some guys take the highly commercial way, while others go harder and harder every time. Which isn’t bad for the people who like it, but I rather see everything as a whole. Hardstyle gains new fans every day. I notice that, because I get to perform everywhere in the world now. There are new faces everywhere, just as people telling me that they’ve recently found a new style of music that really fits them. And that it’s more than just fun music to listen to. It’s a culture…

How do you like having your own label ( Dirty Workz )? How much freedom do you actually have to do and leave what you want with this label?

I have a lot of freedom! If I do not like something, it just does not matter. Quality is important, not only the release but also the design of the cover, for example. The label has its own sound, so you do not hear ten jump / textile per month. I myself have been very satisfied with the sale of all releases and there are still a lot of fat tracks waiting. 

How would you best describe your style?

My style is who I am. It’s euphoric, it has some emotion thrown in, and it’s basically just how I feel. Some people say that all Hardstyle sounds the same, but I have to disagree. Every artist has a distinct sound. The main construction of a track is basically the same due to some of the rules for Dance music, but the overall feeling in my tracks just reflects myself, what I feel and who I am.

Who were your influences growing up outside of EDM?

I’m a huge hip-hop fan, so I grew up with this really weird combo of hip-hop and hardcore — like really fast, heavy music with pounding beats. So when you listen to my music now, you can feel that energy and that weird blend of hip-hop influences with Hardstyle. I’m a huge fan of Eminem, in my opinion he’s the greatest rapper alive at the moment. I’m not a big fan of anyone in particular except for him. He’s like, the main dude, he’s on a whole different level than the rest and that’s what I want to be like, he’s my ultimate goal to work with. Besides Eminem, I grew up to Dr. Dre and all that West Coast shit.

Where would you like to perform once?

Everywhere the party is! Yes, the real big parties like Reverze, Bassleader, Qlimax and Sensation Black are for me the hardest kick. But I hope that the scene will continue to expand internationally so that I can discover the rest of the world as well. 

https://soundcloud.com/coone/global-dedication-episode-37-gd37

A Sit Down With DJ Danny Tenaglia

17.05.2018


There are not many DJs who can look back on such a long and successful career as the 54 year old New Yorker Danny Tenaglia. His enduring popularity can certainly be attributed to his often several hours long sets which still are packed with the most relevant new records of the current day.  After all these years, Tenaglia still  has his eyes on the future instead of the past.

 

"The DJs are not just DJs anymore; we're artists, we replaced the live acts, we're in spotlights as producers."


 

What are your views on the scene in America?

I’m so grateful that I was able to experience all that I have from the seventies up until now. I’ve now traveled around the world, to thirty-nine countries, and I don’t see how it could ever go back to being that way on a large scale, because of the cost – a club owner wanting to create an environment like the seventies would have to not worry about the cost, think like a DJ; it’s got to be because you love music that much and really want to watch people have a great time and listen to great music. Now that all the festivals have started, now that clubs have gotten smaller, everything became more intimate and everything became so much more costly – to rent a nightclub that would hold two or three thousand people? Those days are gone – to try and accomplish that again, in Manhattan, would be unrealistic. To find club owners willing to, in effect, piss their money away to recreate the atmosphere of the Garage would be impossible.

When you were still a kid, you got to know the prolific DJ Paul Casella, who played a part in turning you onto the profession. Can you tell how that shaped your decision to pursue a career in DJing?

Well, this is where I had then realized instantly at the mere age of twelve years old upon hearing an eight-track tape mixed continuously by Paul that I was somewhat mesmerized by because when I expected a song would end, then another would blend in. Sometimes harmonically on key and sometimes so perfectly that I kept asking my cousin who made this tape and how did he do this and how did he do that? Long story short, I called the telephone number on the 8-Track tape and Paul Casella happened to be nearby and came to our families grocery store and he brought us more 8-Track tapes. He wanted to meet me as he was amazed some little “little kid” was so impressed with him and the art of DJing. I guess it was right around then in 1973 that I never showed much interest in anything else, including sports. I was not interested in any subjects in school, I was only interested in music, becoming a DJ, getting professional DJ equipment and getting gigs in big nightclubs and eventually this obviously led to my second career by nature which was producing music of my own, collecting synths, drum machines and various studio gear.

You mentioned playing in warehouse spaces with rented systems, how does that compare to your resident DJ days?

Residencies were great you know the club like you know your bedroom. When it's your first time playing somewhere, you have to adjust to everything: the environment, the sound, the monitors, the height of the console, where the light person is. At least you don't have to worry about where you're going to put your records anymore. But it's adapting to everything. And if you're not the DJ starting the night, you can imagine going in while the other guy's on before you, and maybe he's got friends in the booth, and you've got to set up around them, people staring and watching it's not always comfortable. But you get used to it. I can't say I love it like I used to love the clubs and the consistency. Warehouses and festivals will also never compare to those four stacks in a room where you feel that thunder. A lot of places you play, warehouse or festival, when you're on the stage, they usually have speakers only facing out these days.

One of your most famous pieces of work was your second Global Underground compilation, which you chose to base on your experiences of playing in London. Why did you choose London as your inspiration, and what was it about playing in London that you wanted to express in your mix?

It wasn’t totally my idea, and I really can’t say exactly at what point that compilation, became about London, but it was at the right time and the right place. All the compilations that I make are a reflection of how I feel in the moment and also trying to give a reflection of my heart and soul. You also always want to take into consideration artists that you think could use the hype, and who have inspired you. It’s so hard to make compilations – picking out all the songs, finding out which ones can be approved, being disappointed about which ones can’t. I have really strong memories about playing with Carl Cox in London and sweat dripping from the walls – it’s all about moments, not about the money or anything else, and to me it’s like I’m in the same frame of mind as everyone on the dance floor – even now I’m 55 years old!

As you were already determined to be a DJ yourself, what tricks of the trade did you learn at that time and maybe still use?

Well, it’s definitely a whole new ball game since way back in the early days I was playing and learning on turntables that weren’t even Technics. Playing with 45s and LP cuts that were mainly all live bands with extremely short intros and sloppy drummers. This in itself trained my ear to pay close attention to the beats and where to catch them in order to not train wreck. Precision, like professional dancing was key and the most important thing to focus on as people will notice when you’re out of sync.

https://soundcloud.com/danny-tenaglia-official/danny-tenaglia-ultra-music-festival-miami-2018

A Sit Down With DJ Bassnectar

14.05.2018


If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in the mind of Lorin Ashton, better known as Bassnectar, then today is your lucky day. The electronic music producer has recently opened up in an interview with Westword, where he revealed a less-than-thrilled hot take on the dynamics of the current EDM scene, weighed in on his cult-like following, and more.

 

"I’m pretty inspired, actually borderline obsessive when it comes to creating. I think about music all the time. I dream about it, so it’s never been like what I can be inspired by; it’s more like massive to do lists."




 

How did you start?

The terrain was so different when I was starting. The definition of a DJ was changing. I was in college training to be a guidance counselor or possible high school teacher and I began throwing free raves out in the woods and in warehouses.

How often do you fail in what you're doing?

Let's see. I don't feel a sense of failure very often. I don't actually think of it. Maybe I do and I don't notice. I don't know. I wouldn't want to say I never fail, but I never feel like I'm wallowing in failure. I think creativity is not really about winning or failing. I don't feel like I won, and I don't feel like I failed. I feel like I was creative.

Who is a DJ you admire?

Si Begg. I begged him for YEARS to come out to SF, and when he finally did he made my JAW DROP.
But i admire him even more as a producer. I am pretty bored with DJs, i must say. Also i admire FreQ Nasty, not only for being an ambassador of style, but for staying committed to using music as a magnification glass for social change. Z Trip is the shit too! (and dear good god some of these dub step producers are SO rocking me…Reso, Rusko, UGNH!!!) I would like to see Mr Oizo or Mr Scruff. Coldcut is a genius operation. Come to think of it, there are probably zillions of pure genius acts slaying it right now, but i am on tour full time so i don’t really see shows. So i don’t know what I`m even talking about!

Do you feel like EDM has a political role at all?

Well, to be clear, I 100 percent don't feel like I'm any part of EDM any more than I'm part of hip-hop or rock and roll. And I don't mean that coyly, like I'm dancing around the reality. I really, truly have never felt like I was a part of that. Even in 2012, when I was doing interviews and a whole interview was about EDM and Skrillex and deadmau5, of course I would respond to them, but that doesn't mean that I had any business weighing in. Like if you asked me, "Do you think hip-hop should do da, da, da? Should Kendrick Lamar do blah, blah, blah? What do you think about Drake's new blah, blah, blah?" — it would be kind of silly for me to respond. Or if you said, "What do you think about talk shows today? How is Stephen Colbert doing versus Johnny Carson or blah, blah, blah?" I don't know. I watch them, but I don't have anything to say. I don't speak on behalf of comedians or rock stars or EDM stars or anything. I feel EXTREMELY — and you can put that in all caps — disinterested in EDM. There are very few EDM artists who I like musically. There are very few EDM artists who I'm impressed [with] or intrigued by their personality or what they're projecting. But there are some artists who are making electronic music who are absolutely fantastic. And there's more and more underground artists who — God knows what the fuck to call them — are just very talented.

What do you think of digital dj technology?

It`s awesome. In some senses, it changes the “sport”…whereas one of the GOALS used to be beat matching, that is now pretty irrelevant. And its sad, if your sport was showing off how wonderfully you can beat match, because that has really become obsolete. Although i can beat match as instantaneously as the next DJ, i don’t give an at’s rasss about doing it and making people watch me do it. I’m rather much more interested in creating and collecting awesome sounds, and layering, combining and broadcasting them as a means to conjure up an energetically cathartic experience for other humans.

Are there any really exciting new ideas emerging in underground dance music today?

I am really excited about combinations of existing forms of sound. The more fearlessly we explore these combinations, the more wild and imaginary our results. Strict rules bother me and bore me. Although i tend to refer to Bassnectar as “omnitempo maximalism” which means any or all speeds, time signatures, and rhythms, and every sound source possible, i seem to gravitate towards really heavy tempos, lots of play with double time and half time, and using electronic methods to embellish and reinforce other styles of music.

https://soundcloud.com/nauxfaux/sets/enchanted

A Sit Down With DJ Brennan Heart

29.04.2018


Fabian Bohn of the Netherlands, known by the stage name Brennan Heart, started his career as a duo with DJ Thera in 2002 then called Brennan & Heart. He began his early years experimenting in Techno, Hard trance, and Tech trance before focusing all his efforts on creating his Hard style sound. After parting ways in 2005 with DJ Thera, Bohn went on to satisfy Hardstyler’s with over 100 releases,  2 albums and numerous Festival Anthems.

 

 

 "I think it’s important to have a home-base or a home platform for your own sound or your own thing. The label is a great way to say to the whole world exactly what you’re doing ."



 

What is the craziest thing that has happened to you at a music festival?

I once played at a festival in Belgium and a photographer was making photo’s and suddenly I felt something ticking against my leg. But I thought she wanted to take a photo of me or something, nothing special. When I looked down I saw she was having an epileptic seizure on the floor inside the DJ booth. Luckily quickly people came to help and she was okay afterwards. But I remember that the audience on the other side had no idea of what was going on.

Who were your musical influences growing up outside of EDM?

ABBA. To be honest, when it comes to composing music, their really simple songs are the ones that stand out. And they're simple in a good way. There’s no need to over complicate music. People might think I’m joking when I say ABBA but it was this kind of ‘80s/90s music that really influenced today’s electronic music. Disco and old pop are basically the foundation of dance music."

What’s the feeling you have when you play something out for the very first time?

Yeah, it’s a little bit shaky because they don’t know how to respond.  It’s the first time they hear it too so sometimes you never know how it works when that first beat drops, it’s a surprise. Sometimes people go crazy and other times they need to hear it four or five times first, but yeah I’m excited tonight.

You collaborate a lot with Atmozfears. Where does this connection come from and how do you ‘complete’ each other in the studio?

Tim has the same feeling for hard style as I do, we connect with the same taste for euphoric hard style. Collaborating with Tim was done in separate studio’s for the most part & both of us played different roles in both of the tracks we did. For one of the tracks i did the lead melody and the chords and for the other track Tim did the lead melody and the chords. Naturally as we both really dig each other’s music and we connect musically, we both really liked what each other had done and the collabs just worked out really good.

What do you like best about DJing?

For me I’m also a producer, what I like is creating tunes in the studio and actually playing the tunes out for the crowd then seeing how tunes can grow.  After a while a tune gets its own story – its own thing, that’s what I like about being a DJ and being a producer. For me that’s the ultimate thing.

What is a moment you’ve experienced that best represents the “I AM HARDSTYLE” movement, where it’s more than just the music, but also the community behind it?

Last year when we did the first edition of I AM HARDSTYLE in Germany. It was really amazing to see the community come together for this, not just from Germany but also other countries. It just seems to be growing so much over the last year, people really identify with I AM HARDSTYLE. I think it’s great that my team and I have created something that brings so many people together.

Where do you get your inspiration for your tracks?

Inspiration is a magical and intangible phenomenon. Sometimes you have loads of ideas, that it’s hard to capture them all…other days, you’re only staring at your screen in the studio. I often go out for a walk along the canal, which enables me to get peace of mind. In general, music from other artists and genres really generate new ideas for my own tracks.

https://soundcloud.com/brennanheart/brennan-heart-presents-we-r-hardstyle-march-2018

A Sit Down With DJ Tenishia

29.04.2018


One can confidently say that DJ duo Tenishia hold the record when it comes to the most gigs performed abroad by a local act. With over than 155,000 fans on their official Facebook page that adds an average of another 3,000 fans per week, Tenishia who will be celebrating their 10th year anniversary this year, have risen fast and steady from their studio in Marsascala to become a worldwide recognized DJ act.

 

 

"We hate pigeonholing trance music and just attach it to the old uplifting style which has long been over produced. Music has no boundaries and combining the right elements together might open new horizons for the genre."



 

 

What does Tenishia mean?

It doesn’t have any meaning, it is just a catchy name that we chose for our project.
How long have you been working together?


About 8 or 9 years, from 2004 to the present. Yes, we work together long enough.

I know both of you are very open with your ideas, your music productions and your DJ sets. But what will you describe as the “Tenishia sound” or the “Tenishia experience” that fans can identify with?

Even though Tenishia was officially formed 8 years ago, our experience into music goes a much longer way then that. Both of us were working on different projects before Tenishia was created. We have built up ourselves in a very particular, small and difficult scene of Malta, which requires a lot of learning lessons. We not only have experience in DJing in clubs, but also in radios, following and playing in rock bands and other music experiments. Our main thing is Trance music of course, but we think we have a very particular way of blending other things into it, which are taking us a step forward. We can easily adapt to a very particular crowd and very open-minded to new things.

Of course you guys play all over the globe. What is so special about the Maltese crowd? Any differences with the other country's?

Malta is like our headquarters, our fans there want to share us to the world because we're one of the very few names from our tiny island to get international recognition. It is like the Maltese followers are part of this story as much as we are so they come to the events we play not only to have a good time but purposely to support us and be part of our story!

What is it like living the life of a World Top DJ? What is the truth behind it all?

Like every job, being a Top DJ comes with its ups and downs. Obviously no one wants to hear the negative stuff so one would just promote the positive as it will make you more sellable. But the truth behind the job goes beyond that. People will just see you on stage, having fun or at least pretending you’re having fun, depending where you’re performing, but behind those few hours there is a whole lot of things that stage people need to face.

How do you consider TEMPO concert being added to official Valletta’ 2018 opening celebration? What does it mean to you and could mean to trance?

As for trance, there is no need to say it was the most welcome section of the performance, all my fans were there waiting for it and it is surely not something you see every day that one would hear such music being played so loud in front of the president’s palace!
How do you find a solution between your musical differences? Often argue?


We do argue actually when we create music! Usually we will choose the best if there are differences and options. The argument is common, but we go through it to achieve the best final result .

How would you define the style of the music that you produce?

We definitely like to produce emotional music, with emotional melodies. We definitely prefer eyes closing rather than hands in the air. Obviously, trance is one of our favorite genres but it has changed so much now, and it has become so vast that it goes from one extreme to the other and we have to admit that we do not like some of it. Progressive was always our favorite though. Dark, emotional and aggressive would be our main ingredients.

https://soundcloud.com/tenishia/tenishia-guest-mix-on-global-dj-broadcast-with-markus-schulz-22102015

A Sit Down With DJ Kill The Buzz

14.05.2018


After a string of consistent releases, huge world tours and the support of one of the biggest DJ’s in the world, Kill The Buzz’s dedication to his DJ-ing and production is evident. His unique style and characteristic sound has seen an ever-growing faithful fan base, and has gained both the attention and respect from the music industry titans. This young star is on a rapid ascension to great heights in the highly competitive dance music industry and we can’t wait to see what’s in store in his future.

 

"I like to think that my music should also be heard by the female audience when they're driving around town or just hanging out."



 

You are an up-and-coming Dutch DJ & Producer, signed to Hardwell’s “Revealed Recordings” record label. How did you get in touch with electronic dance music in the first place and how did you get into DJing and music production?


Well my first touch with electronic dance music was back in 2000 / 2001 when I heard “One More Time” by Daft Punk. Before that I used to listen to all kinds of music on compilation CD’s but back then I wasn’t really into Electronic music. After hearing Daft Punk’s music I started to get more familiar with more genre’s and became fond of Trance. Tiesto in Concert was the first live performance DVD that I got for my birthday and also a couple of Trance Energy compilations which I still have somewhere in a box. Those Trance guys were a true inspiration for me to get me into wanting to become part of the music industry in general.

Can you talk us through your production process?

My productions process is all about starting with the basics. I am a piano player, so I always start off just jamming behind the Piano. Even if it’s a remix. I just put on the vocal in loop and start playing chords and melodies until I get the right feeling for the track.  If the feeling is the way I want it I start off with adding claps, snaps, hi hats or any other drum loop to get a feeling of the groove and momentum. After that the track will always feel a bit empty so I start layering sounds until I get it the way I want it to sound like. Getting the sound right is important for me so that when I have it on loop I can sit back and start bringing up ideas I want to add or even delete from the project.

As you’re constantly flying around the world for shows, how do you keep yourself up-to-date with the latest releases from all your fellow DJs?

Lucky enough there are a lot of promo pools where I am listed in, so I’ll receive enough new music before they get released. Also I’m very close to the DJs that I know, so when there’s a new track coming out they’ll mail me about it or send the link in a group chat.

You are best known for your tracks “Party Hard”, “Life Is Calling” (with JoeySuki) and “Rise Up” (with Mark Sixma). What other tracks, remixes or mix-sets would you recommend to someone that is not yet familiar with your music?


"Don’t Give Up" with David Spekter, and My Remix of "Jason Derulo - Want to Want me" and "Mason - Exceeder"

What was the best music festival you played this past summer?

The best festival that I’ve played this year has to be the I Am Hardwell show in Taipei. It was my first time coming out to Taipei but the energy and the exposure was crazy!

Any possible collaboration with the boys in the future?



 



Goldfish & Blink are great and we have been working on a collaboration.


In the future, are you going to focus more on your vocals, rather than the DJ/Producing side of your music?

Definitely. I am a musician by heart and vocals are a great way to tell and share a story through music. I will always be focusing on making dance music and also the Big Room sound. But I also want to expand my musical journey and hopefully make my way to an even bigger audience by sharing the music & stories that I wanna share.

https://soundcloud.com/killthebuzz/kill-the-buzz-feat-katt-niall

A Sit Down With DJ James Zabiela

14.05.2018


James Zabiela one of the few DJ's who is really pushing himself in the live arena, James's live spectacle utilities a pair of trusty 1210's, a couple of CD J's, a DJ M600 mixer and an effects unit create layers of sound that are captivating audiences world over. Sampling, looping, twisting, his technical mastery belies someone his age, his unique talent being jumped upon by electronic giants Pioneer who called on James for development advice for their next generation of DJ hardware.

 

"I think everyone’s got a secret desire to share their favorite music with as many people as possible. I mean the most integral part of DJing is sharing music with other people but also putting my own spin on it, so I guess I have the best job in the world really."



 

 

Can you describe your DJ style?


When I started DJing I was into so many DJs. The music I started playing when I started DJing myself, was kind of a mixture of all those DJs. The elements of Sasha, elements of Rennie Pilgrim, elements of techno DJs- Luke Slater and people like that. So I guess I just kind of confused as to my music style. I play what I like. Kind of everything. Acid House, break-beat, tech-house, a bit of progressive, melody, all sorts.


Did you have any songs that you wanted, but you couldn’t license?

There were a few, but it is always with these vinyl only tracks. They are the tough ones because the labels just want their releases out strictly on vinyl, which I can appreciate. There were a couple I wanted to license, but couldn’t because of that reason. They don’t want their tracks on Spotify. It is quite nice because now I have those tracks to use in another way such as a radio mix or something like that. Also as time goes by, with those vinyl only tracks, once they are out of press, the labels are more relaxed and you can license it for something else. 

You're known for your technical ability behind the decks and on the fly style of DJing, whom were you inspired by as a DJ to do the type of sets you do?

The weird thing is I don't actually know, not for those particular attributes you mentioned at least. I was always fascinated by scratch DJs and computer games as a kid, so some of that is definitely to blame. When I was growing up I mostly just wanted to emulate my hero Sasha who was the king of the long seamless blend and was technical in an entirely different sense. So I guess all the tech stuff just kind of happened through my personality.

Your routines are amazing. How long do you spend practicing for a routine? 

Thank you for saying so. Not as much as I should do these days but the good thing about a long run of gigs such as the above is that I’m really practicing live. When you do something really cool you can try and repeat it the following night if you can remember how you did it. When there are a lot of gigs in a row you kind of get in the zone.

This year, you'll be at many of major festivals in Europe like Global Gathering. Which one are you most looking forward to?


That one actually. Have you seen the line-up? I almost had to cancel because I'm going to be in America on Fri. night - in Chicago. I have to leave the club and get straight on a plane, just go straight there to get there on time. So there was just no way I was going to miss it. And I just did Homelands and that was really good. It was really nice to see because the scene in the UK has kind of been up and down. And last year Homelands was good but the numbers weren't as good as they have been, but this year was the busiest it's been in three years. And it was really refreshing. And also Homelands is in Winchester which is very close to where I live, in South Hampton, so it was special. 


You travel a lot. What are the essential things you need to have with you at all times and what are the things you miss when you are on tour?


This is easy and if one of the below items are missing I get very upset and will find a replacement at all costs before beginning my journey. Noise cancelling headphones, an Ipod with ‘storm sim’ app, a comfy hood and an eye mask. With those things I transform myself into a walking, sitting, laying human-hibernation travel cocoon.

Any advice to new DJs?

I’ve been helping my girlfriend practice mixing and beat-matching, and she had a gig recently and the DJ after her showed up with a Native Instruments S2 synced to Traktor, but he didn’t know how to beat match, so he turned to her to ask if she could bring his first track in, which is madness! I couldn’t even imagine it! It’s crazy to think that there are DJs out there that don’t even have that skill of beat-matching, which in it’s basic sense isn’t even hard. I know there are different levels of beat-matching, like if you look at what Sasha was doing with wonky acetates 10 years ago, that was something beyond basic beat-matching; 3 minute mixes of things that aren’t supposed to go together.

https://soundcloud.com/jameszabiela/x-ray

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

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