has been on a 30-year quest to deliver his musical wizardry to the world. In fact, music is such an intrinsic part of his DNA that its one of his main modes of communication. From a residency at the groundbreaking Circoloco at DC10 in Ibiza, where he has been entrenched for over 15 years, to tours around Europe and the rest of the world, Timo Maas maintains a high level of performance.
Piety may not be a distinctive feature of Timo, but what can not be taken away from it is the insight, ambitiousness, originality, the rare qualities that clubbers need so much. These qualities and carried him into the whirlpool of the world of dance music. But, despite the fact that he maintains a good relationship with Fatboy Slim and Sven Vath, conceit really does not belong to him. Of course, Timo likes to talk about music, but, which is unusual for a DJ, he is also interested in what is happening around. He is pleased that he manages to visit the places he sees in the news.
How did you start to produce?
It was a natural process Id say. At the end of the 80s, I did the first try-outs with some friends on an old Atari computer, four-track recording, sampling something from records, etc
It was really difficult back then, usable equipment was not affordable I remember times in the early 90s where youd have to spend over 6000 Deutsche Marks on sampler units with a sampling time of four or eight seconds. It was ridiculously expensive. And you could basically do with it, what you are doing today with your iPhone, while waiting for the bus. So I was always trying things out, and then I released my first and very, very bad cheesy record, in 1994, just because I wanted my own vinyl in my hands.
"I've always been a country boy, I have to work hard, at least twice as hard, if you do not live in a big city and you do not have connections."
You have worked with artists such as Neneh Cherry, Kelis and Placebos Brian Molko. What is your take on collaborating: what does it give and what does it take?
It is ideally the clash of different experiences and characters and the output can be extremely diverse, which I like a lot. It always gives you a new view of things, which you have not seen before. What does it take? Time though, but its fun.
You have played everywhere from Pasha in Ibiza, Chicago's Karma, and L.A.'s Viper Room, to Hamburg's Tunnel and Twilo in NYC, as well as London's Turnmills and the Love Parade in Germany compare some of these festivals and clubs.
Had a great time on the Area:One Festival last summer. I do enjoy playing clubs better... each place has its own vibes I played at Pacha in Buenos Aires a few months back and that was really crazy.
How many gigs do you think you have played?
I never thought of that, but surely several thousands on every kind of level. And its many gigs that really stand out: some for the vibes & energy, some for the craziness or uniqueness, some for the people i met, some for the trip i had. I love this all.
Do you like to travel and wake up at odd hours of the day?
Ask my management. You never get used to it... it's the worst part of the job.
What have been some of the most memorable spots you have visited?
I went to every continent apart from Antarctica... Unfortunately, I don't get a lot of opportunity to see much... the Pyramids in Mexico were pretty amazing.
What has been the biggest changes for you individually during your career?
The rules of the scene have obviously drastically changed. Many years ago, as a DJ you were some kind of exotic type of character, spending loads of time and even more money in the thing you love so much, against everyone and everything. These days, everyone who downloads a free mixing software onto his phone considers himself a DJ. The market, the sales, simply everything has changed. I see it as a challenge, and I can really say, that the over 30 years of DJ experience helps me day by day.
Tell us why your DJ sets are so diverse.
This comes from the experience of my very early DJing days when I was playing in farmers clubs in villages near where Im still living. I had to play for the whole night, from nine oclock in the evening to four or five in the morning. So you had to do a bit of warm-up, touch different kinds of music styles, whichever there were. One of those guys who was kind of my teacher in the 80s, he told me always play three to four tracks into one music direction and then change, because you always have to keep the whole club entertained. And somehow this is in my blood until today: I touch micro-styles in the electronic field to build moments up, but then change, go a bit techier, or a bit trippier, so it wont be too boring. This is what I do with my albums also; and because they are not DJ sets but albums, I can do even stranger mixtures if I want to.
Did you want your whole career to be about DJing then?
I started collecting records at the age of seven or eight, I started playing them at the age of 12 or 13. I come from an era when being a DJ was not cool, and travelling DJs were non-existent. So I naturally hesitated a lot before I decided to become a professional DJ. I kept my daytime job as a telecommunication advisor until 1994, back then I wasnt sure if becoming a self-employed DJ was the right decision, but I would go to the telecom store and see the very frustrated faces of my ex-colleagues, that always cheered me up and comforted me in my choice. And I was very shy as a kid and a young teenager, playing music is my way of communicating with people.
is a house music purist. Whether DJing or producing, the Parisian with the huge personality delivers raw beats influenced in equal measure by classic Chicago house and nu-school French flair, underpinned with a hip-hop attitude. His long running Robsoul Recordings also defines him as one of the most skilled label heads in underground house music.
Phil has also fully embraced the relationship with his fans and house music fans in general whether through his popular Underground Chronicles video diaries on Youtube or his personal relationships on Facebook.
Despite his success Phil isnt one to brag. To him its all about keeping proper house music alive. Which just goes to prove Phil Weeks is a house music purist.
When did your love affair with music begin?
I got into House music when I was 17, I started going to clubs at the age. Before that I was generally into Hip Hop. I got some turntables and a sampler in 1993, but I really didnt get into DJing until 1995/6.
Paris is the centre of the fashion world. Have you always had an interest in fashion?
I cant really say that. When I was younger I didnt really care but in the last 10 years for sure.I take influences from everywhere, from anything I see that I like. Its almost a daily thing. Its exactly the same with my artistic inspiration.
Can you tell us about the scene in Paris your favourite clubs/ bars?
I love Paris, the scene is pretty big and large, from House to Techno but mostly quality. Im doing my Get Underground parties at Rex Club, with my partner Didier Allyne, and I have to say Rex is my favorite spot.
This club has a lot of soul, been there for so long time & still going strong. Easily one of the top European clubs.
But we have also a lot of other amazing clubs in Paris, the Showcase, Cirque Bonheur, some super hype boat parties & more.
Besides your gigs you produce a lot of music. How is your workflow in the studio?
The way Im working really changed over the years. Before, I was rather slow to work, finishing one track in a week or two sometimes. I needed to listen the same loop over and over again. Now I can make a track I love in two hours, I have a better understanding of music and I have more confidence from a creative point of view. For example when I DJ, I dont prepare my set, I just take a bunch of music that I like and when Im live I just create something with it. In the studio I do the same, I work with samples that I like, cut them into pieces and just play around with them. Eventually it always comes to something and usually its pretty quick. Then I keep about 70% of the music I make to maybe release it and the rest I just throw it away.
What and who are some of your influences?
I get inspired by a lot of things around me, outside of music also. About electronic music, I would say of course all the early Chicago/Detroit House & Techno
a lot of the West Coast sound from the end of 90s, early 2000s
Then my main influences will be Hip Hop, Soul, Funk.
"The key thing is that I love the same music year after year, so its pretty easy to keep a line. I like to stay true to my taste. But also I work hard for it."
What do you use to DJ on?
I mostly used CDs these days but still love to bring and play vinyl on special occasions. I will stick to that and dont feel the need to go to the laptop or USB key. I also spend some time to encode some of my record collection before each gig.
Do you get inspired by other producers?
Nowadays I dont think Im getting much inspiration from others sampling producers but if I had to mention one it would be J Dilla. He is the only one in this part of the world of music that blew my mind away. Even when I knew which sample he was using, listening to the way he would use it was incredible. He feels the music on another level compared to any other beat makers.
Why is your record label called Robsoul?
I was in love with the skills of the legendary Bass player Robbie Shakespeare and I made the name Robsoul based on this artist.
You are largely described as a house purist, what does being a purist mean to you?
Im just a House Lover, still not and wont ever get bored with it anytime soon. I dont need any new styles or trends to keep on loving it the same as on day one. And I do things for House music all day every day.
How do you stay on top of all the releases, DJing and producing?
I have a very good team. Maya is working full time on everything label related, that I cant stay on top off and so I can stay more creative. She takes care of the YouTube channel, uploading digital with Finetunes & Beatport, Robsoul Shop, Robsoul Facebook, and Podcast. Then my partners Pascal (TW Management) for my bookings, the Robsoul parties. Diego Dentico (DNZ) for Italy. Vincent Quittard (Finetunes) my digital distributor.
Didier Allyne (Syncrophone) to distribute the vinyl. Carson Carr for the video (Underground Chronicles). Shinzu Shinzoo for the design & graphics. Alexandre (Atal Music) for the publishing. Defensive Music for the Neighboring Rights. A great team. I work a lot personally, I have no choice if I want to stay on top of everything. But I love it. I love it when I have no time. Saying that, Im now in a position where I can take some days off whenever I want to.
is a techno and tech house producer who has been DJ'ing for nearly 20 years now and producing since 1999. Hailing from beautiful Lucerne, Switzerland, hi s cutting edge production skills have seen him produce exciting and innovative releases in the past on such established imprints as Heinz Music, Sprout, Formatik and Great Stuff, amongst many more.
As well as a pretty impressive production work appetite, he is also a prolific world tour performer with him who has played at venues in such countries as Mexico, Brazil, India, Thailand, Japan, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, as well as all over Europe.
His journey trough electronic music began in the early 90's. when he was only at the age of 14 years old he spins Vinyls in his brother room, what later became his biggest addiction. After a few years of practice he began to play almost every weekend in club's, open air events and festival. During the year 1999, he moved a step further to write and produce his own music. He's always trying to bring something fresh and unique trough his sound Khainz released numerous singles through leading international labels, such as: Sprout Music, Form, Great Stuff, Hotfingers, Formatik , Natura Viva, Autist , Flow, Soulman.
Can you tell us how it all began and what is behind your stage name "Khainz"?
I started producing in 1998, but then psy-trance. Around the year 2003 I moved more towards techno. When I was asked what they should write on the flyer, I said Karl Heinz ... What has resulted in the short form Khainz. And somehow I just could not get rid of the name.
What made you go from spinning other peoples music to make your own?
I got curious to how people actually make the music I play. So I started to practice and learn music production.
Where are you finds his ideas for all his production & Performances?
From Parties, People, Moments & Feelings. Life seems to be an inspiration to this one!
What does the rest of the world probably not know about Dance music in Switzerland?
Switzerland has many Clubs and Festivals even if its a very small country. People are very outgoing and enjoy to party till late. Its also one of my favourite countries to play as many people are musically educated and open minded. And for sure because its my home where I can party with my homies. There are many great producers not too many are well known, but I guess thats just a matter of time until you will see more Swiss acts on line ups around the world.
Do you mostly play own productions or is it a mix between many?
I play mostly my own music (Live Sets), in DJ Sets I play also music from other producers.
"As a DJ you will never be able to make 100% of the people in the club happy. Each DJ has his style, which should also make him unique and for which he is also booked at the parties."
You have toured all over the globe, which country has surprised you the most and why?
Its difficult to say. Its quite different from country to country. Mexico and Brazil for example have more Raves with huge crowds. I like to play big parties. But I mostly prefer the smaller parties have some more personality between me and the crowd. There is more eye contact with individual people. I guess my favourite places I have been until now are Australia, Canada and Japan. I guess its not depending really on countries. Its more about what parties you play there.
Do you find Phangan to be a good place for your music?
Yes I guess nowadays in Phangan you can play many different styles. I remember some years ago it was mostly psytrance and progressive trance. Today you have more parties with different styles of music so its kind of open for any style now. My favourite places is probably Bay lounge for chill, Santorini to eat and Halfmoon to party.
Can you tell us some funny or annoying anecdotes, stories?
I could probably fill an entire book with anecdotes and stories, such as the first time in Mexico: After a 12-hour flight I arrived exhausted in Mexico and of course the driver from the airport was already too late to pick me up. But since it was the first time, I thought he was already there and just does not recognize me. That's why I wanted to wear a T-shirt from the label for which I played that time. When I put my laptop bag next to me and the shirt was changing, someone managed to steal my DJ bag and its contents within 5 seconds. When we went to the Mexican police, they just laughed and said this happens daily at the airport. They would also have surveillance cameras there and I could even look at the pictures. Since I've already thought: "pictures? A camera should still make videos. "But no, this camera took only every 20 seconds a picture and so you saw me once in the picture with the laptop bag and the other time without ... so it was not exactly helpful. I was told by the police that part of the corrupt security teamed up with the pickpockets and told them exactly when a picture would be taken. After they showed me their "best of stealing bags" pictures of other people and told me that my bag would probably never be found again, my tour consisted of driving from the airport to the embassy and back and all my documents back to obtain. Last but not least, the party was canceled because the organizer paid too little bribe to the police. So we spent our days in the hotel with sauna, whirlpool and lots of tequila.
How have you grown as a producer?
I guess its a goal of every artist to grow production wise and musically. I guess my Album (Simple as That) has a bit more variations and its way more musical then Modul8. My debut Album was more Techno/ Progressive house, the new album more Techno/Tech House. Im sitting daily for hours in the studio if Im not on tour and that helps me growing in production and musically I guess.
What do you advise aspiring Swiss musicians?
Stay true to yourself! Do not do that, which is just a trend just so you get bookings. Otherwise you are just one of 1000 doing the same thing. I think for clubs, festivals as well as listeners it is more interesting when a DJ or act plays who has his own imprint than someone who plays exactly the same as the last 5 DJs in front of him. Because this is the only way to stand out a bit from the pabulum. Just do what you like! Music is something very personal and extremely dependent on the mood. It does not do any good to force yourself into something in the studio where you just do not feel like it!
Producer and DJ Mike Shiver
has been one of the most talked-about, up and coming talents over the last years. Since breaking onto the scene in 2003, he has been sending shivers down thousands of peoples spines. Mike has unquestioningly become one of Scandinavia's biggest front figures in the EDM landscape and has shown the world why his music is so highly rated, loved, and captivating.
So far the long list of artists to receive the Shiver remix interpretation includes Above & Beyond, Markus Schulz, Solarstone, Ronski Speed, Darren Tate, Alex M.O.R.P.H, Hiver & Hammer, Lost Witness, Darude, Filo & Peri and David West to mention a few. As well, his endless evolving tracks appear on top labels such as Anjunabeats, Armada Music and Lost Language constantly topping charts and entering the play lists of the top spinners across the globe. Best of all the tracks are highly charted around the world attracting numerous amounts of growing fans.
As one of Scandinavias most influential players in its electronic dance music scene for over a decade, Mike Shiver has been backed by some of the biggest players in the Trance and House communities, like Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Above & Beyond and Markus Schulz, releasing music on Anjunabeats, Armada Music, Big & Dirty and his own record label Captured Music.
How would you describe your style?
It's hard to describe my music as I'm really doing various stuff at the moment. I do all from progressive trance to harder trance under various project names. But mainly what I do is uplifting/euphoric trance which I believe most of the listeners out there knows me for.
Who or what musically influenced you the most and why?
Life in general, all the good and bad you go through in life is a big inspiration source for me when it comes to writing and producing. I usually tend to listen to a lot of post rock, sing & songwriter and indie stuff out there that really inspires my writing in a different way as it's more naked and intimate, which I like. No matter how much I love electronic dance music, it is in general way more busy and complex production wise that sort of takes away a bit of the focus for me as a listener in the sense where I always tend to focus a lot on the technalities in a dance production (perhaps it is just a "work-related injury" for me working as a mix engineer helping other artists on daily basis cleaning up and balancing their production), compared to when I listen to a more naked and scaled down production that sing & songwriter and indie styles usually are.
Do you have any new gear you're using in your studio?
Coming from a full on hardware setup when I started, I must say that the easiness with today's software just make things a lot faster for me in the studio and it is just the way things are developing. I love the dirty feel with analog gears and some of it can probably never be entirely replaced. However I want to be effective in the studio, which is why I've slowly been replacing most of my hardware. The analog dirtiness can still be added with software to a certain extent and that's more than enough for me at this point.
"A good track is always a good track no matter what genre it is, and that is sort of what drives me in the studio...simply producing what I love."
Can you tell us more about your release "Calling On You"?
I've always had a true passion for progressive beats, yet most of my recent productions have ended up a little bit in the more uplifting and energetic direction. So for "Calling On You", I just decided I wouldn't allow myself to take that step over that energy bar where I usually end. I started off taking down the tempo a few BPM's from what I am used to working with, and recorded a guitar line. When I reached the point of being fully satisfied with the guitar line, I arranged the entire track and found a vocal sample from the Splice Sounds database that suited my guitar line well, but I wasn't fully happy with it, so I started to work the vocal sample pitch and change the melody and rhythm of the vocal line and processed it additionally using formant shifting tools, EQ, saturation and compression processing until I was happy. And from there on the whole arrangement and sound idea just sat up there in my head and just needed to be transformed from the picture in my head down to the sequenser. Once it was ready I sent it to Enhanced Recordings, and they instantly picked it up the same day saying they loved it.
How do you see the trance scene now?
I think the trance scene has been very much up and down lately. I think the main reason is that so many people are trying to make trance these days and there are so many labels out there as well, and unfortunately I would say some of todays releases aren't the best quality ones due to the quantity. What I think in general about the trance scene and what i've noticed pretty much lately is that there's been so much negativity around the online trance forums. One other thing is that there's been many rewordings the last time. Words like 'Cheesy' has turned out to be a pretty 'negative' kind of expression for some of today's trance tracks while we also have seen many people are saying that uplifting trance is called nowadays 'ASOT-Trance' which I personally also think is a pretty negatively kind of rewording. About the music itself it's been taking some progressive turns lately and this will probably change as well...it's just like a trend you know.
Tell us about your Label "Captured Music"?
My own record label "Captured Music"that I am now also running together with Adrian Raz Recordings, has always been a free hand platform for me to experiment with my own sounds over the years, and to be running an own record label has also helped me to really evolve as a producer in the sense where I've been able to decide completely myself how my tracks should sound, without anyone telling me to change this or that. Captured Music has also become a platform for more experienced and upcoming trance or progressive producers such as for example Samuel Jason, and once we finished "Trouse" together, we felt instantly that this was a typical Captured Music release! We got a very interesting release schedule for the label as well this year and I can't wait to release all the goodies lined up there from me and the other artists on board such as Mike Danis, Matias Lehtola, Matt Millon and many more.
Which are the best 5 trance tracks in your opinion?
I have so many tracks i really dig at the moment, but let's see...
1. Mirco De Govia & Ronski Speed - Asarja [Euphonic]
2. Matthew Adams - In Balance [Cookies'n'Cream]
3. Yilmaz Altahan - Eighties (Özgür Can Remix) [Anjunabeats]
4. Leon Bolier - My Precious (Mesh Remix) [Captured Music]
5. Ava Mea - In The End [Coldharbour Records]
What do you personally consider to be the most important moments in your career and why?
Taking the step moving from a smaller city south-east in Sweden to our capital Stockholm, really helped me improve and find additional focus to carry on with my music. This was little more than 5 years ago now and currently living in Stockholm is great! The city is crowded with super talented like-minded people to work with and I just simply love being here in this beautiful swedish music-mekka.
If you werent a DJ, what would you be doing?
I would probably write music for films, commercials or just being a ghost producer for other artists. Music is my passion and a big part of my life and I cannot seem myself doing much other than that. The DJ part of me would probably end sooner or later at an older age when it is time for me to settle down for a family. Yet the music will always be there most likely one way or another.
commonly known as Juventa
is one of the new-breed of super talented DJs / Producers in the scene unrestricted by genre boundaries, who at every turn can ontinues to amaze and entertain with his studio dream of being able to achieve at such a young age. With his first release at just 15 years old, Juventa quickly established himself, thanks to diverse productions and remixes across leading labels such as Enhanced Music, 5 x World Number 1 DJ Armin Van Buuren's very own Armada Music imprint in Holland, scene legends Above & Beyond's Anjunabeats and even appearances on the likes of Disney, as his constantly evolving sound.
Over the past few years, Jordin's style has developed in the most modern sense. "Juventa 'sound, and a sound that has made it in the middle of the last century, in Sydney, Australia, to Korea for The World DJ Festival in Seoul and The Czech Republic for Transfusion in Prague. And the list does not stop there, where among the a long list of career highlights he's also rocked the world.
How do you pick the tracks?
A month or so before actually starting on the compilation, its all about collecting new material. New label signings, tracks just finished by fellow producers or tracks that just came out and really blew you away you bring all of that together and then select approximately 20-30 tracks that are the best out of everything. After that you need to get the mix down. To me its important the mix flows really well, and transitions need to be as seamless as possible. Eventually you end up using maybe 15-20 tracks from the ones that you had originally picked. Its tough to drop other songs as you probably really wanted to use those too, but theres just no room for it. But when the mix is done and it sounds good, you know it was worth it.
Your Just For Now EP came out just six weeks before Kinetica. Were two EPs always the plan or did you just have too much material for one?
Ive had a lot of unreleased music so two EPs made sense. The track Just For Now is about two years old. The intro to the EP is a year and half old too. I actually played it at ASOT 600.
Was there a theme that you wanted to have for your respective disc?
Not necessarily a specific "theme," though I think my disc represents my sound and the music I like really well. Theres melodic songs, and tracks that focus on bass or incredible arrangement; there's a bit of everything, but they all have a sound to them that really appeals to me.
Can you describe the kind of equipment and software you have?
I recently bought Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate bundle, which is a great addition to the software I already had. I have a really, really basic setup and mostly produce on my Pioneer HDJ2000 headphones. Some of my favourite plugins are Sylenth1, Massive, Razor, Harmor, Zebra 2 and z3ta. For effects I really like all the FabFilter products.
Top 3 tracks that you would like to remix them in your current Juventa style?
Artys Twilight Tonight,
Willem de Roo Datamoon and
Audiens Keep This Memory.
"The preparation for a compilation is a lot more time-consuming, but just as satisfying as a great live set when you get it to flow well."
Do you think people still underestimate you because youre only 20, even though youve been around for years?
Sometimes there are still people who call me kiddo and treat me like a teenager. But there are others who respect the fact that Im younger than a lot of artists. Martin Garrix is younger than me, and Im sure no one treats him like hes 18. They treat him like hes one of the top producers in the world.
How did you get chosen to work on a project Enhanced Sessions?
Ive been a part of the Enhanced label for years now. I grew from being a newcomer to being one of its household names, and I think that made them decide to let me have the honor of mixing the newest Enhanced Sessions compilation. I just hope this wont be the last one I get to work on.
Speaking of evolving, what do you say to people who get mad at artists for not sticking to the music that made them famous?
I wouldnt say anything to them, not anymore. Ive spent all my effort into telling people theyre wrong or shouldnt be so hard on artists. I guess its something that you have to get used to. I remember being one of those people when I first got into electronic music and trance was everything I listened to and made. And I too got pretty pissed for example, when Tiesto changed his sound, and I was like, what are you doing?! Though looking back now, I can see why he did it. If he had stuck to trance he would have been a completely different guy and not the same Tiesto he is nowadays. Artists make these changes for a reason and usually people dont know whats going on behind the scenes. Not to say those people are stupid or dumb, they just havent been apart of the process. Its a little harsh to make those comments.
From the clubs you have performed at so far, which performance stands out most?
Lucky Festival and Foundation Nightclub, both in Seattle, World DJ Festival in Seoul and ASOT 600 in Den Bosch were definitely stand out shows! In the future I would love to play a festival like Ultra, EDC, Tomorrowland or EZoo. I also havent played in a club on Ibiza yet thats on my wish list too.
What is your dream gig?
For a very long time I thought playing Ultra or Electric Zoo would be the dream performance and its still up there as one of my goals. Based on the music I like lately and what Ive been working on, it would be cool to do something completely different, either as Juventa or maybe even a new name. But I would want to do something like Porter Robinsons Worlds Tour where theres so much detail in the visuals and every aspect of the show. He played here in Amsterdam and it felt like watching a movie for an hour and half; when it was over I immediately wanted to watch it all over again.
Throughout the years, Dick Trevor
proved his never-ending creativity by joining forces with numerous Psytrance/Goa-Trance pioneers and forming projects such as the Bumbling Loons (with James Monro), or Slinky Nuns/Seeka with George Barker. On Twisted Records, Dick did collaborations with Simon Posford as Infernal Machine and Tristan as Trickster. He also did a Western Rebel Alliance Remix track with Jules Evans for the Shpongle Remix album. On Phantasm Records, there were collaborations with Chris Boing as the Bisto Boys and John Ford as Mindfield/Bisto Boys and then with Johns son Junya (Eskimo) as Jumanji.
He developed his incredible fat production by being at the cutting edge of the early nineties with his first trance hits with the legendary Green Nuns of the Revolution who dominated the fullon scene in the mid nineties. He has been in the process of working with projects like the Green Oms album at the turn of the millennium and more recently Jumanji (with Eskimo) and his own solo project Dickster as well as the countless classic collaborations with the likes of Simon Posford, Tristan, Lucas and house remixes with the likes of Danny Howells.
Tell me a bit about your background, before the formation of Green Nuns of the Revolution?
I was always interested in music, having been in a band at school and learnt various instruments whilst I was growing up. After leaving school and working in a couple of jobs I went to art college and was intending to go into graphics and illustration. One of my art teachers, who I used to hang out with, introduced me to a course in sound engineering. I decided to drop the art and head into music. I figured I wanted to be a sound engineer/producer in a professional studio working with all kinds of music. So I started working as a tea boy and tape-op in a large studio in London whilst meanwhile going to raves and festivals on weekends which got me turned on to dance music. After working there for about a year I started the sound engineering course and during that time we started up the Nuns.
You have been a part of the Green Nuns of the Revolution, AMD, Green Oms, Circuit Breakers, Burn in Noise, and many more groups. What is it that you enjoy about working with others?
On a practical level it also means you have a deadline to finish it with that person within the time you have together otherwise on my own Ill just go on for days umming and aaring about sounds.
What are some of your other important projects that had a big impact on your career, including those outside of Psytrance?
A few years ago I did some work with Danny Howells, a pretty successful house DJ, under our own names and under the name Science Dept. This was more house orientated music which was a welcome departure from my usual trance music. We managed to make a couple of hits, even getting one in to the national UK Top 40 which it really wasnt planned for. We released music on John Digweeds label, Bedrock, Deep Dishs label, Yoshitoshi and on Renaissance, even some of our tracks were released on a few Ministry Of Sound compilations. We did loads of remixes for all sorts of people, the most commercial ones being Destinys Child and Madonna which was quite amusing for me at the time. Working with Danny was great as it was something very different for me and got me into a different angle of dance music as Id felt Id got a bit stale with my trance at the time.
How did the partnership with Burn in Noise, and the Circuit Breakers project?
Gustavo came to stay in London with Swarup, whom I had known for a long time. We wrote a song for The First Stone, and another one for Dickster, which was great fun! Gustavo and I got along really well, and we thought we should do some other tracks ... We completed each other in the studio, so we made music pretty fast, because we lived on the other side of the planet. I hope to release a new album later this year.
How do you decide which ideas work best for which project?
By the light of a full moon, in my attic studio in west London. Seriously though, most of my work is done in my studio which Ive had for 15 years now, so I know it very well sound-wise although Im having a refurb right now, which is going to be a good change for me although Ill have to relearn the sound of my room! As for ideas for which project, we just sit down and write and see what comes out at that time.
"If I write on my own I take ages to finish anything; you never know when to stop. Thats the art."
Tell me about your involvement with psybient project Shpongle...
Ive known Simon and Raj for years, since Simon was an in-house engineer at Butterfly. Hes also taught me a few tricks along the way! But when he wanted to get the fully live Shpongle show on the road he asked me to help prepare some of the tracks, which took a couple of painstaking months. After that, he asked if I could be on stage during the shows to be in charge of the computer and the onstage mixer adding in a few FX during the show. Its been a fun experience working with a 10 piece live band. Last year I missed a few of the shows as I have been too busy with my own music but next year there are a few planned which Ill be a part of. I also did one of the remixes on the Shpongle remix album under the name Western Rebel Alliance.
What are your three favorite albums of all time?
It's too complicated to answer that! I love so many different styles of music, it depends on what mood I am, however, ACDC - Highway To Hell, and Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon, came to my mind. I've been overjoyed over the years listening to Orb's first album - Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld.
DJing vs live, what do you prefer?
I love DJing, in fact you are not limited to just playing your own music but the live thing is getting more fun with exploring the new technology available and tweaking it about a bit.
What are you passionate about in life besides music?
I better not say it here, but I'm passionate about traveling and getting to know the world ... And my wife, of course, is Brazilian.
Hes a Scottish Techno DJ, an accomplished producer and the co-owner of General Surgery Records
, a prestigious label that supports underground music artists.
l has played with a myriad of other top DJs and producers including Mark EG, Mike C, Chuck-E, The Producer, Jon the Dentist, Phutek, Blue Amazon, Shades of Rhythm, Oliver Lieb, and many more. Hes traveled and played all over Ireland, the UK, and the Czech Republic.
He also co-directs Iconic Underground Magazine, a monthly underground dance music magazine, and Se-Lek Music Group. Se-Lek Music Group is a joint venture involving DaGeneral, Lee Softley (Blue Amazon) and Victoria Ball (Perfect Promotions). It is a multi-disciplined venture that includes a record label, a compilation album label, a weekly radio show, and branded club nights.
"I became a producer because I love playing music, but there is nothing better than playing your own songs to a crowd and feeling the reaction that it gets."
How has the dance music industry changed since the 90s?
The industry has changed a lot and seems to be a lot more accessible thus making it more saturated. This is good in some ways but also makes it more difficult now for an artist or DJ to get noticed. No longer does being a good DJ stand you as having a chance of getting booked. Seems now that you need to be a DJ/Producer/PR/Sales to just look at the bottom of the ladder. Its a shame that the days of carrying about your demo cd and sending them everywhere has died. However, one thing that hasnt changed is the need for extreme hard work, as the saying goes you get nothing in this world for nothing and the output you achieve is a direct result for the effort and input you put in.
Who has been the most influential Musician in your life?
This is a difficult question but from the earlier years of listening to dance music through the late 90s through the noughties, it would have to be Mauro Picotto and Jon The Dentist. These guys had many massive tracks that I loved that gave me that urge to do what they do. If you think, between these guys they released some massive hits that will be, in my opinion, all-time favourites. Jon The Dentist with Global Phases, Feel So Good, Imagination. Mauro Picotto with Iguana, Lizard, Komodo. But on a different level now the influence and support I get from the legend that is Blue Amazon is unbelievable.
You took the route of being a DJ first then becoming a producer afterwards. Do you think that being a DJ first before starting music production helped you?
Of course for me it did yes, I think havent the understanding of what DJs like to hear and how I as a DJ would like a track to build was a big help for me. I am not saying that it is better to start as a DJ then become a producer second, but in my opinion it helps understand what you like in an end product before trying to produce it. I guess this is all relative to each person and what is good for me is probably not good for the next person. I guess now that a lot of it is digital, it is more readily available for everyone to have and purchase the equipment required to start learning their trade rather than needing to book studio time and engineers to get the result they require. However, this doesnt mean you should just throw music out there and it is a lot quicker, you still need to learn the key elements of making a track and have the skills to create and mix down your track to a professional level to get anywhere with it.
Whats the best party youve ever played in the UK?
Had a few favourites over the years, supporting 808state at CIRCUS was great, but I also have some fond memories of Judgment Day, and of course Sensations in Glasgow was a great residency to be involved with. Its hard to choose a stand out night or event as each one has its own quirks and the crowd are always awesome so it wouldnt be fair to choose favourites.
Do you also manage live DJ events?
Yeah keeping busy of course I co-own This Is Techno Live with N.K.D. we have a monthly techno radio show running featuring some massive guests 2015 already we have in store UMEK, Goncalo M, Dualitik, The Anxious, and Skober. And that is all before easter! Of course to compliment the radio show we now try to put on 2 club nights per year to make it a great all around show. So far the feedback has been awesome and we have no plans to stop.
How do you keep up the relentless energy levels?
There is never enough time in the day, I have to try and split my time between various things. I am fortunate to have support in all things I am involved in! I have Victoria Ball (Perfect Promotions) who looks after all the PR/Press stuff for DaGeneral and manages the social pages attached, and of course now manages my bookings for me. The biggest benefit is Victoria ensures that I am always keeping things in place and organized and probably saves me on average around 12 hours per week I didnt have before. Of course Lucy and Michael (Paul Rodriguez Music Ltd) look after all my publishing for DaGeneral and General Surgery, and have been key in ensuring that all contracts are tight and correct, once again saving me time which of course is like gold. This all round helps me to free up time to spend more time in the studio working on new tracks and remixes. But the secret is I dont get that much sleep, I spend a ridiculous amount of time on music based work! I am a believer of hard work pays off and you get out what you put in.
Does it take a toll on your private life, DJing must take up a lot of your time and at unreasonable hours?
Yeah going back on the hard work statement, I generally dont have many free hours in a week between the production, networking and radio/gigs. Luckily my partner is well aware of the hard work and supports the amount of effort and time I put in, but in turn can celebrate my achievements with me. The hardest bit is learning to say no to the extra workload at times when flat out, but its always nice to be nice isnt it? Therefore I have to take the rough with the smooth on that one, I still wouldnt swap it for any other job in the world.
How big is the Techno scene in the UK?
The techno scene in the UK is flourishing, the crowds are awesome and they love good music. I think a lot of people are sick of the commercial storm that EDM has been giving them. I think the enthusiasts want to enjoy some good underground sounds rather than the generic hands in the air breakdowns, thrown in with vocals which seems to be the norm at the moment.
How do you feel about the production of dance music these days?
I think the production of good dance music has improved and the quality coming out of the digital era is awesome. It has given a great platform for people to express themselves in new ways of course without the need for expensive studios to produce a track. Of course people are having a dig at the EDM scene at the moment, but although its not my cup of tea its there because the kids want it, just like pop music and chart hits have been for many years. But back onto the production of underground music, its still exciting times with some really impressive guys out there putting their hearts into creating some of the best music available.
As mentioned earlier, you have a monthly radio show called This Is Techno LIVE. Please let us know what This Is Techno LIVE is about.
This Is Techno Live is a monthly radio show that I run with the founder N.K.D. with resident Jon The Dentist, and we endeavour to get get some of the best techno and tech-house music each month to our monthly listeners. We have grown over the last couple of years and have a really great set of listeners that tune in to the show each month. Without the listeners though the show would be nothing so I would like to say a big thankyou to everyone who tunes in. Of course the latest addition to this is that we now have a This Is Techno Live compilation series starting November in association with Se-Lek-Shuns album series. You should be able to expect the compilations to come out bi-monthly with some great underground music for your listening pleasure. Separate from the monthly show I also have just tied up a new deal with a radio station in Ibiza to have a weekly show also named DaGeneral presents This Is Techno Live. This will be on 6am Ibiza Underground which also hosts some awesome artists including: Tom Hades, Jewel Kid, Lisa Lashes, Marco Bailey, Eric Sneo, and many more. So keep an eye out for the weekly sets featuring on the weekly show which will have the same ethos and ideas that the monthly show currently has.
built on his skills as a trained pianist and drummer, he speaks English, Dutch and French and since 2009 has enjoyed huge success with singles Hit Girl, Hypnotized and Aqualight. He owns and manages record label Mistakes Music and happens to have remixed for the likes of Kylie Minogue, Justin Timberlake, Duran Duran, Groove Armada and Ali Love. Hes a very talented guy.
His storied career as both a DJ and a producer is long, illustrious compilation of top-notch production, a diverse output, and a signature thats undeniably his own, as evidenced by classics like 2002s Victory, 2005s Take Your Pills, and 2011s Polymod.
To this day he continues to imbue his techno and house productions with as much soul as possible, and it is for this reasons that Sébastien remains one of Frances most outstanding exports. With every twist and turn of his career he seeks to push dance music past the standard French house clichés.
In your view, how has the art of DJing evolved?
In my career, not too much. I used to play vinyl for 15 years and now I play on CDJs, which is the closest you can get today. Im not a laptop DJ. I have nothing against it; its just really annoying when DJs before or after me connect their cables and shit while Im focusing on doing something. In general though, the art of DJing is a little bit gone now, crushed by marketing, fake likes, and PR strategies. Id also say that the art of producing is gone as well, as we all now produce something that has to be obvious, dancefloor-friendly, and with a lot less risk just to manage to get gigs. Im not the kind of person to be nostalgic, but it was healthier before.
How has experiential wisdom changed your perspective towards the dance music scene as you now pass twenty years in the industry?
The older you get, the more mature you are nothing new here! I think the way I play music and produce it is a lot more careful. I take my time now, before I used to be a machine, producing track after track, playing music very fast etc
And just in general in life, its pretty much the same. I even moved from my flat in the centre of Amsterdam to a house in the countryside in France.
Your 20 Years compilation! What is this all about? Is it your personal favourites over the years?
Yes. Usually a best of includes only the most popular tracks of an artist, but I chose this tracklist not only based on the success of the music but also on the tracks I prefer. Some of my biggest hits are not included on this LP, simply because I do not think they are some of the best work Ive done. There are also a few unreleased tracks and new material included as well.
What is your preference, DJing or producing? And why would you choose one over the other specifically?
It's 50/50. DJing is essential to share the music I make during the week. I'm planning this year to make a Temple Of Lions live act. Not DJing, just me playing live the music of the label. Producing means being at home, without airports or waiting time in a hotel. Both are complementary I would say. I have to make music in order to get gigs. That's just how things work nowadays. Even though Im a DJ first, as I started to DJ in 1993/94, and producing in 1997/98.
You played around the world. And there is Indonesia, which has resulted in your brand new label, Temple of Lions . This is your 5th label, the most spiritual of all?
I am not a spiritual person, but I have always loved the mystical music, which provokes the imagination. The kind of music you think it's sunny, warm, with beautiful images coming to mind. One of my best friends is a resident of Bali. The first time I went, I was amazed to see people at this point groovy and melodic deep-house groove. It is not a tourist island, there is a real receptivity. I really could play everything I wanted. The atmosphere of the island challenged me. It's a little magical, it's pretty odd elsewhere. Because in the end, it is quite dark, there is no white sand and coconut trees ... It is rather the jungle, the rice fields, and everything is dark, even the walls of the temples. C ' is quite intriguing as a place. You have the sun but it's not the smooth postcard you can imagine. I passed a temple and I clicked at seeing these two lions at the entrance. The name of the label came from there.
Did you have any special inspirations within the full length?
Yes, my own inspiration, but from few years back, its a sort of melting pot of my old sounds with the todays touch. I wanted to do some very basics groove, with as little channels as possible, which I didnt really archive because most of the tracks are quite complex in the end, but the raw ideas where simple.
Do you mainly put your new records out on your own label?
Yeah, pretty much, but an old French label keeps releasing my old tracks and it's really messing up what I've been trying to do. They bought an old catalogue of my music from 1999 and released 72 of my tracks on Beatport. 72! So when people are going on to Beatport and searching for me, they find tracks that are ten years old and it looks like they are brand new on Beatport. It's really driving me crazy.
Has it been a big challenge to start your label?
Not so much because I didn't start my label until about three years ago and I was pretty well known already so it worked. There's no point doing it if you've only been making music for two years.
Do you have any favourite tracks?
Yes, Imaginary Paradise is my favorite, for me its a timeless piece of tech/house, with a groove, melody and clever arrangement.
"I feel that the best tracks that work on a dancefloor are, in many ways, the simplest and somehow irrelevant, not timeless."
Do you think there will be a time when French Touch comes full circle and makes a return to the scene or do you think it belongs where it originally stood?
I kind of like the idea of this to stay where it is and never touch it or bring it back. It will never sounds as fun and fresh as it used to be at the time. The recycling thing is cool, but recycling the recycled stuff isnt my cup of tea. I loved that period of time, but I personally would never get it back myself. Maybe a special set once in a while, but Im not sure the generation of today would get it as back then it wasnt about big breaks, drops, white noise and tight production as it is today.
Why did you stop doing remixes?
It was a lot of things really, for me. Its partly a control thing. Ive done so many remixes that have been way bigger than the original, but the artist gets the credit and I dont its just very annoying. Im not really
into it any more.
How would you assess the state of techno?
I guess it's just a matter of taste, so this is my own opinion. In general, techno is kind of the same over and over right now. It's just drums and beats with this and that of FX or sound design in the background to cover for very poor musicality or creativity. I miss having soul in it. This is why I prefer and always preferred house over techno.
Roel "DJ Isaac
" Schutrups was born in Winschoten in the northern part of Holland on June 8th 1974. He started his music career as a remixer for Dutch radio stations with an oldschool tape recorder and a small Casio sampler.. Through the years he bought new and better equipment and started to develop his own unique style of production which resulted in his first record called "Bad Dreams" which was released in 1995 and became a huge Dutch hardcore techno hit. DJ Isaac started deejaying as well and became one of the pioneers of Dutch hardcore techno. He played all over the world in countries like America, Australia, Japan, Colombia, Russia, Italy, and Spain.
Together with the one of the top Dutch deejay/producer duos, Pronti & Kalmani, DJ Isaac mixed the dance charts every Saturday night for more than a year on the leading Dutch radio station, Radio 538. With them he also started the hardhouse project, P.I.K. which topped the Dutch dance charts for many weeks. Together with producer Michiel van der Kuy he contributed four tracks to the Alice Deejay album called, Who needs guitars anyway? which has achieved gold and platinum status in numerous countries worldwide. With hit records such as 'On the Edge' and 'Go Insane', DJ Isaac most defenitely created a new style.
Since the beginning of your career, what are the biggest changes you've seen in Hardstyle?
Hardstyle now competes with the other styles and its being programmed at big festivals like EDC etc. Nowadays deejays like Hardwell, Armin van Buuren and Tiesto play it in their sets. I could have never imagined this 5 years ago.
What are some of your inspirations and influences?
Cosmic Gate was my inspiration when I made On The Edge. I loved their hard kicks and pumping bass. The cool thing is that they loved the song so much that they asked me to remix their new single, The Truth. Right now I can get inspiration from all sorts of things: driving, watching TV, having sex, etc. I even made up a melody in my dream once.
Which track did you decide to become Dj?
In my case, it was not a track, but a person. Ben Liebrand, who listened to the radio every week in the '80s and' 90s with his 'Minimixes' was my great example. Without him, the dance scene had looked very different.
How do you choose which tracks to remix or rework?
I have always asked them to send me the original first. After that, I have to have that yes feeling. I start making the arrangement in my head and wonder how I can make it better. I always want to improve the original. I dont simply look at the artist names. I have refused big names in the past.
How are things in the world of DJ Isaac?
Things are going perfect. I cant complain at all. Im in the music business for over 20 year and I still love it as much as when I started.
From where or how do you find inspiration to write your melodies?
My inspiration comes from all sorts of things and situations. I even made up a melody in a dream one time. I usually come up with ideas while relaxing at home or driving in my car or sometimes when on holiday.
"I want to make sure that everyone, who followed me will get what they want."
Which DJs do you like?
I love versatile deejays. I really like The Darkraver, DBSTF, Dash Berlin, Tiësto, Panic, Kutski and The Viper.
What kind of sport can you compare DJ-ing?
Maybe darts? It is necessary to concentrate, in spite of the fact that alcohol interfered.
How did you develop your sound in the past and the new Qlub Underground sound?
You dont sit there and think; now Im going to create a new sound. It just happens. The key is to be very picky. Maybe I am too picky sometimes. I throw away 90% of my ideas that other producers might have used.
Your favorite place on Earth?
Cape Town, South Africa - something incredibly beautiful, like I've never seen before. I have played in different countries around the world, but there are too many places that can be identified and each time they are more and more.
Some people would consider you a legend, how do you feel about this?
Of course it always is nice to hear that people love what I do for the Hardstyle scene. However I would never call myself a legend.
real name is Steffen Berkhahn
. He was born in Berlin in 1975, had a promising football career (cut short by injury), chose music instead and became one of the best house and techno DJs in the world. He is married with one child.
lives what we might (pretentiously) call an examined life; interviews with, profiles of and, obviously, music by Dixon are just as Googleable as anything else. Perhaps this is why, over recent years, Berkhahn
has tended to decline interview requests maybe he feels hes been examined quite enough.
He has had a long and successful career. Thats one reason why theres now a corpus of information on him in the public domain. More importantly, though, this is a man who really thinks about his craft, is honest about it, and cares about both educating and entertaining his audience. Few do his job as effectively as he does, and thats what continues to hold peoples interest.
"People actually speak to each other, work together, rave together and are always are very honest about things, which is very helpful if you're an upcoming producer."
How long have you been a DJ?
25 years. Plenty of time to fall on my face a time or two. Whats special, I think, is that it just slowly, gradually picked up. It wasnt like I was immediately doing six gigs in five different cities within a three-day period, like I might nowadays. Two years ago, I played 135 shows in a year. Now I do 1015 fewer shows every year.
Does the mix reflect your DJing or is it designed for at-home listening?
It doesnt reflect my DJing, or what I play in a club environment. When I release music as an artist or as a label owner, Im thinking of its use. If its a 12, it needs to be good for a club, but if its a CD, you want to be able to listen to it in your house, in your car, on a Sunday afternoon. Thats why Ill never do a club-orientated CD. Im DJing two or three gigs a week, Im in the studio a couple of times a week and listening to music at work for Innervisions, so I have enough house music around me (laughs). Its important to have something else to listen to.
Regarding Innervisons, can you tell us how the label was formed?
I first started to run the label as a sublabel of Sonar Kollektiv but after a few releases i realised that i wanted the label to be ran as it's own company. So i hooked up with Ame, and the rest as they say, is history.
What role do your fellow friends and producers in Innervisions play in the label?
Frank and Kristian are my partners. Matthias runs the office. Henrik is not directly involved but we're always asking him for his opinions.
When DJing, you usually play at least one curveball track. Is this to test the crowd?
Even if I love a record, after playing it 10 nights in a row, I might get sick of it. I want to entertain myself. This is the first and most important rule for two reasons. First, I dont want to be standing there like some machine. Second, if I entertain myself, I play the records I really believe in. Then I transfer a message that may be more authentic than otherwise: you should always be honest and only play records for yourself. It sounds very selfish, but actually its not. If you do this, the crowd gets the best out of you and then, you make a difference. As a DJ you should only play what you really love, otherwise youre just like 90% of all the other DJs out there.
Tell me about the Critical Mass project with your label mates Ame and Henrik Schwarz. How does this work?
I can not really reply to this as I've never witnessed Luciano's project. I saw a couple of short videos and read some interviews about the Aether project but that's all. I imagine it shares similar basic aspects but maybe our way of doing things is more tailored towards the music itself then the actual presentation. For instance, we don't include visuals. We're no more than just 3 people on a stage! You could strip it down like this: I take care of the beats and basslines while Ame and Schwarz cater to the melodic side of things. If you witness how we present our music you'll notice they've a harder job them myself. We play remixes of certain tracks we've released over the past five years or so...so the audience can actually hear brand new versions of some of our "classics." In the beginning the idea was to perform live in the way that we knew what songs we were going to play but never when and how. It was all about creating moments and taking the risk to fail. The problem with this was that was great for imtimate club gigs catering to about 500 people but as soon as we played festivals we realised that there the delivery of our sets need to be much more "on point". So basically, we outlined a running order for the songs and tried our best to manipulate them in a way that even on big festivals we got away with playing tracks that have more then just a groove and a break.
Youve also branched out into books with Tobias Rapps account of the Berlins techno scene. Why did you decide to distribute it?
The book is a special case, it came to us and it was the best thing we had ever read about Berlins music scene, and we took the opportunity to have it translated. It was fun to work on, something different from another 12 on Innervisions. We might release a DVD next year, but its too early to talk about that just yet.
Why do you think an industry largely based around entertaining people is so prone to sniping?
First of all, when I started to go out, I saw people I thought were super cool, and I wanted to be a part of that. But when something gets bigger, the crowd is no longer special. So people distance themselves from that. They want to have that one thing even in times of Facebook! that one party that only they knew about, and it was amazing. This is the ideal everyone is looking for. Thats where the criticism comes from no one feels special any more. And then, these days you only hear the people that bitch. Most of the time, people that bitch do it faster than people that say something good. I can see it on my Facebook thing: if I get criticism, I get it on the night. People are actually on Facebook, saying Oh this is shit already at the club. The people that actually like it react two or three days later. Its a kind of sign of the times. People will have to search for it, to create that special feeling again. We wont do that for all of them, but for some of them at least youll find no information online, nothing:. Youll either hear about it from your friend, or you wont.
With the amount of sets music available for free online, is the mix CD still relevant?
If I'm being honest, no, they're not. Anyone can download the newest music for free on a day to day basis online. So if you're planning to release a CD with some tracks you like, then you've no chance that the CD won't be somewhat "dated" in dance music terms by the time it's released. With this CD, I actually finished it in july and it's due for release in October. But thats also why i chose to ask most of the producers of the tracks I licensed to give me all the parts of the tracks - so I could create versions that never existed outside of this mix before. I wanted to make the process as unique as possible. I guess around 10 of the 15 tracks on the mix are seriously different to the orginal versions So you can only here these versions on this specific CD.
What makes one DJ more successful, the other less so?
The art of it starts when you do more than just pick 15 tracks. When youre playing six, eight, nine hours. Knowing what it means to play a warm-up. Knowing that people have been here for six hours already, that the alcohol and drug level might have reached a certain point. Being able to read and understand all of this, but also to have learned it. Not only seeing that its happening, but having five responses ready to go.
At the age of 14, German DJ/producer Marcel Dettmann was introduced to electronic music via friends whom he planned on attending parties with in Berlin. 3 years later he was spinning vinyl and by 1999, Dettmann was resident DJ at Berlin's legendary Ostgut (and later Berghain) club. Since then, Marcel has created hi-profile remixes, produced his own records, and founded his own label.
After two decades of DJing, his is a star that continues to burn as bright as any without any hint of extinguishing. He admits to loving the larger audience he's accrued over the years, because it poses a challenge. The job, as he sees it, is to make people 'curious' about music. It's hard to think of a more utilitarian mission statement for a DJ, but it's for this very reason that Dettmann - and his Berghain/Ostgut colleagues - have remained so grounded despite the hysteria that's grown around them. The Quietus sat down with Dettmann in Berlin around the time of his new album's release to discuss the art of listening for new music, setting up his own home record store as a young man, and the pivotal role of the DJ.
What does Techno mean to you?
Berlin is not only Techno, even if the look from outside may tell you this. But the special thing about Berlin is that this city is still growing, nothing seems ready made, there's a lot of cultural and intellectual freedom. This brings us to Techno, because Techno is the freedom of making your own.
What mix CDs have you worked?
I did a lot of mixes, for example the Berghain CD on Ostgut Ton, one for Music Man, a label from Belgium, a couple of years ago. I also produced a mix for Fabric London. What I always like is to head for a new direction for each mix, people recognize it's me, but it's important to include something special. Doing a mix means not only mixing some tracks together. It's more like a present for myself and for the people. Doing an edit of a track I've played for a long time, doing a remix of something I've never released before. I love selecting music: ups and downs, crazy moments. Club mixes are way more spontaneous and intuitive, because you are mostly reacting to the people and then decide, what to play now and maybe later. This mix has lots of preparation. It took much more time.
At the time of the Berlin wall collapse you were only 12 years old has this impacted significantly on your pursuit of music as a career, and more specifically, the production of your tracks?
Sure without the collapse of the wall the world would be something else, as well as I maybe wouldnt do music. And this strange kind of freedom we had especially in the 1990s sincerely had a big influence on me. This rough but open minded environment in the east which is still a bit different to what you see and feel in the west made me to what I am now.
How does your storied history as a DJ influence your evolution as a producer?
Berghain is existing since 2004, the former club was called Ostgut and there I started DJing in 1999. And yes, Berghain means one of the biggest influences to my musical evolution due to being my musical home. I cannot divide my work as a producer from being a DJ at Berghain and the last 16 years of development cannot be seen as a one way street. Without Berghain I maybe would not do the things I do today.
"I believe that you can't bring anything across if you don't believe it yourself, and believing in this context means to love the music you are playing and to make it shine by playing it with passion."
What are the other sorts of music that inspire this feeling for you?
When I'm listening to old post-punk, EBM or industrial stuff I'm always thinking, 'Well that's the reason that I'm into techno'. That's pre-techno. They did it 25 years ago. For example, Nitzer Ebb or Front 242, or Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft [DAF], that's amazing. Klein Inc. Wow, amazing. It was more of a political statement. I don't think techno is really political. Post-punk and EBM gave a shit. They wanted to make people go crazy. DAF's lyrics: 'Tanz den Adolf Hitler' ['Dance the Adolf Hitler']. And everybody gasps, "Oh my God," especially in Germany. "You can't say that". I put Cabaret Voltaire, or Throbbing Gristle in the same group. I remember the first time I heard Throbbing Gristle, I was like, 'What's that? It's strange'.
What did it mean for you to do a DJ kicks ?
In the early nineties, like many, I bought a lot of mix CDs. Simply because I did not have any money. As a young adolescent, you're excited about double or triple vinyl with a bunch of great tracks. I can still remember the DJ Kicks by Claude Young , Carl Craig and the X-Series, especially the X- Mix by DJ Hellremember. At the time it was incredibly inspiring for me, a kind of musical education. As a teenager, these mixes and compilations gave me a certain feeling, and that's something I want to share today. Back then I went to shops and discovered records I could not really do with at that moment, but I thought: That looks cool, maybe I'll think so in half a year. This is how my DJ kicks can be foundTracks that are known. Other pieces may not be known at all. My idea was to create something timeless, something lasting. I like to compare this with photography, books or even magazines: there are magazines that I do not necessarily buy to read an article, but because they are well designed. That's how it should be with the DJ Kicks . The artwork, the track selection, the mixing, my edits - the whole package should become something that you still like to pick up and listen to in ten years' time. That was the challenge for me.
Do you think theres something special about playing the end of the night?
Yeah, its special. When you are tired and relaxed, because it was a long weekendme too! I come from somewhere and then its really special, you have time. You can start at any point you want and take the crowd up or bring them back down. Actually, now the nights end Monday morning at 10 a.m. or something, which is so weird. I remember it used to end on Sunday and now it closes to a day later. Its special but its tough sometimes. When you stay there for twelve hours, its really tough. When you come home you are tired for two daysreally, really tired. But it gives me power to be there. You just realize, when you finish, how tired you are. Its like a drug, it keeps you alive and then after.
Is it true that nowadays it's impossible to play vinyl in clubs because decks are not set up properly?
Actually I've thought a lot, but I don't think that it was better back in the day. I've been travelling the world for ten years now, and sometimes of course yeah, when you have a festival and when you have a rock crew preparing the DJ stage, they don't think about how the turntable could get messed up with the monitoring or something because they normally put drums and guitars on the stage.
Whats it like running your own label on MDR, compared with releasing your own tracks on other labels as well?
Since 2002 I start working at Hard Wax recordstore/distribution in Berlin. I was involved in the whole manufacturing process
and it was just a matter of time starting my own label
its amazing selecting music from great artist for an release
When it comes to releasing my own music Im my biggest critic, no matter if its coming out on my own imprint or somewhere else. Theres no difference, Im a person who is never satisfied with my own work.
Do you understand what has brought you this kind of success?
It's everything. Berlin, Berghain and hard work, creates me; me as a musician or as a guy. I grew up here in this area and in this time as well. It's difficult to understand for myself because I'M Marcel Dettmann and for me it's difficult to say where it comes from. In the end, everybody has their roots and my roots definitely are here. If Berghain's the pot, and Hardwax is the top, then I am the soup, you know? So many things happen in your life that create happenings. They are really the main pillars.
Jeff Townes aka Jazzy Jeff's career has seen him comfortably juggle having a high profile within the most popular aspects of hip hop, while being permanently respected and active in the music's underground. Very few people have ever managed that.
Jeff was one of the early DJs in the city that would be influenced by the emerging hip hop culture of the 1980s and he incorporated this style of DJing into his sets, going on to later explore turntablist techniques. Along with DJ Cash Money, Jeff is credited with making the transform scratch famous.
In his time away from producing, he maintained his primary career as a DJ, which sees him travel the globe constantly, journeys which are now documented by a video magazine series called Vinyl Destination.
How old were you when you got your first set of turntables and what inspired you to DJ?
I got my turntables late which I think actually helped. I got them when I was about 18; I started Djing when I was around 10. I was part of a crew and the guy who owned the turntables basically had them at his house, so if you wanted to practice you had to go there, and you were always on someone elses time. It made me practice mentally, and work out routines in my head before I had a chance to actually put em down. I did that for a really really long time. In the group I was the one responsible for buying the records. So someone else had the equipment. The most important thing for a DJ to have is records, in hindsight. So when I decided to go off on my own I had a massive record collection.
Do you have any particular things you like to do?
I absolutely love the food and shopping. The vibe of the city is just electric
you feel it walking around.
Who has been your main inspiration?
Back then it would be guys like Grandmaster Flash, because Flash was DJing to get world recognition and now everybody in the world knows who he is, so he showed you could get that kind of recognition. Hes like a brother to me, even still, theres a level of the smoothness of what he does
I still get the chills over the way he cuts a record.
"I didnt like the way the industry puts you in a box, the people are most important when it comes to the music.
let the people decide."
How difficult is it to mix and blend genres in and out consistently throughout a long set or a long night?
The funny thing is, I dont think its difficult at all. I think its easier when you can take people on those journeys. I grew up that DJs had personalities. I also grew up when you realized that a great DJ played everything.
When I started, there werent house DJs, there werent hip hop DJs, or funk and soul DJs, or jazz DJs If you were a DJ, when you looked in your crate you had hip hop records, you had funk and soul records, you had breaks, you had some disco, you had some house, so you grew up being someone that knew how to mix in and out of these genres. As time went on, then it became the quote-unquote Hip Hop DJ or the House DJ, but I dont know anybody on earth who likes just one type of music. When you can play 5, 6, 10 songs in this genre and then make a turn.
What was the initial reasoning project Vinyl Destination?
Im blessed to be able to travel all across the globe. But coming home and explaining my travels to friends and family, no one ever seem to understand. We decided to create a web series that would document the travels. Showing all aspects
Not just the good but the bad also. A few networks were interested but they all wanted to make it scripted and I wanted to keep it as authentic as possible. Its really hard to pick a favorite episode. Naturally some are more action packed than others. But its impossible to single out episodes because each one adds to the overall experience.
Do you think hip hop and Hollywood make comfortable bedfellows?
Well I think it's a little bit different now because, when you think about it, the new generation of people in Hollywood, everyone including the CEOs, are our generation. They were hip hop fans. They grew up with NWA, Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, Kid n Play, Salt N Pepa. That's why I think that when you turn on TV you see so many commercials using classic hip hop records. The demographic they are aimed at can now relate to it.
The workload must have been huge at the time, how did you cope with doing all of that stuff at the same time?
When you are in the middle of it, you never think about it. It was just like, this is great! It was just non-stop. We looked at it like it was just something we had to do. We had really no off-time, from the way that the TV show was shot, and then us going on the road. We had Summertime and The Fresh Prince out at the same time, so it was just non-stop.
Can you describe, from your perspective, the intersection between hip hop and house?
Hip Hop is a lyrical form over any type of music
even House. There were tons of Hip Hop/House records a while ago because it all went together. You can hear in a lot of the new music today that trying to happen again
everything goes in cycles.
Rappers and producers are finding success at older ages now more than ever before. Do you think the climate is right for a new album after more than 20 years?
The timing is perfect and it was just something that clicked. I think a lot of it is just the understanding of the space. You've got to look at it like, us, Dr. Dre, LL Cool J all came up together, and now everybody's in a different professional space, but your fanbase is still there. We are the first generation that's growing older with hip-hop. So think about it: We didnt know how to handle that. You try to figure out: Is hip-hop the music of the youth? And it's like, yeah, its the music of the youth, when youre young. We didnt have the media outlets that cater to a more adult demographic because we are the first. So now, you got Boom [classic hip-hop radio] stations and Sirius XM's BackSpin and everybody loves that.
What made you want to get back in the studio?
I never left the studio completely for any real length of time. I would go in and work, I just didn't want to release anything. I was very disheartened with the state of the music industry. My love of music has never gone anywhere, I just didn't really like the way the business structure was. I've always wanted the creative control of making the music that you've wanted to do, of putting it out when you wanted to put it out. I love the fact that now you can not only create your own music, but you can do your own artwork and album covers, your liner notes and you can shoot your own videos. It basically gives that creative independence back to the artists. I think that was the thing that really won me over, because that was something that I've always wanted.
What advice would you have for any budding DJs or producers out there?
Find out exactly who you are. Experiment. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to surround yourself with people who will be brutally honest and not just agree with you on everything. Would you like your man to tell you your breath stinks or would you like the pretty girl you hope to marry one day to tell you? Because that first impression may turn her off forever.
emerged from Germany and his native town of Leipzig in the nineties, and became one of the most respected DJs and label owners in the scene.
He has his very own way behind the decks in the way that he combines grooves, subtle melodies and infectious basslines into soundtracks that never lose sight of the groove and keep people on the dance floor going crazy and waiting for more.
His musical identity is shaped by the prolific brands he is associated with. You don't just pick up a residency at DC10
's Circo Loco or create a label like Moon Harbour if your talent as a DJ and producer doesn't surpass expectations.
Do you think house music can still be fresh and modern or has it all been done before by now?
House music has always been very self referring. But at the same time it is ever evolving. I like the beauty of the classic American or French house sound of the 90s, but there are also very interesting and fresh sounding approaches like Acid Pauli or DJ Koze for example. I tried to have both aspects incorporated with my album.
How has the electronic scene changed in Germany?
When I started getting interested in the electronic scene around 15/16, it was a very very underground and niche thing. Nowadays if you say techno party, everyone knows it. It is kind of established in culture. Everything that comes from the underground will eventually be accepted by the mainstream in some way.
Did you have any major influences when you started focusing on electronic music and became a DJ?
I didnt have a plan to become a professional DJ when I started buying records. I was still at school at this time in the 1990s. I started to go to clubs and listened to all kinds of electronic music. The borders between styles were not as defined as nowadays. I picked up what ever I heard and slowly started to find out what I liked most. It was music on labels like Harthouse or Bush.
What is your writing process like do you have the tracks in your head before you start or is it more trial and error?
I sometimes have moods in my mind when I am working on music. I would start with some very characteristic sounds leading towards that direction then. In other situations it is more trial and error. This can take very surprising turns during the production and makes the whole process very interesting.
"There have always been changes and people saying that everything used to be much better in the old days. Changes are also chances..."
How do you find new music for the label or for you to play?
It`s usually through friends, either a filter from someone you trust like Ekkohaus, when I got to know him he was a recommendation of Argy and he was a friend, a friend of mine listened to his tracks and was like cool so now he is one of our main artists. I have to DJ a lot of what is recommended by friends and of course the promo links, sometimes to be honest I get about 50 links a day and I can't listen to all of them, so I just pre-select from names I know, interesting labels or some are just lucky and I have enough time to check everything.
You've previously talked about the relationship between agencies and labels within the music market. How has the structure of these relationships change since you've been active in the scene?
In the early years of Moon Harbour vinyl sales were still very solid. The label could survive on it and producers would get paid reasonable royalties for their music. The vinyl and CD sales dropped about 10 years ago. The digital market couldn't compensate the loss, so producers started to become DJs or Live Acts and labels were looking for other ways to survive. One way was to become the booking agency for their artists, so both sides could benefit from the gigs that were promoted through the releases.
What are you doing in your free time that is not related to music?
I try to do some sports. To keep myself a little bit in balance, traveling and not much sleeping that you have on tour. And what else do I like to do
Basically, relaxing, dont know, I like to spend time in quiet places. At the moment I enjoy my quiet time and I enjoy being back home to the studio. Even thought I work on music this is a different angle, cause Im in my studio, I dont have a pressure of taking a flight or moving the crowd or something. Just like chip that can play with his toys like synthesizer and instruments, this actually feels really nice for the piece of mind.
How do you position your label as part of who you are as an artist and what you do career wise?
I think the label is like the base of everything, we see it as a pool for artists, a home base, that we want our artists to see it as that. We play shows together and everything revolves around the label.
You are one of the most respected DJs on the scene and you headline lots of festivals and event on Ibiza especially. How hard it was to get to the place you are today?
It took some time. Now its for more that 20 years I just recently realize it so its been a long way and hard work of course, maybe little bit of luck of meeting the right people in the right time. Im just happy that I came so far and Im in the position to play all those gigs, to travel and see the world and people like the kind of music so Im very grateful.
a.k.a. Laurent Veronnez
hails from Brussels, Belgium and is one of the most gifted artists of our time. He possesses a passion for his craft which drips from every track he has produced since his musical inception 20 years ago. He is well-respected amongst his peers for his opinions on, and vision for, the trance music industry and he speaks honestly about how he feels and where he sees his musical vision taking him. Versatility and great skill in the studio has led him to collaborations with: Jurgen Leyers
with Fire & Ice
., Marnik Braeckevelt
, Yves Deruyter
., Armin Van Buuren
, Marcus Schulz
and producer John 00 Fleming
"In times of instant gratification, we tend to forget that great things get done with patience, courage and also failure."
It is said you received the gift of music at the tender age of seven. What do you recall being so intriguing about music at such a young age?
I just got lucky that I was born and raised within that period, and that I could develop my sensitivity for art in general, and specifically music, over the years. Electronic music, back then, had no specific format. You had electronic music everywhere, and nowhere, unlike now where you have this giant EDM culture thing, which somehow explains why I (love) it so much today; fantastic times, great records high in the charts and still ahead of their time. This is what happens when you put great tech into the right hands.
What is the single most important element or factor a track should have for it to be included on a compilation youre mixing?
I dont want a track to be perfect, I want it to feel perfect. That means to me that its imperfections need to be put into evidence so that they become a natural part of the record. This is something thats getting lost over the years, and the cause of it is that the way electronic music gets made today has too many guidelines, how do you want kids and upcoming musicians to think outside the box when everything is at their disposal, presets, samples, plugins.
Were there any tracks that you were particularly pleased (exclusives, etc) to be able to incorporate?
That new Art of Trance Before The Storm. Ive always been a fan of Platipus. This new release is absolutely mind-blowing. Dactylion Part 2 by Matt Holliday is the kind of track I could eat, drink, sleep and repeat on. That new track from Dark Soul Project and Mathov is also incredible.
What has been your most shocking moment during your career thus far playing a gig?
The mental atmosphere when playing Luminosity Beach Festival last year; I had never felt anything like that before, the connection with the crowd unforgettable! Lately I had a great time in Sofia, Bulgaria, too. People were there for the music, nothing else. Fantastic people.
What is LCD Sessions?
LCD Sessions is my monthly radio show. LCD Sessions is the true representation of my everyday life as a DJ. I like the smooth intro and start and the peak moments, towards the end. A perfect blend between progressive house and psy trance. Because where Im coming from theres no line, no gap between those genres I play in LCD Sessions and In The Mix.
Do you have any of your own productions on there?
"A Touch of Grace" is on there and its more than obvious as its getting tons of love from the likes of Solarstone and JOOF, but also from tons of other people who dont necessarily support my music by course. One way or another, tt had to be on there of course.
What do you want to put across through the music you feature?
I want the genres covered to be the broadest ever for a radioshow of that kind, without compromising my integrity as a musician. What I play gets my full support. No politics, no records chosen because of the name or the cover. Im getting thousands of tracks in my mailbox every single month. The 20-25 I play every month are the best in there for me.
Outside of music what are your interests, what do you like to do in your downtime?
Back in the old years I would have had a ton of hobbies and things outside music. Today Id say I keep watching movies, I still play games a tiny bit, and most of the time gets spent with the kids as theyre what matters most after all! Teaching my daughters a lot of things about life is the most enjoyable experience in life.
What was your process in developing your production skills?
Ive never felt really talented or skilled. I simply adapted myself by listening obsessively to anything the people mentioned above did release. Due to the circumstances their age too these records have something magical, completely unforced. Some of their records are still invaluable today. Theyre still a big part of my learning curve. Im still developing my skills, and I guess Ill never stop learning; this is how fascinating music making is for me.
You have worked with a ton of record labels including JOOF Recordings, Mistique Music and Bonzai Progressive. How do record companies differ and as an artist, how do you decide who to work with?
While Bonzai Progressive is heading towards progressive house and trance at a slower tempo, JOOF isnt afraid of some uptempo escapades as John has the exact same profile as mine as a DJ, but I have this huge story with Bonzai. We all play the same styles of music and we have this common vision after all. So depending on the sound I either go for Bonzai Progressive or JOOF, basically. Slower or darker regularly means it goes to Bonzai Progressive first, but there are exceptions though, look at my latest single, A Touch Of Grace. Its very trancy and melodic, yet its on Bonzai Progressive. Uptempo and more melodic definitely goes to JOOF first, although the guys have a strong relationship with each other so we discuss who releases what all the time. Thats the 2015 way to do business I think, where labels arent competitors anymore and just decide everything together with only the artists exposure for sole purpose.
Do you prefer DJing or producing?
I prefer simply making and performing music. The way I see things evolve is that DJing will remain a matter for Music Lovers and respect to that, while True creation will happen much more often on the fly. The Technology is here with us, only a question of months. The superstar DJ days are completely gone, although you still have a few exceptions, meanwhile EDM Musicians still make it on every level.
, an American Pop/EDM crossover DJ/Producer have started to receive attention through Spotify's "ElectroNOW", "Fresh Electronic" and Hardwell's "House Party". Noah Neiman's recent release "Make It So Good" has topped over 2 million plays and is now officially receiving support from the legend himself Hardwell, W&W, Don Diablo, Nicky Romero and many more.
He is an inspirational character, well aquainted with Enhanced
fans thanks to a host of diverse, unique and infectious melodic productions.
When and how did you decide to become a DJ?
I'm not sure when I decided I wanted to become a DJ, but actually it all started between 2002 and 2003 when I bought my first pair of turntables. A couple of Numark TTX1's and a two-channel mixer.
What made you decide to start a radio show?
Well, I've had one for a few years called The Rush, which was hosted on several .fm internet stations including Diesel, JR and the Department of Dance. When a slot opened on DI though, I couldn't pass them up for the opportunity. They have a rather large listenership and I'm always looking to expand my own, so I took them up on it and they gave me a 12 noon Eastern US spot, which is great! Not a whole lot has changed about the show though. It's still a multi-genre EDM show, but I felt like it needed a bit of rebranding and since Radiofire was one of my most successful singles, I thought I'd pay homage to it.
How was your passion for music born?
My parents enrolled me at a piano course when I was four years old and later in school years. I also learned to play the trombone and the violin well. So, since I remember, I've always had the music inside my life.
Who is your ultimate inspiration in the music scene and who would you love to collab with one day?
I dont know that I have an ultimate inspiration. People like the guys from Cash Cash, Tritonal, Skrillex and Morgan Page are all very inspiring acts to me, but I cant say I could pick just one. As for who Id want to collab with, it would have to be Jack Black from Tenacious D. Obviously I dont know him personally, or what hes like in real life, but if hes anything like his comedic movie personas, I mean, Im not absolutely sure that Id learn a lot or anything, but I think it would be a hell of a lot of fun!
What motivated you to write Make It So Good and how did you come up with the sound?
Well, I found the vocal for Make It So Good in a sample pack, and it just sounded so happy and fun, so I really wanted to make a positive sounding song with it. I also just did a track with Anna Yvette called Toldja So which was released on Hardwells record label. That one had a really playful vibe to it, so I took some of the sounds from Toldja So and started messing with the chords under the vocal sample of M.I.S.G. and ended up with the what you hear now.
Are there any artists in particular you would love to collab?
Id really like to work with R3hab. Hes been doing some incredible things in the future bass and trap game. A dream collab though, would be to work with PSY. He probably doesnt even know who I am, but I think it would be a lot of fun to do a track with him.
Whats your most memorable performance?
The whole tour with Tritonal was, and will always be, memorable. Playing at Stubbs here in Austin was amazing. Bands like Metallica or Willie Nelson have played there, so to be on the same stage that has been graced by legends like those guys is really something. There was one night I played in Washington DC though. The first and only time Ive been there. I went on right before Lange. This was back in 2011, I think. Back when I was working on music for his label, Lange Recordings. Anyways, it was a relatively small club called Lima, but what was so memorable about the night was that everyone was there to get down. There wasnt a single person in the club that was having a bad time. At least not from what I saw.
What are the positives and negatives of having a following like the Trance Family?
Well, obviously they're a passionate lot. I think a big positive is that when they love something, they really let you know it. But, that might also be partly negative too, because when they don't love something, they REALLY let you know it! In addition to being passionate, they're also quite the vocal lot. But I like that. Having the instant feedback is nice, whether it's good or bad, because I like engaging with fans on my Facebook page or on YouTube or wherever. I really like knowing that there is a worldwide crowd of people that loves Trance, though. I grew up in a time and place where everyone hated dance music. Back then, anything with synths and a four on the floor kick drum was called "techno," and the resounding opinion was that "techno sucks." With the internet and the Trancefamily, my passion for writing the kind of music I do now seems validated, and that feels awesome.
"The music industry is so fickle and so exclusive, you'd have a hard time because there are already too many people trying to do the same thing you're doing."
Do you think the trance community should follow in the same pursuit?
I feel that there might be a Trance renaissance very soon. People always want something new. The next sound. So having all these sub-genres of Trance is great because it gives people a larger variety of music to listen to. I think there's definitely a place for all of them, but unfortunately, I don't feel that all of them can cross over into the kind of popularity today's modern house music has, and officially dividing them might marginalize a few of the sub-genres. I wouldn't want that. So no, I don't think the different Trance styles should be categorically removed from one another.
What interests you about hardstyle?
It's sort of a secret love of mine. I think it's the speed and the soaring synths. I don't particularly like it all, but the melodic stuff is great. Frontliner is an amazing producer. I've been listening to his track "Weekend Warriors" for months! I've got some projects I'm working on that have a bit of hardstyle in them. I may even end up writing a full hardstyle track soon.
Youre impressively a doctor by day, and DJ by night. How do you balance the two?
In all honesty, they both lend to each other well. While being a musician gets the creative side of my brain working, being an optometrist in Texas means Im treating not only visual needs (glasses or contacts), but medical needs as well. So its both a mathematically and scientifically intensive job and gets the analytical side of my brain working. Happily, I work for a great corporation here in the central Texas area and am in my clinic Monday through Friday. The vast majority of clubbing takes place on Friday and Saturday night, so neither job interferes with the other unless theres a Thursday date. On those days, I will sometimes take the following Friday off, but that doesnt happen very often at all. As far as production goes, thats not necessarily something that I need time off from work for, since I can just work when Im home or even sometimes between patients, on my laptop. I see roughly 20-30 patients a day, so getting a lot of time to work on music while Im at the clinic is difficult, but Ive devised strategies in my production technique that allow me to write very quickly.
LA-based producer and DJ Matt Lange
was inspired by the aggressive industrial programming of early Nine Inch Nails and Aphex Twins brutal contrast of ambient and jungle. Packed off to Bostons Berklee College by his parents, Lange undertook a music-production course and began home recording on an old laptop. Introduced to BT by one of his college mentors, Lange worked as an engineer on the trance producers Grammy nominated album, These Hopeful Machines. He then began developing sample libraries before striking out on his own to create official remixes for The M Machine and Usher, while co-producing Glenn Morrissons platinum-selling progressive house album.
Like many artists, Matt always faces the struggle of being true to his artistic vision and making tracks that are more in line with what record labels want. Thankfully for us all, Matt has fully embraced an eff you mentality towards labels and he only seeks to make music that pleases him. Matts music is so authentic because there is not a commercial bone in his body, this allows him the freedom to create some of the most unique sounds around, this is fully evident on the Patchwork EP.
"My music is always very handmade, I do not ever use any outside material. Creating it all I have."
Can you explain the way that you produce a track. Do you start always from the start of it?
All of the above really. I find if I start with a groove, Ill end up going in a more techno-ish direction, and if I start melodically, the opposite. Often Ill start with sound design, because programming or manipulating records, and that could start the entire process as well. They all have their place, and not being locked into any one way of working is quite liberating.
What are your favorite pieces of studio hardware?
The newest toy is a little modular synth I've put together. It has a few modules from companies like Make Noise, Mutable Instruments, Pittsburgh Modular and others. I find it very inspirational to create all these unexpected happy accidents, as well as more traditional synthesizer type sounds which just sound better than most other synths. Not all sine waves were created equal. I'd be lying if I said my favorite piece of hardware isn't my Eventide DSP4000, however. That thing ends up on literally everything I do. It's my favorite reverb and fx processor ever. After that, my guitars and my Rhodes. It's so easy to get stuck in the box with all the plugins available now, but nothing inspires me the same way as physically touching strings or keys.
Tell us about your interest in electronic music
I was introduced to Aphex Twins Richard D. James album in the late 90s. Around the same time, Nine Inch Nails The Fragile came out and it really pushed me in the right direction. It combined orchestrated elements with cool electronic programming and songwriting. I pretty much grew up being a metalhead, so it was a combination of many different styles I loved. It really pushed me in terms of electronic music programming, production and the marriage of acoustic and synthetic material.
Which FXpansion products are you using and how are you using them?
I use Bloom and Etch the most. I like Bloom for creating interesting modulating delays that can really have a unique character. Etch is a great filter for sound design with all the different kinds of filter types, distortion, modulation destinations and modulators. Very powerful plugins.
Is it possible to list for us the Top 5 djs or EDM producers that have the major influence in your style of your productions?
I dont listen to much EDM per se, so heres a list of any genre
1) Telefon Tel Aviv - These guys changed the way I wrote music the first time I heard their first album, Fahrenheit Fair Enough. Still trying to catch up to them!
2) Richard Devine - The mad scientist of sound design. Every time I see Richard I walk away so totally inspired and ready to create new things (not to mention wanting to buy a ton of new gear...)
3) Tool - Literally every element of this band has influenced me in some way, be it Danny Careys drum patterns, to Adam Jones chord progressions, to Maynards melodies as well as style of lyricism.
4) Steve Reich - his piece Music For 18 Musicians captivated me when I was 16. All the motifs, isorhythms, phasing... Its the perfect blend of inspiring me intellectually as well as emotionally.
5) Meshuggah - The kings of super groovy polyrhythms.
Where does the point of inspiration come in for a track?
Honestly, as cliche as it may sound, anywhere. It could be from any random sound, a walk in the hills, a song that strikes you in just the right way, personal experiences.
Are you active and passionate user of the internet and the social networks?
I try to be relatively active. I try to post at least one thing per day, and I enjoy starting discussions as well. Its a nice way to stay in touch with fans on a more personal level, and at the same time its quite great from a marketing standpoint as I can quickly see what kind of stuff my followers are interested in, and what theyre more apathetic to.
Tell us about your debut Ephemera on Deadmau5s mau5trap label?
Id been releasing music with Above & Beyond on Anjunadeep for five years, and theyd put out a compilation album of various tracks of mine. Mau5traps A&R had heard a techno record Id done and reached out to my management asking if I had any contracts. I had all these techno records just sitting on my hard drive and sent them six or seven files but didnt hear anything for six or seven months. Then they hit me up on Twitter after hearing a track called Scorched Earth Policy and within two hours there was already a record contract. Essentially, it was for a single and an option for an EP, but I gave them an album instead, which allowed me to be more creative.
Whats the most insane thing youve done to create a unique sound?
To be honest I cant really thing of anything off the top of my head thats totally insane. Ive definitely had some funny experiences, such as getting the cops called on me by scared parents because I was recording the sounds of their children in a public park with a shotgun mic - and without their permission of course. Ha! Typically I start my sound design process with recordings I make, and they could literally come from anything from field recordings to taking a screwdriver to an electric guitar, to taking a cello bow to various metals. Im really attracted to organic, modulating sounds, so thats why I pretty much always start there. After that it could be any litany of processes. I love granular and spectral based processing of course, but even simple stuff like straight pitch shifting , or using very short delays can be a ton of fun.
Whats been the biggest career moment youve had so far?
Its hard to say. After a while, these events are just another thing that has happened. Its nice when it does, certainly validating and can briefly make you feel pretty great, but none of it is particularly life changing. Its your career, and if you stick with it for a while the credits tend to make a pretty nice list when you look at it objectively. My biggest career moment recently has been taking complete control over my career with no one left but a lawyer, and while that has brought forth a whole new set of challenges, Im more excited and in general happy than Ive been in a long time.
was among the first to pick up on DJs like Derrick Carter, Jeff Mills and Richie Hawtin and was always out and about at parties in Detroit, Ohio and across the Midwest. Strangely enough though, he never thought about picking up a pair of headphones himself, preferring to leave the DJ duties to his friends. This way he could fully immerse himself in the music, especially the experimental ambient tones of the after hour chill outs.
As a DJ, attempts to categorise his style pose more questions than they answer. Minimalism in its purest form is a tag he more freely associates with labels like Consumed - ?super sparse, difficult and totally out there?. Troy on the other hand, has developed a dance floor friendly hybrid sound that takes the best from the ?little movements and micro trends? that constantly spring up, helping electronic music to evolve. It retains the mechanical, futuristic sounds of techno but is slower and less abrasive allowing him to work between the lines, exploit the space between the beats and push out into the third dimension that epitomises the Minus sound.
"Some people now a days are exposed to obvious music like Trance, I was really lucky that I was there listening to the likes of Richie Hawtin and Jeff Mills...that formed the basis of my sound."
How were you first introduced to the world of techno and dance music?
The very first introduction would have been by a girl I was dating, she was super into Depeche Mode, Skinny Puppy, Nitzer Ebb late 80s industrial-ish dance music
I didnt get it at all. I went to clubs with her to hang out but it wasnt my favorite night of the week. Later (via another girlfriend) I started to go to midwestern raves and as luck would have it her best friend was dating some DJ named Richie Hawtin. So some of the first proper parties I went to were with Rich, Jeff Mills, John Aquaviva, Derrick May, Derrick Carter, Plastikman Live
just like it was normal. Looking back it seems so crazy, I was so lucky to be in the right place, the right time with the right people.
At what point did you decide that you wanted to make music?
I dont know, I think started playing around with making music in 1997/98. It wasnt anything serious as I didnt know anyone else that made music. I had no clue and no one to explain it to me. Its a bit easier these days as more people are doing it. Maybe I just hung around with the wrong crowd. I started messing around with Reason like it was a video game and my goal in the video game was to make a track that I liked. It was like that for quite a long time until I met Marc Houle, He showed me stuff and told me how to do this and said it should sound like that.
What influences you when putting together a track?
Part of me wants to just keep answering in the attic while on acid for all of these questions but that would be sort of annoying after awhile so
I never have sat down with the goal of making something dark it just sort of always ends up that way. I guess the choices I make when putting together a track come from a lot of different places but more often than not I go for spooky sounds and darker melodic elements. My Mom told me the other day that she is not really sure if making scary tracks is so conducive to making people dance. My reply was that if I like it, there has to be a few people out there that are also into it. Thanks Mom.
Can you tell us a little bit about some of the amazing venues and cities that youve played in?
There have been so many once in a lifetime scenarios I dont really know where to start. Warung in Brazil is incredible, Womb in Tokyo, Fabric, Rex Club I love. Some of my favorite places out there, El Paso, Bogota, Mexico City, Lima and Buenos Aires.
Which track did you think help you to win credibility and opened you some doors?
I think there were a few key releases that really helped, a remix I did for ellen alien got a lot of attention, the first Louderbach album was well received and I think this track I did horse nation which jesse later did a remix was a big one.
So you got into Electronic music late?
Yeah I guess so, I wasnt exposed to it as I was from a small town in Indiana. My choices were top 40 Radio or Metal, they were the only options. There wasnt a dance scene there. I then moved to Ohio and I was dating girl there, she took me to a few underground dance parties and that was my first real exposure to repetitive beats. After dating this girl I went back to Indiana and I started going to parties in Detroit and other parties in the Mid West. So at the age of 22-23 I was exposed to all forms of dance music. I was in the mid west until 1995 and then I moved to New York to go to photography school. I moved out there by myself and bought a pair of decks and started buying more records.
What set up do you use when you are performing?
I use Traktor and Abelton together with Maschine so its a little bit live and mostly DJ. Lets just say that I have the room to improvise.
Whats the concept behind Run Stop Restores new label Items & Things?
The point of that label was to have an outlet for other style that we are interested in. When Magda and I DJ we don't only play typical Minus sounding records, it is more diverse than that. So there are all these artists and all these tracks that we have personally that we really like, but they are not Minus sounding releases. So the first one was from Marc Houle and Konrad Black, and Magda and I, and all 4 tracks don't sound anything like what you would normally expect to hear from each of these people. So that is kind of the concept.
The labels musical direction seems to be very clearly defined, is that difficult to maintain with three label heads?
It can be hard at times but we have made it work pretty well all things considered. We have been friends for a long time and are pretty reasonable individuals, we exchange opinions and ideas.
A lot of people say the U.S. electronic scene is not very developed. What do you think about this statement?
The U.S. is a very big place. There are some areas that are more developed than others. There are good parties there and plenty of people who are into the dance music. You have to be fair and look at each scene/city individually. You also cant compare it to Germany or even Europe.
What is it that sets you apart from any other DJ?
I had no idea
I guess I am a bit into technology, using Ableton and Traktor together to hopefully come up with something interesting every night.
Whats the beautiful, the bad and the ugly of being a DJ ?
The travel is really tough sometimes and it gets lonely. Hotel to hotel to hotel to hotel
ugh. But when everything goes right its totally worth it. Good sound and a good crowd that appreciates what you do totally makes up for the 24 hours of travel and sleep deprivation.
is a deft mixer and can build and release the energy in a room so subtly his touch is almost subliminal, but other than that there's nothing understated about his sets. This is an essential part of his practical-minded philosophy of DJing.
became one of the citys most popular local DJs, securing residencies at Shelter, Foxys and smartbar
. Along with Cajmere, Felix Da Housecat, Chez Damier
and Ron Trent
, he went on to play a vital role in Chicago houses second wave from the mid-1990s onwards. Carter began spending more time in Europe, founding the Classic Music Company with Luke Solomon in 1995. Two decades on, he remains house music royalty, indulging his twin passions of DJing and music production.
"What I feel is that some people are made for what they do. I just feel for me, the core of who I am suits this music thing."
Did you really start djing when you were 10? How was that?
Actually, I was nine when I got my first taste of djing for a crowd. It was at a family reunion and was really the spark which kicked off my interest in it. I'd play music at family functions and small parties that my parents would host but this was the first time I used two turntables and a mixer.
When did you start going out to clubs?
I didn't start going out until I was about 16. There was some sneaking there as well. One of my earliest club memories was going to see Loleatta Holloway perform around 1987. It was weird to me, because nothing ever got started until about 2 or 3 in the morning. I was used to getting up and going to school. It was kind of awesome at the same time.
What do you think of EDM?
Its horses for courses. Do what you do, and Ill do what I do. I frame it with almost a Darwinian kind of thing, so Im just going to do what I do, and Ill either survive or go extinct based on that. Theres always going to be things I dont like. I live in a bubble. Theres room for all kinds of bubbles. You vote with your McDonalds paycheck, or your mamas money.
Do you feel an obligation to speak out about the real nature and history of dance music culture, for example as a generation gets into EDM and acts like its something new?
Well, yeah I dont want to be forgotten. Thats how cultures always manage to spread themselves is the story. The whole Folkways thing that went on in the early 20th century in America where these guys rode around and got stories, sang songs, visited oral traditions, thats some important stuff there. I dont want it all to disappear just because Coca-Cola jumped on the bandwagon and Sprite has Tiesto in a fucking commercial and theyre using some track that I know to sell a Buick, pushing cars with Avicii records. I dont care about that. That isnt how I get my information, its not how I manage to find my connections to things. What Ive tried to stand up for is quality, in the respect that its not cookie-cutter, its not simply put your hands in the air and jump up and down, because heres a song at 125bpm that has similarities to what we call dance music. I stand up for things that have soul and vision and points of view and attempt to maybe push the envelope or stretch the fabric or right a wrong. Something clever, something that has power: I live for that, I live to find that in music, thats what takes me to
I wont say happy place because my happy place isnt necessarily soundtracked all the time
but I do listen to music because its a voice that people who make the music have, and it feels like a conversation when you hear what they have to say.
What are your thoughts on the evolution of club culture?
It functions as a breeding ground, a training situation, a place to work out ideas and hone your craft. Club culture is its own thing. I'm just a worker though. All that evolution stuff eludes me most days.
Whats the most important thing house music has done for you?
Its given me a lot of things. Good times, great friends, personal freedom, a means to live a decent life. All of these are the most important. 'The most important' is a tier, more than a single spot.
Do you ever worry about the music not translating in new places?
I dont play the same set every outing. There are some records which get more air than others but I feel as if I've been doing this for a long enough time where I can make, and then string, enough executive decisions together, to create something that will translate. Sometimes, Im wrong. But I always have faith that inside of me, there exists an applicable translation.
What do you look for when you engage with art?
Just something I like. Whether it be wit or emotion, colours or something completely abstract, it's often hard to pinpoint.
A lots changed since you started DJing?
Lots of things. Being responsible for the torch I carry, being concerned about the legacy Im creating, being a mentor at times, flying around and trying to kick off parties all over the world, juggling my work and personal lives. Its a lot sometimes but mostly, I think I do OK.
Do you think you can get tired of your work DJing?
I still love it but the truth is that it evolves for me. I see it much more as "work" now than I used to. I am trying to be more professional and do what it takes to do the job properly.
So no, I don't get tired of it in general. I do have good days and bad days like anyone else. I also am not a fan of 8-10 hr flights every week but, it's all part of the situation that I'm in. I'd never complain to anyone other than my manager and my travel agent.
How would you describe yourself as a person?
I think I'm fairly care-free; I'm not easily stressed or worried about a lot of things. Being easy-going allows me to be relaxed and settled when I work.
When did you become world dominant?
That was the idea I had when I was 20. I realized soon after that there was a lot of bullshit and malarkey required to make it happen. And I'd rather not participate in trying to make that happen.
Irish techno maestro, Matador,
otherwise known as Gavin Lynch, has gained global recognition with his prolific Live sets that have seen him play in underground hotspots as far flung as Los Angeles, Amsterdam, London and Buenos Aires. With labels like Cocoon and Perc Trax behind him from the start, it was only a matter of time before Richie Hawtins reputable Minus collective welcomed Matador into the fold.
Following his debut release on Minus, Matador worked tirelessly alongside the Minus crew on countless stellar line-ups across their international dates and his hard work paid off as he landed a respected residency with the notorious Space Ibiza. Honing his live skills with a monstrous set up of samplers, controllers and effects, Matador Live is a mesmerising experience, which has captivated dance floors across the underground scene.
When did you start writing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?
I was surrounded by music as a child. My parents were big Motown fans and so artists like Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross feature as my earliest influences. Growing up, I listened to bands more and more; Guns N Roses, Oasis, it was that gritty raw sound that really got me. Naturally living so close to the UK, we were also exposed to the dance scene right from the beginning, and it was at this stage that I began Djing. Now this was music that really excited me. I spent hours at the weekends in record shops and quite a bit of money :) So I decided to learn how to make my own. It began as an interest and quickly turned into an obsession. Slow and steady I learned as much as I could on my own and then enrolled in a sound engineering course, which really opened my eyes.
Who has inspired you the most along the way?
Following key techno figures from early on as a fan, the music I was exposed to played a big part in the inspiration to get to where we are today: Hawtin, Clarke, Mills, Liebing.
"When Im writing, I focus on sounds that I think will energise the crowd, excite them. If I can do this, then Im doing my job".
You were an amateur boxer and have already worked in restaurants. Did you learn about these jobs that are still important for your career today?
Both are professions where you work with full commitment and dedication. Both are qualities which are now deeply rooted in me and help me with my projects.
You're also a sound engineer, how much engineering do you do for other artists now and who are they?
Yea, I trained and worked as a sound engineer, and I learned shit loads, worked with some amazing people and got my trade, but I don't work with any other artists now, I've worked on different projects with friends in the past, and would like to do so again at some point, but for now I'm focusing solely on my Matador project.
How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own voice?
Lots of learning! My course time was split 50/50 between acoustic engineering and electronic production so I got a really good feel for both aspects. And whilst electronic production is my first love, it has been incredibly important to have knowledge of instruments in their purest form both in a studio and in a live environment. I think this has naturally defined the music I write, which I see as an ever-evolving project. Influences come from everywhere, and my own musical tastes vary so widely, so the transition towards my own voice is constant.
How do you see the relationship between sound, space and composition and what are some of your strategies and approaches of working with them?
For me its all about creating and finding a balance within a track. I like to let a track breathe not to overcrowd with unnecessary sounds. And its a fine line. Sometimes I start with an idea of how its going to sound, and Ill add elements that I think will work, but it ends up being too busy. Im very critical about what I do and you have to be very strict when your working to allow a track to be the best it can be.
For you, is the dancefloor a lonely place where you lose yourself in music or a communal place where you feel connected to everyone?
I think it covers a bit of both, certain nights have moments where you can close your eyes and loose yourself for whatever amount of time you see fit, but I feel its all about that connection with the crowd and maintaining that throughout the night.
After travelling the world and performing in many different clubs, which venue has the best crowd?
South America, they go nuts, have tons of wild energy and are very passionate people. Ive played Buenos Aires quite a bit, and every time it gets better and better. Its always a stand out city on any South American tour.
What is the most important element of your set up that brings your sets to life?
Ive been moving around on different set-ups over the past few years, introducing new pieces of equipment and pulling others out and Ive now settled on a really nice set-up with the Model 1 being the centrepiece. It plays quite an integral role, as its sums all audio and offers hands-on analog control. The overall sound of my new set up is bigger, fatter and warmer, something Ive been chasing for quite some time.
You are now one of the most celebrated live acts of the moment and youre nominated in the Electronic Live Performer category of this years DJ Awards. What kind of feeling does this give?
Its always nice to be nominated and included in the awards, youre sure to be amongst tough competition, so to be rubbing shoulders with these talented producers is a credit in itself.
Luke Celleja, aka Kronic
, is an Australian born DJ who has worked with countless artists, such as Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, R Kelly and Havana Brown. Kronic
started his career as a hip hop DJ in Adelaide, over 10 years ago, and is now a successful and well-known name around the world at the age of 30.
"Rendezvous" is the latest EDM track from Kronic
, and features stunning vocals from Leon Thomas. The song was released on the 19th of April, and in just one week, had climbed into the iTunes Top 100 US charts.
Where does the name Kronic come from and why did you pick it?
I wanted a name that had a lot of samples that I could use in DJ routines. That`s why I chose "Kronic", because there`s dozens of records where rappers use that word that i can and do sample from.
Who were some of your favorite people you've worked with?
Lil Jon and Pitbull are some of my favourite people to work with. As a DJ, I grew up on their records, and when I met them on a personal level, they were both super humble. Theyve accomplished things beyond most artists wildest dreams, but youd never guess it from the way they act. On the flip side, Nikki Jean is one of the most talented and brilliant artists Ive ever had the opportunity to work with. Nikki takes my ideas, and helps me transform them into complete visions. She actually appears on almost every track of my EP its almost as much hers as it is mine.
What type of events do you prefer, smaller intimate venues or the larger concert?
Ive been doing intimate venues for a decade now, festival stages are relatively new to me, so Im having way more fun with that! My past records really belong on the big stages, so watching them translates to crowds over 10 000 is an overwhelming sensory experience. I still got love for the small sweatboxes tho, always.
Tell us the story of how you started creating music on your computer?
I started using Ableton to make DJ mixes, and then it was edits, and then mash ups and remixes, and then I got onto writing original records.
"Back then, making music wasnt even on my radar, I was just trying to DJ as much as I good".
What does it takes to become a successful DJ and Producer?
Everyone defines success in their own way, but this is my take on it: Apart from the practice required to master the technical skills of both DJing and production, it takes a creative mind put those skills to use. Creativity doesnt come naturally to everyone, but its defiantly something you can develop. Learn to take advice, and learn when to ignore it. And finally, hard work isnt necessarily spending your entire life in the studio writing music; hard work is spending hours on the things you dont particularly like! It takes me hours every week to edit tracks so they suit my DJing style, and it isnt particularly exciting but its necessary for me to deliver the performance.
You've worn quite a few hats in the entertainment industry DJ, producer, artist. What have you enjoyed doing the most?
DJ, Producer and Artist are actually all intertwined creative processes for me. Being a DJ has influenced my production more than any other single thing, and that in turn has helped me develop as an Artist.
That said, the artist hat fits best. Music is about story telling, and I like telling my stories the best. Not because Im an ego maniac, but because I have a such a deep connection with the story and inspiration behind each of my songs.
Who is the biggest Influence of DJ Kronic actually?
I am very much influenced by Kanye West , Carnage . They are one of the inspirations in music. I really like Old School Hip hop, RnB, Trap and they are the very right choice for me.
Do you have any mentors?
Kanye West & Quentin Tarantino are the artists I look up to the most. Their dedication to their art is unparalleled. Whenever I watch interviews with them, I'm constantly inspired by the passion they have for their craft, and their depth of knowledge in their field. Kanye could talk for hours about a 3 minute song the same way Quentin could write an essay explaining a brief scene in his films. Every detail is by design, and every element exists for a specific reason that adds to the whole. Think about the intricacy of a Kanye record, like Runaway. And then turn on the radio and all you hear is a bunch of loops that sound just like someone elses bunch of loops.
Whats the difference between Australia and U.S. club scene?
The US club scene has a very healthy amount of Hip Hop being played in it. Its common to see DJs playing Deadmau5, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Disclosure and Afrojack all in one set. Australia has a very educated dance scene, lots of genre specific venues bounce clubs, commercial, deep house joints.
You seem to tour, what were some of your favorite destinations?
In the US, Scottsdale in Arizona is one of my favourite places to play. Its a college town, so its filled with tens of thousands of college kids ready to get wild. South Korea and Japan are two of my favourite. The festivals and venues I play there are mammoth, and the crowds are rabid. And then know all the words to my songs!! Thats amazing that people in non-English speaking countries can sing along to my songs. Its a humbling experience.
Do you still listen to hip hop? If so whos on your current playlist?
I listen to more hip hop then ever now! Ive been really get into Big Krit lately, and I cant fucking wait for new Big Sean and Kanye albums.
Do you have a key production tip for your young producers out there?
The most important one is this: Collaborate - work with anyone and everyone you can. There`s something to learn from everybody on this planet.