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A Sit Down With DJ Third Party

14.04.2018


In a world of hype, fads and overnight success, Third Party has let the music do all the talking. Childhood friends turned accomplished studio outfit, a reassuring level of respect has met Jonnie Macaire and Harry Bass’s journey from the unsuspecting backdrop of Essex into the forefront of electronic music.

 

 "So it’s like as soon as you start chasing another genre for the sake of business, you’ll go down a bad path."



 

How was collaboration with Martin Garrix?


It was great. He's the most down to earth guy so for us it was a pleasure working with him. The track flowed naturally into a festival banger, then we spent a few days in a London studio nailing the vocal with a super talented songwriter.


Where was your first show?

Our first show was for an 18th birthday party in our local town. Our first real show as Third Party was in Miami which was a pretty crazy start to our career.

What do you dream of doing as a DJ? If you’ve done it what was it?

To headline a big festival and to play at a Size Matters pool party of course!!

Give us some insight on the new album ‘Hope’. How did the idea for the album come to life and what is your vision and story behind it?

We came up with the title of Hope as we felt this represented what we wanted the message of the album to be as a whole. We want people who listen to the album to be inspired the way we were inspired by music we listened to growing up. Also from a human level, music has the power to create Hope for someone in any aspect of their life, so if any of the songs can motivate/inspire/help anyone in anyway we will feel it was all worth it!

You’ve worked with and remixed some of the biggest names in dance music. Who would you like to collaborate with, but haven’t yet?

It’s probably said a lot, but acts like Daft Punk and Coldplay. Those artists that have the ability to create that magic and originality that very few people in the world can do.

How do you get the inspiration from when producing music?


We're most inspired when we surround ourselves with positivity. Whether it's in the studio, on tour or at home. If were positive and enjoying what we're doing the music flows naturally. It's not a job this way. We want to sit down and take things on a journey and enjoy doing so.


How does your music stand out from the rest?

We like to think our music stands out because it mixes quite a few different musical inspirations. The main core of our sound is progressive house, but you could say there is a bit of everything in the productions. One of the main things we like to do is sample old vocals into our music. We really like the fusion and vibe they bring to the music that slick vocals just can’t bring!

Favourite recent gig, either played or attended and why?

SHM at Brixton…it felt like a rock concert, they tore the roof down!!

It seems like these days you guys are the ones keeping the progressive house we all love alive. How are you guys doing it? We’d expect it to be a challenge to keep up given the current influx of Flume/Chainsmokers-style of tracks.

Progressive house has always been our first love coming into the industry so why change what you love? I think if anything the influx of similar sounding tracks trying to follow trends has made our vision and direction even stronger.  If you fall into the trap of following trends it becomes very difficult to create your own identity which is very crucial to have longevity in this industry.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in the industry?

Just stay true to yourself. We’ve really tried to make a stand with this album and say you don't need to make radio music or follow trends to follow your DJ dreams. Just make what you love and make it the best sh*t out there, even if it’s not what’s trendy or in fashion! Good music always shines through in the end. You just have to be patient sometimes. Hopefully that reflects in our music, and even if it inspires one fan then we’re happy.

https://soundcloud.com/thirdpartymusic/release-radio-007-pete-k-guest-mix

A Sit Down With DJ Roger Sanchez

13.04.2018


Roger Sanchez a.k.a. S-Man has been conquering the dance music circuit since the late 80s riding the wave of creativity, passion, and major success. He’s collaborated with a plethora of music icons including Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Maroon 5, One Republic, and No Doubt. He is a four-time winner of the DJ Awards ‘Best House DJ’, has produced countless chart-topping hits including ‘Lost’ which reached #1 on the Billboard dance chat, AND he won Grammy for his remix of No Doubt’s ‘Hella Good’ in 2002. His name is known and respected across the globe with residencies in Ibiza’s finest clubs for nearly two decades.

 

"Everything has a foundation and the track is a construction. The skeleton frames, the beams are the bassline, and you build it up around that. I treat every track as a problem that I have to solve."



 

 Your so busy with your career, how do you relax?

I love taking downtime and hanging out at the beach in summer or going to the movies. I’m getting back into the gym lately and my martial arts - sometimes you have to just disconnect. I love chillin.

Which DJs are in your crew now? Who are you tight with? Who do you see socially?


Carnao Beats, Huxley, Cocodrills, Man Without A Clue. Darius Syrossian's pretty cool. I tend to bump into people at airports and hang out with them in places like Ibiza. 


Roger Sanchez and S-Man – explain the difference....

S-Man has always allowed me to experiment with darker sounds.  As Roger Sanchez, the house sound has always been more traditional and uplifting.  But now specifically?  S-Man is allowing me to explore sounds from the UK bass scene as well as some deep techno roots.  It’s a bass-driven thing, which actually takes me back to the S-Man stuff I was doing in the Nineties...only it’s even grittier.  As for Roger Sanchez, I’m still about those vocal, uplifting records...very soulful and maybe with some Latin elements.  It’s proper house music.

You’ve played at almost every club in Ibiza for over 15 years, and now you’re joining the ranks of beach parties at La Plage – tell us about it?

I wanted to do something different with my label Stealth rather than just fold it into a night at Release Yourself; I wanted it to be focused on other artists rather than myself. A beach party is a lot more relaxed, more chilled and a different vibe. I’ll be there hanging out, which is a big change for me, because normally I’m behind the booth…

What are some of the best/must visit spots in Ibiza?

If you’re talking club-wise, you definitely want to check out  which is the re-done Space. They did an amazing job refurbishing the space. I also think Pacha is a must visit, especially when Solomun is playing, he’s got a great night there. Find out when the Elrow parties are going on, I believe they’re doing it at Amnesia this year. Those parties are always fun. I also like this party called WooMoon that they do in Cova Santa which is really reallly interesting. Very interesting vibe, different kind of music and a really cool crowd.

What is your favourite aspect of performing at the new Hï Ibiza venue and why?

I confess that the main room at Space Ibiza didn’t hold as much attraction for me as the Terrace did, but the new main room at Hï Ibiza is next level. This main room feels comfortable and epic at the same time. I think they did it right.

Being many years into your career you have experienced a slew of summer schedules. As this is always a particularly busy time, how do you prepare for the rigors of the summer? Do you have a certain protocol to maintain health and mindfulness?

One thing I do is try to set up some time for the gym whenever possible, get as much rest as I can and drink LOTS of water. When the summer is in full swing all the flying can take a toll and the way I cope is to manage my rest time very carefully.

It's a boring to debate the pros and cons of vinyl/digital sources, but for you specifically how do you think the switch has altered your style, if at all?


When I did switch over from vinyl to CDs I did it for two reasons, that it enabled me to bring a LOT of music on the road with me. The weight restrictions and the physical difficulties of taking a lot of vinyl on tour... Then there was the fact that I could do things that were a lot more interesting if I went digital, in terms of loops, acapellas... Every now and then I still do a vinyl set, but I'm able these days to bring a lot more newer music on USBs. 


What do you think of the current house music scene in NYC? Can we still dance?

You can dance, of course you can! The thing is that New York had it rough you know first there was the Mayor trying to build a platform for his career by ‘protecting’ the kids who were dying in our nightclubs by closing them. It was very political and clubs were a scapegoat to politicians for a while so it was all misunderstood and that hurt the scene. 9/11 really brought New York down too but there’s a slow resurgence now in New York’s nightclubs. Many of the kids are into hip hop and if they’re into house it’s the harder end stuff so seemingly the older crowd don’t want to go where these young kids are. House music is more adult, so venues have to cater for that maturity, plus the kids who’re growing into house music later too!

https://soundcloud.com/rogersanchez/sets/s-man-ultra-nate-fake

A Sit Down With DJ Fake Blood

13.04.2018


Theo Keating, the once mysterious man behind the Fake Blood alias, has been twisting and mangling beats for almost 20 years now. Across his lengthy back catalogue, from the Wise Guys and the Black Ghosts to his Fake Blood remixes over the last few years, Keating’s certainly demonstrated an ability to change with the times, keeping his music up to date whilst still drawing on the sounds of his past. Cells, his debut album as Fake Blood, is no different.

 

 "Styles change, and the cloud of bullshit and PR has increased – but it’s basically the same animal."



 

How did you get in touch with electronic dance music in the first place?


I first heard house music as a teenager, listening to pirate radio here in London. That was the pipeline to everything that was happening musically in and around clubs etc - the latest tunes from Chicago, Detroit, NY, Europe, and of course right at home in the UK. An incredible source of music, especially for those of us who were too young to actually go to clubs!

We’re loving the new remix for Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. Is re-imagining other people’s work something you see as essential to what you do? How does the experience differ from writing your own music.

I’ve always enjoyed doing remixes, as it gives me a chance to try out ideas and sounds. It’s a great outlet for ideas that may not be right for the tracks I’m making for myself at that point. Plus you’re given a set of components right from the start, rather like being given ingredients and then told to cook whatever you like with them. There are many possible outcomes, but having those building blocks from the original song is what can start the creative process flying off in one direction or another. Whereas with one’s own tunes, you have a completely blank page to fill. Both are enjoyable and challenging, and I think both are great exercises in learning how to produce and advance. One hand washes the other!

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


I'm terrible with this question! I've always found it impossible to single out one specific gig as being "the best", as there are so many factors involved. Although it's probably more likely to be a mad sweaty basement party than a huge event. That's the acid house in me talking! As for bad gigs, I tend to forget them unless something really terrible happened.

You also have your own record label, Blood Music. Was the inception of Blood Music primarily for the release of Fake Blood material, or did you always want to sign and release music from other artists?


I didn’t put out any of my own music until the 28th release! It was always meant to be a platform for me to give wider exposure to artists / tracks I was sent or discovered, rather than something that was self-serving/self-promoting. But fuck it eh – why not put out one’s own tunes! 


How has the process of marketing music changed for you since the start of your career? Have you noticed a difference?

Big question. The obvious answer is that the artists is now more in control of, and responsible for, their own publicity and profile. This can make things more “direct from the artist’s mouth”, which people usually prefer to being fed comments and pictures have been filtered through a public-relations net. But it can also lead to a slapshot effect, where everyone is just posting any old shit, hour after hour, in a bid to maintain things like “engagement” and “reach”. So pictures of your breakfast become some sort of marketing commodity. But having gone this far without any PR or management, I have a pretty ambivalent attitude about all this stuff!

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


I often travel with a small portable turntable, as I will go and hunt for old vinyl on days off. And I never travel anywhere without a book. The best escape for the mind is in books, and you can never be bored. I miss London when I'm away - the place itself - and also people I know; but never "things" as such.

With all the social media outlets that exist today, there is a lot of room for shameless self-promotion. Any tips for young up and comers?

Well firstly I’d say don’t use me as an example! I had no management, no PR, no label, nothing. It was just me and the tracks I had made. But the thing blew up incredibly fast, and all without any engineering by myself. I avoided all questions, photos, attention, and let people fill that void themselves – hence the weird blogs and sites where people speculated on who I was etc. I just sat back and enjoyed watching it happen. But I don’t know that it would work a second time for anyone else. It was a very specific set of circumstances, at a particular time. However it taught me that you don’t always NEED all the media and contrived hype. If you have the music, then it can work naturally, by people finding out themselves, and making up their own minds. Many people buy this kind of coverage, and it works, but to me it always smacks of desperation. There’s a fine line between letting people know you’re out there and have good music, and begging them – or even worse haranguing them – to listen to it.

How would you say the current electronic music scene compares to the late 90s/early 00’s era that saw acts like the Wiseguys rise to prominence?


There are differences of course, but the core of it is still the same. People want to dance to music, and there are all kinds of places from big events to tiny parties for just that. Styles change (or come back), and the cloud of bullshit and PR has increased – but it’s basically the same animal. Although now we do have a particular breed of artist/DJ who are basically cut from the same cloth as city traders.


What advice could you offer to anyone looking to delve in to the world of music production?


Don’t obsess on the above. Experiment weirdly and leave in your mistakes. Thicken your skin. Take nothing personally.


https://soundcloud.com/fake-blood/tell-me-nothing

A Sit Down With DJ Lange

12.04.2018


After 10 years in a business that has earned him a legion of fans, counting among them the trance elite, Lange shows no sign of slowing down; he has carefully honed his music style into a cutting edge blend of raw and filthy Electro baselines and angelic melodies, resulting in some of the most original and characteristic trance records of recent times.

 

 "I like to have an idea or a feeling or place that I want to portray; but of course I’m always influenced by the sets I’m playing and the music of other, certain sounds that really get me excited."



 

What are the best crowds you have ever played to? 

I've played some amazing events from Godskitchen’s Global Gathering to the Zurich Street parade which attracted some 800,000 people. I often prefer the smaller venues though as it can be a much more intimate experience. One place I really enjoy playing time and time again is on a small island in the Western Isles of Scotland. I was invited up there some 7 years ago and have been going there ever since. The club is very small and holds only a couple of hundred people but I’ve had some of my most memorable gigs there!

We Are Lucky People is an amazing album, how long did it take you to put that tougher?

Thank you very much; the album took me about a year from conception to finish. I released singles along the way and I did a few new twists and things to the final project in the end which took an extra month or so. 

How have your musical outlooks and ideaologies changed over time? Are certain aspects of music more important to you now than they were 10 years ago?

Music has always been important to me, (that will never change), but you do approach it a little differently as your career progresses.  It’s a constant learning curve and as a producer, you’re always striving to make the ultimate track, but never quite achieving that. I love a wide range of music from big, epic music to groovy techno.  I certainly think as times gone by I have a much bigger respect to those producers who manage to keep their tracks so simple and minimal, yet can create such an impact.  That’s something I strive for more now in the studio. ‘Less is more’ as they say.

Your first major success was the remix of DJ Sakin – Protect Your Mind. How did you become involved with the project?


I was signed to Positiva who were releasing it and I had been doing a few remixes for them. Originally the track was going to be a smaller Additive release but the remix went down so well it got a full Positiva release and made it to No. 4 in the UK. As you can imagine it was an incredible time for me.


What is your opinion about the new generation of trance producers? Which young trance producer is your favourite?

There’s some really great new talent out there and the production quality keeps on rising. Unfortunately more than ever, a lot of producers tend to be cloning the big tracks but every now and then you get something really unique. My favourite from the new breed include Stephen Kirkwood, Tangle, Mateusz, Anske and Craig Connelly.

Why do you think there are hardly any ‘pop’ music that experiments with trance sounds?

Actually I hear a lot of ‘trance-edged’ elements in house and have noticed some cropping up in pop, although my exposure to mainstream music is pretty minimal. Can you really define what trance music is anymore anyway? I’ve said it before, I think trance music is less of a specific style or sound and more of a community of people who love to dance and be touched by music.

What’s one of the wildest adventures you’ve been on during your travels?

I’ve had plenty of trips that have gone wrong… lots of missed flights, that sort of thing. Sometimes it’s been my fault, but not usually – I’m actually fairly well behaved on tour! I’m pretty responsible!

What’s the most insane thing you’ve done to create a unique sound?

To be honest I can’t really thing of anything off the top of my head that’s totally insane. I’ve 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. I’m really attracted to organic, modulating sounds, so that’s 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.

With your continued success, how do you keep your music sounding new? How do you stay on top of your game?


Tough one! I guess every track I approach with a fresh idea, I’ve been told I have a certain sound by people but I try not to approach tracks in this way, which probably means I give myself extra work!! I like to have an idea or a feeling or place that I want to portray; but of course I’m always influenced by the sets I’m playing and the music of other, certain sounds that really get me excited. I’d like to think that this approach is hopefully allowing my music to always offer something different to my previous release.


When it comes to Djing, how do you select the tracks to play? Do you play promo copies of third parties or do you also buy tracks? And do you consider music from new comers or you rather opt to play it safe and only play music from known artists?

I get a lot of promos sent to me. I still go through them looking for new artists – if none of us did, we would never find those hidden gems and new talents. I occasionally buy extra tracks but in all honestly, the few hundred tracks I get a week keeps my ears pretty busy!

Do you have any tips for aspiring producers, both technical and musical?

Write for yourself and enjoy. That’s what makes you an artist, when you believe in what you’re doing. Of course, the temptation is there to just copy what’s popular into your own tracks and if popularity and fame are your sole motives, then go do the latter or just pay some other producer to do it for you!  Marketing is obviously hugely important these days. Get the word out on everything you do and give your fan-base the attention it deserves.

https://soundcloud.com/lange/create-069

A Sit Down With DJ Marlo

10.04.2018


The Dutch born, Australian resident has become a powerful force in the dance music scene by showcasing his “MaRLo Sound” that has set him apart from other artists in the industry. In the last few years, MaRLo has taken the stage at some of the biggest festivals in the world, garnering him fans from all over who have taken to his different approach to trance music.

 I think it’s important to set goals that are just outside of your reach.



 

Do you remember the first dance record you have ever bought?

It would probably be something from Aphex Twin or The Prodigy. For electronic music, those two really inspired me. “Come to Daddy” and “Window Licker” and those sort of tracks were amazing. And when I first heard “Voodoo People” by The Prodigy, I was in love with electronic music. I think I am trying to bring those sort of darker elements into my tracks.

What are your top three festival essentials?

Well in Australia, you should probably bring some sunscreen. The sun gets really hot and I got really sun burnt one year. And some sunglasses I suppose. And keep hydrated with some water and be responsible.
Have you seen the Trance scene grow in Australia?


Australia has always had a big trance fanbase. Armin has always been a big name there, and when Tiesto was doing trance he was a big name there, too. Right now a lot more people are getting excited about it though, because a lot more clubs and festivals are catering to it. At festivals in the past there would be one trance act, whereas now we get a whole stage with 10-15 trance acts.

So, you listen to The Prodigy and Aphex Twin, but you ended up being a trance DJ. So what drew you to trance?

So I was listening to those sort of tracks but I was going out on the weekends, a lot of trance top parties. So, as far as trance goes – the sound that really got me into it were the pioneers such as Armin Van BuurenTiestoFerry Corsten at the start for the uplifting trance sound. And later on, I got into the harder stuff as well such as Scot Project, and then the tech-y sound such as Sander Van Doorn. My range of music has formed the type of music I’m into today and it has changed a lot over the years.

What about your best festival experience?

Stereosonic, Tomorrowland and a State of Trance.

Any artists that are giving you that same influence or a kick out of your creativity?

Not really, but that comes across weird so I want to explain that. When I first started making music there were a lot of people that did influence me and opened my eyes to many new things. My initial influences were acts like Aphex Twin, Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers and then I was getting more into hard trance, which was at the time a German sound like Scot Project and guys like that. Then I felt a real deep connection with the more melodic trance sound with Ferry Corsten, Tiesto and Armin van Buurenand then I got inspired by the new tech sound. So I wrapped all of those experiences from my past that I was really into when I was growing up, bundled it all together, mixed it all up, and made my own music—the MaRLo sound, or if I'm playing a little bit harder it's called Tech Energy. Right now I've let go of trying to follow anyone else; I'm making music that I like to make based on all of my past experiences. It's not like I'm listening to music and saying, “Oh, I want to make music like this.” I've let go of all of that and just create music that I really enjoy to make and hope that people like it.

I saw where Armin van Buuren said that you are the best guy for leads, how does that make you feel?

That is a great compliment because to me leads are the energy part of the track. Of course you have the percussion and everything that drives it but Armin has been an amazing supporter of my sound for a long time now and I am really thankful for that.

I heard you're launching your own label?

Yes. It's taken a bit longer to launch, but its called Reaching Altitude. I've got so many talented artists already and I've got a lot of new music myself, which I've been holding back until the label launches. I had a really hard time breaking through and I feel very privileged and honored to be in a position where I play to big audiences—I like to help new talent by showcasing their music on a bigger stage. I hope that my label can be sort of a vehicle for nurturing talent and people can send me demos and if it suits the label, I'll support it.

What are some of your goals for the upcoming year and how do you plan on raising the bar for yourself?

My main focus for next year career-wise is to bring the Altitude shows around the world! And also continue to produce and release music. On a personal level, I’m just super-excited to meet my first-born son. I’m proud of him and I haven’t even met him yet.

If you could go back and talk to your 18 year old self and give him advice what would you tell him?

I would tell my 18 year old self not to stress out too much and not to focus too much on the concept of achieving or moving forward. Don’t worry about that stuff just enjoy yourself and be happy and enjoy yourself. If you love what you do success will come anyways. The things that most people consider as success and what I would have considered success when I was 18 are totally different now. What I consider success is loving what you do every day of your life. All the other stuff doesn’t really matter so I would tell myself just relax and enjoy and have a good time with it and don’t beat yourself up. I used to work nonstop and stress about getting a release or a gig so I would just tell myself to enjoy what I do because it will happen anyway if you just love what you do.

https://soundcloud.com/marlomusic/marlo-enough-echo

A Sit Down With DJ Ace Ventura

10.04.2018


Ace Ventura is one of the leading and busiest DJs & artists on the progressive and psytrance scene. His music has been topping the charts and he has been touring constantly all over the globe playing in every possible venue and headlining all major festivals. He is well known for his highly popular mixes and long massive DJ sets.

 

 "The only way to stand out is to try and be original…"


 

Your father is a famous Israeli composer. How much does he understand or appreciate trance music or in fact electronic dance music in general?

He really doubted the longevity of the genre when I was just getting into producing and leaving my previous work on sound post-production. But this was in the late 90’s and he admitted to his mistake a few years after. He appreciates it for sure but doesn’t know many names past Infected Mushroom or Skazi I reckon. What he also appreciates though, is my project name – As his original family name was Ventura before he changed it to Oshrat. Sometimes I get to jam with him in the studio and make some weird electronica… good times.

At what age did you start mixing or producing?

I was a DJ since a very young age, around 15 or so, playing first at birthday parties for kids, then moving up to playing in clubs for teenagers, and when i was around 19 i started to produce, together with DJ Goblin - we started a project called Children of the doc, which in time changed to Psysex. in 2006 we both split Psysex and i started working under the name Ace Ventura.

Quite a few full on artists made the transition to progressive. Do you think its quick rise in popularity lead to watered down releases from artists trying to ride the wave?

You are right on the money. At the moment progressive music is anything but. You can still find a few artists who are still loyal to the original progressive vibes but they are a handful. Like every few years we are apparently in the end of a musical cycle… the genre has peaked, but can still take a while until it resets.

What does the global PsyTrance scene need more of?

More festivals! Hands down it’s the best part of the global scene, where everyone from everywhere comes together! Fun fun fun. Oh and more cowbell.

Do not you fear that by becoming popular, the community loses its essence?

Psytrance is unique in the electronic music scene, but it has more to offer than music. As new people discover this culture, it is natural that it becomes more popular. Personally, it does not cause me any problems that the tribe welcomes new members. I think that no matter how popular this genre may be in some countries, it will always remain underground. Psychedelic culture is something that can not please everyone, it will never reach the massive proportions of other musical genres.

What is one of your favourite tracks that you currently spinning at festivals around the globe?  And what other music would be on rotation back home when Ace Ventura kicks back for some timeout?

There`s a lot of good music going around. Good stuff from Astrix, Symbolic, Zen mechanics, Ritmo, Vini Vici and so on. At home i kick back to rather chilled sounds compared, such as Tipper, Boards of Canada, Isan, Liquid stranger, Hedflux…and if i wanna kick it harder i turn to Zenon records, my favourite psychedelic label.

Which track proved the toughest to complete?

There were no specific tough tracks to complete, but the track with LOUD for example, was something we started years ago and scrapped it ‘cos we thought it wasn’t good enough. Then last year, as a ‘goodbye present’ for me when I moved from Israel to Switzerland, Eitan Reiter decided to open the project and give it another spin – and we saw there was something in there worth exploring again, so we finished it and it became one of the hotter dancefloor tracks on the album. 

Which are the artists who gave you the inspiration to make music ?

There were many, When i started to make psytrance in the end of the 90's, i was inspired by names such as Pleidians, Hallucinogen, X-dream, Oforia, Deedrah, Juno reactor, Chakra & Edi Mis, Total eclipse…and the long list goes on.

When looking back across your career as producer, your style has very much evolved and matured since the early days of Psysex, do you see it evolving again anytime soon?

I hope it will keep changing otherwise people will get bored with it. I wish i had more hours in a day to make all kinds of electronic music…alas, time is short. But as a perfect stranger once said, Learning equals change.

What advice would you give any aspiring DJ or producers wanting to play on the same line ups as Ace Ventura?

I remember holding a Transwave vinyl album in my hands, with an epic pic of Christoph and Dado during a live set – and really wanting to be in their shoes. Next step was hanging with a pal and trying to do it ourselves. So the advice would be a simple ‘just do it’. You never know where it will take you.

Does the solitude of being a DJ affect you?


Not at all, i have a family at home so i don't have much free time, so when i travel i have time to watch movies and listen to music, plus i always meet friends and people from all over the world. i have no problem flying or traveling alone, its easy for me.


https://soundcloud.com/schatsi/ace-ventura-mars-red-planet-mix-free-download

A Sit Down With DJ Protoculture

09.04.2018


Protoculture made the leap to pursue a music career professionally after completing his studies in Audio Engineering at age 20, immediately taking the international psy-trance scene by storm. His international debut came at the United Kingdom’s famed Glastonbury Festival. With the release of his first artist album, “Refractions”, and the follow up “Circadians”, a slew of international performances ensued worldwide, seeing Nate travel to all four corners of the globe.

 

"I love the idea that music is mathematics with its frequencies."




All the tracks Protoculture has released, including collaborations, in the past 18 months are on the album, aside from remix work…

I’ve been asked a couple of times how I pick artists to work with but the simple truth is, it’s very organic. I’d love to give a really educated answer but to be honest if I meet someone and I like what they’re doing I work with them.

From your personal point of view, what did you think of AVB’s sets at the ASOT500 events?

I really enjoyed it. He is the number one for a reason. He’s got a remarkable grasp of what the crowd wants and you can see that he loves what he does. I really loved the Cape Town set, people went nuts for that.

Have you attended any music school or professional workshop to learn how to produce EDM or you are 100% self-taught?

I have a diploma in audio engineering... Its great for the technical aspects of recording but writing EDM is a whole different ballgame. There are no rules so to speak, so 99% of the knowledge I have that I actually use comes from years of experimenting and teaching oneself.

Maybe you can tell me the latest update from a Nate Raubenheimer A.K.A Protoculture is like what?

I'm currently making the latest tracks with my staff and collaborating with some other DJs, not fully completed and I have not been able to mention them yet. But, I will bring a little piece of my latest track on tonight as a surprise too.

What is your take on the Progressive Trance culture in South Africa and how do you feel our production standards measure up globally?

There’s been a big gap in the market for a number of years now. The Progressive and Trance scene used to be pretty big in SA but seems to have taken a back seat over the last few years. It’s definitely making a comeback though. For me, my shift from Psy-Trance to Trance and Progressive was out of necessity to explore new ideas and let my style, which has always been more melodic and uplifting a chance to flourish. There are a lot of EDM genres which kind of went very hard and dark over the last year or two.
Can you define for us and explain what the “Protoculture” sound or style includes in its unique mixture EDM genres infusions and influences?


I try not to think too hard about influences or the style of my music. I like things to just flow organically, but I guess an emotional component and melody is very important to me. I like beautiful, sad music that tends to be on the deeper side of things rather than a lot of the up front and in your face electro tinged stuff that’s so popular these days.


What about the subject of the EDM wave that’s currently sweeping the globe? 


Actually with EDM, trance has become a bit more underground now. Something that Max Graham, Solar Stone, John OO Fleming and I have been pushing is the whole pure trance, underground vibe. Max started pushing this and now I’ve also become involved too; its open-to-close sets which is what I am doing in Seattle this weekend

where I open the club and I close the club with a 5 hour set.

How did you first come into personal contact with Armin Van Buuren (AVB) and how does it feel to know that he recognises you on quote as ‘a great talent’?

It started off with him supporting a remix I had one for Liquid Soul’s “Devotion”. It was a more progressive cross over style remix and I’d been trying to do something different like that for a while. I was very surprised to hear that it had featured on two episodes in a row. I was contacted by Max Graham after that with a proposal to do some work together. After that things just fell into place from there. Max and I did some remixes together followed by a single for Max’s Re*Brand records also a sub-label of Armada. Every track I have done since then has been supported by Armin on his ‘A State of Trance’ radio show. He contacted Max and me to remix “Orbion” from his last album “Mirage”. That sparked off the dialogue between us. It was pretty amazing getting to know Armin personally especially since he is the world’s number one DJ. It’s exciting and almost intimidating although he’s such an incredibly modest and like able person. It’s been a pleasure working with him, both on the music and the tour.
Do you have an all-time favourite mix compilation that may have inspired you so much as to influence your career and sound too?


Sasha’s first “Involver” album... It’s kind of a hybrid album/mix compilation really as all the tracks Sasha had a hand in editing, remixing or rewriting completely. But its an incredibly solid collection of music that tells a beautiful story.

https://soundcloud.com/protoculture/protoculture-the-descent

A Sit Down With DJ Cazzette

09.04.2018


The legendary Swedish DJ duo, Cazzette has taken the world by storm ever since their first track hit the streets. Their versatility and ever-changing production style has allowed them to become one of the biggest names in the scene. Cazzette’s work has really transformed throughout the years; from the early days of electro house hits such as “Beam Me Up” to banging future house tracks, including “Sleepless” and “Together”. They revolutionized the industry with their production and proved to us that they have what it takes to be an EDM giant.

 

"We simply said to ourselves that we needed to create music that we love no matter the genre."



 

How did you come up with the name “Cazzette” ?

Our manager Ash suggested the name when we started working together. Since we don’t really stick to one genre and also that’s how he discovered us we want to represent a mixtape  where one really doesn’t care about genres but rather good songs no matter what.
Don’t get me wrong, you look dashing in your cassette-shaped headgear, but have we got to the point where the aesthetic needs to match the quality of the tunes for a DJ to get discovered?


It’s always going to be about the music in the end – great headgear doesn’t make up for lazy production. It’s just an added element to the production of our shows and we never wear them for the full performance. We take them off when we’re getting ready to jump up and down with the crowd!

You’re releasing your debut album EJECT in 3 parts, and only on Spotify. What is the idea behind this strategy?


Well I guess we just wanted to have different parts because it’s more exciting. If you put an album out there with just 12 or 13 songs and that’s it, I think people don’t listen to every song. But if you put out in parts, like we’re doing now, people listen to every song because it’s just 5 songs, so it’s like an EP. And then when the next part comes out, people will want to listen to that.


How would you describe your sound now then?

It’s definitely a lot more chill. We don’t stick to genres though. We take influences from what we love and feel at the moment and whatever comes out in the track, the only thing that matters is that it’s a good song. We don’t care about genres anymore. It takes out so much creativity from the production process when you get stuck in a genre. A lot of people are like, “oh, we have to have this beat and this kick drum,” but you don’t need to. That doesn’t mean it will be a better song. We don’t have any rules we follow, we just make what we like.

Always about your style, I noticed several evolutions compared to the pieces present on your Album Wject and your last EP, Desserts. On Desserts , you're on a decidedly more house music style, radically different from the songs on Eject , which was more aggressive and Electro house. Why this change?

It was very natural to us. We used our single Sleeplees  to really initiate this change and Blind Heart after that. We love this kind of music, it's been a big part of our personal development for both, but we also love other styles, which are really easy to merge and experiment with this genre. We were very pleased with the response of the public and critics to this facet of our music and most importantly, we really believe in this music.

What are some of your favorite artists outside of EDM? 

Lil Wayne and Coldplay are definitely in our favorites!

What’s your favourite noise?

A fully sound-proofed room. It’s sort of creepy sounding. I’m also a huge fan of the noise aeroplane wheels make when they pull lower just before you land somewhere new.

Was the studio dynamic intense or free-flowing?

Nice and free flowing I would say. Everything came together so organically, and I think that is what’s so great – we get to do what we want to do. There were a few challenges with mixings and the arrangements, but that’s all good, these things happen. We actually still have a bunch of unreleased songs, we just picked the ones we felt would work nice together, yet individually have their own feel.


How would you say your music has evolved from the days of ‘Beam Me Up' to ‘Sleepless' to the current EP?

I think the main difference now is that we don't look at our music like EDM or club music. We look at it more like, oh this is a song you can play in a club but you can also play it in the car. The whole ‘Eject' album was very format oriented. Every track had their intros, breakdowns, and had a drop. I feel like now it's more oh, so this track sounds like this, its more of that vibe to the whole thing which is a lot more fun for us. Obviously it's been house and dancier but its just like we cant be creative when we know we have to do a certain like style or sound.

Was there a particular moment that caused the shift, or would you just consider it a natural evolution in your musical careers?

We feel that it was a natural change, but also a lot changed in the scene since we started producing and touring. We kind of got stuck and associated within that EDM bubble and weren’t really comfortable in it. We feel that its so much more fun creating songs rather than “club tracks,” even though once in a while it’s fun to play around with that stuff, too.

Who have been your inspirations growing up that also inspire you today?

We listen to a lot of hip-hop and other non-dance music and it’s kind of hard to just pick a few inspirations as we listen to music in a different way. It could be an amazing J.Dilla snare or some random 80’s pop synth that we pick up.

When you’re constantly on tour, I’m sure you’re exhausted, but what do you guys do to unwind while on the road?

Now it’s better for me because I just moved to the states, but now it’s like touring weekends and I’ll go back home for the week, so it’s not as intense. But to relax we try to go out and eat, and just have a good time, work out, and just chill. I’m a pretty easy going guy, so I don’t do much. Just work out, and I like good food!

https://soundcloud.com/cazzette/sets/oceans-ft-leo-stannard

A Sit Down With DJ D!Rty Aud!O

08.04.2018


DJ/Producer, D!Rty Aud!O, is known for creating and remixing popular tracks such as “Gettin' That,” “Used to Have It All,” “Ocho Cinco,” and his latest hit release, “Alien Cookies.” For the last year, he has successfully taken the world by storm with his impressive bass and Electro music.

 

"There’s so many sample packs and preset libraries now, you gotta go out of your way and really want to be unique to end up being unique."



 

You are an LA native, and as we all know, the scene in Los Angeles is ridiculously competitive. Can you tell us a bit about your journey through LA Nightlife and how your experiences led to success?

I don’t think it’s really that competitive.. It’s like a good competition, it makes you want to be different and stand out. It also helped because so many dope musicians live out here, so it’s really easy to collaborate. The parties here are crazy too.. I started going to clubs & underground raves when I was like 14, just going for the music and to see my favorite artists. So it’s kinda crazy now when I’m performing because I was on the other side of the stage a few years ago!

How did you first discover your passion for electronic dance music?

I discovered dance music when I was like probably 11 or 12, and I loved it ever since. I eventually had so many ideas of my own that I started producing as a hobby.

Who were some of your biggest influences growing up?

People like Scott Storch, Dr. Dre, all the hip-hop legends. What I listen to right now on my iPhone library, it’s mid 2000s jams. I grew up on that, man. The first music video I saw was a Lil Jon video. Usher, all those guys back in the day made me realize I wanted to make music. When I finally got into the electronic scene, I really looked up to Deadmau5, Skrillex, Diplo, Afrojack at the time, which was seven years ago. I was really inspired by those guys then and they’re all still legends.

Hip Hop has been pretty big in your life too hasn’t it? Can you share one of the life lessons you’ve learnt through a rap song?

"Never let no one know how much dough you hold cause you know the cheddar breed jealousy", "never let ’em know your next move".

What are some of your favorite tracks that you love to perform?

My song ‘Gettin' That' with Rickyxsan is pretty special to me. That's still my favorite song to play out. The crowd reaction is always crazy, you can always hear people singing along to the melody.

To those who haven`t seen you live, how would you describe your general mixing style? Are there certain genres you stick to more than others?

I would consider my sets “bass,” but I don’t box my sets into just one style or genre. I try to take the people on a musical journey, and try to make them feel something. Sometimes – depending on what city I’m performing in – I’ll throw in other genres!

What’s a specific sound that comes to mind that you’re attracted to?

Ever since I came back from Europe, bass music and trap music has been happening all over America. I came back and I started hearing a whole new wave of bass music that I haven’t really heard before. Lately everyone is killing it! It’s almost like hardcore heavy dubstep sounds are slowly making their way into trap and bass music. Everyone is trying to push that genre. People are bringing influences from everywhere. It’s not anywhere like it was a year ago when everyone was doing the same thing. Half the people playing tonight like Herobust, Getter – everyone’s making such unique stuff and not following the rules anymore and it’s really creative.

You do a lot of remixes…

Yes, a lot of artists reach out to me to remix. It’s always an honor to get the chance to put my touch on someone else’s music. Then I work on my own music. And that’s where I try to find the balance. I got to remix Yellow Claw recently for “Ocho Cinco” and it’s got a Middle Eastern vibe to it and I’m Middle Eastern so it was cool.

Biggest inspiration in your life?


My family and friends. They’re always supporting me, it’s good to have that.


Continuing to develop as an artist is an obvious path to bigger and better things, what are your goals for the long term? What about for the immediate future?

Long term I wanna be like the #1 producer or something. I don’t know, I don’t really think about stuff like that. I just make music that I like, and if people enjoy it that’s a huge reward to me!

You’ve travelled pretty extensively, what’s the most exotic place you’ve played?

India. It’s cool as hell. But you know seriously, I have to say here at Electric Forest. It’s not something you do every day you know.

https://soundcloud.com/dirtyaudio/sets/dirty-audio-racks

A Sit Down With DJ Lisa Lashes

08.04.2018


Lisa Lashes is the first and only female to be considered among the top ten DJs in the world by DJ Magazine, ranking ninth in 2000 and continuing as the top-ranking female DJ in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Her mix album, Hard House Euphoria and Extreme Euphoria Vol. 2 , have been the highest selling hard house complitation in the world.

 

"It`s not just a way of life it becomes part of your soul, more than that you really learn to appreciate its sheer genius against other genre’s in dance music."



 

How do you feel about the current fusion of house and trance sounds that seems to be becoming more and more common? Does that allow for more diversity in your sets?


I think it’s great as long as it works. Producers are experimenting so much and not just making sounds from their genre, and this is when you get the forward-thinking tunes coming out that push the music scene.

Who are your favourite techno artists/labels at the moment?

Love what Len Faki does making his whole set into a crescendo. The mesmerising Nicole Moudaber, Chris Liebling and Alan Fitzpatrick have my vote for on point DJ sets and Alan’s production on his ‘We Are The Brave’ label is something I’ve been keeping my eye on as he’s not scared of diversity.

You have played at Europe’s top festivals such as Global Gathering, Creamfields and Dance Valley, alongside Sander van Doorn, Marco V and Ferry Corsten. What was your personal career highlights so far?


I keep smashing them time and time again so there isn’t one that sticks in my mind as the best, they all have their different reasons for being the highlights of my career.

At what point did you realise you could be a DJ professionally? Were you able to enjoy the satisfaction of giving up a job for it?

When I started DJing on a regular basis and was about to embark on becoming the resident of the first Sunday Superclub, Sundissential, I knew it was time to hang up my blue, flowery, itchy nylon Marks & Spencer uniform! Q) You’re playing at the Goodgreef 15th birthday party in October. What kind of relationship have you had with Goodgreef over the years, and how do you see the next fifteen years going.

What was it that inspired you to start creating techno?

I was in a transitional period with my music so took some time out to get some inspiration, as in 19 years I’d not been on the other side of the decks and felt a little disconnected. So, I went on New Years Day to The Warehouse Project in Manchester, and when I heard Carl Craig and Maceo Plex fell in love with what they were playing.

Do you have equipment preferences? What do you think about the digital DJing revolution?

At home I have Technics 1210, a Pioneer mixer and Trackmaster needles. I prefer vinyls, but I guess one day CDs will take over eventually.

You've been in the industry for a number of years now and pretty much done it all in the "other time zones". Is this EDM explosion in the U.S. a new challenge for you?

I think it’s an exciting time for the US. They've embracing the amazing international dance scene and I look forward to contributing to it with my knowledge of dance music as best as I know how.

If & when you decided to write a autobiography of your life what would it be called?

Well, as a matter of fact, since the beginning of the year, I’ve actually been writing a diary that documents all the travelling that I’ve been doing recently. I’m collecting bits and bobs, lots of footage from around the world and will eventually create a sort of scrapbook of the year—so you never know, it might just end up as an autobiography! 

Your image is very unique to you and has become almost a signature look. Do you have any specific shops you shop in or do you have to look around for the perfect Lashes outfit?

I love the new Harvey Nichols in Birmingham and enjoy visiting the shops in London around Bond Street. I’ve always liked going out to find unusual outfits—Philip Treacy does really amazing hats. You know us girls; we just adore our shopping! 

What was the best and the worst gig you ever played?


The best differs all the time but one I will always remember as a great party was Cape Town for the millenium where I played to 9000 people for the midnight set. My worst was when I played a UK festival and the tent leaked. Water proceeded to fall onto the decks where I got a massive electric shock every time I touched them.
What does it feel like to be one of the Top Female DJs, let alone DJ Mag Top 100 DJs, in the world


It’s a very humbling accolade that I’m very proud of. I work hard, live and breathe music and hope I’ve made everyone proud that has been behind me.


https://soundcloud.com/djlisalashes/sets/lisa-lashes-april-2016-new-production-3min-teasers

A Sit Down DJ Sander Kleineberg

07.04.2018


Sander Kleineberg began his career as part of a dance music composite called Free Frogs. Two decades and change later, his Spinnin’ Records debut “We-R-Superstars” throws back to the future of disco with a video starring nothing but dogs. In between, there have been tracks for FFRR Records and Global Underground, collisions with Justin Timberlake and Jamie Cullen, as well as residencies at Crobar, New York; Avalon Hollywood; Discoteque, Moscow; Redlight, Paris and; Pacha Ibiza. Through it all, his infamously vivid visuals – mind-blowing set pieces that expand the very horizons of EDM.

 

 

 "I find joy in following someone’s progression. Unfortunately we live in a world where things are very complex, and it’s a big thing to ask from people, but it keeps me creative and moving forward. It’s the only way I can go."



 

 

How did you learn to create tracks and the production process itself?


Simply by trying over and over again, i guess endless practice and persistence made perfect. 


Can we talk about your latest album, "This Is Everybody Too"? In what way can we take this as an extension of your last album "Everybody"?


Well, "This is Everybody Too"; any way you want to translate that is fine by me. I've tried to keep it as open as anything, I wanted to be in there, but it's not about me, it's not about the DJ. It's about people on the dancefloor, coming together and creating an atmosphere. And merely what I do is provide a soundtrack, but it could be any Tom, Dick, and Harry round the block... kind of. The aspect of what it's really about is that- people coming together and doing something. All I'm trying to do is highlight what I think is most interesting in electronic music, at least what I have my hands on, and I listen to lots and lots of music, and I filter it through, and this is what I believe, in my world, are the eye-catchers. I think on both CDs, the first 4 or 5 tracks are a stepping ground for what happens next in the CD. I'm not musically changing the world, I know that, but it comes from the heart, it's what I believe in musically.


What was your inspiration behind the new track “WE-R Superstars”?

I was looking to recycle some of the flavors that got me into this music in the early nineties; I loved that time because of its “no rules’ vibe. It obviously gives a nod to Daft Punk. It’s a track I always wanted to produce, however I do think it sounds very “now” in terms of production value and I love taking what’s best from the past and mix it with the now.

Who is actually the person behind the DJ Sander Kleinenberg? what do you do in your spare time? 

I am also just a human being! I'm going to do wonderful things with my child. I love to cook, to have friends around me, to have a nice meal (Japanese!) And to drink a good wine. 'Special' going out is always fun, reading books. I have a boat. Actually all of those standard things. I am not very pronounced like that.

How about Little Mountain Recordings, your label? What tracks have been released recently?

Yeah we’re doing really well. We’ve picked up on Rene Amesz who’s a young promising producer from Holland, trying to release as many of his tracks as possible and he keeps on coming with one bomb after another, which is brilliant. We just released something from the Low End Specialists from New York, who are like the new Deep Dish if you want....a great little team of great producers. I’ve just done my ‘This Is Miami’ track which has no transferred into ‘This Is Ibiza’ and I just did a title song, or the theme song for a big party in Holland called Sensation, called ‘This is Sensation’, so we have all these different “This Is....” records...

You are not only in America to receive awards and to visit the WMC, but you are also there to promote your new concept "This is". Tell more about this.

Actually, I need new clothes every few years ... new clothes for the emperor. "This is" originated from the idea that I am now really ready to perform in the way that makes me feel most comfortable. Without having to adapt and match with things that people expect from me, without really having to "fall in love". I now feel more confident and easier in the role that I have. I now dare to look at myself more of "Fat! I do nice things and I'm doing a good job!". That is more Sander Kleinenberg. "This is" is also a place where I can put my video things in a cool way. Yes ... it is actually a kind of reinventing that which I am.

You've been to so many places; any gigs that stand out?


Well, my favourite gig is always the next gig. You know, I think it's not very clever to look back and think "oh, that was great!", because then you've kind of lost something. But, then, you know, there are a few places in the world which are really happening, Canada's very healthy, Montreal is a healthy city. New York's coming back to where it once was, with lots of new clubs opening and fresh ideas. There are many places, and Japan, you know...


Are you planning on collaborating more in the near future? Or do you have any other special collaborations coming up that you can share with us?


I’m working with CID on something fun that will be finished soon. Its been a wish of mine to work with him for a while. He has a very special talent.  I also wrote a few songs with Sam Bruno that we are now finishing. More poppy and mature than my club records. 


Over the past couple of years your sound changed from deep, lush, melodic progressive house to phat dirty stomping Electro house...a move towards more party-orientated music some might say. Why the change?


I have no idea. I guess its other people’s perspective on how I DJ. I just pick out tunes that I like, and I produce records that I feel are effective on the dancefloor.


Can you tell us more about the two events that you organize during ADE?

 The Thirsday night in Club Home of our label Little Mountain Recordings becomes very cool with a large number of artists and Darren Emerson. Darren will exclusively release some new tracks from his unreleased album during his gig. Last summer during the Exit (where Sander Kleinenberg & Darren Emerson back2back turned, red) festival of Darren got a taste and I'm sure it will be cool again. The Saturday night in the Melkweg is also becoming a fat thing. During " This Is Our Night"I get the chance to lift a corner of the veil of my new album. For me it is also a great opportunity to test my new tracks among like-minded people. I receive feedback from my fans and can take the experience from the showcase with me when I dive into the studio. In addition, it is also a special evening in terms of video, but I can not tell too much about it .

What about the Never Say Never beach parties here at Ushuaia with Sasha – does it give you a chance to showcase a different musical side?

Absolutely. I can really be myself, there’s no direction apart from playing great music and the crowds are up for it. Obviously Friday nights at Pacha are a great passion of mine, but there is a couple of thousand people you have to entertain so there’s a different level of awareness when I DJ there. So I’m just chilled out at Ushuaia and I play what I love. It’s good for the soul, that’s for sure.

https://soundcloud.com/sanderkleinenberg/the-deepest-mixtape-in-the-universe-20

A Sit Down With DJ Chocolate Puma

07.04.2018


The dawning of the 21st century saw the rise of their latest project as what they primarily go by today, Chocolate Puma. Their most recent release, which features Junior Sanchez, Arama, and Todd Terry came out on Dim Mak, one of many they've decided to put out on a label other than their own. At first, they chose to release tracks on their own labels because at the time, "we felt there weren't any labels to release our music, or the ones that were around weren't right for us.

 

"To us, It doesn't matter where or when or even how one likes to dance, just so long as they do because, after all, we make dance music."




Can you describe what dance music means to you?

It means everything. That’s a difficult one. It means everything, our whole life has changed because of dance music. When we heard the first house records back in the eighties, we thought like “Holy shit this is so cool, we want to hear this for the rest of our lives.” And even better if we could make it. So in that way it means a lot, it changed the whole course of our lives.

How does it feel for you knowing that people are coming to hear especially to see you play and to hear your records?

It feels very good especially because we play our own tracks now. When someone DJs they may play two or three of their own productions, years ago it was tricky to play your own stuff. For us now, because we have made so many tracks over the years we never had a chance to test them out on the dance floor quickly. Now we can make the records and test them directly on the dance floor instantly and it’s more fun than ever.

What are your thoughts on the dance music explosion in North America. Did you ever see it coming? 

Did anyone see it coming? We understand a lot of people think it’s a negative thing and do not like the whole commercial side of what’s going on right now. But in the end it’s still about kids having a great time. And what we see when we’re playing in North America is that kids that used to go to the big EDM concerts are now discovering other kinds of dance music. They are curious and very hungry for other stuff, and for us is so much fun to play there now.

Do you think most DJs/producers today are too focused on getting a top track?

I mean before we were here, we were in the studio thinking about this gig, and you get inspired by the idea of playing such a big, energetic crowd and that reflects what’s going on in the studio.

You have quite an extensive repertoire of aliases. How might you go about defining Chocolate Puma?

When we started Chocolate Puma, when we made "I Wanna Be U", we didn't think it would fit the other projects. At that time we also had a project called Jark Prongo. It was more techno. Now, we only have this one project, Chocolate Puma, but we still love to make more techno stuff, or vocal stuff, or future house, or whatever you call it. The difference between Chocolate Puma and all the other projects is that for now, anything goes. Back in the day, we would have different projects for different styles. I think it's also a sign of the time that people are more accepting when artists are do different stuff. Especially this year, you see different artists making trap or moombathon, or bass-house, and people love it.

How do you think that a life spent in music has affected you as people? Do you think you’d be any different if you were doing anything else?

Well it’s difficult to judge yourself. I don’t know if I have necessarily changed but being in the music industry you do become more open minded, and you’re doing something you really love to do. It’s not like when you’re learning something at 17 but by the time you’re 25 you don’t like it anymore. This is really what we like and what we feel.

Inspiration sources? 

Musically Prince has always been my greatest inspiration. My daily inspiration comes from my fellow musicians. From Rammstein to Todd Terry. 

Your latest hit “Space Sheep” with Oliver Heldens has been on charts all over the place and seen great attention. How does it feel to have been in the industry for the time you have and still be reaching these charts?


We feel so blessed that we’re able to still touch a lot of people with our music! That’s what it’s all about, making something that we love and to see that other people feel what we’re doing. That never gets old.


Most wrong action of yourself, for which you are still ashamed. 

Was during the first mega music experience of veronica. 2-unlimited occurred for us. 
The beer was free and I was already on my way. I then blew Ray's microphone out of his hands and screamed at 20,000 people "we're going to fuck you in the ass !!!!!" (you had a club hit with that type of text in it) and then I screamed that everyone had to sit on the floor, in the blubber. Incidentally, only 4 people sat down, were my friends.

What was it like being a DJ/producer during the rise of house music?

It’s totally different than now. Because back in the day being a DJ was totally separate from being a producer. We happen to like both. I like to be a DJ but also liked producing music or playing piano or playing drums. Later it became a mixture. Now it’s like if you’re a DJ you have to release records to get gigs. If you’re a producer you cannot make money just producing, you have to get out and play. So back in the day that wasn’t the case. You had typical DJs and you had producers, some guys like us did both, but it’s different.

In a quarter century of career, you had to live more than one moment ... What memories could really have influenced you in your attitude? 

 There are so many ... The years go by so fast. Today may be a good memory, if you play tomorrow in another place, you can forget the day before quickly. 

https://soundcloud.com/chocolate-puma/gotta-get-away-feat-chateau

A Sit Down With DJ Tenashar

04.04.2018


J Tenashar, shot to fame being the only female-Asian to feature on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ’s list. Debbie Valerie Longbetter known by her moniker DJ Tenashar, is the insanely talented DJ cum model powerhouse that you must get acquainted with right now! The now popular DJhad her earliest stint with performing at a really young age.

 

"I love you love you love you, each and every one of you, it is my driving force in life to make music that will brighten your days and lift your spirits."



 

You are from Singapore right? But based on the info you have blood of Spanish descent and you are an exotic face too! 

Yes, I am of Spanish and Chinese descent. I have a mixed face, not very similar to mom or dad. I am in the middle.

How did you get your start in DJing?

I started learning to DJ two years ago on vinyl, and at the end of last year, I started learning to use CDJ and vinyl emulation software Serato. Two years back, a headphone company approached me and asked me if I was a DJ, because all the big-boobed girls are now DJs. I said: "Okay, I have big boobs; I fit that category, if this is what you want, sponsor me and I'll do it". It was just the one time, but I started DJing again about three months ago.

What genre of music you play?

Only quality electronic dance music, for example, i’m sure you know Swedish House Mafia, big edm tracks always getting the crowd crazy and jumping!

Do you feel you have to flaunt your assets to get DJ gigs?

No, but you get paid so much better, without having to be a top DJ in the world. I earn a comfortable five-figure sum each month. There's always a Lady Gaga or someone really popular in the world that is paid the most, but not many people can be such an icon; 99.9 per cent are just trying to make it like the top 0.01 per cent. I fall into that category. We just try to work and pay the rent.

So you don't let the negative criticism get to you?

I get mad, I cry, but I don't smash my stuff because I'd need to pay and buy them back again and I'm not that dumb. It gets to me and I go crazy, that's why I'm a crazy person.

What do you think about people who say you are a fake DJ?

I like that, because they have such low expectations of me ... at least I don’t slot in a pre-recorded CD. The joke is that I’m a bimbo or that I look like a stupid DJ but people hire me and the crowds haven’t complained ... yet. I’m not the best but I won’t be the worst. I’ve been playing piano since I was five, so I have a classical music background, I won’t go out of beat.

Mention 5 things people do not know about you? 

First, I can ride a horse. The second relates to my loyality. I like, snowboarding motocross. I eat a lot. I love oxtail soup! I'm very energetic. Maybe people will not think it, but I'm very hyperactive on stage. I can jump here and there. And the last one that people need to know, I stopped wearing high heels during the show. Once I used stilletto during the show, and I jumped in the audience, and I landed at the foot of one of the visitors and hurt it.

How would you describe your music in just a few words and what tracks, remixes or mix sets would you recommend to someone that is not yet familiar with your music?


Banging. Big. Huge. I'd recommend my latest mashup C.U.B.A Warriors.

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




I enjoy each and every single one of my gigs! I guess the funniest thing that has happened to me was having my fans jump so hard they almost knocked the entire console over, it was a crazy fun party.


https://soundcloud.com/tenashar/bird-of-prey-preview

A Sit Down With DJ 3Lau

04.04.2018


3LAU is an American Progressive House & Electro House DJ & Producer best known for his hit record "How You Love Me" which has consolidated view count of over 11 Million views on YouTube.

 

"I make music because I want it to touch people on a very deep level. I don’t make music to be famous. That is not a goal, and that has never been a goal."



 

What’s the funniest pronunciation of your name that you’ve heard?

I’ve heard all kinds of crazy things. I think the funniest to me is when I hear people call me “three-Blau.” It makes me laugh because they were so close!

You started by doing mashups. A lot of artists who do mashups have a harder time making it and can’t really become mainstream. What do you think made you stand out?

Yeah, I think it’s really interesting I use the idea of a mashup in everything that I do whether it’s with my style of production or it’s in my DJ sets, so I’ve kind of taken that as the spark for my career. But that’s definitely not my entire career.

You’re coming around at a very exciting time for electronic dance music and you have the opportunity to really leave your impression on the scene. What do you want to be known as and how do you want to be seen in the eyes of the community?

I’m not really sure yet, but it is definitely an exciting time! I guess as my originals come out I’ll know more, but I’m definitely a big room kinda guy.

At the young age of 24 you’re playing the biggest clubs & festivals all over the world. Is it a gift or a curse to be so successful at such a young age? How do you manage to keep your feet on the ground?


It is most certainly a gift and a privilege to play all over the world for so many people. I'm honoured and lucky to be able to do what I do. I'd like to thank my family and my girlfriend who have helped me stay humble, at the end of the day I'm just a kid like everyone else, who happened to jump into the crazy world of dance music before its rocketing popularity. I'm always very thankful to my fans and all of those who have supported me over the years.

How do you choose what songs to remix?

For the official remixes, a lot of times they reach out to me. For the Rihanna“Desperado” and the  Katy Perry "Bon Appetit" tracks, their teams reached out for an official remix. It comes down to timing, mostly. But I am also always working on different mashups for my sets.

Besides not focusing too much on artist labels, what are some other misconceptions that you think upcoming DJs and producers might have about the scene?

I think… there’s so many… I think DJ co-signs. A lot of smaller artists think that co-signs mean everything, the reality of the situation is they don’t at all. They help build credibility in an artist’s career, which is really, really great. You know what… when you’re smaller you have to do those things. I think it is important, but too many people spend too much time focusing on co-signs as opposed to focusing on making truly unique music. I’ll say that 20 times in this interview, especially now, at a time when everything is really starting to sound the same. It’s all about doing something different and doing something different that still sounds good. I think any smaller up-and-comer should focus on finding what they love to make, instead of mimicking what’s working right now. All my future releases are kind of a combination of what’s working right now and stuff that I think hasn’t been made before. I’ve spent so much time doing that, cause some of my releases in the past have been following trends. I think for the first time my future records are significantly different.

How do you compare the electronic music scene in the United States versus Toronto?

I’ve always said that Canadian crowds know more than any other crowds, especially Toronto more-so than anywhere else, and Montreal as well. I feel like dance music’s been big here for a little bit longer than it’s been big in the US, and so the crowds are more educated up here and it’s fucking awesome.

As far as software, I know that you use Ableton. Is that still your main software of choice?

Yeah, I actually use both Ableton and Logic, I always have. I do some things in one, some things in the other. But the truth is it doesn’t matter what software you use, it really just matters how you use it. Lots of different people use lots of different things.

You play and produce melodic Electro House & Progressive House and you’re well known for your mashups and your live sets that incorporate sampling. How would you describe your own music, what is distinct about it?


I really like to play and make lots of different musical styles. It's important for me to branch out as an artist and try new things. What makes all of my music distinct, and my live sets, is that I feel I incorporate an extremely large variety of different styles with everything I do, yet, there's always a common thread of musicality.

What inspire you to create music?

I pull inspiration from visual things, mostly. I see something beautiful or in a certain moment I hum notes in my head. I’d call my style ‘sonic,’ I pull sounds from bands and other DJ’s. But musically it all comes from my head and experiences.

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


One of my favourite shows ever was EDC Las Vegas this past year, both because it's my home town and because the production is outstanding / one of a kind. I'm pretty lucky to say there have been few bad gigs I've played in my life, but the worst ones are usually bad because of the crazy travel more than anything else.

https://soundcloud.com/3lau/sets/ultraviolet-14

A Sit Down With Soul Clap

24.03.2018


The glory behind Soul Clap is the funk and soul they bring to the dancefloor. Their musical output is not only limited to four to the floor House beats, instead they focus on an infectious groove. They've done it all from House to Disco, to R&B to you name it, creating their own sound known as E-Funk.

 

 "If you start digging and start learning the history of electronic music in general it’s going to open up your mind up to a lot of different kinds of music and to a lot of different influences."



 

When did you start writing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?

Both of us had some experience playing around with playing instruments, bands and music production since we were teenagers but we didn`t get serious about it until 2007. That was the year that we decided if we didn’t jump in with two feet we could forget about making it as real touring DJs! Our musical backgrounds are in Jazz, Funk, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Soul, Blues, Rock and an enormous array of electronic music. From Trip-Hop to ambient to Jungle/D&B to hardcore to techno to HOUSE even some early trance! 

Your techniques are often hailed as being experimental, at least in your approach to modern funk. Do you see them as being that way?

I think that’s kind of accurate to a point. Certainly early on when we made the switch to Ableton, it kind of felt like it broke the door. Our first, first records back in 2008 or whatever were finished on Logic and then we made this jump and in learning this new program, we kind of didn’t really follow the rules exactly. We got into using the live arrangement window to do our recording process. So rather than drawing out these blocks, we would hit play and automate things and see where the track would go to kind of get that looser and more freeform feeling. I think not coming from super heavy, sound engineering backgrounds, in many ways we were freer to try new ideas. I think the more complex or complicated your music production is, you start to get bound by more rules. It’s funny. When you know very little, you can take things very far.

What were your early productions like?

We started messing around in 2003 and taking a lot of... it’s kind of funny because of productions have come full circle. Initial stuff we were making was kind of remixing R&B and hip-hop tracks and cutting hip-hop beats to make house beats out of them. It was house music but very much influenced by New York, R&B and hip-hop.

What was the first album you owned?

I have a picture at my parents house of me playing air guitar listening to Eddie Van Halen’s badass solo on Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’, so Thriller was definitely one of my first.

Tell us about your studio, please.

Our studio situation is always in flux. We’ve got a home set up at Charlie’s apartment, but the neighbor complains if things start bumping so we gotta make music REALLY quiet. For years we used to just plug our two laptops into a headphone splitter and connect to the speaker at whatever hotel we’re at in whatever country we’re performing in. Overall, mood/vibe takes the cake for us over technology. Its all about maximizing what you got. If someone said heres a coconut, a french poodle and a microphone … now go make a record, believe we’d find a way to get FUNKY.

You’ve done a few shows in Ibiza this year. What’s been your favourite of the year? Any particular highlights from the summer?

We had a really rocking pool party at Pikes hotel where Mo Funk, Arthur Baker and Lee Curtiss joined us for a real cool intimate party.  That was one of the great Ibiza moments for us this past summer.  Off the Island, the big summer thrill had to be Garden Festival in Croatia, that is way up at the top of our lists for magic and sunshine.

You guys are fairly coordinated dressers. Where do you get your influences from?

It’s kind of funny that there was like a, you know, distinct, ravey style that’s always coming in and out of clothing. Especially for us when we’re out working and doing DJ sets. We’ve had some cool collaborations that we’ve been working on lately in terms of fashion, to share some of our fashion ideas. One is the t-shirt selection we’ve been designing and releasing through Millionhands in the UK, but also we’ve linked up with your fellow Australian Zanerobe who we helped with their Fall line that’s just been dropping in America. So it’s cool to see these products on the shelves, that’s really chill.

It's great you guys are preaching the gospel. In the track you guys produced, who did what?

Nick had the idea, then Charlie flushed it out, adding more synths and vocals. Then from there we went to Louie's studio in the basement of his house in Jersey, laid down the beats and finished the arrangement.

Do you guys have a dream collaborator you hope to work with in the future?


We would actually love to work with R. Kelly. He’s been an inspiration to us. I know he’s a complicated character, but musically he’s such a genius. And there are some other, younger DJs and artists that would be exciting to work with. Kaytranada is someone that we love and would be dope to collaborate with. Other old school people like CeCe Peniston, who sings that song “Finally” from the 90s, would be amazing.


Speaking of inspirations, what inspired you two to record Funk Bomb?

It started as a jam session between Eli and myself at my house. The first synth we ever had was the Korg MS2000, and I was dialing in on that. Eli was laying down some awesome drum stuff, and programming samples. So it all began as just that one synth and us.

Your new compilation, "Tempo Dreams" was just released on the 30th March. It’s totally rad and funky as expected. How long does it usually take you to put together a mix like that? And do you ever discover new music along the way?

The whole process was about discovering new music, tapping into the underground different stuff that we’ve been listening to in the last few years and getting in touch with different producers. It’s all about finding new music, and finding new artists. Other compilations we’ve worked on have been more about what’s in at the moment and getting stuff from our crewlove family, but this one was more about looking out and connecting with our fans.  We worked with so many cool producers on it, XLMiddleton from LA, Inkswell from Australia, everyone was awesome.

Your Soul Clap Records is also doing a great job. Can you point on some releases that our audience should check out and what is coming up?

We put out new EP with Funcadelic and one with George Clinton. That’s the work we are most proud of and you should definitely check them out. And there are some new artists. John Camp, he’s our friend from NY and there is upcoming EP from him. Davis from Brazil as well. We are keeping it moving. But we are also working on our album.

https://soundcloud.com/soulclap/soul-clap-fabric-93-mix-preview

A Sit Down With DJ John Acquaviva

24.03.2018


Electrionic Music Pioneer winner, John Acquaviva has flourished at the heart of the electronic music scene as a DJ, Producer and Entrepreneur. He began his international career in 1989 with Richie Hawtin by founding one of the world’s best known and influential techno labels, Plus 8 Records.

 

 "For DJ’s – play, play, play. It takes time to master music. You need to know the right songs to play at the right moments. So after parties, warm ups and cool downs, are all part of that process. Only then can you put the music on well."



 

One of the prominent social dynamics of the left these days is this vilification of wealth…

I am a true libertarian. Not a pot smoking or gun carrying one but I am one. I welcome difference in people. I travel around the world to learn from other cultures. I am not this globalization guy who wants a fucking McDonald’s on every corner. I support the local cafe because I want to taste to local coffee and eat the local food. You do have to make money though. Unfortunately, there are still many idealistic people who are willing to do work for free. The landlord will always charge you rent though. If a person has an idea they should sell that idea. No system is perfect but if you live in a Capitalist system, why do go the extreme. I’ll play extreme Devil’s Advocate but I’m not an Anarchist.

You are very versatile within your musical roles as a DJ/Producer, entrepreneur and now a Executive Producer. How hard do you find it to balance all three careers at once? Talk us through an average day in the life of John Acquaviva…

Within our circle, my emoji is the tornado. So when this question comes up, I compare it to being the eye of a hurricane. I like to be in the middle of things…the more intense, the better in order to make something happen. I am pretty lucky that I can live in creative time as well as administrative time, day and night. A little bit like quantum physics and schrodingers cat, so to speak, in a duality.

What is your biggest concern about the music industry today? How can technology address that concern?

The industry has been turning a corner where it is paying our record monies with digital sales leading the way. We are still slowed down and sometimes bogged down with antiquated rules and regulations especially with copyright and publishing. This held music back considerably in the first wave of internet compared to many other industries. Technology can help move it forward, however many startups are not fully aware of the past, and like all things if you don’t know your history, you are sometimes doomed to make the same mistakes. We work hard to reconcile the two when we participate in conferences and as investors.

Did someone from the dance music industry ever defraud you and how would you prevent that from happening in the future?

Yes…especially in the early days. There is a list of bad promoters…I think most agents participate in a black list and keep track. This is too bad in that almost all of us artists love the scene and will go to great lengths to do a show in a new place and some promoters really take advantage of this.

What is the most out-of-your-genre track you ever produced?

My first records was actually a hip hop record with an artist called Scott Down. Most people who know me internationally are not aware of this….tho I have played every things as a DJ over my long career.

Have you still got goals?

The cheeky answer is my goal is to survive for the next day! I have a pretty voracious appetite, I’m an omnivore, I love working with people I love just enjoying life and grabbing a bite of everything, so i love travelling, so for me in part, it’s not Just touring as a DJ but touring and meeting people with new ideas and new technologies. For those that don’t know me, take a look, were really into bringing our culture, not just culture, but all that surrounds it with the technologies forward so I just love meeting people and I travel a lot of distance to meet interesting people and I also appreciate to talk on and on and hopefully to motivate and inspire people. So it’s been a pleasure to travel. I’m just looking for the next party, the next gig and the next interesting thing person or event.

You co-founded Plus 8 and Definitive Recordings, Definitive being house/tech house focused and Plus 8 more electronic and experimental. You also like to play and produce in different styles. Is there a specific style that you most identify with and is there any new trend in electronic music that you are excited about?

Just like food there is a time and place for everything. So playing Berghain this autumn, it will be full on when playing at a beach or daytime, I would be hard pressed to play even one similar song in those two sets.

Describe a memorable moment from your first experience in Ibiza.

Mine was coming to the Q club early 90’s which is now privilege, when it was a swimming pool turned into an oasis. Already a few thousand people the night I played and it was the most enchanting island club experience I had had to date.

How did you make the transition from clubber and fan to performer? And what were the inspirations/influences for the Electro House sound that is currently synonymous with John A.? How do you define Electro House music?

I always loved and bought music…wanted to share with my friends…and dj was the way to do it …since my school days. Electro is not too hard and not too soft…about having fun -which sometimes we can all be too serious as producers…but always for dancing.

On top of your DJ career you have also been very active in the investment / VC world. Can you tell us a little bit about some of the companies that you have helped fund?

When I met Richie Hawtin and started Plus 8, we hoped that sticking to our roots and culture but taking care of business would allow for a proper balance. Eventually, since we always were pushing and promoting all things technological, we were presented many opportunities to participate in the paradigm shift from analogue to digital. Two notable projects and investments were in finding and founding Final Scratch Technology and Beatport. Since selling Beatport, we have launched Plus 8 Equity partners and have a pretty compelling portfolio that includes Subpac, Pacemaker, Dubs, Splice, Landr, Vadio and Vntana.

For new DJs trying to make a name for themselves today, do you think it’s important for them to allow themselves the same freedom to explore different musical avenues or should they focus on portraying a clear identity in one style?

In this day, its about establishing a sound and identity then try to grow, it’s more about the overall experience during the set, their personality and charisma. We actually did this with techno as that is what people first noticed Richie Hawtin and I for.

https://soundcloud.com/dub-tiger/rebels-the-arrival-after-party-kremlin

A Sit Down With DJ 2manydjs

01.04.2018


Belgian brothers David and Stephen Dewaele began performing in their band Soulwax as teenagers, an alternative indie and electro band and even now still do perform and release as Soulwax though as a duo the pair perform as 2manydjs. Kind of. David explains that the lines between the two projects are blurred and that really one is just an extension of the other...

 

"Those are just the landmarks that the outside world would know, I’m assuming millions of people went through the same thing as we did only maybe they didn’t have bands or projects to verify it with."



 

In the past you’ve described DJing as a way of showing people what you like and all the different stuff you’re into. Do you still get a thrill out of introducing people to new music?

Yeah, yeah definitely. That’s exactly the biggest thrill! My brother and I, we’re old men, but it’s really satisfying to meet all these 18 – 19-year-old kids who are heavily inspired by the music we opened up to them. There’s a bunch of kids who come up to us, like when they listen to some of the stuff that we’ve put on the radio and said, ‘I had no idea about this, and it inspired me to go on and to either make this kind of music or discover something else. That’s the biggest compliment you can get. You introduce people to a world new world and it starts them on their own journey.

Was it always your aim to create something out of the ordinary?

That was the idea, although I feel like we approach it to a certain degree like this is what we would like to be not that out of the ordinary. It would be great if whenever you went out you felt like it sounded really great, people played whatever music they liked and everyone was smiling. Unfortunately it just doesn’t normally feel like that, for me.

You make a very valid point. How about the changing music landscape, do you think you have evolved with it?

Music is forever evolving. Regardless of what anyone else is doing you have to continually push forwards otherwise you become a fixed moment in time. Sometimes you become part of the zeitgeist, part of a current movement and sometimes you’re out of time with things. The most important thing is to follow your instincts rather than what’s trending, otherwise you become just like everyone else.

Do you find your mindset changes a lot when you fluctuate between your various monikers?

We do a lot of DJ stuff on the weekends which is always fun, but during the week we try and create music for Soulwax. For us it’s all pretty much all the same; it’s all just music. I guess the biggest difference is when we play live – when we DJ, we don’t have to think about whether the next chord changes to an ‘F#’ or an ‘Am’. Whether we’re working on a film, making a remix or creating a song, it’s all coming from the same part of the brain – it’s just changes depending on which outlet you choose to use it for.

Do you have a particular favourite Factory artist?


I know this might sound weird, but it has to be New Order. What is there not to like about New Order? I could go on for hours and hours about them. I think one of the biggest compliments we got was when we met Peter Hook from New Order and he said one of our remixes was one of his favourite that had been done of them. It was an amazing compliment because I think he really understood what we did and where we were coming from. 


Were you excited to hear what your own music would sound like over it?

To me, that was one of the highlights. We made a record, another project called Die Verboten which we recorded in Ibiza… and we played the entire thing last night, 19 minutes. 

Have you found that people have come to your Despacio nights with different expectations? 

A lot of people don’t know what to expect, and they come in and it’s a completely different experience than what they expected. There’s a lot of people that have come around and said, “I used to go when I was a little kid to the Boccaccio in Belgium,” or “I went to go to all these raves in the U.K. and this is the closest I’ve ever been to it, sound-wise and community-wise.” Which is a really big compliment. Some of them say it with tears in their eyes, which is really nice. But I see a lot of people being confused because what we do in the club isn’t just difficult music, we also play a lot of techno and a lot of weird electronic new stuff. And there’s been a lot of people that have come up to me and said, “You can’t play that track on minus 12; you can’t do it.” And then you have to go, “Well, I just did.” And they’re like, “Yeah, but you’re turning my world upside down, you can’t do it.” And I like that. I think the worst thing is if people would leave and go, “Eh, it’s ok.” We want people to talk about it, and I think we want to provoke a little bit, also.

What’s your favourite time of the night to be playing?

1AM. I don’t know why. No explanation. 

What kind of modifications have you made to the turntables? 

So some of it even goes over my head, but everything from basically the stability to the speed that you can go up and down. So this one can go, I think, plus-or-minus 32 whereas a normal one can go plus-or-minus 8. That’s one big aspect, where we take these records that are maybe quite fast and then we slow them down, and it gives you a whole other dimension to the song. But it’s also the stability: the feet, the arm, the needles. Same with the mixer, the guy took an existing Bozek and basically replaced everything and then we added a bunch of functions. So it’s bespoke, you know, all made for Despacio.

You guys are famous for your remix style, but how do you approach the process?

I really don’t know what thought process we go through. Some remixes will take us three mixes to get it right, and others will just flow. It’s hard to tell what it is that we do. Maybe the reason we keep doing it, or it is interesting for us, is because we just don’t know what we’re doing.

https://soundcloud.com/2many-djs/special-mix-for-soundcloud

A Sit Down With DJ 16 Bit Lolitas

25.03.2018


Hailing from Amsterdam, Peter Kriek and Ariaan Olieroock have made beautiful music together for nearly 15 years. If you aren’t familiar with the name 16 Bit Lolitas, you should be – the duo has been releasing music on the Anjunadeep label since 2008 and has an extensive catalog. Some of their most notable tracks include 2014’s “Deep in My Soul” and “Beat Organ”, both of which have received extensive play in sets from their label-mates.

 

"I do not want to become a prominent living person, it's nice to play records and we've done big festivals, but it's never been the intention to work towards the number one position."



 

Where does the name 16 Bit Lolitas come from?

That is the most-asked question actually. When we started, we were in the studio and we needed a name, but we said to leave it and just to see how things were going because we had just started making music. The first remix that we did was of Danny Howells and Stef Vrolijk, and we sent it to Yoshitoshi and they loved it so much and asked us what our name was and that they were going to release it. We didn’t have a name at the time so we were looking in a cocktail book from the 1950s and there was a cocktail called Pink Lolita. We wanted to have something from the music industry and it’s always nice to have two words that don’t really match but when you put them together it sounds nice. When you burn a CD it’s 16 bits, and so we put it with lolita.

How do you feel about playing such big venus and their huge fanbase? Are you nervous at all?

Always nervous! It’s really good to do, of course. I’ve played big venues before, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll have to up my tempo a little bit–at the moment I play a lot of 120 BPM tracks, and with them I really need to play around 124, so I’m going to change my set a little bit. What I’d normally do at the end of the set is what I’ll start with for them.

Did you have any formal music training along the way? In regards to composing or engineering/ sound design etc? and if not did anyone help you out along the way?

Aad has played the saxophone for years, I have never had formal music training. We learned a lot from different people that we worked with through the years, and by just experimenting, making a lot of music.

Would you like to give us a short virtual tour in your studio for all the music technology freaks out there? What is your favourite software and hardware that you like to use in order to produce your trademark deep atmospheric cinematic textures of the 16bit Lolitas sound?
 
Our mixing desk is a modified SSL4000. We have some outboard analogue eq's and compressors: 2 department of commerce limiters, 2x EQP1a, LA2A, 3x 1176, 2x Neve 1073, Neve 33609, Altec 436c, Tubetech multiband compressor, Drawmer 1960, Shadowhills mastering compressor. Some outboard FX units: Eventide H8000, Lexicon PCM80, Lexicon PCM70, Roland SDE330. And a bunch of synthesizers of course!
 
Was your aspiration to become famous superstar DJ’s behind the decks or well known and respected underground producers in front of a PC/Mac monitor in a dusty basement?
 
We're definitely not in it to become superstar DJ's. That is a bit of a selfish trip. Our aspiration is to make good underground music and as DJ's to consistently bring great music, good vibes and good parties wherever we go. We're here to glorify the music, not to glorify ourselves.

You have a bit of time off between this Anjunadeep tour and the above & beyond tour. Do you have any plans to chill out or are you straight back in the studio?
 
I’m definitely going to chill out for a few days, but then it’s back into the studio. I have two gigs in February in Holland, which is close for me so that’s good. March is going to be really busy with the Above & Beyond tour, then Winter Music Conference, and then some shows in Argentina, so it’s going to be busy!
 
How would you say 18 Bit Lolitas has changed and evolved over the years?

Of course you grow over the years, and you always need to learn. If you stop learning then it’s probably over! We both love music, we listen to a lot of new music, so of course you integrate ideas from other people you listen to. There are always new tricks, new software, new stuff going on. It’s always been our vision to just make good music.
 
What is it about this music that keeps you going?

Creating music is an addiction. And being in a position where DJ’s around the globeplay our music, that only feeds that addiction. It’s just a privilege for us to be in this position. We haven’t gotten bored with it yet because we never allowed ourselves to use formats or templates and we have always tried to never repeat ourselves.
 
Can you choose your Top 5 favourite DJ’s/producers/artists that have influenced your current sound and DJ’ing style?
 
1 DJ Sasha, didn’t just play out records, but told an hour’s long story with the records. Using records to create longer storylines and flows was a big influence on us. Sasha was and is the man.
 2 The Orb. The music of the Orb is kind of a library of different ways to be psychedelic in music. We still totally love the Orb. Being psychedelic in music is definitely something we always try to do in our own way. It adds space and abstract meaning to tracks.
 3 Ritchie Hawtin. His 'Concept 97' album is one of the first ever minimal CD's, and in our opinion the best. That album has been a big influence on Peter particularly. It's also the Techno guys that first started mixing 3 sometimes 4 tracks together in a mix. Something we have since also adopted because it allows for much more options in making transitions.
 4 MTV Partyzone. Not a DJ nor producer nor artist, but who didn’t watch that show back in the day? It's a really big shame that the MTV library burnt down and they lost the original tapes of the show. If anyone has any good quality recordings of shows, upload them on YouTube why don't you!
 5 All the great pop music that was ever made. Both Aad & I have listened to a lot of pop music from the 60s/70s/80s/90s and 2000s. That music will always be part of our roots.
 
How did the idea of this event & the featured DJs come around?

My partner and I have worked together promoting parties for a little over 10 years now, and this is pretty much the result of that. The name is a combination of of both our last names, suggested by my mother, lol. The “Deep” Part comes from 16bit’s Anjunadeep affiliation.

What advice would you give to your 18 year-old self?

Good question, keep it easy and stay true to yourself. Don’t try to go with the masses but try to seek your own path. It’s difficult because you need a lot of experience, but everybody makes mistakes in this life and I have made a shitload of mistakes in my life, everyone does. It is necessary to make mistakes to grow as a person, don’t be afraid of it.

https://soundcloud.com/anjunadeep/the-anjunadeep-edition-175-with-16-bit-lolitas

A Sit Down With Paolo Mojo

25.03.2018


His productions are the backbone of his music, where his personal sound finds expression and is shared with the world. With releases on such labels as Mouseville, Bedrock, Toolroom, Renaissance, Positiva, EQ Recordings, and many more, his sound has been spreading its way across the globe to a wide audience. With the way his newest track The Feels has been making its way up the progressive charts, it’s clear he’s still going strong.

 

" It just has to have a bit of soul and vitality and life about it." 



 

You’ve been referred to as a “true international DJ” – Do you feel that your travels have influenced your style?

I think that label came from an extended period of time where I literally was bouncing around the world week in week out for several years playing tunes all over the place, in some really far flung corners too, alongside myriad visits to the bigger cities. There wasn’t necessarily much strategy to it either, I just loved moving around and playing music to people. So yes. Absolutely. I’ve been a pretty itinerant soul since the earliest days of doing this, and the actual act of traveling is something I`ve always loved. Some people dislike the mechanics of it, but I enjoy it all, airports, hotels, new cities, new foods new smells, new sensations basically. the idea of being constantly ‘going somewhere’ has always appealed to me and has always fired my creativity.

Where did you get the name Paolo Mojo from?


Well Paolo is my nickname. My grandfather is from Italy and my dad used to call me Paolo since I was a baby, so I’ve always been Paolo. Mojo came as part of a club night that I got involved with a couple of other guys called Desyn Masiello and 16B, that was about six or seven years ago. So I just became known as Paolo from Mojo, and it was just about the time that internet message boards became popular as well. I had to pick a handle, so to promote the night I called myself Paolo Mojo and it just kind of stuck from there. I won the Bedroom Bedlam competition with Music Magazine and they asked me what I wanted to be called and I just chose Paolo Mojo. I remember regretting it for a few weeks later but I’ve grown to love it now. Everybody seems to like it and it is one of those names people seem to remember so I am comfortable with it.


Is it getting harder to be a DJ these days?

It’s becoming very hard. There are more and more people buying into it, more and more people want to be DJs, there’s more and more technology which levels out the basics meaning that you’ve got to work harder and harder to differentiate yourself. On the flip side, there’s not many barriers to entry and most of the music is readily accessible but overall it’s definitely harder.

You are touring around to pretty much everywhere, has that just been since your “Balance” CD?


Well, kind of. There’s never really a point where you notice things have changed. I guess in 2004 I started to my own producing, I got an Essential Mix, then the end of that year I joined with Excession and the following year I did a lot of touring with Sasha. Then I wrote a few more records, things like ‘1983’ and then I got the “Balance”. You know, all these little things kind of built up and built up and built up. Now there is another CD next year, don’t think I can say who that is with but it’s a good one. So there will be a big world tour with that one as well. So you just kind of take it from day to day really. I suppose if I look back on three years ago I think yeah I have come along a bit.


What's been the worst experience you've had at an airport?

Generally things have been easier more recently as you find yourself turning left more on the plane the more you travel, which allows a certain degree of comfort and control. You also get wise to the ways of airlines and airports so you know more tricks. You also have more gold travel cards to flash about the place which tends to solve a few problems. Leaving Colombia was a bit heavy as documented. I've had a few missed flights and a few cancelled ones but I've somehow always got to where I need to be. Nothing for a while to match the 16 hour delays in Toronto a couple of years ago. I must admit travelling through Dubai a few months back I was thinking about Grooverider. I got questioned but they let me through after checking my passport. That kind of story clearly puts things like flight delays and cancellations into perspective.

Where are you at musically these days?

The Renaissance CD has recently come out and it’s essentially a cross section of house, tech-house and progressive house which is pretty much what I play. A lot of DJs say ‘you can’t categorise what I play’ but of course you can.

Who have inspired you inside and outside of music and why?

Everything inspires me or has the potential to. Books, films, documentaries, your environment, the people who you spend time with. I think this feeds into music just as much as music itself.

Have you changed your outlook or goals since the beginning of your career?

Yeah I think so. I mean if the term ‘career’ encompasses the period of time since I began playing music, then that’s more than 2 decades now – so naturally your outlook will change in that period of time. I’ve had to recalibrate a little bit how I relate to certain aspects of the music industry. The relentless push to market oneself is not something that sits naturally with me. If I could sit in a studio and make music all week, and dj 2 8 hour sets at the weekend and then go home, take Monday off and start again and not have to TELL anyone about any of that, and let it all speak for itself well, wow – I would be a very very happy bunny.

What's your assessment of the music biz- wider economy right now? : how much is Oosh now about getting you higher DJ fees and more gigs as opposed to making music on production?

I think it’s essential to be putting out relevant and consistent music if you want to tour the world playing said music these days and without doubt I have that in my mind. However I’m really happy about the music I’m making personally too, so the balance is good.

Is there any advice you would give to the budding DJs/Producers/Promoters here in India?

Just keep following the things that inspire you.

https://soundcloud.com/djpaolomojo/the-feels-2

A Sit Down With DJ Leon Bolier

01.04.2018


Nowadays Leon releases stuff on labels like Armada Music, Blackhole Recordings, Spinnin Records and Sweden-based Captured Music. He uses different guises for different styles, this resulting in progressive, trance, Techy and even Electro influenced releases on those various labels. His releases have been caned by the worlds big DJs, like: Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, Ferry Corsten, Sasha, John Digweed, Paul Oakenfold, Marco V and many many more.

 

"First of all, the idea, then - the quality of its execution. "



 

How time you need for produce a theme how My Precious, Pulsar or Passionate? What do you think for to compose this great songs?

I don't think that much then, it's just playing around with my keyboard, make up chord progressions and add a melodic layer to it..

In recent years, you have performed a lot as a DJ. Is there still a place where Leon Beaulert really would like to play, and why in this place?

I like every city I visit, it's very useful and interesting life experience. The only difference is where I perform - in the forest, in the canyon or on the beach, regardless of the country!

What is your set up for producing music, such as Ableton, live instruments, etc…

Right now I am using Cubase 8 with a lot of plugins – somewhere in this studio I still have a Nord Rack 2x, Virus TI, Dave Smith Mopho, Roland MC303 etc laying around but I don’t really use those no more – tho I should use those more often I realize now while answering this question. I am on PC here, and sound card wise I use the Fireface 800. Guess that covers it all.

How did you become part of Armada Music?

Through Armin - he made his publisher (Maykel Piron) contact me for a publishing deal when Maykel was still working for Warner/Chappel Benelux. Soon after that Maykel, Armin and Dave Lewis decided to start Armada Music.

Who are your biggest role models and why?

I don’t have any big role models – just people that can cope with backlashes, people that fight on their own, people that follow their path, no matter if its a big superstar musician or the paperboy next door. And people that care about each other, without thinking of cash or benefits.

What sets you apart from other producers/dj’s?

First of all, my productions I guess. The effort I put into those productions made sure I created my own style - whether the productions are Housy, Techy or Trancy, I guess you can hear those are mine. In my sets I always play new exclusive own productions that were made for the dance floors, accompanied by other tracks that compliment the flow. I guess that's how you can point out a set by me. 

You produced “Dark Star with Sied Van Riel. What happens when 2 Dutch men meet in the studio? What made this collaboration so unique?

Sied and me have become friends over the past years – and we share a certain amount of easy going and bullshit humour. Being around in the studio with him always means: having fun, and at the same time producing music – and the both of us are very determined in what we want to hear in a Bolier vs. Van Riel collaboration. It should showcase both of us as an artist, and when we finished the track we really felt that was what happened!

What is the EDM scene like in The Netherlands currently and how has it progressed the past couple years? What changes have you seen?

Very mature, in a good way. Dance music has been around since the late eighties, and you can see people from that generation still going to parties here, while at the same time every day new kids join the house music movement. The changes I have seen here is that dance music has diversified genre wise, it has been professionalized in all its forms (from event organization, to labels, to management and everything in between) and last but not least it’s still growing bigger by the day!
"Eden" is a very beautiful track that you produced together with current trance Balearic superstar Roger Shah. The typical Shah guitar sounds are not present. Did you guys actually make this in the studio or were sound files sent back and fourth? How did the production of this track look like? Shah made the atmosphere and you for the harder beats?


This one was made over the internet as well – the first time Roger and me really had a good chat was in Eden, Ibiza last year – hence the title. We both worked on the chord progression and the melodies, and then went on producing our own version. In Roger’s version you can find the typical Shah guitar sounds, though I included guitar sounds as well.. maybe those are Bolier guitar sounds.



What do you do in your free time?

I have a rest with friends and family! This is the best activity in my spare time, because I'm very busy and, sometimes, I do not see them for quite some time.


https://soundcloud.com/boliermusic/bolier-forecast-24

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