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.
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.
I think its important to set goals that are just outside of your reach.
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 Buuren, Tiesto, Ferry 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 Im 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 musicthe 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 audiencesI 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, Im just super-excited to meet my first-born son. Im proud of him and I havent 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. Dont 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 doesnt really matter so I would tell myself just relax and enjoy and have a good time with it and dont 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.
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.
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 90s and he admitted to his mistake a few years after. He appreciates it for sure but doesnt 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
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 its 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 wasnt 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.
"The only way to stand out is to try and be original
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.
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 Kingdoms 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.
All the tracks Protoculture has released, including collaborations, in the past 18 months are on the album, aside from remix work
Ive been asked a couple of times how I pick artists to work with but the simple truth is, its very organic. Id love to give a really educated answer but to be honest if I meet someone and I like what theyre doing I work with them.
From your personal point of view, what did you think of AVBs sets at the ASOT500 events?
I really enjoyed it. He is the number one for a reason. Hes 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?
Theres 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. Its 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.
"I love the idea that music is mathematics with its frequencies."
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 thats so popular these days.
What about the subject of the EDM wave thats 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 Ive 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 Souls Devotion. It was a more progressive cross over style remix and Id 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 Maxs 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 worlds number one DJ. Its exciting and almost intimidating although hes such an incredibly modest and like able person. Its 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?
Sashas first Involver album... Its 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.
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. Cazzettes 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.
How did you come up with the name Cazzette ?
Our manager Ash suggested the name when we started working together. Since we dont really stick to one genre and also thats how he discovered us we want to represent a mixtape where one really doesnt care about genres but rather good songs no matter what.
"We simply said to ourselves that we needed to create music that we love no matter the genre."
Dont 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?
Its always going to be about the music in the end great headgear doesnt make up for lazy production. Its just an added element to the production of our shows and we never wear them for the full performance. We take them off when were getting ready to jump up and down with the crowd!
Youre 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 its more exciting. If you put an album out there with just 12 or 13 songs and thats it, I think people dont listen to every song. But if you put out in parts, like were doing now, people listen to every song because its just 5 songs, so its 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?
Its definitely a lot more chill. We dont 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 its a good song. We dont 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 dont need to. That doesnt mean it will be a better song. We dont 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!
Whats your favourite noise?
A fully sound-proofed room. Its sort of creepy sounding. Im 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 whats so great we get to do what we want to do. There were a few challenges with mixings and the arrangements, but thats 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 werent really comfortable in it. We feel that its so much more fun creating songs rather than club tracks, even though once in a while its 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 its 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 80s pop synth that we pick up.
When youre constantly on tour, Im sure youre exhausted, but what do you guys do to unwind while on the road?
Now its better for me because I just moved to the states, but now its like touring weekends and Ill go back home for the week, so its not as intense. But to relax we try to go out and eat, and just have a good time, work out, and just chill. Im a pretty easy going guy, so I dont do much. Just work out, and I like good food!
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.
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 dont think its really that competitive.. Its 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 its 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 its kinda crazy now when Im 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, its 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 theyre all still legends.
Hip Hop has been pretty big in your life too hasnt it? Can you share one of the life lessons youve 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 dont 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 Im performing in Ill throw in other genres!
Whats a specific sound that comes to mind that youre 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 havent really heard before. Lately everyone is killing it! Its 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. Its not anywhere like it was a year ago when everyone was doing the same thing. Half the people playing tonight like Herobust, Getter everyones making such unique stuff and not following the rules anymore and its really creative.
You do a lot of remixes
Yes, a lot of artists reach out to me to remix. Its always an honor to get the chance to put my touch on someone elses music. Then I work on my own music. And thats where I try to find the balance. I got to remix Yellow Claw recently for Ocho Cinco and its got a Middle Eastern vibe to it and Im Middle Eastern so it was cool.
"Theres 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."
Biggest inspiration in your life?
My family and friends. Theyre always supporting me, its 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 dont know, I dont really think about stuff like that. I just make music that I like, and if people enjoy it thats a huge reward to me!
Youve travelled pretty extensively, whats the most exotic place youve played?
India. Its cool as hell. But you know seriously, I have to say here at Electric Forest. Its not something you do every day you know.
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 genres 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 its 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 Alans production on his We Are The Brave label is something Ive been keeping my eye on as hes not scared of diversity.
You have played at Europes 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 isnt 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) Youre 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 Id 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 its 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, Ive actually been writing a diary that documents all the travelling that Ive been doing recently. Im collecting bits and bobs, lots of footage from around the world and will eventually create a sort of scrapbook of the yearso 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. Ive always liked going out to find unusual outfitsPhilip 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
Its a very humbling accolade that Im very proud of. I work hard, live and breathe music and hope Ive made everyone proud that has been behind me.
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 someones progression. Unfortunately we live in a world where things are very complex, and its a big thing to ask from people, but it keeps me creative and moving forward. Its 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. Its a track I always wanted to produce, however I do think it sounds very now in terms of production value and I love taking whats 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 were doing really well. Weve picked up on Rene Amesz whos 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. Ive 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?
Im 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 peoples 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, theres 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 theres a different level of awareness when I DJ there. So Im just chilled out at Ushuaia and I play what I love. Its good for the soul, thats for sure.
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.
Can you describe what dance music means to you?
It means everything. Thats 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 its 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 its a negative thing and do not like the whole commercial side of whats going on right now. But in the end its still about kids having a great time. And what we see when were 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 whats 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 youd be any different if you were doing anything else?
Well its difficult to judge yourself. I dont know if I have necessarily changed but being in the music industry you do become more open minded, and youre doing something you really love to do. Its not like when youre learning something at 17 but by the time youre 25 you dont like it anymore. This is really what we like and what we feel.
Musically Prince has always been my greatest inspiration. My daily inspiration comes from my fellow musicians. From Rammstein to Todd Terry.
"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."
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 were able to still touch a lot of people with our music! Thats what its all about, making something that we love and to see that other people feel what were 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?
Its 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 its like if youre a DJ you have to release records to get gigs. If youre a producer you cannot make money just producing, you have to get out and play. So back in the day that wasnt the case. You had typical DJs and you had producers, some guys like us did both, but its 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.
J Tenashar, shot to fame being the only female-Asian to feature on DJ Mags Top 100 DJs list. Debbie Valerie Long,
better 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 DJ
had her earliest stint with performing at a really young age.
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, im 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 dont slot in a pre-recorded CD. The joke is that Im a bimbo or that I look like a stupid DJ but people hire me and the crowds havent complained ... yet. Im not the best but I wont be the worst. Ive been playing piano since I was five, so I have a classical music background, I wont 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.
"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."
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.
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.
Whats the funniest pronunciation of your name that youve heard?
Ive 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 cant really become mainstream. What do you think made you stand out?
Yeah, I think its really interesting I use the idea of a mashup in everything that I do whether its with my style of production or its in my DJ sets, so Ive kind of taken that as the spark for my career. But thats definitely not my entire career.
Youre 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?
Im not really sure yet, but it is definitely an exciting time! I guess as my originals come out Ill know more, but Im definitely a big room kinda guy.
"I make music because I want it to touch people on a very deep level. I dont make music to be famous. That is not a goal, and that has never been a goal."
At the young age of 24 youre 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 RihannaDesperado 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?
theres 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 dont at all. They help build credibility in an artists career, which is really, really great. You know what
when youre 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. Ill say that 20 times in this interview, especially now, at a time when everything is really starting to sound the same. Its 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 whats working right now. All my future releases are kind of a combination of whats working right now and stuff that I think hasnt been made before. Ive 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?
Ive 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 musics been big here for a little bit longer than its been big in the US, and so the crowds are more educated up here and its 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 doesnt 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 youre 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. Id call my style sonic, I pull sounds from bands and other DJs. 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.
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.
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 didnt 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 thats 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 didnt 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. Its 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... its 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 Halens badass solo on Michael Jacksons Beat It, so Thriller was definitely one of my first.
Tell us about your studio, please.
Our studio situation is always in flux. Weve got a home set up at Charlies 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 were at in whatever country were 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 wed find a way to get FUNKY.
Youve done a few shows in Ibiza this year. Whats 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?
Its kind of funny that there was like a, you know, distinct, ravey style thats always coming in and out of clothing. Especially for us when were out working and doing DJ sets. Weve had some cool collaborations that weve been working on lately in terms of fashion, to share some of our fashion ideas. One is the t-shirt selection weve been designing and releasing through Millionhands in the UK, but also weve linked up with your fellow Australian Zanerobe who we helped with their Fall line thats just been dropping in America. So its cool to see these products on the shelves, thats 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.
"If you start digging and start learning the history of electronic music in general its going to open up your mind up to a lot of different kinds of music and to a lot of different influences."
Do you guys have a dream collaborator you hope to work with in the future?
We would actually love to work with R. Kelly. Hes been an inspiration to us. I know hes a complicated character, but musically hes 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. Its 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 weve been listening to in the last few years and getting in touch with different producers. Its all about finding new music, and finding new artists. Other compilations weve worked on have been more about whats 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. Thats the work we are most proud of and you should definitely check them out. And there are some new artists. John Camp, hes 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.
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 worlds best known and influential techno labels, Plus 8 Records
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 McDonalds 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. Ill play extreme Devils Advocate but Im 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 dont 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?
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, Im 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, its not Just touring as a DJ but touring and meeting people with new ideas and new technologies. For those that dont 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 its been a pleasure to travel. Im 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 90s 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 its 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, its 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.
"For DJs 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."
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...
In the past youve described DJing as a way of showing people what you like and all the different stuff youre into. Do you still get a thrill out of introducing people to new music?
Yeah, yeah definitely. Thats exactly the biggest thrill! My brother and I, were old men, but its really satisfying to meet all these 18 19-year-old kids who are heavily inspired by the music we opened up to them. Theres a bunch of kids who come up to us, like when they listen to some of the stuff that weve 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. Thats 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 doesnt 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 youre out of time with things. The most important thing is to follow your instincts rather than whats 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 its all pretty much all the same; its all just music. I guess the biggest difference is when we play live when we DJ, we dont have to think about whether the next chord changes to an F# or an Am. Whether were working on a film, making a remix or creating a song, its all coming from the same part of the brain its just changes depending on which outlet you choose to use it for.
"Those are just the landmarks that the outside world would know, Im assuming millions of people went through the same thing as we did only maybe they didnt have bands or projects to verify it with."
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 dont know what to expect, and they come in and its a completely different experience than what they expected. Theres 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 Ive 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 isnt just difficult music, we also play a lot of techno and a lot of weird electronic new stuff. And theres been a lot of people that have come up to me and said, You cant play that track on minus 12; you cant do it. And then you have to go, Well, I just did. And theyre like, Yeah, but youre turning my world upside down, you cant do it. And I like that. I think the worst thing is if people would leave and go, Eh, its ok. We want people to talk about it, and I think we want to provoke a little bit, also.
Whats your favourite time of the night to be playing?
1AM. I dont 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. Thats 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 its 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 its bespoke, you know, all made for Despacio.
You guys are famous for your remix style, but how do you approach the process?
I really dont know what thought process we go through. Some remixes will take us three mixes to get it right, and others will just flow. Its 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 dont know what were doing.
Hailing from Amsterdam, Peter Kriek
and Ariaan Olieroock
have made beautiful music together for nearly 15 years. If you arent 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 2014s Deep in My Soul and Beat Organ, both of which have received extensive play in sets from their label-mates.
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 didnt 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 its always nice to have two words that dont really match but when you put them together it sounds nice. When you burn a CD its 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! Its really good to do, of course. Ive played big venues before, so it shouldnt be a problem. Ill have to up my tempo a little bitat the moment I play a lot of 120 BPM tracks, and with them I really need to play around 124, so Im going to change my set a little bit. What Id normally do at the end of the set is what Ill 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 DJs 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?
Im definitely going to chill out for a few days, but then its back into the studio. I have two gigs in February in Holland, which is close for me so thats good. March is going to be really busy with the Above & Beyond tour, then Winter Music Conference, and then some shows in Argentina, so its 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 its 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. Its 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 DJs around the globeplay our music, that only feeds that addiction. Its just a privilege for us to be in this position. We havent 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 DJs/producers/artists that have influenced your current sound and DJing style?
1 DJ Sasha, didnt just play out records, but told an hours 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 didnt 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 16bits Anjunadeep affiliation.
What advice would you give to your 18 year-old self?
Good question, keep it easy and stay true to yourself. Dont try to go with the masses but try to seek your own path. Its 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, dont be afraid of it.
"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."
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, its clear hes still going strong.
Youve 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 wasnt necessarily much strategy to it either, I just loved moving around and playing music to people. So yes. Absolutely. Ive 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.
" It just has to have a bit of soul and vitality and life about it."
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 Ive 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 Ive 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?
Its becoming very hard. There are more and more people buying into it, more and more people want to be DJs, theres more and more technology which levels out the basics meaning that youve got to work harder and harder to differentiate yourself. On the flip side, theres not many barriers to entry and most of the music is readily accessible but overall its definitely harder.
You are touring around to pretty much everywhere, has that just been since your Balance CD?
Well, kind of. Theres 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, dont think I can say who that is with but its 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 its essentially a cross section of house, tech-house and progressive house which is pretty much what I play. A lot of DJs say you cant 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 thats more than 2 decades now so naturally your outlook will change in that period of time. Ive 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 its 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 Im really happy about the music Im 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.
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.
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 dont 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 dont 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/djs?
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 its still growing bigger by the day!
"First of all, the idea, then - the quality of its execution. "
"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 Rogers 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.
With his musical sensibilities residing within the realms of electronica, disco and house, Arnos production and remix work has attracted praise from some of dance musics most formidable figures. Arno Cost
s talent has stemmed from exposure to music at an early age. Brought up on a diet of pop music, Italo-Disco and later, the innovations of the seminal French Touch such as Daft Punk, Arnos appreciation turned into creation as he took his hand to production in 1999.
"Make sure your music is unique and create an own style. Try to be different then what is already out on the market."
How do you feel your music has evolved since you first started?
It's amazing to see that so many people from all over the world are being moved by electronic dance music and that this genre got so big. On the other hand it is sad to see that money buys a lot of stuff nowadays, including DJ careers. There is so much music released everyday, sometimes I have the feeling people are a bit lost.
I like when DJs really start their own tracks because that is what you can identify with. What do you want to be remembered for?
If I have to pick one thing, I want my music to speak for me as a person. Its all about marketing and branding, but sometimes I just want my music to speak. If people have to remember me by my tracks when I am 80, it is going to be one of my biggest tracks ever, Magenta from 2006.
Do you prefer DJing or producing songs?
Thats a though question. I like to produce music, create new content and spend hours in the studio, but its also really cool to see people go totally crazy when they hear my music when I play.
I always like to find out DJs musical inspirations
anyone who has inspired you to start making music in your bedroom?
Yeah, before I started making house music, I liked to produce some down-tempo stuff like Moby back in the day. When he released the album Play, I was like WOW!- it was something special to me. A new life was beginning in music. Before that, I liked Muse and Radiohead as well. And when Daft Punk went with their One More Time track, I said "I want to do this, I want to do this French-Dutch music."
What are your top five tunes at the moment?
Arno Cost & Arias - The Days To Come
Chris Lake - Cross The Line
Thomas Gold - Agora
Daft Punk - Technologic (Sebjack Edit)
Marco V - Reaver
How would you describe your sound?
Progressive. I like to take time on the tracks and to build it up. I love the melodies; I love to spread emotions. Its hard to describe your sound but people have said my music is emotional and melodic. Thats my main goal. Your questions are very tough
Its hard to say.
Do you think the French house music scene still has a really strong influence on your style? And what music did you grow up listening to and is that an influence now?
Yes for sure. I am mostly inspired from the French Touch. When i was a kid i listened to Daft Punk, Bob Sinclar, Phoenix, Air, Cassius. I aslo really like Eric Prydz and Deadmau5 stuff. But i think its important to be very open minded
I take my inspiration from a lot of genres, from downtempo (Moby, Portishead to pop rock music (Serges Gainsbourg, Coldplay, Muse.
Arno, will you ever go into any other genre of music?
You can see people are progressing back to their roots, towards house and pop. That is the kind of music I love to play and will keep playing.
What do you think the future of house music will be?
Thats a very tough question. You dont really know whats going to happen but at least you can see the that EDM is going down. The hard sound and hot style of house music which we call EDM I think people want more sound, more melodies in their music. Thats very exciting for me because my roots are there. Im not a real hot style guy, Im more into the melodies, the vocals, and the emotion. I think in ten years that will still be going on. I think music can evolve in a way where people will want to feel the emotions and melodies. Over the last two to four years, it wasnt the case. People just wanted to jump
Theres no emotion in a jump. So, Im very happy that EDM is going down and emotion is rising.
What advice do you have to offer to new producers and DJs that are just getting started that can help them progress in their careers?
The competition is very strong. It is hard to stand out among the rest. I think the number one thing is to be passionate about what you do and love the music for the music. Its not only about getting easy money. Its about putting in the hard work and is being passionate about what you do. You have to think out of the box. There are so many people out there doing the same thing. You have to be different in my opinion.
Over the years, Bryan Kearney
has honed his DJing skills by taking his experiences from the Dancefloor into the DJ box. His current demand is at an all-time high; this is evident from the diversity in location of his appearances. He has performed at massive events such as Electronic Daisy Carnival, Electric Zoo, Tomorrowland, Stereosonic, Cream Ibiza and many more.
Describe your early musical background. What are some of your past influences, as well as current producers?
To be honest, I have no musical background with regards to learning how to play an instrument or anything like that. Basically, Ive learned my trade from the dancefloor as a clubber and taken what I think works into the DJ Box. Ive been clubbing for around 13 years and DJing for around the same. My biggest influences are Mauro Picottoand all of the Italian DJs from the BXR era, such as Carl Cox, Paul van Dyk, Chris Liebing, Armin van Buuren, John OCallaghan, John Askew and many more. Current producers that are really pushing my buttons would be Astrix, Coming Soon, Sneijder, Sonic Sense and loads of others.
What differences do you see in comparison for the preparation for a liveset?
Well on a compilation I can only use music that has been fully cleared by the labels whereas in a live set I have more freedom to play what I want.
"Appreciate what you receive and know that you have to earn what you get."
You yourself are renowned for your remarkably technical remixes of some hugely successful productions. From your collection, do you have a favourite track that you enjoyed working on?
Probably my remix of Plumb - 'Need You Now'. I had a lot of fun transforming it from a Christian Rock track into a club anthem. It still gets requested at every gig I play. Digital Society was the first place I ever played the track out at, the May 2014 event with Gareth Emery. I've done my best to sort of phase it out from my sets but it seems to keep sneaking back in. How Many Times have I played that track? I've no idea at this stage.
Your time as a producer has seen you complete many fantastic remixes of original ideas, from the likes of John OCallaghan, Aly & Fila and Armin van Buuren. Do you have any plans to work with other artists on future collaborations and remix projects?
2017 is going to see the Key4050 project between myself and John O'Callaghan taken on to the next level. I don't really want to say too much more on it but it's something we are both extremely excited about. I'm always up for collaborations with the right people, where we can both bring something to the table rather than one person doing nothing and the other all the work.
What do you think of the whole trouse hype and the dance scene blowing in The United States? Is 'Who's Afraid Of 138?!' a statement for the more 'classic' sound of trance?
Obviously people have seen the commercial success that that type of music has brought to people performing in the US and they want a part of it which is completely understandable coming from a business point of view. Personally it's not my type of music, all the best to people who want to play it but it's not for me. With regards to statements for the more classic sound of trance I don't agree with this either. I think one of the main problems within the scene right now is the amount of labeling, segregation and general hatred that seems to be everywhere. Everything is given a label or a name and people seem to have lost touch that the music is meant to be enjoyed.
You are certainly very busy with your label, producing and live gigs. How do you relax so that you have the power for all this?
I get up every morning at 7 a.m and go to the gym for 90 minutes to start the day off in an energetic way. I then work up until 6 p.m and I dont do any music related work after that. Its important to try and switch off and be a normal human being instead of just being the artist.
You have been on tip of everyone's tongue in recent times as one of the hottest DJ's to watch and have become a valuable addition to most trance events, particularly in the UK. Can you describe what that's like and tell us your secret?
I'm don't think there's any real secret to my success really, I just have a lot of passion for what I do and I work extremely hard. I play a highly energetic diverse sound so I think that appeals to a lot of different people. I'm extremely happy that I've become quite a regular fixture at the big nights in the UK, particularly closing their events. My type of music really does work well at that time of the night/morning so maybe that's one of the reasons. I also record a lot of my sets as a way of seeing how well I performed on the night. This means that I can continuously analyze my performances, what worked well, how certain tracks worked together and indeed how I can improve in the future. I am always refining my sound, adding new sounds or tracks and also removing stuff that doesn't seem to work on the dance floor. To be honest I am really on the energetic trance buzz at the moment and I can see myself really bringing more and more of this to my sets.
You have traveled around the world with your music. Which country has the greatest crowds and most energy?
South America is my favorite continent to play in and Argentina is the best place in the world with the most enthusiastic, respectful, open minded and responsive crowds in the world. Every DJ says the same.
How many demos do you get sent and what is the process you go through to actually release a track?
A lot. I'd say I have signed about 1% of what I've been sent over the past few years. I've turned down a lot of tracks that have then appeared on other labels and that have done well, but I don't regret not signing any track at any stage. I know myself within two seconds if I want to sign the track. There have been times when I like something particular about the track and I will go back to the producer with suggestions on what to focus on. At times, I'll ask for the midi files for the main melody, work a little on it and send it back to them so they can take it from there. After I sign a track, I play it as I.D in my own sets for a while. I then send to a handful of people in advance of release.
Do you have any advice for any DJs planning on collaborating with other artists following your experience in this way of working?
Do it. Go in with an open mind. It's amazing how much you can learn from other people when you sit down and see how they work and do things in their own way.
One of the highly respected DJ/producer in dance music scene for a long time, Moguai
is coming to Tokyo. He has been producing sounds that can only be done with his talent and skills and contributed heavily in creating the foundation of this industry. He has been doing over 120 gigs around the world in a year not only in clubs such as the well known Pacha but of course at big festivals making the crowd go wild every time.
How did you get started in the music industry?
I started off doing my own parties in the NRU area of Germany an area of Germany with a really high population, over 11 million people within an hour of each other. I was studying law and started to do my own parties to help pay for my course. I started to DJ more and more and started to earn more money, then Raveline magazine, which was new on the scene at that point, decided they wanted to do their own parties, and asked me to be the official Raveline DJ. This was all so exciting, things started to really take off and I started to produce music too and eventually I gave up my law course!
What has been the biggest contributor to your current success?
"The most important thing is to never stop living the life, never give up on your wish to come into this music scene never lose the dream. "
Who was your biggest influence back then?
Sven Väth from Frankfurt influenced me a lot at that time because I recorded every radio show he did and I loved his versatile style. That helped me to find my own style and encouraged me to be open to all kinds of electronic music. I still live and play with that vibe.
Has German techno music followed a pretty clear path from Kraftwerk? They still seem very relevant in today's acts.
If you listen to some of the Kraftwerk productions you could think that it was produced in Berlin or the Rhine-Ruhr Area in 2007. History is resonating for sure, but more unconscious, because most of the new acts didn't grow up with Kraftwerk directly.
You have been traveling all over the world for your gigs. What is the biggest change in dance music for you?
The biggest change in dance music came with the internet. From then on, everyone was able to promote themselves. But it was not only the masses who were now able to spread their music through Soundcloud, Facebook and so on
Dance music changed through all these talented bedroom producers and their new influences and ideas. I cant remember when we had so my new genres in the electronic music scene. I see this as a plus and the electronic music future will be great, cause it will never stop this way.
Is there any piece of technology you cant wait for to hit the market?
I havent yet checked out Abelton 9. I know its been on the market for a few weeks and Im keen on to check out the new features.
How do you know that your DJ set works?
That's like having a good conversation. If you talk to each other, enter the other one and get up a bit, then the spark jumps on both sides. And that's exactly how it is on the floor.
Which recently released dance tracks should definitely be added to New Dance Music Friday?
MOGUAI & AKA AKA 'Satisfield' (Me & My Tootbrush Remix)
MOGUAI & Younotus ft. Nico Santos 'Lessons' (Zonderling Remix)
Tinlicker 'Donderdag' (MOGUAI Remix)
Kendrick Lamar - 'Humble' (Skrillex Remix)
MOGUAI - 'Smyles'
Camelphat - 'Drop It'
Mark Knight feat. The Ragga Twins - 'Move On'
How would you describe your sound?
Emotional, vintage, Electro, punk rock.
What's important to you in your work?
It's important first of all, that if my name is on a Production is, no other herumwerkelt it. Come in addition, I though times adapting something, but only if the track and what he says, does not change. As I let myself also not reinreden majors. When in doubt, I make the track then not at all, and let it be. I like to listen to criticism, but only conditionally. I just learned that it is better because to listen to me and my gut feeling, I to trust yourself and to see me as the best indicator. If I So find something good, usually many other people find also good. Maybe find then in return the same number of people not so good. But that is part of the creation and creating them. You
never meet the tastes of all - no matter if you make music or cars build.
You have a close working relationship with mau5trap. How is your relationship with deadmau5 himself?
We have fun when we play shows together and I appreciate his feedback when he hears new tracks or remixes, but its not that we work closely togehter.
You have played clubs and festivals all around the world. What was the best and the worst gig you ever played and what was the funniest thing ever occurred during any of your performances?
Playing in front of 750.000 People at the closing rally of the Love Parade in Berlin. Money cant buy that. Once they announce your name and you step out there on stage with that view on the Siegessäule in Berlin, in your homecountry in front of that crowd...incredible.
What is it you think has made you so successful, what advice would you give to someone starting their career?
Moguai I still think the most important thing today is authenticity. You need to live your style and your music. Everything you do then becomes so much more credible and people will see that. I stayed loyal to my style and my music even when I sometimes thought there might be something else out there. I do think its the right step to implement new styles in your music but you should still try to keep your sound unique. I mean, this is what I built up over so many years. I would never want to through that away just to fit into a current trend. Those things pass, but you will be there after that and then you still need to stick out of the group.
is a Polish producer who grew up in the hardcore German techno scene and began by making his own path under the alias Rob Acid. Throughout his nearly 25 year career, Babicz has shifted and evolved continuously to become not only an internationally renowned producer, but also a sound designer, a label owner, and an avid photographer.
"I make music that creates it`s own world, so you can just listen and look around."
How did you get in touch with electronic dance music in the first place?
When the first house music came to Germany, i was in love with this new sound. especially the acid house wave finally really got me on it. around 1991 i had my first time with some electronic instruments, and released my first record in 1992.
You really tap into the conscious aspects of how electronic music can allow you to grow spiritually and emotionally. Do you think artists should make this a part of their vision when creating music?
Well, I can only speak for myself, that from my perspective, when I am traveling and doing my shows, I am doing magical rituals. Thats how I can describe this, its a magical ritual where I am getting in contact with the subcultures of the people.
You offer mastering as a service. Which tools do you work with?
At Mastering I'm a bit old fashioned and work with the exception of the limiter rather only with hardware. I put a lot of effort into using a Dangerous MS matrix decoder and send the frequency bands through different stages of processing. In addition, I use a self-made 1176 Compressor with dry / wet control to put some dirt under the mix. At the end of the chain is the Curve Bender to adjust the whole thing. In the calculator itself, I actually only use low and hi-cut equalizers and a limiter at the end.
You see music in 3D, describing tracks as « geometrical poem
sculptures in time. » What is your method of production?
For me every track is telling a story, so when i start a track, i feel already were it should go, but i just don`t have the right structure yet, so i try find it, i want see the beauty of the sculptures of sound.
I saw you constantly making new music (from your SoundCloud snippets and ideas) any info on your upcoming stuff and what the feedback is from other DJs/artists on your music?
Oh there is a lot to come, did a full new ambient album for TRAUM, and also new tunes for my own label. Also will start to work on my next album for Systematic.
During tours, what equipments follow you to produce your music?
I feel lonely on my tours without my studio, i really don`t like to produce at the hotelroom just with a laptop. At the moment i have a little synth called OP1 that is cool and on every travel with me.
You are somewhat notorious for filming your travels. You have an amazing Flickr account. How would you explain your connection between film and music and this parallel passion that you have for each of them?
I ask myself this a lot. I think it has something to do with the rules that both pictures and music follow. In a way they both have a geometrical beauty. That's how I would describe it. Looking at it the other way around, I can see musicso when I listen to music I see geometrical structures in time. When I look at things at the same time, I can imagine how they sound.
How did Babiczstyle evolve?
I started it, because it was boring to explain that I do all kind of styles in electronic music, as I really love sound. It started as a joke when people asked me what kind of music I play, then later I wanted my own platform for this music.
How did that turn around for you? The music must have been one of those moments that helped..
I never planned to be musician. It was amazing that this happened to me. I mean I loved music a lot, of course. And there were a few key moments in my life. Now I understand it, after many years. One of them was when I was 9 years old or something. I had a small radio, like a ghetto blaster, and every night I was listening to music in bed when I had to sleep. At the same time, I was always a fan of science fiction and spaceships and flying to space. One day I caught a radio show that was playing electronic ambient music, but Id never heard this music before. When I heard this kind of sound and music, I personally thought I got a transmission from a space ship. (Laughter) And I was super, amazed and afraid like, listening to these sounds because I thought Wow, this is from another world (laughing). So I think this was one of the key elements. And then later on, I was 16 when this acid music came along. When I heard this abstract music, I had again in a way this, Wow, this is so different! So, abstract. And then again two years later I had the chance to play around with some instruments from a friend and I recorded a few tracks on a cassette. Really I had no clue what I was doing, I just had fun.
You have the rare gift of synesthesia, which turns the world into a continuous interplay of colour, shape and sound.
How does this influence both your time in the studio and your live sets?
It helps me being fast, I think, because mistakes in music are somehow a broken geometry in sound; for me, every sound has a texture and a form.
Do you have any advice to producers who want to resist the temptation of making tunes on a laptop, and use analogue gear instead?
Im not a pure analogue freak! Im working 50/50 analogue digital. For me, they are equal. There are some digital things that are really impossible in the analogue world, and the other way around. Its the combination of both that makes the sound of today. If you just stay analogue, you will sound like the past. When my colleagues and I started here in Cologne in the 90s, I had the feeling we were making the music of the future. This was one of the really important feelings. And now we are twenty years later. I am still hoping we do this kind of soundtrack.