Dj Sasha Le Monnier

A BROAD SOUNDSCAPE OF MUSIC WITH FEELING

Quick Fire mini Interview with Sven Hauck [ Baroque / Presslab / Pure Substance]                                          By Sasha Le Monnier  - January 2011


Tell us a little bit about yourself....

 

 01. So how did it all begin?

 I used to be into rock and metal so I tried my hand at playing the guitar but I sounded awful. There was just so much practice and dexterity required to play this instrument that I eventually got bored with it. So I sold my guitar and bought my first set of proper studio monitors, KRK V8’s.

I also researched what gear to get and I ended up deciding on a DSP card from a German company called Creamware (now Sonic Core). Since computers were so slow around that time, the DSP card would run processes (effects, mixing, etc.) so the computer’s CPU wouldn’t have to.

Eventually I wrote a track with my friend Nasir that sounded decent enough. He opened one night for Jimmy van M and at the end of his set he slipped him the track. Many months passed and one evening I received a call and was told that our friend was at one of the Delta Heavy Tour shows with Sasha & John Digweed and that Jimmy dropped the track. We found a recording of the Delta Heavy shows in Orlando and sure enough, Jimmy played it. We were on such a natural high after that for a long time, so that’s how it all began.

02. What was your first record you bought?

 It was a compilation from 1995, United DJs of America Volume 3 with Josh Wink. I saw Josh play in Atlanta at the Warehouse a few times and people would be dancing and breaking throughout his set. I was a great experience and the vibe was fantastic. Nights like that are now few and far between.

03. You have been an active dj and a leading figure, what lead you into the studio?

I always was a fan of the music and I’d usually be in the middle of the dance floor, as music always meant a lot to me. I wanted to share with others how music made me feel, so that is what lead me into the studio to produce.

04. What can the clubbers and dj's for 2011 expect from Sven with regards to gigs and tracks?

More originals, collaborations and remixes. I’m always trying to get better at producing and while I’m not quite where I’d like to be, the journey getting there is great fun.

05. Do you produce under another alias that dj's should be looking out for or have you in the past?

No, only under Sven Hauck.

06. Name a couple of you're favourite dj's and producers out there that are hitting the right buttons for you at the moment?

As far as producers, I really like Cid Inc. as his tracks are mixed so well that they annihilate the dance floor. The low end is superbly programmed. I’ve been a long time fan of Derek Howell because he has a signature style that never fails to amaze me. The melodies are very emotional and there are so many details in his tracks. Guy J also is extremely talented and I like his productions as well. Finally, if I could have 1 hundredth of the talent from Charlie May, I’d be sorted for life.

 As far as dj’s, I was always amazed by Jimmy van M and his skill at programming a warm up set with tracks that you wouldn’t think go together. Lately, I’ve also been listening to a lot of mixes by King Unique and Monaque, the latter showing a great deal of versatility and an amazing track selection.

07. Are there any other DJ's/producers out there you would really like to collaborate with and why?

I’d like to work with Silinder, as he has a very keen ear and I’m a big fan of his productions. I’d also like to work with Ben Coda, whose style seems very compatible with mine. Then I’d like to work on more tracks with Fletch, as I think we are just getting warmed up after our EP on Baroque. And I’d like to work on a track with you, if you are up for it.

08. How do you see the scene 3 years from now and what influences in the music would you like to see?

Seems like EDM is crossing over into Dance Pop with Guetta and the like pushing that sound. This can be good and bad for the scene. Good in terms of extra exposure of the genre. Bad in terms of potentially typecasting the sound and making it seem generic. However, music is always changing, and when it becomes stale or irrelevant, it will reinvent itself.

Ideally, I’d like to see the music gain a larger audience while still remaining cool and not too commercial.

09. When all the partying is over how do you like to chill out?

For me there is nothing more relaxing than working on a new track in the studio. I find that the beginning of a track, the early stages of production, that are the most fun and rewarding.

10. What advice would you give to up and coming DJs, Producers or even club promoters?

Stick with it and do it because you love it, then all will be well. If you’re looking to be the next rock star, best of luck to you, friend.

 

My big thanks to Sven for the Interview and exclusive mix, may you have a super 2011! smile

 

May 09 Interview by Sasha Le Monnier [ C.O.U. Muzik / Source Of Gravity ]

Once again, i'm here interviewing yet another talented individual from within the EDM scene :)

Originally Born in Bulgaria and moving to Miami at a young age, this producer/dj starting writing and producing music in 1996. In 2003 came a big break for him under the Artist Name 'Casa Flava', a name i hammered in my music collection with wicked tracks like 'Magma', 'Futher South','Etherna'/'Homa' on the wonderfull label back then 'Plastic Fantastic'. Under his own name his produced wicked  tracks like 'Soma Funk','Next Episode', 'Music Non Stop' and so, so many more! He remixed for the likes of Sarah Mclachlan with her track 'Delerium Silence' aswell as Phil Collins, Funk D'void, Eelke Kleijn and Nick Hodgendoorn, Medway and also Matt Rowan..the list goes on! His fanstastic Melodic and heart felt vocals with tantelizing synths have landed him on compilations like 'Renaissance - The sound of Renaiassance Vol 2', 'Balance 13 mixed by S.O.S', 'Perfecto Presents Paul Oakenfold Great Wall' and many more, aswell as the newly released this month [ May 09 ] 'Global Underground - G.U Mixed 4'....any clue as to who it is yet?, i present to you the wonderfull and highly talented Stan Kolev  

 

01..you've had quite an illustrious career so far. When did it all begin and why?

I began producing in 1996. It was when I purchased my first laptop.
In the beginning I was doing it as a hobby, but I soon realized that it’smore than that when I gave the tracks I produced to the local dj’s in Miami and they start playing it in the clubs.

02..who were your biggest influences back then?

This may come as a surprise to some but I was inspired by artist and producers like: Prince, Level 42, Midnight Star, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Sade,Cameo, Earth Wind & Fire, Jean Michel Jarre. Just a names of few.

03..If you were to choose two producers, that you haven't worked with and that you would like to produce tracks with, which ones would it be and why ?

I really haven’t thought about that but if I have to answer I would have to say:Funk D’Void and Timewriter. I think that if I collaborate with ether one of Them, something great will come out.

 

04..Your new track 'Mesmerizing' has been signed to the new Global Underground ' GU Mixed 4', just released this month!, what other delights do you have in the pipeline that we should be looking out for?

There is several new projects that are about to be released. My remix of Jon Silva’s "Enjoy This Trip" on USB Recodrs Stan Kolev Feat. No Mercy "Miraculous Ways" including remixes by Daniel Portman on Supraton or Outta limits Records.To be confirmed. Stan Kolev Feat. Lola "Closer" on Dutchie Records Stan Kolev Feat. Bubu "I Know" UK Label to be confirmed Stan Kolev and DJ Lion "Metlata" on Baroque Records My remix of K-Bana’s "Lights and Stars" on Guess Records

05...Your first solo Album 'Emotional Content' was released in 2007 on Ready Mix Records with great success, it's early days but, any plans for yet another great album?

Yes I am working on my second artist album titled "Grace Light" Scheduled for release at the end of 2009. Label not confirmed yet.

 

06..What's your favourite piece of equipment in the studio and why?

At the moment my Virus TI Polar. Endless possibilities, amazing sound

 

07..You've travelled and played in many a club around the world, what has been your most memorable moment and which country have you not yet played in that you would like to and why?

Playing in my home town in my native country after being absent for 15 years. I’ve never been to the UK and I would love to come and pay you a visit.

 

08..What artists lately have surprised you with their productions and who stands out for you?

I would have to say: EDX, Dinka, Manuel De La Mare, Albin Myers

 

09. What do you do to relax? Any hobby's besides music?

Spending time with my daughter. Playing Tennis and working out
on a daily basis.

 

10..Beer Or Wine ?

Tequila

 

I would like to thank you Stan for taking the time to do the guest mix and Interview for me and the global clubbers ;) x

Thank you Sasha it’s been a pleasure J


To Find out more about Stan Kolev, why not visit his website @ www.stankolev.com and don't forget to tune into www.protonradio.com on Saturday 23rd May09  @ 9am EST / 2pm GMT, where Stan is my guest this month on the 'Source Of Gravity Sessions', if you miss that, then fear not as his set will be re-aired on www.ensonic.fm  Monday 25th 5pm EST / 10pm GMT on the 'Source Of Gravity Digital' show!....Be sure to tune in and support Stan 

January 09 Interview By Sasha Le Monnier [ C.O.U. Muzik / Source Of Gravity ]

2009's Interview kick starts the year with a well respected and talented duo that hail from Chicago, Illinois [ U.S ]. I first came across these two budding artist's back in 2001 when going to my local record store i picked up a copy of a track by the artist name of 'Grayarea' an artist who i had never heard before, the record was titled 'One For The Road' / Asleep At The Wheel'. I remembering taken this piece of vinyl home along with a few others and putting this onto my 1210's...well this particular record both A and B side blew me away..awesome tracks, to this day i have followed their work, on labels like Bedrock where they remixed the fantastic 'Emerald' track and many others like Steve Porter's 'Vodka Cranberries'.Today they are still going strong even if 'Grayarea' did go seperate ways, that didn't stop two of the members going on to write and produce more outstanding EDM tracks!

So, now is the time to read their Interview and take in a little bit about these guy's. You may well of or if you haven't been, you will be now...playing their tracks  in your set's. Their style ranges from funky/tough and always fat sounding Tech house/Progressive House / Techno...........I present you Kris B & Nosmo

01. How did you two hook up and where did it all begin and why, what were your influences back then?
 N -
We met about 8 or 9 years ago at an annual outdoor rave in rural Illinois called "Even Further."  It was a three day camp-out and within hours of arriving, some drunk idiot drove his car through the middle of the campsite and ripped open the corner of my tent.  The sun had just gone down, and so I began to petition my neighbours on the campsite for a flashlight to aid in the tent repair.  Kris B was the proud inhabitant of the tent right next door.  It was a huge 2 room behemoth with a covered front porch area and all manner of camping regalia.  Kris emerged already in full swing for the party and offered his services.
 We got to talking and discovered that even though we lived several hundred miles away, we were into the same music, knew many of the same people, and even had birthdays less than a week apart.  We're both influenced by the Trance and Progressive House of the 90's, as well as breaks, tech, house, and everything in between.  The Orb, Orbital,  Underworld, Massive Attack, Portished, Chem Bros, Fatboy Slim, Prodigy and Plastikman were just a few of the electronic influences we had in common.  We've also both been in many rock bands and were heavily influenced by groups like Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, Metallica,Iron Maiden, and even Slayer.

02. Back in 2001 you formed 'Grayarea' and released a number of quality tracks including 'One For The Road', with artist signing's to label like Bedrock,Hope, Silver Planet, Fade Records, to which seen massive support, why the change of name and do you now go under any other alias's that people should be looking out for?
 N -
One For The Road was originally written by Kris and me, but Grayarea actually also involved our roommates at the time.  Kris was first to leave the group and move to LA.  I stayed with the band for several years but also left due to creative differences.  Essentially, the other band members always wanted to be a rock / industrial band and never really embraced electronic music.  Kris and I enjoyed playing rock as well, but we were the two members who truly embraced EDM and decided to leave Grayarea rather than be part of compromising the bands electronic roots.
 We're mostly trying to use their own names for our current projects, although we've been toying with many aliases for our more diverse tastes.  Red Codpiece & Handel Barmustache are in the lead right now for a raucous party music alias, although neither of us are sure who would be who in that scenario just yet.
 KB – after a musically restless year, i think we've finally settled into a recognizable “Nosmo v Kris B” sound.  So yah, now it's time for the aliases to take over for styles outside of our sound... I can't give you all the names, cuz, well, it wouldn't be as alias ;).

03, Your releases as 'Grayarea' has been featured on many a compilations Like 'Ministry Of Sound', 'Slinky Music', 'Provocative Music' and of course, 'Global Underground Limited'. 2009 see's  Kris B & Nosmo's 'La Cocina' [Mazi Dubstrumental ] Featured once again on soon to be released  Darren Emerson 'Bogota' Global Underground 036, how does this feel to be recognised for such hard quality work over the years being signed to such worldwide CD compilations?
 N -
It feels fantastic!  But we can't eat "fantastic."  Please send us some money...
 KB-
It's always an honor to have someone you look up to support your
work, particularly when it's someone who's music helped shape your sound.  It's some validation that we're headed the right direction, which is quite helpful, considering we're often not entirely sure what that direction is.  hell, we usually don't know what day of the week it is...

04. Your label 'Nightshade Music pushed out some super tracks in 2008, what can we expect for 2009 and also any plans for a Kris B & Nosmo Album?
 KB - Album? Now that you mention it.... haha, no, it's on the horizon, but the distant horizon for now.  I've always thought that an artist album released at the wrong point in a career can be the kiss of death.  we have a lot of pent up weirdness that we need to get out in an album, and we have to wait until we're damn sure our fans are loyal enough to accept or forgive any aural atrocities. As for Nightshade in 2009, we're happy with the way things have gone thus far, and we're ready to expand.  We'll be focusing on tech house, house, techno and progressive house for Nightshade Music.  Our Nightshade Limited catalog will encompass anything from downtempo to progressive trance and hyper-raga-booty-core.  We have some bigger artists that will be joining the roster, and we are continuing our efforts to bring up new talent.  We have a new series "S.K.O.Chicago" that will be highlighting Chicago based producers, we will be doing a special release to mark the first year of the label, including some un-released mixes of back catalog, and a continuous mix by myself & Nosmo.  We're also taking it to the streets (though, admittedly planes, trains & buses may be involved),  and spending a great deal of 2009 on the road, showcasing & performing with many of our artists.

05. What do you use in your dj set's these day's with regards to equipment and do you plan your set's before you play out?
 KB - We do it differently for any gig, from spinning on CDJ's, to performing live with 2 laptops, a DJ set up, guitar, bass & electronic drums.  For our live show, we plan to a degree, since we start with all of our own material, which we re-edit it for live, mix in other tracks, and get downright silly with.  However, we take a Dj  approach to our live show.  We basically have our music organized by style and key, we use Ableton for the core mix, then we have the freedom to deviate from our set list fluidly. There are certain tracks that we like to layer, or that i like to scratch over, or play drums in, but it is "live" so sometimes we wing it.  Whatever we may plan, no two sets ever end up the same.

06. Producing comes naturally to you both, what equipment do you like to use and when producing do you have a plan before entering the studio and do you always start with a particular sound first ie Bassline or percussion first?
 N -
Most of our sound is VST based.  We've run the gambit of sequencers over the years; One For The Road was produced entirely on Reason 1.  We've also used Fruity Loop, Cubase / Nuendo, Acid, Calkwalk, and Logic.  After trying out so many different sequencers, we've finally settled on Ableton.  we've been using Ableton in various ways since the first beta version, but Blake Jarrell convinced us to truly embrace it as a total production tool about two years ago.  Now we produce, DJ, and play our live show mainly from Ableton.  Waves has become our staple mastering suite and we use a select group of VSTs such as ReFx Nexus, Minimonsta, Arp2600, and Lounge Lizard.
 We don't really plan how we're going to start and track, but we both have different strengths on different elements of the songs.  Usually I get the beats in order and Kris is the man with the basslines.  This is not always the case, but it does happen more often than not.  Sometimes one of us will produce 95% of a song and the other will add the final necessary element.  It's a really good back and forth and there's very little conflict between the two of us over what parts work or don't work in a song.

07. With the Credit Crunch upon us, how do you think this will effect the EDM industry?
 N -
So far, it doesn't seem to be having too much of a financial effect.  Since the industry became so heavily digital for both DJs and producers, it's been very affordable for a wide range of people to get in on the action.  Plus, headlining DJs don't seem to be getting paid any less and covers and drink prices certainly haven't gotten any cheaper.  In times of conflict and recession, attendance at events has almost always been consistent or better over the past several decades (and perhaps even longer).  This is most likely due to the fact that when times are tough people need to release tension and be entertained even more than in times of prosperity.
 KB – People will find a way to afford things that matter to them.  Ever since my first paycheck, if i had extra $, i bought some musical gear.  Consequently, i tended to dress like crap and have hilarious automobiles, but dammit, i had a nice 10 piece drum kit on a custom rack with a second remote cable hi-hat, and I was damn proud of it :)  We decided to give music a full time effort, and dance music at its highest level is still pretty underground.  So if money is our motivation, we must be poor at math and definitely slept through economics class.

08. With 2008 now history, what are you both going to remember from it and with 2009 what are you most looking forward to?
 N - I'm certainly not going to remember New Years Eve, that's for sure...hehe!  I remember campaigning for Obama and attending his victory ceremony here in Chicago.  I also remember adopting my cat "Larry V: The Secretary of Pussy."  He's become our new label mascot, mainly because he's nearly as fat and lazy as we are.  For 2009, I'm looking forward to selling my beat-up old tour and and eventually getting to park my car in my own garage.  I'm also looking forward to getting the hell out of this country for a while.  Music-wise I'm looking forward o having the Mazi remix of our single "La Cocina" on Darren Emerson's next Global Underground which will be out in February and having Blake Jarrell's new remix of "One For The Road" on his next mixed compilation on Armada Music.
 KB – looking back, 2008 seems like it was a real wet sack of crap for me!  Nearly all of my worldly possessions were either lost, given away or stolen, I had more bodily functions go haywire than ever before, financially it was one of my lightest years, haha...  but i still had a blast!  We launched our label, wrote some music that i'm the most proud of in my career, had some great gigs, launched the live show, and I got to do it all on my own terms... it's been a wild ride, i do like being my own boss, i love the flexible hours and bizarre job related perks, i just wish i offered some kinda 401k ;)

09. Any big gig's in 2009 for the clubbers to look out for?
 KB - let's see... We'll be back out on the West Coast and Southwest U.S. in early March, then Denver, then off to Orlando & Miami.  May into June I'll be in Europe for four weeks (accepting offers now! ;), then we're coming back to Chicago for a light lunch, then planning out some gigs for South/Central America & Mexico for late summer/fall, and hopefully back to NYC, Boston and other east coast cities for my annual October gigs.  Oh, and our quarterly live show @ Vision Nightclub here in Chicago.  And, to whoever is reading this, we'll totally play at your house too, as long as you fulfill our bizarre beverage rider... seriously, we have a schematic for it...

10. Apart from of course Kris B & Nosmo, who do you think from the U.S will be one to look out for in 2009?
 KB – One?  Haha, that just won't cut it... Right here in Chicago we have Blake Jarrell, Ben Brown, Nick Stoynoff, Walsh & Coutre, Wahi, RJ Pickens, Seneca, and more.  It's staggering the amount of big name DJ's that have relocated to the U.S. in the past few years.  It's been great to have direct access, it's really helping a lot of talented stateside artists get recognized.  We try and work with fellow U.S. artists as much as possible, Mike Kiraly, Jeff Devas (Jeffrey Varisco), Anthony Ross & Christopher Manik all are making a big impact globally as producers.  Alex Fish (Holosound) & Aaron Lee, both excellent producers, are consistently great DJ's that i see big things for as well.

My Thanks goes out to Kris & Nosmo for taking the time out to do this interview for both me and you, the clubbers! 

Interview With Jeff Belfi aka Blue Room Project By Sasha Le Monnier ( C.O.U. Muzik ) June08

 

Jeff Belfi a dj/producer and label owner from Atlanta, New York ( U.S) has been kicking about the scene since '94' djing and producing tracks. Jeff has the ability to cross many boundries in the EDM scene, with his influences coming from every genre, whether it be deep house or techno, tech house or progressive house, breaks etc...he does so with much ease and passion!! Jeff also has a very unqiue style in his dj set's, that have landed him gig's in Detroit, New York, Miami, Canada, Isareal and Mexico. In 2002 Jeff teamed up with Shane Ehlers and formed Blue Room Project, their main aim was production, this would add a different slice of sound to their own dj set's and has taken their music much, more globally. Blueroom Project's talents have landed them on labels like White Cure,Confi-Dance, Screen,CP Recordings, Red Ant,Nascent, Blueprint,Dubcoast Vapour,CPR White, Cure, Winds West, Sabotage Systems,Sog. Jeff also just began his own Label Management and Label Group called Mixturi Global along with his own label's Mixturi Recordings, Linear Recordings and Criminal. Ozgur Can, Habersham, Randell Jones, Philip Charles,Noel Sanger, Hernan Cattaneo,Paolo Mojo and Madoka are among some of the artist. His latest label 'Ascension Records' has seen his releases still being supported my many a top jock and will do for a very long time to come!!

Now you can see why i keen to Interveiw Jeff, his not just your average Joe bloggs in the EDM scene, his talented, a great dj and producer and an all round nice guy!!

01...How did the whole EDM scene start for you and why?

I would usually respond with the rave scene in New York, Brooklyn mostly, but I didn't truly get into it until heading out to Twilo month after month to see Sasha & Digweed with these huge builds throughout the night. It wouldn't be till 6am when they would unleash some HUGE tracks and the club would just come alive.I guess it didn't start the EDM scene for me but it would be the most influential part of me wanting to be apart of it. Just to see people from all over the world responding to the sound was amazing and not jaded.

02...You manage and run the label 'Ascension Records' tell us more about this?

It's a simple approach I take on the label. I'm not very particular about business matters as I feel the importance is to have fun with it all, same idea I take with production really. I don't draw up any guidelineson the style of the next release or how it will play out, i just listen to stuff and decide from there. I don't plananything out so all is sort of spur of the moment, or as much spur as it can be. I love hearing sounds from all parts of the world and I think the label represents a bit of an emphasis on new producers. I've signed manyartist that were currently unsigned only to see them prosper soon after. I'm aware of how congested thescene is currently with new artist and labels constantly popping up, and I think it's a good thing becauseall things even themselves out in time. We'll just have to see if Ascension will keep on with the momentumand stay in the pack.

03...So what are you working on at present?

Mostly my gamerscore on xbox live and trying to avoid the sun as much as possible. Musically, the constantremix work that's hit or miss. I try different ideas and I guess it depends on the day, mood and all the otherstuff inbetween to hit something decent, but it pops out once in a while, which is good enough for me. I'm inwith Sony Media about a few ideas and F1 as well. I can't really get into any of it yet, we'll just see how it comes along.

04...What studio equipment do you use when producing your tracks?

Mostly all Virtual Instruments. I'm a huge fan of Native's products. Albino 3 and Surge are dope as well. I got rid of most of my hardware because I wouldnt use it much, but I held onto my virus and ms2000.

05...Who has inspired you musically most?

That's rough just picking one but i'd have to say Radiohead. Not that they help me shape my sound ideas nor do I come up with a sound anything like their's, it's just more of listening to them will inspire me to get off thegaming for a bit and work on some new stuff. They just inspire me in general.

06...If we came to see you DJ live, what could we expect of your set?

My live sets are much different than my productions and you'd wouldn't catch me playing any Blue Room Project tracks as I think they're garbage :P.. Ok, maybe once in a while for testing them out but very few and far between. It all depends on the mood. I can feel what direction I want to go with almost instantly when entering the club. It's just a vibe and it's why I bring a lot of music along with me because I never know what style i'll be playing.

07...If you could play one more club ever; where would it be and who else would be playing?

Well, since this is somewhat rhetorical we'll just go along with the idea that Twilo wasn't closed down. It would definitely be there and with all the friends i've met along the way through music. It would be a very long year! You didn't put a time limit to it, right??

08...What does the rest of 2008 hold for you?

A lot more from Ascension as almost all of 2008 releases are set. Some changes here and there i'm sure but we have tons of great material coming up. I'm gonna slow down on the remixes after the summer and start focusing on album material more. Not to say i'll be putting one out, I just want more time to work experimenting with new ideas that have been popping up. If this F1 thing pulls through, we can expect some huge things going on, but i'll have to wait on that one.

09...Any Ibiza Date's this year?

None yet, mostly just is the U.S and some dates set for Mexico. I'm working on a few places abroad but I keepretracting here and there as time won't stand still for some odd reason. I'm not planning on any Ibiza dates, but something might come up and if the timing is right, it'll happen.

10...If you had to give it all up tomorrow, how would you like to be remembered?

Hopefully as a good friend to all those i've met through the scene as I feel that's the most important thing. It's the way you make someone feel and if it were positive than i'd be more than happy with that.

My thanks goes out to Jeff for taking time out of his schedule to do this Interview and the guest mixes he has giving me for my radio show's!!  

Interview with Anil Chawla By Sasha Le Monnier (C.O.U. Muzik) 6th Nov 07

mmm.... i can't help feeling that you lot are getting some top, top quality interviews here!!  Another cracking interview comes from the wicked Anil Chawla a dj / producer from London and resident @ Turnmills. For the last few years has really taking the clubbing land by storm with his awesome releases and still to date is growing to be a top house hold name in the staple diet of EDM. His constant quality releases featured on labels like Global Underground (G.U) / Brique Rouge / Cubism / Twisted Frequency / Vapour Recordings / Duty Free / Saved Records / Cr2 etc etc... and also featuring on many a cd compilation and hammered by many a top jock!!

 Renaissance presents Nic Fanciulli (2005) 
Tall Paul - The Beat Technique (2006) 
Global Underground - Afterhours (2007) 
Renaissance presents Hernan Cattaneo (2007) 
Global Underground - GUMixed (2007) 
Global Underground - Afterhours Ibiza (2007) 
Global Underground - Digitized (2007) 
Global Underground - GUMixed 2 (2007) 
Global Underground - Synchronised 2 (2007)

I present to you, a most talented guy, whom is in huge demand for his great work both as a dj and producer. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Anil for doing this interview and also being my guest on my upcoming show Sasha Le Monnier Pres Gravitation Digital  21st November @ Danceradio.gr 9pm GMT...be sure not to miss this!!

01...What and When was your first major break into the scene?

I guess it all came good when I started playing for turnmills - I played
a couple of warm up slots for them and they asked me to fill in a few
times, and do the odd slot here and there. Now I'm resident there (for
Together). Also, mixmag wrote a piece on me a few years ago and I was
honoured to be on of their'future heroes', which certainly helped boost
the profile in the early stages.



02...It seems the longer a dj has been playing, the more diverse his
sound gets, what would you call the music you like to play?


I guess the easy way to describe it would be house, but it's anything
from downtempo deep house, right through to tech house and a little bit
of techno thrown in too.


03...The scene has definitely progressed since when you first started,
what do you think about that?

It's always moving, and that's always good. You can't always stick with
one sound, or things would just get incredibly boring.


04...What do you think of the U.K scene right now and why?

In London, you're very spoilt with so many great things on all the time,
so it's certainly easy to take things for granted, but the scene is very
diverse over here at the moment, so there's pretty much something for
everyone.



04...What have you released lately, which labels etc and what else are
you working on?


I've been working pretty close with Global Underground lately (with my
production partner Dale Anderson), and we also have our debut album with
them next year, so keep an eye out for that! I also have an EP dropping
on Kill Brique on December 10th with mixes from Mazi and Fabrice K.



05...What other dj's and producers do you admire?

Laurent Garnier, Nic Fanciulli, Paul Woolford, Danny Howells, Josh Wink,
Hernan Cattaneo, Paolo Mojo, Francois K, Jim Rivers, Funk D'Void, 3
Channels, Justin Robertson, The Electric Press... The list goes on.



06...You are a natural when it come's to djing and producing tracks -
what are you not so hot at?


Waking up in the morning!


07...What is your current weapon of choice to either move a dance floor
or  to maybe change direction?


Paolo Mojo & Jim Rivers 'Dark Place' - It goes off every time.


08...Best dj experience?

Probably turnmills last new years eve, warming up for The Chemical
Brothers. That was quite an honour.



09...Any plans for WMC 2008?

Not yet, but I'm certainly not ruling it out. I haven't been out there
before, but I'm hoping to get there within the next year or two.



10...Which 3 words best describe you?

Beardy, Boozy, Cheeky. 

 

Interview With Joel Armstrong By Sasha Le Monnier (C.O.U. Muzik) Oct 31st 07

Let me introduce to you...Joel Armstrong dj / Producer /label owner...have you heard of him?, if not....WHY!! Here is a guy From Vancouver (Canada) that is gaining popularity at a rather quick pace and his releases come with attitude from being right down dirty and funky, to the more tougher solid sounds of prog house, with elements of tech/electro/glitch, glad to see an artist who can give you a feel of house music that you can play both early and the more peak time sounds in your sets, and i will be playing his releases for many years to come! I stumbled across Joel's releases in 2005 and have been an avid fan of his work since! He can please the most discerning of clubbers with his intelligent sound, with  releases on Babylon Records, Proton Music, Baroque Limited, Ascension Records, Emote music, Ruhnsong Recordings, dPulse, Feral Code Records, Hunya Munya Records, Deeplife Records and Baroque Records it's no wonder Joel is gaining his reputation as a solid dj and producer.

I was lucky enough to have Joel accept my invitation to do a guest mix and interview for my show Gravitation Digital @ Danceradio.gr 21/11/2007 at 9pm GMT. My thanks goes out to Joel for taking the time do do this, cause as you can see, he is very much in demand and will be for a long time coming. All i have to say is keep up the good work...your releases really are hot material!!  X

 

01..How did the whole EDM Scene Start for you and why?

Hmm... lets just say Ace of Base was my gateway "drug" hahaha!  Then it was all downhill from there.. in a good way.I remember hearing artists like Dr Alban, Hadaway etc back in 1995 in the malls in Singapore and recalling the melodies in my head for months.  I would go to audio hardware stores blasting the music and stand around in the shop, just so I could hear "It's my life" over and over again haha.  After I moved to Canada, dance music wasn't "cool" publically in high school so it became my guilty pleasure on late night radio stations.  It wasn't till I met Justin from Shiloh that I realized I could make the stuff myself and now... well its still fun today, so hopefully that continues.

02...What have you been up to in the studio recently and what tracks should we all be looking out for?

Haha, thats a loaded question.. well.. I've been extremely busy in the studio since March.  I think there are over a dozen remixes and originals that should be seeing some daylight in 2008.  Keep an ear out for several different aural flavors though as most of my original work is more on the tech house tip but most of my remixes are more clubby, vocal work.  Let's see, I have an original release and two remixes coming out on Ruhnsong.  The remixes are for talented up and coming producers Gerwin Koudijs and Dustin H.  I have several remixes for Lyon Echo coming out... an original release featuring vocalist Marcie that was picked up by System Recordings.  Oh and then there's a bunch of my originals coming out on my label Dot Dot Records.

03...What is your favourite piece of equipment in the studio?

Um.. my 26 year old Realistic Stereo Amp? or maybe my Logitec wireless gaming mouse, actually its Cubase, I'm in love with Cubase.

04. Do you go under any other alias's when producing tracks?

I might have a few... but you'll have to wait to find out... Well, I did some work with Peter (aka Alucard) McCowan, under the name Peg City Allstars, but only one project got finalized.

05..What do you think is the best track or remix you have produced and why?

I think my newest tracks/remixes are my best work.  Difficult to pick just one because I force myself to try something new with each track I work on.

06..What is the name of your label for those out there wanting to know?

Yay, this is my exciting news.  My new label is called Dot Dot Records, we will be focusing this year on the more techy, melodic sort of tunes.  I am hoping for a January launch, been working hard getting everything ready.  Dot Dot will feature mainly my own personal projects with remixes from Sonic Union, Bastards of Funk,Stian Klo, Dumb Dan, Gerwin Koudijs and several others.

07...Your biggest achievement to date, both personally and career-wise?

I'd say once my label gets going that will be my biggest achievement for both.

08...How do you think djing will evolve technically over the next few years?

More and more people using software with badass controllers, actually I don't really know.  Music is cyclic it seems natural that perfomance methods might also be cyclic as well.  I don't want to commit to an answer because I don't want to be wrong hahaha, how Canadian of me.

09..Where can people catch your set's in the coming months?

Studio work and school have been eating up all my time, so performances have slowed down since summer, but in the new year I've already starting lining a few up.  I recently started working with a new artist promotion company called Class Concept, so we'll see where that takes me.

10..What has been the most embarrassing moment in your career?

I screwed up a mix on my first tag team set playing with my buddy dj Ike from Sonic Union.

11..Any plans for WMC 2008 ?

No, I'm finishing up an internship during that exact week, which is unfortunate, but fingers crossed for '09! 


Interview With Matt Rowan By Sasha Le Monnier (C.O.U, Muzik) June 8th 07

 

Here is yet another producer Matt Rowan hailing from Australia. He has taken my record box by storm the last couple of  years. My deck's plus cdj's have been hammered by Matt’s tracks. His wicked blend of funky, fat and uplifting house tracks to the more solid sounding prog house has seen him build a massive reputation and feature in set's from the like's of Sasha / John Digweed / Nick Warren / Dave Seaman /  Hernan Cattaneo , with track‘s like ’Blaze’ / ’Tommorow’ / ’Gold Mine’, on labels like Hope / Babylon Ltd/ Rapid Response and Fiberlineaudio . He has released more than 30 tracks and remixes ( including his latest E.P.. Fat Fcker ) and is certainly in demand as a dj.  I personally have loved all the material so far, and feel very honoured to have this interview and also have him as a guest dj on my show @ Danceradio.gr. 

Thanks for taking the time out of your every busy schedule to do this interview for me!!!   

Sasha x

 

01.  When did the whole EDM Scene start for you and why?
 Initially when I was at school. I produced a track for my final year major work and used  an Atari based system to do it! Oh the memories

02.  What or who is behind your musical inspiration?
 I’m inspired by music (and musicians) who have the ability to convey messages and  feelings in their works and do so in a way that it is not always apparent. I am drawn to  music styles which convey mood or can “set the scene” when you listen to them.

03.  Any plans for an artist album release or cd compilation ?
 Yes indeed. I’m still trying to get some ideas a little clearer in my head before I attempt  to do an album but its definitely something I want to do sooner rather than later. I’m  busting to work on some other musical styles too - DnB has always appealed to me as  has chill out music and jazz. I would like to incorporate tracks that have those vibes in  any artist album I would do.
 

04..  You are very good friends with Jaytech and have had many a releases with him, how did you two come to meet, and what made you decide that both your musical talents were worth putting together?
 We met through our manager - we were both booked to play a rave in Canberra (Jimbo’s  hometown) and we had both heard of each other prior to meeting. Even at that stage we  knew our musical tastes were similar and this was cemented when we toured Australia in  2005 together. Once I started production work myself, I sent Jim some of my tunes and   we decided to hook up and write a tune together to see what would happen. The end  result was “Tomorrow” and “Blaze” which were subsequently signed to Hope  Recordings.

05.  Where is the weirdest place you’ve played ?
 I once had a gig on a harbour cruise (around Sydney Harbour) for a group calling  themselves M.A.G.S (Mature Age Gay Society). It was one of the funniest things I’ve  ever witnessed! They organizer had taken ill the day before and consequently the male  strippers weren’t booked for the cruise. The stand in organizer offered me $400 to take  my kit off in front of them! I declined at the time but looking back I wish I had taken up  the offer - this would be sooooo much of a better story to tell if I had! I was playing some  sleepy old music thinking that that’s what they would be into, but I was politely told to  play what I want to play and they’ll decide whether they’d like it or not - which I did.  Watching a bunch of old fruity dudes going off to Armand van Helden’s “Psychic  Bounty Killers” is a memory I’ll never forget.

06 . What’s your biggest track at the moment?
 Got a few to choose from here! I’m always fond of anything Chris Micali busts out, the  new stuff from Jimbo is always quality and I’m quite fond of Jay Lumen’s stuff too. On  the tech house vibe, I’m really keen on Kriece, Nick Hoogendorn and Eelke Kleijn and  stuff from Jeff Bennet.
 

07.   Are you playing in Ibiza this year?
 Wouldn’t that be nice! I’d love to tee it up but unfortunately at this point - no.

08.   2007 will be the year of ……
 Consolidating on the previous years efforts and growing my name and reputation  internationally

09.  What do you like to do away from the dance scene?
 Spending time with friends is always important to me and these days getting that time is  becoming rare. I like to keep fit and I run every second day or so. I’m a PE teacher by  trade so playing any sport is always a fun activity. Just recently I’ve found watching all  the car and bike restoring shows on Discovery Channel to be addictive! One day that 61  Oldsmobile Cutlass will be mine!

10. Please can you tell us of any releases of yours we should be looking out for in the future?
 I’ve just had a release on Red Seven come out this week. Hot Steppin’/Self Inflicted is  available now at 3beat digital. Soon after that there will be releases on Proton and some  remix projects later on in the year


 

 

Interview With Derek Howell By Sasha Le Monnier aka C.O.U. Muzik Feb 07

 

For Derek howell, shall we just say that music comes naturally to him. From an early age Derek was heavily into and surrounded by music, listening to many an artist from Pink floyd to Jimi Hendrix and even his mother who was a country and western singer…it was his mother that inspired Derek to continue his quest in music from learning the guitar at an early age to then turning to writing and producing his own, to great effect!!.

Those into their EDM will see how Derek over the last 4 years has had many a release on labels like Bedrock / Lost language / EQ Recordings / DK Records / Ultra / Proton / Fade …just a name a few!!.

He productions skills and QUALITY releases have landed him on CD Compilations like…… Global Underground 028 / A State Of Trance 2005 / Balance :008 / Renaissance Sequential Hernan Cattaneo….the list goes on! Top jock’s constantly supporting his material from Sasha / Digweed / Seaman / Nick Warren / Desyn Masiello……Phew!!

The world has many a great DJ / Producer and for me Derek Howell is certainly up there with the best of them. Long May it continue!!

 

01...When and where did you actually start your career, and what made you get into it?

I guess it was about 4 years ago that I began to get serious about making music because that was the time that I realized I really wanted to do this as much as possible. I’m usually most happy and care-free when sitting in front of the computer screen with a midi controller and an idea. I started making music for fun, but really got into when it gave something personal back to me.

02.…For those not yet familiar with your Djing and Productions, how would you describe your style?

My tastes are always changing, but my style typically revolves around something melody driven. I like music in many different forms with regards to djing, but when it comes to my own productions, most people would probably say that I tend to keep a certain level of tonal harmony in there for good measure. This is generally the case with music I’ve released thus far, but who knows what tomorrow may bring. I’m trying not to have too stringent of a style, though as many producers might tell you, it’s hard to get away from yourself sometimes.

03...You have such a varied sound in your productions, who are your influences?

There are lots of influences of course, so I’ll just do the hit list off the top of my head:

Pink Floyd (favourite band in the world), Garbage, Hendrix, The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Depeche Mode, Peter Martin, Smashing Pumpkins, Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, etc. (there are surely many others that are huge influences both directly and indirectly).

04...What have you got coming up in the next few months with regards to releases and remixes?

I have a 3 track EP due out on the Proton Music label around the middle of this month and perhaps a remix or two on the same label. After that I have an EP called the "Androgynous Cats EP" which is due out on the Lost Language label in late March. Also, I’m working on another long term project, but not ready to speak too much about it at the moment. ;-)

05...What kind of tools do you use to make your tracks?

I’m pretty simple thus far. I use FL Studio, Acid Pro and an E-MU midi controller. I use these really old Creative Labs PC speakers to monitor my sound. I should probably upgrade to some real monitors, but I’m quite happy with everything else for the moment. It’s a seemingly simple, but quite effective setup for me.

06...Which Producers/DJs do you tip for 2007?

I have to say CPM from Argentina is making some great stuff these days and will definitely be a force to look out for. Other than that I can’t really be sure at the moment, but we’ll know soon enough.

07...What are your future goals set?

I want to start a band with a couple of my production partners and write good pop music/whatever we feel like writing. I want to learn another language or two, and I want to score a movie (preferably several movies). There are other goals, but I like to take on a small set of miracles first, then move on.

08...It's seems everyone these days is calling themselves a DJ. What do you think makes a good DJ?

I’m not the authority on what technically makes a good dj, but I think a good dj is someone who puts a level of work into it and treats it, in some respect, like a job. I think the best djs love to dj and, therefore, put in the wrench time to learn their records and how to best play the style of music they like to spin. In my opinion, being really into the music that you play and knowing all about it as well as the club crowds you play for is all a product of loving your job.

09...The scene has definitely progressed since you first started. What do you think about that?

I think it will continue moving, but not necessarily towards any one thing of course. The longer you are aware of what goes on in the scene, the more you realize that things come and go in cycles. For example; acid house has come and gone then come back again just as electro has, but when they come back into the "limelight" they are always changed by the listeners who are finally ready to make a statement of their own. I know I’m not finished listening to music yet and I’m certainly not finished writing music, just as the rest of the producers and soon-to-be producers in this world are constantly listening, discovering, and re-discovering old and new music alike. We all listen (to music and the world around us) and create art accordingly so these little bits come and go, but there will always be something new and different attached to the bits. I’m not sure if that answers your question or if I simply over-romanticized the answer, but I definitely tried. ;-)


10...What do you do when you are not behind the decks or in the studio?

I do things that are probably similar to what many people my age do. I watch a lot of movies and go out to the local pubs/clubs with my friends and drink beer and talk about music and other things we won’t vividly recall the next day. I spend time at my parents’ house when I can and I try to keep my apartment clean, but it doesn’t work too well because I certainly don’t want to spend too much time away from the studio and there are only so many hours in the day.... :-)

 

Thank you so much for this interview Derek. Keep pushing out your soundz!! I look forward to your Exclusive set for my show...Isle Groove,  this coming Saturday 10th Feb @ www.danceradio.gr 21:00 GMT / 16:00 EST

Sasha x

Ricky Stone Interview By Sasha Le Monnier aka C.O.U. Muzik January 07

Ricky Stone originally from Sheffield, U.K now residing in Hong Kong began his love for Dance Muzik & djing in the early 90’s spinning house and techno playing at raves across the U.K @ the legendary ‘The Eclipse Club’ & Amnesia. In the mid 90’s ‘Ministry Of Sound’ and ‘The Cross’, ‘Wobble’ and many more clubs were lucky enough to experience Ricky’s talent, a talent that then took him playing all over the world from Brazil to Argentina, South Africa, The Philippines to Hong Kong and Europe. In 2002 Ricky moved to Hong Kong to focus all his attention souly in the muzik, and it has paid if to great effect!! He productions and djing in 2004 has seen Ricky go ballistic where he is clearly a wanted Dj in every part of the world, not only for his releases like BT’s classic ‘Fibonacci Sequence’ Hybrids ‘Kids’ and the classic ‘Sueno Latino’, but for his technical skills behind the decks! In 2005 Ricky made it into the Dj Mag top 100 DJ’s @ No 48 and this year seen him go up to the top 40. He is a very hard working guy and rightly deserves a place in that TOP 100! For more info on Ricky Stone, you can visit his website @ http://www.djrickystone.com

 

First of all, let me start by thanking you for taken time out of your hectic schedule to do this interveiw for me...much respect to you Ricky! 




01...When you made it to Top 40 in Dj Mag top 100 DJ's, what was your reaction?

Yeah it was cool. I knew before the night already so it wasnt a big shock by then. I was more shocked the year before going in @ 48.

02...Some believe in Dj Mag Top 100 Dj's, some don't..your thought please and how has it helped you?

Oh for sure it opens up doors and has helped loads, since being in the top 100 for the past 2 or so years I have done many more countries, the top 100 is like a club owners bible in China for instance

03..You have released stuff in the past on labels like Mob / SeriousRecords / whoop / Distinctive/ Red Recordings under Ricky Stone and your other alias names 'Sinosine' with Dan F and 'Kaystone'. What wickedreleases / remixes can we look out for in 2007 and any other moniker names we should know about?

Lots going on with the release tip this year, Timo Garcia and myself havejust signed a track 'Control The Universe' to CR2. Dylan Rhymes and myself have signed one called 'Dooin Drugz' to a new San Fran based label called Bijou Beats , my track with Jamie Mchugh 'Yeah' is signed to Meat Katies Lot 49 imprint and finally 'Shanghai Taxi 2007' is coming back out as first release on my own new label 852 Recordings! Plus some other new tracks to surface after WMC..

04...Any plans for a cd compilation this year ?

Yes in the Summer, have a comp coming..

05...How different do you think your career would of turned out , if you hadn't of made the move to Hong Kong were you now reside.  You have a huge fan base over their! ?

Difficult to say but for sure it was a gravy move!

06...Do you have a studio in Hong Kong?

Yes

07...Any plans to run your own label?

Yes just launched actually! 852 Recordings - like I said first up is my 'Shanghai Taxi' 2007 Remix package. After this we have singles forthcoming from Dj Ralph from France, Mikael Jonasson with a track that features me on vocals! This is called 'Acid Tool' [My Mom Told Me] and then a big summer flava from Disciples of Sound

08..What gig's do you have @ the WMC this year?

Lot 49 Party, Pioneer and a pool thing, also maybe doing a 'off shore' boat trip type messy thing tbc


09..What is your current weapon of choice, either to move the dance floor or to change the direction of your set?

Too many to mention!

10...Name 3 things that float your boat besides dance music ?

Massage Sauna & Italian Food..

RS X

 

Interview with 16 Bit lolita's By Sasha Le Monnier aka C.O.U. Muzik (December 06)

Meet Peter Kriek & Ariaan Olieroock originally from New York, now residing in Amsterdam, Netherlands. They are known to be legendary and grandmasters @ chess. HANG ON A MINUTE!!!……….This is not the reason I have these two guy’s on my site!!, let’s talk about their production’s….heard of them, you should of, they go under the name of 16 Bit Lolita’s. These two are certainly no strangers to the dance scene having had a big amount of QUALITY releases on labels like Plastic Fantastic/ Deep Focus/ Shinichi and Cyber Records just to name a few! And not to mention their appearances on many cd compilation’s like GU Sharam Dubai / Dave Seaman Masters Series /Hernan Cattaneo Sequential /Balance 010 Jimmy van M….the list goes on! I would honestly say, that these guy’s are well on top of their game and a credit to the ever popular dance scene!

I was lucky enough to persuade them to take time out of their ever busy schedule to do this interview, which I am very grateful for!!

Thank you both very much, we look forward to your 2hr mix!! 

Sasha x

You can catch 16 Bit Lolita’s on my show this Saturday 9th december 06  at 9pm GMT / 4pm Est @ www.danceradio.gr

http://www.16bitlolitas.com

http://www.djsashalemonnier.com

 

01...How did you two guy's come to meet?

Our meeting was very much like the meeting of any random 2 persons who didnt
know eachother before. After we got
introduced we quickly found out we had similar ambitions and decided to start
making music.

02...Who was responsible for helping to create your style, who are your
influences?

We just started trying to make the music we wanted to hear on the dancefloor.
Took a little while for our sound to evolve
and as well for us to gain more experience being DJ's and making music for
the dancefloor.
We are influenced by many artists in many styles of music.

03...What do you have planned for the coming months, and any plans for an
album release?

We are going to do a lot of touring next couple of months, we'll be in
Hungary, Czech Republic, England, Mexico, Colombia, Egypt, Brazil, China,
Australia and we'll keep on playing in a lot of cool clubs around the world
to represent our sound.

We are currently busy with a lot of nice new tracks within different
projects. We have plans regarding our artist album but
we are in no hurry. We first have to be 100% happy with it and then find a
suitable home for it somewhere that we are also happy with.

04...You are responsible for so many releases under the name "16 Bit
Lolita's" do you go under any other production names, or are you planning
too?

We did 1 release as MK ultra project, helped out Demi with some releases, did
a remix with Behrouz, do the Ohmna tracks, produce music for Miss 9,
did some tracks with Jimmy van M, worked with Motorcycle, do a project
called 'Doppler Effect' together with Raz Nitzan from Fundamental recordings.
Basically we like to collaborate becuase it shows us different ideas and
different segments of the dance scene. We like to be diverse.

05...How does you understanding of the dance floor shape the tunes you
release?

Its tough to find a good balance between creating music for the dancefloor
and just creating music. We have become reasonably experienced
as DJ's and therefore have a good intuition what will work and what wont and
apply that to most all tracks we make. Sometimes that can get
in the way of just freely making tracks.

06...What new technology have you guy's been using lately?

We used to make all our music on old yamaha PSR keyboards and a Revox
taperecorder but now we started using a computer based sequencer.
Its all very technical for us, we were very used to the interface of the
yamaha keyboards but we try to follow the innovations of this day and age!

07...What is the difference between the U.K Club Scene and that of
Netherlands?

First of all the UK scene is based in the UK and the Dutch scene is based in
the Netherlands. But besides that obvious truth England has a much
healthier music culture and history then does Holland. So people in England
will be more open to things that people here in Holland already have
problems swallowing. In general we like playing outside Holland better then
in Holland.

08...Do you prepare your set's before you play out?

No we just check if CDs arent broken and if so we have to burn them again.

09...Tell us 3 things we don't know about 16 Bit Lolita's

- Aad & Peter were abducted by Aliens 3 months ago to perform an 8 hour set
in their mothership.

- They now have a residency there.

- 16 Bit Lolita's still consider Pluto a planet and do not agree with its
demotion!

10..What is the most funniest or embarrassing moment you have had?

Its very hard to say definitively which moment was the funniest because it is
very hard to remember all moments let alone to come up
with some kindof ranking system that is fool proof. We are happy to see such
nice response to our music from people worldwide and we will
continue to try to make music that comes from our hearts.

 

Interview with Parallel Sound By Sasha Le Monnier (C.O.U. Muzik) 24th October 06

Taste - Edinburgh

Pushing boundries with their funky and deep sound, these 2 guy’s...Musa Hove & Tim Lloyd, hailing from London (England) Parallel Sound are gracing the clubs worldwide with their excellent house and breaks tracks, which have been signed to labels like Bedrock / Sinister/ Whoop!/ Hope…just to name a few, the list goes on of QUALITY releases that Parallel Sound just keep coming up with, one after the other!! This gives me great pleasure to not only have them as my guest’s for my radio show, but also a wicked Interview , that they have taken time out of their busy schedule to do for me, and you, the reader / listener!!…Now you can only agree with me that these 2 guy’s are definitely up their with the best producers around within the dance scene at the moment IMO!!

1...With your very first release in April 2004 with "Stuck In My Head" , did you ever have any idea that your were going to be so successful and a household name in such a short period of time?

Household name, almost! We aren’t quite there yet, but things are picking up. We’re lucky in that there are two of us producing, so it has helped a lot in terms of getting productions out there. The strike rate seems to improve each year, and we’re getting plenty signed of late, but I think we’re just waiting for that huge tune!

2...You have 23 release including remixes under your belt signed to labels like Bedrock, Sinister, Whoop and Hope Recordings, what other wicked releases can our EDM lover’s look our for in the coming months?

Production wise, we’ve been doing a heap of remixes of late. So much so that’s its biting into our original production time! We’ve been doing a lot of remixes for Mark Wilkinson, who is having a stellar run of productions. He’s a fan of our housier side, so we’ll have three remixes out for him this year. We’ve finished one for Jaytech ‘Manipulator’ on Rapid Response, a few months back, which has just been released. But we’ve got a new one coming out on Segment Records in November called ‘Searching for Answers’, it’s a return to our tougher days, very deep track with huge bassline. After that we’ll be getting some more originals out in 2007.

3...Who would you most like to do a collaboration with, with regards to producing tracks and are there any in the future?

There are a load of great producers out there. We’d love to do collaborations, but its hard to nail down time with other producers some times, particularly if they aren’t in the same country! None currently in the pipeline, but we wouldn’t say no to the likes of Jaytech, Kenneth Thomas or Asle Bjorn. These are producers we like a lot at the moment.

4...Music creation:.. what happens in the studio? How do you start writing songs and do you have plans before you go in?

Believe it or not, we actually write most of our tunes separately. Our personal studio’s are on either side of London! Generally we just mess about until we get a bassline or beat we like and build from there. Some times you get stuck in a groove and cant actually structure a track, but generally we finish stuff over a few weeks. Genrally don’t have a plan before going in. The most frustrating thing is being out, getting a line in your head, and then not being able to put it straight down…

Good things happen when we get together though. Tim is the funky side, and Musa is the deep side, so when we come together for remixes, we meet in the middle. That’s why our tunes are pretty bouncy.

5...Name 3 of you favourite DJ’s and Producers…you can answer separately if you wish!

Eric Prydz (Brilliant Producer), Big Fan of a ‘Savers’ Set, and production wise again, Mashtronic are nailing it at the moment. Demi and Desyn Masiello are also great DJ’s.

6...Have you any plans to start your own label?

Funny you should say that. Its been on the cards for a while, but time has got the better of us. We’ve picked a name and booked the website, so should be up and running early 2007!

7...Name a place and club you would both love to play at and why?

I think we’re still holding out for Ibiza. Space would be awesome. Just to say we played there! Having said that though, we have Warung Beach coming up in Brasil next year. That’s going to be sweet!

8...Tools available today for djing are immense, from vinyl to cd and Ableton live, what kinds of tools are you using in your set’s at the moment?

Good time to ask! We’ve actually been playing live (only) for the last three years, using two Yamaha RS7000’s and a mixer. So its like a DJ set, but live instead. Now however, we’ve found we really want to play other peoples tunes, and we don’t always have time to remix them to play live. So we caved in and bought some decks. Best thing we ever did. This is actually our first recorded set with those. Its been working well in the clubs too. We sometime through in a laptop with some messed up tunes in Ableton just for fun…

9...John Digweed had recently asked you to feature on his Transitions show, you seem to be a firm favourite with diggers, what were your feelings when asked?

Very Very Happy. We’ve been going to Bedrock for years, as he’s definitely one of our favourite DJ’s. His mixing skills are spot on! He seemed to like our remix of his tune Santiago last year, so I think that helped. We’re hoping to get an original out on Bedrock at some stage, but they get a hell of a lot of good music sent to them!

10..Finally, what has been central to your success so far?

Staying best buddies…aaaawww. Truly though, we are very different people, from entirely different upbringings and walks of life, but we’re like brothers. We’ve had plenty of musical difference of opinions, but we always respect each others approach to music, and I think that’s what’s kept our music original, its only a good thing! That, and a lot of hard work…There’s too many DJ’s about these days, no one is going to gift you opportunities, you need to seek them!

Thanks!!! Tim and Musa

Massive Thanks to you both for putting together a mix and Interview for me and the rest of the clubbing world 

www.parallelsound.com

 

 

 

Interview For J & S Project By Sasha Le Monnier April 2006

 

I found J & S Project aka Angel J (aka Angelo VITALIANO) & Tony S (aka Antonio SMALDONE) POMPIE,  ITALY  a few years ago, and was automatically hooked on thier wicked "Wide House Sound" as they put it! Their muzik which range from blissfull mellow house, to the more dark twisted dirty progressive house. Their release have been played by all the top jocks from the man like Sasha to Steve Lawler. I am always looking out for their releases, they have never failed my record box yet, and here you will see just why that is!!!

 

01....You've just compiled an album for Global Underground, can you tell us more about it?

Well yeah! It has been really interesting to put together that series of J&S’s tracks. In fact it is not exactly an entire album, it is a collection of tracks produced in a long amount of time. Guys at Global Underground liked a lot of the tracks so they decided to do a big release with all these tracks. This number will include the digital exclusive release of HIT (the one featured on Steve Lawler’s mixed CD) and MISSING, already released on GU ‘Synchronised’ CD. You will find there several kinds of sounds, from ambient to downtempo, from progressive to techy stuff. It is appear to be a nice trip!

02...You have also had releases on labels like CO2 Rec/Contrast Records/Adjust Recordings...What other future releases/remixes should we be looking out for apart from the album?

Well, should be nice if you’d give a look to our remix of Subsky –RAINMAN-, out now on Only Records, a really great label from Romania. Also, we are working to make new stuff for CO 2 Rec. Usually labels want us to do a follow up! It is good! Ehehehe!!! And, other important releases…hmm…our track DEEP DIAPHRAMS, one of our most famous tracks, charted and hammered a lot by James Zabiela. It will be out on Helvetica Noir, a nice Australian label. Also, we’re waiting for the release of our bootleg remixes of The Gladiator Soundtrack, eheheh, a lot of people are waiting for it! It has been in all Moshic recent mixes and Charted on DJ MAG; we have been really happy with that project! And…we are preparing another bootleg remix! More to come!

03...You have djed alongside likes of Matthew Dekay, Moshic, Anthony Pappa and Ozgur Can. Can you tell us your Highlight so far?

Each one of these djs is a great man, first of all! Then they are really great djs, with a great personality, everyone in his own way; and they have an incredible impact on the crowds! We learned a lot by their personality and music styles.

04...As you tend to do live set's when you play out, can you say what equipment you take with you, to make your set's sound more interesting?

Yeah! The live set is a really important part of our project, We’re always developing it. We usually bring with us our Vinyls and CDs, and we use also a synthesizer, i.e. the Virus TI Polar, a FX unit i.e. Alesis INEKO and an Alesis AIR FX. We prefer Pioneer CDJs 200 and a nice Allen&Heath Xone mixer. We’re working to improve our live performance, gonna add some other toys soon.

05...What destination’s always makes great gigs?

No doubts! A nice 500 people underground club! And when we say Underground…well…we really mean UNDER-GROUND!!! lol!!!

06...Your Track "Hit" was Featured on Steve Lawler’s Light's Out 3 on Global Underground, can you tell us how you felt, when you found out it was picked as a track for his mix?

We have been really surprised! It was an ‘experiment track’! We didn’t think it could have been good for such an important compilation, and for a single release on Global Underground 12" Vinyl. Just this, surprised and proud!

07...Explain to us why both of you work so well together, who has what input?

Well…it is a strange alchemy!!! lol!!! Really cant explain…maybe, the fusion of 2 musician ears with 2 dj ears does the thing. That’s the trick. We can fuse pumping dance floor friendly grooves with nice melodies and sounds, or, at least, that’s what we try to obtain.

08...Who are your Favourite Dj's and Labels at the Minute, can you name 3 each?

Well!!! It is really hard to name just 3…we will try!

DJs: Christian Cambas, Moshic, Flavio Vecchi.

Labels: Only Records (Romania), Adjust Recordings (UK), Contrast Records (IS).

Phew!!! lol!!!

09...DJ Mag Top 100, what do you make of it?

Honestly!?!? We don’t like how does it work…we don’t know how does it work…but we’d really like to stay in there!!! Lol!!!

10...What is your Opinion on the latest minimal electro sound that is currently sweeping the clubs worldwide, have you been incorporating it into your set's?

Well, it is an interesting music wave/sound…if u know what I mean. We listen to a lot of different kinds of music, from rock to jazz to classical or electronic and so on. So we find exciting to listen to some good Minimal stuff too, but we don’t usually include that kind of tracks in our sets. Thinking at the Dance industry we’re sad about the fact that a lot of people did follow that minimal wave as a cliché, so there are a lot of low quality releases in that kind of music. Minimal-electro dance music lately appears to be just a ‘trendy/fashion’ phenomenon; it doesn’t appear like an artistic expression, what a music genre should be, in the end.

Angelo & Tony

J&S Project

www.jsrecords.com

Massive Thanks to the both of you!!! for taking time out to do this Intervew and Exclusive 2 hour mix for me and the listeners on Scratch n Spin radio

Mike Hiratzka Interview done by Sasha Le Monnier (C.O.U Muzik) 18th Febuary 2006

Going back a good  few years ago, i came across some tracks from a guy called Mike Hiratzka, i put his track/vinyl on my decks and was blown away by the quality of the production, which has seen him have releases on labels like (Spundae / Altenative Route / Influx Audio/ Bliss Recordings) and many more, too many to mention. To this day i have been an avid fan of his work, and continue to hammer his music in my set's. I could runt & rave about him all night, but you only need to read this interview to realise what a talented individual he is, whether he is Producing, djing or playing an instrument, !!! I am so Stoked, that Mike has taken time out of his busy schedule to not only do me a 2 hour mix for my "In-depth Session's" show This Thursday 23rd Febuary 06 on http://www.scratchnspin.net ,  but has also taken the time to do this Interview i put to him. THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!

 

01. When did it all begin? What made you get into DJing and producing?

I moved to Orlando, FL in 1994 to go to Full Sail, where I received a degree in recording engineering. I started going out to clubs on the weekends with my roommate from school, Phil Morrison (he later worked for Twilo, also produced a track on one of Lee Burridge’s comps), including the Edge and Firestone. Our first night having it large was Sasha at Firestone, Halloween night 1994. Sam Mollison also did a live show that night; we had a blast, and met some amazing people who quickly became like family. We were hooked. Within two months we were buying records, since that was the only way to get the latest tunes other than mix tapes (remember those?), and we used to listen to them one at a time on Phil’s stereo. We decided pretty quickly that it was a crap way to listen to tunes, so we went in with some friends and bought decks, and had them at our place. We used to play for hours a day, trying to get better as quickly as possible so we could spare our friends the misery of hours of train wrecks and shoes in the dryer at after-hours. Within a few months I was decent enough that my friends asked me to open up a club night that they were throwing, and I guess the rest is history.

I started out engineering for other people after I graduated from school, I guess word got around that I knew what I was doing (I didn’t) and eventually got hooked up with Andy Hughes, a legendary Florida DJ/producer. I had done some projects with his boy DJ Sandy, and we ended up doing quite a few records together over the next couple of years. In about 1998 Andy asked me to be the head engineer for his label, so I basically spent as much time in the studio as possible learning the gear and fine-tuning my production skills. I built my own studio at home in 2000, and have been making records ever since.

 

02. You have had well over 20 odd remixes and releases, including CD comps as well, production wise, what current projects are you working on? Any collaborations?

I’ve been doing live shows with D:Fuse for the past 6 months or so; I play guitar, bass and keyboards over top of his DJ mix, and he plays drums as well. It’s really a fun show, and we’ve been fortunate to play some great gigs so far. We’re trying to bring a different element to the traditional DJ set, and soon we are hoping to develop this into a live band format, so I’ve been writing tunes along that line. At the moment we’re getting some new material prepared for WMC; I am also working on some solo original tunes and planning collaborations with Trent Cantrelle, Eve Falcon, and Danny Cheung, who has been my main writing partner for about a year now. Danny just scored a platinum record and single for working on Mary J. Blige’s new albumÉ word! I have a few remixes coming out soon, and am trying to negotiate a release for the Hiratzka & Kazell remix of Deepsky – ‘Ghost’, which I think is one of the best tracks I’ve ever worked on. I really hope will make it out one of these days!

 

03.What’s it like, producing with Kazell? And how did you two come to work together?

I met Kevin a few years ago in Miami at WMC, and again when I was DJing for Spundae in LA. I mentioned to him that I’d be up for having him out to Orlando for some studio sessions, and a few months later he called and took me up on that. Our first sessions went really well, we ended up writing ‘Prime’ and half of ‘Reaction’. He came back out a month or so later, and we finished ‘Reaction’ and did a remix for Sinead O’Connor, which never got released, but we later re-did it and it came out as ‘In Your Eyes.’ I moved to LA a short time later in 2003, and we ended up releasing a few singles for Desyn Masiello and Jody at Alternative Route, as well as on Lost Language and Kev’s label Influx. During that time I also mixed and engineered Kev’s first compilation CD, Driven for Velocity Records. Unfortunately, we had a bit of a falling out about a year ago, so we haven’t done anything since.

 

04. Who has inspired you over the years?

Initially, I used to listen to mix tapes by Andy Hughes a lot, also Dave Cannalte, who was one of the founders of the Orlando scene along with Kimball Collins. Kimball was the man back then, and threw down some of the most wicked sets I have ever heard. One night (I think it was in 1995) he closed after Sasha, who played an incredible set, and it left us all wondering how Kimball could possibly follow it up. He came on and absolutely rocked the house; I think he played from 7 in the morning until well after 11 AM. At the end there was still a full dance floor, and people were chanting “Kimball! Kimball!” It’s moments like those that keep me doing this still today. Other early influences on the DJ side of things include John Digweed, Sasha and Paul Van Dyk. A few years later I met Lee Burridge, who really made me understand that a DJ set could encompass more than just one style of music, and that it’s possible to rock the house and play a wide variety of tunes rather than just following the old prog mentality of constantly building a set from start to finish. Lee was the first DJ I ever experienced who would throw in “left turns” at just the right moment, and watching the crowd’s reaction was a watershed for me, it really changed the way I approach DJing and the way that I think about dance music in general. Much respect and love for Lee, he’s ace.

On the production side, my first big influences were records like Blue Amazon – ‘Four Seasons’, Tilt – ‘I Dream’ and Quivver – ‘Twist and Shout’. They pretty much defined the sound that I wanted to emulate- big room, driving progressive house that was immaculately produced and mixed. I wish I could take everyone back in time to the main room at Firestone, so you all could hear those records on that sound systemÉ wow. A few years later, I was roommates with Jesse Skeens (Medway), who really helped me understand the art of mixing music, and to learn the art of critical listening. At the same time I was living with Jesse, I had my studio in a house that Scott Dixon (Voyager) was renting, so I had two excellent producers to watch and learn from; those guys really helped me become the producer that I am today.

 

05...What has been you’re most memorable DJing gig, and the highlight for you so far?

I’ve been fortunate to travel quite a bit over the years, and some of my favorite gigs include playing in Lima, Peru; Hong Kong; Santiago, Chile; the original Space in Miami; doing the entire night in the main room at Crobar in Miami with my good friend Jon Cowan; the infamous Technobabble parties that pretty much launched my DJ career in Florida in the mid 90’s; and opening for Erick Morillo at Spundae in LA to an absolutely packed house- awesome crowd, great room, and the most comfortable DJ booth I’ve ever played in.

 

06. Which do you prefer, the more intimate club setting, or a festival-type atmosphere?

I definitely prefer playing at clubs. I like to see the people I’m playing for, it helps me read their faces and control the flow of energy on the dancefloor. I don’t like being too disconnected from the dancefloor; for me it’s all about the energy that I put into my set, and how that is felt by the crowd and returned to me by their reactions to the music. That synergy is what really makes magical moments happen, and what keeps me wanting to DJ after all these years.

 

07. A lot of DJs are adopting Ableton into their productions and live shows. What are your thoughts? Do you plan to incorporate as well? Or are you a vinyl man?

I haven’t used Ableton that much, it’s pretty cool and has some wicked features but I haven’t found a need to include it in my production arsenal just yet. I think people should use whatever helps them deliver music to the crowd in the manner they see fit, though I do think that laptop shows are pretty boring to watch. I play all CDs these days, mostly because I like to re-edit pretty much everything that I play before it goes into my CD book. I re-arrange things, take parts out, add in new percussion or keyboard elements, and design the mix-ins and outs to fit my mixing style. It sometimes takes hours to get one track just right, but I think it’s worth the effort in order to bring people the best music that I possibly can.


08. Are you looking forward to the WMC 06 and any gigs there?

So far I have 3 shows confirmed in Miami – on Thursday, March 23, D:Fuse and I are doing the live show for the Wet Grooves party at the Albion Hotel in the afternoon, then that night I’m DJing at Tantra for the People Rising Up event with D:Fuse, Groovefire and Jay Prouty from RISE in Boston. On Saturday, March 25, D:Fuse and I are doing the live show, along with MC Flint, on the main stage at the Ultra Music Festival. There are a couple of other shows waiting to be confirmed; I’m re-doing my website at the moment and hopefully will have everything posted on there before WMC – www.mikehiratzka.com.

 

09. Who are your favourite producers right now, and 3 favourite tracks at present?

I really dig Trentemoller, Booka Shade, John Dahlback, Trent Cantrelle, King Unique, Soul Mekanik, and D-Nox & Beckers at the moment; they’re all making some wicked tunes. Another guy to watch out for is Ben Macklin, who is one half of Sucker DJs; he did a bootie of Stevie Nicks – ‘Edge of Seventeen’ that is the sickest thing I have heard in a long time. It’s my favorite record right now, and I don’t even have a copy of it! Trent played it for me on New Years Day at an after party, but it’s being re-done right now with a different vocal so SR2 isn’t letting the cat out of the bag just yet. I’m still really into the Trentemoller remix of Sharon Phillips – ‘Want 2/Need 2’, which came out last year but is still an amazing, cutting edge piece of music; and the Mark Knight remix of John Dahlback – ‘Nothing is For Real’, which has a killer, nasty synth stab that gets me every time.

 

10. Pacha (New York) was shut down by police on its opening night. Are the police to strict since the R.A.V.E act was passed? Your views?

I hadn’t heard about this yet, though it doesn’t surprise me since the city government there has had an anti-club mentality since Rudy Giuliani was in office. I have seen several cities go through a period of time when the clubs suffer the wrath of political conservatives and scathing media blitzes that really blow the negative aspects of club life out of proportion. It’s unfortunate, but I think in the end people are always going to want to dance, so clubs and clubbers will find a way to make things work within the confines of society at large, even if it requires some re-structuring and re-defining of the scene itself.

 

 

 

For more info on his releases and gig's why not visit these site's

http://www.myspace.com/djmikehiratzka

http://www.mikehiratzka.com

Long may your djing and hot production's continue

 

 

 

Paolo Mojo Interview

The night Paolo Played!!! 28th January 06

 

                  

The night of the Paolo Mojo gig @ Pure nightclub (Jersey), began with a body of oscillating clubber’s all feeling the sumptuous sounds of Jersey’s legendary d.j promoter Craig Alder (Coastal Beats / Pandemic), who played a stunning mix of techy, punchy, deep and full of feel house muzik, whilst warming up for the mighty Paolo Mojo, who was soon to take to the deck’s and effect’s nonchalantly swigging his beck’s in preparation for 2 hours of musical bliss, with an eclectic mixture of all sorts of old-skool & new-skool sounds superfluously mixed with punchy raw beats, acid tongued lick’s and spits and swirling sounds, which nailed you to the dance floor. The set built like a rocket ship to explode into sexy break beat and uplifting vocals, which sent everyone out the club smiling and humming the last tune. Luckily for us the night did not end there, after party afoot we clambered into the motor and headed hotfoot to our next venue, to be warmly greeted by the tough, but funky sounds of up and coming d.j Steve Ferbrache, who set the tone given the time and kept the crowd receptive and on the dance floor with his choice sounds in time to pass on the baton to a distinguished campaigner of Jersey house muzik d.j / producer Stuart King (Sunday Club), who played a balanced selection of house muzik mixed in his own delectable silky smooth flowing and building style to warm up again for none other than Paolo, for his second set for the morning session. During stu’s set my better half Sasha Le Monnier (C.O.U Muzik) d.j / producer had the pleasure and honour of Interviewing the very accommodating and personable down to earth Mr Mojo in the confines of our freezing cold car, which only afterwards were we informed by Promoter Craig Alder, that there was a centrally heated luxury apartment for this purpose and Paolo’s beauty sleep later that day. In the meantime Stuart’s set drew to a close, for a very cold Paolo & Sasha to arrive in the building in time for Paolo to play his early morning easy on the ear ideal for 04.00am set perfect for the time, warm and full of feeling with a still keen crowd swaying and bouncing smiling and having fun, with the like’s of Jon Carter (Fabric / Bugged Out) partying with the rest of the die hard’s on the dance floor along with Jersey promoter d.j / producer Warren Le Seuer who by all account’s had a successful night with Jon Carter at the Watersplash and all those participating enjoyed the last of what both night’s had to offer. It was at this point 05.00am, when my friend Dave looked at me with his good eye and said, you got eye’s like a salamander and from looking in the toilet mirror I had to agree and thought it prudent to get a ride home, safe in the knowledge and feeling content and happy with my lot. Well done to all those involved ,the memory will be cherished for as long as my shot to ribbons memory will retain it.

 

Hit the play button to hear the Interview..........Check back in the next day or two, i'm working on getting the audio sounding better. Interview By Sasha Le Monnier

Peace out ! James Leaman & Sasha Le Monnier (C.O.U Muzik)

 

                       

For more info on Paolo Mojo, why not visit his site below

http://www.paolomojo.com

Interview Question's By James Leaman & Sasha Le Monnier (C.O.U Muzik)

Interview Done By Sasha Le Monnier

RND Interview By Sasha Le Monnier 17th November 05

RND...... (Looq Records)

 Are Robert Palazuelos and David Gropper.... Sanfrancisco Bay area based electronic music producers and dj's. They are well known for top-shelf progressive electronic dance music, and have performed in the US, Europe and Japan.

I am honoured, to have been givien a piece of RND's time for this Interview.  I have been a very big fan of their production work and have enjoyed watching the crowd's reaction's when i drop their tunes, as their tracks can only be described as Masterpiece's. Their material has been hammered from the like's of Sasha using "Ripples" in his set at Creamfiels, in front of 30,000 people. To Digweed, Jerry Bonham, Seaman, Warren, Sander Kleinenberg, Jondi & Spesh (Looq Records Owners), Layo & Bushwacka, Jonathan lisle, Andy Jarrod the list goes on!!

You can catch RND doing a special 2 hour Guest mix, for my show.....In-depth Session's @ Scatch N Spin Radio on 24th November 05

11pm to 1am GMT
   3pm to 5pm PST
   6pm to 8pm EST

01...How did RND come about?……

Rob - We both met in a Japanese film class at UC Berkeley in California. Dave and I started making tracks with an Mpc 2000 and a Korg Z1. I also remember getting hooked on a lot of deep progressive tracks while spinning at Dave’s apartment. I don’t remember furniture back then. Just record bins.

DaveI recall being in Japanese 185 at UC Berkeley and hearing the words “John Digweed” spoken by somebody in a group of students conversing behind me. So naturally being the obsessive Diggers fan that I am I said, “Did somebody say Digweed?” (Are you listening John?) Things kind of went from there. I remember lots of pizza and cookies. Somewh ere along the line I managed to get a university degree as well.

02...When you started to Produce as RND who were your influences?…..

     Rob - We were both influenced a lot by Satoshi Tomiie, James Holden. I love Shpongle

Dave - Well I’d been djing for quite some time when Rob and I met, and already had an extensive electronica collection, but I think our desire to produce tracks together was cemented when we agreed that Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero” was the world’s first famous trance track. Party like it’s 1928! Of course many other more modern influences were also involved – Holden, Tomiie, and Shpongle of course as Rob mentioned, as well as Shakta, Van Bellen, Smith and Selway, Solar Stone, Robert Miles (duh), Art of Trance and all that classic Platipus wax, Oliver Lieb, Lucien Foort, Diggers and Nick Muir, classic Sasha tunes (chew that Qat!), Noel Sanger, Chris Fortier, Steve Porter (ever heard his remix of Luigi’s Jet Black? Man, I love obscure records), Parks and Wilson (Tilt – I Dream…..yeah), the lis t could go on and on. I forced Rob to listen to a lot of old trance records over the years – I love B-sides of old trance tunes that nobody remembers; that kind of stuff has been a big influence for me. And of course we are heavily influenced by 80’s New Wave and decadent 70’s prog rock.

03...Who would you most like to work with, and why?

Rob - I'd love to work with Trevor Horn and Rick Ruben because their production techniques inspire me, I'd love to play with Paco de Lucia to feel alive, I'd love to jam with Flea to let it all out, I'd love to compose with John Williams because he wrote the music of my childhood.


DaveI’d like to work with Tom Holkenberg (Junkie XL), Charlie May, Oliver Lieb, James Holden, and Nathan Fake all on the same track. Wouldn’t everybody buy that? Chris Micali, Christian Cambas, and Union Jack can do remixes. I’d also like to have Seal lay down some vocals, and have Terry Brown (engineer for Rush) watch over my shoulder as I mix and master. Dream Theater could provide so me guitar and bass riffs, while Wendy Carlos would help out with synth programming. We are taking donations for the production budget if anybody wants to help out.


04..What is your greates achievment so far?

Rob - I think our greatest achievement was getting Ripples signed on Looq Records and watching that song take off. I was in Tokyo when it was getting played by a lot of big names, and it was nice to see our records last less than a few weeks on the shelves.

Dave – I would say our greatest achievement was getting any music written at all given the thousands of miles between us for much of the time we’ve been writing music together. That said, having Sasha drop our first track at Creamfields in front of 30,000 people wasn’t half bad
.

05...Who is your favourite act and label, doing it for you both at the moment?

Rob - Favorite act for dance music would have to be Sensei, here in San Francisco. Pressing play and twisting knobs is one thing, but jamming to the beat like he does is impressive to me. I liked Eve Records because th ey were the only records in my collection that I would play both sides in the same set.

Dave – I like what Grayarea has been doing – they put the punk rock in progressive but they are dangerously close to becoming (*gasp*) a real band. As far as straight-up dance is concerned I think Nathan Fake has been putting out some wicked stuff, and the Greek scene has been putting out some great tracks by Christian Cambas, G-Pal, and the like. Back here in the States we’ve got some serious talent too – Chris Micali in Boston, the Baggage Handlers in Texas put out a banger called “Vaportrail” on Proton Music, and there’s a lot of interesting digital-only tracks out there now. We of course still love vinyl too. It is a little heavy though. Warning: Contents in the overhead bins may shift during flight. Thunk
!

06...How do you approach a new track? do you start with making a drum loop then build from there or is it a synth, bassline or maybe a vocal? or something else? do you still have a lot of unfinished tracks on your hard drive?

Rob - We approach tracks from every direction. Sometimes a beat, sometimes a pad, or a melody. Vocals are usually put on last, like icing on a cake. We have tons of unfinished tracks. Probably over a hundred. Some tracks are learning experiences, some are launch pads ready to go.

    Dave – Now if we could only finish some of them instead of always starting new stuff. :P

07...What quality's do you admire in each other, and how does this combination help when producing the new tracks?


Rob - Dave is the greatest DJ I've ever seen, and his musical knowledge is unearthly. We are both capable of piloting the studio, so the confidence we have is untouchable. Dave's always surprising me with new production techniques he's learned, and I'm always staying productive as well when we're away from the studio. More than half of our work was done when I was in Tokyo and Mito in Japan and Dave was in SF. Now we're working on all cylinders, pushing the limits of ourselves and the machines. Its just a matter of time before we need to chain a bunch of used WOPR supercomputers that say, "Do you want to write a song?"

Dave – Rob is just a musicians’ musician. I can always count on him to come up with great musical ideas, riffs, etc. and we sort of work off of each other’s energy. I do something, he does something, back and forth – and pretty soon we have music. He’s also done wonders in keeping me motivated during periods of writer’s block – he is very encouraging even when I feel like a complete hack. That said, I can’t believe what this guy can do with a guitar. I just punch computer keys and mix records – he actually plays those things called “instruments” that people used to use before we had software synthesizers.

08...When was the last time you djed together and what has been your best night?

DaveWell, we have been focusing on studio work this year so there hasn’t been a lot of djing going on. I left my residency in San Francisco last year and since then it’s been mostly production going on for RND(). I would say our best gig together was closing the infamous Qool party at 111 Minna in 2004 – I dug way deep in the crates for some cheeky old trance and everybody loved it. Complete pandemonium.

09..Who are your favourite dj's and why?

       Rob - Jerry Bonham. He rocks, and he's the nicest guy.

DaveOf course we love Jerry – he’s one of our longest supporters. He was hammering our tracks even before we first got signed to Looq Records. I have immense respect for Spesh as well as a dj – he really knows his crowd and his records. And I couldn’t do this interview without mentioning Diggers and The Man Like… I think also the US has a lot of unsung DJ talent in the prog arena.

10...How have you enjoyed the changed, now with the digital era now taking over?

DaveDigital? Bleah. Only optoelectronic compressors, tube preamps, reel-to-reel tape, and vinyl for us. Seriously, we love vinyl and spin mostly wax, but we recognize the importance that the digital era has for music producers. It really shortens the path between the producer and the dj, as well as the casual listener – I hope that people who go to clubs and hear tracks that they like actually go to sites like Beatport, EDM Digital, 3Beat, and Fiberline Audio and download the tracks legitimately. Unfortunately I think that’s a ways off – there’s still lots of Soulseeking and whatnot going on but that’s a double-edged sword

 

Sasha Le Monnier-- I would just like to say a massive thank you, to the pair of you, for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this Interview for me. I’m really looking forward to your 2 hour guest mix on my show…..In-depth Session’s on the 24th November 05 @ http://www.scratchnspin.net.

Best wishes for the future and keep up the fantastic work with the tracks. Long may it continue!!!

Sasha x

Jason Randolph Interview By Sasha Le Monnier 18th October 2005

I have had great pleasure talking with Jason, and thrilled to interview him as I have bought and played his releases to date which are an eclectic mix of all things house and even trance, written and produced in his own unique style, which I’m sure you will agree makes for heart felt listening. He music has been getting superb support from the worlds top jocks including Steve Lawler, John Digweed, Sasha, Hernan Cattaneo, Nic Fancuilli, Pete Tong, Seb Fontaine, Plump DJ's & more.... He has also had 3 of his remixes make the top ten in the US BILLBOARD DANCE CHARTS over the past couple of months. These were Jason's remixes of ALYSON, KELLY OSBOURNE, and TOY (Latotah Jackson).

Jason will be doing a special guest mix for the second part of  my show...In-depth Session's 27th October on http://www.scratchnspin.net   from 

  11pm to 1am GMT
   3pm to 5pm PST
   6pm to 8pm EST

01....Your originally from Los Angeles (U.S.A) but you reside in London, what brought you to the U.K?

Well, I am originally from Boston, moved to LA, then 8 years later moved to London. I am back in LA now, but will be in the UK soon. I just find that for the style of music I make, there is no better place to be than the UK. It seems to be the crossroads of Europe, and has such a great vibe and great people. I really feel energized when I am there, and the records I make there seem to just sound better to me

02...When did you decide to write and produce music and what made you get into it?

This is kind of a funny story. I grew up as a guitar player and hated any music made with keyboards and drum machines. I thought it took no talent and was boring. I had just graduated Uni and was listening to the local college radio when I heard Opus 3’s "when you made the mountain". I was stunned, went out the next day bought the cd, listened through the whole thing and said, "I have to make this kind of music". At the time I was also working as security in a couple clubs in Boston and I always noticed the feeling I had when they were testing out the fog machines and the lights and the dj was warming up. I left an impression on me. So with my college credit cards in hand, I proceeded to spend around $3000 on keyboards, samples and the lot. Lets just say for the next 6 months I spent a lot of time alone in my basement reading manuals. I had no one to teach me how this stuff worked so I just had to sort it. There was no internet (really) there was no software tutorials, and people around where I was didn’t really make this stuff. But II was so into it 6 months after I started I had my first remix released and the records went to #26 on the billboard dance charts. Well, that was it for me, packed up and moved to LA

03...What has been your biggest influences?

Well, when I was in Boston, I fell in with the X-mix crew and the Masspool DJ’s. Both are local to Boston and back then were right in the thick of the dance music biz. So listening to what Armand van Helen was doing was a real influence. His manager kept telling me I had the flavor, and that really kept me going. My early stuff was just that "Early" J so I needed all the support I could get. X mix would throw me remixes to work on, even though they never liked any of them, I would get good critical feedback like " YOUR DRUMS SUCK" or "WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?" hehe

04...Who would you most like to work with and why?

Well Prob trent reznor… We think the same melodically, Morrissey cause he is great, ummmm A good manager ? lol

05..What has been the highlight for you so far?

Probably hearing my tracks being played in super clubs. That is the payoff for me, people enjoying my music.. That’s why I make it.

06...What was your first dj gig like?

Hmmmmm, it was fine… Was shaking, could barely putt the needle on the record but after a few beers It was okay.

07...How has music shaped your life?

Well, the only thing I have done constantly in my life is music in one form or another. Music is a critical factor for me, and I will always be making and listening to it.

08...How has the digital era changed your way on music?

It is really a different world now. From things like transferring my finished mix to a label over the net to storing all my sample on my computer and pushing them to the sampler, its so much easier J I mean, I still have floppy disks everywhere with my old AKAI files, zip drives ez disks, I bet I would find some great sounds if I went through that stuff. But yeah I finish a track and can bring it to a club and play it. That is revolutionary. I mean in the olden days of 1993-4 if you could AFFORD a DAT machine, they were too big to bring to a club. The only way was to get a test press and that means getting signed. So you had no idea what your music "sounded" like. Its so easy now, but I think this is both good and bad. The whole software thing has changed the way music sounds indeed. So many people are now able to get some stolen software and loop some beats together, that t just is flooding the market with CRAP. Labels wait to choose between 23 FREE remixes instead of getting a pro do 1 really good mix. But on the positive side, some of the new tools are simply incredible to someone who knows what it was like before. Editing vocals, recording, sample manipulation is so powerful now, I don’t know how we survived in the olden days J

09...With success on many labels, what is the plan for the future?

Get  myself back to the U.K, plan on being on tour for summer 2006 and make some people dance  i have been getting back into guitar in a majoy way also, look out for this  on my next few releases.

10...What is the best piece of advice someone has given you?

Start making music the REAL WAY. Learn what a sampler is, what as ynth is do not start with only sofware. It is to easy to give up if you have  nothing invested.....Also, do not expect that your first few tracks are going to sound like anything other than shit. It takes time to get good at this. Furthermore, hook up with people who are into the music and create a little "crew." That way you can bounce off each other, put together parties and make a scene. This is something that will keep you going when you hit hard times. This extends beyond musicians too. Hang out with creative people who might have a different perspective: artists, dancers, and writers. You really need a strong community to support you when you get down and temperamental. My best friend (the writer Stephanie Pullen) knows some of the shit I go through and sometimes it just takes a simple phone call for me to get my head together again. The rest of the world won't understand what you are doing and why you MUST do it. So if you find a few people that do, hang onto them. Finally, get as much feedback as you can on what you are doing but take it with a grain of salt. Some people will just be haters, but you should always try to see the positive and grow from it.

 

Thank you very much for your time Jason, and long may you keep pushing your sounds out!!!

Why not visit Jason's Website for a list of his Discography http://www.jasonrandolph.com/

 

Interview With Mr C By Pete De Momme

Mr C - Crossing the musical subterrain 

International DJ, innovative producer, founder of Plink Plonk, Shamen frontman and co- owner of The End, emerged as a pioneering force in the house music scene in 1987 and has continued to be instrumental in the proliferation of dance music on a global scale.

His commitment to experimentation and credibility in setting the standards for sophistication in all sub-genres of dance music has earned him world-wide prestige as he endeavours to take the sounds of the underground to new and more accessible heights.

We managed to get him to take some time out from his hectic schedule to talk to us about the dance scene, from it's incarnation to it's current state today.

1. You played at the legendary RIP parties in Clink St, London. What are your memories of those times and parties?
My memories are of complete hedonism! People from every walk of life, every race, colour & creed. From the ugliest to the prettiest to the god damn wierdest people all going nuts to new sounds called House, Techno, Acid & Garage.1988.....Those were crazy days indeed.

2.
After the acid house boom, you joined The Shamen. What are your favourite memories of your time with the band?
I have lots of great memories of my time with the Shamen. Having the pleasure to work with the genius song writer that is Colin Angus will always stand out. Also headlining the NME stage on Saturday night at Glastonbury Festival in 1993 was amazing. Tens of thousands of peoples all on the same vibe 'avin it' with us was quite an awe inspiring experience.
The thing i'll tell the grandchildren about though when i'm old & even more grey than i already am is winning the Ivor Novelo for song writers of the year putting us into that exclusive list of the Beetles, Eurithmics, etc. etc.

3.
Were you surprised at the controversy that Ebeneezer Goode created when it was released?
Not at all surprised. The song was written to cause that controversy. What makes me laugh is people still didn't get it. Listen to the track again paying attention to the verses instead of the chorus' & drop the H in the word HE, you get a whole different story . Cockney's drop their H's so emphesising a cockney accent makes the track become ambiguous. What a laugh!

4. When you and Layo decided to open The End, what were your main goals. How did you want your club to stand out from the rest?
It wasn't difficult at the time to make a club stand out from the rest. Club land in 1995-7 before was pretty dire, Most clubs had crap sound systems, were not air conditioned, the drinks were crap, security were thugs & they even used to turn off the water taps in the toilets to stop people drinking the water. The music in the clubs back then was also lowest common denominator worm fodder too so crap all round. Our goals were to change all that by setting up a state of the art dance club that was to become the blue print for modern clubbing in London. Sound, lights, service, everything had to be perfect & for sure it helped raise the standard for Clubbing & DJ Bars in London. It would be hard to imagine what London club & bar culture would be like if it weren't for The End blueprint.....Mission accomplished.

5. Your Subterrain residency at The End was legendary, but you chose to move away from this in 2003 and start Superfreq. How do the two nights differ musically?
Subterrain was a Techno & house night of the most cutting edge & specialist nature with a very serious yet up for it crowd.
Superfreq is an Electronic House night, still cutting edge but not so serious, in fact the crowd are down right daft & a hell of a lot of fun. Superfreq is also more female friendly because of the glam attitude of the night.

6. How do you feel about the new technology available to DJs today, do you think it takes any of the skill out of DJing? Have you used or would you ever use applications like Final Scratch and Ableton Live?
Ableton Live 4 looks pretty posh though i haven't had the chance to use it yet.... this looks revolutionary.
I'm not a fan of Final Scratch though because it sounds crap. MP3s squashed into little files that sound like digital noise with no soul....yuk! I've spun after Final Scratch DJs a few times & every time the crowd has gone nuts the second i start to mix in a proper record (Vinyl) because it sounds a million times better even to the untrained ear. I do use CDs but only until the said tracks are available on vinyl at which point i switch. i'm up for all formats & new technology if it's as good or better sounding than what i already use. I will not compromise my sound to be cool & trendy with new software etc.

7. As you've been at the front of the UK scene since it's inception, do you think the dance music scene has changed for better or worse as it has become more commercial?
For the better. Back in 1988 there couldn't have been more than 5000 in the whole of London that were into this scene but now there's millions of ravers all over the world & sure the scene is commercial but as with every commercial scene there must be an underground & ours is thriving all over the world. Fantastic labels & DJs from every corner of the globe & it just keeps getting better. Some people say it's not as good as it used to be but that's just because they're getting old & tired.

8. What do you think about the DJ mag top 100 poll?
The DJ Mag top 100 poll?...... what's that?
No.... joking aside, isn't it funny how the children love to vote for their favourite trance DJs? When they grow up not only do they stop voting but they also develop taste getting into music of more integrity..........& something else, do you know that these cheese ball DJs actually canvas for votes in the same way politicians do...... Don't these jerks have anything better to do? Imagine if the decent DJs were to canvas, everything would change overnight & trance would die a very quick death.

9. Do you think it is harder for young DJs to breakthrough these days? What advice would you give to any aspiring DJs?
I think it's easier because the scene is so much bigger although it's no good just being a very good DJ, anyone can mix, it's simple.

To get on in this scene as a DJ you have to also be a good producer & image also helps. Make a bunch of great tunes in the style you play & put them out & you will get noticed if you're any good. Get a decent image together (see green velvet for example) & also try starting your own label & running your own night. Many people think that because they mix 2 tunes together ok that the world owes them a living???? Get real you lot & go out & actually put in some work for what you want & you may just get some results.

10. For those who haven't had the chance to catch you spin before, how would you sum up the style of music you're playing at the moment?
I'd sum my music up as lots of FUN. If you need to pigeon hole it lets call it Modern Acid & Electronic House.

11.What have you been up to in the studio lately? Any new tracks or DJ mixes coming out soon?
I've just started my new label Superfreq Records which will be releasing Electronic House. The 1st release will be 2 tracks by myself called Disco 2 Disco & Underground to The End released at the end of February.

I've also just had a single released under the name Sycophant Slags with my Production partner Francis Harris on Sexonwax records called Digital Love. We've done a video for it that's been A listed on MTV Dance. We also have singles coming out on both End Recordings & Superfreq Records in March & a further single due on Sexonwax. All of the Sycophant Slags stuff is co-produced by Number One Son who this amazing producer from NYC where we record all the slags stuff so loads due out really.

12. What is your most memorable DJing experience?
I've had countless memorable nights at The End at both Subterrain & Superfreq & all of The End's anniversary's have been amazing. Superfreq at Underground Ibiza is also quite an experience. I tend to have a great time every time i play out but i also love The Flame in Bari, Italy, Circoloco Ibiza, countless gigs in South America especially in Argentina have been amazing.

13. Who are your favourite DJs and producers? (Top 5 please)
DJs: (this list changes all the time)
1. Steve bug
2. Andrew Weatheral
3. Francis Harris
4. Toni Rios
5. Damian Lazarus

Producers; (this list also changes all the time)
1. John Tejada
2. Number one Son
3. Steve Bug
4. Tiefschwarz
5. M.A.N.D.Y

14. What are your 5 favourite tracks of all time.
Difficult question as this also changes constantly but here goes:
1. Clear by Cybertron
2. I'm strong by Fingers inc.
3. Acid kiss by Sheila
4. And on by Animus Amor
5. Egypt Egypt by Egyptian Lover

15. Finally, The Guardian told me that dance music is dead; is it?
The Guardian is full of shit. I've heard doomsday sayers saying this very nonsense for the nigh on 20 years i've been involved in electronic music yet the music & scene just gets bigger & bigger all the time. we have new hardware & software coming through all the time & these keep the sounds fresh. Also people have been dancing to percussive rhythm as a part of Human evolution for well over 50,000 years now & i for 1 don't think that it's about to stop - Viva Acid House!

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Pete