What an intriguing bill last Friday (8/10/12) at Webster Hall. The legend of Surkin began way back in 2007 when I went to my first ever electronic show and was able to see Surkin alongside fellow Marble Records Frenchman, Para One (formerly the head of renowned French label Institubes). I had no idea what I had gotten myself into but I was pretty hooked and my love for electronic music began. Justin and I were lucky enough to catch up with Benoit Heitz (Surkin) and find out a little bit more about someone we’ve longed to see for over five years. As an individual who has spear-headed the forward-thinking French techno movement, Surkin provides valuable insights into the ever-evolving scene. Read on to find out how his label is going, how his sound has evolved, and what his live set up is.
Heralded by many house-heads as the best event of the summer thus far, Danny Tenaglia & John Digweeds co-headlining show on Governor’s Island was nothing short of amazing. The rain held off, the vibe was perfect, the sound was pristine, and the sets were about as good as it gets. It was the flawless synergy between sand, skyline views, and the toughest and techiest house around that made the event (get the pun, Made Event) truly spectacular. Tenaglia’s exclusive edits and jaw-dropping tribal bombs were all notable, and Digweeds signature sound with deep and groovy baselines was on point. If you were lucky enough to get there on the earlier side, you witnessed great music from Pleasurekraft, who set the stage perfectly for the aforementioned kings of the scene. While “setting the stage” Kaveh of Pleasurekraft might have stolen the show. Tracks like ‘Skeleton Key’ ‘Zooloo’ remix and the all-powerful ‘Tarantula’ were the perfect aural compliments to the sun setting. Check out our interview with Pleasurekraft below in which we learn what makes the Pleasurekraft signature sound, what he thinks about the rise of dance music popularity, and what producers to be on the look out for.
“Some of our tracks have a circusy element. But there is always that dark undertone. Its kind of like that circus where the clown is gonna fuck you up. He’s not gonna give you a balloon. If you saw the end of “Zombieland” you know what I mean! “
While in Chicago for Lollapalooza, the legendary Kaskade chatted with The Wall Street Journal on the recent surge of electronic music in America, and how this growing movement is directly affecting him as a veteran artist.
Even if you are not a huge Kaskade fan, you have to admire a man who confirms that he is â€˜very satisfied with where my musicâ€™s at and I donâ€™t feel the need to have any more limelightâ€™. Oh, be still my soulâ€¦
Get familiar with this name: Louisahhh!!!. Yes people, get very familiar and prepare to see a lot more of her unique and in-your-face moniker. Not only is she an amazing DJ and producer, but she is also a stunning vocalist, and as you will soon find out from this interview, quite the intellectual. She has released hits with the French techno titan Brodinski on his newly formed and wildly successful label Bromance Records. Both ‘Let The Beat Control Your Body’ and ‘Nobody Rules The Streets’Â Â showcased her brilliant and diverse vocal abilities. She has also put out a track on arguably the most widely respected underground label at the moment, Hot Creations, with the promising Danny Daze. ‘Your Everything’ was rinsed by literally everyone, and you could not walk into a club in Ibiza last season without hearing it. Intrigued? Read more to find out about her budding relationship with Brodinski and Gessafelstein, what kind of music she is into at the moment, and who would DJ at her ideal party. Also, check out her amazing Bromance Summer Mixtape below, further demonstrating that she is indeed the ‘First Lady’ of this new powerhouse label.
“I think that there are some amazing women doing amazing work that is as good, if not better, than many of their male counterparts. Â Similarly, there are a lot of terrible female DJs, but there are a lot of dudes who are bad at DJing too. Â I want to focus not so much on the advantages or disadvantages of being a woman in this game, but what kind of difference gender lends to what we play and what we make. “
Since the first Camp Bisco in 1999 (which had approximately 800 attendants and 16 artists), the event run by MCP and The Disco Biscuits has really grown and has been more and more epic with each passing year. This year’s edition, which had 20,000+ attendants and over 100 artists, literally outshone all previous years and part of it is all thanks to the lighting team including one of the head lighting designers (as well as Bassnectar‘s lighting designer), Michael Smalley. For the past five years, Michael has been helping out here and there with lighting at Camp. This year, he was responsible for designing the rigs, lighting, and video in the B.I.G. tent and the Main Stage B. The B.I.G. tent was operated ALL weekend (that’s at least 14+ hours a day for three days straight) by Kyle Kegan (Michael’s ‘protege’), and Sylvia Dowling (VJ Slim) & Miles Kondylasp (DJ Epicenter) who are co-owners of the Alanta-based lighting production company CLVR ATL and have worked with Camp Bisco for the past two years. We caught up with Michael, Sylvia, and Miles after Bisco to check out what exactly goes into creating the atmosphere for such a large scale event, their work in the B.I.G. tent, and upcoming projects.
Magda is considered by many to be the queen of the underground, alongside artists like Maya Jane Coles and tINI. She was once part of Richie Hawtin’s Minus camp, she has played almost every major festival across the globe, and is a successful product of Berlin and Detroit (2 techno hotbeds). This multitalented woman is also the head of Items & Things, a new label started by her, Marc Houle, and Troy Pierce. Items & Things is soon to release a brilliant compilation on July 27th with tracks by all 3 label heads, Danny Benedettini, and Nyma among others. The VARIABLES compilation is truly unique in that it comes in a 4 piece vinyl box set and includes the rawest and most stripped down techno available. We had a chance to catch up with Magda and gain some insights into what this techno titan thinks of the recent rise of dance music, how she feels about female DJs, and what her favorite festival is.
tINI has slowly but surely become a household name over the last year, touring with big acts like Loco Dice and Guti, along with releasing an amazing album on Desolat. She is considered one of the biggest female DJ’s, alongside respectable names like Magda, Cassy, and Nicole Moudaber. tINI has the unique ability to craft amazing warm up sets for label head Loco Dice, but also throw down during peak hours. She also did something quite rare in the dance music world: release an entire album on a well-respected label early on in her career, after just 1 single. Read on to find out about her budding relationship with Loco Dice and Guti, what her favorite track to drop live is, and what she thinks of EDC as a whole.
tINI – Pulse Radio Mix
JB: How did you and Loco Dice meet? How has that relationship gone thus far?Â
tINI: I met him for the first time 10 years ago. My best friend Tessa (who the album is named after) introduced me and showed me his music. I started following this guy. I was DJing in Munich and I was asked to open for him. So I played and he really liked it. And he asked me to play back to back with him. And every time he came back to Munich, we played together. He said that if I can grow up with production, we can make something happen.Â They really believed in me. So I soon after went on tour with Dice. And here we are!
Summer’s unofficially here, so that means summer’s officially here! With that, countless uber-trendy weekday events shall be popping up all over New York City. The first one on your radar should be tomorrow at Lilium with Luka Son Of Wolf.
We discovered Luka earlier this year and were quite delighted with his taste. It’s hard enough to find someone who enjoys indie dance/nu-disco, let alone someone that will play it live in NYC. Luka is that guy.
Along with Luka will be Mr. JPatt of The Knocks and Cristallino. Not your usual, sweaty hands up club night, but a celebration of underground dance.
Interview with Luka, fresh from the Dominican Republic, after the jump! (more…)
We were fortunate enough to sit down with the Detroit techno ambassador, Mr. Richie Hawtin, before his headlining set. Richie had curated his own “ENTER” stage, with heavy-hitting acts such as Magda (whose interview we will be posting later), Visionquest, Dubfire, and the Desolat king himself Loco Dice. The vibe was off the charts from the beginning of the day, and having Dubfire and Loco DiceÂ play right before you really sets the mood and gets the crowd ready for mayhem. Dubfire’s chrome black techno and Dice’s percussion-heavy tracks (Pirupa’s ‘Party Non Stop’ was a highlight) were the perfect precursor to Richie Hawtin’sÂ inimitableÂ brand of minimal techno. Stellar visuals coupled with Richie’s signature Minus sound and a slight volume and bass increase made for a truly unforgettable closing set. Massive bombs such as “Who’s Afraid of Detroit” by Claude Von Stroke and “Korrado” by the new Minus signing Matador went over extremely well. Check after the jump for more information about how he handled a disastrous 1994 show in Detroit, what he thinks about playing in New York, and how obnoxiously loud his speakers are in the basement of his house…
Richie Hawtin Live @ Village Underground 2/23/12
JB: How is the label going, Minus? You guys have always been at the top of the scene with regards to quality releases. How are the new signings Matador and Hobo?
Richie Hawtin: Those two are crazy twins together. Hobo I have known for about 10 years. He just turned 28 and I don’t know but it seems like he has found his calling. He was doing live shows but now he’s just DJing more and he’s just maturing really nicely into his own sound. I think it is going to be a killer year for him. Matador is our newest signing from Dublin, and he is just absolutely killer. Sometimes these guys take a long burn to mature, like Hobo. But now is the right time. Matador is about the same age as Hobo and I think they are going to have a similar trajectory. They are going to be the next Marco Houle and Magda maybe. Heartthrob also has some great stuff going on. He has some great minimal, disco weirdness going on. He is also doing some stuff with Jamie Jones. Ambivalent has a new record coming out. His DJ sets are getting stronger and stronger as well. Everyone has a great momentum right now. (more…)
During Winter Music Conference 2012 we were lucky enough to catch up with Louis La Roche during one of his rare North American visits. Amidst his Modernized EP, which was released last month, an album in the works and the success of his ‘Untrue‘ single, La Roche discusses the landscape of French house, the shortcomings of the progressive world and his dubstep alter-ego. If you aren’t familiar with his music, fall in love below.
Louis La Roche – Gimmie Gimmie
Geyster – A Change For The Better (Louis La Roche Innovation)
Louis La Roche – Malfuntion
Give us some history on Louis La Roche. Talk about your production roots and how you came up. Also, where did the name come from?
Louis is, and has always been, my way of showing my passion for house music. The ‘French Touch’ house-sound being my biggest influence.
It’s not something I’ve ever forced. By growing up in the 90′s, people like Daft Punk, Cassius, Alan Braxe, Fred Falke, they were all my heroes. They still are today. So, when i first started producing (i must of been 14, i bought my first pair of turntables at 12) it was the natural sound that came out of me. To me, it was just house music. When people told me it sounded like Daft Punk thats when i came up with the name Louis La Roche. I still hate my first EP, The Peach EP. I guess because i was only 17 at the time, i was still learning. Production isn’t something that you just pick up in a year. It takes many, many years to master. I’m still learning today.