Interview With EDX

 

We sat down with Grammy nominated, Swiss-Italian talent DJ/Producer, and No Xcuses label boss EDX before he lands at Bang Bang this Saturday, February 2nd.  Grab your tickets here!

1 - Congratulations on your Grammy Nomination for your remix of Charlie Puth this year! Did you expect this nomination or was it a complete surprise?

Thank you! It’s been absolutely incredible to be nominated for a Grammy. It’s always been a dream of mine to receive a nomination, so I’m over the moon. I can’t wait to attend the award shows in a few days in Los Angeles!

2 - Can you tell us the story behind this remix? What inspired you to take the original in this direction?

I got the vocal part sent from Charlie’s management and I instantly knew it would fit perfectly with the EDX signature sound. I went into the studio and everything happened pretty quickly. It’s such an awesome song by Charlie and I’m so thankful I got to put my spin on it.

3 - You have more than two decades working in this industry. What has been the biggest change for you over these years? Do you think that it was easier to get into the scene back then than it is now?

I guess I was one of the founding members of the electronic movement back in Switzerland in the 90s and I can say that the scene is completely different now to how it was then. The market is certainly much bigger now than it was — especially in America — and with the dawn of the internet and social media, everything happens so much more quickly than it used to. I’d say it’s slightly easier to get into the scene now because you have everything you need at your fingertips.

4 - What got you into the world of DJ’ing?

First and foremost, it was my love and passion for music. I would say, second to that, was the curiosity I had with the electronic music scene when it first started. I grew up listening to Hip Hop and surrounded myself with breakdance culture, but when I was first exposed to Acid House in the late 80s it was so different to anything I’d experienced before and I was fascinated by it. I’ve been in love with electronic music ever since.

5 - You have multiple collabs with so a variety of talented artists. What has been your favorite collaboration so far?

Each collaboration is something special. I love the challenge of working with such a diverse selection of amazing artists and each project brings something different and takes you outside of your comfort zone. I really enjoyed the collaboration I did with Kaskade for his album called ‘Don’t Stop Dancing’.

6 - If you could produce a track with any artist (Dead or Alive) who would it be and why?

I was a huge fan of Madonna in the 80s and to be able to do a record with her would be simply amazing. I also love the likes of Michael Jackson, Barry White and Marvin Gaye. There are just too many to choose from!

7 - What has been the biggest moment in your career so far?

There have been so many incredible moments both in the studio and on the road. In 2018 I would have to say my Grammy nomination and the launch of my new live show XIRCUIT.

8 – What type of music do you enjoy listening to when Electronic music isn’t playing?

I love all types of music to be honest. When I’m not listening to electronic music, I really like the chilled, deeper sounds. Nothing too noisy. Just easy listening music really.

9 - What can we expect from EDX this year?

Lots more music, more touring and some amazing XIRCUIT shows all over the world!

10 - With an extensive career playing in several festivals and clubs, do you prefer one more than the other? Are there any gigs stands out the most when you reminisce on them?

I’ve been DJing for more than two decades and I love playing both club shows and big festivals. I really like the intimacy you get in nightclubs — I think you have a connection to the audience that you can't really get at a festival. Having said that, I’ve played some amazing festivals over the years and I would never want to stop performing at these. Summer wouldn’t be the same!

Interview with Kastle

Kastle Reflections Album

Interview by Michael Walkusky

We got to catch up with Barrett Richards a.k.a. Kastle before his show in San Diego this Friday. Here what he had to say about influences on his new album, favorite Korean spa in California & favorite producers of the moment:

What was the creative process like for Reflections?

It was just all about letting go and letting my instincts guide me. Through meditation before every studio session, I looked to create a dialogue with my subconscious and to just let that communication become involved in the album writing process.

How does Reflections differ from your past music?

I wouldn’t say it really differs at all in regards to the style. I’ve always been inspired by the same timeless sounds of garage, jungle, footwork, bass music, etc. I’d say what is mostly different is the production values and that the songs are slightly more open to interpretation than some of my past pop-leaning works.

When did you start meditating, and how has meditation influenced your music?

It’s something I’ve been interested in and aware of since high school really. I began studying eastern philosophies and mysticism when I was 16. Taoism was the philosophy that really resonated with me. The inner/mystical depths is no easy area to navigate and at 34 I’m still learning so much more and after all the years more and more dots connect. You just keep peeling back the layers of the veil. You encounter forces within yourself that are not always helpful, but when you overcome them you become more empowered by that energy. I just feel like in the past year I’ve had some significant breakthroughs that have allowed me to be more open about my experience and share it in the form of an album.

What do you enjoy most about running your record label Symbols?

It’s a combination of my love for music, pushing boundaries and helping other artists. It’s great to be a part of something bigger than myself and I hope that we can contribute to culture for the greater good.

Who are your favorite producers at the moment?

I’ve got a pretty diverse rotation on lately with artists like Kid Smpl, Lil Yachty, DVA, Gaika, S4U, Kassel Mosse, my.head, SURVIVE, 2814, Dark0 and Jacques Greene.

Which producers have influenced you the most throughout your career?

Three artists that have had a tremendous impact on me at different stages of my life are Moby, Aphex Twin and Burial.

What have been the most transformational musical experiences of your career?

I’d say launching Symbols in 2012 and putting out my debut album in 2013 were really huge for me. Because I have such an independent drive so it felt incredible taking that step. This new album is another extension of that. Also festival sets at Lightning In A Bottle, Shambhala and Coachella were very transformational for me.

What have been the most transformational cultural experiences from tour?

I’d say just the culmination of touring and the experience of travel. Learning that no matter race, religious affiliation, geographical location, etc, at the end of the day, we are all the same.  Seeing that first hand is crucial, and I wish more people in rural America (where I grew up) had the ability to travel more. There are so many people in America who never have real conversations with people different than them and therein lies the disconnect.

Speaking of cultural experiences, I read in another interview that your manager sent you to a Korean spa after you released Reflections. As someone who married into a Korean family, I've become a big fan of Korean spas. Do you have a favorite spa in Koreatown or OC?

"I Spa" in Irvine! It’s dope, I didn’t want to leave.

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Don't miss Kastle's return to the Bang Bang theater this Friday in San Diego!

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Interview with MSTRKRFT

MSTRKRFT Interview

We had a chance to sit down with Jesse of MSTRKRFT to ask some questions before they make their way to San Diego on their first tour in over five years. Read what he had to say:

Q: Who/what were the biggest influences for OPERATOR?

The gear we decided to use really became a third member of the band on this record.  We decided to sorta take a back seat to the machines and not try to force them to do what we wanted, and instead follow their lead.  It creates a kind of feedback loop while you work.  Sust deciding to do that was the biggest influence on how the record turned out.

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Q: What was the creative process like for OPERATOR?

We would turn on all the gear, hit record on the computer and then not look at it until we were leaving.  We didn't want to look at a screen or think about making music that way.  We just focused on the gear we had in front of us and tried to forget about things like wether or not the music we were making had a purpose beyond just making us happy.

Q: How do you feel about OPERATOR now that it's finished and released?

We are very happy with it.  It's always good to see your work get released like this.  We started work on the next album as soon as this record was mixed, and having this out feels like a door has opened for us to push things much further.

Q: How do your current live shows differ from the live shows you played after releasing 'The Looks' and 'Fist of God'?

The biggest difference is that we are mostly performing live now, although we still DJ when it makes more sense for the club etc.  In terms of what we are playing when we DJ, I think the feel on operator is expressed there as well.

Q: How has your modular equipment influenced your recorded music and your live shows?

The key for us was not using equipment on the record that we couldn't also travel with and use live.  The modular setups are always evolving to some extent, and have changed many times this year already.  Working this way really makes every show very different, and allows us to really feed off of the room more than ever before.

Q: What are your thoughts on the current state of dance music?

I feel like this is a somewhat impossible question to answer.  It's like asking someone about a city they visited, in that the things they experienced shaped their opinion.  I think dance music is in an incredible place right now, with more creativity and resolve than ever before, but then thats just based on the things I pay attention to and listen to.  I'm sure theres a sea of garbage out there, but if I don't pay attention, for me it doesn't exist.  hope that makes sense.

Q: How has dance music changed since you first released 'The Looks'?

It seems like its gone through a cycle and into a place we had hoped and imagined it would.

Q: Who are your favorite DJs/producers?

Gary Beck, Robert Hood, Phantoms Revenge, Truncate, Surgeon, Len Faki… hard to choose!

Q: Who are your favorite bands?

Right now?  Cult Leader, Naomi Punk… again, very very hard to choose!

Q: What can MSTRKRFT fans expect from you guys over the next few years?

We will keep making music that makes us happy.

Don't miss the San Diego stop on their tour over Labor Day Weekend! Limited $20 tickets left here.

Tramps Like Us Interview with Pegboard Nerds

Pegboard Nerds Tramps Like Us Interview 2014

After years of experimenting and cultivating knowledge in the vast sub-genres of EDM including Trance, House, and Techno; Alexander Odden from Norway, and Michael Parsberg hailing from Denmark have joined forces to create DJ duo force known as “Pegboard Nerds”. Known for their up-tempo, genre-bending hit tracks, Pegboard Nerds have been an international force to be reckoned with ever since their first signing with Monstercat label. A number of established names have realizes the duo’s potential early on. Krewella’s releases of the duo’s remixed tracks, along with Knife Party’s hand selection for support from the duo in tour come to mind of the early stardom that would be coming Pegboard Nerds’ way. Newly surfaced hit track “BADBOI”, which endorses a Trap style should be every indication of the duo’s creative span that ranges now from Electro House to Glitchpop and Dubstep. Already an established name in many sub-genres, fully expect only bigger and better things to come from the future of Pegboard Nerds. 
Q. Many would consider you guys to genre-bending, with many of your tracks containing elements from hardstyle to dubstep. Can you guys explain the creative process you undergo to create tracks and decide which style elements you like to put in?
A. All our track start with an initial idea and usually ends up somewhere else. We never start out with one particular style in mind. We love all styles of music and like to incorporate whatever we feel fits the song best.

Q. You guys said that you were ghost producers before officially teaming up to become “Pegboard Nerds”, can you tell us about the transition phase whether it was smooth or rocky, to becoming the actual renowned producers we know you as today?
A. It was smooth actually, because when we decided to skip our past and concentrate on Pegboard Nerds, we already had tons of tracks and ideas. We just wanted to focus on what we personally felt for and would like to play ourselves as dj´s.

Q: Of all of the groundbreaking tracks you two have produced, which one has left you guys the most rewarded or prideful upon completion, and why?
A: Thats a tough one. We love all our tracks. HERO was probably the track we spend most time and effort producing. We were anxious if our fans would hate us for doing such a weird combination of styles. 

Q: If you guys could collaborate with any producer who would it be and why?
A: Skrillex and/or Knife Party 

Q: A couple months we had the pleasure of having you host a set at our San Francisco show, Finger Lickin' Fort Mason, how did you guys feel about that experience altogether?
A: Awesome, we are honored to play at Tramps Like Us.

Q: Ever since you guys joined Monstercat, you’ve had a foothold on an international audience rather than just in Scandanavia, to what can you guys attribute for your successes?
A: Stamina and a good management team. And of course Monstercat.

Q: During the process of trying to make a name for yourselves as producers in your early career, who did you guys look up to for inspiration or motivation?
A: So so many. Dr.Dre , Sven Väth, Torsten Fenslau and most of the 90´s eurodance producers 

Q: Of all the festivals and club venues you guys have performed in, is there a particular memorable experience that stands out from the rest?
A: Red Rocks, that was an amazing experience.

Tramps Like Us Interview with Cole Plante

Cole Plante Tramps Like Us San Diego 2014
To say that Cole Plante is one of the next young bright stars for the future of EDM would be an understatement. The 17 year-old producer and DJ, a native of Los Angeles, already boasts a resume most people could only dream of having. He’s already played with some of the biggest names in the league such as: Porter Robinson, Avicii, and Steve Angello. He was performing at Lollapalooza at 16 years old, the youngest DJ ever to grace the renowed music festival in Chicago. The following summer “Lie To Me” was released, and a short time later was crowned the #1 spot on the Billboard Dance Charts. Since then, Cole Plante has released another hit track “If I Fall”, with Myon & Shane 54, and has continued as producer to create in other realms outside of EDM. Cole has already collaborated with composers such as Alex Wurman, and Joe Trapanese on TV, film, and video game projects. The sky is the limit for the young producer, and we can only guess at what his seemingly unbounded potential takes him next. 
Q: You’ve grown up surrounded by musically inclined family and friends, who was your biggest influencer to help establish what you consider your signature sound?
A: 80s synth pop hands down as a whole is my biggest influence. 
Q: As a youngster in high school, you were involved in a range of extracurriculars such as band, track and field, on top of a load of honors classes. How have these activities in the past influence you today or for your future career path?
A: This being my senior year is really incredible. I love every minute of being in high school and balancing it with my career. Both marching band and track have taught me discipline and the ability to stay focused.
Q: Of all the venues and clubs you’ve played for in the past, which set was the most memorable for you and why?
A: I would have to say Lollapalooza because all my musical influences from New Order, The Killers, Two Door Cinema Club, Skrillex, Dillon Francis, Diplo and Steve Angello among others, were there that weekend. These are all artists/bands I admire and respect musically, and it was the largest crowd I played for (20K). Also, last' year's OMFG! NYE was unforgettable from production to artists and it was extra special because it was my first NYE event & I have LED to thank for that. San Diego fans have also been hugely supportive ever since my first event there a couple years ago during the IDentity Festival tour and it's one of my favorite cities to visit & play. 

Q: You’ve explored several musical genres and instruments including piano, the trombone, and the presence of ‘80s and ‘90s synth pop. Which of these, or combination thereof would you say influenced your style the most today?
A: It's a combination of everything really. I'm always pulling from classical instruments and electronic as well. I try to incorporate influences from everything such as soundtracks and movie scores, rock bands and electronic artists. I'm a strong believer that the best music grabs influences from many different things and that's how it is for my music.
Q: You say that one day you would like to be a composer, while still DJing. Did you always have this vision of yourself as a composer? Or did it grow on you during your path, and if so, how?
A: My interest in film composing started ever since joining orchestra class in 7th grade. Through the many different projects (via Disney), this led to collaborating with film composers Joe Trapanese, Alex Wurman, and John Swihart. That pretty much sealed the deal on my decision to continue to work within the film composing community & I'm currently working on a new exciting film project that will be released in the coming months. 
Q: You’ve released two singles from Disney’s Hollywood Records label last year, how do you feel working with them and your together plan to further your career path? 
A: It's been amazing. The company as a whole are connected to many different facets that I love such as film, TV & the gaming world. They've allowed total freedom in my musical creativity and have been fully supportive of all my projects even outside of the company. They've also helped me set-up my own label imprint Teknicole which has been a dream of mine following the footsteps of my peers Skrillex, Axwell & Avicii who've all collaborated with Disney. 
Q: Your collaboration with Myon & Shane 54, titled ‘If I Fall’, has been a huge hit. Do you have any more plans to work with the dance maestros again in the future?

A: It was our 2nd collaboration following "Lie To Me" and it's been amazing playing top clubs / festivals across the U.S. & with them covering overseas. Seeing the crowd sing our song and going off during the drops, you can't ask for anything more. Also, fans posting pics of radio stations playing our music is surreal as well! We're both concentrating on our own singles / album at the moment so hopefully our schedules allow it in the coming future!

Tramps Like Us 2014 Line-Up

Don't miss Cole Plante at Tramps Like Us over Labor Day weekend!

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Interview with Christian Karlsson

You may know him as 1/3 of Miike Snow, 1/2 of of Bloodshy & Avant, or more recently, as part of duo Galantis with fellow Swede Style of Eye. But regardless of how you know Christian Karlsson, one thing is for sure: from song writing to DJing to performing live, he's a man of many talents. We got a chance to get to know Karlsson better as he gears up to play at Bang Bang this Friday. Grab your $10 pre-sales HERE, and read on to get up to speed on what R rated video he's soon releasing, which of his heros he got to work with, and where he recently relocated to...

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We hear you used to be in Swedish hip hop group Goldmine and toured with the Fugees. Please tell us more about this!

I was very young when I got started with Goldmine, so it was a very big deal for me to get on this tour. I was 15 when I toured with the Fugees.
Goldmine is where I learned how to produce.

You've been creatively involved with a wide variety of genres - pop, electronic, indie, etc. We bet your music library is pretty eclectic. What are you listening to at the moment?

Well, I'm always listening to all types of music. I have my hour of exploring Hypemachine and Beatport in the morning, and when I eat my breakfast, I listen to 60's music. I have my ways of listening to all types of music everyday.

While producing as Bloodshy & Avant, you worked out of a studio based in an old fire station in Söder, Sweden. Are you currently living in Stockholm? Do you still work from this studio?

I still work out of the studio in Sweden. I just relocated to Los Angeles, so I work out here now, but the old studio is still there for when I go back.

Having had experience with writing, producing, and remixing music - which is the most enjoyable for you?

I do love writing the most, I mean, remixing someone else's music can be amazing, but writing is so much more fun for me. Starting from scratch, writing melodies...I also LOVE to make beats, because that's where I came from.

Aside from being involved in all aspects of song creation, you also have experienced the world of DJing as well as performing live. What are the notable differences for you? Which do you prefer?

I love doing live shows, of course, but the challenge of DJing is that every night is so different. Different crowds, different rooms...I change my set up all the time.
I do love DJing and what it brings to the table, and that's perfect for when I want to challenge myself. When you play live, you're pretty much playing the same stuff all the way through. I do really enjoy DJing. I love it.

Miike Snow has had official remixes from well respected artists such as Tiga, Alex Metric, Sinden, and Felix Da Housecat. What was the process like of reaching out to work with these artists? Was it easy to decide between the three of you who would rework the songs of Miike Snow?

Almost everyone who's remixed Miike Snow was a friend of mine or became of a friend of mine. A lot of people wanted to remix this music, and be a part of it. We also did a lot of swaps, where I did stuff for them, and they did mixes for me. It was fun getting to have my music remixed, and it was equally fun returning the favor.

Between Bloodshy & Avant and Miike Snow, you've worked with an impressive collection of artists over the years. Who would you want to collaborate with that you haven't yet?

Hmm...I don't know. That's a hard one. It used to be Madonna & Depeche Mode , but I've worked with both now. So, I don't know!

Your new project with Style of Eye, Galantis, just released its first single "Smile" earlier this month, yielding a lot of positive feedback. How did you and Linus link up? Do you have plans to release a Galantis album down the line?

Linus has been my friend for many years. We used to link up in the studio when we were off tour, listen to each others music and play stuff for each other.
One day, we decided we wanted to take it farther and become Galantis. We do plan to release an album in the upcoming year.
Expect big things out of Galantis, like we do!

You've recently had gigs in Indonesia and LA, are about to make your debut at Bang Bang in San Diego, and are still riding the waves of Galantis' first release. Anything else in the pipeline that you can tell us about?

Well...more hot releases from Galantis! There will be a R rated version of our new video coming out soon.

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Interview with Wolfgang Gartner

If you've been involved with dance music to any degree over the last several years, chances are you're familiar with Wolfgang Gartner. DJ, producer, label owner, and one of the pioneers of modern day electro-house, he's been a driving force in the scene since his first EP, 'Shapes,' was released in 2007. We caught up with the San Luis Obispo-born, LA-based artist just in time for his Hounds of Hell tour stop in San Diego this weekend with tour mates CHARLIE DARKER, BASS KLEPH, & TOMMY TRASH (tickets available HERE).

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You launched your label Kindergarten Recordings in 2008, the same year in which you produced "5th Symphony." Both being major contributions to your career, were you prepared for everything to take off shortly after?

By the time I had set up the infrastructure of my label, I had already released quite a bit of stuff on other labels, and things were starting to take off which was the impetus behind starting my own outlet. 5th Symphony came a year after running the label and having a lot of chart success on Beatport in the top 10, and I was prepared for everything that came with it. It was a lot of work fielding requests for licenses and everything else that came pouring in but certainly not too much to handle at the time.

Like many other label bosses, you hired someone to do A&R for Kindergarten, as your busy schedule doesn't allow you the time to sift through countless demos. How difficult is it to find someone whose taste you trust in?

Extremely difficult. You'll never find somebody who has the exact same ears as you, but if you find somebody who's got a great ear, even if it's not a clone of your own, the system works. He just casts a wider net when collecting music to sign to the label, so that some things he might not love are included, and maybe I end up loving them and signing them. I could never hand over the A&R reigns to my label 100%, because then it wouldn't be my label. So my A&R basically does the 95%, and then that last 5% is just me filtering through what he presents to me and us figuring out which signings we agree on. Luckily his ear really is very similar to mine and the system flows about as smooth as one could possibly hope for.

 

Aside from electronic artists, you've collaborated with Jim Jones, Cam'ron, and Eve. Can we expect any future collaborations within the same realm? What hip hop could we find in your music library?

Having no definite projects in the works with rap features, I think I can pretty confidently say yes, you'll see more of them from me in the future. It all depends on the music I make - the music always comes first, and then we decide on what kind of vocal and who in particular we hear over it, me and my manager. My music library is pretty much only hip hop, except my DJ music library of course. You'd find everything from Wale, Wiz Khalifa and Wu Tang to Dipset, French Montana, Slum Village, Nas, Tyga, Vado, Slaughterhouse, I could go on for a long time.

You've mentioned before that you have two indoor waterfalls, and would eventually like to have a river running through your house with a koi pond. If you had no limitations (cost or location-wise), what else would we find in Wolfgang's dream pad?

Hmmmm. An indoor lap pool, a big garden inside with a sunroof, I have everything else I'd want I think. I haven't built the river yet because I know I'm gonna sell this house at some point in the next few years and move somewhere closer to the ocean and more permanent so I'm waiting.

 

Earlier this year you released a 90s house mix covering an assortment of classic tracks, from Richard F to Olav Basoski. What was your relationship with dance music during that era?

Just a kid in a bedroom playing records making tracks, trying to get my tracks on records.

You recently tweeted about getting platinum status with American Airlines. With so many miles under your belt, you must be near mastering the art of travel. Any tips you can share?

That tweet was a joke because I don't really fly American. If you want travel tips? Don't travel. It sucks. If you have to, bring mouthwash and lots of extra socks. And your phone really doesn't affect the navigational equipment of the aircraft.

What's in store for you once you complete the tour?

Back to the studio to hit it pretty hard for the next few months. Tommy and I play a slew of Hounds Of Hell tour dates in Mexico, I play some sporadic fly-dates throughout the next couple months, and the cycle continues.

 

 

$25 tickets still available HERE!

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Interview with Maxim of Prodigy

You may know him as the fierce MC behind Prodigy, but Maxim has extended his artistic ventures yet again as he embarks on a U.S. tour to showcase his own skills behind the decks. Having recently paired up with MC Cianna Blaze and with new music in the works, we wanted to catch up with Maxim to get to know the multi-dimensional artist better.

Keep reading to find out what was on his playlists backstage at Prodigy shows, how he manages to keep a balance within his life, and what else he's working on at the moment. Don't miss him TONIGHT at Voyeur - get your $10 tickets HERE.

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You've been involved with electronic music for over two decades now. What has it been like to see it progress over time? What have been some of your defining moments?

I haven't really assessed the amount of time i've been in the scene - but I still enjoy it! One of the highlights for me was performing on stage with Rage Against The Machine in Japan.

We literally went on stage with them and I was freestyling with the guys. It was great.

An overwhelming number of artists refer to Prodigy when asked about their musical influences. Did the band have any idea how widely influential they would become?

It is something that I focus on but, yes, I realise we have been a big influence on a lot of music out there. It's all good - if you can inspire people to push music forward, then I feel I have done something positive.

Your ascent into DJing began when you started playing backstage after Prodigy shows. What could we have found on your playlists back then?

I basically played hip hop, rock and funk. Everything from Public Enemy to the Clash to James Brown to the Specials.

By partnering with MC Cianna Blaze, you've broken the stereotype of performing with a male MC. How did you two meet? Do you think there's a need for more female MCs in the industry?

I wanted to do something different from the stereotypical male MC.

I met Cianna through a mutual friend, and we clicked straight away. The more I worked with her I began to realise how talented she was, so we started to write music to put into the DJ set that she can perform live. This has taken her away from the 'Hype MC' I originally intended her to be.

She is my voice when I am behind the decks, and she adds sexiness to the the show as she is an attractive girl.

Most importantly she has a good voice. One of the key things for me in being an MC is having a dope voice. Some female MC's voices are so high, that they grate on you after a while.

The industry is getting more female MCs. They are getting their props now. It's a long time overdue, but they are here now.

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You've mentioned before that mental and physical fitness are important to you. How do you maintain both while juggling tour schedules, a family, and other obligations?

It's very hard, but this is my life, and this is what I enjoy doing. It's important to have balance on all levels, and to feed each part equally so no part suffers.

As far as the band goes - we all have families, so we work the touring out amongst ourselves. Over the years we have created a good touring structure.

Without mental and physical fitness I would have been burnt out years ago, but today, I feel I am at my peak of fitness mentally and physically.

Aside from music, you're also involved in visual art. What prompted you to start painting? Do you draw inspiration for your music and visual art from the same sources?

To be honest, the reason I got into art was because I needed some paintings for the wall space in my home - I wanted to buy some art and visited a few exhibitions.

When I was told the prices, I thought "I can do that!" So I went home and started painting. Then I realised I was really enjoying the freedom that art gave me - you can do anything you want, there are no boundaries.

As the years went by, I did a few commissions for friends. A friend of mine (Stuart Semple), who is a much respected artist, saw my paintings and said I should put on an exhibition. I did have doubts, but I trusted his opinion and here I am 11 years later.

You've just embarked on your U.S. tour and will be releasing music on the we Are noize (wAn) imprint. What else is in the works for you?

Yes I'm excited about being in the US on tour. I love touring and meeting people - travelling and playing music - so I'm looking forward to the next US tour already!

we Are noize is just an outlet that a couple of my friends and I have set up, that we can use to put out the music we have created.

In 2014 look out for Cianna Blaze. You will be seeing her skills soon, also.

I will also be working on my next art exhibition in the UK, and hope to bring that to the US sometime in 2014.

And we have the new Prodigy album coming out next year... I think that's enough on my plate for now, don't you?

Peace

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Interview with Treasure Fingers

Ever wanted to know a little bit more about modern disco-house phenom Treasure Fingers? So did we. With an impressive resume of music that spans before the birth of Treasure Fingers, Oklahoma-born Ashley Jones has remixed  artists such as Empire of the Sun and and Little Boots, released on labels like Fool's Gold and Defected, and of course, given dance floors around the globe the gift of his own originals. 

We have the pleasure of hosting him this weekend for his debut at Bang Bang, so we picked his brain to get the low-down on a few things about the artist we've grown to love since his debut of "Cross the Dancefloor" back in 2008. 

Treasure Fingers Interview
You grew up in Oklahoma and have since lived in Brooklyn and Atlanta. Where are you calling home at the moment?

Currently, I'm in staying in Atlanta. I moved my full studio down here last year. I really miss Brooklyn, but there's less distraction here and the airport is great to travel out of.

Like many other successful artists, you were picked up by a reputable label [Fool's Gold], which essentially helped launch your career as Treasure Fingers. How important do you think it is for up and coming producers to have backing from a big label?

I think it's great to help break a career. It's like instant validation, a whole group of people co-signing for you and promoting your music. A lot of people complain about low music sales, but I think the job of the label has transformed into marketing, promotion and even PR for the artist. It's a platform to get your music out, even if you aren't pushing huge numbers of digital downloads, you can still be highly successful. Take Fool's Gold as a direct example with the amount of free releases they put out.

In an interview you did a few years back, you mention that you feel more well-received in Europe and Australia because they're generally more receptive to house music. Being that the deeper, nu-disco vibe has steadily been gaining popularity state-side, has this changed for you?

Yeah, it's really picked up a lot over here! I think it has a bit to do with the "EDM" sound becoming so mainstream that it caused the underground to grow as well. Whether it be backlash against the mainstream sound, or just fans growing and getting deeper in to the genres, I can't say for sure, but I've noticed a lot of new fans as of recent.

Aside from Treasure Fingers, you're 1/3 of bass project Evol Intent. Having experienced both worlds, what are some of the differences between the drum & bass and house scenes?

One has a bunch of dudes in the crowd, and the other has a bunch of girls. Just kidding, sort of. I'll probably catch some nice emails over that one. I have fun doing both and jumping between the two.

 

If you could work with any musician, vocalist, or producer- dead or alive- who would it be?

Roger Troutman, hands down. He's one of my biggest inspirations. Listening to his music, I still hear random synths and sounds hidden in the mix that I haven't picked up on in all these years. The talk box was what original drew me to him when I was younger, I was so amazed by that and my curiosity pushed me to buy one and really explore music production on a deeper level.

Initially, you were making hip hop when you started producing. Would you ever consider working within that realm of music now?

Definitely. I still mess with it and produce for a few Atlanta rappers, but I haven't fully pushed that side of stuff, I usually just sit on a bunch of beats until I meet someone that sounds dope to me and send a few tracks over for them. If I had more time I'd probably pursue that a lot more heavily.

On worstgig.com, you share your story about a gig in Australia where you played to five guys watching cricket in a warehouse. Sounds awfully awkward. Have you experienced any other weird gigs since?

Not that bad, but there's always a few random weird ones. Nothing really stands out compared to that aussie show, haha.

 

We hear that you have an affinity for Call of Duty. Any other guilty pleasures you can tell us about?

I don't play as much as I used to, but yeah there's a little group of us producer/DJ's on there that nerd out occasionally. My only other guilty pleasure is probably just weird internet findings, I like googling strange combinations of words to see if they actually exist.

You recently remixed Katy Perry. How did that come about?

Her team had requested it and put in an offer. It was a good offer and I figured I could do something cool with the song, flipping into a housier vibe, so I accepted the challenge and they accepted my remix in the end. It was fun and it's been doing damage on the dance floor. I don't have anything against pop music or people remixing pop stuff. I feel that sometimes the underground scene is a bit too serious & snobby, it's a good thing to just have fun with music.

So far this year you've remixed and collaborated with The Knocks, curated mixes for DJ Mag and Thump, and just wrapped up the summer festival circuit in the states. You've also got shows coming up on both coasts. What else is in the works for you?

I have another collaboration with the Knocks that will be coming out on Fool's Gold soon. I also finished up another collab record with Codes that will be coming out on Win Music. Unfortunately, I don't have hard release dates on either right now. I'm also working on a solo EP that's about 75% done, so expect that in a few months. I'll be mainly just working on new music and playing one-off shows throughout the winter.

Treasure Fingers Bang Bang

Catch the funk master himself at Bang Bang this Friday. Pre-sale tickets still available - snatch yours up now for express entry after 11 PM.

Laidback Luke Interview

Laidback Luke House of Blues San Diego

Lucas Cornelis van Scheppingen, better known to some simply as Laidback Luke, has been a driving force in dance music for the better part of the last decade. Born in Manila and raised in The Netherlands, Luke has made a name for himself with his quality productions and energetic DJ sets. Having remixed the likes of dance music pioneers Green Velvet, Daft Punk, and Underworld, he has grown to become a pioneer himself. While juggling title as label boss at Mixmash, throwing notorious Super You&Me parties across the globe, and curating a weekly radio show, he also manages to fit Kung Fu into his schedule.

We caught up with Luke as his Musically Driven bus tour begins to get the skinny on the artwork behind his label, upcoming projects, and where you can find him on his days off (rare as they are). You've got two chances to watch his skills behind the decks this week as he makes his way to House of Blues and Voyeur this Thursday, for an 18+ and 21+ show, respectively.
 1. You launched your "Super You&Me" parties in Amsterdam several years ago, which are now being held around the globe. You've even hosted Super You&Me stages at festivals such as EDC and Tomorrowland. How have the parties evolved since the first? Where would you like to throw a Super You&Me party that you haven't yet?
I'm very happy it latched on! I feel the crowd and even the DJs are getting the fun of it now. This was hard to get across at first, as I was the only one dressing up for instance.
We changed the name and style of it a couple of times too. My dream for it has always been to host festival arenas and I'm so happy we got there successfully! I think the only place next is on the moon ha ha.
2. You've openly discussed the tendency for some DJs to lose their sense of humility when reaching a certain point in their careers. In an industry that has shifted to treat DJs somewhat like rockstars, how does one maintain their sense of humility?
Don't believe your own hype. You're a human, we are all humans. You are just a very lucky one. And don't take it for granted! As it will be taken off of you as easily as it came.
Be thankful and respect every other human being as a human being. We are all equal! Staying humble can only help you, whereas becoming arrogant can cost you your career.
3. Illustrator Olivier Cramm curates the album artwork for the releases on your label, Mixmash. Are the funky, surrealist designs a reflection of the playful nature of your music? Or was that coincidence?
Yes it does! It's very fun most of the time. It has a hint of grafitti in there too, but yet, there's also a reference to some spooky stuff in there as well.
4. Your wife and fellow DJ, Gina Turner, has a well-known love for yoga, while you indulge in a bit of Kung Fu yourself. Does the mindful nature of these practices play a part in how you approach your music, either in the studio or behind the decks?
My Kung Fu is a way of life. It affects me as a human being. And in that sense it affect everything I do in life. Kung Fu means skill achieved through hard work, and I approach my music and career like that.
5. Your touring schedule has pretty much been non-stop the past several years. When you do have the odd day off, where can we find you?
You can find me in the kitchen cooking or practicing my Kung Fu and Tai Chi. I'm like obsessed and love it! But I'm doing this on a very high level now and I'm even a Kung Fu instructor. So I have to keep up my level too.
6. So far this year you've collaborated with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Hardwell, and most recently, Martin Solveig. Your "Musically Driven" bus tour across North America is also just kicking off. What else is in the pipeline for you?
After 'Blow', my collab with Martin Solveig, I have a collab with Project 46 ready to be released. It will be a more big room type song. Currently working on tracks with Ferry Corsten,Will Sparks and Peking Duk as well. A lot of exciting music coming up!

Laidback Luke House of Blues VoyeurGET TICKETS HERE

Tramps Like Us Interview with Gareth Emery

Gareth Emery Tramps Like Us
LED: You recently decided to forego campaigning for the DJ Mag Top 100 Poll and decided to donate to a charity of your fans choosing instead. What charity did you end up donating to? Do you think this will set a precedent and maybe have producers thinking twice about launching campaigns for poll positions?

Gareth Emery: I was surprised how viral my statement went, as it was never my intention for it to be such a big thing, and neither was I trying to influence anyone else to do the same. I was just basically saying: this is bullshit and I'm out. There were a few other producers who also decided to pull down their advertising and leave the poll, and whilst I guess it's nice they felt the same way as me, I don't want it to be seen as an attack on DJ Mag, because that isn't what it was. It was just my own personal feelings.

Regarding which charity I donated to, the poll is still open on my Facebook page, so I haven't made the final decision on who gets what, but we picked five amazing charities that people could vote on, a mix of household names and smaller local initiatives: Macmillian Cancer Support, Doctors Without Borders, Ignito Project, Daughters for Life and Brainwave. I actually decided all the causes are so worthwhile, rather than give the entire donation to the winner, I will divide it based roughly on how many votes each charity received, so they all get something out of it.

LED: You’ve played down here in San Diego quite a few times. What’s your favorite part about coming down to San Diego?

GE: Great weather, a truly beautiful city with a more laid-back vibe than most big US cities, and of course the incredible crowds that show up every time I play.

LED: You’ve also been touring non-stop all over the world recently. Any plans to get back in the studio anytime soon?

GE: I've been locked pretty solidly to my laptop writing music at every free moment recently, working on my new album which should be released around the start of next year. In my opinion it's full of the best music I've ever written. So whilst I haven't released that much recently, my live sets are full of beta test versions of tracks I am working on for the album…. so listen out!

LED: What does the phrase ‘Tramps Like Us’ mean to you?

GE: It's a Springsteen lyric right? 'Tramps like us were born to run'. That's what I usually think about it… I grew up listening to the likes of Bruce Springsteen via my parents so that's what it makes me think of.

Don't miss GARETH EMERY at Tramps Like Us on Sunday, September 1st!

>>> TICKETS

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ADAM F INTERVIEW

UK producer and label head ADAM F has been making the rounds in the US this year bringing his talents to dance floors and festival grounds all across the country. Between producing countless genres of music, running the highly successful Breakbeat Kaos label and touring all over recently, it's no surprise he find himself in the upper echelon of the dance music world yet again. LED  presents was able to catchup with ADAM F before his upcoming show in San Diego this weekend and pick his brain for a bit. Check out the interview below and be sure to catch ADAM F performing at Voyeur this Thursday!

LED: Most people probably first heard of you through your first artist releases producing Drum & Bass music, so some may not realize that you also produce Hip-Hop. Is Hip Hop where you first started producing? Any major artists you have worked with in the hip-hop industry?

ADAM F: Hip Hop is definitely one of my early loves listening to music but not where I started producing. It’s often I meet producers , artists and D.J’s who make or play Complextro, Trap, House, or Dubstep that first got into electronic music through Drum & Bass and loved hip hop at the time of starting to make music. I have always liked the challenge of producing something different involving Hip-Hop. After my first artist album Colours came the Drum and Bass Warfare project  involving Hip-Hop artists which I took on the road with DJ Craze. I have worked with a lot of the classic Hip-Hop artists that I grew up listening to including Redman, Missy Elliot, De La Soul, Guru, Method Man, M.O.P, Capone n Noreaga, L.L. Cool J, and Dead Prez.

LED: What drew you from hip-hop to the more electronic spectrum of music? Was it an easy transition or did it take some time to really find your sound?

ADAM F: Going to the bigger outdoor festivals and raves that were all electronic music and of course the more intimate underground clubs. I wouldn’t say there was a transition as such as electronic music was evolving then as it always is but producing electronic and Hip-Hop developed simultaneously for me. I just found myself getting into a lot of other dance genres both as a producer and as a DJ and  I just saw it all as an exciting time to combine and evolve music at club level.

LED: With the dance music culture in America differing from Europe it’s often difficult to make the jump overseas and still have a successful career and maintain your sound. Did you find this to be a very daunting task or did you find a way to make it work pretty easily in the US. Do have any advice for others looking to do the same?

ADAM F: Personally I think both sides of the pond have influenced each other at different times and will continue to do so, you can see that now in the more deeper sounds of House and over the last few years in Dubstep. Radio stations are playing more varied dance music than ever before supporting artists from everywhere.

I had a vision one day to try get some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop to work with a UK producer at a time when that just didn’t happen which was daunting at the time and it took going to many shows and handing out CDs and patience but from it came some of my first releases in the US. Those went on to be singles for Redman and L.L Cool J’s first Billboard #1 and opened a world of production opportunities.

So I would say if you have a vision as a producer or artist that seem against the odd’s go for it, now more than ever the worlds ears are open and ready for experimenting and taking the jump.

LED: You have been hitting the festival circuit pretty hard but have also been playing more intimate club gigs. Do you prefer one instead of the other?

ADAM F: I play a mixed set of genres when I DJ. Festivals are always a special experience for me playing to big crowds with mixed music taste and with all the different themes, locations, and stage production. Intimate shows always feel more personal though with a stronger connection to the crowd.

LED: You also run Breakbeat Kaos. What’s it like being a producer, traveling all over on tour, and trying to run a label at the same time?

ADAM F: Traveling and playing out has always been the best way to hear new music and discover new artists for the label.

LED: You’ve released some of the biggest names on the scene on your label such as Pendulum, Chase & Status, and Nero. Are there any other big names with upcoming releases on Breakbeat Kaos that people should be keeping an eye out for?

ADAM F: We have always wanted to work with artist’s that have a vision for the future and can perform live and we feel will naturally evolve their sound. Pendulum who also produce as Knife Party are a great example. Nero and Chase & Status are both amazing artists that perform live, make great albums and continuously produce quality and cutting edge music that keeps the underground movement and true fans excited. At the moment both DJ Fresh and myself are focusing on our own projects, so no new plans for BBK releases at present.

LED: After this tour, what’s next for Adam F? Do you have any collaborations coming up or in the works?

A: Next on the music front is a new single, released on Circus records called ‘The Pit.' It’s a collaboration including myself and Doctor P featuring Method Man. Also a release on Dim Mak as a collab between myself and Cory Enemy called ‘Strike Gold’ You can hear some previews of new music on my soundcloud page.

LED: Lastly, with the dance music scene and culture constantly shifting and changing, what direction to you think is in store for us next? Any new styles or sounds you think will breakout in the next year or so? Maybe a revival of a specific genre?

ADAM F: Yes it’s definitely shifting and changing and that’s what keeps it alive in my opinion. I definitely see the organic side of song structures, emotion and sounds coming through more in some styles of the dance scene. We have seen that in acts like Disclosure and I see more of the 90’s influences becoming more present. Its felt more like a singles or E.P lead market over recent times so this may produce some more great artist album projects, music for inside and out of the clubs. Exciting times!  See you at Voyeur on Thursday night!

LEDtv Interview: Thomas Gold

Check out this LEDtv interview with Thomas Gold recorded right before his set at Voyeur in San Diego!

LEDtv Interview: Audrey Napoleon

Check out this LEDtv interview with Audrey Napoleon recorded right after her set at OMFG! NYE 2013 and hear all about her collaboration with a fun designer and what she has coming up!

LEDtv Interview: TJR

Check out this LEDtv interview with TJR recorded right after his set at OMFG! NYE 2013 and see what he has to say about his producing style and what his bizarre daily routine includes.

LEDtv Interview: Walden

Check out this LEDtv interview with Walden right after his set at OMFG! NYE 2013 and see what he has to say about his first USA tour!

LEDtv Interview: Nervo

LED had the opportunity to sit down with Mim & Liv of Nervo before their set at Voyeur in San Diego.  See what they had to say here:

LEDtv Interview: Dirtyloud

LED had the opportunity to sit down with Dirtyloud while driving to their set at I Love This City festival in San Diego.  See what they had to say about the beginning of their career and more here:

LEDtv Interview: NERO

LED had the opportunity to sit down with Dan Stephens of NERO before his set at Voyeur in San Diego.  See what he had to say here:

LEDtv Interview: Wolfgang Gartner

LED had the opportunity to sit down with Wolfgang Gartner before his set at I Love This City Festival in San Diego.  See what he had to say here: