“You can’t start in the rabbit hole,” I overhear trance producer/DJ Markus Schulz explain to another writer as I walk into a Beatles-themed hotel suite in the heart of Hollywood. In just a few short hours, the German-born, Miami-based “unicorn slayer” (as his fans call him) would perform one of his famous extended sets to a sold-out audience, kicking off the first of three album release parties in February to promote his fifth long-player, Scream 2.
When we heard that Desolat label pals Guti (aka Barcelona-based producer Gabriel Gutierrez) and Shlomi Aber (who calls Tel Aviv home) were collaborating on a two-track EP called Blossom, we were surprised. Not because they seemed an unlikely pairing—just the opposite. We couldn’t believe that Blossom would mark the first time the duo has worked together on a release. Blossom dropped back in December on Aber’s Be As One label, but we were finally able to catch up with both producers to talk about their experiences working together, finding music in everything, and what they’ve got slated for the year ahead.
Steve Angello, he of Swedish House Mafia and Size Records fame, has lived a pretty fast and busy life the last few years as one of dance music’s most in-demand DJs and producers. But it wasn’t always all that pretty. In an audio interview with Swedish publication Varvet, Angello spoke at great length about his past problems with alcohol and how he chose to stay sober.
A modern master of the one-man band, Netherlands-based Binkbeats (aka Frank Wienk) covers the gamut of electronic music with the kind of smokey soul and ethereal groove you can only get with true talent—and a tool to loop it, of course. But it’s not so much his audio recordings of said music that get him noticed as it is his live performances, which find him playing drums, synths, turntables, and all sorts of miscellaneous sound-making toys (simultaneously!) while recreating tracks by the likes of Flying Lotus, J Dilla, and Amon Tobin.
In the lead-up to the launch of his seventh video in his Beats Unraveled series, February 10 on Boiler Room, Wienk told us about how it all goes down and let us in on his upcoming album plans.
With the way that electro house has fueled festival stages the last few years, it’s easy to write it off as nothing more than hard kick-drums, a few off-tempo glockenspiel plucks, and brash drops. But do a little digging beyond the chart-toppers, and you’ll find a veritable wonderland of fluorescent melodies and glitchy basslines that shine brighter than the Las Vegas strip on EDC weekend. And when it comes to that more melodic style, there are few producers who have a handle on it—particularly at such a young age—quite like the Netherlands’ Froxic (aka Jan-Merijn Versteeg). Still finishing up high school and preparing for what will undoubtedly be a prodigal rise to fame in the dance-music universe, Versteeg had a few minutes after the release of his latest Quasar EP to answer some questions about what’s new in his world and what we can expect in 2014.
It’s rare that you come across a techno producer whose tracks and sets breathe with the same life as music that was created without the assistance of a digital platform. David Gtronic is a true master of that sound, utilizing modern production methods to build atmospheres, emotion, and an organic groove in what many consider one of the most cold and mechanical genres in dance music. He’s been busy the last few months sourcing remixers for the revamp of his chart-topping Lagrimas Del Sol EP, but with its release today, the man himself had a moment to give us the scoop on how he got started in dance music, his production methods, and what we can expect in 2014.
Nicky Romero is a man on a mission—and the 25-year-old Dutchman (born Nick Rotteveel) seems set to have a massive 2014. Currently, he’s in the midst of a South American tour before heading home to work on his debut album for his signature Protocol label. We linked up to talk about caking the crowd “Aoki-style” on his January 6th birthday, the inspiration behind his label’s latest progressive banger “Colors,” and his desire to collaborate with Chris Martin. Apparently, the man loves his Coldplay.
As Philogresz, Amsterdam-based Turk Ilker Soylu has been releasing deep 4/4 music since around 2008, as well as running the TEAM and PHIL Records labels. He’s managed to stay just below the radar but that seems like it could change in 2014. His track “Edge” has been licensed for Brandt Brauer Frick’s upcoming DJ-Kicks mix, his debut vinyl-only album is about to drop on PHIL, he’s about to premier his new aliases Kalkedon and Dubgray Dust, and the gigs are falling in place. We caught up with Soylu for the lowdown on what’s to come.
When I meet up with Catz ’N Dogz’s Grzegorz Demiañczuk and Wojciech Tarañczuk (aka Greg and Voitek), it’s an unseasonably warm fall day in the City by the Bay. Throughout Downtown’s Union Square district, San Franciscans are out in full force enjoying the sun, shedding hats, scarves, and puffy jackets, and instead opting for aviator shades and al fresco dining. Last night, Greg, 31, and Voitek, 29, played at the monthly Dirtybird party at Mezzanine and this afternoon, they’re off to Denver for another gig. Over cups of hot black coffee and omelets, we chatted about why they love playing in SF, being card-carrying members of Claude VonStroke’s Dirtybird crew, and what’s coming up next for them in 2014
Marco Bailey has been a fixture in techno practically since its inception. Starting out in the then-burgeoning rave movement in the early 1990s, Bailey, born Marco Beelen, has given the techno world many classics like “Sniff” and “I Love Techno.” Though his roots in the industry run deep, there is still a lot we don’t know about the Belgian talent. Outside of his insatiable energy on the decks and an obvious love of tattoos, there is still an air of je ne sais quoi about the producer.
Fortunately, the recently released Marco Bailey: The Documentary answers many questions that technophiles have long been asking. “I decided to create a documentary so fans and people all over the world who are interested in techno could understand a bit more about who I am,” Bailey says. “I wanted to show where I come from, how it started, and perhaps prove that paying to become popular, something I see happening too much nowadays on the social networks and polls, isn’t fooling anyone.” We caught up with the master last week after his show at Pacha London to delve a little deeper.