Get Lost LA + Exclusive Interview w/ Droog

Los Angeles, I can confidently say that this Saturday marks one of the best dance music events to ever happen in this city. Crosstown Rebels, the lauded label run by the mysteriously interesting Damian Lazarus, and Flaunt Magazine are bringing the infamous Get Lost party to the West Coast after multiple successful and wildly hedonistic events during WMC in Miami in years past. With some of the biggest names in the global underground scene, Get Lost LA should be a bequest of auditory knowledge to all electronic music enthusiasts in this city. Find all necessary info below and make sure to read after the jump to see what Los Angeles’ trio, Droog, have to say about Get Lost, the Culprit label, and how Jamie Jones and Lee Foss helped them be where they’re at now.

† Crosstown Rebels + Flaunt Magazine present: Get Lost LA †
Damian Lazarus, Visionquest (Seth Troxler, Lee Curtiss, Ryan Crosson, Shaun Reeves), Art Department (Live), Deniz Kurtel (Live), Droog, and more
Saturday, August 27th, 2011
The Music Box, Hollywood, CA
10:00PM – 6:00AM • 21+
Tickets $20

Check out our interview with these guys after the jump!

Gotta Dance Dirty™: To start things off, let’s stick to GDD tradition and ask what your usual drink orders are.

Justin: beer…some good shit fat monks in Belgium brewed up, preferably
Brett: A gallon of diet coke, don’t skip on the ice
Andrei: something girly, with bright colors. I slam mojitos on the reg

GDD™: Your label, Culprit, has really established itself in a mere two years of operation, notching up multiple Mixmag and DJ Mag singles of the month, and airplay on KCRW, BBC, etc. What would you say is the basis of its rapid success?

Droog: Honestly, just having collective good taste and always sticking to it, no shortcuts and no releasing stuff we don’t really believe in. Developing relationships with those we like and respect, getting them to give us their best stuff. The rest of it are logistics, though they can be mega important too…like over time establishing a small team of people who like the label and us personally and are willing to carry its flag wherever they go

GDD™: You’ve had releases on Culprit from MANIK, Hot Natured, Lee Curtiss, Adultnapper, Matt Tolfrey, and many more. How does A&R work for the label? Is it a friendly-turned-business relationship with a lot of these artists?

Droog: It’s definitely an outgrowth of our promotional connections and our peer social circle as DJs. We started from the tight knit crew of artists we got to know through throwing parties (and afterparties) in LA and those we met while DJing around (WMC, DEMF connections are always valuable), who believed in the project in its nascent form.

Once we had those 5-6 releases out and they made an impression, we’ve kind of settled on a hybrid format of going more in-depth with the original artists (Hot Natured, Matt Tolfrey and Chris “Inxec,” Lee Curtiss and Ken Gibson), expanding with the new friends we’ve met and hit it off with (Soul Clap, Tanner Ross, Adultnapper, Chris “MANIK,” Ryan Crosson) and the artists who have actually pursued Culprit recently because of the respect they have for what we’ve been doing (Subb-an, Anthony Collins, Gavin Herlihy, Lula Circus, Death on the Balcony, Special Case). We also have some old friends who we’ve always wanted music from and are finally getting it – Shonky, Dyed Soundorom, Konrad Black, Simon Baker, Shaun Reeves. Also have to leave room for going after artists we admire and respect, regardless of our social connection to them: jozif is one such dude (he is now a friend), Tom Trago and The Revenge are doing remixes for us and we’ve been into their shit for years, in a big way.

Finally, our biggest hope is that we’ll be able to sort of groom or help develop some new US-based producers who would be influenced by our sound and our way of doing things from the start, we have some to mention, like Clovis, Bas, Joee Irwin.

GDD™: You have just recently released your debut EP on Damian Lazarus’ Crosstown Rebels imprint. Why did you choose to put your debut EP on Damian’s label instead of Culprit?

Droog: Two reasons, really: first, we thought it would be cooler and not as “easy” to release on a label that we don’t run and therefore have to pass a higher standard of quality, presumably. It’s our first batch if significant original stuff, so we wanted to be removed from any bias that might come with A & R’ing ourselves – doing a remix for one’s own label is different. Secondly, Crosstown is just a dope ass label, let’s be honest. Both from the creative standpoint – they’ve released top level music for years…also, they are one of the hottest brands in discerning dance music right now, if we could be part of that,  sign us up!

GDD™: The Get Lost party has been known for its specific style of hedonism that only the Crosstown Rebels brand could manifest. You’ve played their all day bash in Miami before. What can people expect from this first Get Lost experience in Los Angeles?

Droog: This should be like a nocturnal ying to the (mostly) daytime yang of the Miami party. I think expect the unexpected, is the motto – but surely, great fucking music wall-to-wall, some bits of creative weirdness, off-kilter art, costumes…just world class fun, well thought-out and with finely tuned sense of mischief. I think anyone reading this would be insane not to check this party out, it’s possibly the first time music and a party concept of this kind steps out into such a bright spotlight in LA…a 1500 capacity venue in the heart of Hollywood.

GDD™: I know Culprit is hosting Jamie Jones and Lee Foss as Hot Natured on the day following Get Lost at Culprit Sessions at Standard Downtown, poolside. You think you’ll be getting any sleep or powering through?

Droog: Ha, game-time decision, wethinks. Our motto has been “be professional” when throwing the Standard shindigs, it’s THE Culprit signature/marquee, wise to be well rested. But it’s not every day we get to be part of Get Lost on our home turf, so the proverbial rule book is out the door.

GDD™: This is your 4th season at the Standard. A lot of parties at the roof come and go, but Culprit Sessions have stood the test of time. What do you think has helped your longevity? What’s the secret sauce behind Cuprit Sessions? Are they an outgrowth of your notorious ‘Bunker Parties’?

Droog: Asian hot sauce is our secret ingredient, no, seriously….it seems simple enough to us – top location, booking only the best talent out there that we think fit the special rooftop vibe and run things smoothly, with respect to our crowd and a bit of a personal touch. We still know vast majority of people who come to our parties – which is a bit of a task these days.

Bunker parties did pre-date the rooftop ones, but not by much…they were the two sides of our personalities, so to speak. The daytime funk and the nightime (morning-time, next day-time – whatever) off-the-wall weirdness.

GDD™: Jamie is obviously a long-standing Crosstown artist, how did Culprit manage to snag the debut Hot Natured EP for the label? That was quite a coup given their tremendous following now.

Droog: We wouldn’t be who we are and where we are without Jamie and Lee Foss – musically and on a personal level. It all can be traced back to WMC 2006 – that was like a seismic event for the US underground scene as we know it now. That year the European sound invaded Miami, with a bunch of amazing parties that felt so fresh, it was that DC10, Fabric etc. vibe in the midst of the usual Miami cheese. That year we were all blown away by the first School for Degenerates party, insane. We didn’t know Lee Foss, but he was there, same time as well, soaking in the vibe and the music. And I (Andrei) heard a Jamie Jones track for the first time – papa Sven (Vath) dropped “Amazon” – basically Jamie’s first big release ever – at the Cocoon afters and it was like “diamond bullet through the brain,” as Tarantino would call it. We knew this is the shit we want to be part of…next year in Miami, we got to meet Jamie at the ROAM party and hit it off. Then he and Lee came to play and hang in july of 2007, we hung out at a little afters thrown together (pre-Bunker days) and never looked back, really.

I think Jamie considered us mates and in 2008, when he did the first Hot Natured EP with Lee,  he was very much into making music for people he liked. I think we convinced him we were for real, plus having Lee practically live with us at that point definitely cemented the connection. They made both of the Hot Natured EPs for Culprit in the “Bunker” studio room. Legendary

GDD™: In the past, the Droog name was mostly associated with Djing and promoting events in Los Angeles, but with your debut EP now out on Rebels, are you guys going to move more toward a producer image?

Droog: It’s one and the same really – it’s more that the producer aspect has been missing from the equation and now it will be added to the already existing DJ and promotional reputation. This day and age, you really cannot afford to be only one of these…unless you treat this as a nice hobby. Which we don’t. We are dead serious about having the most fun possible within this music.

GDD™: Would you say that Los Angeles is accepting and embracing the deeper sounds of dance music much more so now than a few years ago? Or would you say that a bit of the underground sound is starting to emerge to a wider audience?

Droog: Both I think…I mean, let’s be realistic. This music has a bigger audience than it ever had, no doubt, but it’s barely more than a blip on the overall musical radar in LA. But…blip on the LA radar is tons better than no blip at all…and much bigger than blip on most other radars. Ok, the radar analogy has gone as far as it should.

This music will keep expanding, but maybe we shouldn’t expect it to become part of some bigger mainstream. Which is fine by us.

GDD™: With such a massive lineup at Get Lost, whose set (other than your own, of course) are you most excited to see at The Music Box?

Droog: We are not picking anyone specifically – it’s our family, yo!  But, we hear our Art Department boys will be playing a full live set, which they’ve just developed. So watch out, that’s going to be ill.

GDD™: What does Droog have coming up in the fall? Any releases or other big events in the LA area? What’s next for Culprit?

Droog: Things are as busy as they’ve ever been. We have two nice remixes coming out on two great labels – My Favorite Robot from Canada and Murmur in London. Have another EP of original stuff signed up by Audiofly’s label, Supernature – also with our main man Inxec on co-production.  Droog have had the privilege of mixing the new Rebel Rave CD (first one was done last year by Clive Henry) – that will be out in November, very excited about that, big step for us. Plus we’ll be playing Nocturnal Wonderland on Sept. 24th and traveling as much as we can from here to eternity.

Culprit is a beehive now too, Shonky’s EP is killing it. We have an 8-track Various Artist sampler out in late September; Special Case, new MANIK EP, Gavin Herlihy, Ahmet Sisman, Simon Baker, Matt Tolfrey with Lazaro Cazanova & Nikki Gibler all planned in the next 5-6 months

After Hot Natured this Sunday, we will do two more blow-outs not to be missed. Lee Curtiss teams up with his “Candy” partner, Matt Tolfrey and the rising star or Kevin Knapp on Sept. 11th. We close the season with our friends Martin Buttrich and jozif on october 2nd.

GDD™: Thanks for taking the time guys, and we look forward to catching your set on Saturday night.





One Response to Get Lost LA + Exclusive Interview w/ Droog

  1. Great interview JB!!

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