I woke up to a rainy day in Los Angeles, and I couldn’t be happier to share Mr. Josh Legg’s newest jam with you guys. ’Angeles’ is full of feeling — taking me back to the NightWaves days and putting the emphasis on what Binary is, and who Goldroom is, down to the soul. The new jam is full of euphoric groove, and it’ll massage all the right places. As an added bonus, we did a little Q & A with the man so you guys can get some background on the project as a whole. Without further adieu…
GDD :Where are you from & How has that influenced your music? What elements from your past have helped influence your musical style / taste?
Goldroom: I grew up in Massachusetts in a pretty standard suburban situation. Didn’t enjoy much about that. My summers however were spent messing around in boats on Cape Cod though, which has influenced pretty much everything in my life. The feeling and memories of being a teenager without any cares except partying and girls is something that I always come back to in my music. My musical tastes really reflect that I guess. I like big, obvious, universal emotions, regardless of the style of music, be it Tom Petty, Nirvana, Daft Punk, or LCD Soundsystem.
GDD: How do you describe the Goldroom sound?
Goldroom: I think I’m still working towards a sound, and thats something that I hope I never really settle into. To me, careful and thoughtful songwriting is the much more important element of the equation. ‘Sounds’ and ‘vibes’ are so short lived these days that trying to chase whats cool right now is fruitless. The only thing that really stands up is a good song. That said, people seem to call my music tropical, and I think thats a reflection of the fact that I like to write positive and emotional chord progressions, and the fact that I tend to enjoy dance music more in the 105-115bpm range. Clean sounds and emotive melodies are big parts of my sound, which I hope sets me apart from a lot of electronic music being made right now.
GDD: What do you use in the studio and how does that derive from your musical upbringing?
Goldroom: I grew up writing songs on an acoustic guitar, so in some ways I’ve tried to take that approach to writing electronic music as well. I prefer playing on real instruments to just working inside my computer. Grooves happen more easily, and there’s just something more human about playing a song rather than drawing it. As for my DAW, I use Logic9 for all of my productions (although I do use Ableton Live to record mixes and do some other audio warping work). My sounds are a mixture of drum samples, some soft synths from a few rad VSTs, a couple of analog synthesizers I own, some bass guitar, and a couple guitars as well. I love recording live percussion too. Wood blocks and congas can do a hell of a lot to a groove. Hopefully once Goldroom starts playing live, we’ll be able to take the studio vibe we have and bring it to the stage.
GDD: Tell us a little about Binary.
Goldroom: Binary is my day job and has been the biggest part of my life for the last 4 years. Kyle Petersen and I started it in early 2008 as an artist management company and record label, and we’ve been championing clean, melodic, pop based dance music ever since. We’ve released a bunch of records, put some bands on a few awesome tours, and done pretty well for ourselves. We also have a blog that really champions the same sounds, Dreamwave being a genre we coined way back in the day. We have an ever growing roster, and a really tight knit family of producers here in LA that rank among my best friends in the world.
GDD: Describe your perfect venue.
Goldroom: Have you seen the photos from the beach sets at Holy Ship? When I close my eyes at night, thats what I see.
GDD: Haha, Yah we have…Thats one show i won’t be missing next year! How do you go about picking tracks you’d like to remix? Seems like you’ve done an unreal job so far!
Goldroom: Most of the time I get approached to do them, so it comes down to listening to the tracks and seeing how much I like the vocals. I almost never would remix a song without vocals. In fact, when I did my remix for Pat Lok, which had no vocals, I actually recorded some of my own. On the whole, it doesn’t matter if the artist is big or small, it just matters if the song hits me in the right way. There have been a couple of occasions when I’ve reached out to an artist to do a remix because I’ve loved the original so much.
GDD: What are your 5 favorite tracks play out right now?
1. Niki & The Dove – Mother Protect (Goldroom Remix)
2. Edwin Van Cleef – I Feel You
3. Gigamesh – When You’re Dancing
4. Oliver – Footsteps
5. Fabian – The Jack
Honorable mention to Bit Funk’s “Rap Music” which I’ve probably played at every club gig I’ve played the last few months.
GDD: What are 5 artists we need to keep our ears open for?
1. Lancelot. He’s the next big tropical house producer from Australia. Crazy talented producer.
2. Zimmer. Disco Texas artist that somehow slipped under the radar way more than he should have. Amazing stuff to come from him.
3. Poindexter. Portland based producer/songwriter thats like an American cross between James Blake and Breakbot.
4. Clubfeet. Fantastic band that had a bit of a hit back in 2008 but has a full length coming on Plant Music thats incredible.
5. Jensen Sportag. Entirely too talented to be so unknown. I honestly think they could be America’s answer to Air. Their productions are that meticulous. Can’t wait to see them at SXSW this year.
Honorable mention to my guy Fabian, who’s probably too well known to include here, but everyone should expect big things from in 2012.
GDD: Would you rather wear a permanent life jacket or permanent helmet for the rest of your life?
Goldroom: Safety takes no holiday bro. I pretty much wear a life jacket at all times anyway, so lets get nautical with it.
GDD: What does the year of 2012 hold for Goldroom & Binary?
Goldroom: Binary is going to continue to step up on the label side of things. We’re in the process of signing a handful of new producers and bands. Our most recent signing, SolarSolar, is getting a ton of press from the indie world and we have really high hopes for their album, which is coming out in February. If you’re into Zero 7 or Frou Frou, you’ll fall in love with these guys, they’re great. As for Goldroom, I’m just going to keep making as much music as possible. Some of the trappings of the music business have started to try and take hold, but I’m not interested in letting that side of things keep me from focusing on getting better at making music. I do anticipate playing a lot more shows in 2012 though. Look for me at SXSW, followed by my first go at playing shows in Europe in April. Really excited for that!