Christian Nielsen, a young producer from Denmark, has recently been making waves on Jesse Rose’s imprints Play It Down and A-SIDED, spoke to us on the eve of his latest single “What You Thinking?” being released. A producer that expertly blurs the lines between house and techno, oft seen in the combination of vocal hooks with blistering techno drives, Christian is definitely cornering his niche sound. “What You Thinking?” is a progression on this, finely balanced and ready for the floor. And with additional releases and remixes on the likes of Glasgow Underground, Moon Harbour, 8bit, and Toolroom, he’s surely making his rounds in the underground scene. We’re excited for what’s to come from Christian, but in the mean time check out “What You Thinking?” and get to know more about the Copenhagen producer in the interview below.
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The famed Desert Hearts Festival is returning April 1st-4th to Los Coyotes Indian Reservation after the wildly successful three year celebration that took place last Winter. We were fortunate enough to catch a minute of co-founder/DJ, Porkchop‘s time to talk shop and find out what has him revved up for the upcoming festivities. After wrapping up a 2.0 version of their City Hearts Tour, he regales us with the highlights while offering up some inspiring words on how to make the most of the impending weekend. Tune in to his Gotta Dance Dirty certified playlist and let the House, Techno, and Love take hold. Continue Reading
If you’re a house head and you don’t recognize the name Billy Kenny, chances are you already know his widely reputable tracks. With tracks supported by so many heavy hitters in the scene, there’s no doubt you’ve caught his sound rinsed in clubs and festivals worldwide. Aside from releasing on Dirtybird and co-running the hidden gem of a label This Ain’t Bristol, Billy now has brought his production onto the perma-hot Australian label Sweat It Out, delivering a howling bass heavy flip for Benson‘s new single “Hollow”. The remix is officially out today, so we caught up with the man himself about the release and his upcoming shows in the USA.
Billy Kenny! Probably one of the most underrated producers right now, with everyone supporting your music from Skream to Chris Lake to Claude VonStroke. What’s one special ingredient that goes into a Billy Kenny track?
Thanks for the kind words! I test everything I make, live in my set’s before they go out as a demo to labels, so if it doesn’t work in the club, it’s most likely going in the bin (or “trash” if I’m in your neck of the woods!) I guess that’s not a specific ingredient, but definitely a formula I’ve been going by.
You’ve got a new remix for Benson just that just dropped on Sweat It Out. How did that come about with those Sweaty Aussies? Was it an easy flip of the original or a major process to get it where you wanted it?
I have indeed, Benson just hit me up out of the blue actually. As soon as I heard the original I was keen, but the final version being released was actually my third attempt! I scrap any idea I’m not fully into after three hours, which is what I did with the other two. Third time lucky aye!?
Your co-owned label “This Aint Bristol” churns out some of the best in underground house music, and your set for a 15 track compilation on September 24th. What was one thing you looked for in selecting the tunes? Who can we expect on the release?
Thanks! Yeah, I’m so excited about the compilation, it’s definitely my favorite release from TAB to date. I have a lot more freedom with our VA’s, so picking tracks for them is always much more fun. I had an idea where I wanted to go with it, but having each individual track stand out as much as possible was my main goal. “Even More Selections” has everything from absolute weapons to warm up and closing time stuff, so a bit of something for everyone! I won’t spoil the fun, but can tell you there’s stuff in there from artists we’ve previously worked with, new faces and of course contributions from our team including Maximono, Abby Jane and myself.
So we here a USA tour is in the works, with some big dates @ The Dirtybird Campout, HARD Day Of The Dead, and Holy Ship!… What are you most excited about with the American shows and the crowds?
I’m crazy excited for all three of these! I’m sure they’ll all be huge highlights of what has already been the best year for me so far and I’m really grateful to Vonstroke and Destructo for bringing me over there. First of all, I can’t wait to eat a burger from Grillson at the Campout and meet the rest of the DB family! I’ve been watching after-movies from HARD and Holy Ship! which both look unreal! Basically all three of those shows are most likely going to blow my mind! I’m getting pumped thinking about them now, so I’m moving on to the next question.
If you weren’t DJing/producing, what would you be doing?
Nobody knows this, but when i first moved to Germany, it was at a time when there wasn’t a lot happening musically, so i applied for a job at a coffee manufacturers just to stay above water. Anyway, about a week later, things just started to fall into place starting with a call i got from CR2 Records who asked me to do some sample pack work for them. A week after that i found a wicked studio to rent and moved in, so i knuckled down and worked on my music. In answer to your question, I’d probably be bagging up coffee beans!
Listen to Billy Kenny’s remix for Benson “Hollow” below, and watch out for This Ain’t Bristol Even More Selections compilation out September 24th!
It’s pretty safe to say that Dirtybird is on a tear, and we were lucky enough to reserve a sit down with the first lady over at their camp, none other than J.Phlip. Check out our conversation with this crate-digging crowd pleaser, as we cover everything from her debut tour as a headliner, to her snacks of choice…
To get you ready for their headline show tomorrow night 9/12 in Los Angeles @ Exchange, we caught up with the LA-based duo Oliver, who’s techno driven yet disco spirited sound has catapulted them to wide spread support and made them a household name along the festival circuit.
GDD: Your Light Years Away EP just dropped this week on Fool’s Gold. Both ‘Light Years Away’ and ‘Fast Forward’ boast massive techno driven bass lines that reconcile with disco and funk chords and vocals throughout. What was the inspiration behind the 2 tracks?
OLIVER: If I remember correctly, Vaughn had the idea for the main bassline in Light Years Away and we just started building the track around that. We wrote the section that ended up becoming the bridge on piano and the lyric/melody with our friend Ryland. A lot of the time we aren’t really sure what parts are going to end up in the finished song so we like to try a bunch of ideas and see what sticks.
For Fast Forward, we had that little vocal part from some other song that ended up not going anywhere. We always liked the idea and actually tried to use it a couple times but it never went anywhere. This is a great example of having a vocal idea or song title and letting that dictate the direction of the track. We actually used the iPad a bunch on this song. And the final bassline that you hear was like one of 10 that we ended up settling on minutes before having to hand the song in.
GDD: Your production has evolved over the past few years, as you guys have played bigger shows and festivals? Has that had any effect on the productions?How would you describe what makes it an “Oliver” track?
OLIVER: We try our best to play out tracks that will translate well to crowds while at the same time be something we can stand behind. I think that has become something that is a motivator in the studio, to make songs that can translate in a live setting but not sound like everybody else. I think these two tracks are prime examples of us just having come off the road and wanting to have something original to play.
GDD: You’ve become really close with Destructo and the HARD family, both in the studio and on stage… how did that all come to be?
OLIVER: We work with a company called Pulse who manages us and Gary is a close friend of the Pulse team. That’s how we all met and started to collaborate on music in the studio.
GDD: This Friday you guys play Exchange in downtown Los Angeles. What’s your favorite thing about performing in LA and are you excited for such a big headline show?
OLIVER: Yeah! It’s gonna be a fun one. Definitely feels good having all our friends and team there who have been so supportive since day one. We are really excited to have some new material out and also working on a lot more of it. Hopefully we will be able to test out some demos on the night.
GDD: It BONES birthday party on Friday… what’s the worst/most embarrassing birthday memory you guys (each) have?
OLIVER: Oh man, I’m pretty sure every birthday of mine ends in embarrassment. I’m pretty sure we’ve all had those birthdays where people wont stop buying you shots. I mean, it would be rude not to take them right? Haha
Great tracks are often swept under the rug, dismissed, and forgotten. It seems that now more than ever, there are heaps of tracks that are given a second chance after being scooped up by bigger labels. We caught up with Amtrac, who is having his 2012 hit ‘Those Days’ re-released on the legendary Toolroom imprint.
Welcome back to another edition of the Quick-hitter! We’ve been seeing a lot of UK dj/producer Vanilla Ace here in the States this summer, and wanted to catch up with him amidst his US tour and headlining Afternoon Delight this Sunday @ The Standard Hotel rooftop in downtown LA… we’ll keep this short and sweet!
GDD: Vanilla Ace! You’ve been on a huge US summer tour, most notable just playing HARD Summer and Splash House… whats been some of your favorite shows on the tour so far?
VA: All the shows have been great so far, HARD and Splash house were fun and messy! I also had a great time playing Bardot in Miami and Audio in San Francisco.
GDD: You’ve been hard at work in the studio w/ remixes for Moon Boots, Destructo, and originals with Sharam Jey, Adam Banks and Lora… what else do you have in the pipeline that you can hint us about?
VA: I have two original releases on the way, ‘What you need’ single on Incorrect and the in demand ‘I’m hot’ EP on LouLou players. Both are out in the next few weeks.
GDD: Speaking of, your production is known in the “gangster house” category… whats one thing you do in the studio thats a signature to make it Vanilla Ace?
VA: Only some of the music I make is ‘G-House’, the Moon Boots remix I just did with Barber is definitely more on the proper ‘deep house’ vibe. But to answer the question a signature Vanilla Ace production usually has a killer bass line and spooky/unusual synths/pads.
GDD: You play the “Afternoon Delight” @ The Standard Hotel rooftop this Sunday… whats your favorite thing about playing in LA? And are you afraid of heights?
VA: I’m not afraid of heights but you wouldn’t catch me bungee jumping or sky diving anytime soon! I love LA, one of my favourite places in the world.
GDD: THINK FAST! What’s the last song you’d ever wanna listen to before you die?
VA: Roachford – ‘Cuddly Toy’ , lol
To get you hyped for Claude Vonstroke’s CALIFUTURE release party tomorrow @ Exchange LA, our very own BONES caught up with his special guest for the night and our long time friend Doorly. The UK to LA transplant has been on a warpath of house music production, and playing shows across the globe all summer long….
GDD: Doorly! You’re back in Los Angeles this Saturday @ Exchange LA w/ Claude Vonstroke… how’s the summer been overin ibiza? Any noteworthy shows and/or collaborative studio sessions?
D: Just landed this morning, not slept in my own bed since May so its AMAZING to be back home for a few weeks! Having an incredible summer so far though, my new party at Pacha on Mondays is storming the island, we’ve had some mental line ups with the likes of Derrick Carter, Groove Armada, Giorgio Moroder, Basement Jaxx, Green Velvet, Shadow Child, Kenny dope to name a few passing through. Also i’ve been running a series of after hours parties at the legendary Pikes hotel, where they famously filmed wahm’s “Club Tropicana” Last week myself, Jesse Rose & Oliver $ did a back to back session and Duane harden popped up and sang along with us : )
Collaboration wise its also been a standout summer for me as well, my new collab with Cajmere just came out on his label Cajual alongside an full EP from me. I’m also polishing up more collaborations with DJ Pierre, Harry Choo Choo Romero and Switch (Featuring a spoken word vocal from Idris Elba!) And my latest record with Shadow Child “Piano Weapon” is finally about to drop!
GDD: Speaking of the studio, you’ve been on a warpath of production lately… what drove you to jump back into house music? What do you think stands out the most in your production?
D: I’ve always Made and Played house music since i started over 15 years ago its just for the couple of years that i toyed with bass music, those (Especially in america) were my biggest records so everybody assumed that i was a dubstep DJ no matter how hard i tried to convince the world otherwise. I just got to a point where i was not enjoying my gigs becuase the music being played around me was just getting more and more aggressive so 2 years ago i just had to make a conscious effort to just not play any more of those shows or make any more of that music and just solely make music i was 100 percent into again. There was a tricky year or so there becuase i was turning down 90 percent of the gigs i was being offered while i got the next wave of music out there but im so glad that i stuck to my guns because its all coming together very nicely now and i’ve never been so comfortable with my sound, i’ve definitely found my groove again.
With my productions, i’m very conscious of onto a bandwagon of whats hot right now (e.g the UK garage thing or “Deep House”) becuase i accidentally made that mistake once. My aim is to make tracks that sound like they were made 10 years ago, lots of funk but still with bass mentality to them and always for the dancefloor.
GDD: Some people might not know this, but are surgical with your DJ sets. With all the tricks you perform, do you plan out what you’re going to play for each set? Or do you just go upt here and have fun?
D: I never plan anything, i hope it shows but when i’m up there i’m having a blast myself experimenting with stuff all the time, i hate to go in with a plan because that way i’d end up playing the same set all the time and with an attention span as short as mine i would definitely look visibly bored up there! Obviously i put a lot of prep in before my sets making edits and stuff, and pioneer’s Rekordbox is absolutely my best mate these days!
GDD: You’re gearing up to play with the Dirtybird bossman Claude Vonstroke, whom you did a remix for on his recent single “The Clapping Track.” How’d that come to be and can we expect more from you forthcoming on Dirtybird?
D: It was a huge honour to be a part of that album remix package amongst some ridiculously good company, i was a massive fan of the album anyway and clapping track was my favourite track so when Barclay asked me to do it of course i nearly snapped his hand off! I’m really proud of how that came out and its still one of the biggest crowd winners in my sets.
And as for forthcoming stuff with Dirtybird, yeah 100 percent, the whole crew, DJs and Behind the scenes at Dirtybird are like a family to me so theres definitely more coming, I cant say too much right now you will be hearing something very fun from me on Dirtybird very soon : )
GDD: What do you like most about playing in LA? If this is your first time playing @ Exchange, what are you looking forward to most?
D: L.A is my home town now so i always manage to bring a huge crew with me, its great to DJ surrounded by all of your mates and then we usually end up having a spectacular afterparty at my place after as well, as the GDD crew can testify to! I’ve never actually played at Exchange before in all my years of coming here and i must have been over 100 times to watch my friends play and party there so i’m very very excited about this one, i genuinely feel like this could be one of my Biggest L.A shows to date so i’m most definitely going to Bring it!
Thanks to Barclay for asking me to come and support him on this and see you there Bone dogg!
Live and direct – the hard hitting Netherlander and GDD favorite Bart B More is in the haus! Amidst his 2014 US Summer tour and in Los Angeles for his b2b set tonight w/ AC Slater @ NIGHT BASS, we grabbed a quick catch up with the man himself to see whats been up and whats to come…
GDD: Bart! Been a minute since we last heard from you, whats been up this year for you as far as production? Anything you can let us know coming up too?
BBM: Hey guys, it’s been a while indeed but I’m happy to be back in the states for a bit to play a couple of shows! I started off the year with my second EP on Skrillex’s imprint OWSLA. With that EP I was able to show a more cinematic side of myself which I was really happy about.
Beside that I’ve been pushing my label Secure Recordings a lot with releasing my own tracks. To me, my last EP on Secure felt like a statement to make dance music more about dancing again, and I was really pleased to see it get support from heavy weights like Skrillex and Boys Noize. There’s a lot of exciting stuff coming up! I made a cowbell track that I’m releasing on Chris Lake’s ‘Rising Music’, and a new 3 track EP on Secure. But the thing I’m probably most excited about is my new collab project with Mr. Oizo, as he’s one of my biggest inspirations regarding creativity and originality. Super stoked for what’s ahead.
GDD: You’re on your US Summer Tour now and will be playing @ Sound this Thursday for NIGHT BASS. What do you like best about playing in LA?
BBM: I feel like there’s a lot of people in LA that truly appreciate my sound. I’ve received nothing but love at the shows I’ve played here. I notice because my social media usually blows up before I play a show in LA. The anticipation is just immense and it never disappoints. I’m really excited about the show tomorrow!
GDD: What does “NIGHT BASS” mean to you? What do you think of this craze for “bass heavy house” or “nu-k garage” music? Can you see yourself adapting to it or still paving your own way?
BBM: People that have followed my music know that I loooove bass heavy music so I definitely encourage this trend… super happy to be a part of introducing the mainstream to the roots of house music! Although my goal is to pave my own way of course, this is definitely a’ genre’ I’m most comfortable with.
GDD: You’re going b2b with AC Slater @ NIGHT BASS. Have you guys ever played together before? Can we expect a studio session out of this trip?
BBM: We’re definitely meeting up before the show, but not sure if we’ll be able to squeeze in a session. We used to play alongside each other all the time but we never actually played a b2b set before! I know it’ll be a lot of fun because it always is when we’re together. AC is very passionate about his music and always has so much fun when he dj’s , which rubs off on the crowd, not to mention myself as well 😉
GDD: What are you looking forward to over the summer?
BBM: Think I’m going to have a music filled summer, both in the studio and on the road dj’ing…I’ll be going to a lot of places meeting new people, and catching up with all the friends I made along the way. Really embracing the lifestyle at the moment and so grateful to be able to do it all, no complaints
AC Slater here for a little guest post on Gotta Dance Dirty to bring you the scoop on Night Bass, my Los Angeles based event based around pushing under-represented sounds of bass music in the American music scene including UK garage, bassline, grime and more. We are bringing UK based producer and DJ Royal-T from the infamous Butterz crew. If there was anyone meant to play at Night Bass its Royal-T. His fusion of garage, bassline, grime and hip hop fit perfectly into the ethos of the Night Bass movement. I had a quick chat with the man of the month to see what he’s got in store for us.
Read the interview + DOWNLOAD the mix (after the jump) Continue Reading