While at Electric Zoo the other weekend we stopped by the Bingo Players’ set on the mainstage Saturday and briefly chatted with them after the show about Hysteria, new Bingo Players music and who would win in a DJ Faceoff. Check it out below…
Tag Archives: interviews
GottaDanceDirty™: You’ve had a phenomenal year, firstly let’s start with your record Mega, it was pushed back quite a bit. How long did it take you and Sinden to put together and do you see this as a relationship of multiple albums together?
Josh Harvey: Yeh definitely, we are like a band. We’re signed as a proper act to Domino, so we’re going be doing at least two more albums together.
GDD™: That’s great to hear, and of course you had ‘After Dark’ which was a massive hit this summer, how did your collaboration with Mystery Jets come about?
JH: Well basically, Kai [Fish] the bassist of Mystery Jets used to live two doors down from me before I moved to where I am now. Will [Rees] was always around Kai’s and Sinden is obviously always around mine recording. Both Will and Kai are DJs and they had a vague idea who we were, played our tunes and stuff, and we just became really close friends with them. We were constantly talking about collaborating: “We wanna get you on the album”. So it came to crunch time at the beginning of this year and we all said “come on then, let’s do it”, and although it was the last track we recorded for the Count & Sinden album, we released it as our first single because everyone just fell in love with it.
GDD™: Huge track man, we really enjoyed it. You’re known to have one of the most unbelievable work ethics of any electronic producer out there. I’ve not known anyone to produce as many tracks as you in a single year. How do you manage to pull that off and still run a label?
JH: I think you answered it right there. I think I just have a strong work ethic, I just force myself to get in the studio. There’s stuff that works out, and there’s stuff that doesn’t work out, but the more I work, the more proficient I get at creating my music. And when I’m not in the studio, maybe when I’m doing label work, A&R, stuff like that, ideas just come into my head of a style that I want to do, and then I’m off. I don’t really sit in the studio twiddling my thumbs, waiting for inspiration. I only go in there to make tracks, so its quite productive – I think about the tracks before I put them together a lot of the time.
GDD™: Do you have a specific formula for your tracks then?
JH: No, not really. Other than that 80% of the time I think of a concept or idea of how I want it to sound before I go into the studio. The other 20% is going in and starting from scratch, I don’t really have a formula. I just see what happens, and whatever comes out, I put under one of the names I record as.
GDD™: Right, so when you collaborated earlier this year with Fatboy Slim on your Machine’s Don’t Care project, how did that come about, was it just the two of you in a studio bouncing ideas around, or did you both go in with specific ones?
JH: He’d been listening to my tracks, and playing them a lot. He just got in touch with me and said: “I’d like to do some tunes with you”. I was like: “Great! I’d love to, that’d be really fun,” and it took a while for us to get together as he was really busy. But once he was free, he’d come over, and we’d sit in the studio every couple of weeks and throw ideas around. We did about 3 or 4 tracks, but this one was the one he really wanted to release. We had a really good time.
GDD™: A couple of us have wanted to know for a while now, how do you manage to keep all your aliases so consistent. Surely it would be easy to kill one off, or let a couple fall by the way-side?
JH: Yeh, I mean, I’m sort of going to start slowing that down now, as I’m currently writing my Herve album and working out a deal with a big label for that. It’s taking up some time, so I mean the key thing for me is that I only release records that I think are good and that I feel will make their mark. I mean, as Action Man, I’ve done a few remixes, but I haven’t really released any EPs for a while as I haven’t really come up with anything that I particularly want to put out. Dead Soul Brothers (His side-project with Seba) again, we’re gonna be working on an album next year hopefully. But we did something three years ago that people really liked, it’s just that neither of us have had the time to do it since then. Hopefully soon, we’re going to clear the boards and that will be the next thing after my Herve album.
GDD™: Looking forward to both releases man, very cool. So is there one particular alias besides Herve that you enjoy producing under more than the rest?
JH: No, I think Herve is the one, that’s where it all comes from. That’s the root of everything that’s Herve, that’s the key persona but, I suppose that collaborations are good as they help to take you somewhere else, you know, like Dead Soul Brothers and Count and Sinden. But it’s difficult to say, it depends what mood you’re in, sometimes you’re in the mood for some strange new techno, and other times it’s all about psychedelic folk with multiple harmonies. It just changes every day, every week.
GDD™: Fair enough. Who do you admire in electronic music’s current climate – Someone who’s maybe doing something a bit different from the regular?
GDD™: I’ll take a listen. You’ve got a big following in the US, and I know you don’t enjoy flying too much, but can you see yourself making it out Stateside at any point?
GDD™: We’ve definitely got our fingers crossed for you man, good luck with that. We’d love to see you out there. Taking things to a less serious note, but it’s still vital that you answer this one – When you’re on a night out and those Jagerbombs get flowing, do you dance dirty?
GDD™: Fair enough man, we’ll run with that. Thanks for taking the time, we appreciate it.
We chatted with North Carolina’s Porter Robinson over Labor Day weekend to find out more about this teenage prodigy who has been ruling Beatport’s Electro House chart with his hit record, “Say My Name”. Check out the rest of the interview, “Say My Name”, and two previews (one exclusive) of upcoming Porter Robinson tracks after the jump.
Gotta Dance Dirty: First, thanks for taking time out of your day to give us an interview. Traditionally here at Gotta Dance Dirty™, we would ask what your alcoholic beverage of choice is if the first round were on us, but since you’re only 18, would you like your Shirley Temple with one cherry or two?
Porter Robinson: Hey, I’m headed out to Germany not too long from now. But while I’m here, get me a coffee or something. Also, you guys are throwing me a free GDD t-shirt, right? I’m going to make sure you spend at least a little on me.
GDD: One coffee and one tee. As one of electro house’s youngest stars, you must have been producing from a very young age. Tell us about how you got your start.
PR: Yeah! I got started at age 13 just sort of playing with a program called ACID. My experience as a producer actually predates my discovery of ‘real’ electronic music. What inspired me back then was the music I knew from videogames and weird Japanese shit I downloaded from Limewire. So it’s not like I started off trying to emulate the most successful producers out there. I found out about electro like three years after I started producing.
GDD: You’ve taken electro, progressive, and dubstep and crafted them together to top the Beatport Electro House chart with your single, “Say My Name”. Would you mind sharing your influences and tell us how you started experimenting with your current sound?
PR: The iconic dubstep wobble. Damn, I love it so much. The wobble is an incredible bass sound and real electro house is driven by its basses, so it seemed completely natural to me to incorporate it. And I think the combination of soft, unthreatening progressive breakdowns with super aggressive-sounding hooks creates an awesome contrast. Those sounds just clicked and it worked, in my opinion, really well. As far as my influences go, there’s like 50 artists whose names I want to drop who are clearly putting enormous amounts of effort and detail into their productions. Wolfgang Gartner, Dirtyloud, and Noisia are the first producers that come to mind, though. Their priorities seem to be the same as mine: they emphasize power and complexity.
GDD: With that being said, any plans to experiment with dubstep?
PR: I’m open to the possibility, but right now I don’t plan to. Entirely different production skills are required of an artist for that genre. Plus, with all the collaborations and remixes I’m doing right now in electro house, it would be hard to fit in an experimental project. I have thought about giving breaks a try, though. That’s not too different from what I’m doing today.
GDD: Porter, it’s obvious to anyone who is paying attention that your future is very bright. With which artists are you looking forward to collaborating?
PR: It’s been mind-blowing – several of my collaboration fantasies are actually coming true. I just finished a song with Lazy Rich, a long-time favorite of mine, and also Dirtyloud, and I plan to do a song together since we both really dig each other’s music. But if I could really have it my way, I’d do a track with Wolfgang Gartner. I’ve come to idealize him as some kind of music production deity.
GDD: Looking forward to hearing that collaboration with Lazy Rich! What else can we look forward to from you in the near future?
PR: I work on music a lot, so I have just an enormous amount of singles that are awaiting release. I’m remixing Tim Berg’s tune “Bromance”. Today, I just wrapped up a remix for German deejays Heiko und Maiko, and I think that it really, really rocks. I’d say I have about ten completed songs that nobody’s heard yet, and I’ve put an enormous amount of effort into each of them.
GDD: Care to share some wisdom with any budding producers out there reading this?
PR: Yeah, I’d love to! The best advice that I ever got was just to make your music ultra-detailed to make it clear to my listeners that you’re working hard. Polish is what will set you apart. No section of your song should be easy to make – if it was, add a crazy fill to it. Set absurd standards for yourself.
GDD: Anything else you want to say?
PR: Shout out to Lil Jon. I’m obsessed with the guy. Two of my unreleased songs make references to him. I knew I was in love with the act Pance Party when I saw they had him as their Twitter background.
GDD: Last but not least, will you be dancing dirty at senior prom?
PR: I gotta!
Without further ado, check out “Say My Name”, Porter’s collaboration with Lazy Rich entitled “Hello”, and an exclusive peek at his latest remix of Heiko und Maiko.
His mashup of “Warp 1.9″ and “Shake it Down” was one of our top tracks back in May and his new remix of the Tron Legacy Theme by Daft Punk is going to blow you away. Without further ado, ten questions and two exclusive tracks from Canadian banger prodigy John Roman.
John Roman: If I could have anything, there’s nothing better than a Carling Lager or a Lakeport Pilsner (everyone from Ontario knows what I’m talking about!), but more realistically, I’d take a gin and tonic. Thank you.
GDD: So when and how did you start producing? Name some of your major influences.
JR: I started producing hip-hop when I was in Grade 9, so 13 or 14. I was absolutely terrible. I feel sorry for any of my friends that had to nod and act like anything I was making was half-decent because, at that age, I really had no idea what I was doing. Back then I was all about DJ Shadow, RJD2, Dilla, Madlib, RZA, anything Native Tongues – that sampled sound. But about two years ago, I just went headfirst into electronic music, and man, there’s just so much out there, so many genres, you can always find something. Right now, the biggest influences on my electronic work are The Proxy, Boys Noize, Justice, SebastiAn, Mr. Oizo, Nadastrom, but there’s just so many great acts out there, and I don’t want to sound like a Facebook Favorite Music section, haha.
GDD: What have you been listening to these days?
JR: Other than the acts I mentioned above, a lot more techno and minimal artists. Oliver Huntemann, Renaissance Man, Noob, Afrojack, Popof, among others. At the same time, I’ve kind of been getting back into hip-hop. MF Doom is in SERIOUS rotation right now.
GDD: Just lurked your MySpace and was surprised to see an empty calendar. Any plans to tour in the near future? Hopefully down to the United States, land of privatized health care?
JR: Well hopefully I’ll be down there before it becomes universal, haha. I’ve just been a serious hermit in the studio this summer. A lot of people are whispering about the ‘death of the banger’, which I think is true only the sense that the ‘banger’ as we knew it before will die, but there will always some new form of fist-pumping music – we all need it. So I’ve just been trying to re-invent myself, make something more musical, original and closer to my influences. Also, at 20, I’m still in school for about 8 months of the year, so touring during the school year is a little tough, haha.
GDD: A myriad of producers tried their hand at remixing The Bloody Beetroots’ “Warp 1.9″ but nothing came close to the original. What made you instead decide to not only sample “Warp 1.9″, but A-trak and Laidback Luke’s “Shake it Down” for your smash hit, “Warp it Down”?
JR: Like you said, nothing came close to the original, and I knew that from the on-set. “Warp 1.9” works so well because it’s just that ‘Dominator’ synth and drums, adding to that would just take away from it. I just didn’t feel comfortable playing “Warp 1.9” live because EVERY DJ was doing, and I knew clubbers were getting sick of hearing it OVER and OVER again. The same goes for “Shake it Down”, so decided I’d just combine them, that way I could play two of my favorite tracks from the past year without coming off cliché.
GDD: Tell us about this remix of the Tron Legacy theme that we’re premiering here on Gotta Dance Dirty.
JR: Tron – one of my favorite movies. Daft Punk – one of my favorite artists. I had to. I thought the Legacy theme was cool; I just wanted to expand on it. It’s a bit more electronica, and slower than my usual work. I wanted to make a remix that felt just like the movie. Picture yourself standing alone on a never-ending computer grid, surrounded by nothingness, eerily quiet as though you know something is about to happen…does it sound like that? Haha.
GDD: A penny for your thoughts on the future of electro.
JR: The speed that electro is developing at is just incredible. A sound can go from praise to criticism within a matter of months, which can definitely be frustrating for a producer, but that’s the nature of the game. I think the producers that will have the greatest longevity will be those that work on being original outside of the trends rather than playing catch-up. Imitation gets noticed, originality gets remembered. As well I believe the lasting producers will be good musicians. Only those that know what they’re doing musically will be able to change with the times.
GDD: Any advice or wisdom for aspiring producers?
JR: Study your instruments and synths! The weakness I find in a lot of new producers is that there’s too much guesswork in their composition and sound design. Part of being an electronic musician is being a musician. Practice, practice, practice. And figure out what everything does in your DAW. Understanding your software doesn’t end at figuring out how to sidechain.
GDD: Anything else you’d like to say?
JR: Expect a LOT of new material in the fall, some original, some collaborations, and not all under the “John Roman” name. Gotta Dance Dirty™ is the best electro blog in the world. 704 Fuck Shack for life. Shout out to super-fan Matt Peen Prior.
GDD: Last but not least, do you absolutely have to dance dirty? Is there really any other way?
JR: There’s absolutely no other way. There’s a crazy party here in Toronto called “Dance Like You Fuck”, and I hope that’s how everyone approaches dancing to electro music.