Simon Le Bon Is A Girl After All

09 november 2011 Commentaren (0)

duran-duran-girl-panic.jpg'Obviously, we were one of the first to put models in our videos.' Ik blijf nog altijd teleurgesteld in het nieuwe album van Duran Duran (geproduced door Mark Ronson), maar hun nieuwe videoclip (geregisseerd door Jonas 'Smack My Bitch Up' Akerlund) is heerlijk tongue-in-cheek. Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Eva Herzigova en Helena Christensen (van wie enkel die laatste er halvelings haar leeftijd uitziet) spelen Duran Duran, zonder aan hun supermodellenstatus uit de jaren '90 te verzaken. Het begint allemaal 'leuk idee', maar hoe langer de clip duurt en hoe meer je erover nadenkt, hoe briljanter hij is.


ILT Interview: Agoria

08 november 2011 Commentaren (0)

i love techno, interview, magazine, agoriaWith I Love Techno just around the corner, the new I Love Techno Magazine has also hit stores - including a couple interviews I did with some of this year's tastiest artists. I Love Techno didn't mind me throwing them online as well so here's the fourth one with Agoria (and be sure to also check out the previous ones with Mumbai Science, Brodinski and Chase and Status)!


‘It was either this or working in a record store.’

Think this is the first time Agoria plays I Love Techno? Think again. While the French producer never played inside Flanders Expo, he was one of thirty acts to grace the line-up of I Love Techno Outdoor in 2003 – sharing a stage with Alexander Kowalski, Sven Väth, Speedy J and Deetron.

Good times?
AGORIA: ‘Of course! My debut album Blossom was about to be released so that gig couldn’t have come at a better time. My stage’s line-up was also very impressive and I feel that’s important. Like this year, playing with Laurent Garnier, you just know the flow will be perfect. With him and the other artists in my room, I know I’ll be able to play the music I like – which is not always the case. Sometimes I arrive at a party and there’s this DJ playing who is on a completely different planet than me. Don’t get me wrong: I like to play all kinds of music. Recently at Sónar I was mixing disco, indie and techno all in one set. But if there’s absolutely no musical connection with the guy playing before you, you can’t just take over and start doing your own thing. The result could be disastrous.’ (Laughs) 

So bottom line: the secret to a good party is the running order?
AGORIA: ‘Well, yes! It’s not enough to book a bunch of good deejays. The order in which they play is equally important. Oh, and if possible: let everyone play two-hour sets – at least! A lot of festivals are now having DJs play for one hour and that’s just too short. It’s like you need to get all hands in the air within five minutes or you’re not doing a good job – and that’s just crazy. I need time to build up a set. Yes, even when I’m playing big festivals.’

Check! You know, every year some people complain about the fact that I Love Techno isn’t about ‘real techno’ anymore. What’s your view on that?
AGORIA: ‘Well, I still make techno. Does that count? (Laughs) Seriously though, I think it depends on what you call techno. To me, growing up in the ‘90s, it’s always been about music with no message and no boundaries. Techno was so many things at once but most importantly: it was open-minded. So two decades later, it seems only normal that the scene has evolved – with some people still making classic techno and others having gone in completely different direction. Thank God!’


Beginning of this year, you released your excellent third album Impermanence almost simultaneously with a mix album for Fabric – which was a lot more ‘dance floor’ than Impermanence. Was that your way of telling people: ‘See, I can still make you dance too!’
AGORIA: (Laughs) ‘It could have been but it was more coincidence – though a rather nice coincidence, I must admit. When I make an album, I want it to be a real album – a sort of landscape with a real story and real soul. What I don’t want is for it to be a collection of random songs with people skipping tracks to go to the dance floor stuff. I want it to be different and fresher than anything I’ve done before – regardless of its party potential. So I’m happy when people listen to the album and say they like it but at the same time I also want to continue showing that other side of me – the side that discovers new producers like Space Dimension Controller and plays their stuff at parties.’

Space Dimension Controller, Zodiac Free Arts Club, Izmabad, your Fabric mix is full of interesting new things – mixed with Carl Craig and DJ Kaos.
AGORIA: ‘Exactly the way I like it: mixing generations! You know, before I became a DJ, I wanted to work in a record store. I want to share my passion for music but not sound like a professor! I don’t want to teach; I want to communicate.’


So what will you be communicating in the near future?
AGORIA: ‘I guess the most important thing is the release of my new track Singing on Dixon’s label Innervisions. He fell totally in love with it and also made a remix for it. Then I’m also working on a special project for the Trans Musicales festival in Rennes in December. It’ll be a very special DJ set – my personal testimony about everything I liked from 1989 until today. Normally, my DJ sets are totally improvised but this time around I’m working with a real synopsis: everything is fully prepared.’

Twenty-two years? You’re talking thousands of songs!
AGORIA: ‘Yeah, but it’s not going to be a best of. Just wait and see. Rennes will of course get the world premiere but I also want to do it in other places. I can’t say anymore at this time – except that I’ll be mixing things that are not supposed to be mixed. I can’t wait!’


ILT Interview: Chase and Status

06 november 2011 Commentaren (0)

i love techno, magazine, chase and status, interviewWith I Love Techno just around the corner, the new I Love Techno Magazine has also hit stores - including a couple interviews I did with some of this year's tastiest artists. I Love Techno didn't mind me throwing them online as well so here's the third one with Chase and Status (and be sure to also check out the previous ones with Mumbai Science and Brodinski)!


Jamaica Calling

They’ve won five Official Drum & Bass Awards, parked five of their own songs in the UK Top 40, made even more hit singles and remixes for artists like Rihanna, The Prodigy and Example, and they’re about to turn I Love Techno upside down. Brothers and sisters, give it up for Saul Milton and Will Kennard a.k.a. Chase and Status!

i love techno,magazine,chase and status,interview,netskyUK Bass is so hot again these days that it’s hard to imagine there was a time when it had – well, let’s be honest – gotten a bit out of fashion. According to you, what has been the recent turning point?
WILL: ‘It’s hard to pinpoint one moment in time but I think the whole dubstep movement played a major role in bringing drum & bass back in the spotlight. From the birth of grime and the beginning of dubstep in the early 2000s to artists like Skream and Benga really working their magic, there was simply no stopping dubstep or denying its significance as an underground force. It all took flight from there – with radio stations and music journalists getting excited; songs entering the UK charts; the genre crossing over to the US, where artists like Skrillex started redefining it again; and now even Jay-Z and Kanye West are on board. It’s been a crazy ride and we’ve all benefited from it – dubstep and drum & bass artists alike.’

Despite the fact that both dubstep and drum & bass have crossed over to pretty much every country in the world by now, UK producers still rule the scene. How come The Force is much stronger where you live?
WILL: (Laughs) ‘I think we’re just really lucky that the UK is such a multicultural place. From drum & bass to acid and garage, there has always been an emphasis on bass – and a lot of it stems from Jamaican reggae dub culture. Like with drum & bass, all you needed to do was add some funk and breaks to it – simple as that. And the UK being a genuine melting pot has not just helped kick-start drum & bass or dubstep, it is also what has kept both scenes alive.’


That and massive radio support?
WILL: ‘Yes, definitely! It’s easy to think nothing of it when you’re used to it, but I’m sure we’ve got the most open-minded radio stations in the world. And I’m not just talking about former pirate radio stations like Rinse FM, where Dizzee Rascal and Wiley got their break. I’m also talking about the BBC and people like Zane Lowe and Annie Mac, who reach millions of people all over the country. You just don’t get that kind of support in – per example – the US, where radio stations are a lot more corporate and music is just a commodity.’

What about the drum & bass party scene in the UK? I Love Techno holds up to 35,000 people. Ever played at similar events in the UK or are dubstep and drum & bass still more restricted to smaller venues?
WILL: ‘There are lots of small, intimate dubstep and drum & bass parties across the country – and those are great. But we’ve also got some really big summer festivals in the UK where artists like us, Skream and Benga get to play for 20,000 people. I guess that’s still 15,000 short of I Love Techno but it’s already pretty massive to us. Oh, and in November we’re headlining UKF Bass Culture at London’s Alexandra Palace. UKF is quite possibly the biggest website on dubstep and drum & bass in the world and they’re throwing this enormous party where Flux Pavilion and Doctor P are playing as well. Still no 35,000 people but you know: we don’t mind playing for 10,000 people every once in a while. Keeps us balanced.’ (Laughs)

On to the annoying ‘this is Belgium so we have to ask you this’ question: how do you feel Netsky is holding up amidst all those UK producers?
WILL: ‘Extremely well, I’d say. We really love that guy – every time we play in Belgium, we try to meet up. Actually, we’ve even asked him to do a remix for our last single but unfortunately that didn’t go through. He’s in high demand.’

Can you hear he’s not UK?
WILL: ‘In his music, you mean? I’ve never really given it any thought but maybe a little bit, yeah. He has a very British style though so if I didn’t know any better and you’d tell me he’s from London, I’d believe you. The same can’t be said about a lot of American drum & bass producers, whose tracks sound too perfect – too clinical. Trust me: that’s not British at all. In fact, those early drum & bass tracks were often glamorously underproduced. They didn’t sound polished whatsoever. That’s also what I liked about them.’

Just so people at I Love Techno know when it’s time to breathe again: do you still play Fool Yourself at the end of every set?
WILL: ‘Only when we play live. Such a loud and noisy song full of energy, it’s perfect to end a gig with. But expect to hear different sounds from us when we DJ: lots of cutting edge tracks that no one has ever heard of. Going back to our roots, man!’


ILT Interview: Brodinski

04 november 2011 Commentaren (0)

i love techo, magazine, interview, brodinskiWith I Love Techno just around the corner, the new I Love Techno Magazine has also hit stores - including a couple interviews I did with some of this year's tastiest artists. I Love Techno didn't mind me throwing them online as well so here's the second one with Brodinski! Find the first one with Mumbai Science here.


‘Techno is the new electro!’

Three years ago, Annie Mac called him ‘the most exciting DJ and producer to explode onto the scene.’ This year, Brodinski has already proven he is still on top of his game with a new release on Green Velvet’s label and now he’s also getting ready for his third visit to I Love Techno.

Let’s talk Green Velvet!
BRODINSKI: ‘Cool! Curtis (Jones a.k.a. Green Velvet) got in touch with me a while ago because he was relaunching his label Cajual Records and he wanted me on board. He asked me if I wanted to record an EP for him and I said yes – of course. Green Velvet has always been a hero of mine so doing something on his label (Brodinski released the EP Manifesto on Cajual’s sublabel Relief Records in February) was a dream come true.’

Do you remember who was most surprised when you told them the news?
BRODINSKI: ‘The kids! I think a lot of young people simply don’t know how big and important Cajual was in the ‘90s. They all expect me to release new music on trending labels like Turbo and Night Slugs but it was a really big thing for me to release an EP on Cajual. In the end though, most young people seemed to like it and my friends thought it was coolest thing in the world. I also heard that a couple of old people didn’t get it but I feel I really can’t be held responsible for everyone’s happiness.’ (Laughs)

First there’s you releasing new music on his label and now everyone starts playing Green Velvet’s Flash again.
BRODINSKI: ‘I think techno is getting back – it’s the new electro! Seriously though, people like Gesaffelstein and Len Faki are really pushing the boundaries of the genre again so it’s easy to see why people are also getting excited about it – again. Oh, and for the record: I love the Jamie Jones remix of Flash.’

Thanks for sharing and – come to think of it – discovering Gesaffelstein!
BRODINSKI: (Laughs) ‘I’m sure he would have had no problem making it on his own. I found out about him three years ago, when he released the EP Modern Walk on GoodLife. Later on I met him in Paris and introduced him to my management. I had a really good feeling about him – simple as that. We also get along really well: we’re often on tour together and in September we’re releasing a split single.’

Are you also still working with Yuksek every once in a while?
BRODINSKI: ‘Definitely. It’s just that he’s been really busy with his new album and now he’s also touring with a brand new live set. The Krays (the project they’ve been working on together) is still very much alive though; we’re just taking it easy right now. In the meantime I’ve got new remixes coming up for Gesaffelstein and Nero, and I just finished my FabricLive compilation. I thought I’d make it nice and slow – go deeper than before. I think it worked out really well and I can’t wait for it to come out in September.’

In a recent interview you listed Brussels as the party capital of the world while Paris barely made your top five. You don’t like it there anymore?
BRODINSKI: ‘I’m just hard on my own city, I guess. I love playing in Paris but at the same time I want Parisian nightlife to keep pushing the envelope. So I don’t want Paris to be number one because than everybody would become lazy and we’d fall from grace faster than you think. Besides, there’s definitely room for improvement – trust me. Brussels on the other hand is a magical party city: great people, great vibe, it’s just perfect. Also, whenever I’m in Belgium, I actually get to hear the songs I play on the radio. I find that truly amazing. We don’t have shows like Switch or radio stations like Studio Brussel in France – and that truly makes it even more exciting to play there.’

How did you enjoy playing I Love Techno in 2008 and 2009?
BRODINSKI: ‘I can’t even begin to describe what it was like. I think I Love Techno is one those festivals you wish you could play every year so when you actually get an invitation to come back the next year you feel like you’re in heaven. It’s one of five festivals in the world that really matter and I think DJs become addicted to it just as easily as visitors. In other words: yes, I’m hooked – for life.’


Pluto And Beyond

03 november 2011 Commentaren (0)

316751_293635740647780_159467980731224_1319991_622792873_n.jpgNiet de dwergplaneet, maar de Romeinse koning van de onderwereld doet dienst als inspiratie voor het Pluto Festival, het elektronica/mediakunstfestival dat dit weekend aan zijn vierde editie toe is – onderwereld, underground, mediakunst, u snapt het wel. In en rond de Brabantse muziekclub Nijdrop ontdek je drie dagen lang verschillende opmerkelijke installaties van (inter)nationale mediakunstenaars, onder wie de Nederlander Tarik Barri, wiens virtuele 3D-wereld je verplicht om naar beeld te luisteren en naar geluid te kijken.


Op vrijdag en zaterdag worden bovendien enkele spraakmakende elektronicamuzikanten uitgenodigd om voor een passende (en graag ook stomende) soundtrack bij de expo te zorgen. De belangrijkste namen op de affiche zijn Joker, DJ Fresh, Beans, Dimlite, Rocketnumbernine en MT Eden, de Nieuw-Zeelandse dubstephype – vijftig miljoen hits op YouTube! – die nooit eerder in ons land speelde. Ook leuk: op zondag gaat Lefto met zijn radioshow op Studio Brussel live vanuit de Nijdrop.