December 24th, 2010
Para One has had an amazing year and his new EP Animal Style is out now on BNR Trax. COP THIS.
For all you french speaking mofos, I had a lil sit down in the Ladies Room with the man, and it goes a lil sumthin’ like this:
1) ANIMAL STYLE est ton deuxième maxi cette année, et si on ajoute SLICE&SODA et tes nouveaux projets avec TACTEEL, tu auras été sur-actif cette année— est-ce que tu as composé plus de musique en 2010 ou simplement publié d’avantage?
-C’est vrai que c’est une bonne année pour moi, chuicho! En fait c’est un panaché des deux: pour plein de raisons j’avais pas mal de stock, car ça a pris du temps de trouver la config pour sortir Slice & Soda par exemple… Du coup pas mal de morceaux qui étaient bloqués sortent d’un coup entre maintenant et 2011. Mais aussi je produis beaucoup plus, car je tourne moins et je suis au studio tout le temps. On a une équipe cool dans un endroit avec Surkin, Bobmo, Jackson, Birdy Nam Nam, Botox et Third Side, l’émulation est très bonne et je crois que ça nous motive tous. Une dernière raison peut être, c’est que la musique club change beaucoup en ce moment, qu’il faut inventer de nouvelles formes et que c’est très inspirant. Je suis en mode 2004 a nouveau, quoi!
2) Comment as-tu abordé l’esthétique ‘TECHNO’ affichée par la division TRAX? Une contrainte ou plutôt, au contraire, une libération?
En vrai le truc s’est fait en sens inverse: j’avais deux morceaux faits très vite, dans une esthétique cohérente, très techno avec juste une 808 et une ligne de moog, et je les ai envoyés a Boys Noize avec qui on avait toujours parlé de faire un truc ensemble… Ca collait avec son projet de label digital et donc le tout s’est fait assez vite. Pour moi le fait de lâcher un maxi 100% club était une totale libération, Ca m’a poussé a faire un truc simple et jouable, efficace. C’est l’expérience du live qui ma donne envie de développer ça sur disque. Du coup je compartimente les genres que j’aborde, je les répartis en fonction des projets: chanson avec Slice, disco mutante avec Tacteel, et sur mon deuxième album ça me permet de partir a fond dans mon truc de musique complexe futur indansable!
3) Quels sont tes projets pour 2011?
-En 2011 je sors mon court metrage en collab avec Sixpack, je finis mon 2eme album solo, je sors Slice & Soda. Je sors un Ep avec Tacteel, un maxi avec Teki, des collabs un peu partout avec des potes, des remixes bien sur et de gros projets encore secrets mais qui devraient faire mal! Et je compte bien commencer a tourner mon film avant la fin de l’année—
June 23rd, 2010
To announce his new EP ‘Love Thing’ (Plant Music), I asked New York expert DJ and producer ELI ESCOBAR to let us know what would be the TOP 10 SONGS TO END A PARTY WITH. Party on, party on all night—
“I never play rare or obscure music at the end of the night. The end of the night is all about everyone singing along to an old jam or a new classic. Here are some favorites of mine…”
1) Grace Jones – William’s Blood (Aeroplane Remix)
So epic! So dramatic! Everything that makes Grace the legend she is.
2) Michael Jackson – The Lady in my Life
When I was a kid, I used to consider this the filler song on “Thriller”. Now I consider it the best track by far. The last few minutes, when he gets into that groove, are the sound of the purest talent anyone has ever had.
3) Celestial Choir – Stand On The Word
I have no problem with the recent popularity this song has gained with the younger club go-ers because I remember when I would play it and feel happy if one person in the crowd sang along. This is always the best song to play if you feel your night and set have been epic enough to warrant it.
4) The Smiths – Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
Years ago, when I was a resident at Bungalow 8, Disco – the 7-foot bouncer who was quite the imposing presence – used to come and ask me to play this song at the end of the night. It became a tradition of sorts.
5) Womack and Womack – Teardrops
Nothing beats a sad dance floor anthem. Linda Womack’s voice is one of the greatest. I am probably her biggest fan!
6) Duran Duran – Come Undone
I love how Duran Duran sucked for a while, came back with their best song ever, and then sucked again. But this song is so great and has the “Paid In Full” drums.
7) Fleetwod Mac – Everywhere
And I don’t want to hear any remixes or edits! Christine McVie is so underrated. She is the soul of the Mac, for sure. I love when you can hear Stevie singing back-up and not trying to steal the show – so classy.
INXS – Don’t Change
You have to have the right crowd for this one but if you do, it’ll be monumental when you drop it. Plus, it inspires people to do the Molly Ringwald which is always a good thing to aim for.
9) The System – Don’t Disturb This Groove
Oh man, an old staple in my set right here. Doesn’t really work with young hipsters, unfortunately. But for the grown and sexy, it’s an anthem.
10) Michael McDonald – Sweet Freedom
This song is the sound of victory. It is so feel good, it’s kind of absurd. But I love it so much and never gets played out as far as I’m concerned.
GET THE ‘LOVE THING’ EP NOW ON BEATPORT, FEATURING AMANDA BLANK AND A DJ MEHDI CLUB MIX, YES. TRUST ME AND THANK ME LATER—
November 30th, 2009
I met Brodinski at the Sonar festival in 2007, and we’ve been kicking it together ever since, tag-teaming behind the decks here, there and everywhere. It was about time we made a stop in the Ladies Room to let the truth shine.
—Salut Brodinski, please tell us about your year 2009, good? Highlights?
2009 was totally amazing for me, lots of good gigs, good surprises… Lots of highlights yes, like ‘Dark Side Of The Loon’ in Koln, one of the best party I played this year. My residency at Social Club in Paris, the release party for my Bugged Out CD at Fabric (London) in July. Sonar in Barcelona was CRAZY, Calvi On The Rocks too. Lyon for ‘Les nuits Sonores’ was a great surprise. I was also really happy about my Asian tour in August… So many good souvenirs… I hope 2010 will be even better.
—You are a trivial connaisseur of all things Djing. Who, if push comes to shove, is your favourite DJ ever? and why?
I can’t choose only one, I have 4 favorites DJ and I love them because they’re totally different :
- Ivan Smagghe, because he’s the one that made me discover electronic music, and taught me “the groove”.
- Andrew Weatherall, I love his Fabric Mix, he’s the one who can play techno, old school electro or house in his sets. Everytime I see him, he is different, and good as HELL!
- Damian Lazarus, i don’t really know why, but he’s the kind of DJ I respect.
- Erol Alkan, because even if i don’t see him for 6 months, everytime he proves me he’s the world’s best.
Diplo is in my top too, because i’ve seen him a long time ago and he totally blew my mind.
—Now, let’s speak about your own productions. You’ve been collaborating with Yuksek and Noob, doing the Gucci Vump thing, and releasing records for different labels like Mental Groove or Turbo. What should we expect in the near future? Are you working on an album? How do you sleep?
I sleep pretty well, thank you! My projects? I got a lot! After 3 EP’s last Autumn (one with Noob, one with Mumdance and the GUCCI VUMP project), now i work on some remixes for Crookers and Mowgli. Plus a new EP for Gucci Vump. I try to work on my hip-hop side too, I do some instrumentals for some american rappers. I’m preparing a new mix CD, double sided: one for techno and one for hip hop, I’m really excited about It. I’d love to do an album but I want to take my time and have a real idea.
—Last but not least, what would be your TOP 10 DANCE MUSIC RECORDS OF 2009?
1. Michel Cleis – La Mezcla / Cadenza
2. Joy Orbinson – Hyph Ngo / Hyperdub
3. Harry AXT – Frachter / Gran Petrol
4. Alvaro – Ultimate Rise (Seductive Rmx) / Samsonbeats
5. Major Lazer – Pon Di Floor / Mad Decent
6. Dustin Zahn – Stranger to Stability (Len Faki Podium Rmx) / Rekids
7. Harvard Bass – Caked / Sound Pellegrino
8. Gucci Vump – Sha Shtil! (Original & L-VIS 1990 Rmx) / Sound Pellegrino
9. Sydney Samson – Riverside / Ultra
10. Noob & Brodinski – Peanuts Club / Turbo
There you go,
May 8th, 2009
If you’re like me, you listed Siriusmo’s EP ‘Diskozinzin’ (on BoysNoize Records) as one of the top 10 records of 2008.
As a matter of fact, if you’re really like me, you know Siriusmo was one of top 3 electronic music producers to emerge in 2008-along with Math Head, and The Proxy of course.
Well, guess what, the man starts a new year with an even better promise: THE UNINVITED GUEST record, with single High Together. And we at Coolcats love it, so I decided to ask ‘Mo to be the second guest in the ladies room for a quick talk.
And it goes a lil’ something like this, hit it—
-Mo, is your name Siriusmo meaning ‘Serious Mo’? Because I definitely feel a somehow dark, even sad side to your music-especially compared to other music on BoysNoize Records.
No, not really serious, I just found the sound of the word ‘Sirius’ very nice. And yes, I also regard my music first as dark and melancholic. But strangely, sometimes a friend of mine would tell me: “hey, I’m getting into really good moods when I listen to your music” and I think, shit, is there something wrong with me? …But it’s cool you are thinking the same as I do!
-Your style is very musical, how formal is your instrument-playing training? and how useful is it to the music you’re producing now?
Regrettably, I can’t play any instrument nor sing, but I’m just searching on the keyboard until I like it. The problem is that I never finish songs because they’re boring to me after a while. I don’t regard myself as a musician, and most of my music is probably bad, but I keep on doing this baloney as long as I have fun.
-Are you Germany’s best bass player?
In my fantasy, I’m even the best bass player in the world!
Go now pick THE UNINVITED GUEST, out on Monkeytown Records, and play it loud, and dance.
Thanks to Nadine BN for the hook-up and to Chris Holzinger for the translation.
And peace to Adeline Jeudy for ruling this world.
March 12th, 2009
I’m glad to announce another new section to this blog, the MEETING IN THE LADIES ROOM interview. And If you thought we weren’t speaking about A-TRAK enough here at Coolcats, think again ladies. Because he is right here, right now:
A-Trak, thank you for being the first subject to this new ‘Meeting In The Ladies Room’ section. Pause.
- Everybody knows your background, ok. Montreal dweller, youngest in charge, Bar-Mitzvah money hustler, world’s top turntablist. You actually knocked down all of our french hopes to ever win a DJ world contest by beating Crazy B, Pone, and the Birdy Nam Nam crew twice in the DMC finals, right? How those guys look at you now, still mad?
Damn Mehdi, you’re trying to stir up some controversy right from the first question? Yeah I beat some French DJs in my battle years, but it’s all love now. I like France! I went to school at a French “lycée”. I have a French Baccalaureate. A lot of my American friends don’t understand the difference between speaking French and being French. Craze used to ask me stuff like “are you French, Canadian, Jewish or Moroccan?” and I always had to specify “I’m not French, I speak French.” In case you can’t tell I’m just rambling because I don’t know what to answer to your question.
- After that, for you began the Kanye West touring DJ era. Interestingly enough, it’s also the time your name started to show up in the music production field. Was your experience with Kanye key in your evolvement from DJing to producing? Any secret studio story?
Yeah it’s true that a couple of aspects of my career evolved around that same time. But in reality I wouldn’t say that Kanye pushed me to produce. Rather, once I took on the Kanye gig I didn’t want to suddenly just be known as “Kanye West’s DJ” and lose my own accolades so I pushed the A-Trak brand harder than ever, which included more production.
Still, being around Kanye definitely influenced my production and I’m not even sure if he realized it. First of all just watching him in the studio always impressed me. He works really fast, he knows exactly what he’s looking for and his ear picks up on things that most people wouldn’t notice. So that pushed me to develop those instincts better for myself. And honestly Kanye always liked the beats that I played him, so he always talked to me as a peer when it came to production. I think it motivated me to live up to that, even though I thought I was more of a novice. It gave me confidence.
Did you know that I was one of the many many many (at least 8 or 9) engineers who tried to mix “Stronger”, the original version? When he first got it mixed he sent me the mp3 and I didn’t like how it came out. Neither did he. So he had another engineer try it out. Next thing you know 3 of the top engineers in the US had turned in dull mixes of that track. After a couple more I said “you know what? let me give it a shot”… but it was a bit too ambitious for me. There’s like 20-something stacks of synths in that record. At the time I was working on Protools LE on a 12inch laptop. I remember opening the session and thinking “what did I get myself into?” In the end Timbaland reworked the kickdrums and that solved some of the issues that the engineers were having with the track.
- Your brother DaveOne from Chromeo was one of the first to make the transition from rap producer to dance music. Sebastian, Fake Blood, the Birdy Nam Nam guys, the Crookers, now it’s seems almost natural for hip-hop heads to make the ’switch’, no pun intended. Now what percentage of your hip-hop audience do you think followed you through that path? Any awkward moment dropping ‘It ain’t hard to tell’ in a big techno festival rave?
For me there was a sort of transition where I started playing more dance music for an indie-hipster audience or a dance audience, and it wasn’t necessarily the same fans as the OG hip hop and turntablism fans. And then gradually I started noticing my hip hop friends, peers and fans getting interested in the “electro” stuff that my friends and I were doing. I started getting emails from guys like Clinton Sparks asking for my newer uptempo remixes. Around the same time, Kanye came out with the Graduation album and a lot of people in the rap world credited me for influencing that sound… generally in a good way! This past year I’ve noticed that practically all the DJs that used to do the DMC’s in the generation after me now play electro sets with a copious amounts of Crookers and Fake Blood.
And yes I do remember an awkward rap moment just a few months ago. Usually even if I’m playing a big techno festival rave, as you called it, I still drop a couple of rap classics. I played in Osaka last December and I remember dropping Luniz “I Got Five On It” and getting complete dead silence from the audience.
- You are the OG of tag-team gigs, touring with Diplo, with BoysNoize, with Sinden and with me. Which one of us would be the real Kramer to your own Seinfeld?
I can’t believe you’re asking me to pick a favorite! This is no-nonsense journalism. Controversial. I’d say it would be either you or Alex. Aren’t the 3 of us supposed to start a group?
You know when I lived at your house (note: Mehdi and I did a house swap last fall) I used to say Kavinsky was my Kramer. Not in the sense of DJ partner but literally my wacky neighbor who would basically pop in unannounced.
- You also are the OG of blogging DJ’s, and an irreproachable Myspace/Facebook/Twitter/YouTube Channel cable guy. How many hours a day are you spending choosing the clothes you’re going to wear?
There’s no relation between the 1st half and the 2nd half of your question. Thanks for the cyberprops. I would have to say I spend about 2 hours just looking at clothes in my closet and making combinations in my head, then an hour to an hour and a half trying out different outfits, then another half hour taking the final clothes off, ironing it and putting it back on. So I spend about 4 hours a day getting dressed. That’s on a normal day. Weekends it’s closer to 5.
- Speaking of clothes, people don’t know you’re an expert of style and comfort matching advice. You covered the man purse problem in your blog, as well as the proverbial white man and scarf issue. Any tip on the puffy coat/skinny pants dichotomy?
Thanks buddy. What’s the problem with puffy coat / skinny pants? It works like a charm. It’s like skinny jeans / big hi-top sneakers. It makes for an excellent silhouette.
- Who is Sammy Bananas?
Haha… Sammy Bananas is very real. You never met Sammy? His mustache is the stuff of legends. Sammy Bananas is 1/2 of DJ duo Certified Bananas. They’re originally from New England but he’s been living in New York for a couple of years. He has also gone by the name P-Nice, but his name is Sam and he’s in Certified Bananas so that explains his now famous moniker. Sammy’s a funky dude. He likes slap bass and horn licks and all things groovy. I believe he also plays the trumpet? Suddenly I’m wondering if I’m making that up. Sammy is also a good engineer. He masters all of Ayres’ releases. I think you and Sammy would get along swimmingly.
It is what it is, thank you Alain.
A-Trak and I will be playing in NYC’s Studio B this saturday, then the big FOOL’S GOLD AFTER DARK jump-off at Austin’s South By South West, and a couple of shows in Miami’s Winter Music Conference along with Annie Mac. We’re also trying to pitch our very own sitcom called DJ MEHDI AND A-TRAK ASKED SO-ME TO DESIGN THE FLYER FOR THEIR WALKIE-TALKIE TOUR AND ALL THEY GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT.