A Sit Down With DJ Nick Curly

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“…electronic music is on it´s highest level at the moment”.

With a signature groove-based sound, moving through deep and tech-house to techno and back again, Nick’s reputation now stands as a guaranteed stamp of quality for DJs and dance-floor devotees worldwide. As a Producer, he has released recently on the likes of Drumcode, Mobilee, and Second State, while his own 8bit imprint continues to be the backbone of a prolific production schedule (including his forthcoming “Amnezia” EP). As a DJ, Nick Curly is a globe trotter with upcoming appearances at Fabric, Pacha Ibiza, Fuse Festival, Off Week, and Sonus Festival.

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 What’s you’re opinion on the current state of House music?

On one point i would say, house and electronic music is on it´s highest level at the moment, but on the other side I must say I miss the real house music , like the old good house tracks, that we had on Strictly and Defected back in the days.

How do you construct a year in Dance music given your hand in multiple aspects of the industry? Do you have a template for dividing up your year?

If I had a template for my year I think I would I would end up missing all the fun! The thing with dance music is every year is different and there are so many new parties and new ideas the scenery is always evolving. My team and me take our time to assess the right options of course but there is no template to breaking up the year. We go with the flow and enjoy the diversity of the industry and it`s ideas.

What are your thoughts on the change of popularity towards techno music and where do you see the industry today?

I think the industry is still growing, especially overseas. EDM is past its prime and more people are turning towards techno as an alternative. The European festivals are getting bigger each year and the music is more sophisticated, Adam’s imprint plays a big role in this. It’s great to have released on both Truesoul and Drumcode and I hope this trend goes on for a while. 

You have a substantial worldwide tour coming up to promote your album, are there any personal highlights on that long list of events for you?

The tour looks really good, I’m super happy about that and I think my agent did a great job. There are always some gigs that are special – Time Warp on home turf, and I’m really looking forward to play China and Japan again. Colombia and Peru are definitely highlights too.

Speaking of travelling, sometimes I feel that the aspect gets a bit lost in the touring life, especially given the multi platform approach to success in nightlife these days. Do you feel like you view it differently to when you first started?

Travelling can often be the hardest part of the job. Going straight from the club on no sleep to an early morning flight, averaging 5 flights a weekend it is difficult. On the flip side though its one of the best parts of the DJ lifestyle. I am so lucky to experience the places I have. When you arrive the promoters look after you and often take you to the hidden gems of the city where the locals not the tourists enjoy and you et to see and experience so many different things. I guess what it really comes down to is this; no one likes sitting on a plane or a train for 14 hours but the pain of being crunched in a tiny Ryanair economy seat, squashed between the incredible Hulk and King Kong is worth it when you touch down and get to explore something new.

What do you think makes his Labyrinth concept so unique in comparison to others on the island?

I think Labyrinth will mark another big step in his career and will bring another outstanding night to the island that will give some of the heavy weights a run for their money. Daley has done well with the line ups getting in Techno titans at the top of their game alongside some house legends such as Sasha, David Morales and John Digweed.

What is the meaning behind the title of the album, ‘Between The Lines’?

I think it represents how I see myself fit in as an artist. Of course I am German, but not perhaps 100% German orientated in terms of the work I put out, or my general mentality. I spend a lot of time touring and playing in the UK, the US and around the world, and sometimes I feel that I don’t really belong in one particular place – and the same goes for my music.

Tell us a little bit about you & Defected.

 Defected had signed and re-released my album “Between The Lines”. Since that time we have a good relationship which I feel very happy about. Also I’ve played some great gigs with them in Ibiza, Ministry and some other cool clubs around the globe.

Actually, what is the idea behind TRUST? 

The idea behind Trust is that we use our many years of experience of clubs to create our idea of the perfect party. For sure it’s a work in progress but the reaction so far from people is great, especially during our off-week event in Barcelona every June. This party is the definitive Trust event.

What part of the production process did you find most difficult?

For me, the most difficult task is making sure the track or the loop that started the whole process is still interesting at the end. You don’t want it to become dull or boring after the second or third listen. The best tracks you can hear 10, 20, 100 times and they still sound new and fresh. It is very important that you can feel the track and the idea from start to finish.

Tracklist:

Nick Curly – Reverie – 8Bit Records
Gorge – It´s Time ( Nick Curly Remix ) – Mobilee
Nick Curly – Libero – Cocoon Recordings
Nick Curly & Steffen Deux – Phasor – Knee Deep in Sound
Nick Curly & Dubnitzky – nach eins kommt 2 ( Andomat 300 Remix ) – SDL Music
Nick Curly feat Yaccelil – Perpetuo – 8Bit Records
Nick Curly – Rack and Run – 8Bit Records
Nick Curly – Amnezia – 8Bit Records
John Creamer & Stephane K – Ah Whey ( Nick Curly Remix) – Stereo
Nick Curly – Second Lick – 8Bit Records
Nick Curly – still not sorry – 8Bit Records
Nick Curly Helter Skelter – Truesoul

A Sit Down With DJ Blank&Jones

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The chart success of Blank & Jones is partially based on their club-gigs, radio shows and other live-performances including events such as Love-Parade, StreetParade and Mayday. The success is further boosted by their activeness as moderators on Eins Live-TV and by being the Co-host on Viva-Clubrotation.

When asked about the key to their success, their response is:

“We do everything digitally, on the basis of Final Scratch, which allows us to use our own edits and mixes, nothing comes straight from tape. Every set we play is unique, not only sound-wise but also in terms of what we play and how we play it. Roughly 60% of our set consists of our own repertoire, as where better to present our own material than via the DJ decks”.

 Piet Blank is also the host of the Club Mix that is aired on international flights by Lufthansa, where he hosts a two-hour radio show that shows different artists such as Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Fritz Kalkbrenner. The show is hosted in German as well as in English.Blank & Jones perform at major festivals and raves in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Russia. They also travel further afield on a regular basis, to Canada, Mexico, South America and Australia. They released their latest single entitled “Miracle Cure” on May 30, 2008, off their new studio album The Logic of Pleasure which is a collaboration with New Order‘s frontman Bernard Sumner. This collaboration was realised with the help of renowned Berlin based record producer Mark Reeder who is a long term friend of Sumner’s. Blank & Jones invited Reeder to remix “Miracle Cure” and this in turn, brought about their collaboration with him and a new project was conceived. This resulted in Reeder completely reworking most of the Blank & Jones vocal tracks for the successful and highly acclaimed 2009 album “Reordered”.

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How do you guys, feell about the direction the music is headed?

We’re really excited about the fusion of styles that’s becoming more prevalent. We think becoming too entrenched in one style is what can bring about the downfall and in order to be moving forward you have to always be on the lookout for the next big thing.

Did the performance in the cathedral make you more famous?

We are not frozen in awe, but there is a respect. Even before the acoustic events, for electronic music is the acoustics not so optimal. But this challenge was rather inspiring. And it was fun to add new elements like choral singing to our music. It is about experiencing this whole art work on the spot: the light installation, the sound, is supposed to spread a certain magic. We want to make the cathedral appear in a new interpretation.

You are also an expert on the musical decade of the 80s. What had this decade what the others did not have? 

The 80s were a very exciting decade where musically much experimentation was made and a number of very good bands and singers were produced. Since we were able to spend our youth in this decade, it has naturally shaped us strongly. Since we were already very busy with music, we have a profound knowledge of the music of the time.

 What is the recipe of this success ?

We can not judge that so well. Maybe it is because we are the same generation as the other “die-hard” 80s fans. We were teenagers in the 80s and have changed that quite differently and that was simply the defining decade for us. 
Surely the fans notice this. We have the plates really all on the shelf, partially bought then bought, partly later on flea markets, exchanges, etc. The main motivation was always synonymous selfish: We just wanted to have a chic 80s product on the table and there is not much else to this day.

How has advanced digitalization changed your profession? 

One can speak of a revolution, on the production of music, as well as on marketing and distribution as a label. Here too, there are always two sides of the coin: it has never been easier to publish music, but it is much harder to make a voice heard.

What is digital music for you?

It’s just a contemporary interpretation. This music is indeed the classic of tomorrow. The Cathedral has inspired us very much to this music. We have dealt with church music and tried to transfer parts into modern, contemporary music.

You’ve worked with many heroes of your youth like Robert Smith, Anne Clark, Bernard Sumner, or Boy George in the past and for your “so8os” series. Who has impressed you the most?

To be able to work with our heroes of the 80s is of course a very special honor as we are also fans (laugh). Basically one can say that all artists from this time were very relaxed and gave us creatively completely free hand. But Robert Smith of The Cure was the coolest of all, as he has a very fine English sense of humor. We are still in contact today.

 Are there any bands or songs that you want to have on your compilation since the beginning but have not worked so far yet?

Of course DEPECHE MODE . This has so half-folded. There was the great mash-up mix of “Route 66” and “Behind the Wheel” on the digital version of so8os 2 or “Strangelove” in the maxi mix on the so8os 1 . This was because they were released at EMI, which in 2009 was the homebase of Mute Records. There were unfortunately no rights for our CD version on Soundcolours. The same was then unfortunately in 2012 again the case: For Sony compilations like “Formula One” there were the titles, for us not (at the time the Depeche Mode catalog had just changed to Sony). But we do not give up and stay tuned.

Where is your favorite place to play?

We love playing Poland, it’s such a young country. The general population there is so young and fun. They work really hard but they know how to play really hard as well.

A Sit Down With DJ Technoboy

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  Cristiano’s not only busy DJ-ing, most of the time he’s managing as well as producing for ‘The Saifam Group’ (Italy) which is a reputable record company. He began in 1992 as A&R manager at ‘RECORD 66 Music Market for DJ’s’, which he still manages today. He then started in 1996 as Producer and A&R at ‘Arsenic Sound’ until 1998, when he became a producer at ‘ The Saifam Group’ and ever since 1999 he’s A&R at the ‘Alternative Sound Planet’ label.

 As an A&R manager, he supervises several well known labels such as Dance Pollution, Red Alert, Titanic Records, Green Force, BLQ, Bonzai Records Italy, Bonzai, Trance Progressive Italy and XTC Italy. He also produced numerous well known acts such as DJ Gius, Nitro, Klone, Pacific Link, The Hose, Spiritual Project, Giada, The KGB’s, K-Traxx, Citizen, 2 Best Enemies, Hardstyle Masterz, Hunter, The Raiders, DJ Stardust, Droid, Atlantic Wave, Vector Two, Q-Zar, Ruff, Speedwave, Builder, and Psy man.

 

“Hardstyle is dance music build to move crowds, making dance floors the ultimate place to be.”

 

Why did you choose Technoboy as your DJ name and not one of the other names you produce under?

A lot of people think that it’s something that has to do with techno and a lot of people still ask me why I call myself Technoboy because I don’t play techno. It’s actually fairly simple why I chose this name. The answer is much more simple then the question. It sounded good. But to go into a little more detail; we were producing a lot of stuff, a lot of tracks and of course we needed a different name, a different alias for our various productions. Techno and boy together sounded good and so I said ‘let’s use it’. Basically this is why.

Do you listen a lot to requests and the opinion of people on Internet?

For me there is one opinion that counts; the reaction of the crowd. After every event, performance or release there are a lot of people that make comments, but in comparison this is always a minority of people. When a stadium filled with people is completely going to the roof on a record I don’t care what a few people say afterwards, let’s not forget how we do this for eventually. For me it is really important to perform everywhere in the world to see this reaction with my own eyes; you have to be a DJ in order to produce the right records.

What do you think happened in the life of the hardstyle in the last years?

We like to think about this question in regards to the United States, because they now have hardstyle. Fans can go back and get passionate about the way the music and scene developed first, let’s say.

Who are you most musically inspired by?

When you listen to my tracks you hear a lot of influences. This is of course the period in which I started with music. Sample wise, I watch a lot of movies and try to find really funny one-liners. We laugh our asses off in the studio all the time.

Are you happy?

The life of an artist can be lonely; I certainly had my share of that. But yes, I am a happy man and not just because I have the best job in the world. I have had the chance to tell the world what I thought about music while I encounter so many people who did not have the same opportunity. I live from one height to another and it is important to enjoy the moments in between as well.

As a producer you are responsible for practically all Italian hardstyle labels. Red Alert, Green Force, Dance Pollution, Bonzai Italy en BLQ are the biggest and they all fall under your The Saifam Group. 30 aliases, 14 labels and hundreds of releases under the name Cristiano Giusberti. What’s the use and difference between all the different names?

First of all, it depends on which people are involved in the project. We try to give the right sound to every alias. But sometimes it is difficult to give a real personality to one alias. It’s also a matter of creativity and you never really know what the end product is going to be. But the goal is to make sure that people recognize the sound and know what name is connected to it.

Why is fashion so important to you, and how do you feel about getting dressed up in costume for events like Qlimax?

Well for Qlimax I understand there is some involvement into the whole concept, that is why I accept the costumes; but that is the only exception! I never wear the t-shirts that are offered to us; the way you look is important for your confidence and when I am on stage I would like to be occupied with other things than the fit of my t-shirt.

You were the first foreign dj to have a member account on Partyflock. Do you have a message for you fellow community members?

I love Partyflock! I remember surfing on the net, finding Partyflock and then thinking ‘what’s this all about?’. I wrote an email to the founder and they created a dj profile for me. I learn a lot from Partyflock. I find out whether people liked my performance and I discover what to do better or different.

 

Technoboy gave a name and face to a musical style that took the dance scene by storm. Hard, energetic and banging dance music, but always supplied with a touch of Italian class and style: there couldn’t be a better name for it than hardstyle. He injected his beats into the crowd and within a couple of years, the whole country was infected by the Italian hardstyle virus. And not only Holland: Technoboy made people in countries like Germany, France, Italy, South-Africa and Australia shake their hips, stomp their feet and clap their hands. He was a headliner at every major hardstyle event on the globe: famous Dutch parties like Mystery Land, (45,000 visitors), Hard Bass (12,000 visitors), Decibel Outdoor (20,000 visitors), Qlimax (25,000 visitors), Defqon.1 Festival (30,000 visitors) and Sensation Black (40.000) and parties like Tomorrowland (Belgium), Sonic (Switzerland), Planetlove (Ireland) and Airbeat One (Germany) are on his resumé.

A Sit Down With DJ Stanton Warriors

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Stanton Warriors make bass music; intentionally vague and un-pigeonholable bass music. The Bristolian only constant is unbridled heavy low frequencies. Whether that be house, electro or anything between depends on what side of the bed they get out of. They’re also one of the most envied remix outfits having reworked M.I.A., Basement Jaxx, Fatboy Slim, The Streets, Gorillaz, and Daft Punk to name a few.

 Like so many other innovative UK acts, the duo took recognisable templates such as house, breakbeat and techno and crafted something unique, a sound of their own and one that was undeniably British. Over four such compilations and countless remixes they have not so much honed their style as they have explored the furthest reaches of its brash, party-fuelled possibilities. Their music has been called big beat, breaks, garage and UK bass. They have influenced many of today’s biggest UK bass contributors and high profile genres leaders such as Disclosure are very vocal in their indebtedness to the West Country duo.  

“…dance music industry of late has become more about brands, cliques, money and who you know pushing it further from its acid house roots based on music not marketing.”

 

 How did you guys get in touch with electronic dance music in the first place, how did you meet and what made you team up?

I was working as A & R at an early garage label called 51st recordings and Mark was the in house engineer. I had some ideas and we went in the studio there one night and Stanton warriors was born! It was always our intention to have our own sound and from 1997 to today we still strive to keep that ethos.

Who are your musical influences?

Funk, Soul, Jazz, Electro, Disco and all things that came from these sounds.

What do you prefer making, remixes or originals?

Remixes are certainly easier to do but nothing gives you more satisfaction than dropping an original tune for the first time and the crowd going off. We have done a shed load of remixes saying that. It was nice to get recognised by Mixmag in their top 20 remixers of all time list as well.

Where do you guys dig to find most of your music these days?

A lot of digging! The tracks that make it into our sets come from such a wide range of sources from labels like dirtybird through to Black Butter. It’s a great time for broken beats and bass music. There is a lot of cookie cutter type music out there at the mo’ so finding and playing tunes like these loud keeps us engaged. We also have our label Punks Music where we try and sign and support a lot of these tracks.

What was the best and the worst gig you ever played and what was the funniest thing ever occurred during any of your performances? 

Best gig in recent memory was burning man a few years back with a huge crowd of people going crazy in the Nevada desert. The worst has to be a festival in Australia where someone stole my record bag from the back stage dressing room!

What has been your most memorable experience while touring?

Playing at Shambhalla in Cananda one year. The show was outdoors under a meteor shower, illuminated by some kind of northern lights light show up in the sky!

Has experimentation been important?

Yeah, just for our own sanity. You don’t want to sit down in the studio and go, “What’s everyone else doing?” We like making tunes that we wanna hear, try to originate and not duplicate.

 At times, next generation dance music that comes from other parts of the world can sound like updated, but still remarkably similar versions to what’s gone before. What you can say  about the next generation dance music from the UK?

So, for me, dance music has always been about stuff that was really different and not just a drummer and a guitarist moaning about his life or whatever. It’s got radical sounds and the different feel that comes with that. So I’ve always taken that into the studio with me whenever I’m making tunes, let’s try and make something a bit different. When everything went electro-house we were called electro-house, oh look, this dubstep thing’s happening, let’s make some dubstep. We’ve avoided that by going, what do we want to hear today? We can only really talk for ourselves really for the fact that, if you’re gonna try and make some music, you’ve got to try and make something that no-one’s heard before. You might not always hit it, it might not always be the right thing, but at least you’re not just making a sanitised version of something that has already gone before. So I think it’s always important to aim towards that feeling, whether you get there or not. That is the essence of dance music, in my opinion.

And what would you like to get up to outside of the shows?

See some of the sharks… Go to the beach… Drink beer… Put some shrimp on the barbie… Get some sun… Compare my pasty body to all the ripped dudes on Bondi Beach… In reality, it’s probably all about DJing, eating and sleeping, because when you do these tours and you’ve got a gig at night, sleep’s a premium. You’ve got to keep your energy levels up for the gig, so everything does revolve around them, but the gigs are amazing.

 What advice would you give to other young people looking to succeed in the industry?

Be original and you are more likely to get recognised. There is too much of the same out there.

A Sit Down With DJ Carlo Lio

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If music is the Universal language then Toronto Native, Carlo Lio is surely multilingual. It is this universal appeal that has allowed Carlo to speak to so many people without ever having to say a word. His ability to capture sounds and emit them so expressively is a gift. Music has always been a priority in Carlo’s life; anyone who witnesses him gracing the decks can attest to this. Carlo can turn a careful observer into a dancer through the raw emotion and passion in his music. Music is a language; it is a means of connectivity, intimacy and communication.

 Originally known for leading the pack of prodigiously talented Toronto producers, Carlo has utilized his trademark cosmic house and techno sound to cement his status among today’s prodigiously talented world-renowned producers.

 

“There’s nothing worse than living with “what ifs” in your head”.

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At what age did you decide that you wanted to make music your career?

Well I’ve never decided this. I’ve always loved music, and it has always been a part of my life. After my time was up being a regular partier in the club/rave scene, I still wanted that part of me in my life. I bought DJ equipment when I was about 20 yrs old. It was all supposed to be a pass time hobby, and I thank god it escalated much further.

How has Barcelona influenced your music? 

 Barcelona has definitely had an influence, but its more being in Europe itself. It’s such a different world then what I’m used to here in North America. The people, the culture and the music have all played a big part in influencing my music. It’s amazing to see how DJs play in one place vs. another as well as how people listen and react to the music in each location. Europe has opened my eyes, and made me aware of the difference, which has then in turn opened my mind musically.

Do you find life on the road to be inspiring for your music? What in particular about the DJ lifestyle can one see imprinted in your songs?

 Absolutely!! How can it not be? New place everyday, meeting new people, eating great foods, experiencing new cultures. It doesn’t end! My music has a lot to do with where I have been and what I’ve seen and experienced. According to my fans, one element that is in all my tracks is “SOUL,” and I completely agree. Whether it’s a house track or a banging techno track; it all has soul and emotion.

Tell us about the new compilation you’ve mixed for SCI+TEC. Who is on it, what’s the theme of the mix, and how many tracks? 

 Ali and I did not want this to be a straight mixed CD. We were both aiming for more of a live feel, using a lot of loops, tools, and favourite parts of different tracks in the catalogue to create something more unique than your average mix-in-mix-out mix compilation without compromising my mixing style. The compilation contains a total of 26 full tracks between the two parts + 22 tools, loops, and effects throughout the mix running on top most of the tracks. The mix comp includes many names such as Paul RitchLuca BacchettiDavide SquillaceNic Fanciulli,SebrokDubfireSteve ParkerThe JunkiesReset Robot Zoo Brazil,MacromismDJ SimiSinisa Tamamovic, and of course – myself.

What is your favorite city or place to play in and why?

 What’s my favorite city is always a hard question to answer because there are so many amazing ones. If I had to narrow it down to a few, I’m really in love with Spain. It’s the reason why I choose to live there in the summers. You have Ibiza, and Barcelona too, which is an amazing place, so I’d have to say that.

What inspires you to make music? 
 Music inspires me to make music. There nothing more inspiring than hearing someone else’s productions that make you say “HEY!, I need to make a better track than this”. It’s a love/hate jealousy game that keeps me motivated to do better.

Where can we see your other productions coming up? 

 Obviously summer has been a bit slow, as I’ve been travelling like nuts and so haven’t released much. But I have a few remixes coming up. One for Stefano Noferini, another for Sian’s album and one more for The Basement Jaxx remix album.  As for original stuff, I have a new collaboration with Paul Rich coming on Quartz, a new EP on Suara, and an EP on This & That the label of Davide Squillace. Also you will see a new Sci+Tec EP, but that will be at the beginning of the new year. Oh and a single on InMotion so yeah there is a ton of stuff to keep your eyes open for! 

Techno, tech house and their surrounding genres have been gaining popularity stateside. In your opinion, what has been the catalyst for this change? 

 It’s known that EDM is still a very big part of the scene in the USA. It seems that the younger generation have caught onto this. But with more underground music being slowly introduced – opinions and tastes are changing gradually. Young people travel more now, they experience Europe and the music scene offered there which I think has opened up their minds, and its gaining momentum now in the US and Canada. Clubs are doing a great job bringing in new artists from the underground scene and showcasing some of the best music out there at the moment. So lets hope this continues!

If you could tour along with another fellow DJ, whom would you choose?

Well Loco Dice has always been on of my favorites for many reasons. His live sets are always top notch, his production and diversity is next level, and I really like him as a person.

Do you prefer smaller crowds or larger ones when preforming in general.

 I get asked this a lot. But they are 2 very different things. I like them both equally. Performing for a small crowd you get that intimate vibe you will never get from a festival. And from a big crowd you get this raging stadium feeling you won’t get from a small club. So each has something the other doesn’t.

What advice would you give to an up and coming DJ?

DONT STOP! Because you never know when your time will come. I’ve seen a lot of people give up and kick themselves for it. I’ve also seen some people grinding it out for years and years until it happens for them. There’s nothing worse than living with “what ifs” in your head.