“Trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular colour looks like to someone who is blind.”
“Trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular colour looks like to someone who is blind.”
The consistently-prolific Catwash Records boss DJ W!ld takes time out to talk about the French House scene, his residencies at Circo Loco and Cocoon Heroes. We caught up with the Parisian in the build up to his forthcoming UK Gig in Hull at Fruit Warehouse on the 27th October.
We are….is the exclusive UGroove TV feature created to give a moment to the labels we find and love, for those who’s music we enjoy and to those we feel deserve to be looked at in a little more detail. It’s always about the releases, the artists and rarely about the label itself or their trusty A&R’s stroke label managers who, let’s face it, make the labels exactly what they are so we thought we should show them a little love, put them in the spotlight and give them a moment to tell us what they are all about. We’ll be hearing from the unknown to the well known, as each have their unique stories! Second up in the series of the We are… label feature is the legendary Claude Von Stroke with his dirtybird imprint.
Hello, we are dirtybird.
The label is run and owned by me myself and I, Claude Von Stroke.
It was started up because I saved up a bunch of loot making corporate research videos, then my girlfriend (now wife) told me she would pay all the bills and let me have a go at it for one year. If I made it through the storm I could keep doing it if I didn’t then I would have to go back to get a real job forever. At the same time Justin Martin & sammy D (now of Pilowtalk) were making some incredible music so they were the source of the first few tunes until I also started making some as well.
The first track released on the label was
The Southern Draw by Justin Martin & Sammy D; this was the best opening track for the label. It was so off the wall..it even had a rap in a southern accent over the top. It was wild and quirky and really fun, and it set the tone for the future. It also got me a vinyl distro deal with Ziggy at Neuton in Frankfurt. (now sadly bankrupt)
Artists who have released on the label include Justin Martin, myself, Catz n Dogz, Worthy, Eats Everything, Tanner Ross, Julio Bashmore, J Phlip, Sasha Braemer, Leroy peppers, Itzone, Donk Boys, Tim Green, Riva Starr, Kink, B-Ju, Kingdom, Tom Flynn, A1 Bassline, Breach, Style of Eye, Iz an Diz, Bootsy Collins…it goes on and on. We’re at the 70th release now. We started more than a few careers as well.
Artists who are due to remix for us include John Tejada, Dj Marky, Robag Wruhme, Music For Freaks, Audion, Frankie, Bruno Pronsato, Jesse Rose, DJ Assault, Aland Byallo, Stimming, Steve bug, Holger Zilske and more.
Something you probably don’t know about us is that I originally set out to be Justin Martin’s manager, he started to get some interest from a bunch of people in 2005 and no one was looking out for him. So I was helping him start his career. I had been making music for 15 years but I never thought it was possible to do it for a living until I saw what Justin was able to do within 6 months of learning how to use music software. So it’s really Justin Martin that got me started and I’m really happy we are still working together and that I am able to continue to support his career.
The label was originally called Rook Records but that was kind of a weak one. I was sitting in the bar where both justin and Christian martin worked and I drew this bird image on nanpkin that I had ben drawing since I was a kid. I used to draw it to make my brother laugh in church. Someone said “dirtybird” and it stuck from that moment on..,
A favourite remixed track has to be the DJ Marky & S.P.Y. remix of Aundy. I made the track in this drum n bass vibe that has now kind of become quite popular with the whole Bashmore sound coming up big. Anyway, I ran into Marky on a bus at Creamfields and I sent the track to his email the same night. He told me that night he would do it and he turned in a stunning remix.
Eventually down the line James Zabielia even made a cool edit that joins up the house version to the drum n bass version and it smashed it. really good stuff.
As a favourite original I still really love the whole Rocket Surgery EP by the Martin brothers. Its so next level and no one has a sound like this with Bay Area Hyphy AND house mixed up… it is a crazy record. I love it.
Another label who I appreciate for their sound is Frankie Recordings out of Paris; so oddball and so cool. the swing on the beats is so far out that you don’t even think it is in time anymore – but it is!! That label has delivered so many secret late night bombs . I still love it. I bring out Frankie records all the time.
Our artwork on dirtybird has not been our strongest asset but now I think we have a nice set of designers with Max Pfisterer as the lead guy. He is really good. All the mothership art is the best truthfully and he did all of that. He also did the HATCHED art which I think is excellent.
The ethos behind the label is to have fun, life is not so serious. We are not making a joke when we make music but we ARE having a good time. We also like to keep a very tight family vibe amongst the whole crew, if you want to behave like a recluse then we don’t really knock on your door for a bunch of new tunes.
As for the future, I think dirtybird is just now hitting it’s stride, that may sound strange but after 7 years of running it almost alone I’ve really loosened up a little. I’m letting some other people come in and help out and the difference is really amazing.
Personally in 10 years I want to be in Kauai sipping drinks with umbrellas but i’m sure I will still be making tunes and dong A&R. Its an addiction.
My greatest achievement so far is Aundy, Jasper and Ella Crenshaw and quitting my real job at 32.
I already have the top three people I want to release on the label; Justin Martin, Claude VonStroke and whoever else sends me the hottest shit.
Next up is a new one by and Jaw of dOP. It’s a different vibe than usual and the first time I ever did a song with a real singer, and I think it came out really cool.
You can find us in these places:
Finally, we are….going to have to release the giant Octopus on your ass.
Words: Claude Von Stroke
The twelfth Cocoon Ibiza Season has now drawn to a close and once again they’ve written a new chapter in club-history. The music revolution that they sparked more then a decade ago is still growing and evolving and this year the party is taking a trip to London this March 10th.
Cocoon decided a simple “Thank You” was not enough for their special friends in the UK and London. That’s why they’re bringing the full Cocoon Hero’s Ibiza expeirence to London as away of saying Thanks to the people on the dancefloor: YOU are our true Heroes of the Night!
YOU ARE THE HEROES
The full lineup of the first ever Cocoon Heroes show to be staged in London has now been announced. Two underground arches will be showcasing some of the best artists to perform at Cocoon in 2011 along with some ones to watch for 2012.
with support from
Anonymity has always been popular with electronic musicians; Daft Punk famously evolved their personas into futuristic robots after an ‘accident’ in the studio with a sampler. It’s therefore wise to take Flight Facilities claims of members Captain Earnest Bon-Huffington, Madame Francois de Ludenkopf, Esquire Winston Humphries III and Fred with a pinch of salt. Ignoring the deceptive guises, it turns out that Flight Facilities are an Australian duo ‘who combine the blissed out pop production of Quincy Jones, the dancefloor hedonism of Daft Punk and the intoxicating head rush of the best night of your life’ – as they put it.
The antipodean pair lit up the international scene last year with their breakout and smash hit single ‘Crave You’. A sultry piece of dance pop composed of lingering piano chords, hypnotic funky drums and gnarly synths with a deep leisurely melody carried by the silky voice of Melbourne based songwriter Giselle Rosselli. The track snatched a SMAC award for ‘best song of 2010’ and was included in the trend dictating Kitsune Maison 10 compilation.
Their notable single ‘Foreign Language’ (featuring singer Jess Higgs) is a brazenly joyous flashback to 70’s disco and has been given a deep house makeover by Aus and Simples Records boss Will Saul and his production partner Tam Cooper. UGroove TV’s Edmund Knock caught up with the duo to find out a little more about them.
Hey guys, thanks for having a chat with us. So, after checking out your Facebook and Myspace page, I’m interested if you can tell us a bit about your upbringing in Trinidad and Tobago?
Good question. Unfortunately, it’s all highly top secret so we pretend we’re actually from Australia. We generally tell people we’ve had a great upbringing and life down-under but it’s all just a cover for our Caribbean heritage.
Tell me about yourselves, how you got involved together with Flight Facilities. Were you part of any other projects before forming the group and how long have you been making music for?
We both met through clubbing. It sounds bad but we were just at the same venues way too often so it was only a matter of time. Before Flight Facilities one of us was just DJing alone and the other was working with Light Year on a project called ‘To Shades’. Everybody seems to be related in one way or another in Sydney’s music scene.
Your sound has been described as Nu-Disco amongst other things but there’s definitely a French House feel about it as well. Who are your major influences?
A lot of older music. The music our parents brought us up on has played its part. Roy Orbison, Michael McDonald, chic, Cat Stevens, etc. but in a more modern sense, we were shaped largely by the years between 04′ and ’08. Things like DaftPunk, Fred Falke, Booka Shade, Tiga – it’s hard to pin it down even to just a few.
You use vocals in most of your tracks, what is that you feel vocals add to your music, or even any music? Why do you feel it’s important for you to use vocals?
Vocals are almost essential to giving a song some cross-over appeal. We’re pretty tough on ourselves about the final vocal content too. There’s so much appeal to a lot of instrumental songs and we have every intention of making some, but for now we want to try to make the kind of vocal tracks we wish were the sound of current pop music.
Giselle Rosselli is a very talented singer and I love her vocals on Crave You. How did she get involved with Flight Facilities?
Purely by coincidence. Met her in a bar one night through a friend and we got to talking about music. From there we stayed in touch and who knew, 2 years later, that this is how it would turn out?
Jess Higgs is the latest singer you’ve collaborated with. She has a very classic soulful voice which harks back to golden era of disco. Can you tell me more about her, where do you find these girls?!
Funnily enough, at the bar next to the one where we found Giselle. Coincidence again, through another friend. Jess was really fun to work with and was great at throwing ideas around. She’s amazing on stage and her voice is always on. Makes us look bad when she comes out to sing.
Your single ‘Foreign Language’ is a pure disco song, how did you go about writing it?
We started by referencing some old disco tracks. We were also looking at Jamiroquai and Moloko and talking about how great it was that 10 years ago that was what commercial music sounded like. Something has been lost along the way and it’s kind of sad – we’re hoping that sort of music can make an impact again. It’s still great to listen to!
Ever since angry rock kids ruined the scene with the infamous Disco Demolition Night, the genre has been predicted to make numerous comebacks that have never properly been realised. Recently though, artists like Maceo Plex have been infusing heavy disco touches into their house productions. Do you think that the time is right for disco to regain its crown at the top of dance music?
Whether people realise it or not, disco never disappeared. It still maintains its popularity to day. Look at songs like Barbra Streisand, it was one of the biggest dance hits in the past few years. That was a Boney M sample. Boney M were heavy hitters even back in the 70s and 80s, and their music still sounds good and still works in a contemporary context. We think the one thing that’s interesting about the infamous Disco Demolition Night is that disco records are still rare and collectible items. Rock, not so much. Not to take away from the rock scene, but it’s funny how time dictated the value.
You’ve had quite a busy touring schedule this year and have performed everywhere, including Colombia. What are your plans after the Foreign Language dates in Australia, are you going to travel around Eurpoe and/or America anytime soon?
We’re still organising an American tour for March/April and we may be heading back to Europe later in the year. It’s pretty exciting to be able to visit places we thought we may never have been able to. What’s more is that we do it for ‘work’. Airports and travel are pretty exhausting experiences but taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture is a rewarding feeling.
Will Saul and Tam Cooper remixed ‘Foreign Language’ what do you think of the re-work, are you fans of their work as it is and was it a personal request to have them remix?
To be honest, at first we weren’t sure about it and we weren’t too familiar with either of their work. It’s so bare and we didn’t take to it right away. But then we played it in Germany last August and realised how huge it was. It’s the simplicity that makes it so interesting, we love it now! We play it every opportunity we get. The label made sure we got that mix and it was definitely a good move on their part. Will Saul and Tam Cooper definitely have at least two more fans as a result.
You have a clothing line, tell us a bit about that?
Well it’s just t-shirts for now but we want to move into some other items. We think some Flight Facilities wrist watches would be unreal.
Do you prefer performing in the intimate surroundings of a small club or in front of a sea of arms of your adoring fans at a music festival?
They’re both as good as each other. Having 1000+ people in front of us at a festival is an unbelievable experience but an intimate club show makes you feel like part of the crowd. You can feel the atmosphere and the audience becomes part of the show. It’s too hard to choose because they’re such vastly different experiences.
Dubstep is the buzzword of the moment and the genre is currently in the middle of taking over the world, it’s especially seen a meteoric rise of popularity in America. There’s a remix of ‘Crave You’ by Adventure Club that’s nearly as popular as the original. Are you tempted to add any bass wobbles to your music in the future?
To be perfectly honest we’d have to say “definitely not”. Neither of us enjoy dubstep. We understand it’s such a big thing at the moment but as hard as we try, we just don’t understand it. We’re blown away by the response to Adventure Club’s remix and we can really appreciate how well they did with the remix. As far as our understanding goes, they did a really tasteful interpretation. You probably won’t find us playing it any time soon. It just doesn’t fit with our sound or our DJ sets – but that’s what remixes are for, right? All the same we’d love to meet up with those guys, they seem like legends and they’re obviously going to be HUGE -deservedly so.
Finally after two riotously infectious singles, the question on everyone’s lips is when can we expect a debut album?
An album? Uh oh! Not any time soon. We’re still working on more singles. At the rate we work, we wouldn’t have a full album til about 2020. We tend to put a ridiculous amount of work into one song at a time and that seems to be working for us right now. So we have to keep fending the album requests off with a sharp stick. Expect a new single from us in the next month or so featuring Grovesnor. We’re hoping it will it hold a flame to the other two.
Words: Edmund Knock
It’s officially Movember! The annual, month-long event that calls upon the men of the world (Mo-Bro’s) to grow a moustache is in full force! Invented to raise awareness for men’s health issues – namely prostate cancer - the Movember Foundation has been growing, and growing (‘scuse the pun), spreading world-wide with many of our dance music hero’s joining in the cause. Us Mo-Bro’s and Mo-Sisters at UGroove decided to find out which DJs have put their top lips up for rent and put them in the moustache hot-seat to ask about, erm, moustaches. Next up in the Movember series is….
Ben Gomori, former resident of the legendary Turnmills, The Cross and The Key, Pacha and Egg is a master of house music. Having released on the acclaimed Baker Street Recordings and other established labels, he’s received huge support from a vast array of DJs, bloggers and the general groove-loving public alike. You might best know him for his Data Transmission’s weekly Round-Up radio show & podcast. A busy boy to say the least, but he’s still found the time to grow a moustache…
Are you sexier with or without a moustache? Does it make you feel hot, hot hot!? Or more merv the perv?
You tell me, Lauren? Mixed reaction to be honest. Generally negative. Some say I look like I should be on a register, some say it looks good ‘in a temporary way’.
Freddy Mercury, Hulk Hogan or Charlie Chaplin’s tash?
Chaplin. See Richard Herring’s ‘reclaim the Chaplin tache from Hitler’ diatribe(s)
What is your chosen shape?
Ian Rush meets Bruce Grobbelar meets David Seaman.
Which girl could get away with a moustache for you?
My housemate thinks girls with fake taches are hot. I think he has some issues from when he was at boarding school. Um…how about that ginger bird off of that Mad Men?
Which continent/country grow the best moustaches?
Hungary, obviously (where my parents are from).
Where do you think the moustache comes from?
We got bored of the usual nicknames for tash’s like grass grin, lip foliage, nose neighbor – can you come up with a new one for us?
Who would you like to see grow a moustache?
One of our friends once found a pea in his moustache. What is the best thing you could get caught in your moustache?
Not much yet, although considering leaving the moustache comb in there like an afropick.
Why is Movember important to you?
I’ve never made any charity efforts before and I thought it’s about time. I like the idea of sacrificing something for sponsorship – in this case attractiveness and facial comfort. And more to the point I think Movember has been instrumental in heightening awareness of prostate and other male cancers – and they’ve done it in such a smart, fun way.
How much are you aiming to raise?
It was £500 but I’ve just passed that, so let’s say £750.
Will the tash be staying after Movember is over?
Fuck no! It’s coming straight off on December 1st. Although my brother did say he’d double his sizable donation if I kept it ’til 2012…argh.
Scrutinizing the worlds DJs on a weekly basis for the soundtrack to their perfect weekend is the name of the ’48 Hours Off’ game. Everyone from Calvin Harris and Example, to underground stars like Richie Hawtin and Claude Von Stroke have laid down their favourite party tunes to the nations listeners. UGroove TV decided it was time to turn the tables on Capital FM’s ’48 Hours Off’ show host, Andi Durrant and put him in the hot seat! Following the ’48 Hours Off’ rules we asked Andi for a track that got him in to electronic music, something that always gets him in the mood to go out, an end of the night anthem and something to chill out to on the Sunday morning aftermath.
WELCOME TO UGROOVE’S VERSION OF 48 HOURS OFF FROM THE WORLD, ANDI. PLEASE TELL US WHAT IS GOING ON IN YOUR WORLD RIGHT NOW?
At the moment I’m busy in the studio with a lot of Riley & Durrant remixes. We’ve recently worked on the new Chicane record “Thousand Mile Stare”, US Billboard artist Kerli, Laidback Luke & Steve Aoki’s “Turbulence”, Sarah Atereth and a couple of collaborations with Dirty Secretz and Jason Herd. Over summer we’ve been playing all over the place from the terrace at Space Ibiza to Ministry of Sound and this weekend we’ll be at the Brixton Academy for the massive Toolroom 5th birthday. Aside from tracks and gigs the Capital radio shows take up most of my free time right now and of course we’ve just launched the 48 Hours Off From The World archive site.
TELL US HOW AND WHY YOU GOT INTO DANCE MUSIC AND PLAY THE FIRST TRACK THAT GOT YOU INTERESTED?
Ever since I can remember I’ve been fascinated with electronic music. My Dad always used to have lots of Kraftwerk and Pet Shops records around the house and I was obsessed with the weird synths and bleepy sounds. I went on a german exchange when I was 14 in ’95 and heard all the crazy gabba techno and stuff they had on the radio over there and from then on used to get my exchange partner Bjorn to buy me all the latest tracks and post them over to the UK. Then I’d make mix tapes on my dads Grundig hifi and sell them at the school gates for £2.60. Which in hindsight was quite illegal. I think choosing one single track that got your into dance music is the hardest part of “48 Hours..” and I reckon I could go for 4 or 5 but on this occasion I’ll say “The Gift” from Way Out West – it was the first 12” single I actually bought to DJ with.
IT’S 6PM FRIDAY NIGHT. YOU’VE HAD A BAD WEEK. YOU’RE READY TO LET OFF SOME STEAM. WHICH ONE TRACK WILL ALWAYS GET YOU IN THE MOOD TO GO OUT?
This has to be the hardest one to choose – it changes every week but something that’s put me in a good mood a lot this year is “Meteorites” by London Elektricity..
IT’S 4AM. YOU’RE HOT, STICKY, AND TIRED BUT YOU WANT TO HEAR ONE MORE TUNE. WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE END OF NIGHT ANTHEM?
When myself and Nick are playing a late set and we get the old “one more tune!” chant we often put on “Mr Brightside” by the Killers – it’s such an anthemic record that most people know the words to and totally different to what we’ve been playing for the previous 2 hours – it sends people home with a big smile on their face and song stuck in their heads for the rest of the weekend.
IT’S SUNDAY MORNING 11 A M, YOU’RE FEELING A BIT WORSE FOR WEAR. WHAT RECORD DO YOU PUT ON TO EASE THE HANGOVER?
Bloc Party “Signs” is one of the most beautiful records I know.. it’s actually incredibly sad and depressing and melancholic if you listen to the words but does sound amazing on a Sunday morning.
THANK YOU FOR TAKING PART IN 48 HOURS OF FROM THE WORLD. WHERE CAN WE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOU AND STAY IN TOUCH?
I’m on twitter all day every day at twitter.com/andidurrant or facebook.com/andidurrant You can get all the links to our Riley & Durrant stuff at www.rileyanddurrant.com or check out all the guests from our 48 Hours Off From The World feature (growing every week) at: www.48hoursoff.com
In the next few weeks you can catch Laidback Luke, Fatboy Slim, Sander Kleinenberg and more on the show. Tune in to 95.8 Capital FM at 11pm (UK time) tonight and tomorrow for the soundtrack to Professor Green’s perfect weekend…
BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST, the debut feature by actor Michael Rapaport, finally landed in theaters last weekend after months of behind-the-scenes and in-the-press strife between the director and several of his subjects. But in the end, the formerly, vocally-opposed Q-Tip and his fellow members of A Tribe Called Quest encouraged fans to see the film – and indeed they did, giving the BEATS the biggest documentary opening of 2011: the film took in a stellar average of nearly $28,000 in 4 theaters.
Rap Hip Hop producer Dr.Dre talks about his love for older women..
B-Real from Cypress Hill talks about a crazy groupie story where the girls tried to hide themselves in the luggage compartment under the sceptic tank.
Cypress Hill – Insane In the brain – The Music Video
Video by Vlad TV