Following Qulinez’ thunderous 2013 release “Drop It,” the Swedish duo makes their triumphant return to Dim Mak with their forthcoming sizzler “Let’s Rock.”
We had the chance to catch up Danny Avila and chat about his laundry list of accolades, hanging with Tiesto and hitting it big before he can hit the bars.
Up-and-coming kings of the underground Bixel Boys make their Dim Mak Records debut with an innovative rework of Botnek and 3LAU’s collaboration “Vikings.” The Los Angeles-bred duo has been making major waves on their ascension to the top, touting their flavorful style of classical 90’s elements-meets-deep house vibes across the country with appearances at Electric Daisy Carnival, Splash House, SnowGlobe and HARD Summer. We caught up with Ian and Rob ahead of their Dim Mak release to chat about their history, productions and big plans for the future.
[highlight style=”default”][highlighttext title=”Botnek and 3LAU – “Vikings (Bixel Boys Remix)”” titlesize=”h3″ subtitle=”Out on Dim Mak Records September 16″][button color=white-button url=”http://geni.us/VikingsBixelBoysRemix” size=”small-button” target=”_blank”]Pre-Order on iTunes[/button][/highlighttext][/highlight]
Tell me about how you two met and began collaborating as Bixel Boys.
Ian) We met through a mutual friend and with our powers combined we became CAPTAIN PLAN — I mean Bixel Boys.
You guys are a product of the Los Angeles scene and continue to act as influential tastemakers throughout the city. How has Los Angeles influenced and inspired your music?
Ian) It’s an awesome collection of creatives all congregated in one place, it’s a great incubator for all of us and we love all the support that we get from those around us pursuing similar endeavors
Your musical styles range greatly from deep house and ghetto-tech to hip-hop and underground. How would you categorize your sound?
Rob) I don’t think that there’s just one way to pin-point our sound. It’s a bit of a musical exploration. We made it clear early on that we weren’t necessarily going to decide on a genre before starting any song. I think this keeps our minds fresh and makes producing a little more fun.
After less than two years producing and DJing as the Bixel Boys, you’ve grown from spinning at house parties to performing at festivals like HARD and EDC. What do you make of your meteoric rise to fame?
Ian) “Meteoric rise to fame ” is a WEEEEEEE bit of an overstatement haha we’re not popping bottles with Diddy, eating caviar on yachts in San Tropez or anything. Whatever small steps towards personal success we have made have come from hard work, everything from prepping different sets to every show, late nights in the studio, and hours of designing all play a part to what we do.
Rob) We also have a great team around us which can equate to some of that overnight success, but we still have a long way to go to achieve what we’re actually trying to do.
How do your sets differ when performing at smaller intimate venues versus on festival stages?
Ian) Festivals we like to make as much of a ‘ performance ‘ as we can and really take people on a musical journey, example this year at EDC we played everything from show tunes, disney theme songs, ACDC and tons of other surprises. I think more intimate settings allow us to read the crowd more and play more moody stuff to get people dancing instead of raving
You’ve been commissioned for official remixes of artists such as The Crystal Method, Architecture In Helsinki, Eliza Doolittle, Thomas Newson, Kayper and Kiesza. How do these remixes come together? What do you aim to bring to the table when reworking such well-known talent?
Ian) Sometimes we like a song, sometimes they approach us, its always different. We just want to be able to take the core of those songs and re-vision them thru our creative lens.
Rob) It’s about making sure that the essence of the original work is still apparent while putting the song in a different world. Sometimes it’s easier said than done. We go through a lot of different versions of things we remix before deciding on a direction.
Just this month you remixed Golden Features’ Tell Me featuring Nicole Miller and now you’ve put your spin on Botnek and 3LAU’s “Vikings.” Do you go into the studio with an idea of where you want to take the original tune, or do you let the ideas flow organically?
Ian) For remixes we tend to let the original dictate the direction we’re going to go.
Rob) For sure organically. We are blank slate producers i.e. no previous project copy/pasting. We tend to just start listening to the parts over and over again and solo’ing sections over random loops and samples until something jumps out at us.
Not only are you music makers, but you’ve also entered the world of fashion with your FREELIFE brand. Tell me about how this idea came together and how the unmistakable black jerseys caught fire so quickly.
Ian) We had a concept about viewing our peers and fans and ourselves as a team, and we wanted to create something that you couldn’t just purchase but you had to earn, so we designed the jersey ourselves and began to give it to people we respected, people really liked the design, the message, the fit and it took on a life of it’s own from there.
I’ve heard you’re launching a charitable arm of the FREELIFE brand soon, can you tell us a bit about that?
Ian) All of the pieces are still coming together but we can confirm that we’ll be linking up the Freelife brand with a charity very soon to start to give back, which is something thats always been very important to us.
What’s next for Bixel Boys?
Ian) more original tunes, gear, and ideas for everybody.
We’ve had our eye on him for some time, and now he’s part of the Dim Mak family. Say hello to Joe Ghost! From his collection of popular mashups to a collaboration with Hardwell, Joe Ghost has been earning his way up the ladder one rung at a time. His Dim Mak track “LIBG”, or “Lose It Baby Go”, tears through tooth and nail with electro fury. We caught up with Joe to get the in depth scoop on him and how he ticks. Check it below.
Joe Ghost is getting ready to drop his new single “LIBG” on Dim Mak Records, available for download on May 6th.
[highlight style=”default”][highlighttext title=”To learn more about Joe Ghost and his ‘LIBG’ single, see our exclusive interview!” titlesize=”h6″ subtitle=””][/highlighttext][/highlight]
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your music.
I was born in raised in Toronto Canada and got my first taste of the DJ culture when I was around 15 years old, after seeing a video of DJ Qbert at a DMC battle. I was instantly hooked, and for the next year I found any excuse I could to help out with chores around the house to earn enough money to buy two turntables and a mixer. I stumbled upon House/Dance music a few years later when I first heard “Groove in you” by Dave Armstrong. I remember being so captivated by the contrast between the emotional and energetic elements instilled in one song.
Fast forward, I then found myself wanting to be not only that person playing these amazing songs , but also the one creating them.
Joe Ghost music can be simply put as “loud+minimilistic” haha. I love creating music that combines both uplifting melodies that force a sense of emotion, and “drops” that are minimalistic, but create a wow factor. I feel that when these two elements are combined, it creates a four-minute package of energy that forces the listener go through various emotions so quickly. It’s a thrill that is hard to get through any other medium!
2. Do you believe in the paranormal? Why yes or no.
It’s funny because I get asked that all the time. However “Ghost” is just a nickname that I’ve had since I was young because I am a shy quiet guy, always the quietest person in the room; it doesn’t reference anything paranormal. But to answer your question, there are times I believe in ghosts, especially after I watch a scary movie at night and need to navigate my way to my bed in the dark haha
3. If you were a ghost would you rather be always invisible to people or always visible and why?
100% I would love to be always visible. I would scare the shit out of everyone all the time!
4. If you ruled the world, who would you want to be your second-in-command and why?
My best #2 would be someone like Julius Ceaser, he had a lot of great traits that complement mine. He is known for never being defeated in a battle, this brings out my competitive side; for those who know me .. I HATE loosing.
5. What upcoming material do you have coming up?
I really like to interact with my fan base by releasing bootlegs and mashups frequently, so you can expect a lot more of those throughout the year. Also, I have really focused on pushing out a lot more originals for 2014/2015 , so fans of my music can expect a lot more Joe Ghost music in the near future, with some surprising collaborations I can’t really talk about yet.
6. Your track for Dim Mak is called “LIBG” or “Lose It Baby Go”. Where would be the last place you would want someone to play this song and why?
I am thinking of something witty and clever to say with this, but in a DJ world all that keeps coming to my head is that the last place I would want someone to play this is right before one of my sets at a show.
7. When is the best time to listen to dance music and why?
Dance music is so amazing because there is so many different forms of it. Dance music plays an integral part in my day. I first wake up listening to deep house while I make my breakfast and get ready. Then as the day progresses I turn to Tech House vibes to keep me going , later on in the evening its all about big room tunes that get me energetic, and then right before I call it a night I turn back to some deep house to chill out.
8. Would you rather play a gig in the middle of the Amazon, or in the middle of the Arctic, and why?
I recently played a festival in Canada called the BRRRRR Festival, this took place outside in the middle of the winter. Any Canadians know that this years winter could have been compared to the Arctic haha. It was a surreal experiance with the massive crowd fully bundled in their winter gear but raging still like it was a summer festival. I loved the atmosphere that was created with the big festival style production and harsh winter elements combined. Eventhough my fingertips froze I would 100% do it again.
9. What is one song you could not do without in life?
Wow! that is such a hard question. I have so many go-to songs that I have had for years for different moments either happy or sad. I love music, so it would be like asking me to tell you which one of my family members I love the most.
[highlight style=”bordered”][highlighttext title=”FOLLOW JOE GHOST” titlesize=”h3″ subtitle=””][/highlighttext][highlightbutton][button color=default-button3 url=”https://www.facebook.com/joeghost/” size=”big-button” target=”_self”]FACEBOOK[/button] [button color=default-button3 url=”https://twitter.com/joeghostonline” size=”big-button” target=”_self”]TWITTER[/button] [button color=default-button3 url=”https://soundcloud.com/joeghost” size=”big-button” target=”_self”]SOUNDCLOUD[/button][/highlightbutton][/highlight]
We could not be more stoked to introduce Jacob Plant into the Dim Mak Records family! Jacob Plant has been pulling out all the stops as of late, releasing explosive electro records like “Fire” and “Shakedown” in the past year. Jacob had an official remix for Calvin Harris‘s smash “I Need Your Love” and has previously remixed the likes of Iggy Azalea, Benny Benassi, and Example. From exploring the worlds of electro, dubstep, trap, and more, it appears that the skies are the limit for young Jacob Plant.
Jacob Plant is getting ready to drop his Louder EP on Dim Mak Records, available for download on April 22nd.
[highlight style=”default”][highlighttext title=”To learn more about Jacob and his Louder EP, see our exclusive interview!” titlesize=”h6″ subtitle=””][/highlighttext][/highlight]
1. Welcome to Dim Mak, Jacob! We’ve been fans for some time now, and are looking forward to having you here. Why did you pick Dim Mak?
I have been a fan of Dim Mak and Steve Aoki for years now. I met Steve on tour in India last year and was blown away by his work ethic and how he runs his whole operation. We spoke about releasing on Dim Mak and I showed him some songs I’d been working on. We found 3 songs that fit and we went ahead with it!
2. Your Warehouse EP was the first release on your own label Shakedown Recordings. Why did you choose to base your EP around warehouse rave culture?
At the time of producing those tracks, I was listening to loads of 90’s rave songs. I was listening to The Prodigy a lot and watching their live show over and over… It was so inspiring I thought it would be cool to take that inspiration and put it in my songs. I was very much into dance music from a young age so I have always been inspired by those older sounds as well as new!
3. Recently you released a VIP version of your hit track “Fire” from Fly Eye Records. In this version, you take the electro sound and rework it into a more future house/garage style. Why did you choose to remix it in this style, and any plans on garage or deep house originals?
To be honest it was mainly just for a bit of fun! I love producing different styles, I think its really important to do. I was in the studio one night and I was still getting loads of Tweets about that song. Then I thought, why not remix and give it away for free to my fans!? I did a house version of “Fire” because it wasn’t the most predictable direction to take it. It got a really good reaction so I think it did the job!
4. The Louder EP you produced for us features a mixture of styles. One of the tracks, “Radar”, includes electro and trap within the same record. What made you switch up the drops?
I was playing around with different versions of that song one night. Originally it was actually 128 BPM but I accidentally changed the tempo to 140 BPM and it sounded better so I just went with it! I changed the drum beat and in a few hours it sounded completely different. It’s funny how that works, I find most early demos I work on sound so different to the final version it’s almost a different song!
5. Is there someone in particular you’d love to work with on a release at Dim Mak?
I really like what Deorro is doing at the moment, it would be pretty cool to do something with him. Also I would love to do a track with Showtek. I love playing their records live and they have always been really supportive of my releases!
6. Electro house has seen a lot of changes in the last year or so, what do you think is coming next?
Yeah there has been a lot of change and very quickly too. I like how sounds evolve and change, it keeps everything interesting. I think the next changes are going to be a repeat of older sounds with a modern twist. I can already hear tracks coming through using sounds from 2006 but with 2014 production skills. Music and fashion always run in cycles.
7. What gigs do you have coming up, any plans for touring through the US?
We are currently planning my debut tours in the US this year which I am so excited about. I love America, I really want to move there one day! Hopefully I will get back out to countries like India again this year. That country is amazing, it really blew my mind. I just got announced on my favourite UK festival, Reading & Leeds Festival. Last year that was one of the best moments of my career. The tent was full and all the kids were going mental! I love seeing crowds go mental at festivals, its the best feeling ever!
8. You used to produce dubstep a couple of years ago, why did you decide to change over to house music?
I needed a change at that time. I just wanted to do something different and start fresh. Also at that time the sound was changing in dubstep and I didn’t really see myself going that way. I have always made house/electro, so really it was me going back to my roots and exciting myself with new music. I just want to enjoy what I do and have fun with music. I want to make music that people dance and rave to at clubs and festivals. I don’t want rules and boundaries.
9. What comes next after the Louder EP?
I have some cool collaborations in the pipeline and new music to release in the summer, so keep an eye out!
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On January 30th, we’re kicking off the year with the launch of Night Bass, a new event series curated by the king of heavy bass house AC Slater and his Brooklyn-based record label Party Like Us. Starting January 30 at Sound Nightclub in Los Angeles, Night Bass features a diverse array of talent highlighting leaders of the U.K. bass-driven scene and caters to the night owls of the world.
Serving as Los Angeles’ best new underground event, Night Bass brings the sound that’s bubbling out of the bass bins from dark clubs and warehouses the world over direct to local audiences. Expect to hear cutting-edge house, garage, bassline, and boundary-pushing music. Together with Dim Mak, Party Like Us, and AC Slater, Night Bass brings the most unique party to Los Angeles.
For the opening event, Night Bass welcomes original Dirtybird player Christian Martin, who brings his tech-house flavor to the dance floor, along with Party Like Us label head AC Slater himself, who adds his unique spin on house and bass music. Main Course co-founder Astronomar joins the night with additional support from LA bass head Petey Clicks and local LA tastemaker Bones.
[highlight style=”default”][highlighttext title=”For the 411 on this exciting new event series, check out our exclusive interview with AC Slater!” titlesize=”h6″ subtitle=””][/highlighttext][/highlight]
1. Dim Mak: You are gearing up to present a collaborative party between Dim Mak and your label, Party Like Us. The night is being introduced as a home for cutting-edge house, garage, bassline, and more. Can you elaborate on the type of music party-goers will hear?
Think high-energy bass music with some soul. Somewhere between the big world of EDM and the underground sound of house music, that’s where Night Bass lives.
2. Describe the Party Like Us brand.
We want to share our musical influences and tastes with everyone. Party Like Us is bringing unique sounds to America on a regular basis via our releases. We want to shake things up and show music fans new sounds to keep them excited about dance music.
3. What can partygoers expect from an event thrown by Party Like Us and Dim Mak?
People can expect a well-curated night of fresh, bass-heavy house music that Party Like Us specializes in with the hype and excitement of a Dim Mak production.
4. How will Night Bass be different from any other party in the LA area?
This isn’t an event about standing and watching crazy visuals or an LED wall light up. This is about enjoying music on a nice sound system in a great atmosphere. On top of that, you will not hear a lot of this music anywhere else in LA. That’s the difference, something fresh for the city, an alternative to the norm.
5. You will be spinning at these parties. What are some tracks that you think will set the tone for the night?
You’ll hear me play a lot of forthcoming, unreleased Party Like Us tracks as well as tunes from labels like Black Butter, Four 40 Records, Rinse, Trouble & Bass, and much more. Exciting, forward-thinking music, from uplifting vocal tracks to dark, driving bassline tunes.
I’ve also created a special Night Bass Spotify Playlist featuring songs I’ve been playing out for the past month or so that always get the party going, along with some dope tracks by the artists performing at the very first Night Bass event.[/one_half][one_half_last]
6. Fast-forward one year: You have the amazing opportunity to curate a very special Night Bass 1-Year Anniversary Party. Who are those special guest DJs that would grace the decks?
My 1-year anniversary dream line up might be:
U.K. Garage legend DJ EZ
Taiki & Nulight
AC Slater & Petey Clicks (B2B)
7. Anything else you want to tell your fans and friends?
Shout out to Sound and Dim Mak for helping us bring this to life. Shout out to all the Party Animals coming to get involved in the Night Bass movement every month!
Dim Mak Records is proud to welcome our newest artist Uberjak’d to the family! Uberjak’d is an Australian producer, who recently exploded onto the global electronic music scene with his electro-influenced Melbourne Bounce sound. This past year Uberjak’d mixed Australia’s #1 dance compilation Ministry of Sound The Annual and joined the nationwide tour, performed for 15,000 people at the Stereosonic festival, and celebrated his spot as the #1 podcast in Australia on iTunes, beating out Hardwell and Tiësto.
Uberjak’d is hoping to bring the Melbourne Bounce sound to the U.S. with the release of his upcoming EP on Dim Mak Records. Uberjak’d isn’t a stranger to Dim Mak, featuring on the Autoerotique Asphyxiation (Remixes) EP.
[highlight style=”default”][highlighttext title=”To find out more about this rising artist check out our exclusive interview!” titlesize=”h6″ subtitle=””][/highlighttext][/highlight]
1. Hi Uberjak’d, welcome to Dim Mak! We’re excited to have you as part of our family. Can you tell us a bit about why you joined Dim Mak?
Thanks! Pleasure to be part of the family. I have always been a big fan of the label. I see Dim Mak as a label that isn’t afraid to push sounds that are new, fresh, or different from the normal.
2. Describe your sound. Any artists and/or genres of music that have been particularly influential in your productions?
Melbourne Bounce obviously! I have been hooked on that sound ever since I discovered it while skipping class at uni to listen to music and as well as living in Adelaide. I wasn’t lucky enough to go check out this music in the clubs, so I had to compromise and downloaded the tunes off the Melbourne Bounce forums. At the time I’d heard nothing like this sound. This was the early days of the sound, so like Orkestrated, Kalus, Dean Del were all guys producing this underground, really techno-influenced electro. That was about five or six years ago, way before I even considered DJing myself. So fast forward a couple years and I had established myself as a DJ in my hometown Adelaide. I’d also been playing a few gigs in Melbourne and really wanted to put my own harder electro/rave influence on the Melbourne Sound, and I guess you will hear a lot of that sound on my new EP.
3. You’ll soon be releasing an EP on Dim Mak followed by a spring U.S. tour. What can you tell us about the EP? How do you hope to impact the dance music scene in the U.S. through this new partnership with Dim Mak?
I’m stoked for this EP. It’s really an Uberjak’d & Friends EP with collaborations with Chardy, Krunk!, and Sarah Bodle supplying some amazing vocals for another. The first track with Sarah Bodle is a bit big room meets techno meets Melbourne. I was inspired in elements by the old anthem and one of my favorite tunes of all time “Stranger To Stability” (Len Faki Podium Mix). Sarah did a great job on the vocals and this is my second track with her, so we have worked together and she has also performed live at some of my shows. The track with Chardy, “All Aboard,” was something we wrote about eight months ago, but have kept it tight and I’m so stoked it’s coming out on this EP. That one is a bit hardstyle, a bit Melbourne. Not sure what it is, but I think that’s why I like it! The track with Krunk!, my boy back in Adelaide, is definitely hardstyle, but we really rip it back in the break and get melodic and chilled, so it’s a bit of a contrast. The final tune, “Static,” is a solo track and is rave vs. Melbourne. I like the riff in it, sort of reminds me of bag pipes. Maybe it’s some of my Scottish blood coming through in that track.
4. There seems to be a surge of Australian producers taking over electronic music (Flume, Anna Lunoe, Will Sparks, the Stafford Brothers to name a few). What do you think is the reason for this? Do you feel that where you’re from has had an influence on your music in any way?
I think that Australia has always been a place that embraces and pushes forward-thinking sounds, which gives artists the freedom to do something different. I think where you live, more importantly the shows you perform as a DJ, has a huge effect on your sound. As a DJ, I want to make music that the fans at my shows enjoy, and different places always have a different vibe. Thanks to social media and SoundCloud, being so accessible these days and getting your sound out to people has never been easier.
5. You’ve been at the forefront of the growing Melbourne bounce scene in Australia alongside artists like Will Sparks. Do you think the Melbourne Bounce sound will catch on in the U.S.?
Hahaha! I hope so! I guess if I love this music so much, if Australia loves it this much, then why can’t America or the world? Will Sparks has just returned from his tour and it looks like the reception for him and the sound was really good, so hopefully that’s a sign for good things. I think the great thing about EDM, as it’s known in the U.S., is that it’s about innovation and looking for something fresh. I guess electronic dance music has always been about that, so I hope that people are up for this sound. A funny thing is that when I first started to play Melbourne Bounce outside of Melbourne, there was a track I played at my gigs. I won’t name the artist or the track, but it’s now a bit of an anthem over here. I used to play the track at my gigs and literally people would walk off the dance floor. They didn’t understand it and it was something so different to what they have heard or were used to. About 6-8 months later, people are requesting it on their phones during gigs and they know all the lyrics to it and can’t get enough of the track. So what I’m saying basically is you might not love Melbourne Bounce the first time you hear it…but you will eventually.
6. You recently did a remix for Autoerotique’s “Asphyxiation,” which was released on Dim Mak Records this past July. Can you tell us more about that remix? What can you tell us about your remix process?
Yeah, I actually had a lot of fun remixing that one! I guess when approaching a remix, you don’t want to change the essence of what makes that track great. For me, it was those chords and the vocal, so I knew I had to keep them. And then it’s just a matter of adding your flavor to it because that’s why someone would want you to do a remix. Some advice to producers and DJs: If a label asks you to remix in a certain style to fit their remix pack, don’t do it. A remix is about adding your style, find what makes your sound unique and use the shit out of it!
7. Dream collaborations? Any Dim Mak artists you’d like to collaborate with in the future? A certain Steve perhaps?
Ohh yeah! Of course I would love to collab with the big man! I have a collab with Deorro as well, which started when we were both in Amsterdam for ADE last year, as well as a collab I started with Autoerotique. So maybe keep an ear out for them in 2014.
8. You recently posted on Facebook, “I think 2014 will be the year of deep house and hard style…” Why do you say this and what’s your take on the future of EDM?
I always say this, but what I mean is not that all DJs will start playing this style, but it will influence what is popular. I think we have already seen the big hardstyle kick thing go crazy, and I think the groove-driven vibe of deep house will somehow start being heard more in different genres. Innovation is what makes music so interesting. A few people have asked me, “Why no Melbourne Bounce??? ” Of course I hope it has a big year for all my boys in Australia. There is so much talent here with guys like J-Trick, Joel Fletcher, Reece Low, Chardy, and SCNDL. I think it’s time we all came over to the US to show you how we do it!
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