Illegal Ground wants to provide you with the top music recommendations as well as reviews of the hottest and best music. Our focus lies in the electronic and underground sector and simply new music we would like to hear more of. Read interviews with DJs & producers, reviews of great club music and tips on where to find the best DJ sets in Gothenburg, in beautiful Paris and other cities visited by Illegal Ground.
30 January 2018
INTERVIEW W/ SIGHA (uk)
You’re originally from London, what were the upsides and downsides in regards of trying to make it as a producer in the London underground scene?
22 July 2017
INTERVIEW w/ 90bis Records
90bis Records is our fresh coming French record Label that spreads the love for Electronic music and Techno through Open Airs and more wanted parties all over the city. Next time you hear the pulsating vibes of deep techno from a bridge, in the parks or at a warehouse, it might just be 90bis that is in action. After visiting one of their Open Airs on one of many bridges of Paris, we just had to have a chat with them.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you entered this business with arranging parties etc.
After visiting a lot of parties (clubs, raves, free..) and listening to all kinds of electronic music (house, techno, d&b, hardcore, minimal, psytrance…), we decided to play, produce music, create a House/Techno label and organize parties.
What is the story behind 90bis Records?
90bis Records, 10 000th house techno label, was born in Paris in the middle of the 10’s. It is created by 3 computer music fans at the ”90 bis”, a street number in the center of Paris. However we prefer to keep it secret. It’s our place to work, produce, play and make incredible afters!
What are your upcoming plans? Are you going to stay in Paris or expand to other cities?
We want to make a lot of parties in Paris of course but also in all over the world. Next in Stockholm I think !;) Are you in ?
How does a successful and a FANTASTIC party look?
Fantastic Place, Fantastic Music, Fantastic People
Tell us about the worst party/ club you have ever been to.
X PonK : My first party in my grand fathers’ garage when I was 14 years old. I didn’t know how to mix music, I didn’t talk to girls and I had an overdose of Haribo and Diet Coke.
If you could play alongside a famous DJ, who would that be and where?
B2B with Marcel Dettmann on a Desert Island.
Do you have a favorite club in Paris?
I think Rex Club is my favorite club in Paris because it’s a legendary club for techno music. It’s one of the first, and one who keep a perfect artistic direction. But now there are many clubs, open airs and warehouse parties since 5 years in Paris and outside of Paris. And for the sound system of course!
What is your opinion about the underground parties and Open Airs in Paris?
More and more, better and better! It’s so cool to have many parties in the parks, on the bridges, in warehouses in Paris. But also in the suburbs! There are many labels, promoters, djs… Concurrence is hard but it’s so cool to have so many people passionate about electronic music!
Will we see more of you guys this summer? Where?
Raves Paris #4 on July 23rd and maybe another in August and another in September… Who knows !
FB/contact: 90bis Records
Upcoming events: RAVES PARIS #4
16 July 2017
INTERVIEW w/ Eli Escobar
Eli Escobar is a producer based in NYC, famous for his innovative disco infused house tracks and pumping DJ sets.
You’re well known for combining pumping house beats with classic disco in an awesome manner, how did that start? When and how did you figure out that this combination is what you love?
Well this is how all the DJ’s I learned from played and in NYC when I was coming up, it was the norm. House is an extension of Disco and although the sonic can be quite different, the four on the floor remains. I used to go see Danny Krivit DJ a lot and he would play anything from early Kool and the Gang to the latest record I had just bought at Vinyl Mania and it always made perfect sense to me. Even way back when I was just starting if I heard someone refer to themselves as a “Hip Hop DJ” or a “Drum and Bass DJ,” I would think to myself, ‘Don’t you get bored playing only one genre all night’?
I stumbled across your track ”N.Y so Hi”, which left me craving more. Tell me a little bit about that track and the process behind it? And why did you choose to use that sample in particular?
The truth is I made that track in about 10 minutes. And on an airplane! I was on my way home from the Los Angeles which, to be frank, can leave me with a strong yearn for my hometown. So I had this a cappella I had been using in my sets that said “New York, can make you feel so high” and I figured I’d make a simple track around it. Really just for my DJ sets. I always travel with a hard drive with lots of samples and rips of my records and I had the Sylvester song in the drive. It just matched perfectly. I threw a few other samples in and it was finished. My label partner Blu Jemz was the one who said “this should come out!” So that’s all thanks to him. I never intended for it to be released.
Your newest release ”Muzik” is quite different sound wise compared to your previous ones. What inspired you for this track?
This song is on my next album and the whole album has a bit of a concept. It may or may not make sense when you hear the whole thing but I’d rather the listener figure it out for themselves. I don’t really want to be to overt about it. This song is somewhat of a quiet tribute to the majesty of music and to how powerful of a tool it can be in troubling times. So I didn’t want the production to be too overdone or too complex. I liked the chords a lot and thought they were compelling enough that just adding some bass and 808’s would do the trick. I guess it came out sounding a little more techno than a lot of my stuff but, like my dj sets, I really just do whatever I feel like regardless of genre!
What have been the biggest challenges in regards of trying to make it as a producer in one of the biggest and most influential cities in the world?
When I first started, I thought the main idea was to get my music into the right hands. All the record labels are here and the scene is here! So I made lots of CD’s and tapes with my tracks on them and handed them out when I could. I was always going out to clubs and industry things trying to get to know everyone. And eventually I did really know everyone on the scene. As a DJ it worked great. I’ve always worked here in all the clubs and been in demand. But for my own music, I really got me nowhere. I’m not sure why… but I learned, eventually, that it makes more sense to just make it happen for yourself on your own. That’s why I put my first album out myself. My label partner and I really believed in the music and I didn’t really need anyone else to cosign it or express interest to give me a feeling of validation. I also felt that the music I made was way more true to myself when I wasn’t making it with someone else in mind, such as a label or DJ’s or the Beatport charts or whatever. And in the end, it ended up doing very well and raising my profile significantly.
Is there any song (out of all your releases) that is a little bit more special to you?
I have a special place in my heart for the song ”4 Luv” that I made with Nomi Ruiz. The original version had drums on it that sounded a lot like Grace Jones’ ”My Jamaican Guy.” We recorded it with those drums and that’s how Nomi was used to hearing it. At some point I decided the drums were whack and deleted them completely to try and program some new ones and I as listened to the song without any drums, it took on a new level of beauty to me. Some of my all time favorite songs have little or no percussion or just a light back beat behind them. Like Depeche Mode’s ”Somebody” or George Michael’s ”Father Figure.” It kind of gave me the same feeling those songs do. So I’m really proud of it. And I love Nomi’s lyrics and vocals so much!
You’ve been around the NYC club scene for quite some time now. I traveled there back in 2015, and didn’t really manage to get the ultimate clubbing experience. The atmosphere was a bit stuck up and forced (might have been due to NY fashion week taking place during my stay), but what are your thoughts on the night life in NYC? And please, hit us up with the best clubs there according to you?
Fashion week is definitely annoying. I think one of the things about New York is you have to know what’s going on. It’s not always about the club, it’s about the specific night. For example you may go to Le Bain on a Saturday and think it’s okay but if you go on a Tuesday night you will have the best time ever! There used to be a party called 11:11 on Fridays in the East Village and I was always surprised how no one knew about it unless they lived here. I never got to go because I always work on Fridays but the one night I dj’d it, was one of the best nights I’ve ever done. A sweaty basement packed out and sweat on the walls for real. But the best party is still 718 Sessions to me. That’s where you have to go to get the true NYC dance experience!
Tell us about your ultimate night out!
To be honest, I would love to go back in time just once to the 90’s when me and my friends would drink 40’s on the corner and then head downtown to Soul Kitchen. It was all so exciting back then! I would love to be able to reach out and touch that feeling just one more time.
You DJ:ed at a Boiler Room event about a year ago, what was that like?
That was a special night. I had already done Boiler Room once before and it was amazing. NYC really showed up and turned it out for me and made me so proud. The second one I did happened just a week after Trump won the election. The atmosphere in NYC the day after was like one huge funeral. Like if everyone’s grandmother had just passed away the day before. It was really gloomy. I went off to Europe the following day and came back just in time to do the Boiler Room gig. A lot of people told me it was their first night out since the election and they weren’t even sure they wanted to be out. But once we started playing music, the room came alive and people danced their asses off. I think it translates in the video. Towards the end, you can see an old friend of mine singing and dancing to ”Days Like This” with a huge smile on her face. She had worked very closely with Hillary Clinton on her campaign and was obviously dealing with the harsh reality of that moment. I think she needed that release and I did too. It was a testament to the power of music and dancing!
If you could pick any venue or arena in the world, where would you love to play in the future?
I would love to play the main room in Output from opening til closing. Who knows, maybe I’ll get to someday! I also really love Barbarellas in Croatia. Luckily I’ll be playing there in August!
What’s coming up next for you this summer/fall?
I have a new album coming out in late August. Digitally in early September. I’m very proud of it and excited for people to hear it. Also I’ll be touring Asia and Australia in the late summer. It will be my first time in Australia since 2008 so I’m really excited.
And lastly, name one song that you feel inspires you at the moment!
Right at this very moment I’m feeling inspired by Fela’s – Water Get No Enemy. The horns, the vocals, the keys… it’s perfect!
Huset are well known for their captivating lyrics and sweet beats that are hard to resist. We managed to get a hold of Johan Hammerlid, one of the front men of the group to catch up regarding their new EP and their upcoming release party!
Three of us met at a hiphopconcert at Henriksberg in Gothenburg. This was seven years ago. We started to freestyle and got a really nice connection. We have been hanging out at least 3 times a week since that night.
And why did you choose to call yourselves Huset?
Haha, it’s quite an ugly name, especially from an aesthetic point of view. I hate to deal with the H. Back to the question, at that time we had our studio at Lagerhuset close to Järntorget in Gothenburg. We were always 10-15 friends hanging out, doing a lot of funny things together. It was a time when everyone had a chance to try, search and express themselves in a creative way. We called ourselves the ”family” and Rudeboi was and is the name of that family. When we started to do this music thing we always had the ambition to gather people from different parts of the city.
Are we through? Nice! I guess you can’t really define us as swedish hiphop. And therefore its hard to make it as a swedish hiphop artist. We have shows for very diverse crowds. Our followers are as much hiphop heads as people that don’t even like hiphop. Weird and true.
A lot of stuff’s going on for you this spring, the closest happening is your release party (of your new EP) at Pustervik this Thursday. What can we expect of the party?
We have great dj’s and also R&B queen Stina Velocette as support. From our side there will be a lot new songs and loads of energy.
You’ve certainly made a name for yourselves here in Sweden, in Gothenburg especially throughout the years performing together and your music has a very distinctive and characteristic sound. I’m obviously very curious about the new EP, tell us a little bit about it?
The name of our new EP is ”Från igår” and consists of six tracks in total. It’s created in the beginning, middle and end of a big change. During the fall 2016 there was a lot of family related issues and the very same week, two of our group members chose to quit. I was pretty sure that this would be the end of it all. We had made so many plans for the future and suddenly everything changed. Many of the tracks were written in a time when I’ve had to reevaluate a lot in life. Relationships and how to reach my goals. However, soundwise it’s a bit more towards the electronic side but with the same playfulness as previously. The lyrics are more raw, personal and real.
We started to write this song more than one year ago and it’s been a horrible fucking journey to finish it, haha.
We have so different influences so its hard to sum up in specific names.
And what’s happening this summer? Any special plans?We have some upcoming shows and sessions but first and foremost we will try to put the new songs out in different ways. Music videos, promotions and such things.
What’d be the collaboration of your dreams?
I think Mapei, Chords, Dani M or MØ would be nice.
And last but not least; tip us of your favourite three tracks right now!I dont listen to music at all right know because of all the rehearsals we have, haha. I NEED SILENCE.
April 15 2017
INTERVIEW – Zebra Katz
Your major breakthrough came with your track ”Ima Read” back in 2012. What inspired the making of the track?
I wrote ‘Ima Read’ while experimenting with music production and writing in college. At the time of its creation it was just a song I sung to myself and friends in moment of frustration. I decided to keep the beat minimal so the listener could focus on what was being said – which ended up having quite the hypnotic effect.
You’re viewed as an icon regarding the underground queer hip hop scene – what are your own thoughts of the scene from which you emerged from?
Scenes begin and end but Icons last forever! I’m honored to regarded such but most importantly – I’ve learned that I am now an representation of artistry for the individuals who have the same data (race, background and sexuality) as me. My goal is to transcend what is impossible and to encouraged the under represented to soar about all the BS.
You’re coming to Gothenburg to join the Easter Party of Wish You Were Queer – what can we expect from your performance?
Madness, uncontrollable energy, bass and a performance unlike a any you’ve ever witnessed.
What is your favourite aspect of performing on stage in front of an audience?
The exchange of energy and lust. It changes every show so its always fun to see how I’m capable of interacting with an audience.
What are your thoughts of Gothenburg, as a city?
I want / need to come back stay longer to really immerse myself in the scene here – I also need to meet more beautiful kitty Katz.
Which is the craziest clubbing experience you’ve had?
Red Bull Music Academy Japan, Ukraine, Berlin, and Brooklyn NY.
Do we have any upcoming releases of yours to be looking forward to?
I’ll be featured on the Gorillaz ‘Humanz’ album on April.28th and I just released my debut unisex print collection: http://bit.ly/2oSWEQb
And lastly, please tip us about your favourite track as of right now!
I’ve been listening to Leila Arab, Jervae Anthony, Emptyset, Anderson Paak, Generic Face, LSDXOXO, La Femme Ladosha and She’s Drunk.
September 20 2016
INTERVIEW – Kat Knix
London based producer Kat Knix is our very own Swedish born super woman Katarina Delin, whose first major release was an official remix of The Knife’s ‘Without You My Life Would Be Boring’. For her debut single ”Lose Myself” the vocals are laid by Ade Omotayo, former backing singer for Amy Winehouse and has also collaborated with British artist Kindness. The track carries a distinct Londonesque sound with a nordic electro twist. This makes us very curious on this charming London-Swede.
Tell us a bit about the background story of Kat Knix, how did you start working with music?
It’s been a journey getting to where I am now, as with everything that you wanna do. I’ve gone through the classic ‘pursue your dream’ thing from doing loads of DJ sets at shitty venues to having part time jobs that literally sucks the life out of you. I’ve also come across loads of bad eggs. There’s loads of them in the music business, beware!
Where do you look for inspiration when working on a new music project?
Sometimes I can have this beat bouncing around in my head, with no idea where it came from. And sometimes I listen to a Peaches track and go ‘OMG!!!’.
If your music were a person, could you describe its personality, gender etc.?
My Music is a baby girl who has now grown up to be a strong independent woman! But she’s also pretty angry about how much more a woman has to struggle compared to a man.
How does a typical preparing session look before a performance for you?
Sing opera and drink Prossecco!
We have noticed your unique style and taste in fashion. Give us your best fashion tips for a night out in East London.
Always bring sunglasses so that you can do that fabulous walk of shame the next day. And DON’T WEAR HEELS GOD DAMMIT! Do you want to dance all night or go home early since you didn’t wear your dancing shoes? Answer is simple.
But in the end, what is fashion anyway? Feels like it’s a word people use to fit in.
What place would be your ultimate spot to perform at?
Coachella obviously! Dancing in the desert says everything right?
What do you think about the electronic/underground scene in London?
To me it’s the warehouse parties. No pretentious shit, just damn good music. And I’m so glad that the Romanian dance music has reached the London scene, it’s epic!
What is the next step, can you reveal any juicy news about whats coming up for you
Songs about sex and more music videos! I love how beautifully you can mix music and video. Work with the right people and you can do magic!
Where do you go on a regular Saturday night out in London? Can you mention some of your favorite clubs and bars?
I’m a proper beer geek, so I’m a frequent visitor of the local breweries in East London. One of my favorites is Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick. Their pizzas are the best hangover cure ever! Then head over to Oval space to dance it off. But going to a friends house party is always the cherry on top!
And finally, could you teach us a typical London slang?
Ask the london lads, I’m a Swede!
August 8 2016
INTO THE VALLEY
After travelling for almost six hours by train we finally arrived to Dalhalla, the spot chosen for the electronic festival Into The Valley. Dalhalla is an old, abandonded lime quarry in the midst of the Swedish mysterious forests, which has been transformed into an amphitheater where operas and concerts are regularly performed.
The festival’s line up was massive, packed with iconic names such as Villalobos, Jeff Mills, Four Têt – side by side with smaller, more underground producers from all over the world. This review will have its focus on our favourite performances throughout.
The stars of the opening party was Mano le Tough and Damian Lazarus, the former performing before the latter at the same stage. The stage called The Temple, was one out of four stages of varying sizes and was the first that we saw when entering the festival area, and essentially the best one. Mano le tough performed a set fit for the opening party, it was pumping and straight forward in the sense that it wasn’t too pretentious. He got the crowd going, gathering almost everyone present and leaving the other stage where Nadja Chatti was performing along side DJ Clea pretty much empty.
Mano Le Tough played music majorly influenced by his former hometown; Berlin. It was dark, repetative heavy beats for an hour straight leaving the crowd in a frenzy for more.
When Mano Le Tough’s time was up, Damian Lazarus entered the stage, bringing his refined selection of house with him. If Mano Le Tough got the crowd going, what Lazarus did was out of this world. People seemed to forget about time and space and kept dancing non stop ‘til the lights turned back on.
The following day we were back at it, making our way down to the amphitheater that had opened, to see Raresh and Sonja Moonear get down and dirty together at the DJ decks. Perhaps the music wasn’t the most extraordinary one, however, Raresh’s performance and the atmosphere made it all very special. The sun was out, Raresh was smiling throughout the entire set while peeps were hanging behind him, aswell as in front of him – simply having a good time.
Later that night two legends were booked to perform at the same time; Ricardo Villalobos + Zip and Kerri Chandler. Villalobos was dedicated the main stage at the theater and Chandler took over the Temple. Villalobos set was incredible, his hype is definitely not made up of nothing. People were dancing packed like sardines, standing as close to the stage as they could while feeling the base vibrate so hard it felt like it’d beat the heart out of our bodies. The light show chosen for the set was amazing. Four rows of moving laser heads creating what looked like a cage around the two performers accompanied by green bursts of lights, shining up on the surrounding mountain walls. Villalobos really had the show of the night.
The coming day (and the final one) was the best one. The best acts were booked for this one and it was impossible to see all of them without using a cloning device. We started out with heading over to see what was happening at Ellen Allien’s set and was fairly disappointed. It was high tempo but pretty boring so we headed inside the Pyramid to see the London based live act Paranoid London perform. If it was lame during Allien’s set, then Paranoid London was the exact opposite. Three guys standing behind the DJ decks, screaming in a microphone while performing the music live was pretty hilarious – and impressive. It was an intense 45 minutes to say the least.
After their performance came what I personally, had waited for the most: Bicep. I didn’t know what to expect, having never witnessed any of their sets before. But wow. This was the best performance of the whole festival in my book. The house that they played was spot on in the sense that it never came close to being mainstream nor to being to experimental or hard to dance to. It was so good that standing still was impossible. I wasn’t the only one impressed, the stage located in a house (called the Pyramid) was packed to the limits with people, dancing in front of the bar, behind the bar – even on top of the bar. The whole place turned into a sauna, so warm that I was almost relieved when their set was over. But only almost.
After having caught some air and put some food in our bellies (100 SEK for a wrap is not okay), we headed over to see the topic on everyone’s lips: Jeff Mills. Mills is known for his hard, deep pounding techno and he definitely stayed on this winning route for his performance here. Standing as close to the stage as possible, with the bass beating in the chest like a second, abnormaly large heart while red lasers and a mezmerizing VJ show hammering your eyes for almost two hours was like being transferred into another reality. It was almost too cool to comprehend.
After his performance we went to see our last one of the festival. The choice was to either choose Nina Kravitz, Omar S, George Fitzgerald or Joel Mull. Having already ruled out Kravitz beforehand we decided to head over back to where we started; the Temple, and Omar S.
Omar S was amazing, playing great smooth house that was a nice contrast to what Mills had fed us earlier. The equipment was not working properly, however, making the mixing rather cracked and strange. This didn’t bother people at all though, when the set was over people were literally screaming for more, almost pulling Omar S off the stage.
Overall, this was an amazing experience. My feet hurt so bad from all the dancing the last day that I was thankful it’s only a three day festival and my clothes are probably forever ruined from all the lime stone dust, but I’ve never felt as safe in a dancing crowd, as I did at Into The Valley and even though the police’s precense was exaggerated it really didn’t bother me or the rest of the participants. If you ever want to experience the best electronic music in a magical area with likeminded, humble people, this is where you should be going.
(Bring a lot of cash though, it’s hella expensive!)
July 18 2016
Your name’s Bella Sarris, and you’re well known for your awesome DJ sets. But tell us a little about yourself; how would you describe yourself and your taste in music?
Only child. Love food, hate disco.
How did your DJ-career start?
I was scouted on a dance floor in Ibiza. Didn’t want a real job so it worked out perfectly.
We’re really looking forward to dancing to your set at Into The Valley this summer, what were your first thoughts when being booked to the festival?
Fuck yes. Definitely staying the whole weekend this time and doing it right.
Do you have any favourites or rolemodels within the line up?
Johanna Schneider, Dorisburg, Per Hammar, Johanna Schneider.
You just recently DJ:ed at Sónar, what was it like?
All the fun, zero sun.. just like always.
Do you have any dream festival or club to perform at?
The Berghain. Duh.
What’s the most difficult part of preparing for a DJ set?
It used to be burning CDs but those days are over. Now it’s praying for my record bag to arrive and not dropping my USBs in champagne buckets.
What are your plans for the future? Any fun collaborations coming up?
Currently learning some studio tricks from some very talented people so I can finally release on my favourite Swedish label run by my favourite Swedish person.
And lastly, if you could take a trip to anywhere in the world, with any person (alive or dead), where would you go and with whom?
To Iceland with Johanna Schneider to search for vegan restaurants. I hope we are both alive after the summer to do that.
June 14 2016
INTO THE VALLEY 2016
Into The Valley is the electronic festival that had its premiere last summer at Dalhalla, Dalarna. Dalhalla is the abandonded lime quarry located in the depths of Sweden’s vast forests, creating an eerie and out of this world atmosphere that is hard to find anywhere else.
Into The Valley is arranged by a bunch of experienced club arrangers from Stockholm and they’re bringing the urban night life with them. The line up for the year shows an immense sense of taste and how delighted a few of the producers were last year – since they return once again.
This is the first festival of its kind in Sweden, forcing urban people from our largest cities and crowds from abroad into the forests to experience a few of the best producers in the world right now. With a budget that seems unlimited, they’ve booked producers such as Kink, Levon Vincent, Axel Boman and Bella Sarris, to name a few.
We got a hold of two acts of the festival and asked them a few questions about themselves and the festival.
Tell us a little about yourself and your music!
Where to begin.. In short, I’m a Norwegian dj and also booking manager and resident of the respected underground intimate venue The Villa in Oslo norway, which I’m super happy and proud to have been a part of for the past 3 years. It’s such an important club institution here in norway. It’s tiny, only 250 capacity – and the sound is so deep and all enveloping in there. We’ve created a lot of magical moments and it’s been an honour to be able to curate the bookings for The Villa along with my dear friend and colleague NilS Now. My own DJ style is quite eclectic and its hard trying to describe it, because I find good music all over the spectrum. It’s always tough to categorize in fear of excluding. But I lean towards minimal, or micro house if you want to put a label on it, haha. I like anything that has a groove that speaks to me. I’m quite a big fan of the Romanian and French vibes.
What were your first thoughts when being booked for Into The Valley?
I was very happy to be asked. I attended the festival last year because the line up was astoundingly good, and I had a fantastic time. The location is obviously breathtaking and it was a really special experience. So I’m excited to be heading back deep into the valley with a bunch of other dedicated music lovers! Very excited to see what they come up with for round 2, and what tweaks or changes they’ve made. The lineup is once again impeccable so I think we’re in for a treat.
What are you looking forward to the most, regarding your set at the festival?
I’m looking forward to playing in such stunning surroundings. The vibe is really mystical out there in the middle of nowhere in the Swedish woods, so I’m sure it’s going to be very memorable to play there surrounded by so much magnificent nature.
Who are your favourite ones of the producers and DJs in the line up?
So many! Hats off to the bookers, they really have great taste and do a wonderful job in the curation part of it. Raresh, villalobos, zip, praslea, Omar S, Bella sarris, kerri chandler, and my Norwegian countrymen prims Thomas and g-ha and Olanski will definitely not be missed on my part.
Listen to Charlotte here.
Tell us a little about yourselves and your music!
Rollerboys as a DJ duo/party has been around for a decade this year. Both myself (Måns) & Yourhigness has been spinning dance music for a Global audience since the late 90’s and started DJing and hosting parties together after finding a mutual interest for that. 2007 we started Rollerboys Recordings as a platform for music from ourselves and friends.
Into The Valley is such a cool and unique festival, what are you most looking forward to?
Since we are celebrating 10 years we’re doing something special at Into the Valley but I’m not sure that’s announced yet so we’ll have to keep that on the low for now. We’re looking forward to hearing/dancing to Zip, Omar S, Tornado Wallace, Raresh, Young Marco and more. The line-up is fun.
What can we expect hearing from your set at the festival?
We’ll see what we will play. It all depends on the stage and the crowd. Expect a classic all over genre crossing Rollerboys set. Or something else.
Have a listen.
May 14 2016
We got a hold of the very busy man Fabian Bruhn, who is a well known DJ and label owner (Aniara Recordings) to most people.
Hey Fabian! As the manager of renowned Aniara Recordings, you’ve got to have a lot going on. What’s happening this week?
I’ve been working on some upcoming releases on Aniara that will be out later this year, with new music by Genius of Time, Henrik Bergqvist, David Sabel and Arkajo. And planning for a new club opening in Gothenburg this fall. It’s going to be a cozy hifi dance box.
Also, tonight Nils (Arkajo) and I will be playing an extended house set at Apartment here in Gothenburg, so I’ve been spending some time making edits and packing a bag full of uplifting stompers, atmospheric grooves and vocal house favorites.
You are quite legendary within the underground scene, how did it all start? Where did the passion for electronic music come from? What role models did you look up to?
I’m not sure I would use that word, but I guess I have been doing this for a while now, hehe.
I was drawn to dance and dance music as a place of simple being, of stepping out of the everyday thinking mind and becoming one with a groove, dissolving the normally experienced barrier between mind and body. It is an ever rejuvenating and inspiring experience.
One of my inspirations when I started collecting records about 10 years ago was Cassy, her elegant and understated yet sensual style. It is present in the records she has put out as well, many of them being favorites of mine.
What’s happening next regarding Aniara? And what’s the grand vision for the future?
The future holds a lot of new releases on Aniara and a new label called Skulptur as well as some more edits and tools on the Verktyg imprint. I will continue working closely with an intimate group of artists, creating a platform for them to express themselves freely and to further develop their unique styles.
We all know there’s way too few female DJs represented within the scene – how do you think smaller independent labels, like Aniara can help with that?
Being open to female artists and inspiring by highlighting the great dj’s and producers we come across, like our good friends Eli Vervaine, Johanna Knutsson, Timnah Sommerfeldt, Fjäder and Johanna Schneider.
What do you think of Gothenburg’s underground club scene?
How do you think it’ll develop further?
I think it is very strong and about to burst out of the underground with many talented people pulling together to create something special, west coast style!
You’re pretty well experienced when it comes to clubs and parties, we presume. Which is the best club you’ve ever been to?
And what club gig has been your absolute favourite so far?
There are many different settings that spring to mind. Panorama Bar is surely one of my favorites. Playing Robert Johnson in Frankfurt was a really nice experience, it’s a really nice classic dance club. And the old Cookies club in Berlin was a fantastic space, a classic discotheque with a wooden interior, comfortable dance floor and great dj booth.
The recently opened mmmmm in Stockholm has a similar vibe and was so much fun to play, a very comfortable space and intimate vibe with lots of room to move and a nice booth that allows for a good connection with the dance floor.
Also, our recent six year celebration that was organized by the Tzar crew is a very fond memory. They created such a great space, and there is something special about playing in your hometown.
Lastly, dancing outdoors on a summer night in the forest is perhaps the best setting I can think of.
How is this summer looking for you? Any other gigs or clubs planned?
We have a few Aniara nights coming up during the summer with an outdoor thing in Gothenburg, Panorama Bar in July with Jane Fitz and a daytime party in Oslo in August. Looking forward!
And finally, if you could go on a trip (free of charge ofc) to any city of the world, where would you choose to go and why?
I would love to visit Accra, the capitol of Ghana to try the food, get to know the vibe of the city, hang out on the beach and move my body to some high life music!
March 10 2016
We had the opportunity to interview the supertalented Aril Brikha, originally from Stockholm but nowadays living in Berlin. He had his breakthrough during the 90’s and puzzled the industry with his groundbreaking music.
I’m a short tempered, passionate food and beverage lover with a hobby that became my job!
When is your next release?
You recently made a facebook post about Trance for Adults? What does it mean?
What is it like playing a live set at Paronamabar in Berlin?
Playing my live set at Panoramabar or the times I played at Berghain is definitely special. There is no other place that have this tension and vibe from the crowd or a place that makes me so nervous to play at. It’s one of the few places I’ve done a 3 hour live set which says it all. You can go in many directions and you still have people’s attention and open mind.
And if you compare Panoramabar with Tresor, which gig did you like the best? And why?
They are totally different things, I only played in Globus at Tresor which is not like the harder techno sound downstairs at Tresor. It’s been a while since I played at Tresor now but the main difference for me was that at Tresor you were up on a stage and far from the crowd and at Panoramabar you’re just infront of them. I prefer to be close and feel the feedback from the crowd. I can’t say which one is best because it’s two different things and they both have different positive things about them.
Looking back to your major breakthrough with ”Groove La Chord” – what do you think of the song today?
I’m just surprised that this was the track that became my breakthrough. I made it in 15-20 minutes on a drum machine and with one chord from a synth… I never thought a simple track like that would last 20 years.
Which track of yours are you most proud of?
What do you think of Sweden’s current underground scene?
Honestly I dont know much of it. I’ve been living in Berlin for most of the time since the last 3-5 years and I haven’t experienced the underground scene apart from one time in Gothenburg at Mythos… That was something else!
Where does your interest and love for electronic music come from?
As long as I remember I was always in love with space, japanese anime, Transformers and later came the soundtrack of all these things like Bladerunner and the 80’s pop sound which was mostly electronicly produced. I fell in love with Depeche Mode early on and everything synth related from Petshop Boys to Nitzer Ebb and later on going to my first rave parties as a teenager.
If you could play back to back with any producer, who would it be?
I must say my back to back live sets with Chymera have been amazing but also back to back with Nuno Dos Santos who’s a DJ and we have done 6-8 hours where he DJs and I play live.
Imagine that you’re arranging a party. What would the line up look like?
What’s the strangest comment you’ve gotten regarding your music or your sets?
It’s not really strange but I find it strange that people still have such a little understanding of what is different from a live set and a DJ set. I’m only doing live sets which means I’m performing only my own music and I’m playing it ”live” in the sense that I’m recreating it right there and then. A DJ plays records or mp3 files, but still in the old fashion way of mixing one track with another. So the strangest thing is when people come up and make requests of other peoples records for me to play while I’m playing live.
After a long night behind the DJ-decks, what do you usually do the next day?
Chill, walk and eat. Basically what I do every day, haha.
And which is your favourite city in the world? Why?
Berlin because it took me almost a decade from first coming to finally realizing this is were I want to be. I still love Stockholm and it’s beauty but as an immigrant from Iran I prefer the mixed background of people from everywhere here. My absolute favorite city is and forever will be New York, I’ve been obsessed about its history and I would have loved to live there in the 70-90’s but unfortunately now there is only room for investment bankers, but still! If New York was geographically where UK is, I would have moved 15 years ago.
Where can we enjoy your live sets next time?
I will play live in Skopje this weekend, then in Berlin at About Blank on the 23rd. I post my upcoming gigs on my facebook page so keep an eye out there!
And last but not least; do you prefer gin & tonic or a Bloody Mary?
I’m more of a whiskey person and my favorite drink is Old Fashioned or Sazerac…but Gin & Tonic for sure. Classic, classic, classic!!!
Feb 02 2016
Interview: Theo Baraize
Festivals are one of the best ways to celebrate and enjoy music. Especially if you are in a city like Paris. Illegal Ground got the opportunity to interview one of the founders of Briollay Pop Festival, Theo Baraize. A 23 year old Frenchie, currently based in Paris studying E-commerce and marketing. Doing this alternative pop festival called Briollay Pop Festival on the side along with 29 other members. We asked him a couple of questions regarding his Festival and musiclife in Paris.
Tell us more about Briollay Pop Festival, what is your part in it?
Briollay Pop Festival comes from Briollay, in west of France. It is a festival that has been running for 3 years. We started with 3 people in 2012, and today we are 30, all around 23 years old. We needed a bigger and a more effective team as we have expanded each year. So today we are 13 people working together.
How does a typical working day look for you guys?
During the year we work continuously on social media especially, and then of course comes the work on preparation and to make a news. We always do yearly meetings together, for example the last time we had a big dinner with Raclette (delicious French cheese dish) and lots of wine of course. On these meetings we all discuss the business, different figures, artists and how we can become better each year and improve. Basically all the stuff you need to discuss for the preparation of the festival. And of course try to come up ideas for the booze, electricity on the field, toilets etc. With emphasis on what is the most comfortable for the guests.
And the festival?
So basically it is a 2-day festival that runs on a Friday and Saturday. We invite in total 12 artists which is 6 bands per night, and we try to divide it by 3 garage bands and 3 DJs. Francois Jack and Hybu are big names we have on our lineup. We support smaller bands that we think has potential to become really big and we try to discover talents and promote them, we are not very interested in big names or too commercial artists.
Tell me about the worst festival you ever attended
Oh I definitely got one, La Rochelle Music Festival in west of France. This is a big festival and its just TOO crowded. My experience from it is basically that you couldn’t move, couldn’t dance, every one runs over you, all sweaty and it was just too much. But one good thing out of this was actually that it inspired us to create a more personal and smaller festival to make people really enjoy their time. Our festival has a lot of space with big fields with less people.
Can you tell me your favourite city in Europe, focused on music?
To be honest, I would like to get out from Europe in this question and prefer Australia, Los Angeles or San Francisco. Europe is pretty much Paris, the atmosphere is nice but since I am more into the garage band theme, I really like the music there in these cities outside of Europe with focus on pop music etc. And they have really nice bands that can’t really be found in the same way in Europe I think.
An your opinion about club and music life in Paris?
It has been very big now for a while, ever since the the French touch in electronic music in the 90s. I feel that right now house music is so much related to ”sexy”. During the last years people have changed their view about electronic music and it seems that now its all about creating music related to ”sexy” and making people horny.
Best bar in Paris? Why?
My favourite bar is definitely The Motel, mainly because they book such great Parisian artists there. Very rare ones that you can’t find everywhere! The place is also where members of small bands usually grab a drink.
Best club in Paris? Why?
Best festival in Paris? Why?
Pitchfork festival, there you will find more indie pop, I think it’s the best because they book awesome big bands and you cannot find that anywhere else in Europe that has the same genre of music. Artists like Mac Demarco gives me chills.
A must do for tourists for the best musical experience in Paris?
Wow there are so many places, hmm.. Souffle Continu! It is a record store where you can find EVERYTHING that you want. Stuff like cool record labels, like Futura Records which is so difficult to find. There is nothing they don’t have really!
Dec 26 2015
We had a chat with the amazing and megatalented Chicago House producer Tevo Howard, born and raised in the metropolitan for that genre.
You grew up in Chicago, what advantages and disadvantages do you think that gave you – regarding developing as a musician and DJ?
The beautiful spirit of Chicago lies behind its people who have endured in reality some of the most oppressive violence yet known to man with regular 500 or more deaths a year and the title as the violence capital.
With the many people that have known me from childhood in Chicago and the many people that don’t know me personally there, I’d definitely say that Chicago is the city of love in reverse and a symbol of a problematic world today that embraces desensitized cultural norms. Those norms produce the products of our environment that can be at polar opposites: on one hand the people embrace each other through killings that demolish, and on the other hand the emotional polar opposite is there, while under these exact conditions extreme emotions normally thrive within the artistic world according to modern psychology.
The Chicago House scene is really intriguing, what does it look like right now?
One important factor to note on Chicago House music is the importance of the atmosphere, vibe, essence, and aura that drives the genre from its root and base.
House music is about being open in mind and heart, and also about living, surviving, relationships, and most importantly love for each other that drives dance floors and brings us together as brothers and sisters to see each other through in life.
That has not changed about the current Chicago movement, although the songs have changed. We’re still Chicago, and we’re still there although all of the music we embrace is not four to the floor.
We’ve heard that instead of pursuing a career in teaching philosophy you decided to return to your roots in music – why’s that? What do you love the most about producing music and performing as a DJ?
I definitely have a rebellious pattern in my life that dates back to my personality when I was 11 years old and sitting as a Catholic boy in 6th grade: back then I couldn’t iterate my dismay for going against teachers, not doing homework, and wanting only to skateboard outside of class work. Aside from the fact that in 2005 I fell head over heels and overwhelmingly in love with DJing again and it led to producing, I still would have to blame it on my internal anger that just wants to say no to the mere idea in this world that we are not all equal.
I am able to point my anger towards focused subjects as opposed to turning to a pistol: for example like locking myself in a room with drum machines for 3 years of intensive 10-13 hour a day focus… In one way it was a simple Chicago mentality ”try hard and you’ll succeed” and in another way I was so in love that it made me aggressively angry to do it.
You released a series of mixes this november called Dependency; tell us about that! What’s the inspiration behind it? And why the name Dependency?
Dependency, as the title itself is just a note saying: no man is an island: we need each other. I did write an extended classical music theory note on the composition posted here:
It’s a poly rhythmic composition in articulation, but not in tonality as the tones generally move in unison direction regardless if they occur at different points in time signature per measure. In articulation, however, the notes occur in layers that happen at strategic small slices of time after the start of each measure and just after the beat. The sounds are individually placed in a pattern that as a whole give the track that laid back groove that I wanted. The second point that I wanted to make is to point out the track’s reference to popular culture, an animated audio depiction of a cool fashionable way or mood.
You were the producer behind Polyrythmic LP, a collaboration with Kate Simko that was released earlier this year too. What are your own thoughts about the record? How would you describe it to someone that hasn’t had a listen to it yet?
Polyrythmic as a project was a brilliant collaboration: consisting mostly of traded audio files between Kate Simko and I over the course of several years. I would typically send Kate a started song that she would add to and return to me, swapping the song back and forth until we had a version that agreed with both of us. The original project aimed at the expression of tonal elaboration based on simplicity, and thus the name PolyRythmic was born.
2015 is almost over, what has been the highs and lows of the past year? And what are you looking forward to in 2016?
Polyrythmic was definitely one of the gems of 2015, and a great project. Also in 2015 I’ve done some discussion of creating a exclusive media and website platform called ‘CHICAGO DISTRIBUTION AGENCY’ that will sell exclusive carefully selected works from labels along side my personal label ‘TEVO HOWARD RECORDINGS‘, and as well the website will host television, fashion, and hopefully a magazine.
How are you gonna celebrate the new year?
I will spend it in Switzerland. I am looking forward to partying.
Which is your favourite club in Chicago?
Danny’s Tavern Chicago just closed its doors after more than 30 years of operation, and was my favorite bar there. Funny, it was the first bar that I ever saw Kate Simko DJ at, many years I’d attend their monthly Soul night with DJ Supreme Court, and the famous Soul DJ Dante when they performed as SHEER MAGIC: a great example of the thriving cultural nightclub scene in Chicago that isn’t necessarily four to the floor. Great artsy evening.
And last but not least; hit us up with your favourite track right now!
I’ve been revisiting the Newave genre and have, in the past 3 weeks, revisited one of my favorite bands of all time NEW ORDER. The song that most intrigues me today is ‘State of The Nation‘: I’ve taken special note of its bright sound and mood, which was a slight shift for New Order during these early years and their early work. Mostly, I love the way that the track sits back in a ghetto kind of way that rings well in the newave world and as well perfectly sits in today’s idealogical world of fashion and just plain coolness.
Hugo Manuel, the man we know by the name Chad Valley is the laidback producer from Oxford who with his electronic synthpop chillwave vibes has successfully captured our hearts. As he finally was booked in Paris, we just had to steal an interview with him the day before his performance on the boat; Le Batofar.
Knowing a little bit from you Bio, you first started together with your band Jonquil, how come you decided to go solo?
Basically I am a control-freak and I really like getting my own way. I wanted an outlet for my music where it wasn’t watered-down and I could do whatever I wanted. Also, simply, I wanted to make electronic music when I was bored at home alone just to pass the time. It was just a hobby and it turned into something much bigger!
So a bit of a personal question. As an Oxford born and raised, how was it to create music in this environment? Was it a good or bad experience?
Oxford was a great place to grow up and it remains a great place to live and make music. I lived in London for a few years but I came back to Oxford and I couldn’t be happier. There is a great network of constantly evolving musicians and artists, but it’s not suffocating and competitive in the way that large cities can be.
You’ve done some interesting collaboration with great artists such as Twin Shadow, Glasser and Active Child. How would you describe yourself in a collaboration when producing music?
Well actually yes, I am very stubborn so collaborating on that album was a challenge for me. But I do think that I learnt a lot from working with lots of guests on Young Hunger. I wanted to make the album feel like a party with all my friends and I think that it worked.
You’ve played in Gothenburg more than once, what vibes do you get from the city?
I love the laid-back and relaxed nature of the city. I love how great the music scene is. I love the small size of the place. It reminds me of Oxford.
You’ve released 3 albums so far, what would you say is you main inspiration for each and every one of them? What do you want people to feel when they listen?
I want people to get completely consumed by the music. I want people to lose their selves in it and to forget who they are! I want people to relate to the lyrics and apply them to their own lives, and I want people to get inspired to make their own music when they listen to mine.
If someone took away all of your musical talent, what would you be working with instead?
My family run a paint company and I would definitely be working there if I wasn’t making music.
Are you more of a club person or a bar person? Could you name a favourite bar/club in Europe?
Peyote in Istanbul – it has a beautiful roof terrace, a music venue, and great drinks. I am more of a bar person definitely – but if I was going to go clubbing then probably somewhere like Razzmatazz in Barcelona would be my vibe.
If you could choose to live in another time, when would that be, and why?
Roman times, without a doubt. I have thought that ever since I went to Pompeii as a kid. That Roman stuff blows my mind.
And last, what is the most exciting thing you find with playing on a boat in Paris?
I have no idea what to be excited about! I love boats, and I love Paris, so it’s going to be a good one!
Check out Chad Valley on soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/chadvalley
November 25 2015
Aron Agelii is as much underground as it gets when coming to techno producers in GBG and always makes sure to give us that gritty, dark techno that we love. We had the chance to have a chat with him before his set this Saturday at the FINAL Apartment.
Aron – you’re better known as Aerial Ingo which is the name you use when producing your own electronic music. What’s the story behind the name?
I was just playing around rearranging the letters in my real name, and noticed Aerial Ingo was a possibility. I liked it and just went with it!
How did you get into producing the kind of music you’re currently making?
I was experimenting with alot of different music production software as a kid, but it never grabbed my full attention until my friend, lets call him Carl Lagerkvist, introduced me to Abletons amazing Live. I started producing shitty techno along with weird hip-hop beats and it just went from there. I still make those weird beats from time to time but techno production is definitely my calling.
Where was your first real DJ-set?
Some friends were hosting a series of hip-hop events called SMUTS, they asked me to play their techno themed afterparties. My first time was at Sockerbrukets ”Bergrummet”, it was great.
What do you think about GBG and it’s underground scene? Do you ever get tired of it?
It’s pretty great, as someone who loves techno there’s (almost) always something fun happening. I miss Cardboard though.
What is your favourite city to party in? And why?
Most of my friends live in Gothenburg and friends equals fun!
Do you have any certain DJs or producers that you can’t help yourself from listening to when prepartying for a long night out?
Anything old school from Mr.Oizo. It’s fun and simple. I also really enjoy the Deep Space Helsinki-podcast.
How would you describe your own music? And what can we expect this time around when DJ-ing at Apartment?
My music is mostly incomplete, repetitive and annoying.
You can expect anything techno. Mostly new stuff, you can check out my likes on Soundcloud. I’ll probably throw in some Aerial Ingo WIP-tracks aswell.
What’s happening for Aerial Ingo inte nearest future? Any EPs or singles coming out?
I’ve got A LOT of unfinished material, just need the time to finish it all. So yes, things are coming, just don’t know when.
And finally, please give us the name of your favourite song OF YOUR OWN produced music! What song are you the most proud of and/or which one means the most to you?
Don’t forget to RSVP to this Saturday’s Apartment!
Aron has a very talented sister as well, you can check her music out here.
(Artwork by Frej Agelii)
October 18 2015
What is it like being an LGBT-rapper in such a homophobic and misogynistic genre as Hip Hop has come to be known as?
Being an artist is a hard lifestyle already. Living check to check, passive aggressive emails, egos and other assorted bullshit could easily make you want to give up but if it’s for you you won’t because you have no other choice. Dealing in the realm of rap as an openly gay artist does have its set backs but I can’t complain. It only pushes me to work harder.
You released the single Serve It Up this may, how would you describe the song? What is it about?
Serve It Up is an anthem to all those people who hate on me without meeting me. I feel like damn, give me a chance to piss you off before you throw shots in my Twitter mentions. At the end of the day I’m only competing with myself and you should do the same.
We heard that you’re having an intense touring schedule at the moment, where’s your dream stage to perform on?
Somewhere in Tokyo.
Do you have any inspiration artists or performers that you look to for inspiration?
Who has been your biggest support in your career so far?
Redbull, Afropunk, MAC, my agent, and my friends and family.
If you could give any advice to the really big and mainstream rappers such as Lil Wayne and Kanye West, what’d be?
Keep it Coochie.
Considering you’re gonna perform at a Halloween party, what are you gonna dress up like? And which is your favourite halloween memory ever?
I have no idea I’m really bad at picking Halloween looks. My favorite Halloween memory is when my mom dressed me as King Tut and she used braiding hair to make my a pharaoh beard. So creative and banji.
You’ve been to Gothenburg on several occasions before, how do you like the city? Have you found any certain spots or places that you like?
It’s amazing! Anywhere with free alcohol is fine by me.
Being from one of the biggest cities in the world (NYC) you must be used to having a lot going on around you all hours of the day. How is it living there? And which is your favourite club? Favourite bar?
Exciting, draining, expensive, inspiring, fabulous and gritty. It’s not about the location for me per se more so the people in the location.
Who do you predict will be the best upcoming female rapper in the nearest future?
And last but not least, which are your 3 favourite songs, movies and books?
Movies would be Love Jones, Taxi Driver and a Bronx Tale.
Anything by author E. Lynn Harris is amazing.
Check the event he’ll be performing at
October 11 2015
Catz ‘N Dogz: Basic Colour Theory
October 9th was the release date for the Polish duo Cat’z ‘N Dogz anticipated album. The fact that their previous full album was being released during 2010 doesn’t mean that the duo has been lazy or laying low since then; on the contrary! They’ve been spitting out high quality EPs and singles every year aswell as touring furiously.
The good friends Grzegorz and Wojciec are well known as being trendsetters within the Eastern European electronic music scene with they’re main focus on danceable, alternative house. Being well established with such an immense reputation puts the pressure on the artist to live up to it each and every time something new leaves the studio and I’m happy to say that Catz ‘N Dogz really manage to do that.
The album consists of fifteen tracks varying in tempo and emotion but manages to keep that cohesiveness – mainly since all of the tracks are so well produced and just keeping the quality on a really high level.
The duo have brought in some guest artists for the ride such as Green Velvet, Peter Björn & John and Phat Kat.
Since Peter, Björn and John started and had such a success here in Sweden this collaboration really is something special. Their track ‘From Your Heart‘ is keeping the tempo slow and steady whilst being dreamy in that way only Peter, Björn and John manage to create. Catz ‘N Dogz bring that drive and force to the song and the end result is really quite delightful. It’s going down the pop lane more than what most of their house tracks usually do but it’s an interesting mix.
The opening track is a collaboration with Egle Sirvydyte and sets the tone for the entire album. It’s an amazing song with a simple composition of sampling, a somewhat distorted bassline and Egle’s incredible singing. It’s a good choice for the opening since it lets the listener understand that this won’t be one of those regular club albums, instead we realize that it’s something completely different, envoking our interest.
Track no 3 ‘Nobody Cares‘ is the first one with that dancy feeling Catz ‘N Dogz are known for. It has a drive and cool lyrics which could fit in any deep mixtape in any bar, any time of the day. It’s also a great build up for the more clubby song ‘Killing With Kindness‘ that follows directly. This is the collaboration with the awesome Phat Kat and boy, this is probably the best track of the album althogether. The track merges together with the one before in the sense that they keep a woman’s voice, sampling it throughout. However, this track is not clubby in the underground way. It’s rather commercial and has some influences of Future House. This doesn’t make the track any worse, it’s simply a matter of facts.
The legendary Green Velvet appears on the ninth track and we’re not let down. Green Velvet stays true to his typical rythmical and monotone style and merged together with Catz ‘N Dogz’ skillset it’s just a perfect hit.
Looking at every track individually it’s difficult to find any major flaws, however going through all the thirteen tracks in a row makes it difficult to differentiate them since the tempo is consistently rather low with not many build ups or drops.
Overall ‘Basic Colour Theory’ is a cool album and I get the image of Catz ‘N Dogz visualizing what they like and want and simply just doing it. And it came out great! In a culture like the one we live in we have to remember that electronic music is so much more than what we hear in the clubs. It’s broader and wider than that and Catz N’ Dogz really prove to us that they master both ends of it.
October 3 2015
Dennis White is a man with many psuedonames, one of them being Thermalbear. We got a hold of this talented producer while he was cross-touring through Australia.
Lucky for me i grew up in a musical household, I cant really remember a time without music being present! My first ”gigs” would have been for little school jazz bands I think (as a drummer).
How would you describe your own music?
I think I’m probably very influenced by the 90’s dance I listened to as a kid so that definitely comes through. I’m also keen to alternate between thick, chordal, musical tracks and ones that just focus on a groove and little else. That’s more to keep me interested in the latest project.
Who’s the man behind ‘ThermalBear’? What do you enjoy doing when not producing music?
When I’m not being ‘Thermalbear’ I am usually working on other music with other artists and producers. Music keeps me busy seven days a week but I’m very happy about that.
Do you have any inspiration sources such as specific artists/producers?
I grew up listening to Sasha records, so it’s nice to be working with him now. I listen to as much music as I can manage but early influences for me came from a wide selection of artists, from Neu! and Kraftwerk to David Bowie, to Gary Numan etc. The list is endless. more recently I’ve been really enjoying the Tuff City Kids production and also the latest John Tejada album. Oh and that amazing DJ Koze record, XTC!
When is your next release?
An EP for King Street Sounds just came out the other month, as did a track for Gruuv on their most recent VA. there’s a tough and chunky track coming out on a Motek VA shortly and I’m pulling together new material for Last Night On Earth!
Do you enjoy clubbing? If so, which club would you recommend us and our readers to visit in London?
I love clubbing but it has to be the right night and lineup! If you come to London then you really have to check out Fabric because that sound system in room 1 is from a different planet. If you’re after a smaller club with a bit more of a chilled bar atmosphere then I would suggest XOYO which is another one of my favourites
Have you ever been to Sweden?
Never, but I’d love to see it! Can I come over?
Haha of course! Where would be your absolute dream to play a set?
Space, Ibiza! Or Fabric Room 1! And actually these guys in Ireland called Jika Jika have started putting on parties in a place they call ”The Bunker” which is an amazing industrial space that I would love to play one day.
Who do you consider to be the best upcoming producers in UK at the moment?
Upcoming is a tough question – I don’t really have my finger on the pulse because I spend all day and night in my studio! Aren’t I still up and coming? Or have I peaked already, haha?!
Hand over all those guilty pleasures of yours! What do you listen to when no one’s around?
Um…. I’m not sure I believe in a guilty pleasure for music, surely if you like it then it’s got to be good in some way?…but I think what you’re after are songs like ‘Look of Love’ by ABC and ‘Summer in Berlin’ by Alphaville.
And last but not least, if you could have a drink with any person dead or living, which drink would it be and with whom?
I would have a drink with Tesla and persuade him to really pursue the wireless energy thing, haha!
October 1st 2015
When we heard that Apartment’s going 100% live this Friday we just couldn’t resist hitting house producer Viktor Jers aka Sumorai up for an exclusive interview:
You have found quite an interesting nische, producing live house music. How did it all start?
Hmm, I’ve been making a lot of tracks the past year. Had a release party for my debut EP in June and figured I’d play a bunch of those tracks live as my set, which was where this live house direction started. Decided to keep on tweaking and taking turns in this material all summer and haven’t gotten tired of it yet. Wouldn’t call it my nische or strict focus but I enjoy it a lot, still just as much as mixing records. It makes me wanna do even more music.
You have some serious gigs on your resumé such as both Way Out West and Sónar. What was it like playing at those festivals? And which festival did you like the most?
I had a good time and it was a great experience, what more can I say. Maybe not my pick of festivals as a visitor but having the chance to play on that type of system and being part of the whole thing felt amazing. Don’t know how I should choose between the two, they’re quite different. But I would say Sónar since I like Barcelona.
Living in Malmö, which club would you recommend us to go to if we’re looking for great underground house music? And what do you think of the night life in Malmö, in general?
I live in Höör actually, north of Malmö and right in the middle of Skåne. Can’t recommend any certain club or place but of course there’s nice events and bookings here and there around Malmö. A lot of it feels temporary according to me but I am not dissatisfied, it is what it is. Keep ears and eyes open if you pay a visit; nice people and cool crews doing warehouses, open airs, private parties pretty much every weekend.
Are you out clubbing a lot or what do you enjoy doing on your free time?
Not really. I hang out with friends, spend hours in the studio and from time to time I get all sucked up in Warhammer Fantasy Battles.
Hard to tell, depends on my mood aswell as the dancefloor vibe. But I guess for most part my latest tracks and collaborations, with short transitions and acrobatic filter sweeps, haha.
Yes I do, hundreds. I believe a lot of it comes subconsiously while listening to hours of music every day.
Which are the upcoming electronic producers in Malmö at the moment?
Rimbaudian, Aron Mody, Moose Dawa, Fyodor the DJ, Max Science, Papa Lobster, Martin Lindahl, Horla, Gunnesbo + many more. Big up to everybody!
Please give us the best tip of a great deep house track that you like!
Been spinning this track called
When I Get Crazy by Pal Joey a lot lately. I love it.
CHECK OUT SUMORAI’S MUSIC HERE.
September 22 2015
Illegal Ground had the opportunity to interview the supercool upcoming electro-r’n’b star Shamir from North Las Vegas, USA a couple of weeks ago and we had a chat about his love for Netflix and SVU-marathons:
You recently performed at Way out West here in Gothenburg, what was it like and how do you like the city?
The city was really beautiful and the venue was great!
You grew up in the suburbs while being raised a muslim, what was that like?
It wasn’t too crazy because we weren’t very conservative. I had a very normal suburban upbringing, I just didn’t eat pork!
You released your album Ratchet in the middle of May this year which recieved awesome reception from various critics and you got great recognition as an upcoming artist, what did that feel like?
It was very validating that people liked, related to, and appreciated my work.
You’ve previously stated that you identify as queer and neither male nor female, in which way is that shown in your work?
It hasn’t really because I strive to make my music relatable to everyone.
Which are your biggest source/s of inspiration when producing music and in your everyday life?
Living and growing up. Most of my songs are about things I go through, and things my friends go through.
What are your plans ahead regarding music?
Touring through the fall, and they just announced that I’ll be playing Australia and Southeast Asia next year, which I’m super excited about!