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Listen: Benoit & Sergio's new EP

D.C. duo Benoit & Sergio release the New Ships EP on Visionquest.

Benoit & Sergio
In case you were beginning to think that all the Washington, D.C. production duo Benoit & Sergio had in store for your underground clubbing needs was “Walk & Talk” (the song that goes “my baby does K all day”) and “Principles” (the one that goes, er, “principles”)—think again. The pair has put out oodles of other fine tracks, including last year’s excellent Let Me Count the Ways EP on Spectral Sound—and they’ve just dropped a new trio of tunes via the Visionquest label’s New Ships EP. The style is what we can now begin to call the “classic Benoit & Sergio” sound: deep, hazy house imbued with a melancholic melodic sense. And it’s quite lovely, to boot. If you dig their work as much as we do, we’d suggest you head over to Le Bain on Saturday, October 20, when the twosome will be playing in celebration of the EP's release.

DJ mix: Alexi Delano and Adultnapper

The house and techno vet Alexi Delano joins forces with Francis "Adultnapper" Harris for a set of deep techno rhythms. Chilean-born, Sweden-bred and now a resident of the world (with plenty of time for New York City), Alexi Delano might not be the most well known dance-music producers around—but he’s one of the best. Equally at home with esoteric techno and warm ’n’ fuzzy deep house, the man’s been a mainstay of the underground scene since the mid-’90s, with his four-to-the-floor hotness released on such esteemed imprints as H. Productions, F Communications, Svek and Railyard. On Saturday, October 20, the veteran producer presents another of his Alexi Delano and Friends fiestas—and he does have some impressive pals, with this party featuring Canadian hotshot Konrad Black. Francis “Adultnapper” Harris is another of his amigos, and here’s a mix of muted techno rhythms from Harris and Delano, recorded live at the London after-hours soiree Jaded. You might also like Interview and DJ mix: Jus-Ed Jus-Ed, the veteran deep-tech DJ, producer and head of the Underground Quality label (real name: Edward McKeithen) joins the Discovery bash for its third-anniversary party on Saturday, September 8. Time Out New York: You recently turned 50. You’ve been deejaying most of your adult life, right?Jus-Ed: I’ve been spinning records since I was ten. My first audience was aunts and uncles and friends of my mother’s, a very long time ago.Time Out New York: This wasn’t with two turntables and a mixer, I assume.Jus-Ed: No, they had just come out with those long 45 adapters that would slide over the 33 spindle, so all I was really doing was selecting. You could stack ten or twenty 45s at a time.Time Out New York: So you’ve been deejaying for 40 years—but it seems like it wasn’t until the mid-’00s that you really found your groove. Do you feel that way as well?Jus-Ed: There was a time in the ’80s when I was starting to feel that way, but I was consumed by drugs and alcohol. More recently, I would say it was about 2004 when it felt like it was happening again, and I really started feeling accepted as a DJ around 2007. But actually, it didn’t dawn on me that it was a gift to be able to entertain on that level until maybe three years ago.  Time Out New York: It was around 2007 that I randomly went to Secretsundaze in London, and you were standing there behind the decks as the party’s star DJ. I think that’s when you were first starting to play events of that level, and you seemed extremely happy to be there.Jus-Ed: Jus-Ed: Oh, yeah. I was. It was like, I have arrived. It was a big deal. More recently, I was having dinner with Chez Damier last year in Cologne, and he made a statement that really opened my eyes. He said, “You are at the highest level a DJ can be. You are international. It doesn’t matter what rank you come in the polls; you’re at the highest level of your craft.” I felt that, but it didn’t really sink in until he said that to me. It clicked, like, Oh yeah, I’m at the elite status of this trade! Time Out New York: Chez was right. Your music probably isn’t commercial enough for you to ever top DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs rankings, but people love your music and they love your deejaying. That must be very satisfying after so many years.I’m not a soulful-house DJ, I’m not a techno DJ.… I’m not from any specific genre. I just play underground music. So I realized that my approach to this had to be very old-school: establish a following. Just work hard at doing that, and hope that it grows. And it has, and that is satisfying.Time Out New York: What do you attribute that growth to?Jus-Ed: [Laughs] Well, I think I’m as popular for my personality as I am for my music!Time Out New York: I don’t know about that, but it certainly helps that you’re a likable guy.Jus-Ed: Yeah!Time Out New York: You were talking about your sound before. I would say that it’s a a variation of deep house, a very refined sort of electronic deep house. Did you consciously work to develop that sound, or did it kind of come to you over the years?Jus-Ed: Jenifa [Ed’s wife, DJ-producer Jenifa Mayanja] gave me some good advice. She said, “You have to find your own voice.” There are DJs with who you know what to expect or not to expect; they always come with a certain message. The guys before me—Tony Humphries, Frankie Knuckles, Timmy Regisford—those guys are always telling a story, if you’re listening. They way they use vocals and blend melodies and build energy is all to tell a story. In the beginning, my music just didn’t fit in with what was going on; you can tell by listening to some of my older mixes. So I worked on my style, and also started integrating my own music and Underground Quality music. Of course, that was a bit of a marketing ploy; I was told if I don’t play my music, nobody else will Time Out New York: How do you describe your sound?Jus-Ed: The best description of my style of music that I’ve heard was from the 313 forum. The writer said, “DJ Jus-Ed’s music is a straight line down the middle between house music and techno.”Time Out New York: Your music definitely is in that in-between area. I know a lot of soulful-house fans who think of you as techno, and a lot of techno people who think of you as house.Jus-Ed: Yeah, I am most definitely in the middle.Time Out New York: I was looking at the Underground Quality discography the other day, and besides a ton of your own music, the label’s put out a lot of material from some great like-minded producers DJ Qu, Anton Zap, Steffi, Move D, Levon Vincent, Nina Kraviz and Fred P have all showed up at one time or another. How do you decide who gets to be on Underground Quality?Jus-Ed: When I started, what I was looking for was people who had been basically chewed up and spit out by the industry, but not so much that they stopped making music. That way, most of the people I’m dealing with are very particular about what they do and who they deal with, because they’ve been taken advantage of in the past. To me, that makes for a trustworthy relationship, because they’ve already tasted betrayal. They live and die on their word and their handshake.Time Out New York: That’s what you’re looking for on a personal level, but how about on a musical level? Obviously, if someone is a totally cool person but is making music that isn’t complementary to the label, you wouldn’t put it out.Jus-Ed: Oh, that’s just personal taste. Without sounding like some kind of authority, I think I have good taste in music. I’m not limited to just 4/4 beats. I was raised in an environment where there was classical, folk, rock, jazz and all kinds of music, and we had to learn to understand it. That’s how my kids are growing up, too. And if there’s dead silence, then I’ll start making music—or else the kids will start tapping out beats. It’s the way I was raised. As far as what ends up on the label, it’s an organic process; there’s no formula as to how it happens. If the vibe is right, I’m inspired, and then I’ll take the time to get to know the producer to see if it will work. Time Out New York: Have it ever not worked?Jus-Ed: Well, I’ve actually turned down tons of dope music! What I’m concerned with is a person’s work ethic, whether they’re straightforward…that kind of thing. And sometimes, even when I do decide to work with someone, it can be tough. Like Steffi—when I released her record, the Reasons EP, it was a struggle, mainly because she knew a lot more about the industry than I did. I kind of got offended when she started asking me about rates, percentages, and this and that. I didn’t know about that stuff; I was like, “Look, motherfucker, I just want to put out the goddamn record!” [Laughs] I got embarrassed, and finally had to tell her that I didn’t understand what she was asking me, and asked her to explain it. But I’ve known her for years. She was the first person I met when I played Panorama Bar; she was in the van that picked me up. She knew about the label and was playing my stuff long before we met. Time Out New York: I imagine that’s true with a lot of the European DJs that you were meeting around that time.Jus-Ed: Yeah, like Move D; he had been supporting the label for a long time before I knew him. He had been playing UQ vinyl all around the world. When we finally met, through the Internet, it was kind of rocky. But after we met personally—I actually spent some time in Heidelberg as his guest, and did a party out there with him—I fell in love with him. He’s one of my favorite artists to deejay with. Him, Lawrence and Qu—when I play with any of them, it’s easy money. It’s a pleasure. I don’t have to worry about ego, and I don’t have to start thinking things like, Wait, did he play more records than me? It’s very relaxed playing with them.Time Out New York: You’ve recently started the EDJ label with Jenifa. How much to you two feed off each other, musically speaking?Jus-Ed: You have to understand that you have two very passionate, intelligent people who are in love with each other. And there are boundaries that you can’t cross, some of which you are aware of and some of which you find out as you go along. But her knowledge, and the words that she says to me, are inspiring. Those words have helped me, over the years, to get into the position I’m in today. She deserves as much credit as I do, because she’s my partner in this.Time Out New York: Is there anything specific that she’s helped you with that you can talk about?Jus-Ed: I was talking to Dan Bell once, and he said, “I just want to tell you how organized and professional you are in running the label. I really applaud you.” This is from Dan Bell—Dan the man! And he’s giving me all these accolades. I think that kind of thing is due to Jenifa. But I finally had to tell him to stop. If he saw my house, he would not make that statement. It’s total chaos around here! Anyway, the funny thing is that when we met, the last thing she wanted was to be around any DJ, or anyone involved in music at all. But my grandfather said I could always talk the panties off a nun!Time Out New York: On a different subject, you’re about to play the Discovery third-anniversary bash. I just exchanged e-mails with Joel [Discovery resident Free Magic], and he was giving you props for putting the Discovery party and label on the map.Jus-Ed: Oh, that’s so kind of him. I had played one of their parties at Santos, and we recorded it and stuck it online; it’s still there somewhere, I think. It was a great night and I had a great time. And I really like them; they’re very accommodating and very professional. They told me they were making some music, so I told them to pass it along and I’ll play it on my radio show, which I think has been a real success. A few artists have picked up record deals by having their tracks played, and a whole lot have gotten support. So they sent me this track, and though it wasn’t something I would probably play out—it had more of a disco feel to it—I would definitely play it on the show, and I did. And people really liked it, and I think it gave them a certain amount of exposure. And I really dug their second release [Olin & Co. Processing’s Compton EP]; I’ve been playing that one a lot. I also gave them suggestions on how to release, on pressing and stuff like that.Time Out New York: Speaking of pressing, you seem to have a strong commitment to vinyl, both with your label and your deejaying.Jus-Ed: I’m still in shape, and I can still carry records around, so why not? Actually, that’s not quite true—I have a trolley, so they’re on wheels.Time Out New York: You probably remember before those wheeled record trolleys even existed.Jus-Ed: Oh, sure. Some people still don’t use them. They use milk crates! The first time Omar-S came and played with me, in 2006, he drove from Detroit with a record crate, a real old-school kind. Anyway, yes, I play records, I press records and I sell records. It’s all an art. No matter where I play—no matter what country it is—the guys who play with Serato are amazed with what you can do with vinyl. I’ll be playing and they’ll be staring at me. I’ll ask them, “Why aren’t you out there dancing?” They’re like, “We’re watching you! We’ve never seen this before!” They’re amazed that a lot of stuff you can do digitally, you can also do with vinyl—offset the beat, cut, edit, phase, all that stuff. They’re like, “I didn’t know you could do that!” Of course, I play a few CDs; I can’t afford to make a dubplate every time I make a new track.Time Out New York: So you have had to learn how to use a CDJ.Jus-Ed: Yeah, and I started on a Gemini CDJ-10. You talk about wild pitch—oh, my God!Time Out New York: What’s next in the world of Jus-Ed?Jus-Ed: Well, I have a new album.…Time Out New York: Wow, I didn’t know about that!Jus-Ed: Yeah! I just found out today that it’s gonna be with Juno in the next couple of days. I don’t even have it on my website yet. It’s called DJ Jus-Ed: 50ty and Lookin Good! Ha! And even if you don’t like the music, the artwork is amazing.Discovery Three-Year Anniversary: Jus-Ed + Tim Sweeney + Mike Servito is at Glasslands Gallery Saturday, September 8. Interview: Carl Craig can't sit still The Detroit techno kingpin Carl Craig, gearing up for a pair of NYC dates, tries his hand at the editing biz. Being a leading member of Detroit’s techno contingent isn’t quite enoughfor Carl Craig. Best known for his angular tech-jazz sound, he’s actually worked in a myriad of genres (deep house, breakbeat, straight-up jazz and many more) via dozens of aliases and collaborations, including Innerzone Orchestra, 69 and Paperclip People. The past few years have seen him increasingly committed to contemporary-classical projects, particularly through his work with Moritz von Oswald and Francesco Tristano. Now, he’s entered the world of journalism, serving as guest editor for the October edition of Mixmag. Craig still likes to rock a party, though, which is what he’ll be doing when he plays both the Black & White Festival and Basic NYC’s after-party on Saturday 6.Time Out New York: Hey, Carl! what’s up?Carl Craig: [Laughs] I’m just reading this thing from the AP about a finger being found in a trout in Idaho.Time Out New York: A trout? I didn’t know they were carnivorous beasts.Carl Craig: Well, what happened is that they fingerprinted the finger, and found out that it was from a guy who had lost four fingers in an accident at the lake, like, two months earlier. The funny part is that when they called the guy up, he apparently said, “Let me guess—you found my finger in a fish.”Time Out New York: Ha! It’s always good to read a news story with a punch line.Carl Craig: They do a lot of punch lines in Japanese news. The Japan Times always has some real funny stories.Time Out New York: Okay, let’s get semiserious for a bit. One thing that seems to define your career is a kind of artistic wanderlust, a passion to keep trying to create new things in new ways. Are you a restless person, or are you simply curious?Carl Craig: I would say it’s both restlessness and curiosity. I’ve always been interested in experimenting. No matter what I ended up doing in life, whether it was music or whatever, I’d still be experimenting. I’ve always have a desire to push myself. If I was an athlete, I’d push myself really hard to be a really good athlete. But since I’m a producer, I’m always trying to push myself to the limit in that regard. And hopefully, I’ll get a lot further with my movements and my ideas. That’s very important for me—otherwise, I’d probably get completely bored.Time Out New York: Have you ever actually found yourself getting bored?Carl Craig: I don’t think so. I can remember when I was first deejaying years ago, paying attention to the labels of the time, like Strictly Rhythm. They were labels that had a sound that they really wanted to stick to; they had their big producers and would just keep putting out these records that had more or less the same sound. That wasn’t something that appealed to me; I was more interested in being the alternative cat.Time Out New York: Alternative in what way?Carl Craig: I was listening to the Smiths and the Cure, stuff like that. Growing up in Detroit, that was a different way to go, a very atypical route.Time Out New York: It seems as though you’ve stuck to the alternative route for the past few decades.Carl Craig: Several decades… You’re making me sound old, man!Time Out New York: Sorry about that! But speaking of artistic restlessness, now you are a guest editor of the October issue of Mixmag. Did they approach you, or was it the other way around?Carl Craig: You know, we’ve been discussing this for such a long time that I don’t even remember what the original scenario was. [Laughs] But whatever the case, it’s happening, and I’m really glad that it is. I wish I actually could have done more, but it just seems like I’m so damn busy all the time. Luckily, I have a good team around me. I threw out some ideas, and they made it happen.Time Out New York: Judging from what the issue covers—everything from synth pioneer Wendy Carlos to roller disco—it seems as though they gave you free rein to do what you want.Carl Craig: Yeah, they did. We did give them a whole lot of ideas, and there were a few that couldn’t come to fruition. For instance, I have this theory that the only person in Hollywood who I would ever want to hang out with is Robert Downey Jr., so I wanted to have something on him in there. He’s not a music guy, obviously, but because of his experiences, it would have been like an adventure, like hanging out with Hunter S. Thompson.Time Out New York: The editors decided that he was too far outside of what the magazine usually covers?Carl Craig: Yeah, it didn’t happen. It would have been fantastic. But we did get some interesting people in there. Wendy Carlos is obviously interesting; [revolutionary artist] Elizabeth Catlett is in there, and she was obviously really interesting. So we got a lot of what we wanted in there.Time Out New York: You’re coming to New York to spin two very different gigs: The big Black & White Festival, where there will be thousands of people, and a loft party, where there will be a few hundred. Is it hard to mentally prepare for such divergent events on the same day? Do you find yourself playing different music in such different situations?Carl Craig: I might play slightly different music, or maybe the same music in a slightly different way. [Laughs] But really, it has to do with the mood that the people and the event put me in. If the crowd is going for it and has a lot of energy, that gives me energy. If people are freakin’ standing there like they’re waiting for something, I’ll play a different way. It doesn’t matter how big the crowd is. I’ve played great in front of 100 people, and I’ve played great in front of 10,000 people. I’ve played shitty in front of 100 people, and I’ve played shitty in front of 10,000 people! I’m not a lion tamer; I can’t just whip ’em. You may also like:DJ mix: Catz ’n DogzInterview: John TalabotPhotos: Electric Zoo Interview: Spain's John Talabot brings his hazy house to NYC The brilliant Barcelona beatsmith performs live at Le Poisson Rouge. Barcelona’s John Talabot seemingly appeared out of nowhere in 2009 with the release of “Sunshine,” a restrained and blissful piece of hazy house. Beautifully understated, the track immediately propelled the artist (real name: Oriol Riverola) into the A-list of electronic-music producers. In truth, Riverola had been on the scene for a while, producing as D.A.R.Y.L.—but ever since “Sunshine,” he’s committed fully to the Talabot moniker, releasing a series of stunning singles, and earlier this year, an excellent album, ƒIN. On September 27, Talabot, along with production partner and vocalist Pional, performs live at Le Poisson Rouge.Time Out New York: As I was getting ready to talk to you, I was listening to ƒIN, along with singles like “Sunshine” and “Matilda’s Dream.” What struck me is this way you have of conveying both joy and melancholy within a single track.John Talabot: I’m not sure how that happens, but I do think I am quite a melancholic person, so my music naturally has some of that in it. It’s part of me, so it’s part of my music too. I think that’s a good way to handle melancholy.Time Out New York: It’s certainly better than wallowing in it. But it’s such a unique sound; no one else makes music that’s quite like yours. Was it hard to develop your style?John Talabot: It was not hard as all, because my sound is completely based on my taste. What was difficult was to put that vibe into the songs on the album. I had never done real songs before, you know? Before, I was thinking in terms of singles and tracks. Making the album was a little bit stressful in the beginning; I didn’t really know how it should go, or even what I should do to put it together. So I just tried to make n album that I would like—something that I would play at home.Time Out New York: It sounds as though you conceived of this album as an album, rather than just collecting a bunch of individual tracks that you had laying around.John Talabot: I had all those singles, but I really didn’t want to put them, or any old stuff, on the album. I just wanted to create something that had a sense of being something that separate and complete. …something that has a beginning and an end. I knew more or less how I wanted it to sound: Not too advanced, but not too retro or old-school either. So I knew the vibe I wanted. But I didn’t know how to fill the album up with music! [Laughs] That was the hard part—actually doing the music.Time Out New York: I imagine that’s usually the case.John Talabot: Yeah, but sometimes there are albums where the producer starts with three really good tracks, and then he can kind of fill in the rest. And that can work. But in my case, I didn’t want any song on the album to be more important than any other song. It was kind of like building a puzzle, trying to balance the music and trying to balance the track list. I didn’t want to make it too uplifting, but not too chilled out, either. I hope that’s how it came out!Time Out New York: ƒIN does all flow as a unified entity, but it definitely does have specific moments that stand out. I particularly like the tracks that feature Pional on vocals.John Talabot: We had released some of his first tracks on our label [Hivern Discs], and I felt really comfortable working with him. We complement each other really well. There are two tunes on the album that we actually produced together. One we made completely together in the studio; the other was more of a process, like going to Madrid, where he lives, and recording some stuff, then coming back to my studio in Barcelona and working some more. I feel really good working with him. He gives me something I don’t have, and I think I might give him something he doesn’t have.Time Out New York: What are those somethings, exactly?John Talabot: That’s really hard to say. But the music that comes out when where we are together… I feel it is quite special.Time Out New York: It is. Is he gong to be with you when bring your live show to Le Poisson Rouge?John Talabot: Yes, he will.Time Out New York: What is your live show all about? It’s more than you standing behind a laptop, right?John Talabot: No, we have a lot of stuff! Synthesizers, sequencers, percussion, lots of mikes on the stage… We are basically trying to upgrade the sounds on the album. I mean, there are only two of us onstage, but it has a really live feeling. One thing that I really wanted to do is to make it so I would have fun onstage, so I really didn’t have to be behind a computer, pressing buttons. Of course, we have prerecorded stuff; we can’t do everything on our own. But we try to play as much as we can live. Time Out New York: Performing live is fairly new for you, right?John Talabot: Yeah, it’s really new. We’ve only done it like six or seven times so far.Time Out New York: No major disasters yet?John Talabot: More or less, it’s been working. [Laughs] We are learning. Neither of us had ever been in a band before, so this is all new. But you know with a normal rock band, where you have a guitarist, a drummer and a bassist? When you are in a band like that and you rehearse enough, you know it will work. But with live electronic shows, you have to think about how to bring your productions to life on the stage in a different way. You need to think about what gear you will bring, who is going to be in charge of what…all that kind of thing. There are no real rules for electronic music when you do it live, so you have to create your own rules. It’s quite exciting to create it and to build it up. And now that we’re doing it, we’re always thinking about what more we can do, what’s a little bit too much, or whatever. At the moment, we’re still experimenting and trying to make it better, but I’m quite happy with the first results. As long as we can do sound checks, we have the confidence that it will come out somewhat correctly.Time Out New York: But even if it doesn’t come out totally right, that’s okay. The mistakes are sometimes the most exciting parts.John Talabot: Yeah, and I’m totally up for mistakes! I like mistakes. But I don’t want it to look like we haven’t rehearsed, or that we are some kind of newcomers. We do want it to have a professional vibe. [Laughs]Time Out New York: There’s one thing I’ve always wondered: Why the name John Talabot? I know you have earlier work out under the moniker D.A.R.Y.L.; is John Talabot simply to differentiate your current work from your older material?John Talabot: Actually, John Talabot was the name of the school that I went to. The name was originally a kind of joke between friends, like me just telling them that I think it would be fun to do some tracks under that name. But I never really planned to release anything under that name; it was going to be more just for having fun. There never was a commercial thought behind it or anything. When everything started happening, I was like, Wow, I can’t believe this John Talabot thing is actually going forward! It was very strange.Time Out New York: Didn’t you originally press something like only 200 copies of “Sunshine” when it first came out?John Talabot: The only reason I pressed even that much was because some friends wanted to have it on vinyl so they could play it. We didn’t have a distributor; we just sent it around to people. It was a very do-it-yourself kind of thing.Time Out New York: It must have been a bit surprising when people started saying that “Sunshine” was the best house track in years. Pitchfork rather famously gave it an 8.5 and named it a “best new track,” for instance.John Talabot: I couldn’t even understand it, actually. Like, how did the record even make it to Pitchfork? At the same time, of course, I was really relieved. Not because they like it so much; it was more that there are people trying to find new music that they like, and who are willing to promote it without being given anything in exchange. I was quite surprised, and I am thankful. They really put me on the map.Time Out New York: I think people, at least some people, are always happy to find music that doesn’t sound like everything else.John Talabot: I was thinking about that, too. It’s important for small bands and producers to have people like that.Time Out New York: After “Sunshine,” I don’t think you had much trouble getting your music heard.John Talabot: Totally not, and I’m quite happy with that. I’m very fortunate to have been put into this situation.Time Out New York: Does the name ƒIN have any significance?John Talabot: It really doesn’t. I just wanted a really solid word that describes the moment when you close your computer and say, “Okay, that’s the end.” This album was quite hard for me; I didn’t have a studio and had to work from home, and I wasn’t very comfortable working from home. I spent many hours working on it and it was a little bit frustrating. At some point I just needed to stop working on the album and go with the songs I had. So that’s why I used that word, like, Okay, that is it. I don’t have to do any more work on this. That was a good feeling.Fixed: John Talabot is at Le Poisson Rouge on September 27. You might also likeInterview and DJ mix: Jus-EdDJ mix: Axel BomanPhotos: The final Warm Up of 2012 DJ mix: Axel Boman Listen to a beautiful DJ mix from Studio Barnhus honcho Axel Boman. Doyou like your house music to be near the deep, groovy, slightly strange and totally beautiful end of the 4/4 spectrum? If so, Sweden’s Axel Bowman is your man. Coming out of nowhere three or so years ago, the man has amassed a killer discography of original productions and remixes, many of them for Studio Barnhus, the label he runs with Kornél Kovács and Petter Nordkvist. As luck would have it, Bowman, along with Kovács and Nordkvist, will be spinning at the Beats in Space party at Santos Party House on Friday, September 21. And as luck would also have it, here’s a masterful mix from Boman himself. Interview and DJ mix: Jus-Ed DJ mix: AgoriaBest parties in NYC

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Interview: Spain's John Talabot

The brilliant Barcelona beatsmith performs live at Le Poisson Rouge. Barcelona’s John Talabot seemingly appeared out of nowhere in 2009 with the release of “Sunshine,” a restrained and blissful piece of hazy house. Beautifully understated, the track immediately propelled the artist (real name: Oriol Riverola) into the A-list of electronic-music producers. In truth, Riverola had been on the scene for a while, producing as D.A.R.Y.L.—but ever since “Sunshine,” he’s committed fully to the Talabot moniker, releasing a series of stunning singles, and earlier this year, an excellent album, ƒIN. On September 27, Talabot, along with production partner and vocalist Pional, performs live at Le Poisson Rouge.Time Out New York: As I was getting ready to talk to you, I was listening to ƒIN, along with singles like “Sunshine” and “Matilda’s Dream.” What struck me is this way you have of conveying both joy and melancholy within a single track.John Talabot: I’m not sure how that happens, but I do think I am quite a melancholic person, so my music naturally has some of that in it. It’s part of me, so it’s part of my music too. I think that’s a good way to handle melancholy.Time Out New York: It’s certainly better than wallowing in it. But it’s such a unique sound; no one else makes music that’s quite like yours. Was it hard to develop your style?John Talabot: It was not hard as all, because my sound is completely based on my taste. What was difficult was to put that vibe into the songs on the album. I had never done real songs before, you know? Before, I was thinking in terms of singles and tracks. Making the album was a little bit stressful in the beginning; I didn’t really know how it should go, or even what I should do to put it together. So I just tried to make n album that I would like—something that I would play at home.Time Out New York: It sounds as though you conceived of this album as an album, rather than just collecting a bunch of individual tracks that you had laying around.John Talabot: I had all those singles, but I really didn’t want to put them, or any old stuff, on the album. I just wanted to create something that had a sense of being something that separate and complete. …something that has a beginning and an end. I knew more or less how I wanted it to sound: Not too advanced, but not too retro or old-school either. So I knew the vibe I wanted. But I didn’t know how to fill the album up with music! [Laughs] That was the hard part—actually doing the music.Time Out New York: I imagine that’s usually the case.John Talabot: Yeah, but sometimes there are albums where the producer starts with three really good tracks, and then he can kind of fill in the rest. And that can work. But in my case, I didn’t want any song on the album to be more important than any other song. It was kind of like building a puzzle, trying to balance the music and trying to balance the track list. I didn’t want to make it too uplifting, but not too chilled out, either. I hope that’s how it came out!Time Out New York: ƒIN does all flow as a unified entity, but it definitely does have specific moments that stand out. I particularly like the tracks that feature Pional on vocals.John Talabot: We had released some of his first tracks on our label [Hivern Discs], and I felt really comfortable working with him. We complement each other really well. There are two tunes on the album that we actually produced together. One we made completely together in the studio; the other was more of a process, like going to Madrid, where he lives, and recording some stuff, then coming back to my studio in Barcelona and working some more. I feel really good working with him. He gives me something I don’t have, and I think I might give him something he doesn’t have.Time Out New York: What are those somethings, exactly?John Talabot: That’s really hard to say. But the music that comes out when where we are together… I feel it is quite special.Time Out New York: It is. Is he gong to be with you when bring your live show to Le Poisson Rouge?John Talabot: Yes, he will.Time Out New York: What is your live show all about? It’s more than you standing behind a laptop, right?John Talabot: No, we have a lot of stuff! Synthesizers, sequencers, percussion, lots of mikes on the stage… We are basically trying to upgrade the sounds on the album. I mean, there are only two of us onstage, but it has a really live feeling. One thing that I really wanted to do is to make it so I would have fun onstage, so I really didn’t have to be behind a computer, pressing buttons. Of course, we have prerecorded stuff; we can’t do everything on our own. But we try to play as much as we can live. Time Out New York: Performing live is fairly new for you, right?John Talabot: Yeah, it’s really new. We’ve only done it like six or seven times so far.Time Out New York: No major disasters yet?John Talabot: More or less, it’s been working. [Laughs] We are learning. Neither of us had ever been in a band before, so this is all new. But you know with a normal rock band, where you have a guitarist, a drummer and a bassist? When you are in a band like that and you rehearse enough, you know it will work. But with live electronic shows, you have to think about how to bring your productions to life on the stage in a different way. You need to think about what gear you will bring, who is going to be in charge of what…all that kind of thing. There are no real rules for electronic music when you do it live, so you have to create your own rules. It’s quite exciting to create it and to build it up. And now that we’re doing it, we’re always thinking about what more we can do, what’s a little bit too much, or whatever. At the moment, we’re still experimenting and trying to make it better, but I’m quite happy with the first results. As long as we can do sound checks, we have the confidence that it will come out somewhat correctly.Time Out New York: But even if it doesn’t come out totally right, that’s okay. The mistakes are sometimes the most exciting parts.John Talabot: Yeah, and I’m totally up for mistakes! I like mistakes. But I don’t want it to look like we haven’t rehearsed, or that we are some kind of newcomers. We do want it to have a professional vibe. [Laughs]Time Out New York: There’s one thing I’ve always wondered: Why the name John Talabot? I know you have earlier work out under the moniker D.A.R.Y.L.; is John Talabot simply to differentiate your current work from your older material?John Talabot: Actually, John Talabot was the name of the school that I went to. The name was originally a kind of joke between friends, like me just telling them that I think it would be fun to do some tracks under that name. But I never really planned to release anything under that name; it was going to be more just for having fun. There never was a commercial thought behind it or anything. When everything started happening, I was like, Wow, I can’t believe this John Talabot thing is actually going forward! It was very strange.Time Out New York: Didn’t you originally press something like only 200 copies of “Sunshine” when it first came out?John Talabot: The only reason I pressed even that much was because some friends wanted to have it on vinyl so they could play it. We didn’t have a distributor; we just sent it around to people. It was a very do-it-yourself kind of thing.Time Out New York: It must have been a bit surprising when people started saying that “Sunshine” was the best house track in years. Pitchfork rather famously gave it an 8.5 and named it a “best new track,” for instance.John Talabot: I couldn’t even understand it, actually. Like, how did the record even make it to Pitchfork? At the same time, of course, I was really relieved. Not because they like it so much; it was more that there are people trying to find new music that they like, and who are willing to promote it without being given anything in exchange. I was quite surprised, and I am thankful. They really put me on the map.Time Out New York: I think people, at least some people, are always happy to find music that doesn’t sound like everything else.John Talabot: I was thinking about that, too. It’s important for small bands and producers to have people like that.Time Out New York: After “Sunshine,” I don’t think you had much trouble getting your music heard.John Talabot: Totally not, and I’m quite happy with that. I’m very fortunate to have been put into this situation.Time Out New York: Does the name ƒIN have any significance?John Talabot: It really doesn’t. I just wanted a really solid word that describes the moment when you close your computer and say, “Okay, that’s the end.” This album was quite hard for me; I didn’t have a studio and had to work from home, and I wasn’t very comfortable working from home. I spent many hours working on it and it was a little bit frustrating. At some point I just needed to stop working on the album and go with the songs I had. So that’s why I used that word, like, Okay, that is it. I don’t have to do any more work on this. That was a good feeling.Fixed: John Talabot is at Le Poisson Rouge on September 27. You might also likeInterview and DJ mix: Jus-EdDJ mix: Axel BomanPhotos: The final Warm Up of 2012

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DJ mix: El_Txef_A

The Spanish producer, who's playing the Bespoke party on Friday, October 12, spins a set of gorgeous house rhythms. Now that the likes of Skrillex and Deadmau5 have made it to the mainstream (even my mother, who's musical education ended with Bobby Vinton, is now familiar with the term EDM), a lot of people probably think of electronic dance music as a rather knuckleheaded form of youthful tomfoolery. But nothing could be further from the truth: For instance, there's this gorgeous deep-house mix from Aitor Etxebarria, better known as El_Txef_A. Like what you hear? The Spanish producer, with fine work out on such esteemed labels as Hypercolour, Suol and his own Fiakun, with be in the booth at the Bespoke Musik bash on Friday, October 12. You might also like Interview: Kim Ann Foxman, on her own With a new record and a burgeoning DJ career, the erstwhile Hercules and Love Affair member Kim Ann Foxman hits her stride. A longtime friend of bandleader Andy Butler, Kim Ann Foxman is best known as one of the vocalists from synth-disco combo Hercules and Love Affair. But she’s always had an active career of her own, spinning hot house sets at parties in NYC and around the world. A fine new Foxman release, the Return It EP, comes out later this month on the U.K.’s Needwant label; she’ll be celebrating with a deck set at Le Bain on Friday, October 12.There’s a chapter of your life story that really fascinates me: your 1991 rein as Miss Teen Filipina Hawaii. What was that all about?Oh, that was traumatizing when it happened! But now I can laugh about it. It was never my goal to win, but I accidently did win.Weren’t you already a bit of a tomboy by the time you were a teen?I was extremely a tomboy; that’s why my mom was trying to make me go the opposite way. It was actually my aunt’s idea, but my mom really got hooked on it. I can remember crying because I didn’t want to wear the lipstick—or the evening gown!Getting a bit more current, I think the first time I really started to become familiar with you was when you were doing the Mad Clams parties at the Hole.Oh yeah, they were a lot of fun. That was from 2003 to 2005.Was that your introduction to deejaying in New York City?Yeah. I was living in San Francisco before I came to New York, but I wasn’t deejaying or throwing parties. I was mainly bartending and going to raves and stuff. I was in a two-man electronic band, and we played out a bit. Then I came to New York, was looking for a job, and ran into a friend who said, “Actually, there might be a night open at the Hole, and you can bartend—but you have to throw a party, too. It would start in two weeks.” I was like, “Oh yeah, I’ll do it.” I wasn’t looking to throw a party or anything; it just kind of happened. And that was Mad Clams.Andy Butler was deejaying with you at those parties, right?Exactly, yeah. We would make these theme songs for the party, and then me and a bunch of my friends from that scene would make these weird exercise videos for the party, too. There was a fun one called “Exercise Your Clam.” [Laughs] And people started giving me all these wild exercise videos, too, like from La Toya Jackson and Estelle Getty. It was a fun time.When Hercules and Love Affair first started getting big, I can remember reading an article that was making the point that everyone involved came into the project in an unplanned, organic sort of way. Did it feel like to you at the time?Well, I had been with Andy for a long time as a friend, but I never thought I would be on any album or anything. I thought we would just make some stuff, we’d go out and DJ around. I never really had the intention that this would turn into something;so yeah, I guess it was pretty organic and natural. But then all of a sudden, it just spun out of control! It became really crazy, really fast. There was so much hype. I mean, once I knew the album was coming out, I thought it would be received well. But I didn’t even know I was going to be on it! It was a real whirlwind after that.I can’t even imagine. It must have been mind-blowing, exciting and weird at the same time.That is all of the things that it was! But I survived.And now you are done with Hercules and Love Affair, right?Yeah. There’s a whole new lineup now, and now I’m doing my own thing.Among your own things, deejaying seems to be a big one. It seems like you are playing a lot nowadays—not just here, but all over the world.Yeah, that’s true—I’m really traveling a lot. The band definitely gave me a platform to play more internationally. I had been playing around a little bit—I had played some gigs in London and Paris before everything happened—but I definitely wouldn’t have gotten as much attention if it weren’t for that. So I am really grateful. Also, it’s helpful that I actually know how to deejay. [Laughs] As I’m sure you know, there are a lot of people from bands, or personality DJs, who don’t really know how to deejay. And people expected that of me at first, too, so they were surprised in a good way when they would hear me. You still use records, right?I do, but I do travel less with them nowadays. I don’t use a computer, though; if I’m traveling, it’s usually with CDs. They’re so easy. And you know what’s really fun? Those USB sticks. It’s really funny to show up to a gig, have somebody ask,“Where’s your stuff?” and just pull this little thing out of your pocket.Besides the deejaying, you seem to be moving more and more into production. Your last one, “Creature,” was a great song, but this latest one, Return It, is really great.Thanks! It’s fully written and produced by myself, which is really exciting. But I’m really interested in collaborating with other people. I’m working on a solo album, and that’ll have lots of people on it. I’m also working on some kind of side project, but I don’t have a name for it. It’s not going to be super different just a little more singsongy.The new EP’s title track features a lot of your vocals as well; it’s a very sweet track. And the flip side, “Hypnotic Dance,” has a bit of an old-school jacking vibe to it. It seems to me that you are very good at combining those two sounds. True! Good descriptions.Oh good, I got one right! Do you have to work at that sound, or is it simply an expression of your personality?I’m sweet and jacking. [Laughs] I don’t know—I think different people just have different sounds. Ever since I’ve been in the electronic world, I’ve been into the jacking stuff, and the sweet stuff, too. And when I’m deejaying, I just play what I like to hear. I’m just trying to keep it personal, you know?Kim Ann Foxman plays Le Bain on Friday, October 12; Return It (Needwant) is out October 22. You might also like Interview: Carl Craig Interview: John Talabot Photos: Electric Zoo 2012 DJ mix: Jimmy Edgar Interview: Carl Craig can't sit still The Detroit techno kingpin Carl Craig, gearing up for a pair of NYC dates, tries his hand at the editing biz. Being a leading member of Detroit’s techno contingent isn’t quite enoughfor Carl Craig. Best known for his angular tech-jazz sound, he’s actually worked in a myriad of genres (deep house, breakbeat, straight-up jazz and many more) via dozens of aliases and collaborations, including Innerzone Orchestra, 69 and Paperclip People. The past few years have seen him increasingly committed to contemporary-classical projects, particularly through his work with Moritz von Oswald and Francesco Tristano. Now, he’s entered the world of journalism, serving as guest editor for the October edition of Mixmag. Craig still likes to rock a party, though, which is what he’ll be doing when he plays both the Black & White Festival and Basic NYC’s after-party on Saturday 6.Time Out New York: Hey, Carl! what’s up?Carl Craig: [Laughs] I’m just reading this thing from the AP about a finger being found in a trout in Idaho.Time Out New York: A trout? I didn’t know they were carnivorous beasts.Carl Craig: Well, what happened is that they fingerprinted the finger, and found out that it was from a guy who had lost four fingers in an accident at the lake, like, two months earlier. The funny part is that when they called the guy up, he apparently said, “Let me guess—you found my finger in a fish.”Time Out New York: Ha! It’s always good to read a news story with a punch line.Carl Craig: They do a lot of punch lines in Japanese news. The Japan Times always has some real funny stories.Time Out New York: Okay, let’s get semiserious for a bit. One thing that seems to define your career is a kind of artistic wanderlust, a passion to keep trying to create new things in new ways. Are you a restless person, or are you simply curious?Carl Craig: I would say it’s both restlessness and curiosity. I’ve always been interested in experimenting. No matter what I ended up doing in life, whether it was music or whatever, I’d still be experimenting. I’ve always have a desire to push myself. If I was an athlete, I’d push myself really hard to be a really good athlete. But since I’m a producer, I’m always trying to push myself to the limit in that regard. And hopefully, I’ll get a lot further with my movements and my ideas. That’s very important for me—otherwise, I’d probably get completely bored.Time Out New York: Have you ever actually found yourself getting bored?Carl Craig: I don’t think so. I can remember when I was first deejaying years ago, paying attention to the labels of the time, like Strictly Rhythm. They were labels that had a sound that they really wanted to stick to; they had their big producers and would just keep putting out these records that had more or less the same sound. That wasn’t something that appealed to me; I was more interested in being the alternative cat.Time Out New York: Alternative in what way?Carl Craig: I was listening to the Smiths and the Cure, stuff like that. Growing up in Detroit, that was a different way to go, a very atypical route.Time Out New York: It seems as though you’ve stuck to the alternative route for the past few decades.Carl Craig: Several decades… You’re making me sound old, man!Time Out New York: Sorry about that! But speaking of artistic restlessness, now you are a guest editor of the October issue of Mixmag. Did they approach you, or was it the other way around?Carl Craig: You know, we’ve been discussing this for such a long time that I don’t even remember what the original scenario was. [Laughs] But whatever the case, it’s happening, and I’m really glad that it is. I wish I actually could have done more, but it just seems like I’m so damn busy all the time. Luckily, I have a good team around me. I threw out some ideas, and they made it happen.Time Out New York: Judging from what the issue covers—everything from synth pioneer Wendy Carlos to roller disco—it seems as though they gave you free rein to do what you want.Carl Craig: Yeah, they did. We did give them a whole lot of ideas, and there were a few that couldn’t come to fruition. For instance, I have this theory that the only person in Hollywood who I would ever want to hang out with is Robert Downey Jr., so I wanted to have something on him in there. He’s not a music guy, obviously, but because of his experiences, it would have been like an adventure, like hanging out with Hunter S. Thompson.Time Out New York: The editors decided that he was too far outside of what the magazine usually covers?Carl Craig: Yeah, it didn’t happen. It would have been fantastic. But we did get some interesting people in there. Wendy Carlos is obviously interesting; [revolutionary artist] Elizabeth Catlett is in there, and she was obviously really interesting. So we got a lot of what we wanted in there.Time Out New York: You’re coming to New York to spin two very different gigs: The big Black & White Festival, where there will be thousands of people, and a loft party, where there will be a few hundred. Is it hard to mentally prepare for such divergent events on the same day? Do you find yourself playing different music in such different situations?Carl Craig: I might play slightly different music, or maybe the same music in a slightly different way. [Laughs] But really, it has to do with the mood that the people and the event put me in. If the crowd is going for it and has a lot of energy, that gives me energy. If people are freakin’ standing there like they’re waiting for something, I’ll play a different way. It doesn’t matter how big the crowd is. I’ve played great in front of 100 people, and I’ve played great in front of 10,000 people. I’ve played shitty in front of 100 people, and I’ve played shitty in front of 10,000 people! I’m not a lion tamer; I can’t just whip ’em. You may also like:DJ mix: Catz ’n DogzInterview: John TalabotPhotos: Electric Zoo Interview: Spain's John Talabot The brilliant Barcelona beatsmith performs live at Le Poisson Rouge. Barcelona’s John Talabot seemingly appeared out of nowhere in 2009 with the release of “Sunshine,” a restrained and blissful piece of hazy house. Beautifully understated, the track immediately propelled the artist (real name: Oriol Riverola) into the A-list of electronic-music producers. In truth, Riverola had been on the scene for a while, producing as D.A.R.Y.L.—but ever since “Sunshine,” he’s committed fully to the Talabot moniker, releasing a series of stunning singles, and earlier this year, an excellent album, ƒIN. On September 27, Talabot, along with production partner and vocalist Pional, performs live at Le Poisson Rouge.Time Out New York: As I was getting ready to talk to you, I was listening to ƒIN, along with singles like “Sunshine” and “Matilda’s Dream.” What struck me is this way you have of conveying both joy and melancholy within a single track.John Talabot: I’m not sure how that happens, but I do think I am quite a melancholic person, so my music naturally has some of that in it. It’s part of me, so it’s part of my music too. I think that’s a good way to handle melancholy.Time Out New York: It’s certainly better than wallowing in it. But it’s such a unique sound; no one else makes music that’s quite like yours. Was it hard to develop your style?John Talabot: It was not hard as all, because my sound is completely based on my taste. What was difficult was to put that vibe into the songs on the album. I had never done real songs before, you know? Before, I was thinking in terms of singles and tracks. Making the album was a little bit stressful in the beginning; I didn’t really know how it should go, or even what I should do to put it together. So I just tried to make n album that I would like—something that I would play at home.Time Out New York: It sounds as though you conceived of this album as an album, rather than just collecting a bunch of individual tracks that you had laying around.John Talabot: I had all those singles, but I really didn’t want to put them, or any old stuff, on the album. I just wanted to create something that had a sense of being something that separate and complete. …something that has a beginning and an end. I knew more or less how I wanted it to sound: Not too advanced, but not too retro or old-school either. So I knew the vibe I wanted. But I didn’t know how to fill the album up with music! [Laughs] That was the hard part—actually doing the music.Time Out New York: I imagine that’s usually the case.John Talabot: Yeah, but sometimes there are albums where the producer starts with three really good tracks, and then he can kind of fill in the rest. And that can work. But in my case, I didn’t want any song on the album to be more important than any other song. It was kind of like building a puzzle, trying to balance the music and trying to balance the track list. I didn’t want to make it too uplifting, but not too chilled out, either. I hope that’s how it came out!Time Out New York: ƒIN does all flow as a unified entity, but it definitely does have specific moments that stand out. I particularly like the tracks that feature Pional on vocals.John Talabot: We had released some of his first tracks on our label [Hivern Discs], and I felt really comfortable working with him. We complement each other really well. There are two tunes on the album that we actually produced together. One we made completely together in the studio; the other was more of a process, like going to Madrid, where he lives, and recording some stuff, then coming back to my studio in Barcelona and working some more. I feel really good working with him. He gives me something I don’t have, and I think I might give him something he doesn’t have.Time Out New York: What are those somethings, exactly?John Talabot: That’s really hard to say. But the music that comes out when where we are together… I feel it is quite special.Time Out New York: It is. Is he gong to be with you when bring your live show to Le Poisson Rouge?John Talabot: Yes, he will.Time Out New York: What is your live show all about? It’s more than you standing behind a laptop, right?John Talabot: No, we have a lot of stuff! Synthesizers, sequencers, percussion, lots of mikes on the stage… We are basically trying to upgrade the sounds on the album. I mean, there are only two of us onstage, but it has a really live feeling. One thing that I really wanted to do is to make it so I would have fun onstage, so I really didn’t have to be behind a computer, pressing buttons. Of course, we have prerecorded stuff; we can’t do everything on our own. But we try to play as much as we can live. Time Out New York: Performing live is fairly new for you, right?John Talabot: Yeah, it’s really new. We’ve only done it like six or seven times so far.Time Out New York: No major disasters yet?John Talabot: More or less, it’s been working. [Laughs] We are learning. Neither of us had ever been in a band before, so this is all new. But you know with a normal rock band, where you have a guitarist, a drummer and a bassist? When you are in a band like that and you rehearse enough, you know it will work. But with live electronic shows, you have to think about how to bring your productions to life on the stage in a different way. You need to think about what gear you will bring, who is going to be in charge of what…all that kind of thing. There are no real rules for electronic music when you do it live, so you have to create your own rules. It’s quite exciting to create it and to build it up. And now that we’re doing it, we’re always thinking about what more we can do, what’s a little bit too much, or whatever. At the moment, we’re still experimenting and trying to make it better, but I’m quite happy with the first results. As long as we can do sound checks, we have the confidence that it will come out somewhat correctly.Time Out New York: But even if it doesn’t come out totally right, that’s okay. The mistakes are sometimes the most exciting parts.John Talabot: Yeah, and I’m totally up for mistakes! I like mistakes. But I don’t want it to look like we haven’t rehearsed, or that we are some kind of newcomers. We do want it to have a professional vibe. [Laughs]Time Out New York: There’s one thing I’ve always wondered: Why the name John Talabot? I know you have earlier work out under the moniker D.A.R.Y.L.; is John Talabot simply to differentiate your current work from your older material?John Talabot: Actually, John Talabot was the name of the school that I went to. The name was originally a kind of joke between friends, like me just telling them that I think it would be fun to do some tracks under that name. But I never really planned to release anything under that name; it was going to be more just for having fun. There never was a commercial thought behind it or anything. When everything started happening, I was like, Wow, I can’t believe this John Talabot thing is actually going forward! It was very strange.Time Out New York: Didn’t you originally press something like only 200 copies of “Sunshine” when it first came out?John Talabot: The only reason I pressed even that much was because some friends wanted to have it on vinyl so they could play it. We didn’t have a distributor; we just sent it around to people. It was a very do-it-yourself kind of thing.Time Out New York: It must have been a bit surprising when people started saying that “Sunshine” was the best house track in years. Pitchfork rather famously gave it an 8.5 and named it a “best new track,” for instance.John Talabot: I couldn’t even understand it, actually. Like, how did the record even make it to Pitchfork? At the same time, of course, I was really relieved. Not because they like it so much; it was more that there are people trying to find new music that they like, and who are willing to promote it without being given anything in exchange. I was quite surprised, and I am thankful. They really put me on the map.Time Out New York: I think people, at least some people, are always happy to find music that doesn’t sound like everything else.John Talabot: I was thinking about that, too. It’s important for small bands and producers to have people like that.Time Out New York: After “Sunshine,” I don’t think you had much trouble getting your music heard.John Talabot: Totally not, and I’m quite happy with that. I’m very fortunate to have been put into this situation.Time Out New York: Does the name ƒIN have any significance?John Talabot: It really doesn’t. I just wanted a really solid word that describes the moment when you close your computer and say, “Okay, that’s the end.” This album was quite hard for me; I didn’t have a studio and had to work from home, and I wasn’t very comfortable working from home. I spent many hours working on it and it was a little bit frustrating. At some point I just needed to stop working on the album and go with the songs I had. So that’s why I used that word, like, Okay, that is it. I don’t have to do any more work on this. That was a good feeling.Fixed: John Talabot is at Le Poisson Rouge on September 27. You might also likeInterview and DJ mix: Jus-EdDJ mix: Axel BomanPhotos: The final Warm Up of 2012 Interview and DJ mix: Jus-Ed Jus-Ed, the veteran deep-tech DJ, producer and head of the Underground Quality label (real name: Edward McKeithen) joins the Discovery bash for its third-anniversary party on Saturday, September 8. Time Out New York: You recently turned 50. You’ve been deejaying most of your adult life, right?Jus-Ed: I’ve been spinning records since I was ten. My first audience was aunts and uncles and friends of my mother’s, a very long time ago.Time Out New York: This wasn’t with two turntables and a mixer, I assume.Jus-Ed: No, they had just come out with those long 45 adapters that would slide over the 33 spindle, so all I was really doing was selecting. You could stack ten or twenty 45s at a time.Time Out New York: So you’ve been deejaying for 40 years—but it seems like it wasn’t until the mid-’00s that you really found your groove. Do you feel that way as well?Jus-Ed: There was a time in the ’80s when I was starting to feel that way, but I was consumed by drugs and alcohol. More recently, I would say it was about 2004 when it felt like it was happening again, and I really started feeling accepted as a DJ around 2007. But actually, it didn’t dawn on me that it was a gift to be able to entertain on that level until maybe three years ago.  Time Out New York: It was around 2007 that I randomly went to Secretsundaze in London, and you were standing there behind the decks as the party’s star DJ. I think that’s when you were first starting to play events of that level, and you seemed extremely happy to be there.Jus-Ed: Jus-Ed: Oh, yeah. I was. It was like, I have arrived. It was a big deal. More recently, I was having dinner with Chez Damier last year in Cologne, and he made a statement that really opened my eyes. He said, “You are at the highest level a DJ can be. You are international. It doesn’t matter what rank you come in the polls; you’re at the highest level of your craft.” I felt that, but it didn’t really sink in until he said that to me. It clicked, like, Oh yeah, I’m at the elite status of this trade! Time Out New York: Chez was right. Your music probably isn’t commercial enough for you to ever top DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs rankings, but people love your music and they love your deejaying. That must be very satisfying after so many years.I’m not a soulful-house DJ, I’m not a techno DJ.… I’m not from any specific genre. I just play underground music. So I realized that my approach to this had to be very old-school: establish a following. Just work hard at doing that, and hope that it grows. And it has, and that is satisfying.Time Out New York: What do you attribute that growth to?Jus-Ed: [Laughs] Well, I think I’m as popular for my personality as I am for my music!Time Out New York: I don’t know about that, but it certainly helps that you’re a likable guy.Jus-Ed: Yeah!Time Out New York: You were talking about your sound before. I would say that it’s a a variation of deep house, a very refined sort of electronic deep house. Did you consciously work to develop that sound, or did it kind of come to you over the years?Jus-Ed: Jenifa [Ed’s wife, DJ-producer Jenifa Mayanja] gave me some good advice. She said, “You have to find your own voice.” There are DJs with who you know what to expect or not to expect; they always come with a certain message. The guys before me—Tony Humphries, Frankie Knuckles, Timmy Regisford—those guys are always telling a story, if you’re listening. They way they use vocals and blend melodies and build energy is all to tell a story. In the beginning, my music just didn’t fit in with what was going on; you can tell by listening to some of my older mixes. So I worked on my style, and also started integrating my own music and Underground Quality music. Of course, that was a bit of a marketing ploy; I was told if I don’t play my music, nobody else will Time Out New York: How do you describe your sound?Jus-Ed: The best description of my style of music that I’ve heard was from the 313 forum. The writer said, “DJ Jus-Ed’s music is a straight line down the middle between house music and techno.”Time Out New York: Your music definitely is in that in-between area. I know a lot of soulful-house fans who think of you as techno, and a lot of techno people who think of you as house.Jus-Ed: Yeah, I am most definitely in the middle.Time Out New York: I was looking at the Underground Quality discography the other day, and besides a ton of your own music, the label’s put out a lot of material from some great like-minded producers DJ Qu, Anton Zap, Steffi, Move D, Levon Vincent, Nina Kraviz and Fred P have all showed up at one time or another. How do you decide who gets to be on Underground Quality?Jus-Ed: When I started, what I was looking for was people who had been basically chewed up and spit out by the industry, but not so much that they stopped making music. That way, most of the people I’m dealing with are very particular about what they do and who they deal with, because they’ve been taken advantage of in the past. To me, that makes for a trustworthy relationship, because they’ve already tasted betrayal. They live and die on their word and their handshake.Time Out New York: That’s what you’re looking for on a personal level, but how about on a musical level? Obviously, if someone is a totally cool person but is making music that isn’t complementary to the label, you wouldn’t put it out.Jus-Ed: Oh, that’s just personal taste. Without sounding like some kind of authority, I think I have good taste in music. I’m not limited to just 4/4 beats. I was raised in an environment where there was classical, folk, rock, jazz and all kinds of music, and we had to learn to understand it. That’s how my kids are growing up, too. And if there’s dead silence, then I’ll start making music—or else the kids will start tapping out beats. It’s the way I was raised. As far as what ends up on the label, it’s an organic process; there’s no formula as to how it happens. If the vibe is right, I’m inspired, and then I’ll take the time to get to know the producer to see if it will work. Time Out New York: Have it ever not worked?Jus-Ed: Well, I’ve actually turned down tons of dope music! What I’m concerned with is a person’s work ethic, whether they’re straightforward…that kind of thing. And sometimes, even when I do decide to work with someone, it can be tough. Like Steffi—when I released her record, the Reasons EP, it was a struggle, mainly because she knew a lot more about the industry than I did. I kind of got offended when she started asking me about rates, percentages, and this and that. I didn’t know about that stuff; I was like, “Look, motherfucker, I just want to put out the goddamn record!” [Laughs] I got embarrassed, and finally had to tell her that I didn’t understand what she was asking me, and asked her to explain it. But I’ve known her for years. She was the first person I met when I played Panorama Bar; she was in the van that picked me up. She knew about the label and was playing my stuff long before we met. Time Out New York: I imagine that’s true with a lot of the European DJs that you were meeting around that time.Jus-Ed: Yeah, like Move D; he had been supporting the label for a long time before I knew him. He had been playing UQ vinyl all around the world. When we finally met, through the Internet, it was kind of rocky. But after we met personally—I actually spent some time in Heidelberg as his guest, and did a party out there with him—I fell in love with him. He’s one of my favorite artists to deejay with. Him, Lawrence and Qu—when I play with any of them, it’s easy money. It’s a pleasure. I don’t have to worry about ego, and I don’t have to start thinking things like, Wait, did he play more records than me? It’s very relaxed playing with them.Time Out New York: You’ve recently started the EDJ label with Jenifa. How much to you two feed off each other, musically speaking?Jus-Ed: You have to understand that you have two very passionate, intelligent people who are in love with each other. And there are boundaries that you can’t cross, some of which you are aware of and some of which you find out as you go along. But her knowledge, and the words that she says to me, are inspiring. Those words have helped me, over the years, to get into the position I’m in today. She deserves as much credit as I do, because she’s my partner in this.Time Out New York: Is there anything specific that she’s helped you with that you can talk about?Jus-Ed: I was talking to Dan Bell once, and he said, “I just want to tell you how organized and professional you are in running the label. I really applaud you.” This is from Dan Bell—Dan the man! And he’s giving me all these accolades. I think that kind of thing is due to Jenifa. But I finally had to tell him to stop. If he saw my house, he would not make that statement. It’s total chaos around here! Anyway, the funny thing is that when we met, the last thing she wanted was to be around any DJ, or anyone involved in music at all. But my grandfather said I could always talk the panties off a nun!Time Out New York: On a different subject, you’re about to play the Discovery third-anniversary bash. I just exchanged e-mails with Joel [Discovery resident Free Magic], and he was giving you props for putting the Discovery party and label on the map.Jus-Ed: Oh, that’s so kind of him. I had played one of their parties at Santos, and we recorded it and stuck it online; it’s still there somewhere, I think. It was a great night and I had a great time. And I really like them; they’re very accommodating and very professional. They told me they were making some music, so I told them to pass it along and I’ll play it on my radio show, which I think has been a real success. A few artists have picked up record deals by having their tracks played, and a whole lot have gotten support. So they sent me this track, and though it wasn’t something I would probably play out—it had more of a disco feel to it—I would definitely play it on the show, and I did. And people really liked it, and I think it gave them a certain amount of exposure. And I really dug their second release [Olin & Co. Processing’s Compton EP]; I’ve been playing that one a lot. I also gave them suggestions on how to release, on pressing and stuff like that.Time Out New York: Speaking of pressing, you seem to have a strong commitment to vinyl, both with your label and your deejaying.Jus-Ed: I’m still in shape, and I can still carry records around, so why not? Actually, that’s not quite true—I have a trolley, so they’re on wheels.Time Out New York: You probably remember before those wheeled record trolleys even existed.Jus-Ed: Oh, sure. Some people still don’t use them. They use milk crates! The first time Omar-S came and played with me, in 2006, he drove from Detroit with a record crate, a real old-school kind. Anyway, yes, I play records, I press records and I sell records. It’s all an art. No matter where I play—no matter what country it is—the guys who play with Serato are amazed with what you can do with vinyl. I’ll be playing and they’ll be staring at me. I’ll ask them, “Why aren’t you out there dancing?” They’re like, “We’re watching you! We’ve never seen this before!” They’re amazed that a lot of stuff you can do digitally, you can also do with vinyl—offset the beat, cut, edit, phase, all that stuff. They’re like, “I didn’t know you could do that!” Of course, I play a few CDs; I can’t afford to make a dubplate every time I make a new track.Time Out New York: So you have had to learn how to use a CDJ.Jus-Ed: Yeah, and I started on a Gemini CDJ-10. You talk about wild pitch—oh, my God!Time Out New York: What’s next in the world of Jus-Ed?Jus-Ed: Well, I have a new album.…Time Out New York: Wow, I didn’t know about that!Jus-Ed: Yeah! I just found out today that it’s gonna be with Juno in the next couple of days. I don’t even have it on my website yet. It’s called DJ Jus-Ed: 50ty and Lookin Good! Ha! And even if you don’t like the music, the artwork is amazing.Discovery Three-Year Anniversary: Jus-Ed + Tim Sweeney + Mike Servito is at Glasslands Gallery Saturday, September 8.

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Interview: Kim Ann Foxman, on her own

With a new record and a burgeoning DJ career, the erstwhile Hercules and Love Affair member Kim Ann Foxman hits her stride. A longtime friend of bandleader Andy Butler, Kim Ann Foxman is best known as one of the vocalists from synth-disco combo Hercules and Love Affair. But she’s always had an active career of her own, spinning hot house sets at parties in NYC and around the world. A fine new Foxman release, the Return It EP, comes out later this month on the U.K.’s Needwant label; she’ll be celebrating with a deck set at Le Bain on Friday, October 12.There’s a chapter of your life story that really fascinates me: your 1991 rein as Miss Teen Filipina Hawaii. What was that all about?Oh, that was traumatizing when it happened! But now I can laugh about it. It was never my goal to win, but I accidently did win.Weren’t you already a bit of a tomboy by the time you were a teen?I was extremely a tomboy; that’s why my mom was trying to make me go the opposite way. It was actually my aunt’s idea, but my mom really got hooked on it. I can remember crying because I didn’t want to wear the lipstick—or the evening gown!Getting a bit more current, I think the first time I really started to become familiar with you was when you were doing the Mad Clams parties at the Hole.Oh yeah, they were a lot of fun. That was from 2003 to 2005.Was that your introduction to deejaying in New York City?Yeah. I was living in San Francisco before I came to New York, but I wasn’t deejaying or throwing parties. I was mainly bartending and going to raves and stuff. I was in a two-man electronic band, and we played out a bit. Then I came to New York, was looking for a job, and ran into a friend who said, “Actually, there might be a night open at the Hole, and you can bartend—but you have to throw a party, too. It would start in two weeks.” I was like, “Oh yeah, I’ll do it.” I wasn’t looking to throw a party or anything; it just kind of happened. And that was Mad Clams.Andy Butler was deejaying with you at those parties, right?Exactly, yeah. We would make these theme songs for the party, and then me and a bunch of my friends from that scene would make these weird exercise videos for the party, too. There was a fun one called “Exercise Your Clam.” [Laughs] And people started giving me all these wild exercise videos, too, like from La Toya Jackson and Estelle Getty. It was a fun time.When Hercules and Love Affair first started getting big, I can remember reading an article that was making the point that everyone involved came into the project in an unplanned, organic sort of way. Did it feel like to you at the time?Well, I had been with Andy for a long time as a friend, but I never thought I would be on any album or anything. I thought we would just make some stuff, we’d go out and DJ around. I never really had the intention that this would turn into something;so yeah, I guess it was pretty organic and natural. But then all of a sudden, it just spun out of control! It became really crazy, really fast. There was so much hype. I mean, once I knew the album was coming out, I thought it would be received well. But I didn’t even know I was going to be on it! It was a real whirlwind after that.I can’t even imagine. It must have been mind-blowing, exciting and weird at the same time.That is all of the things that it was! But I survived.And now you are done with Hercules and Love Affair, right?Yeah. There’s a whole new lineup now, and now I’m doing my own thing.Among your own things, deejaying seems to be a big one. It seems like you are playing a lot nowadays—not just here, but all over the world.Yeah, that’s true—I’m really traveling a lot. The band definitely gave me a platform to play more internationally. I had been playing around a little bit—I had played some gigs in London and Paris before everything happened—but I definitely wouldn’t have gotten as much attention if it weren’t for that. So I am really grateful. Also, it’s helpful that I actually know how to deejay. [Laughs] As I’m sure you know, there are a lot of people from bands, or personality DJs, who don’t really know how to deejay. And people expected that of me at first, too, so they were surprised in a good way when they would hear me. You still use records, right?I do, but I do travel less with them nowadays. I don’t use a computer, though; if I’m traveling, it’s usually with CDs. They’re so easy. And you know what’s really fun? Those USB sticks. It’s really funny to show up to a gig, have somebody ask,“Where’s your stuff?” and just pull this little thing out of your pocket.Besides the deejaying, you seem to be moving more and more into production. Your last one, “Creature,” was a great song, but this latest one, Return It, is really great.Thanks! It’s fully written and produced by myself, which is really exciting. But I’m really interested in collaborating with other people. I’m working on a solo album, and that’ll have lots of people on it. I’m also working on some kind of side project, but I don’t have a name for it. It’s not going to be super different just a little more singsongy.The new EP’s title track features a lot of your vocals as well; it’s a very sweet track. And the flip side, “Hypnotic Dance,” has a bit of an old-school jacking vibe to it. It seems to me that you are very good at combining those two sounds. True! Good descriptions.Oh good, I got one right! Do you have to work at that sound, or is it simply an expression of your personality?I’m sweet and jacking. [Laughs] I don’t know—I think different people just have different sounds. Ever since I’ve been in the electronic world, I’ve been into the jacking stuff, and the sweet stuff, too. And when I’m deejaying, I just play what I like to hear. I’m just trying to keep it personal, you know?Kim Ann Foxman plays Le Bain on Friday, October 12; Return It (Needwant) is out October 22. 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