hot tech-house duo with recent remixes for the likes of Pete Tong and Cajmere
Tech-house had a bit of a moment in the last couple of weeks, with the 20th birthday of London club Wiggle, where the genre was born, the catalyst for copious state-of-the-nation coverage on the genre's history and growth. Of course, the genre's marriage of techno's rough-edged percussive elements and house's grooving melodies and basslines has been having a more elongated and general “moment” for several years now, with one of its foremost proponents being American/Swedish pair Pleasurekraft. Comprised of Vienna-based Washington, D.C. native Kaveh Soroush and Stockholm resident Kalle Ronngardh, Pleasurekraft have in a few short years risen from being a web-based production partnership sending WAV files back and forth across the Atlantic to releasing Beatport best-seller club hits, running their own label and turning in remixes for the likes of Cajmere, Booka Shade and Pete Tong.
As Soroush explains on the phone from Vienna, the big break that took them to this exalted position actually came in two stages. “The first thing was when Pete Tong played our remix of Rossell's “Dancing With Strangers”, which was such a huge boost on a personal level,” he explains. “Then in 2010 we put out our track “Tarantula”, which really blew the doors wide open.” That track's ubiquity means you're likely to be familiar with its distinctive, distorted vocal hook, even if you don't know the name of the track or of its creators. The pair haven't looked back, with those big-hitting remixes, their label Kraftek and a packed international touring schedule taking up much of the time since. Though Pleasurekraft are a duo when it comes to production, Soroush undertakes all of their DJ gigs on his own, and, as a resident of Vienna, this has meant getting to know Switzerland very well indeed.
“I can't believe how much I play in such a tiny-ass country,” he chuckles. “My favourite Swiss club is probably KUGL in St Gallen, but I've played and had a great time at Tunnel before, and I've heard really good things about D Club too. I think the promoters at these clubs know what's up, which is really important. We did a track really early on called “Carny” that was really a pop song disguised as a club track, and is really not representative of what we are about these days at all. There are certain promoters in Switzerland, though, who still seem convinced that that sort of quite commercial sound is what they'll get if they book Pleasurekraft, and I feel like I'm fighting a constant batlle against them. I would actually erase “Carny” from our discography if I could, and I've deleted it from my laptop, so there's no point in people requesting it at out gigs,” he laughs.
A far better guide to what to expect from Soroush as a DJ are names such as Stacey Pullen, Nic Fanciulli and Carl Cox, who he lists as his three favourite DJs, with Fanciulli occupying a particularly central place in his heart. “Nic is my idol,” he admits. “Lots of people love DJs who can play for four or six hours and make it like one continuous, circular sound, and that's fine, but personally I want peaks and valleys in a DJ set - for it to be a full-on journey. Those guys, and Nic in particular, are great at that, and they epitomise what I ultimately strive to be as a DJ.”