(photo by Eva Maria)
Verboten Presents Rejected vs Saved @ Good Units, Midtown Manhattan: A longtime partner to Joris both behind the mixing board as Rejected the act and behind the balance sheets handling Rejected the label, the lanky Dutch DJ/Producer is now ready to flesh out his solo career. Introducing: Edwin Oosterwal.
TTL: So, how are you doing?
E: I’m good. I just finished playing, I just came from Miami, very nice weather, all relaxed, so yeah.
TTL: Seriously, though, on a scale of 1 to 10, how tired are you?
E: [Laughs] That’s a good one. I think this is my fourth party in a row, so I’m pretty tired. But it’s good, you know? It’s good energy just seeing all the DJs playing records. I don’t feel tired at all– I should feel tired, but I don’t feel tired… I arrived [in Miami on Tuesday] the 22nd and I went to the Saved party at Set. Then Joris and I had our [Rejected] party at Set on Wednesday, and yesterday I went to the Ovum party with Josh Wink and Steve Bug, and now here I am, so, yeah, four parties in a row. I’m staying in New York for one more day, and I’m flying back to Amsterdam on Sunday.
TTL: You were telling me before that Joris was in a difficult situation with his flight to this party. [Editor’s Note: Joris Voorn, the headliner of the night, was probably still in the air at the time of the interview. The interview started at about 1:50 AM; his delayed flight was scheduled to land at 2:30AM]
E: On Wednesday night, there was a big fire at Miami International Airport… and they’re having problems getting fuel to the planes. I was on a Delta flight, which was fine, but Joris was on an American Airlines flight. He was on the plane, waiting for the fuel, and I think he’s actually flying right now, he’s supposed to land in about half an hour, so he said he’s going to jump into a cab and come straight to the club.
TTL: It seems like you are releasing more solo work than before. How’s that been for you?
E: It’s been really good. Joris and I started making music together as Rejected, but Rejected is on the back burner right now. We wanted to focus more on our solo careers. We’re still doing the labels, but Rejected the act is on the back burner. It’s good to work on your own.
TTL: So should we expect more things from Edwin?
E: Yes, hopefully! It’s just alot of work, and I’m trying to get as much studio time as possible, and I definitely want to release more music.
The Bowery Presents Dirty Vegas @ The Mercury Lounge. Grammy Award winners with their debut break out hit Days Go By, Dirty Vegas is back with their new album Electric Love on Om Records. Here to spend a quick five minutes with TTL is Steve Smith, vocalist of Dirty Vegas.
TTL: Hello, I am speaking with Steve Smith from Dirty Vegas, and we are talking about how they came back here into New York. So what are your thoughts on your show tonight?
SS: Well, you know it’s been seven years since the last time we played here on our own show. Just finished, and it’s been amazing, absolutely amazing.
TTL: Absolutely! What brought you guys back together? You guys broke up back in 2005/2006, came back together in 2008. You had your solo careers, you guys were going in your own directions …
SS: Just the love of music, really. You know, we’ve always been friends, and there was always this instinct that we will all make music again. And when the time was right, we decided to do that.
TTL: Definitely. So how do you feel about Electric Love? You guys have this whole new album coming out and [you’re busy] promoting it. You guys just came over from Vancouver and Coachella. How was that?
SS: So far, all the days have been amazing. Calgary was a really memorable one, if I’m honest. You know, we just had a great time there. New York has been fantastic. It’s been great. We feel fresh, we feel like there is this new album to promote. We feel happy with what’s going on.
TTL: Definitely. So I hear you guys are coming back out in Brooklyn on Friday at Public Assembly. Yeah?
TTL: So how do you feel about that set versus this, because this was advertised as a live set [here at Mercury Lounge]? You know, a lot of guitars, drums, and vocals with subtitle synth. Public Assembly is supposed to be a DJ set I hear.
SS: It is, yeah. You know we are DJs, remixers, producers, composers, and songwriters. Tonight was our live show, promoting the new songs from our new album, and Brooklyn will be a DJ performance. We’ll play music what we’re fans of, like some of our DJ friends and producer friends, we’ll make tracks that we are into. And we’ll also play exclusive and emergent remixes of our own songs.
TTL: Yes! Halfway through your set tonight, actually, you guys played a ridiculous mash up between Days Go By [Dirty Vegas], Sweet Dreams [Eurythimics], and Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger [Daft Punk]. Care to remind us about that? And what inspired you to throw three of these songs together? It just seemed to bring a whole crowd out of a lull and really start to dance.
SS: We like to change it up. We like to do something interesting, whether that is every night, every week, or what ever we’re doing now. It’s something we wanted to do, we performed it tonight and the crowd loved it.
TTL: They definitely loved it. On my part, I loved it! It was exciting. It was an amazing way to carry a crowd. So where to after this? You are going to DC after New York I hear, right?
SS: Tomorrow [Thursday] actually.
TTL: Then where to?
SS: Then back up to Brooklyn, then we fly out to El Paso on Saturday.
TTL: Are you ready for all this?
SS: We love it! It’s what we do.
Electric Love is available for download at Beatport, iTunes and directly from Dirty Vegas. Be sure to grab a copy and listen to a revitalized Dirty Vegas
Verboten Presents Kate Simko @ Hudson Bar & Terrace was a great event that we at TTL enjoyed so much, we had to have some questions answered. While Kate is out on the road promoting her new solo release, we were lucky enough to exchange some electronic Q&A’s and get a bit of a glimpse of soul behind the music.
TTL: Hello, Kate! Let’s start with helping our readers to get to know you. Where did you grow up? Was music a strong presence at home?
KS: Hello! :) I grew up in Chicago. And yes, music was a strong presence at home. My father was passionate about classical music and was always listening to music in the car. Not just background music, but specific pieces by specific composers and classical performers. It helped me learn how to listen to music from a young age (because he’d tell us “shhhhhh listen!”).
TTL: You studied piano and music theory as a child. Does that still carry some influence in how you hear and produce your tracks?
KS: Yes, for sure. I always write my songs in a certain key and base everything around that, so it’s kind of the backbone of each track.
TTL: Then you have spent some time as a college radio DJ. Do you remember your first time slot? Did you have a co-DJ or co-producer?
KS: Radio was my first intro to DJ’ing. I was a student at Northwestern, so the show was on the student radio station, WNUR. It’s a pretty famous station, a number of very high profile house, techno, and hip-hop DJ’s have had shows or set foot in the studio. First, I sat in on another student’s show, then I graduated to having my own show, every Friday night from 9:30-11pm. It was a great time slot because a lot of people were at home getting ready to go out on Friday night, or in the car driving. Having a weekly radio show is was the impetus to start buying vinyl too. I’d eat ramen for dinner and save my cash for records.
TTL: How did you transition into making and producing techno? What pulled you into techno from the classical music you originally studied?
KS: House and techno started pulling at my heartstrings in high school, when I was going to underground parties every weekend. My favorite DJ’s back then were Derrick May, Jeff Mills, Claude Young, Traxx, and zll of the Chicago house DJ’s, of course. But hearing IDM music for the first time is what sealed the deal. I had no idea electronic listening music existed until I moved to Miami for college (for a program in classical music studies). This music blew my mind, and I started to question what I was doing playing music from a couple hundred years ago on the piano 4-5 hours a day in the Miami practice rooms. I realized that I’d be much happier making my own new music (although I had no idea how to make it happen), so I packed my bags and started on a new path. It was really like starting over.
TTL: While your music possess your hometown Chicago vibe, you lived in Chile after college. What prompted you to move there?
KS: I moved to Santiago, Chile for a study abroad program in music. While things were great at the university with my radio show and music studies, I started to feel antsy and wanted a change. I chose Chile because I wanted to better my Spanish and the country was a bit more integrated into the electronic music world 2001 compared to the rest of South America.
Follow through the break to read about Santiago, her collaborations, return to Chicago and her debut album.
On June 14, 2011 5K, a.k.a. Sander Kleinenberg, drops his long-awaited and self-titled debut album 5K. We sat down and spoke with Sander before his set at Pacha NYC to get his take on the album, his inspirations, and the past, present, and future of DJing.
Ten Ten Life: I heard that you started DJing around 1987. Who inspired you to get into it?
5K: John “Jellybean” Benitez. I was a big fan of Shep Pettibone, François Kevorkian, and a bunch of influences from the late 80’s. I love the whole break movement from New York.
TTL: Do you remember your first track? How long did it take you to produce? How did your friends react to your first productions?
5K: I started producing around 1990. A friend of mine had an MPC 2000, and before I was able to work on it, I had to clean his car and be his bitch really for like two months before he was like “alright, you can have a go at it.” So I definitely paid my dues. The first guy who let me use his studio really worked me like a bitch.
5K: And let’s not forget, in the late 80’s, shit was expensive. Now you can buy a laptop for a couple hundred euros or a couple hundred dollars, and you’re on your way. Back then, it was a real …
5K: Yeah, absolutely. And if you were to find someone with a studio and recording possibilities, that was a real treasure.
TTL: Have there been any big influences over the past 20 years that have gotten you this far? Friends, family, fellow DJs and producers?
5K: Oh absolutely. I owe a lot to a DJ from England called Sasha, who’s a great friend of mine. He’s actually here in Pacha with me tonight. He’s been really inspirational, specifically when it comes to the art of DJing, in terms of trying to take something from A to B. Instead of playing 20 hit records, he really taught me how to slowly build and sculpt a DJ set into a coherent journey. That is still, to me, the true art of DJing. Starting it from somewhere in a comfortable space, in a nice and warm environment, and then slowly taking it into more frantic territories. And that’s what I’m doing. [And let’s not forget] Danny Tenaglia has been a great influence.
Click through the break to read more.