The Venezuelan duo sending the dancefloors absolutely Caracas
Sergio, Israel…welcome to DMCWORLD towers. A brilliant new album coming out in September on Crosstown Rebels ‘Mind Over Matter’, how long has this long player taken to create?
“Hi, thanks for the compliment! This is our debut album, it took us over 8 months to put it all together. When we first started to work on it we knew where we wanted to go. We started everything from scratch to make a complete story and journey.”
Can you talk us through the album. There are some great collabs on there…
“The album has collabs from singers that we really wanted to have on board. It has the balance between the female voices of Cari Golden, Mel Blatt and Rap Lisa; which really brings a deep sexy touch. On the other side we have Argenis Brito, Big Bully and Stee Downes, who lend vocals to the more dancefloor tracks. Elsewhere there are tracks that focus on melody, synth patterns, fx, exploring different tempos and beats. For us it’s a whole journey, full of emotions and rich in lyrics and melodies.”
What are your personal highlights on the release…?
“Every track is special for us, and each one has an intention and emotion printed on it. We will have to wait for its release, and see which are the people favourites.”
Tell us how the whole connection with Damian Lazarus happened 8 months ago?
“We just send him an email with some tracks. The day after, we checked our inbox and he was really interested in the project. We started talking and developing the whole concept, and the rest is history.”
You met in your home town Caracas in 2004 but it wasn’t until Barcelona six years later that you decided to join forces. Why did it take such a long time?
“We’ve been friends for more than 7 years, often DJing together but we never had a fixed plan to start a production project back then. In 2010, we were both pursuing solo production, crafting our individual ideas so we were more or less on the same path and it turns out our musical visions have similar leanings. It felt natural to take the next step and start working together. Our shared musical base, styles and taste feed into the project.”
You grew up amidst a musical heaven. So many sexy sounds filling the streets. Who would you say were your early musical influences…?
“There are so many. But we have to say Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Barry White, Isley Brothers, Gloria Gaynor, Depeche Mode, Petshop Boys, to name a few. Aside from them we always mention our Latin Roots. Both being born and raised in Caracas, we have always heard stuff from Ruben Blades, Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe. So our influence its a mixture of Funk, Disco, Soul, Salsa, Electronic Music, R&B.”
Israel, you used to bring some huge DJs into Caracas before all the political troubles, who were the major players you brought into town?
“I brought many DJs to Venezuela from around 1999, starting with Mauro Picotto. In that time it was relatively straight forward to bring DJs and produce a party in Venezuela, and was like this up until 2002 when things became kind of difficult. However I kept bringing artists out but for smaller clubs or private things. Nowadays it’s the same situation and many promoters that bring DJs to Venezuela do it the same way. For me, Jamie Jones, Audiofly, A.R.P.I.A.R and Mathias Tanzman were among the favorites I brought to town.”
I understand that there is a very good underground scene in your home city, a lot of secret parties with great music?
“Yeah it happens all the time. DJs like Loco Dice, Luciano, Dubfire, Marco Carola, Richie Hawtin and Magda have played in our country at the big parties and also in smaller private ones. There are constantly DJs visiting our country, especially Caracas, but you do kind of have to be in the know to catch them. On the other side of the spectrum, you see mainstream events with David Guetta or Tiesto. So the parties cater for all music tastes.”
What has been the biggest DJ event Caracas has ever seen?
“Most of the superstar DJs have visited our country such as Paul Van Dyk, Tiesto, Ferry Corsten, David Guetta, Deep Dish, Dubfire, Sasha, Marco Carola, Masters at Work, Erick Morillo, Sandy Rivera, Richie Hawtin… and we could go on. But for us a memorable event was the Smirnoff Experience 2003. Many DJs from around the world with many stages, big production and a capacity of more than 4000 people. Also the Habitat parties with Sasha and Masters at Work, stand out as pretty unforgettable.”
What is the current top 10 you are spinning?
1- Fur Coat- Going Nowhere ft. Stee Downes
2- Catz N Dogz- They Frontin ft. Monty Luke
3-Jonny Cruz ft. Cali Lanauze- Sex Robot (Fur Coat Remix)
4- Hunter / Game- Don´t Feel The Presence
5- Mark Henning- Trojan
6- Hot Natured ft. Ali Love & Kenny Glasgow- Assimilation
7- Makam- Sensations
8- Einzelkind- Blues for yours (Roman Fluegel Remix)
9- Climbers- 2 Come Back (Fur Coat Remix)
10- Art Department & Konrad Black- Graveyard Tan (Version 2)
What is your production process, what programmes and techniques do you use in your studio collaborations?
“Our production process is to start from scratch always. We start with a bassline and a synth melody, something that we think it can form the main structure of the track. After that we build up the beats, and add more synths.Then we think about vocals, whether they are needed or we can apply our own. Then we start building up the track with the finer details. Finally we see what can be adapted or re-arranged to work better. We always finish 100% satisfied with the complete version. We both use Ableton and many plug ins VST. Now I (Sergio) have bought the Maschine, which is our latest addition to the studio. I have a studio in my home and Israel has his own. Sometimes I go to Israel’s place with an idea and vice versa. Otherwise, we just get into the studio fresh and start grooving, and when something clicks we take it from there.”
Who brings what to the studio, in other words, who is great at what?
“There are really no rules as to who brings what. It really depends on our mood. If Israel comes in with a bassline, i can start building a synth on top of that, then we work on the beats, the details and maybe work together on a new bassline or melody. We always have ideas floating around, sometimes we just put them on the table and start building them up. We like to take our time on the tracks. We would find it impossible to make 10 tracks in a month. We love detailing, road testing the track and creating alternative versions in case we can improve it.”
Sergio, your Delete project opened up many doors and allowed you to travel the world. What clubs and cities are highlights for you?
“Yeah my Delete project really opened doors. I was on board with Bullitt Bookings and Ali Dubfire’s label (Sci Tec). Over the the last few years I focused to release my tracks on good friend Philipp Jung’s (of M.A.N.D.Y) Get Physical label. We have had a really good relationship from when I first sent them some tracks, to meeting him a few times in Caracas, WMC and in some other parts of the world. I had the opportunity to play in many clubs around the world – Space, Treehouse & Electric Pickle (Miami), Footwork (Toronto), Kecel Fest (Budapest), Cirque Bonheur (Paris), Verboten Parties (New York), Trouw (Amsterdamn) to name a few. This also led me to meet many great DJs. All my travels allowed my production style to mature and also led me to the Fur Coat project. I think as an artist I’m always evolving and involved in things that help me stay¨True to myself¨. For me my solo career was really the step to continue doing music as i got some support from big DJs in the industry. This was the fuel that led me to find my path, my sound and make music more than a hobby but a way of life.”
Will the Delete project continue to run parallel to Fur Coat?
“Yes, i will continue with Delete. I have taken time out to focus on Fur Coat, work on the singles, then the album, remixes and more. I’m not sure you’ll be seeing new stuff from Delete when I have time away from Fur Coat projects. Delete is another form of expression for me, but it goes hand in hand with Fur Coat at the same time. One is not more important than the other, it’s just about finding the right balance and fulfilling what makes me creatively happy.”
You are coming to the end of a massive European tour culminating at City Beach in Basel at the weekend. Tell us about some of the highlights from these last 6 weeks?…
“It’s been a wonderful summer for us, we haven´t really stopped this year since Miami WMC. One of the highlights of this summer was playing at DC-10 for Jamie Jones’ party, Paradise. What a great club, soundsystem, crowd and DJs on board that night. For us it’s a dream come true to be playing there, and being part of this wonderful party. Another highlight was playing at Secret Garden Festival UK at the Pagoda. What an experience, we really didn’t know what to expect but you really have to see it to believe it – such a magical vibe, emotional, connected to the nature, all the crew there, what more could we ask for? We always have fun wherever we go. Every night brings more special moments, crowds and vibes.”
What are the plans for the rest of 2012?
“Now we are heading to America, we have 2 months of gigs there. To name a few we will be playing in Backyard Project (Perú), Santanera (Playa del Carmen, Mexico), Treehouse (Miami), EDC (Puerto Rico), Spy Bar (Chicago), Get Lost (Los Angeles), Rebel Rave (New York City), Mexico (Guadalajara, Mexico City and Mexicali)… and many other shows. After that we come back to Europe to get back on the road kicking it off in Sankeys (Manchester), Showcase (Paris), ADE (Amsterdam)… This is all part of the ‘Mind Over Matter’ tour. Gigs keep coming up, so I guess we will be pretty much touring constantly, in between producing new stuff, remixes etc. On the release front besides the album (out September 17th on Crossstown Rebels), we have a remix for Jonny Cruz on My Favorite Robot, the remixes of our album on Crosstown Rebels, and some surprises to be revealed.”
What was the record that changed your life?
Sergio: “Kool and the Gang – Summer Madness”
Israel: “Sugarhill Gang – Rapper´s Delight”
It’s your birthday. What 1 artist do you ask to sing you happy birthday, and what 3 DJs do you ask to come and play for you, money no object!
Sergio: “I would have to say George Benson.”
Israel: “I will go for Amy Winehouse.”
“And as for DJs, for our party we agreed on the same! We will go for Ricardo Villalobos, Damian Lazarus and DJ Harvey.”
‘Fur Coat ‘Mind Over Matter’ is out on Crosstown Rebels 17th September (www.crosstownrebels.com)