Guest Mixtape & Interview: Noah Gibson

Noah Gibson is a shining star in the dark Swedish underground nightlife. An exquisite selector who’s been expressing his genuine love for electronic music through numerous sweaty hours at warehouses, raves, clubs and now in Pacemaker too. Celebrating the bouncy-banging side of techno, he’s recently released his latest EP ‘A New Hope’ on Marcel Dettmann’s MDR imprint, which marks a new era in Noah’s career. We had a chat about music and inspirations, read on and push play to get gibsonized!

Noah Gibson (Photo: Lo Vahlström)

Please tell us a bit about yourself, who you are, what you do, where you’re coming from.

Since over a decade I have been looking to express myself through electronic music. I’ve been doing this in my hometown of Stockholm, Sweden which has resulted in a members only underground club called The Office, a record label called Krasch Records and another label called Trouble In Paradise (co-run together with Henrik Bergqvist).

I’ve also spent a lot of time and money on and with records…

When and how did you get interested in music?

My childhood friend Gustaf showed me House music once at his mother’s apartment. He’s the one who opened the doors for me.

Do you remember your first revelation when it comes to music?

Walking up the stairs at Berghain and hearing Marcel Dettmann for the first time. This was in August 2008 and also with Gustaf.

You’ve been active in the Stockholm scene for quite a while. How do you think it has changed in the last years?

A lot really. I guess I’ve changed a lot myself so my perspective has also changed, but I think that right now is an interesting time. A lot of clubs have closed their doors and there seem to be some sort of purge going on at the local police station: they are cracking down on members only events and club nights. There are also places opening and staff changes at existing places too.

I think something big is happening and I’m both excited and curious in what that is exactly…

Noah in action (Photo: Henrik Bergqvist)

Selecting great music takes a lot of time and energy – where do you discover music these days when the possibilities are endless and it feels like there’s more and more new music coming each day?

Since the beginning of discovering my own taste in music, I have gathered a list of over 10.000 records from which I go through and purchase from. So when I for instance have a gig coming up, I spend about 100+ euros on records each month and I buy specific records for that gig as well as having boundaries that I follow when deciding on which to buy.

Very few of these records are new to be honest, but I do buy a few new ones from time to time. I also have a very keen eye on the digital side so I purchase a lot of one-off tracks from albums, EP’s and compilations. Stuff that I don’t feel I need the full 12” record of.

Congratulations on your latest EP ‘A New Hope’. Quite a big deal to be releasing on Marcel Dettmann’s own label. How did that come through and how’s the feedback so far?

We have talked about it for a few years and finally we decided now is the time. So as an idea it has been with me and Marcel for a very long time. I am so happy to have completed it and I’ve heard great things about it.

For me I am happy to be able to contribute to Marcel’s label and be a part of his journey. People seem to like it which makes me very happy too.

Who is/are your biggest inspiration(s) at the moment and why?

Marcel Dettmann has been and is the biggest inspiration for me. Every time I get a bit lost in music, I can have a closer look on what he is doing and get inspired. My fiancée Hanna is also one of my biggest inspirations. She is a very solid guide and inspiration in all aspects in my life too.

I am inspired by a lot of sounds and music in general right now as I am producing a lot for the moment. I am working on material for my upcoming record on Krasch as well as a few other things 😉

If you could swap bodies with someone for a weekend, whose skin would you like to sneak in?

I guess this is a music related question, so my answer is Jeff Mills back in the 90’s. I’d like to understand how he managed to produce all this extremely good music in such a short period of time and most importantly: how did he produce the music?

Noah Gibson & Jeff Mills at Trädgården, Stockholm 2012 (Photo: Sima Korenivski)

How do you listen to music most of the time? Do you buy records or do you prefer the digital streaming nowadays?

At home I usually put on a record to listen to but I also use Spotify for general listening. At my day job I listen to a lot of classic stuff from the 80’s as well as EBM, industrial and ambient etc… I have a firm divide between my dj-self and my day-to-day-listening-self… if that makes sense to you?!

If you could take 3 records with you to a deserted island, which ones would they be?

Oh, wow that is a really tough question… I can’t really answer that honestly since I don’t know. I’d be missing one record over another and so on… I guess I am a bit “damaged” from djing, haha.

What’s your favourite place in the world?

I work a full time day job and play a lot of records or make a lot of music during the weekends, so that special moment when I have some time together with my family and close friends; I get reminded of how lucky I am to be able to do what I love and being surrounded by all these great people… that is my favorite place in the world.

I also still love going to Berghain!

What do you do when you’re not making music or DJing?

I am soon to be a father so my total focus is on that right now.

Please tell us a bit about the selection for your first Pacemaker mixtape.

I wanted to experiment with the app and see what I could come up with. The limitations for me was what material I could find on Spotify. My aim was to create a current mix with the app.

 

 

Discover Noah Gibson

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Guest Mixtape & Interview: Dawn Richard

Dawn Richard aka D∆WN is one of the most electrifying phenomena in the independent music scene. Hailing from New Orleans, currently living in Los Angeles, the queen of pop new wave has been releasing some of the most forward-thinking music of our times. When Dawn is not busy breaking pop star narratives, she loves to play around with Pacemaker and drop some kick-ass mixtapes. Read our interview with the fabulous and super inspiring Dawn while you’re listening to her latest selection.

 

Dawn Richard / D∆WN

 

You’ve recently finished your North American Redemption Tour, how did it go?

Everything went well. We curated a stadium show in small venues, it worked out amazing. Each city brought its own flavour!

‘Redemption’ was the final chapter in The Heart Trilogy. How did it feel to close this circle

It felt like taking a large exhale. I did what I said I would do and with no major machinery. I’m proud of that.

What are you working on currently?

I already have a new album on the way as well as some creative and tech business endeavours.

You came a really long way from working with P. Diddy in Danity Kane to collaborating with Machinedrum in your latest releases. How is your audience keeping up with you?

I have an amazing movement that is open to evolution and transformation. It’s who I am as an artist and I’m grateful they rock with me!

Going independent after topping the Billboard is definitely a ballsy move. What do you think, after trying out both sides, are the biggest challenges and benefits of having control over all the aspects of your work?

I like both sides, I appreciate being my own boss though. I like to have creative freedom to not only perform but work in design, animation, tech and film.

Do you have a dream collaboration you would like to make it happen?

Hans Zimmer would be a dream. I’d like to collab on scoring an independent film.

We will also soon be able to see you on the silver screen as the main lead in Jean-Claude La Marre’s ‘Kinky’. How did you end up in this role and how did you enjoy yourself in this new challenge?

I wanted to try something out of my comfort zone. This was an opportunity to do that.

How do you relax when you’re not doing anything music-related?

I’m always working. Always!

You were born in New Orleans and you’re currently living in Los Angeles. Is there anything you miss from home sometimes?

I miss everything about New Orleans. LA and NOLA are two completely different waves. LA is my work home, NOLA is my soul home.

What are your favourite spots in LA?

Love The Broad, The Last Bookstore and Real Food Daily.

How does a regular day of yours look like when you’re not touring?

Designing set designs, animating for my series, djing for my NTS radio show and yoga if I have the time.

How do you discover new music nowadays? Do you buy records or you prefer digital formats and streaming?

I still buy records, I’m in love with the vinyl sound.

Name 3 artists whose sound you really like at the moment.

Afefe Iku, Kaytranada, Sampha.

Tell us a bit about the selection in your latest Pacemaker mixtape ‘NewSchool’.

I wanted to show love to the different females killing the game. Some indie, some major, all needed.

You’ve been playing around quite a bit with Pacemaker. What do you like the most about the  app, what are your favourite features and what would you like to improve?

I love the mixing options! I love that it gives you references on what compliments your picks. I’d love to be able to speed and slow tracks down in the app, really hoping that can be added! 🙂

 

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Guest Mixtape & Interview: Dominique Keegan

Everyone in the NYC clubbing scene is probably familiar with Dominique Keegan’s name. One of the coolest dudes, owner and founder of Plant Music, excellent DJ and curator, Creative Director at Kobalt Music and also co-founder (with Marcus “Shit Robot” Lambkin) of the Plant Bar, one of the loudest clubs from New York’s past nightlife. Dom travelled back to the golden era of this infamous club and mixed up a selection of his favourite tracks dominating the dancefloor. 

Dominique Keegan

You moved to New York from Dublin, Ireland in the 90s. How did you get interested in music as a kid? Do you remember a moment, event or artist that later shaped your music taste?

I started listening to music at the age of 4 and 5. I had a small transistor radio and I used to find AM rock n’ roll stations and dance on my bed. Some of my first loves were The Police, The Beatles and David Bowie. By age 8 or 9 all I would listen to was Bowie.

How was the music scene in Dublin back in the days?

It was always pretty good.  A lot of people played instruments and played in bands and there was a good used vinyl scene, especially this one store called Macs (owned by an old queen called Mac). I discovered a lot of music there. Everything was very acoustic and guitar driven in Dublin in the eighties. When I was very young The Boomtown Rats were the hot Dublin band then U2, who I never liked, and later bands like The Hothouse Flowers and The Waterboys (even though they were Scottish). Van Morrison and Thin Lizzy were always seen as the great Irish artist by most of the people I knew. I got heavily into The Velvet Underground while most people’s lives around me were ruled by The Smiths and The Cure. I also liked synth pop stuff and was a very big New Order fan. When dance music started to hit in the late eighties and the rave scene started it totally revolutionized Dublin nightlife and youth society.

How did you find the NY scene after moving there from Dublin? What would you recall as the biggest difference between them?

When I first moved there in 1994 I actually found the NY music scene a bit behind what was going on in Europe, especially for DJ music and everyone was still stuck in this New York / CBGBs nostalgia and still listening to grunge. It was a bit lame. The hip hop scene was very alive, obviously, but those clubs were not always the most inviting. For me it was an era for learning about music and that is when I started DJing.

In 1998, you’ve founded Plant Music, a 12” label and later you’ve teamed up with club and radio DJ Stretch Armstrong. You’ve been releasing the music of Kasper Bjørke, Ian Pooley and Eli Escobar just to mention a few… The label has slowed down a bit in recent years, what are you currently focusing on when it comes to the curation?

I originally started the label with Marcus Lambkin and then later Stretch became my partner. The label started slowing down when I started working full time as an A&R at Kobalt Music Publishing and Stretch also started to work on his documentary. I still release music on Plant but a lot less often.

Your first Pacemaker mixtape is dedicated to the Plant Bar era that was a vital and defining period in your life. Could you tell us a bit about “the coolest and loudest club in NYC”?

I made the mix after reading ‘Meet Me In The Bathroom’ by Lizzy Goodman. It is an oral history of NYC music scene in the 2000s. It made me nostalgic about that era and all those good times at Plant Bar. It’s was tiny bar in Alphabet City that was open from 1999 to 2004 which was a very fun time in NYC. We used to DJ there and it became an important music hub for people into dance music and other indie leaning music.

Marcus Lambkin (Shit Robot), your fellow Irishman has also been living in New York at the time. He was the one who’s introduced James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem, DFA) to dance music. It sounds like these crazy parties at Plant were quite determining nights.

Yes we had some great parties there. When James started DJing he would come and play with Marcus and I on Fridays at Plant and we called those nights Shit Robot, that’s where Marcus got his artist name (coined by James, of course). They were fun because we would not just play dance music, we would mix it up, classic rock, disco, a little bit of everything. The soundsystem was great too, James designed it for us.

Plant Bar was forced to close in 2003. What was the reason behind this decision?

We were shut down for cabaret law violations (dancing). It’s illegal to dance in a bar in NYC without a cabaret license. The law has existed since 1926 and may soon be repealed.

Currently you’re Senior Creative Director at Kobalt Music in New York. You’ve signed and been working together with an impressive roster of talent including Zhu, Todd Terje, Toro Y Moi, Chromatics, Glass Candy… what do you find the most rewarding part of your job?

Working with great music and great artists and being part of such a future leaning company.  And not having to stay up until 5am every night.

How about the most challenging part?

Not having the time to focus on DJing and creating music but I do feel it’s important to let the next generation make their mark. It’s their time now.

What would your advice be to young producers and DJs who want to make it in nowadays music industry?

Make the best music you possibly can, be original, be influenced by older artists, not your contemporaries.

How do you discover new music nowadays? Do you buy records or you prefer digital formats and streaming? What are your most trusted sources?

Spotify mostly. I only listen to vinyl at home though, but that is mostly older music. For new music it’s mostly Spotify, and recommendations from friends.

Name 3 artists whose sound you really like at the moment.

– Monika (Greek disco / indie artist)

– Eden (Irish pop / r&b  artist)

– The Lemon Twigs (NY glam rock band)

How did you discover the Pacemaker app?

A friend introduced me to it.

Please tell us a bit about your experiences with Pacemaker for iPhone and Pacemaker+. How do you like the app, what are your favourite features and what would you like to improve?

I like that you can pull songs from Spotify and make your mix over time, a little bit one day, a little bit on another. I would love to be able to place the next song more easily right on the beat, sometimes that is difficult. I would also love to be able to host the mixes on Spotify, where everyone I know listens. Maybe soon?

DIM MAK Takeover, Trap & Deep House 🎶

Steve Aoki’s DIM MAK drops first mixtape, an extravagant selection of trap sounds

 

 

In 1996, Steve Aoki founded DIM MAK and developed it into an influential independent record label and music lifestyle brand. Responsible for launching the careers of seminal acts such as Bloc Party, The Bloody Beetroots, The Chainsmokers, Deorro, Keys N Krates and countless others, the independently owned DIM MAK has consistently pushed new musical movements via its staunch DIY ethos. With a back catalog hundreds of records deep, a history of legendary live events, and a fully formed clothing line, DIM MAK continues its global mission of promoting boundary-pushing music and culture ‘by any means necessary’. DIM MAK has now landed in Pacemaker and here is their first mixtape with an extravagant selection of fresh releases.

 

 

Here comes THE ultimate summer deep house mixtape. Let yourself be surrounded by these proper beach vibes even if you are nowhere near any water. Take a swim in the sounds of Bodhi, Drake, Lone, Lapalux and enjoy the perfect jazzy-sexy waves @wrangle mixed up for you.

 

 

Time to tap your toes and bob your heads, @modal is in the house and delivers the grooviest, housiest, danciest rhythms. Get ready to hear new music and some oldies from Tube & Berger, Todd Terje, Lindstrøm and join us in trying to figure out what’s behind the title of this mix… we want to be hulmeanologists!

Deorro drops Good Evening house mixtape 🐼

Young house genius Deorro showcases some of his best tracks on Pacemaker.

 

 

A Los Angeles native and proud Mexican-American, Deorro is a highly appreciated name among house music lovers and festivalgoers. He started DJing at the age of 14 and by the time he turned 17, he was already producing his own tracks. Since then he’s accumulated an impressive discography consisting of original productions, collaborations and remixes with Steve Aoki, Axwell, Diplo, Laidback Luke, Carnage, R3hab etc. His unique grasp on modern party music manifests itself in a special fusion of Dutch, moombah, progressive and bass elements. His highly anticipated debut album, Good Evening, is out now on Ultra Music and you can stream and buy it here. We’re happy to share his first Pacemaker mixtape, in which he mixed up some of his most successful tracks.

 

 

@moycoh2000’s summer hip-hop mixtape is everything you need this season. Soothing beats featuring your favourite rappers (Frank Ocean, Drake, Chance The Rapper, Kanye West), sensually sophisticated grooves from FKJ and KAYTRANADA. Exciting mixture, give it a spin!

 

 

The best surprises hit us when we push play and we’re not really prepared for what we’re going to hear. @tripmusicparis’ mixtape was one of these surprises and we absolutely love it! Ennio Morricone meets funky future house and together they embark on a jazzy journey of delightful melodies. One of the best feel-good mixes on Pacemaker, check it out!

Guest Mixtape & Interview: WHOISJODY

Jody Koenders aka WHOISJODY is one of the most promising rising stars in the electronic music scene. Hailing from The Netherlands, JODY’s first single ‘Feelings’ got signed on Spinnin Records as the #1 track on their Talent Pool.

He creates super house, which is a mix between deep house, tech house and nu-disco, a unique sound with a definite party warranty. JODY just dropped his first Pacemaker mixtape with a delicious selection of house music, so we figured it was the perfect timing for a little interview. Find out more about WHOISJODY, succeeding in the music industry, dreams and inspirations.

WHOISJODY (Photo: Wim Steijven)

WHOISJODY? Please tell us a little about your background. When did you get interested in music?

Like in many families, growing up with different styles of music was an important part of my music development. My mother is a jazz singer and my stepdad is a big fan of the Stones. Through my sisters I got familiar with all sorts of small punk and rock bands. I later gained interest for hip-hop and even started a hip-hop group with a couple of friends. We called ourselves ‘HomeBase’, with me on the drums, two other friends on the decks and bass guitar, hilarious…

Who were your biggest influences while you were growing up?

That would have to be The Beastie Boys, Michael Jackson and Nirvana.   

Before you started your music career, you used to be a professional snowboarder. Quite a fascinating background! What’s the story behind that and how come you quit?

True, had an amazing time for 10 years traveling around the globe and snowboarding at the best spots. Competed in big air & halfpipe competitions. However, my career came to an end after a serious accident during a competition in Oslo. I was pretty lucky to step out of it alive. Took me a year to recover and getting back in the game wasn’t an option.

The Netherlands is full of talented DJs, artists and musicians in the electronic music scene. What do you think it takes to stand out and reach out to the audience?

Preserve what you love to do and keep doing it, that’s the main thing. As a beginner DJ/Producer you have to work really hard. Besides creating top notch productions you have to take care of your marketing & PR as well, especially in the beginning, you have to take care of everything yourself.

You have a bedroom (like… literally) studio, that is where all the magic happens. How does your setup look like? What tools do you use to make music?

Haha, true. Well my studio setup is pretty basic. I work with Ableton, have an M-Audio Oxygen 49 Midi Keyboard, 2 KRG Rocket 6 monitors and Ableton Push. Furthermore, I work with a lot of Waves plugins and different software synths, like the Sylenth, Moog, Korg M1 and Massive to name a few.

Since you have your studio at home, how does it work out for you to divide your personal and professional time?

Having your studio at home is sometimes a bit hard but also easy if you all of a sudden come up with a new idea. However, I have periods I when I don’t produce that much and other times I can be sitting for days. Hopefully I’ll get a proper studio one day, outside my bedroom.

What do you like the most about producing and DJing and what are your biggest challenges at the same time?

The biggest reward is of course people liking and dancing to your music. At the same time you always have the little devil on your shoulders saying: are you really going to release this?? But then again it’s very easy to get excited about creating a new track, it’s a big commitment, because you do it and then you have to live with it when it’s finished. It’s in your section in the ‘record store’ for ever. Besides the whole production procedure you have the whole ‘getting in contact with labels’ hassle. Which can be a pain in the ass sometimes, because there are more disappointments than positive feedback.  

How do you discover music yourself? Do you buy records or you prefer digital formats and streaming? What are your most trusted sources?

I listen to a lot of mixes from other DJ’s and undiscovered music on Spotify. Besides that, I buy music on Beatport and Traxsource. And recently I bought some records again at the local record shop Rush Hour.

You define your sound as “super house”. So how is super house different from regular house music?

I guess I like to call it super house because I mix all sort of house genres (deep, tech & a bit of nu-disco), however it’s got to have that WHOISJODY groove: deep vocals, baseline and that rolling snare & hi-hat. You have to feel it!

If you would have to name 3 artists whose sound you really like at the moment – who would they be?

Kölsch, Dennis Quin, John Monkman.

Do you have a dream location where you would like to play one day?

Hmmm hard one… At this stage of my musical journey I guess I would love to play in a lot of different places. But if I had to choose one, then it would have to be Burning Man.

Your first single ‘Feelings’ got signed to Spinnin Records’ Talent Pool. I guess that is somewhat of a dream of every electronic music producer. How did you get in touch with them?

Feelings is actually the first step towards the new direction of music I wanted to make. I basically sent it over to Spinnin and they were enthusiastic about the track. The rest is history.

You also run your own label that’s been a bit more under the radar during the last years. Any plans with this in the future?

Eskill Records has been on the low key for a while… I needed to figure out what to do with the label and see in which direction it needed to go. Basically it needed a fresh new image and structure. So I gave Eskill a new corporate identity and music wise it will focus on house (deep & tech house). Soon Eskill will be releasing some new music again.

What would your advice be to young producers and DJs who want to make it in nowadays music industry?

Above all, persist what you are doing. You’ll come across more setbacks than positive moments. Believe in yourself and don’t forget to have fun!  

What are you working on right now? What’s next for JODY?

At the moment I’m working on a couple of new tracks, which will be coming out this summer. Doing a collab with a singer from London in a couple of weeks which I’m really looking forward to. Unfortunately can’t tell you who she is yet, but you’ll know soon 🙂

Please tell us a bit about your experiences with Pacemaker for iPhone and Pacemaker+. How do you like the app, what are your favourite features and what would you like to improve?

It’s a pretty cool app, it gives you the opportunity to put together a mix really fast. I would recommend the + version, as it gives you more possibilities mixing wise. I quite like the fade in and out option, which gives you a more precise wave form view. And overall the easiness of adding or deleting tracks as you’re mixing.

 

More on JODY:

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Dirty Disco Radio & Dope Deep Sounds

The vibe doctor is back with another fabulous deep house mixtape. Let it blow you away!

 

 

Dirty Disco Radio is already a familiar name in the Pacemaker community – Kono Vidovic is our go-to person when it comes to the most carefully curated deep house tracks, someone you can trust with fixing your groovy needs. Our vibe doctor is now back with another fabulous mixtape that soothes both body and mind. Let him take you on a trip to the magical world of rhythms with this bootylicious and relaxing selection.

 

 

Sweet summer melodies coming from @trip_c’s mixing kitchen. Contains all the perfect ingredients for relaxing, chilling or partying, blended to perfection. It’s always quite a task to mix vocal tracks but he took the challenge and slow-cooked it for you to enjoy. Dance, pop with a hint of EDM.

 

 

Be it from sunrise to sunset or from sunset to sunrise, this tech house and techno goodie bag won’t disappoint your thirsty ears. @capturingphi knows his music and he shows off his mixing skills as well in this Pacemaker+ mixtape. No rest for the wicked!

Guest Mixtape & Interview: Molikasi

Influenced by African and Asian sounds, Molikasi works, samples and magnifies his own voice and instrument, to give an impression of coming from faraway places and break the rules of electro pop. We had a little chat with the French artist and you can also listen to his excellent Kitsuné Hot Stream mixtape!

 

Molikasi

 

How did you get interested in music?

I got interested in music thanks to my cousin who used to play guitar. I wanted to do the same so I first learned some standard guitar songs. Then I came to electronic music and production.

Tell us a bit about the Soundress label.

Soundress is a label working with artists like Dim Sum, Clanch, Candidat, Le goût acide des conservateurs…

How’s life in Paris as a musician? What inspires you the most in the city?

Paris is a really cool place for musicians. You can easily meet people and see the artists live. But sometimes you also needs space and time to get inspired so it’s cool to leave the city for the countryside.

Name 3 artists who inspire you the most when it comes to making music.

Bibio / Mura Masa / Fleet Foxes

Name 3 tracks from this year that made a big impression on you.

Kidswaste “Time”

Whitney “No Woman”

Louis The Child “Love is alive”

 

 

If you could swap bodies with another artist for a weekend, whose skin would you like to sneak in and why?

Thom Yorke… it could be interesting to be in his mind for a weekend

What do you do when you’re not making music?

I’m drawing while thinking of music

What would you do if – for some mysterious reason – there would be no more music from tomorrow on?

I would be drawing the music instruments of my dreams

What are you working on right now?

New tracks that I will release soon.

Please tell us a bit about your Kitsuné Hot Stream mix, how did you pick these tracks?

I wanted to start the mix with a danceable part so I chose Moullinex “Open House” and Allen French “Nova Vida” which both match well with my track “Danse de l’hiver”. Then I chosed to lower the tempo with Young Futura and Saux and to finish with this incredible song “Umbo” by IFE.

How do you like Pacemaker? What are your favourite features?

Pacemaker is a very cool app, I love the idea! I love that it works with Spotify so that you can easily pick tracks in your library.

 

More on Molikasi:

Soundcloud

Soundress website

Soundress on Facebook

 

Guest Mixtape & Interview: Young Franco

We had a cool chat with the ever so amazing Young Franco and he even created a fabulous mixtape featuring Kitsuné tracks. The Australian genius started DJing when he was 16 and got into producing just a few years ago. He’s inspired by hip-hop, soul and funk and keeps sweeping the world off its feet (quite literally) with his unique funky beats. No dancefloor remains intact when he’s dictating the rhythm.

Young Franco

When was that point when you realized that music is going to be your biggest passion in your life?

Music was always a big part of my life and I think I never had a point I realised it just became more and more important to me.

You’re from Brisbane, Australia. How’s the electronic music scene over there?

Really good! Lots of cool musicians coming up at the moment. Feki, The Kite String Tangle, Tyler Touche.

You did what many are only dreaming of: put your studies on hold to pursue your music career full-time. Was this a difficult choice to make?

Not really, it was a very natural progression.

What and who inspires you the most when it comes to making music?

I think anyone doing something cool in their own respective field is inspiring. Whether it be art or music or anything in the creative field.

You’ve recently been on tour with Kitsuné in Europe. Which show and city was the most memorable for you and why?

All the shows were amazing and were equally memorable. I thoroughly enjoyed the Madrid show. Goya Social Club is such a vibe.

When it comes to the audience, do you see any difference between shows in Australia and Europe?

I think it’s just what people are used to listening to. Australia has a unique style and Europe has so much culture and vibe. I think people are always up to have a good time though no matter where you are from.

If you could go back in time 10 years, is there anything you would like to change?

Nothing!

Who would you like to collaborate with the most and why?

Kaytranada, such an amazing artist.

Is there a music genre you can’t stand listening to?

I generally don’t listen to. Maybe heavy metal?

Is there some music you like but you’re ashamed to admit?

I love classical music! Not ashamed to admit it but it is a bit different.

Who would you like to meet the most? Dead or alive.

Debussy

What’s your favourite place in the world?

I don’t have a favourite but Paris is up there. So is Sydney.

What’s your favourite thing on the internet?

Videos of Dogs.

What do you do when you’re not making music, touring or DJing?

Watching YouTube videos.

What are you working on right now?

My next single.

How do you like Pacemaker? What are your favourite features and what would you like to add or improve?

I love being able to use songs from Spotify. I found it hard to give a proper mix between some of the tracks.

 

Discover Young Franco:

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Soundcloud

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Guest Mixtape & Interview: Sean Adams (Drowned in Sound)

We had a chat with Sean Adams, the founder of Drowned in Sound, UK-based music website. Focusing on a variety of quality sounds from electronic music to pop and rock, they have published interviews with everyone from Björk to Paul McCartney. Sean shared a special mixtape on Pacemaker and now gives you some insight on how the life of a full-time music influencer looks like.

Sean Adams

When and how did you get interested in music? Was there a certain moment when you heard something that made you wanna dig further and deeper into music?

There have been lots of steps into the abyss. As a kid I was lucky that my mum had great taste and car journeys would apparently involve me asking to listen to side two of Low or The Cure. My dad also had a lot of records and I remember one Saturday afternoon when I was about 10 listening to Otis Redding ‘(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay’ over and over, trying to work out why it was so powerful and what it was trying to say. It was a whole other world and ever since I’ve found myself riding on the updrafts of Kate Bush or being blown sideways by Nine Inch Nails or finding myself sitting in an imagined bar with Arab Strap’s stories coming to life.

Tell us a bit about the birth of your platform Drowned in Sound – it started almost 20 years ago as a fanzine and throughout those years it became a vital part of the (indie) music community.

My first email fanzine/newsletter started when I was 15 so that is almost 20 years ago… I started it because I found the web a bit empty for people passionately talking about music and a bit overwhelming trying to talk about music in general on forums and newsgroups dedicated to Radiohead or Smashing Pumpkins or whoever. I’ve never been a one band guy.

Drowned in Sound was an evolution of that newsletter which was becoming lengthy as other people began to contribute. Hearing Muse’s first demo and seeing their rise and rise and rise – despite the music press being dismissive and a bit snobby about them – was definitely a big catalyst and wind in my sail to spot and champion artists who might one day headline a stadium.

Nowadays there are hundreds of music blogs / webzines out there, coming and going. You have tons of experience in this field and you’ve been having difficulties yourself with DiS to keep it going. What do you think it takes these days to create a blooming community, to grab attention, to create content that is well-received and keeps readers/listeners come back regularly?

I think not chasing hits has been fairly key. We try to make a site that we would want to read. I’ve shied away from deluging and overwhelming our audience. Our recommendations are infrequent. Our tone playful but thoughtful. Then there’s the forums which are allowed to have the freedom for users to be whoever they want to be and we only very rarely need to reign people in.

Curating music takes a lot of time and energy – where do you discover music these days? What are your trusted sources?

I think my trigonometry of recommendations is kinda the same as it ever was. The three prongs are:

Seeing what other writers and blogs are passionate about – you can always feel the enthusiasm when someone is eloquent and inspired

Record labels – there are a lot of labels I trust and always new labels in different scenes who seem to have all the best flagship artists of a sound. I’ll always check out a new release of it’s on 4AD or Erased Tapes or Hyperdub or Anti- or Sacred Bones or so many other great independent labels. I probably trust record labels more than anything else as I know how much investment, time and risk is required to help out something new into the world, which is so much more of an undertaking than just writing a complimentary blog of a stream.

Luck is still key. You can’t account for having your ears open and finding yourself curiously checking out an act in your feed or being intrigued to see someone at a festival, then finding something really special.

How do you listen to music most of the time? Do you buy lots of physical records or do you prefer the digital streaming nowadays?

Mostly on Spotify. I’ve never really been that interested in having a record collection. I’m far more likely to buy a tshirt of a band I like than a record that will probably stay sealed for months. I find the inflow of music totally overwhelming and I’m constantly listening to music through Sonos speakers or my beloved Bowers + Wilkins headphones. I also listen to the radio a lot as a lot of DJs and their producers are lucky enough to be able to spend the majority of their time rummaging for gems, and have the ability to present and make sense of things which are unfamiliar in the context of things I already know and like.

You have at least 3 jobs and they are all music-related in one way or another. How do you manage to keep it all going, how would you say a regular working day looks like for you?

There’s no such thing as a regular day. My “portfolio career” doesn’t allow much time for sleep. I’m often working from 7am until 7pm and then meeting people for drinks or going to gigs or just collapsing on the sofa.

How did you discover Pacemaker? You’ve been using the app for quite some time now. What do you like the most about it and what would you like to improve?

I first saw and loved the idea of the device that preceded the app. I often get asked to play music before and after bands at gigs and festivals, which can often be last minute and not massively well paid. I loved the idea of having my entire record collection and more at my finger tips and not need to lug stuff around. The app is far better than having 4 CDRs wrapped in dog-eared pieces of paper and I like that I can easily switch tracks in without worrying too much how the song’s intro and outro might neatly fit together without always relying on songs I know intimately. It’s really great for my radio show (once a month on Soho Radio and archived on Mixcloud) as it means I can concentrate more on what I’m saying than how the songs are mixing – found my vocabulary massively dropped when worrying about crossfading tunes. Definitely helps that tracks can be best matched and that I can trawl all of Spotify for songs to include rather than rummaging for CDs or importing tracks and burning CDRs (like, I don’t even have a laptop with a CD drive any longer….)

Please tell us a bit about your selection for ‘Swooning (Not Swooning)’, the mixtape you made for us.

It’s intended to be a bit of a bedroom party. None of the tunes are going to be big floor fillers but they will hopefully light up and expand a little corner in people’s mind’s eye. Lyrically bits of the tracks loosely riff on similar ideas but I’ll leave the listener to find the tenuous discourse and narrative woven between the choices.