Enzo Bennet – Interview and Mini-mix [TMN EXCLUSIVE]

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Enzo Bennet
The Colours Mix (mau5trap)

We recently had a chance to catch up with mau5trap Records up-and-coming artist, Enzo Bennet, asking a few choice questions regarding his signing to Deadmau5′s legendary label, and his newly released EP. To accompany this quick Q&A session, this youngster threw in a sweet little mini-mix to give you a soundtrack to read to.

TRACKLIST:
1 – Marek Hemmann – Zunder
2 – Jamie Woon – Shoulda (Fabich & Ferdinand Weber Remix)
3 – Worakls – Good Night My Love
4 – Go Freek – We Can Ride (Dom Dolla Remix)
5 – Monomotion – Coma
6 – Fehrplay – Everywhere You Go
7 – Enzo Bennet – Zen
8 – Pryda & Empire Of The Sun – We Are The Mirage (Roman Kay Intro Bootleg)
9 – Mord Fustang – Something Right Meow

TMN: Hey Enzo, thank you so much for taking a minute to chat with us. First up, let’s talk about this upcoming EP, The Colours. What was the inspiration behind this EP?

Enzo: When it comes to music, for me, it’s not about seeing something or hearing something, and feeling inspired to create something because of it. My brain doesn’t work like that. It’s more of a subliminal, unconscious build up of experiences and feelings that manifest themselves without me even realizing. My ideas come in bursts and at strange times. I could be sitting eating my breakfast when a melody will just pop into my head, so I rush to the computer and get it down in a really simple format. Once I have that, I will just flesh it out as it comes to me. Sometimes I’m walking around all day with just that original melody playing in my head and my brain will just add in something out of the blue. I spend the rest of the day replaying it in my mind so that as soon as I get home, I can add it to the track. Sometimes I even call myself and leave a message on my voicemail, singing the melody so I don’t forget, haha. But it’s taken me a long time to get my skill level up to this point. The production for Zen & Colours started 3 years ago, but it’s taken me this long to bring them up to the standard you hear now.

TMN: The first song, “Colours,” is an incredibly melodic and progressive body of work, focusing highly on a drawn out journey. On the other hand, “Zen” has a much dancier feel, sporting a driving bassline and some club friendly kicks. Walk us through how you approached the production for each song.

Enzo: Production is pretty similar to what I mentioned above, but essentially the melody will come to me at random times. Or sometimes I sit myself down and literally just play around with notes on FruityLoop, and the pieces kind of just fall into place. You would not believe how many demos I have. I get inspired by new melodies so easily that it’s almost like an addiction. I can’t leave my chair until I get the track to where I want it to be. There’s a track that I’ve been working on for a while now that I practically did just in one night. I was just on the computer, and this melody came to me. From that moment on, I couldn’t stop. I was up until 10am the next morning. I think my mum thinks I’m crazy, haha. She’ll be getting up to go to work and find me still awake working.

TMN: In listening to your music, we can definitely pick up on why you’re signed to mau5trap! What has that experience been like for you so far?

Enzo: The experience has definitely been insane, in this industry its so hard to get noticed and get your stuff out there, let alone to find a record label who’s willing to give you a chance. I still remember the message I got from Mau5trap on Soundcloud. It was surreal. To be honest, I still can’t believe this is all happening. My friends find it weird cuz I’m not going crazy with excitement, but to be honest, it’s because I feel like it’s too good to be true! I don’t want to jinx it!

TMN: Are their any inter-label collaborations you’re working on that we can be privy to?

Enzo: At the moment, most of the focus is just on the EP and all the work that goes into that, but in the near future I think anything is possible!

TMN: Back to your music, it seems like there’s layer upon layer which creates an incredibly atmospheric listening for the experience. While there are plenty of EDM associations we can call on, we can’t help but think you listen to a lot of Tycho and Bonobo. Are we on point there?

Enzo: To be honest, I literally listen to everything. Bonobo and Tycho and definitely in there, but so is a lot of other stuff. I actually have a Soundcloud page where I post all the amazing tracks I find. I know a lot of blogs and sites, that I search on regularly to look for new tracks. I love great rap and hip hop, especially when there is a great instrumental accompanying it. I listen to alot of deep house, progressive house and electro, pretty much everything. As a producer, you can tell when the artist has put alot of work and thought into the track, you pick up the little things. So, if the track is good, and it’s got good workmanship, it’s hard for me not to like it. Does that make sense? haha

TMN: You’re from France originally, but now living in the UK. What brought you to the decision to make the jump?

Well I got accepted into the Point Blank music college, which is an amazing music school. It was tough though, because everyone at the school had a really strong command of the language, but my English was quiet weak compared to my peers. So, it was a pretty steep learning curve for me, but I learned a lot. Living away from home and having to be self-sufficient and all that helped me grow up a lot. I learned a lot about the importance of self-motivation and how to stay focused.

TMN: How do you feel your studies at top notch music schools have helped your career?

Enzo: Funnily enough, I actually dropped out half way through my course. Don’t get me wrong, the school is incredible; best equipment, best teachers, amazing people, everything. The difference with me was that I had already taught myself a lot of the stuff they were teaching us. I’d watched a ridiculous amount of YouTube tutorials about mixing & mastering techniques, so when I started going to classes, I already knew a lot of stuff they were teaching us. I like to do things myself, so I like being my own teacher because you can learn exactly what you want to learn. It’s great. It’s like a tailored education, haha. By the time i dropped out, I’d had all of my computer stuff shipped to my flat in London so I was already producing like crazy (which is around the time I finished producing Colours), and school meant that I had to give up valuable production time. So, I decided to go it on my own, and it was the best decision i ever made. It feels great taking a decision like that and having it pay off. But I still speak to my friends from Point Blank, a lot of them are popular artists right now like Felix Jaehn and Gunes Ergun, and are based all over the world now. I made some amazing contacts and some amazing friends.

TMN: Is this something you suggest up and coming artists to look at if they want to further themselves as musicians?

Enzo: I think everyone is different, and you have to do what works for you as an artist. What I definitely do suggest, music school or no music school, is educate yourself independently. YouTube tutorials, like I mentioned, taught me an insurmountable amount of stuff, from mixing techniques, sound engineering, mastering, ect. All the information you need is out there, you just have to be willing to sit down for hours at a time, absorb as much information as you can, and apply it straight away. So that it sticks in your mind. Practical learning is the best learning, in my opinion.

TMN: Alright, let’s wrap this up by talking about what’s on deck for you, aside from this EP. Any shows coming up? Tour dates? More music? Thank you so much for your time.

Enzo: No shows or tour dates for the moment, but like I said, the whole process is still only in it’s early stages, so anything is possible. And music… there’s always more music. Theres a few at the moment that I’m about to finish, just putting on the final touches on. One in particular I’m really excited about. I think it’s gonna go down really nicely, just in time for the end of summer. Will keep you posted!

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Dillon Francis talks Red Rocks, Taco Bell and his Asshole of a Cat [TMN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

How on earth can we be expected to squeeze every question we could possibly ask Dillon Francis into a quick 15 minute phone conversation? There’s so much to cover. From Taco Bell to cats, Columbia Records to his long lost dad, there’s just way too much to get in.

Regardless of our endless supply of burning questions, we did get a few choice ones answered as we look ahead to his show at HARD Red Rocks, coming up next week in Morrison, Colorado. Check out what he had to say:

TMN: Hey Dillon – thank you for taking some time to speak with us today. We’re looking forward to catching you at HARD Red Rocks on July 31st. You’ve played all over the world. Where does this venue rank for you in comparison to the rest of them?

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A Conversation with Klangkarussell [TMN Exclusive Interview]

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Klangkarussell
Sonnentanz

One of the most epic things about cruising Soundcloud is the possibility of stumbling across something completely unknown that has not yet found its way into the viral loop. It’s a sense of achievement as a music fan, but also proves extremely empowering to artists. Roughly 2 years ago, we were introduced to Austrian production duo, Klangkarussell (translation: ‘Sound Carousel’), who had a single track on their Soundcloud page titled “Sonnentanz.”  The six-minute, house-leaning jam features a perfectly subtle mix of horns, xylophone and synth, making it the type of relaxing song you can keep on repeat without losing any of its power. During 2012, “Sonnentanz” gained millions of plays reaching the Top 10 in 6 countries and helping earn them a record deal with Universal Music.

Although certainly excited about their success, old friends, Tobias Rieser and Adrian Held, are true to their sound–chilled out and not too concerned with conformity. Raised in Salzburg, Austria, the birthplace of Mozart, the two share a unique and diverse musical background from an early age, which makes us particularly excited about what’s to come. Check out our exclusive interview below and keep an eye out for their upcoming Netzwerk EP due out in a week, on July 29th. Make sure to follow Adrian and Tobias for more updates: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

TMN: First things first, where does the name Klangkarussell come from?

Tobias: There’s not really a back story—it just sounded good, and that’s why we took it. We liked the name, and so we took it.

TMN: So, you two hung out back in school and reunited relatively recently after over a decade apart. Can you tell us a bit about where you both were in life on the day that you met up?

Adrian: I had just quit my job at a private TV station, and then I went to work in Salzburg at the Festpiele. I worked there during the summer, and that’s when we met.

Tobias: I was starting to do my exams. Really late, but I started to do my exams at that time.

TMN: We’d love to hear the story behind “Sonnentanz”—both on a musical level and just what your expectations were when you uploaded it?

Adrian: There was never an intention of becoming famous or being able to live like a musician or something like that. It was never the intention. It was more like, “I’m dealing with different, like daily, shit all the time.” Just sitting down making music and forgetting the other stuff around there. It was coming over us, so that was the spirit of the track.

TMN: You guys are really at the front lines of the Internet revolution in music. From your perspective, describe your journey from releasing a single song on Soundcloud to touring the world, making a splash in the fashion industry and signing a record deal. What are your thoughts more broadly on the Internet’s advantages/disadvantages for up and coming artists such as yourselves?

Adrian: I think that the whole internet thing has changed everything. Basically, people are deciding what comes out on record labels these days. It’s like record labels going around and A&Rs going round, and being like, “Okay, this is going to be the new thing.” They’re looking on the internet for what people want to hear and then approach the people to put it out. I think that’s like a nice way of people having the power to decide what they want to hear and what they want to make big and make successful.

Tobias: A lot of stuff has gone through Hype Machine especially.

Adrian: I think that’s the number one thing that A&Rs look at right now. In the morning, they go to the office, and they check Hype Machine rather than listen to demos anymore.

TMN: Your first video was a model-filled fantasy that fit Sonnentanz amazingly well but the second, for “Netzwerk,” was a bit more extreme. What role did you play in those videos and how did you choose that direction for the second one?

Adrian: For “Netzwerk,” we reached out to some directors. They sent their ideas, and we chose this idea because it just felt like it worked with the song. For us, the song was about freedom. It also comes together with the African sample. It was all the time about freedom, so this just really was a nice picture of, “do what you want to do.” Go out and hang around bridges or wherever you want.

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TMN Chats with Resident Artist ARTY [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

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A few months ago we had the pleasure interviewing Insomniac Record’s very first signee when he came to play at Beta Nightclub. After previously seeing this young Russian artist play at Red Rocks and at Ultra Music Festival, we were eager to fire off a few choice questions before his set.

Check out what ARTY had to say about the scene in Russia, what signing with Insomniac meant to him, and home-cooked meals from his mom.

TMN: Hey Arty, thank you so much for taking some time to sit down with us today. First up let’s talk about your latest release, “Up All Night”. Talk to us about the process heading into this track, working with vocalist Angel Taylor.

ARTY
UP ALL NIGHT ft. Angel Taylor (teaser)

ARTY: I was sitting in the studio with two songwriters (Toby Gad and Angel Taylor) and I had this idea for the track. It basically was some harmony and stuff. We did the vocals in one day and when I got back to my place, I just finished the track. It was completely different than what we were expecting. It was nice and trancy at first, and in the end it turned into something completely unique. I’m really excited about it.

TMN: This is also your first release on the newly launched Insomniac Records, which you’re also the first artist signed to that label. What does it mean to be on a label that’s backed by one of the biggest names in EDM?

ARTY: Well, Insomniac Events as a team is not the actual team behind the label. It’s a venture of Interscope. So, a lot of people are from Interscope. You get both from best worlds: people from Interscope, which is the most successful label in the entire world, and people from Insomniac events, which is one of the most succesful festival promoters.

Pasquale (Rotella) is like a superhero. He’s like a rock star. He’s super passionate, and it’s not a decision of signing the biggest names. I’ve had a lot of meetings with this guy and I’m confident he’ll be a big part of working on the album and what comes next.

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Getting to know: Starz Angels [TMN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

Up Tonight Art
Starz Angels Feat Mariana Bell
Up Tonight [Now on Beatport]

Light-hearted dance music duo Starz Angels dropped the infectious, fiery ‘Up Tonight’ on Dutch label Made2Dance a couple of months back, and the tune has just come to attention once again, via the release of its unofficial video. The original track, featuring wonderful vocals from Mariana Bell, gathered a solid selection of support across the scene, and increasing the French pair’s popularity as producers and DJs. Ahead of the unveiling of their fun-filled antics in the video, we caught up with Starz Angels to find out more about their music.

TMN: How long have you been writing music for? Has it always been as a duo?

SA: We started producing together 4 years ago. We sometimes produce together and sometimes separately either for Starz Angels, or for other artists.

TMN: You recently released ‘Up Tonight’ with Mariana Bell. What was it like working with this talented vocalist and how did you come up with the lyrics for the track?

SA: It was very easy and pleasant to work with Mariana. She is very efficient and immediately understood our universe.While humming the melody, the first words that Mariana came with were “I will keep you up tonight”, from there we exchanged ideas around that theme so she could develop the song writing.

TMN: The ‘Up Tonight’ Official Music Video has finally dropped. How long have you been working on this?

SA: Between the organisation, the filming and the post-production, this project took us just over a month of work.When you watch the music video, it may seem simple, but it is a lot of work, especially because we intervene at each step of the production process.

TMN: We see one of you dress up in the famous Kiss masks. Was that for a bit of fun or have they been an influence on you musically?

Ka-ess: People used to call me “Kiss” when reading my DJ name; in fact it is pronounced “Ka-ees.” So eventually I had to pay tribute to the legendary rock band!

Le Kid: The drop has always made ​​me think of a metal /rock track, with a headbanging electric guitar riff. It was a good time to pay this tribute.

TMN: What’s next for Starz Angels in terms of releases?

SA: We are mainly working on Big Room tracks to rock festivals and clubs. Stay tuned!

 

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Get to know Denver’s UMS – 7/24-7/27 [Interview and Showcase Playlist]

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We’ve been proponents of underground artists for as long as we’ve been in existence. In all honesty, we get more of a thrill from reading a submission with a subject line like, “Debut song from indie/folk artist from the UK,” than we do from something like, “Mega superstar announces 1,000,000 city tour.” There’s a certain excitement in showcasing an up-and-coming artist that simply can’t be obtained from any other type of music review.

The Underground Music Showcase (better known as The UMS) shares this affinity for what most call “Hipster One-Upping” by continually bringing in top-notch, lesser-known, independent acts for nearly a decade and a half. Starting out in a single venue, this showcase has grown tremendously, to the point where it now aggressively takes over a stretch of Denver’s most coveted neighborhoods, turning it  into a four-day music festival.

We had a chance to catch up with one of the organizers, Kendall Smith of The Denver Post, who dropped some knowledge on how this thing started, whom he’s excited to see personally, and what this musical frenzy goes to benefit.

TMN: Thank you for taking some time to speak with us today. We’re less than two weeks out from The UMS, how are things coming along so far?
You bet. The clock seems to have sped up, but things are shaping up nicely. We keep improving every year. This year looks to be no exception.

TMN: Talk to us about the origins of this festival. It’s going into it’s 14th year, correct?

That is correct. The UMS was started by John Moore, formerly of The Denver Post. He wanted to showcase a few local bands he thought weren’t getting the attention they deserved. It started as a one night, one venue event. Eventually, the pop music critic for The Denver Post, Ricardo Baca, took it over, moved it to South Broadway and created the multi day, multi venue model it currently operates under. John and Ricardo are brilliant, passionate and talented men. I am a fortunate person to have worked with them both.

TMN: You’re bringing in artists from all over the world, including one of our current favorites, The Griswolds. How do you go about selecting your worldwide and national underground talent?

We have an awesome talent acquisition team led by James Irvine. James is the founder of Holy Underground and also books Larimer Lounge. We met The Griswolds through our efforts down in Austin during SXSW. The UMS produces a day party for our pals at Reverb every year. The Griswolds played this past year and turned in a burner of a set.

TMN: Some people may not know this, but this festival benefits the Denver Post Community Foundation. How did this partnership come to be and what types of causes does it support in the metro area?

When the festival was brought in house at The Denver Post, the decision was made to add it to the portfolio of Signature Events offered by The Denver Post Community Foundation. Net proceeds of the event are distributed to local non-profits to support of programs that benefit children, the arts, literacy and education and the provision of basic human services.

This year, we have two charitable partners. The first, a youth facing organization, Youth on Record, is a long time partner of The UMS. Our second, and a new partner this year, is an artist facing organization, MusiCares, a nonprofit arm of The Recording Academy.

TMN: Most festivals/showcases try to bring in those marquis artists that will sell tickets. You guys do exactly the opposite of that, providing music lovers with a glimpse into some lesser known bands. What are some of the struggles with putting on a show like this?

How much time do you have? Kidding aside, the core mission of The UMS is to showcase the vast talent we have in this region while also growing the audience for the local scene. We hope through our efforts, we continue to build trust. Trust with fans that the quality of the bands is going to be great. Trust with national booking managers that The UMS will a great look for them in Denver.

TMN: Denver seems to be a hotbed for all different types of music, filling up a sizable number of venues week to week. Aside from the obvious notable venues (Red Rocks, Fillmore, Beta Nightclub) what are some of your favorite spots to catch a show?

We are so lucky in this town. There are so many great rooms. I love the Gothic, hi-dive and Larimer Lounge. I recently saw a pretty rad Devo show at Summitt Music Hall and Colorado Springs has a pretty terrific new room at Ivywild.

TMN: What’s the one venue at UMS that everyone should check out, if they haven’t already?

All of them! Four days is plenty of time. I encourage everyone to check out the Main Stage this year. We have moved next door to Security Service Federal Credit Union and have made some upgrades to the stage and infrastructure. It’s going to be great!

TMN: What artist are you most looking forward to checking out this year?

I love and hate this question. I love the lineup this year, but we get so busy running things I just don’t ever plan on being able to see anybody in particular. My best bets are usually to see some of the main stage acts. Should a happy accident occur whereby I am in the right place at the right time and get to see any one of Ark Life, A Tom Collins, Eros and the Eschaton, Dragondeer or Roadkill Ghost Choir, I will be way pleased.

TMN: If you had to describe this event in three words, what would they be?

Music. Community. Goodness.

TMN: Thanks for your time! We can’t wait for the showcase July 24-27.

Thank you! See you on South Broadway!

HEADLINERS

Real Estate
Crime
Blonde Redhead
People Under The Stairs
Acid Raindrops

TMN’S PICKS

The Griswolds
The Beware the Dog
GEMS ≠ Scars
Brother Tiger
This Must Be the Place (Talking Heads Cover)
Miniature Tigers
Used To Be The Shit
Native Daughters
GDS
Speedwolf
Up All Night
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Ffunny Ffrends
Baths
Miasma Sky
Hillary Hand
Tameless Tongues
American Tomahawk
Do Not
Kyle James Hauser
Maria
Goodnight, Texas
Santa Cruz
Fort Frances
Chicago
Heart Attack
Lions & Lambs EP
Rose Quartz
Scarves
RUMTUM
Alona
Mosis
Where It Was
Keepers
Hello (Original Mix)
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Far Too Loud returns with a boom! [TMN Exclusive Interview]

FTLBoomTMN
Far Too Loud
Boom! [Preview]

Electro whizz kid Far Too Loud steps up with his new single ‘Boom!’, to be released on No Tomorrow Recordings, July 7th. The UK-based producer crossed over to big sister label Never Say Die at the beginning of the year, but now returns to his previous home for this track release. Pulling no punches, this one dives in with a rhythmically satisfying introduction. No stranger to incorporating samples, FTL has packed this one with various sounds and excerpts, including shouts of “Boom!” throughout. Despite a nod to big room, the middle section is almost trance-like, an anthemic conclusion to a summer festival killer. We got chatting to the man behind the music.

TMN: You’re from Brighton, UK – how has your hometown influenced your time in music?

FTL:  It’s a great place to live, but I don’t feel it influencing my music at all.  I love the occasional day off in Brighton – hitting up the shops, pubs, a good restaurant, but my main source of inspiration is the atmosphere at the shows I play and the tracks I see really going off.

TMN: You’re playing the States as well as all over Europe. How do you find the varying global scenes? Any major differences?

FTL: I still find that I can go a bit harder in my European sets. American crowds need more vocals and familiar elements to a set, which I don’t mind though. It’s cool to work out interesting ways of doing that.

TMN: You have a new track, ‘Boom’, coming out next week. What sound were you aiming to hit on this one? How did you come up with the idea for it?

FTL: The melody popped into my head when I was walking to the shop late one night. The drop was originally more bassy, but I started playing around and the current one just stuck in my head, so I ran with it. I wanted to do something more current but that still sounds like an FTL production.

TMN: What do you like to do outside of the studio? Where do you like to chill out?

FTL: There’s not that much free time I get between studio and gigging, but I prefer to spend that time doing something culturally enriching.  Gigs, exhibitions, theatre, restaurants, pop-ups, any weird or unusual events.  I want to experience or find out about new things.

TMN: What are your aims for the rest of 2014 and heading into the new year?

FTL: I’m working towards a bigger release and tour towards the end of the year, then I’m going on holiday on 2nd January!

TMN: Any shows you’re particularly looking forward to this summer?

FTL: I’m most looking forward to the outdoor festival sets. I’m on my way to the USA as I write this where I’ve got Big Liberty, then up to Canada for Valhalla Sound Circus and Astral Harvest. Then it’ll be back to UK and Europe for some more including Noisily, Beatherder, Let It Roll and Uplands. Also a South Africa visit at the end of the summer for Grietfest will be awesome.

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