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Monday 27th, September 2004

On Friday the 10th of September Trance.nu contributor Twan (Dancemania) and Trance.nu member Maurice (Danceparadise) made a little journey to to Hilgert, a little place near Koblenz in Germany. Overthere they had a very nice interview with Jürgen Mutschall (JamX) and Dominik De Leon (DeLeon), a.k.a. DuMonde, in their studio.

Trance.nu: First of all, thank you very much for having us here in your studio. How are things at the moment?
DeLeon: Well, moving forward you know. Working on new projects and preparing new DJ sets and just doing our regular work during the week

Trance.nu: Did you guys had a lot of DJ gigs the last months? In which countries have you been?
JamX: Canada, Australia (we also going back to Australia soon!), in December we are going to Thailand and Canada (in October).

Trance.nu: What’s your favorite country to spin?
JamX: In the early years, 2001 till the end of 2002, it was the UK. Clubs like Gatecrasher and Godskitchen was great. But now, hmmm… maybe Canada and Australia
DeLeon: Maybe Canada because there are a lot of Asian people in the clubs and they are a very euphoric crowd. When we played in Japan we had the same experience and that’s why we like Canada too.

Trance.nu: What do you like most, producing or DJ-ing and can you tell us why?
DeLeon: It belongs together you know, we sit in the studio and we make the music we like. When we produce our music, we try to imagine how the music would work in our DJ sets. Since we started to work together, we are always very excited to play a new track for the first time, because we don’t know how the people will react. If it works, we are both very happy. We also discuss then what we have to change and on Monday, when we are back in the studio, we change those things and finish the track. So we can’t really say what we like most.

Trance.nu: In 2001 you made the track ‘Memory’ together with English producer Lange. This one became a huge hit in the dance charts. You also worked together with other producers like Tom Wax for example.
Are there any plans to work together with other producers now or in the near future?

JamX: We started to work on a track together with Judge Jules. We’re also going to do something with Dave202 very soon and we are also doing a lot of productions also with Skydiver
DeLeon: We are very open to collaborations with other people. We getting a lot of remix requests and sometimes during these remix requests and working together on different things, you’ll see that there is a sort of chemistry and sometimes we get a request after that, to work together on a new track.

Trance.nu: Can you tell us something more about your collaboration with Lange for the ‘Memory’ track?
DeLeon: First we did the remix for the Lange track ‘Follow Me’ for Positiva and they were very happy with it, but they thought that it was good to send over Lange to finish the remix with us. So Lange came in the studio for some days. I picked him up at the airport and in the beginning he was very shy, but after 2 days we really got together and it was really fun working out this remix with him. And then we thought that we had to continue, so we did ‘Memory’ together. So we also went to England. We had a gig overthere and after that we went to Oxford for 2 days to the studio of Lange. Overthere we made the basics and then Lange came back to Germany again, so that’s the story behind ‘Memory’.

Trance.nu: If you can choose one singer or producer to work with for a track, who will it be and why?
JamX: David Bowie. He’s a guy from the 80’s, but he’s still ‘fresh’. Furthermore he’s open for all kinds of music and … yeah, he’s a hero!

Trance.nu: I’ve heard that there will be a DuMonde album in the near future, what can you tell us about it?
DeLeon: The album has been requested a lot since the last years and we had never found the time to finish it. Actually it’s a collection of all tracks being released since 1997 from ‘Tomorrow’, ‘Never Look Back’, ‘See The Light’, ‘Memory’, everything! And new tracks of course. We’re still not finished, so we hope to release it at the end of this year.

Trance.nu: Will there be some extra’s on it, like some DVD things?
DeLeon: We thouhgt that it was nice to put some videofootage from gigs in Japan and Australia on it, but we are not 100% convinced about the quality of the footage, so we still don’t know if we are going to use it…

Trance.nu: You guys release stuff under the names DuMonde and JamX & De Leon. Are there any other projectnames that you work with?
JamX: Yes: “No Faces” and “2 Close”. Maybe we’re going to something else in the future… you never know…

Trance.nu: Can you tell us where the name "DuMonde" came from?
DeLeon: In 1996 we had a trance project called ‘Etiënne’, that was released in Germany on the Sony label. We did this together with another guy and his name was René Dumont. The follow up from this single was ‘Tomorrow’, but it was rejacted by the recordcompany. So we decided that we would release it under another alias. We changed René’s name a bit, so it sounded a bit French. That’s how the name ‘DuMonde’ was born! But after “Tomorrow” and “See the light”, René didn’t want to continue on doing music. So he left the project and we just continued writing songs like “Never Look Back” and “Memory” etc.
Trance.nu: How did you guys met and when did you decide to go make music together?
DeLeon: We both worked in the same club in Koblenz. Jürgen was the DJ overthere and I did the lights. So in that club we met each other for the first time. In 1995 Jürgen came with the idea to make music together.
JamX: Yeah, one day I was in the swimming pool and I was thinking that it was time for me to buy some equipment for my own studio, so… I went out of the water, drove to Dominik and told him my idea and we started in Dominik’s basement. Overthere we made our first track ‘JamX - Feel The Beat’ (for X-it Records).

Trance.nu: How would you describe your sound?
DeLeon: We don’t like to be put in a box, like ‘this is trance, this is hardtrance, this is … whatever!’, but we always liked melodies. We are not into the monotone hard stuff that much, we like to have a hard or a tougher beat structure or deep basses etc. We like to have recognisable things in our tracks. Our perfect song should be a track that’s burned in the brain of the listener in the club. When he or she is going back to the club the next week the track still needs to be in the brain of the listener. This is how it should be.

Trance.nu: Do you have an explanation for your success? What is the 'magic key'?
JamX: I don’t know, but I think it’s important that the people are in a good mood and the whole building up and down from a set must be right.
DeLeon: It’s hard to describe, actually we don’t even know what ‘the magic key’ is. We don’t see it like this. We are very self critic and we are never 100% satisfied with our work. We also don’t see ourselves as successful people and we are always surprised when we go somewhere were people know us, although our records are not very much distributed in this area of the world or whatever.

Trance.nu: Where do you get your inspiration from for your productions?
JamX: Maybe from old songs from the 70’s, 80’s and also from the 90’s. Mostly Dominik plays a melody and I get some idea’s for lyrics. And then we start working together and then we try to create a good track!

Trance.nu: Sounds very simple!
DeLeon: Haha! Yeah, sometimes it is! But sometimes we put everything in the dust bin after a day of work.
JamX: In these times it’s very hard to produce music. In Germany everybody likes more the harder stuff like hardstyle and jumpstyle. Trance music is not really huge in Germany for the big audience.
DeLeon: We’ve been always thinking “Does this sounds right? Isn’t this too hard? Are we still happy with the sound?”. There have been times that we even played softer trance then today, like 2 or 3 years ago. But in the end of the day we say if we play a 2 hour set, the last 30 minutes is new stuff from us. The last 30 – 40 minutes is always the maximum of the reactions, the feedback, what the people give you back. So when we see those reactions, something must be right what we are doing.

Trance.nu: Do you prefer hardware or software to produce with?
DeLeon: I still prefer hardware. I think it sounds different, because it has more punch and more pressure, but… the software is coming. We’re getting new software synthesizers and it’s making things easier to check out. Now maybe 35 / 40% of our productions could be software already and the rest is hardware. Everytime I’m getting new software or new plug ins, I can hear that it’s getting better and better. So software is coming for sure!

Trance.nu: What is the best track you have ever produced?
JamX: I really like ‘See The Light’ and ‘Memory’.
DeLeon: I like ‘Never Look Back’ myself.
Trance.nu: What is the best remix you have ever produced?
JamX: Good question, we did a lot of remixes, but for myself I think ‘Ayumi Hamasaki - Trauma’ and - ‘Jurgen Vries - The Theme’.
DeLeon: Also ‘Rank 1 - It’s Up To You (Symsonic)’. Those are good remixes because the original was already good. Sometimes it takes us very long to do a remix because we try to reinterpetate the original in another way that it’s maybe better then the original.

Trance.nu: One of the most asked questions is probably when ‘Ayumi Hamasaki - Trauma’ with the fabulous DuMonde Remix is going to be released. Any updates on that one?
DeLeon: We don’t think that this one is going to see a release. It’s a politics problem… We wanted to release it, but it’s still not released. Actually the Japanese recordcompany asked us to press some white labels, because they weren’t into vinyl pressing. They had the Ayumi Hamasaki album, but they wanted to make a remix album, so everybody was doing a remix for it. It was only released on CD with the radio edits on it. We did a radio mix, an original mix and a dub mix, so they asked us to do some white pressings. So there are I think 25 white pressings and we’ve only got 5 of them, so there are maybe 15 or 20 white labels spread around the world. One day we found one record for € 350,- sold to Ebay! We asked the recordcompany if we could release it, but they came up with strange things and they told us that we could not release it. We also wanted to put it on the ‘DuMonde - The Mixes Volume 1’, but they didn’t allow us. We really would love to release it, but we doubt if it will ever be released…
Trance.nu: Why is it that guys like you, Cosmic Gate, Blank & Jones, Ronski Speed and Paul van Dyk seem to get more recognition in foreign countries than in your own homecountry Germany?
DeLeon: Okay, the people that you mentioned are our kind of sound and that sound is not very popular in Germany at the moment. Commercial trance, high pitched vocals, covers and stuff like that put the name ‘trance’ in a wrong direction. Furthermore the hip hop scene in Germany grew a lot and the whole club scene in common has suffered in the last 2 years. So we are actually only playing outside Germany at the moment, so I think that that’s the main reason.

Trance.nu: What do you like and what don't you like about the dance scene?
JamX: I like good parties, good people and I wish that the good party people would come back to Germany, but I think that it will never happen anymore…
DeLeon: Well, Jürgen was talking about Germany… You both come from the Netherlands, which is ‘The Dance Country’, with the best network of promotion- and record companies and the festivals in Summer and all other big events. This would never be possible in Germany this way! What you also can see is the strong support of the dance scene fans like for example there are rumours that 30% of the votes in the DJ Mag Top 100 were from Dutch people. When you compare this to all other countries and also compare it to the population of the country, it’s very impressive.

Trance.nu: Are you a heavy internet user, just average or do you hardly ever use the Internet?
DeLeon: We are heavy internet users because we also use it for our work. For example, our lawyer is in Munich, our label partner is in another town and we also use internet software to talk to each other without making expensive phone calls. We also have several servers with our music on it, for record companies.
Trance.nu: What are your most favourite websites?
DeLeon: Well, there are so many good websites, but almost each day we check the news and forums on Trance.nu and Tranceaddict.com.

Trance.nu: How about new ways of marketing new and old tracks; like payable downloads or some small and short mp3-previews of new tracks on your website?
DeLeon: The sales of records and CD’s is going downhill. The dance scene and also we as F8T Recordings have to find new distribution ways to present our music to people who want to buy it. The last few years we notice that people want to have music in a digital way. So, we are now working on different distribution platforms for North America and Europe for people who can share our MP3’s and earning money with it.

Trance.nu: What are you thinking of the availability of livesets in the internet? Is this positive or negative?
JamX: I think that it’s always positive to transport our music as long as the quality is good.

Trance.nu: Any chance for fans to see someday a special livemix on your website?
DeLeon: When we play somewhere there are sometimes streams broadcasted anyway. Like the Exposure Festival for example. But it’s a good idea to have something fresh every couple of weeks for our fans.

Trance.nu: If you were not a DJ/producer, what would you like to be doing?
DeLeon: I like cars, so a mechanic maybe, I don’t know… But I have studied audio-engineering in the late 90’s, so I think that I always wanted to do something with music.
JamX: I think that I would be a football player.

Trance.nu: What are your favourite occupations when you don't have to work?
JamX: Playing with my son.
DeLeon: No idea… Our music is our hobby and also our work. When we are finished with work I do almost nothing actually.

Trance.nu: Do you have any tips for starting producers/DJs?
DeLeon: Try to compare your own music with your favorite tracks and try to get the same quality. It’s hard, but it’s the best way in my opinion.

Trance.nu: At the moment people can vote for the DJ Mag Top 100. What’s your opinion about this list?
DeLeon: We think that it’s a big promotion event for the big companies. I’ve mentioned it before when I was talking about the Dutch dance network. It’s very obvious that good Dutch DJ’s like Tiësto and Armin van Buuren for example, are in the top 5. They have big promotion companies behind them and a lot of people follow them. They have their radioshows on ID&T for example and they really have huge support from big companies and this makes the difference.
JamX: I would like to see the 100 best DJ’s (according to the DJ list) on one festival and see which DJ makes the best party for the people… 

Trance.nu: Do you think that this list is important?
DeLeon: We will not be high in the list, because we don’t send 10.000 people an email to vote for us. We are only being supported by the real fans. No big homepage community is supporting us.
JamX: We don’t have a big company behind us who supports us like Tiësto, Armin and Paul van Dyk. That helps a lot!

Trance.nu: What makes a DJ set a good DJ set in your opinion?
DeLeon: First, that the selection of tracks is working, that the way the tracks are build one behind each other is working. That the whole set is building up to a climax.
JamX: It also depends on how long it is.
DeLeon: Yeah, normally we play one and a half or two hours, you have to make a climax somehow. But when we play like for four hours, you can make more waves in the set. When we play ‘short’ sets, we play tracks for only 3 or 4 minutes, so we have to mix very fast. But when we play long sets we can let the music flow more…

Trance.nu: Who's the best DJ in the world at the moment and why? Besides yourself ofcourse… wink
JamX: I don’t listen a lot to other DJ’s …
DeLeon: Tiësto is maybe the best DJ actually because he’s a very good entertainer. When I saw him at the opening of the Olympic Games in Greece this year, yeah, that looked very cool!
JamX: He’s also a very smart guy. When we were together with him in our old studio we later had a dinner and we just noticed that he is very smart. He’s nice, friendly and he’s a good guy. From me, all the best to Tiësto! And what he does, is good for our music!

Trance.nu You guys use Final Scratch in your DJ sets. What do you guys think of it?
DeLeon: We don’t like to play CD’s, but we like to play with vinyl, it’s another feeling. But we always have some new stuff with us, that’s not released on vinyl or test pressing. Jürgen made files of his whole music collection, so we can use it in Final Scratch. We really like from the way we work with it. It gives us a vinyl touch and a vinyl feel. It gives us a very easy access to all music that we want. But on the other hand, the music itself is reduced to a file. The music doesn’t deserve to be an MP3 file. This is the problem with the music these days. Almost everybody is downloading illegal MP3’s, so if you have an MP3 it’s just a little file out of 10.000 other files…. The people don’t see the worth of the music. If you have a vinyl or a CD, you have something in your hand. Now it’s just a file… In these days the kids they are not willing to pay 99 Eurocent for one song, because they can get it somewhere else for free. But they are paying 2,99 Euro for a 15 second ringtone… That’s the crazy thing about it. Only the true fans buy the CD’s and the vinyls…

Trance.nu: To what kind of music do you listen to when you are relaxing at home or when you drive in your car?
JamX: I like all kinds of music. From the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s till the 80’s. When I’m in my car I’m listening to “Dion and the Bellmonds”, very old stuff from the beginning of the 60’s. It’s beautiful music, very short, maybe only 2 minutes a song. It’s very easy music. I like to listen to this kind of music and feel free.
DeLeon: I like the music from the 80’s and the 90’s, that was my decade, so I like to listen to 80’s and 90’s music. In the car I just listen to the radio.

Trance.nu: What was your highlights so far this year?
DeLeon: The Australian tour in March was just great! We know some people from there now, since it was our second time overthere. We’re looking forward to go back there on New Year’s Eve. It’s almost like a vacation!
JamX: My highlight for this year is hopefully coming soon. When we get our rights for our “Blue Monday” song.

Trance.nu: Can you tell us something more about this ‘Blue Monday’ track?
DeLeon: We, as JamX & DeLeon, did ‘Can You Dig It?’ and ‘Mind Made Up’. We thought that it was time for a third single, so we were thinking about it. Then we came with the idea to re-interprete
‘Blue Monday’ by New Order, an old 80’s song. Which was already very clubby, so it seemed to fit in our context. We wanted to make a new version, but we didn’t wanted to make a cover version because we don’t like covers that much. We wanted to use the original New Order vocals, so finally we got the vocals. It was very hard to get them with all the publishing, management and record company isues. Now we are almost done. We are almost in the position that we can release this track on vinyl first and then we have to see how we will proceed after that. It has been very hard. We hope that we can finish it and release the track finally!

Trance.nu: What will you be doing in 10 years from now?
JamX: Hopefully still DJ-ing.
DeLeon: I hope the same. When I look back what was there 10 years ago and now almost 10 years later, we are still working together. A lot of things have been changed those years. I don’t know what the future will bring. Just let it come!

Trance.nu: What’s your current Top 3?
Shybrothers - Nemesis (DuMonde Remix)
Yoko M - No Fate
Lingen & Moore - Passion

Trance.nu: What can we expect from you guys in words of releases shortly?
JamX: ‘JamX & DeLeon vs New Order - Blue Monday’ hopefully… The new DuMonde is coming out soon: ‘Let Me Out’ and in Germany ‘Ich Will Raus’. ‘Dave202 meets DuMonde’, a very exclusive song and hopefully the people will like it.
DeLeon: On our own label F8T Records we will release ‘Shybrothers - Nemesis’ with a DuMonde remix on it. There’s coming a new track on AccessTunes called ‘Lodge 68 - Monument’. A new collaboration track from Skydiver / X900 and Ace da Brain also on AccessTunes tunes. And 2 different EP’s from the Italian producers of Igor S. and Ricky Vobis. I think that that’s it so far for this year.

Trance.nu: Thank you both for your time and good luck in the future!
DeLeon: Thank you very much, thanks for being here!
JamX: Thank you too!


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