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Sunday 26th, December 2004
Gabriel & Dresden
Updated: Thursday 28th, May 2009

San Francisco based producers Josh Gabriel and Dave Dresden met in 2001 and since then things went very fast: The produced a lot of tracks under names like Andain and Motorcycle. Furthermore they made some fabulous remixes for artists like Above & Beyond, Dido, DJ Tiësto, Jewel, Way Out West, Three Drives, Paul Oakenfold, 4 Strings, Depeche Mode, Nalin & Kane, Annie Lennox, New Order, Sarah McLachlan and lots of others! The Gabriel & Dresden debut mix CD 'Bl00m' was released in September of this year on Nettwerk Records. Furhtermore they had three Dance Star Award nominations for Best Producer, Best Single, and Best Break Through this year. Reasons enough for Trance.nu to catch up with Josh Gabriel and Dave Dresden. The interview took place on the 18th of December at the Sheraton Hotel in Amsterdam, just a few hours before their DJ gig at Innercity.

Trance.nu: Can you tell us how you guys met and when you decided to start to make music together?
Josh: We met at the Winter Music Conference in 2001 and I was giving out music. It was the white label of my first track ‘Wave 3’ and Dave picked it up. Dave was scouting new music for Pete Tong at that time. So, Dave listened to it and after that, he gave it to Pete and that was the start of our relationship.
And later Pete Tong, as a ‘thank you’ to Dave, for all the music that he has found him, basically gave him a remix to do. That one was for New Order. Dave at that point had more a DJ background and not a studio background. I had more a studio background and less of a DJ background, so Dave said: “Hey, do you want to do this remix together?”, so we did and we never stopped making music.
Dave: So, it just happened. Actually we use to fight like cats and dogs when we first met. It was like every time we did a track it was our last, but at the end we learned to work together!

Trance.nu: The Gabriel & Dresden mix compilation ‘Bl00m’ was recently released. How are the reactions on this album so far?
Dave: We like the reactions that we are getting! We are very happy with the album, we like what we did, so it’s nice to get a lot of positive feedback from other people too!

Trance.nu: Are there any plans yet to release a Gabriel & Dresden artist album in the future?
Josh: Oh yes, we don’t know exactly what we’re going to do, but we would like to collaborate with different artists that we respect. The collaborations that we have done pushes us in new directions and always teaches us something, so we want to have a chance to do that in a structured way. I think that doing an album and work with a lot of different artists would be a great way to do that.

Trance.nu: Josh, for the Tiësto album ‘Just Be’ you wrote and composed the vocal track ‘Walking On Clouds’ together with Kirsty Hawkshaw and Tiësto. How was it to work together with them?
Josh: Well, actually it was just Tiësto and myself. Kirsty Hawkshaw wasn’t involved in the writing process, so I didn’t work with her, I just worked with him, which was great! He is a great person to work with!

Trance.nu: Are there any other plans for other collaborations with other producers or artists?
Dave: Absolutely! Like Josh said, we always learn something new when we work with other people. And there’s a lot of people that we like to learn something new from.
Josh: Finding the time to do it, is the hard part, so we are trying to figure out how to make that happen.

Trance.nu: What about a collaboration with Armin van Buuren for his new album?
Josh: We actually started a song with him that we’d like to finish at some point soon!

Trance.nu: How would you guys describe the Gabriel & Dresden sound?
Josh: Pop music for an E-generation maybe…

Trance.nu: What do you consider to be your best production so far and why?
Dave: My answer to this question is always: they’re all my children, but if I really have to pick one it would be ‘Andain - Beautiful Things’, because I love the words to that song, I love the sounds, I like every element to that track!

Trance.nu: And the best remix?
Josh: That has to be ‘Way Out West - Mindcircus’. That has the test of time, so I have to say that one!

Trance.nu: This year you did a lot of remixes for artists like Britney Spears and Madonna, Annie Lennox and Above & Beyond for example.
Are there any artists or tracks (new ones or classics) that you would like to remix?

Josh: I think we’d like to remix (or work with) some of the people that we grew up with from the 80’s like Duran Duran, The Cure, U2 and different groups like that. We would love to do that!

Trance.nu: For the mega hit “Motorcycle - As The Rush Comes” you worked together with vocalist Jes Brieden. She has an amazing voice! Are there any plans for a new track with her?
Dave: Yes! And if you will come to the Innercity gig tonight, you will hear it! There is also another Motorcycle track at the end of ‘Bl00m’ called ‘Imagination’, which is another song that we’ve been trying to work into a dance track. But right now it’s just the acoustic version that you heard.

Trance.nu: When can we expect the new Motorcycle release?
Josh: That’s up to the record companies. Hopefully March 2005!

Trance.nu: What kind of equipment do you use in the studio?
Josh: Basically we use Logic and for recording we have a microphone, a compressor and some real instruments.

Trance.nu: Do you prefer hardware or software to produce with? What do you like to use most?
Josh: I prefer hardware, but we don’t use any, because it’s too expensive. At the moment I’m trying to buy some old 80’s synths for in our studio.

Trance.nu: How do you start when you are going to produce a new track or remix?
Dave: First we listen to all the parts and see what we are gonna get out of it and what the song means to us. Individual sounds and how they might sound when we put delay on them and all other kinds of possibilities. We try to explore all those possibilities the first few days and then we actually start with the remix.

Trance.nu: How long do you work on a track or remix?
Josh: Usually like two weeks.

Trance.nu: Besides producing and remixing, you both are DJ-ing too.
Did you guys had a lot of DJ gigs the last months? And In which countries have you recently been?

Dave: Yes, we had a lot of gigs. Yesterday we’ve been to Greece. We also did an extensive tour in the United States to support ‘Bl00m’, we’ve been in England recently, Cyprus, Hong Kong, we are going to Dubai and now we are in Holland for Innercity tonight!

Trance.nu: What was your favorite venue / club / festival?
Dave: I think I have to say that my favorite gig ever with Josh has been the first time that we decided to DJ together using Ableton Live. That was in New York at Avelon. That was such a blast!

Trance.nu: At the end of 2003 you were a guest in Armin van Buuren’s radioshow A State Of Trance. During that show you guys did your DJ set with a laptop.
Are you going to use the laptop too tonight at Innercity or just with turntables and CD-players?

Josh: Just the laptop tonight. Well, Dave will probably play an accapella or two using the CD-player, but primarily we will use the laptop with Ableton Live.
Dave: Ableton Live is an amazing tool to DJ with. As working together we can do way more then just one person operating it. It’s a lot of fun to communicate musically in front of people as we are in the studio. So, I’ve actually been pitch-control DJ-ing for 17 years and I think that this is way more fun!

Trance.nu: What can we expect tonight during your Innercity gig?
Josh: We’re gonna play some new music and also some old music too. It will probably a little bit harder then what people might expect from us. A little more techno. From being in the bigger festivals, we seen in big rooms and big festival places that when we play too funky, the people get bored. So we’ve been having more fun when playing a little harder and faster during these shows.

Trance.nu: What do you like most, producing or DJ-ing and can you tell us why?
Dave: I like both for way different reasons and for the same reasons. I actually love making music to think about what I’m gonna do and how it sounds like when I’m gonna play it while DJ-ing.
Josh: I think that we’re in an interesting time where that’s even a question. Because in 5 years, 10 years or maybe 20 years, the concept of producing and DJ-ing… there wont be a distinction. One will be the other. People wont finish tracks and DJ’s wont play records. DJ-ing right now is getting more and more granular. People are playing accapella’s over beats and pretty soon they’re gonna start having individual control over all sorts of things. DJ’s are not content with just playing songs and a lot of people that DJ also produce. So I think it’s gonna end up in this blurry state were DJ-ing is really a live performance of what you are doing in the studio.

Trance.nu: What is the most challenging aspect of your DJ/producer career?
Josh: I think that the most challenging is that you keep being creative and keep reinventing yourself.

Trance.nu: What are your favourite occupations when you don't have to work?
Josh: I like to cook and do graphic design and stuff like that.

Trance.nu: What are your highlights this year?
Josh: I really enjoyed going to St. Petersburg. We had to DJ there for over 20.000 people in an old Russian fort, which was amazing!

Trance.nu: What can we expect from you guys in the near future? New productions / remixes?
Josh: We just finished a remix for Rachel Star called ‘Till There Was You’ and a remix for Nicol Sponberg called ‘Resurrection’. And we have a new label called ‘Organized Nature’ and that’s gonna be launched around Winter Music Conference time. The first track on that will be the new Gabriel & Dresden track ‘Arcadia’, which is already on ‘Bl00m’.

Trance.nu: Are there any things you would like to say to your fans at Trance.nu?
Josh: Well, verybody is been telling us that our website is horrible and we agree with all of you. We’re working on it and in a few months come back to it and it will be fixed.
Dave: Yeah, come back please! Haha!
Josh: Actually what we are gonna be doing is for people that sign up for our website, we’re gonna giving the ‘Organized Nature’ releases away to them for free.
Dave: We sell vinyl and CD quality files too, but we also want to give away free MP3’s for our fans!

Trance.nu: That sounds very good! Thank you both very much for your time and good luck in the future!
Josh & Dave: Thank you too!


Written by:
Twan van Loon

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