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Thursday 27th, August 2009
Josh Gabriel Interview

Artists: Our friends at MadeEvent who are presenting Electric Zoo, the upcoming 2 day festival in NYC, helped us to get this exclusive interview with Gabriel about his newest projects,label, and collaberations.

Josh Gabriel, widely know as part of the former great EDM team of Gabriel & Dresden, has been a DJ/producer on the scene for around 20 years. He will be playing day 2 of the Electric Zoo festival, for which trance.nu is a media sponsor, and will also be appearing in the famous indie fest in the desert; Burning Man.

For Josh Gabriel info visit: www.myspace.com/joshgabrielmusic
For tickets and Electric Zoo info visit: www.electriczoofestival.com

Trance.nu: How are you?

Gabriel: Doing fantastic!

Trance.nu: You are one of the elder states-men on the EDM scene, in your opinion-what is the current state of electronic music and where is it going?

Gabriel: Music is stronger than ever, and that excites me. From time to time you hear about sales of certain formats selling more or less, but if you look at the big picture like guitar hero, iphones and new interactive media, music is everywhere and bound to reach new levels in the next few years. As for genres, they come and go, but music keeps making a comeback. Playing live is clearly the future.

Trance.nu: I know this must be a repetitive question at this point, but I feel obliged to ask it, what happened between you and Dave Dresden

Gabriel: Differing creative goals and the desire to make solo music led to us taking a break.

Trance.nu: Is there any chance Gabriel and Dresden will unite once again?

Gabriel:In life, all possibilities are available at all time, but right now it seems unlikely.

Trance.nu: Are you sick of Gabriel and Dresden questions by now?

Gabriel: No, I don't mind. We made a lot of music together and then stopped. I think it's natural that people want to find out what happened.

Trance.nu: One of your first solo singles “Summit” ended up hitting the track lists of many DJs across the spectrum, from house to tech to trance, were you surprised at its success?

Gabriel: I was totally surprised. I made it totally for myself. I guess those are the records that you take enough risks to have them break through.

Trance.nu: How has your style/sound evolved over the years?

Gabriel: I have been solo now for 17 months and in the beginning I played much more techno . Part of that was just me taking a break and trying new things out. But in the last few months I have seen a return of more uplifting, emotional music in my sets. More vocals and probably more funky as well. I have done a lot of bootlegs especially for my DJ sets and they have been fun to play for people. For example, I just finished a bootleg of Deep Dish's Say Hello. I am also doing remixes of things all the time, like the remix of As the Rush Comes that I finished to play at Global Gathering in the UK.

Trance.nu: Recently your label Different Pieces hooked up with Armin Van Buuren’s label Armada, can you tell us about how that relationship was formed and what we can expect from the label in the future?

Gabriel: Armada is my distributor. They help me get the label's music out to the digital world. Right now we are about to start shooting the video for Deep Down, the first single from my new vocal project called Winter Kills. Our debut album will be released on the label as well as music from Francis Preve, Rob Stern and Bitches in the Kitchen. Anything that I would play at a show is game for release on the label and we take the approach of working with artist to develop them as opposed to just signing lots of different tracks.

Trance.nu: Do you prefer to produce your own tracks or remix other’s?

Gabriel: They are two different things, like driving and riding a bike. They are very different but both get you there. When you are working on a lot of original music, remixes seem fun. When you have done a lot of remixes, you want to make more original music. I enjoy them both.

Trance.nu: Would you prefer more time in the studio or more live performances on the road?

Gabriel: That's easy. I always want more time in the studio.

Trance.nu: Are fans of G & D going to be happy with your newest productions?

Gabriel: I would hope so. Good Question. Like my current DJ sets, the evolution of my sound is definitely the logical progression from my work with G&D - emotional, melodic music that transcends standard genre labels. This is also carries through with the upcoming releases on Different Pieces, as I've been discovering new artists who share a passion for creating music that's both fresh and familiar at the same time. For example, Winter Kills' first single "Deep Down" completely blurs the line between progressive trance and timeless 80s bands like Eurythmics and Yazoo. The whole project is like that – classic songwriting filtered through years of DJing. Andain is another good example of this, with the next single, "Promises". Even the bootlegs I've been spinning in my sets reflect that musicality, taking a track like Francis Preve and Wolfgang Gartner's summer electro anthem, "Yin" and folding in Deep Dish's "Say Hello" - which is timeless in its musicality. It's really been great to get emails from G&D fans who hear my radio shows and say, "Ahhh, now I get it!" All of this affirms what I've been doing since "Wave 3" – never losing sight of the music, no matter how hard and fast the beats get.

Trance.nu: We understand you were involved with Sander Kleinenberg’s latest project, what can you tell us about that?

Gabriel: Yes, I have been co-writing and producing his debut artist album with him. It has been a great experience so far. We come at things from totally different angles and have learned a lot from each other. The album is very diverse and features different guest vocalists. The first single called This Is Our Night has been getting great support and I will be much exited when the album is finally released.

Trance.nu: Who else are you working with or you would like to work with?

Gabriel: This year I have done tacks with Dave Seaman, Andain, Rob Stern & Francis Preve, I am on the lookout for the right indie/new wave band to co-write and produce.

Trance.nu: I would like to switch gears and discuss an important subject, the debut of the Electric Zoo Festival in New York City. I believe this is an important event because it will serve as a barometer of where EDM is stands in the USA. Other than WMC and Ultra there isn’t a festival purely made up of EDM in a 2-day setting in the states.

Gabriel: I believe that this festival is really important. That is why I am excited to be a part of it. In Europe, there are many festivals like this, so it's nice to see one in the US.

Trance.nu: Do you feel the time has come for a European style EDM festival in the USA?

Gabriel: I do. The only way new people come into the scene is through events like this.

Trance.nu: How important is an event like this for American artists such as you?

Gabriel: Important enough that I am leaving Burning Man a couple of days early to come!

Trance.nu: Do you have any fond memories of gigs in New York City?

Gabriel: Yes, I would say that some of the G&D gigs at Pacha were among my favorites.

Trance.nu: Is there a difference in a set you may play at an outdoor festival like Electric Zoo, as opposed to a regular club spot?

Gabriel: There is a big difference, especially since the set will be recorded, which means I can't play any of the really new unreleased material. But in general festivals sets are shorter and more to the point.

Trance.nu: MadeEvent the producers are attempting to further push the boundaries by have different genres on the same stage, which is different from Ultra, Global-Gathering, cream fields, etc, which tends to put similar sounding DJs on the same stage, do you like this idea?

Gabriel: I don't know. We will have to see how it feels. I suspect people may just go from stage to stage finding what they want and then moving on when the music changes to something they don't like. Maybe that is the idea? As a listener I prefer to stay in one area and listen to a progression of music that makes sense.

Many thanks to Josh Gabriel, MadeEvent, and Electric Zoo festival


Written by:
mike schirtzer

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