“I don’t want to jump around in a plastic boat and
throw cakes from the stage at people.
No way. These guys don’t even mix anymore.
It’s all fake and playback”
D-Nox plays SIRIUS on Friday, 9 August alongside Interactive Noise and then jets off to Oppikoppi to play the Red Bull Live Stage after that. Earlier this year he rocked the socks off Origin both on the Tech floor and then a short but memorable closing set on the main floor. Anybody who has witnessed D-Nox play will know that he can get quite animated when he DJs. He is equally animated if you ask him the right questions; we think we did…
D-Nox: Hahahaha, no nothing has changed. I am still as busy as I was. After a more relaxed month of June I will now dive fully back into work. I have a crazy world tour coming up, which also includes a stop over in South Africa.
IDM: Your first visit to South Africa was for a small, intimate party. When you returned for Origin and Teknotribe were you at all surprised at the difference – both in the amount of people who now knew of your music – and the size of the parties/dancefloor?
D-Nox: Oh, oh I have such good memories about my last visit to South Africa. Not only because it’s a beautiful country, but also because I played 2 extremely wicked sets (in my opinion). The key moment for me was the closing of the main stage at Origin. It was short but intense and a true joy. Unbelievable feelings. But also playing the techno stage at Origin at night was great for me. I could see that things have changed and that people have become much more open to different kinds of music as opposed to in 2005.
IDM: Compared to today’s productions, your sound certainly lent itself more toward progressive house back then and even had ‘trancey’ elements. Over the years I would say that the tempo has dropped a few IDMs and your tracks are a lot more techy nowadays. Do you ever listen to any of your stuff from that far back and how would you explain the evolution of your sound?
D-Nox: Yes I listen to the old tracks especially when we have to play a live show but the sound (for us) back than was so bad that we find it hard to include the old tunes in the new live set. We prefer to play the new tracks. We are DJs and DJs like to play what is fresh. But yes the sound has changed a bit. We find it boring to always produce the same. We feel the music and see what is going on. We try to sound fresh and up to date without losing what we are known for and that is our special groove. I believe people recognize when it’s our track. Our groove is always ours and I don’t know many that get the groove as groovy as we do.
IDM: You guys (D-Nox & Beckers) were also crowd favourites at outdoor trance parties for quite a while (some 10 years back) – do you still get these bookings now and then?
D-Nox: We have decided to step back a bit from the trance scene. For a couple of reasons we do it once in a while, like this year we will play at Ozora and next year at Boom. We keep it more special and look for the better events. But our experience with the psy trance scene wasn’t that good. They have a psytrance crowd and we don’t want to change them; they like faster and harder music and we like the opposite.
IDM: Anybody who has seen (and heard) you play will agree that when you are in the zone you really do show it behind the decks. What does it take to get you in THAT zone?
D-Nox: I love to be in that ZONE, but to get there isn’t always easy. It takes a few things; I need the crowd to show me love and I need to be in the right state of mind and I need the perfect sound system and working station. Its also best if I get very nervous before.
IDM: We also all know that when one plays as often as you do, there will be good nights and bad nights… (often out of the control of the DJ) – What is the strangest experience you’ve had at a gig recently?
D-Nox: To be honest the last month has been the strangest ever. I went to play in Istanbul, just when they started the revolution = empty party. I went to play in Bulgaria, election of president, no alcohol sold = no party. I went to play in Copenhagen one of the main events in their year, the first day of hot weather and everyone was out in the park = the party empty. Things went on like this for the whole month. I am so ready to get a good gig again. I guess I needed that but now it’s enough. I am really looking forward to playing the way I like it.
IDM: And strangest request from either a promoter or fan?
D-Nox: I have had requests for weddings, mostly in Brazil. I did it twice and it was a lot of fun. Now I am best friends with both couples. A strange experience was to play after Infected Mushroom; I will never do that again. It was so stupid of the promoter to put us together. The strangest request from a fan was to sign a tittie. I didn’t want to touch with both hands but on the hand I had to. It was great [laughs].
IDM: You (and your partner, Beckers) have had a few No.1 tracks on Beatport, you’ve been nominated for several awards (both Beatport and Ibiza DJ Awards) as well as winning ‘ Best Progressive House” at the 2010 DJ Awards, Ibiza. How much do these awards impact on your success as a DJ (i.e. more bookings, selling more tracks online etc)?
D-Nox: I think that any award we’ve won hasn’t done much for us, but those number ones on Beatport back then gave us a big boost. Nowadays it’s hard to hit No. 1 at Beatport. They have sold themselves to all this David Guetta trash pop. Cool music almost never makes it to the top at Beatport. We get more gigs around the world because of all the releases, but the sales of music have dropped down big time. It’s worse than it was and it was already bad. Nowadays it seems that no ones buys music anymore.
D-Nox: I don’t know what other people sell but when I talk to colleagues all I hear is complaints. What is rising are royalties for streaming. Sites like Spotify are becoming bigger and better. This seems to be the new thing. Let’s see. I don’t expect too much from the music scene. I write the music I want to write and I try to sign it to labels we like to sign with. It’s great when people like our music but we can’t make them like it. A number 1 at Beatport is great, but so hard to plan and get.
IDM: Speaking of digital. Do you still play off CDs or have you moved to Laptop yet?
D-Nox: I play from USB stick. That’s it. Pioneer 2000 players!!! I don’t support laptops as a DJ tool. 7 out of 10 laptop DJs don’t know how to connect their shit and it seems that they always have to connect while I play. This is a good way to break balls and ruin the last 20 mins of my set.
IDM: How many rock festivals have you played at over the years? (You’ll be playing at one at Oppikoppi, South Africa)
D-Nox: I don’t think I have ever played at a rock festival. This is new to me. Well let’s see what it will be like, I will be ready!!!
IDM: You’re playing SIRIUS in Cape Town next month… the event is a combination of minimal tech and progressive psytrance. How often do you rub shoulders with progressive psytrance producers/DJs on the DJ circuit? [Do you know any, personally]?
D-Nox: I know some of the guys but I don’t usually spend much time listening to prog psytrance. I get the wind here and there but I personally don’t follow it. This music is a bit too fast for me. I prefer more groove and hypnotizing sounds.
IDM: Final question: EDM – both the name itself and what it represents in terms of this new wave of interest from the USA who finally seems to be discovering dance music. What’s your take? Hate it, love it..?
D-Nox: Hate maybe. Defo dislike guys like Aoki and such. It’s all bollocks which has nothing to do with the techno movement which I am used to following. In the 90’s and the 2000’s we separated dance music from techno music. Those guys would have never played the same event as the techno guys, but now they mix it all up and that I find is bad for all of us. The kids don’t get it and they want something we can’t deliver. I don’t want to jump around in a plastic boat and throw cakes from the stage at people. No way. These guys don’t even mix anymore. Its all fake and playback. I can’t stand it.
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