Dean FUEL, one of the hardest working DJ/producers on the scene, has had an enviable career thus far. Far from letting up, the man seems to have ample, ahem, fuel to burn. Nathan Kabingesi talks to him about his favourite local spots to spin at, playing along side superstars like Tiesto and his Labyrinth Nights at Trinity.
You’re one of the busiest DJ/producers in the country; where do you find the energy?
Red Bull mostly (laughs), but actually from the people on the dance floors, they inspire and keep me going, no matter how little sleep I may (or may not) have had!
You’ve recently included Trance sounds in your repertoire, what inspired this move?
Although most people might not know this – I have actually been playing trance music for as long as I have been DJ-ing, going back as far as 2002. I then started playing more of the Psy sound around 2004 with the start of my Labyrinth brand, and the rest is history! Naturally these days I can play just about any style of set, but I always make sure to read the dancefloor and create the best sounds for the floor that I can!
WOW – what can I say, Labyrinth has grown to be one of the biggest indoor Psy events in the country! People go crazy for them, where we are getting over a 1000 people every party – in the middle of the week no less! Labyrinth has always been about quality music, and a great night out – which we always strive to deliver! We are about including all artists, labels and brands, but doing it “our” way! It is such a personal brand, and I treat it like my baby… in that sense – I am a very proud pappa! The support we have for the night is testament to the fact that the scene recognizes what we are doing, and have given us its love and support!
Your productions have been featured on quite a few successful compilations; any plans to release an album of your own?
Its definitely a goal of mine, especially having done quite a few DJ mix albums! The first step will be to release E.P.s of new music, build up more interest and then ultimately go on to a full album release. I am currently hard at work with a few of my close friends, arguably some of the best producers in the country (lucky for me – hehehe). We are working on amazing new material … so watch this space!
Having held it down at some of the premiere clubs in Cape Town, do you have any favourite spots to spin at past or present?
Too many to mention… the few stand out clubs from the past would be Opium (Cape Town) and 330 (Durban). Currently hotspots would be Truth (JHB), Nicci Beach (JHB), Origin (Durban), and Sapphire (CT).
Over the past year Trinity in Cape Town has become my base residency, its fantastic in terms of sound, gear, and overall production. It fully reaches international standards, and is a great stage to play on!
You’ve played alongside some of the biggest names in the world of dance music; does any particular event/tour stand out for you?
Early on I got to open for Jamiroquai, which was insane! Other highlights include The Godskitchen Boombox Tours, and opening for Armin Van Buuren was spectacular. Playing alongside Sasha, Digweed & Dubfire was amazing, and of course closing for Infected Mushroom – well, what more can I say!! I also LOVE playing at the CT outdoor events… and closing for events such as Alien Safari and Equinox have been unbelievable moments!
A lot of DJ’s would kill for your resume, but there doesn’t seem to be a whiff of complacency about you; any plans for global domination on the agenda?
Complacency is over-rated. My next goal is to continue on the production front, to find time to work on as much original material as possible, also to build up an international touring schedule over the next few years … still SO much to do! I love my job!
Interview: Nathan Kabingesi