Reach for the lazers...

WHEN IS DEEP TOO DEEP?

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As music lovers around the world end the year off with a bang, we'd like to take a step back and reflect upon what has been a very interesting past twelve months. As you may have noticed, the DFD blog spot has taken a back seat for the last few months. We've been super busy growing our online radio show's content, expanding our team, securing a residency at one of Cape Town's favorite House clubs and pushing the boundaries with our underground parties. The most important thing for us is the music. It always will be.

We are firm believers that as a DJ, producer or party promoter a firm respect for music will take you a long way. The best DJs and promoters are not the ones who jump on a bandwagon and satisfy the masses by pumping out only the trendiest music. It's completely understandable to be flexible and play (or host an event which revolves around) a certain sound which may be popular now and not the next year. However…to do so on a constant basis is disrespectful to a scene which needs to feed off individualism and is the reason why DJs who do not produce will never make it. We have observed something which has saddened us over the last year. Allow us to put this into perspective (and deep fry it).

We recently hosted a event (with another brand) which centered around the idea of musical progression across genres. Genres which never before would have even bothered to overlap in one event. We're talking about Nu Disco, Deep House, House, Techno, Prog Tech and Minimal, in that order; starting with a double yacht party, rooftop party and basement party over sixteen hours.

We've been pushing musical progression (and knowledge) in a city at the tip of Africa for a very long time and this is how DFD started. This is not Ibiza (although it is quickly becoming Africa's version of it thanks to the recent visits of acts like Egbert, Max Cooper, Hannah Wants, Mario Basanov and many more). This is Cape Town. The scene is slowly growing but EDM raped it and it is at a very delicate stage where people can finally listen to an act and just say that is, for example, 'House' music playing and be quite into it without having to be a DJ to appreciate it. The last time that happened was at least 12 years ago.

Back to the matter at hand. Too many promoters and DJs have been guilty of being lazy and getting caught in the deep end. It seems that it is a better option to jump on the bandwagon and offer a quick "suck and a f*ck" solution to a packed event or dance floor by just playing Deep House/Tech. Why? Because it's cool. The Pet Shop Boys weren't cool when they first came out (they were a shock to many) but they did to the electronic music scene what pacifiers did to the wellbeing of teen ravers' gums all over the world.

Deep House has been cool for twenty years. It no longer has an identity. All over the city we have seen events where a 15 hour line up consists of acts who only play deep music. Surely if your set as a DJ (over 90 minutes) has to reflect a journey then your line up for an event must do exactly the same. We are living in a world where the average party goer can walk out of your event/set and do some research on what they have heard. Underground parties (which is essentially what our local electronic music scene thrives on) were based upon freedom and new music. The electronic (more specifically House) music scene is at a beautiful precipice now and there is such a plethora of cross-pollination between genres that we cannot do any justice to it by just going deep.

You want people to walk out of your event/set and remember the most important thing - the music. Tease them. Take them on a journey. Make them walk the steps of the BPM building, up and down, and down again; before leaving them on a high. Don't take them too deep…they'll drown.

INTERVIEW WITH CAPE COD AND HIS EXCLUSIVE DFD MIX

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Hi Cape Cod, thanks for taking the time out to allow the DFD chefs to pick your brain.

Thanks for support, appreciate it! And hello from Kiev.

Firstly, Cape Cod is an awesome name! Tell us how you came up with it. Is there any special meaning behind it?

Cape Cod is one of the quietest places on Earth. Originally it was a project with my friend from St. Petersburg - guitarist of post-metal band Euglena, which had to be something at the junction of the freak-folk and post-rock. You know, I'm a former black metal fan (laughs) (before I played bass guitar in a mathcore\hardcore band +\- (plus\minus), that's why I love to use powerful bass and piano chords due to guitar distortion. It breath more life into my music. Further, this name stuck for collaboration with Stas Shmelevskiy. We planned to do a modern r'n'b project - a cross between SBTRKT, Weeknd, and Craig David. Unfortunately for personal reasons had to freeze it all, even though the material was on the whole EP. This is such a turn of events interconnected I came to what is now.

On to the musical side of things. At what age did you first start producing and what was the reason behind this?

Well, I bought my first bass guitar at age 16. A year or two I worked independently, but then finally decided to go to a music school. Two years later, I dropped it because it became boring to play ethnic motifs and I engaged again in self-education. Video lessons and fulltime sitting at home, trying to create my own kind of technique. I always tried to use the bass guitar as a guitar. It was a fun and exciting time, which I greatly obliged . And production in electronic music I started in 2010 . Long evenings at home, watching a lot of tutorials, trying to understand what I ultimately want .

Were you classically trained as a musician on any instruments?

Yep, bass guitar. I also play on classic guitar and keys. And now learning drums

What software do you produce in and do you incorporate or use any analog elements or live instruments?

I gradually turn on the analog sound, as I initially instrumental musician. To me it is closer, it is possible to feel the instrument. But now I work in Ableton - I like his noisy overtone, does not give the tracks to be licked. And also preparing live program, but so far it's little surprise.

We first heard your stuff a while ago and even then you had a distinct choppy and very old school House sound to your production. Has that always been your sound?

Nope, I came to electronic production inspired by Burial, James Blake, Jamie XX and drag music, because for me it is quite adequate projection of black metal to electronic music. Of course the total number of bedroom artists created anti hype on this. I still love first album of Salem for their experiments with southern hip-hop (which in fact was reflected in my very first produced the track - a remix to Ace Of Base "All That She Wants). And of course I find inspiration in old jazz and soul, that I was fond while being in my first band. So I don't think that the house is the ultimate form of self-expression - just as long as it is the most eclectic of the existing for me.

In regards to your eclectic sound, can you name some of your musical influences?

All music. In my life I listened to everything from muzak to techgrind. I still like the bands like Converge, Poison The Well, Dillinger Escape Plan, Blood Brothers. Also in love with no-wave scene of 80's, Grizzly Bear and Animal Collective, Ray Lamontagne, Admiral Angry, Cult Of Luna, Erik Satie, Rafael Anton Irisarri, George Fitzgerald, Taneli. I'm trying to display all the music that influenced me in the past, it is very important.

Lovely, now we've been lucky enough to have you do a special DFD mix for us. Is it primarily your own production or a mixture of tunes?

Some of my fresh tunes + songs I played and like for this moment of my life. Some sort of house bowl - from raw deep to jacking bass. Tunes from Low Steppa, Dusky, Laszlo Dancehall, Ultra Knites, Fabio Monessi, The Upswing Project.

Can you tell us a bit about your latest release, "Let Me Drown" feat. Austin Paul?

Well, first of all, my latest is http://soundcloud.com/capecod/cape-cod-where-i-belong It's gonna be pressed as 12" soon with remixes. But about "Let Me Drown" - these track was made soon after remix Ace Of Base, just been postponed shelved for the time being. Only after this tune I wrote We Don't Have To \ Put U Down (which gonna be re-released on Kiev House label 19-th November). So Austin found me on soundcloud and wrote to me that he really liked my sound and he would like me to do a remix for him. So there was a track http://soundcloud.com/capecod/till-you-feel-cape-cod-remix And after that I asked him to do for the original track. That's how it happened.

Lastly, what has 2013 got in store for Cape Cod?

First of all fresh tunes and debut 12". My collaboration with producer Koloah - three tracks which gonna be published as 12" on Loveless Records (Brooklyn label). Also I'm producing collaboration with my fav guys Cream Soda: http://soundcloud.com/capecod/feeling-free-snipp And making my new EP and filming debut video. So, alot of thing to do till the end of the year. And the main thing finally get some sleep (laughs).

INTERVIEW WITH UNIVERSAL SOLUTION AND HIS EXCLUSIVE DFD MIX

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We recently caught up with Universal Solution - a very talented producer from Manchester. He's just been featured on Anjunadeep 05 (with two of his tracks, "Yukon" and "Osheen") and also has forthcoming releases on the same label. The quality of his production is sublime and sits handsomely in the sweet spot of ambient, warm and mature Prog House.

We were also luck enough to have an exclusive DFD mix from him. The mix consists of his own production and blew us away when we first heard it!

Watch out for Universal Solution as a big name in the near future!

Enough small chat, take a listen to the interview and mix below to spoil your ears!

INTERVIEW WITH LANE 8

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A year ago we spotted Lane 8 as an artist (who is very close to our hearts) to watch out for. This was when he was just starting out operating under the alias of Lane 8.

We've been lucky enough over the last year to have spotted of the most talented producers before they broke out. This growing list includes the likes of Tom Glass, Matt Fax and Lane 8. In fact, we were Lane 8's first interview and we were just blown away by his talent and humility. The last year or so has seen his rise to stardom - with the release of "Be Mine" on the latest Anjunadeep compilation.

We caught up with Lane 8, on the DFD show on Mutha FM, to chat about his latest production as well as the last year. He also did a little mix (in the background) for us. What a champion.

ANJUNADEEP 05 INTERVIEW WITH JODY WISTERNOFF

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We've been a bit busy here at DFD, hence our quiet activity on the web side of things. Our radio show's station has just moved into an awesome new location in the heart of Cape Town's CBD. As the winter chill slowly stretched her arms over our shoulders we decided we needed to warm things up. The next month or so of content on our show lists the likes of Jody Wisternoff, Dakin Auret (SA), Lane 8, Terrence Pearce (SA) and Universal Solution (UK).

As most of you know, we are MASSIVE fans of Jody Wisternoff. Art, the founder of DFD, has been listening to his podcasts for the last seven years, since the days of hybridized.org. Anjunadeep also happens to be our favourite label. Now imagine the look on our faces when the guys from the label sent us a copy of the album and Jody also agreed to do an interview about it. We had him on the show a couple of months ago when he released his lovely solo album, "Trails We Blaze".

Before we get to the interview, let's touch on the album itself. We've listened to every single Anjunadeep release since its first inception about eight years ago. Jody has recently taken over mixing duties from Jaytech. This is a welcome change to what was quickly becoming a predictable, although brilliant, pattern (in terms of the expected sound) in the compilations. James Grant, the current boss of the label, has always leaned towards the more progressive and uplifting side of things. Jody had to bring something different to the table. Boy, did he bring it.

He decided to take the strands of many tracks and rework them in his own manner - adding a deep twist to each one for the album. Our beloved producer from Bristol had his hand in eight out of the fourteen tracks on his side of the compilation and one rework touched our hearts. If you guys have a good memory (ravers usually don't), you'll recall we punted Lane 8 for a while and interviewed him when he was just starting out. Jody was in fact how we found him.

Now the talented artist from San Francisco is signed to Anjunadeep and he's made it. It's moments like these which make it all worth it and warm one's heart. The emotional and deep evoking sounds of his track "Be Mine" pulled our heartstrings. Each track in this album tells a story, whether it be that of Lane 8, Jody's remix of "Coming for You" where he chucks in chunky Jungle beats as a throwback to his roots or Dusky's "Mr Man"; a matured and sensual piece reflecting an excellent evolution from their days as the Progressive Trance duo Solarity (how many of you knew that?).

What we like about Anjunadeep is that they nurture and promote talented producers. Not every door is closed. The latest compilation sees the debut of Lane 8 and Universal Solution. Sometimes producers trying to break into the music industry find the people in it short-sighted and orientated around a service-to-self. It's refreshing to see that there is still a label out there who is willing to focus on what is important - looking after its fans and artists by making sure that they connect emotionally through quality music.

Deep 05 is definitely the strongest Anjunadeep compilation and its meteoric rise to number 1 on the US iTunes chart is testament to this. This is by far the greatest Deep/Prog House album of the last few years. Well done to the guys at Anjunadeep.

Art Bam and Adrian Gemini caught up with Jody and interviewed him over Skype before editing the interview to include the first four tracks of his side of the album. Have a listen to the interview below and...yes Jody, we know what you mean. ;)

RDIO’S (SEATTLE) DFD GUEST MIX

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One thing we love about DFD is that we always open our doors to promising DJs and producers. Rdio, from Seattle, put together this tasty and beautiful Prog House mix for us. The track selection is amazing - lots of sprinklings of Anjuna in there. We'll let the mix do the talking.

Enjoy the deep fried goodness!

FIVE PRODUCERS TO WATCH OUT FOR IN 2013 – PART FIVE: DUKE DUMONT

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The final part of our feature on producers to watch out for this year brings us to an artist who has steadily been tearing up the House scene in the UK and Europe.

House music is in a good place at the moment. As we stated a few months ago, many sub-genres of House have slowly been merging. This aural orgy of sounds has resulted in a very soulful and eclectic form of House taking centre stage. We LOVE it. Funnily enough, we're noticing a trend (global) where good House music is slowly starting to peek its head out of the underground scene.

There's nothing wrong with this. This is how its popularity started...about twenty years ago. That's a whole generation of potential music lovers and promising producers who are crying out for external inspiration and musical knowledge. Some producers are able to create beats so authentic but retro they they groove you like it's 1993. Duke Dumont has perfected this whilst still maintaining the chunk and warmth of his own signature sound which he has perfected over the last year or so. Check out some of his stuff below to see why we rate him so highly. We really love his "Hard Summer Mixtape". It may just be one of the best sets we've heard in a while.

DAFT PUNK, WHERE ARE THOSE MEMORIES?

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This article will probably cause a stir and maybe even offend a few people. We can't guarantee that everything coming out of the DFD kitchen is going to please the masses and give every single person a smirk, like the feel of silk on your bottom. Sometimes the opinions of others will vary with your own and this is the beauty of perception of music. Daft Punk's latest album, "Random Access Memories", has divided opinion more so than any of their previous albums.

We decided to stay away from the album for a few weeks before giving it a good listen. The reason for this is quite simple. We wanted to wait for the proverbial media storm to die down before we passed judgement on (or even listened to) the album. Holy balls of fire! Was it a media storm or what?! The viral campaign for "Random Access Memories" must have had more effort and money behind it than any recent food aid effort in Africa...and people lapped it up. The internet quickly became a mess of leaked Daft Punk material and various reviews.

Credit must go to the French musical geniuses for embracing the age of social media, utilising the various avenues of online communication and viral brand awareness. The robots (as Pharel Williams refers to them) knew exactly how to ride the waves of the internet to their advantage.

The teasing just never ended. There were snippets (some official and others merely well disguised imposters trying to steal a bit of the limelight) that just made the waiting even worse. The last time boys and girls got so excited about being teased it involved the prospect of getting their family jewels wet. This is why we decided to take a step back and just ignore the hype. Sorry to say, that's all it was - hype.

There's a very simple reason why "Get Lucky" was pushed so much. It's the best track, and possibly one of the greatest Daft Punk tracks ever, on the album. The chorus was spot on and easily the catchiest one we've heard in a while. That's about it as far as it goes concerning tracks that blew us away on the album.

Much attention was focussed on the organic aspect of the album and the French duo were keen on exploring (and paying homage to) the unpredictable and raw nature of live instruments in this album. "Random Access Memories" was not about making another electronically based and 4 beat driven album like Daft Punk have done so many times before. They were happy to spend the last few years trying to reflect the origins of their musical influences. To the untrained ear the tunes may sound strange and dated but it's an eclectic throwback to soul, disco, funk and jazz. It's a brave step to take and it has definitely taken them forward as producers, especially when you consider their last album - the brilliant "Tron: Legacy".

These last two albums definitely showcase the duo's versatility as producers. However, that is not all that matters. Whilst pursuing the perfection of production quality and flexibility have Daft Punk forgotten about one of the most important things, their fans? It seems to us that this album - brilliant to some and difficult to swallow for others - pretty much answers the question above. It's that all too familiar scenario of a young boy waiting (all alone) until the evening for his dad to pick him up after school. The dad has reached the pinnacle of his career, able to do anything in his field, but he has forgotten about that which matters most; the reason he goes to work every day and the thing which drives him on to be better than he is. This is pretty much what Daft Punk have unintentionally done. There...we said it.

They've left thousands of fans confused, isolated and feeling unloved after their latest album. The general consensus seems to be that their fans are yearning for the roots of their electronic beats to come back. Is it wrong to ache for the colourful, electronic warmth and signature Daft Punk sound associated with classics such as "Digital Love", "Revolution 909" and "Da Funk"? Surely the greatest electronic act of our generation won't forget what their fans want. Whether or not that is their priority these days is another story.

What do you guys think of "Random Access Memories" and the direction Daft Punk are going in terms of their production? We want to know your thoughts so please comment away.

FIVE PRODUCERS TO WATCH OUT FOR IN 2013 – PART FOUR: FRIEND WITHIN

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We've taken our time with many things in 2013. For one, the last two weeks has seen things slow down a bit at DFD as our head chef, Art, embarks on a new adventure in his '9 to 5' career - designing user interfaces whilst listening to House music all day. Tough life. This hasn't stopped us keeping an eye out for 2013's hottest and most promising producers.

2013 is all about the re-emergence of Garage and proper House. 2011 and 2012 were all about Deep House and lets be honest, it had its place. Pretty much every party animal had enough of 12 hours straight of Deep House at a party. We made a bold prediction at the beginning of this year that Garage and House would make a HUGE comeback. We were right. We always are. It has been a long time coming. Whilst Deep House was smothering the scene other acts (like Disclosure, Bicep, Waze & Odysseym, Shadow Child and Hector Couto) were slowly popping up and drawing their sound upon eclectic beats and influences. No longer were we being exposed to House being driven on by a smooth bassline but rather edgy, chunky and slightly off-beat melodies coated with soulful vocals. Welcome back to 1993. Combine this with a dirty (yet rhythmic) Garage beat and you have aural porn so gangster and funky it will make Ali G wanna tap his 'Julie'. This is pretty much what Friend Within has perfected.

Friend Within is something of an enigma. The elusive producer from Liverpool is making his best effort to keep his identity secret. "Why?" You may ask. The answer is simple. Any creative who has gone for an interview and had their portfolio inspected must have encountered a situation wherein they just had to show their work and shut the fuck up. Let your work speak for itself. Talk is cheap. This is what Friend Within has done so well. His sound is a timeless mix of House and Garage - a lethal combination. Straight away he was signed to Dirtybird whilst receiving support from the likes of Claude von Stroke and Justin Martin.

Friend Within is most definitely one of the most talented producers we've heard and that's why he is one to watch out for in 2013. Listen to these greasy beats and good luck keeping yourself in check.

BOBBY VAN BALEN INTERVIEW AND DFD SUDDEN DEPTH RECORDS PROMO MIX

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Bobby van Balen is a promising producer from Holland. He is about to launch his own label, Sudden Depth Records, in the near future and was able to give us a sneak preview as to what to expect from it. This guy is talented! DFD's head chef, Art Bam, was able to have a chat with Bobby to discuss Sudden Depth Records and the interview and mix is below for your aural pleasure. The 31st of May is the date of the first official Sudden Depth Records release ('First Imprint'). The release has already gained support from artists such as Eelke Kleijn, Brett Johnson and many others. Check www.suddendepthmusic.com for details.