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5Qs with Claude Vonstroke - Friday Oct. 17th at Marquee



Shiba San blew up this summer, Justin Martin is topping charts on Beatport. Why do you think your sound is really starting to take off now?

It’s just a never-ending cycle, sometimes we are popular and sometimes we are the kid no one talks to in the room.  The trick is just to stay with the sound you believe in and grow as a group through the good and the bad. That’s what I think makes a good record label.

You’ll be DJing with Kill Frenzy on Friday at Marquee. How did you start working with him, and what’s your take on his new album “TAYLR SWFT” on dirtybird?

I LOVE this album!! And if you ask my friends I don’t love a lot of music. This album is serious but it’s also fun. It’s my favorite combination. I met Seb (killfrenzy) via his track that I signed a while back, then he literally sent me 30 so-so tracks after that.  But none of those are on this album. I think he just had to settle down and decide what his message was to the world and what his sound would be for his career. Once he did that the tracks were all bangers.  Hot hot.  

Your own “CaliFuture” EP got a big response this summer. What’s coming up from you as far as original music goes?

It was actually the flip side that did all the damage on that EP, “Eye I Eye”. But you know with me, the bigger record is always on the b-side for some reason. I don’t know why that happens but it happens almost every time in my career.  I don’t want to say too much but there is something in the works with one of my friends whose name rhymes with Sheen Belvet.

We read in an interview recently that your most recent album would probably be your last album. Do you believe that artist albums aren’t crucial anymore? How so?

It’s not that I don’t believe in the album, it’s more that I have made my peace with house music. I did what I set out to do. So when something magic happens and I come up with a great house track I will do the single.  But I don’t want to sit in a room anymore and say, “OK, now it’s time to make 10 CVS house tracks. Let’s ignore everyone for 6 months and become a recluse and grumpy and do it.”

You’ve always been firmly planted in the underground but this year you played some shows with Skrillex and other “bigger” acts, among other achievements. As someone who’s been in the music game for so long, how does it feel to see something that was always on the periphery  being accepted by so many?

Everyone who is bigger that I play with is someone I like as a person and someone I believe is doing music for the people. I play my style always. Last week, this kid posted on my Facebook that dirtybird was dead because he saw a photo of me and a more commercial act together and I was like, “Really?” Those kind of fans are the people i want to stay away from in my life. That kind of small attitude isn’t welcome at my house.  I am me and my music speaks for itself.  I will hang out with Wang Chung or Flavor Flav or Kaskade or whomever I want to hang out with.


Claude Vonstroke plays with Kill Frenzy this Friday at Marquee New York.


5Qs with Umek - Friday Oct. 10th at Marquee



Tell us about your new album “Rhythmia”. What does the title mean and what was your inspiration behind making it?

I always do music inspired by what is happening on the dance floors and for the dance floors. “Rhythmia” is my artistic response to the current state of electronic music scene from the dance floor’s point of view. It showcases my vision of current global trends in electronic music, clubs and festival scene and reflects what I do when I’m put in charge of a party. The same as my sets, it’s moving between house, techno and tech-house. I named it ”Rhythmia” as a complete opposite state of arrhythmia, as it indicates that something is in harmony and equilibrium.

You collaborated with a few different artists on some of the album’s tracks. How did those come together?

Although I’ve done couple of successful collaboration in the past I never actually push certain joint ventures. They just happen as I am in contact with many artists that contribute their music to my “Behind the Iron Curtain” radio show as well 1605 label and we send each other demos and ideas all the time. We talk music, discuss ideas, I prep a track, send it over, then he adds something to it and so on, and if the final result is good we release it. The only guy I actually sat together in the studio with is my fellow countryman Mike Vale, with whom I’ve joined forces for the lead single “Hard Times”, and we invited Chris the Voice on this ride as we love his voice. We must have done a dozen successful releases already, but again, most of these projects happened spontaneously. We hang out together, go out, I crash in his guest room after a day of snowboarding or he sleeps over in my house when he is doing something in my hometown Ljubljana and at some point we are already pulling an all-nighter in the studio.

Right now you’re in the midst of touring North America. What do you have planned for your debut set at Marquee this Friday?

As usual I have a great time touring USA. I really love the energy of the crowds here, so I’m doing couple of tours in the States every year. In Marquee I’ll play one of my standard sets, that are based on my artist production, edits, remixes and music that I’m promoting through my label and radio show and as my fans already know - my sets are all about building a good energy on the dance floor. Obviously I’ll play some of the tracks from the new album as well as bunch of yet unreleased tracks. I’ve just finished couple of new tracks between the gigs in the USA and I plan to test one or two in Marquee for the first time. So this party will be at least a bit exclusive.

What is the music scene like in Slovenia?

In the 90s we our small scene from scratch and for a decade and a half it was growing as it was run by some good local and regional promoters. Club K4 in Ljubljana run by Student Union and the regional electronic music super club, Ambasada Gavioli, have been the main nests of electronic culture, we’ve had some nice summer and winter festivals for 3.000 - 5.000 people, some specialized radio shows, magazines and websites. The scene in Slovenia was always a bit more underground, based mostly on various shades of techno and later house, we’ve had our own hierarchy of most popular regional and international deejays and the infrastructure supported steady growth of new talents.

In the last decade, Dutch and UK promoters got involved and audience got introduced to big flashy indoor and outdoor EDM shows with superstar DJs, pumped up lightning, sound systems and special effects. This way a mass of young people got exposed to electronic music that became mainstream, but at the same time nobody really educated people as everybody started playing  the card of creating the hype instead of creating interest for certain sounds. When the recession hit us, everything collapsed and now there’s no major EDM shows anymore. But that’s not necessarily bad for the scene that went back to the underground. But it will take time to grow a new base, new collectives and promoters are already building their own base and with hard work and some luck people will get intrigued again. As far as I’m concerned, I only do couple of domestic gigs annually (there’s only 2 million people living in Slovenia) but I’m supporting the scene with infrastructure, some festivals and events, label, radio show as well as helping some young artists.

What can we look forward to on your own 1605 label over the next few months?

The most important thing is that I’ll be releasing a bit more of my stuff on 1605 in the next couple of months – a combination of fresh original tracks and remixes of some of my past anthems. With bunch of releases on other labels and Rhythmia I wasn’t present on my own label in the last six months, so I have to redeem for that. As I’ve already revealed I’ve done couple of new tracks on the road and I’ll hire a studio in Los Angeles to do final mix and mastering.


Umek’s “Rhythmia” tour comes to marqueeny this Friday, October 10th.


5Qs with Mark Knight - Friday Oct. 3rd at Marquee



A few weeks ago you began your #RESET campaign and revealed a new concept for Toolroom. Why did you feel it was time for to change things up?

It just got to the stage where after so much success and growth as a label and business we wanted to really define what Toolroom should stand for over the next decade. As we grew more and more successful I think we went in a direction we weren’t necessarily 100% comfortable with. #RESET was about really taking control of our musical space and redefining what Toolroom means to the dance music world. It’s been a really interesting and exciting process and I think we have really set the bar for a great stretch as a label.

Tell us about the Toolroom Live compilation. Why did you choose the artists featured on it?  

Toolroom Live was our way of bringing the idea of Toolroom changing to life. Weiss and Adrian Hour are both the best in their respective sounds right now. Weiss has really customized and perfected his take on underground house music and Adrian Hour makes incredible main room techno. Between the three of us, we were really able to hone in on Toolroom’s musical space and the diversity now available within that sound. It’s one that we are very proud to be occupying right now and I think Toolroom Live 01 is everything you need to know about what Toolroom stands for right now.

You’ve said you see a lot of creative musical potential to be found in between the commercial styles and the underground sounds. Where do you see your music sitting in that spectrum currently? 

 People seem so wrapped up in the mainstream and commercial that they forget about the middle ground. That is one of the most exciting spaces and I think that is exactly where I sit. It is about having music that is credible, not just tailored to a particular moment in time or trend. My ambition is to make credible music that stands the test of time and makes people want to dance.

You just wrapped up a Monday residency at Booom in Ibiza and a very busy summer in addition. What was the highlight for you about having a weekly residency on the island?  Any trends or sounds that really jumped out at you this season?

Given that we were late starting it was great, we set ourselves up nicely for next year. What was great was to see people flocking from all over the island to listen to proper house music. There’s been a lot of signs of change in Ibiza over the years, both culturally and musically, but the energy and enthusiasm I was seeing on a weekly basis was really positive to see. I think now that people are paying attention to that world again the scope for house artists and brands to really take back that market is going to be huge.  

This will be your third time playing at Marquee this year. Now that you’ve been there twice, what can we expect from your set for this Friday ?

It’s always a pleasure to play at Marquee! What to expect? Good house music. Simple ;)


Mark Knight plays at Marquee New York on Friday October 3rd with Sleepy & Boo. 


Great event yesterday @marqueeny! Kudos to the #DoubleDutch app for thinking outside the box and using a nightclub to host a conference! How will your company stand out?

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