After a three-year hiatus, and a compelling New Year’s Eve show earlier this year in Hollywood, award winning artists/ production duo Gabriel & Dresden have officially announced they are back in the game with a host of forthcoming releases as well as with the launch of their full-scale North America/European world tour that will continue into the Fall.
And San Diego has been chosen as one of the first stops on their world tour. Over one-thousand of bikini-and-bronze-clad attendees will witness Gabriel & Dresden’s premiere, where they will be debuting their brand new original productions and revived remixes of their classic chart-breaking singles at Intervention at The Hard Rock Hotel on July 2nd. (Buy Tickets)
Prior to this past New Year’s Eve, Josh Gabriel and Dave Dresden had not shared a stage together since their massive crowd-drawing performance at the 2008 Winter Music Conference in Miami. Having joined forces in early 2001 the pair had ascended to the global dance music ranks at an astonishing pace. Collaborating and completing 14 dance remixes with world-renowned dance producers like Tiësto and Paul Oakenfold, along with several of their own original productions such as “As the Rush Comes” & “Tracking Treasure Down“, made them steadily climb in DJ Magazine Top 100 poll and take command over the #1 Billboard spot with various tracks on numerous outstanding occasions.
Gabriel & Dresden continued to work closely together for over six years until they determined that it was time to go their separate ways and to explore music on their own for a while. (Cue Fleetwood Mac track) But while working solo, Gabriel & Dresden could do nothing to silence the thousands of fans across their social media platforms that demanded to know when they would reignite their team. Finally the countless calls for action and a few inspiring occasions along the way, compelled the pair to reunite and to get back in the studio, using the last three years of time off, of musical and mental rediscovery to provoke their forthcoming productions together.
Given the imminent and capriciously-evolving character of the electronic dance music realm, it’s an interesting topic of discussion worth posing to artists such as Gabriel & Dresden. Successful artists, who were at the top of their rank during the time they were actively touring and producing, but who have somewhat (aside from solo work/projects) sat back the last three years, with an opportunity to watch the world of EDM progress, and learn from a new generation of artists.
I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to talk with them and to listen to their personal insight about the direction music has taken, and how the present state of EDM has inspired the duo inside the studio. In my interview with Dave Dresden via Skype while he was in Amsterdam working in his studio, I also had the opportunity to learn about what pivotal moments stimulated their return to the EDM world as a team, what we as fans can expect from the pair in their forthcoming releases, who their favorite artists around the world are at the moment, and what their feelings are about dubstep.
TheMixster.com: How has the tour been going?!
Dave Dresden: It’s been great. We’ve been working on our mix CD over here in Amsterdam since the gig we did in Belarus on Saturday night. And then we are going to Canada on Thursday, then Houston, San Diego, and Seattle!
TheMixster.com: I think the main question that’s on everyone’s mind, is what made you guys decide it was time to get back together in the studio and initiate such a full-scale tour?
Dave Dresden: We did a gig for Giant on New Years in LA and I think both Josh and I had been kinda wondering what it would be like to work with each other again. So we did that show and it gave us a lot of time to elaborate and talk and see where we were at as people. And I think we quickly realized that we still do have a very good music chemistry and the ability to make really good music that the fans are into. We heard a lot of feedback from the fans over the years “Hey when are you guys going to get back together and work again” so we took that into mind a lot when we got together on New Years. We knew the fans wanted it, and we came to realize that we really wanted it too. After we had done the show together, we realized we still had something to say as band.
TheMixster.com: It’s fair to say electronic music two-three years ago when you and Josh were very actively producing and touring is enormously different than Electronic Music today. I’m interested to hear what direction do you believe dance music, as a whole, is going? Sound wise?
Dave Dresden: Um well it seems to me that the music has gotten simpler. I think it’s because of the way we make music, the way that we digest music, someone can make a song tonight and it can become a hit tomorrow. And I think that it’s really exciting where electronic music is going, I think for the first time in my career I’ve seen electronic musicians be taken seriously, on a music level. That’s really exciting for us, I think this will give us a chance to reach a lot of people.
TheMixster.com: You guys seemed to be on the Progressive house/trance tip in years past, is that the direction you plan to take your sound in forthcoming productions or do you plan to take a lot of what you’re hearing today and integrate that into your new sound?
Dave Dresden: It’s tough to say, we never really were one genre, and I think that’s always been sort of our blessing and our curse. But you know we are still listening to dance music, being inspired and loving it. I’d say there’s definitely going to be a little bit of electro, there’s definitely going to be a little “Skrillex” in our music. There’s some very exciting people out there. I think Afrojack is another very exciting artist that is making records that people want to hear. It will be interesting really, and it will be fun to watch this space.
TheMixster.com: Since you mentioned Skrillex, what impact do you believe dubstep has had on electronic music if any?
Dave Dresden: It’s MASSIVE. It’s just a continuation of Drum n’ Bass in feeling and style, but ya know it’s based on reggae and dubby basslines and sounds like that. You know it’s just a new exciting fun music genre to get into!
TheMixster.com Will you guys be trying to make dubstep?!
Dave Dresden: We’ve definitely been inspired by it. We’re adding the sound into our palette of music that we’re working with. In the first track we did [as of recent] the Andain remix “Promises” the breakdown kinda feels like it wants to be dubstep… Although it didn’t really turn out that way but it was definitely inspired by going out and seeing Skrillex live, and loving it.
TheMixster.com: What for you personally is the most exciting thing about re-entering the DJ game?
Dresden: I never really left, but as a solo artist I was never getting booked to play at these HUGE festivals. And really it’s amazing how big they’ve become in the last two-three years. Electric Daisy Carnival has been throwing a bunch of different parties all over the country this we did two of them. Ya know, they’re putting 25,000 people in Dallas, and 20,000 people in Orlando and that’s massive. It’s pretty crazy.
Unfortunately when they asked us to do EDC in Vegas, we were busy. But had I known how MASSIVE that was going to be…. I would’ve been like “NO we NEED to do this.” It just looked like a lot of fun. And you could not avoid that on Twitter, it’s insane
From everything I saw it looked like an awesome weekend, and as cheesy as it sounds I was really proud for our industry that we could stage something this great and get mainstream coverage! I think it’s amazing and I really wish I was apart of that because by the time it came around last week we realized, “Wait this is more than just a concert, this is Woodstock for electronic music!”
We had so much fun playing at the other EDCs and playing for the younger crowd that are really new, and don’t really know us. It’s exciting because it’s fun to win them over by throwing in a Calvin Harris track (haha)
TheMixster.com: Which leads me to my next question: now that you’re back on tour, what track is your go-to if you want to get a great reaction from the dance floor?
Dresden: We’ve made a bunch of different little fun mash-ups, so we could really use other people’s music in our own way. We took this Fedde La Grand track called “Control Room” and we put our version of “Dust in the Wind” over it. We call it “Dust in The Control Room”. That I think is our go-to record. It just, the Fedde La Grand track alone with our other vocal on it is absolutely stunning and so when we put this familiar track that our fans know over it, it’s just like, dropping a bomb!
And then there’s this DJ from San Jose, California who did a bootleg mix of “As the Rush Comes”. He’s like a radio DJ up there and he made just this really killer version of our song, where it breaks into Dubstep in the middle. That’s definitely another one of our go-to records – it’s one where when we want to get a huge reaction from the crowd, we play that!
TheMixster.com: What other producers should we be listening to/looking out for right now?
Dresden: There’s this guy from Canada he calls himself Soundprank I think that he is making very cool music and I think that he might be somebody in a few years. He’s only 21 years old but he’s already making very high-depth progressive house. He mixed the Andain track as well and I was really impressed with not only that but with all the other new tracks he’s been producing. We’ve even been playing a few out of his as well. He’s been doing a lot of work with Above & Beyond so he’s my top pick right now. Other than that it’s the usual suspects. I think that Deadmau5 has really said and done a lot for our scene and it needs to be noted by as many people as possible!
TheMixster.com: Who’s on your wish list to remix your own original productions and why?
Dresden: O wow! Well there’s SO many people I love right now! I mean it would be really great to get Calvin Harris to remix one of our upcoming songs, I love the sound that he’s doing: that kinda video-game-y 80s thing with a bit more electro sound. His music definitely feels great on the dance floor and his production is pretty tight.
I would love to have Deadmau5 remix a track, I think that’s he’s doing crazy things with music. And his A&R skills and building that label of his it’s just been second to none really.
I like what the Swedish House Mafia are doing too ya know making really good, big room music that’s memorable. There’s a lot of people I would like to work with, Afrojack being another one. I think that he brings something interesting to music.
TheMixster.com: Are there any particular shows coming up that you are excited about playing?
Dresden: Well there is a string of dates at the end of July, we’re doing our own night at The Ministry of Sound. Then we are going to be playing Tomorrowland in Belgium which is another huge festival, apparently 60,000 people go to this thing and it’s divided up in only 3 stages so it will probably be as big as the gig we did in Belarus.
And then the next week we are doing the Global Gathering UK and we’re playing in the Above & Beyond tent. And then next day we are going to Amsterdam and doing this thing called the Electronic Family Festival which I think will also be awesome. There’s going to be a lot of Trance Elite and I like playing to our trance fans, they really really love us. Anyone that has worked with Armin Van Buuren is good in their eyes! (Laughs)
TheMixster.com: Are you excited for Electric Zoo?!
Dresden: YES. Because I think it was last year’s Electric Zoo when went to it and was thinking about where I would be playing if Gabriel & Dresden were performing there and thought to myself “I really need to call Josh and talk to him.”
It will be interesting to be there this year with Josh because that’s where in my mind I had set the plan in motion, was last year at Electric Zoo. I think it is a really well done festival. They throw it in a really great spot and it’s really well organized. And more than anything, a lot of fun! I actually hung out and went to it last year, and I don’t normally do that! And I had a very good time.
TheMixster.com: Which artists did you go and see?!
Dresden: I saw Wolfgang Gartner, Armin [Van Buuren], Moby, Afrojack, Sander Van Doorn, Above & Beyond, god there was so many amazing artists that played! It was just a great afternoon, there was probably 20 some DJs I caught that day! All the tents were just rockin! And it wasn’t too crowded, and there was always room to move.
TheMixster.com: What’s one track are you going to definitely going to play at Intervention in San Diego this weekend?
Dresden: The track we’re definitely going to play is this brand new remix we’re doing of “Tracking Treasure Down” which is one of our signature hits from 2006. We’re doing a new version of it for this Armada Compilation we’ve been working on. We played it for the first time in Belarus and it went over really well. We spent over 2 days here in Amsterdam working on it so it’s feeling a lot more finished, and we will be definitely playing it!
TheMixster.com: Anything else you’d like to tell us?!
Dresden: We can announce this now, we’re recording this mix CD for Armada music and it’s going to be released in August. And it’s going to have a few new productions of ours, a few new remixes of older songs of ours, a few of these mash-ups I was telling you about, and some other great music we were able to find for this mix CD. We’re just taking it one step at a time ya know it’s been a really interesting journey this year so far; and I think we are really excited to be working with each other
TheMixster.com: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with TheMixster.com and we look forward to seeing you and Josh on Saturday at Intervention at The Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego!