Toolroom Knights returns with its next installment; the impressive double line up of Tocadisco & Chris Lake. We catch up with the pair as they embark on a busy worldwide tour.
How did the Toolroom Knights CD come about?
Tocadisco: It was a simple request if I would be interested to mix the CD. It took around one year though until we could arrange everybody’s schedule.
Over your CD you move through a wide range of house styles, and its not until later on in the mix where we are exposed to the big room Chris Lake sound that people perhaps know you best for.
Chris Lake: Crossing genres in my DJ sets I feel is one of the signatures to my sound, and something I’ve always felt is important to separate me from other DJs on the circuit. I like so many styles of dance music that I find it difficult to feature everything I like into two hours.
Was it your intention to cover such as diverse range of sounds?
T: I wanted to represent the styles that I play when I DJ. I play everything from 300 person nightclub to 50.000 people festivals. I love to work with different styles. You can also see this in my productions and remixes. Its always different then the one before. I dont like to repeat my self.
Are there any records in there that people wouldn’t expect to hear?
C: Well it depends what people expect from me. People who follow my work closely will be aware that I’ve made all sort of stuff over the years, and there are definitely projects and music out there that nobody knows is me. I love expressing myself through music, and my expressions are not tied to one sound or genre.
T: I think in general the people have a picture that is just reduced on some hit records that I have made. It happens a lot that I talk to people and tell them what I have done and who I have remixed and they are very surprised. I love electronic music in all it different styles. You can also hear that in my two albums that I did. Very versatile.
How’s the first half of the year been for you guys?
C: This first six months of 2010 has been extremely full on for me. I’ve been writing new music like crazy and doing a few remixes along the way. Now this summer is time to get a lot of this music out there for people to hear. As well as completing my Toolroom mix compilation I’ve been working on a debut Chris Lake and Marco Lys album which I’m super excited about. I’ve been doing my monthly podcast, collaborating with various people like Michael woods, Deadmau5, Lys, Nelski, Nightriders, Funkagenda etc. It’s always good to vibe with other people and have fun with your music.
T: Its getting more busy and crazier every year. I always think ok that s it this is the top you cant go only down from here and then there is another amazing opportunity. I’m building my companies now. I was very lucky when I met my wife. She understands my passion for music and starts to get more and more involved in the business side. For me that’s a present from heaven. I was always hoping for someone like Natasha. We already lunched our party “TOCACABANA” which goes hand in hand with the TOCACABANA RADIO SHOW” which is broadcast on several radio stations around the world. My wife is also the boss of our booking agency “MORUMBI BOOKING” She will exclusively book me now worldwide from September on.
Your busying touring heavily Chris, what’s the sound of Chris Lake people will hear and is there any where in the world that your really enjoying spinning at the moment?
C: Always expect to hear a variety of styles from me in my sets, as I like so much of it. I always try to keep things varied and individual. As for where I’m enjoying playing, I’ve loved the USA for the past few years now. It’s really come a long way and some of the clubs and events out there are amazing. I’ll be in Brazil again though for the world cup finals. I hope it’s England against Brazil, and we manage to give them a public spanking on the pitch!
Roman your super busy with gigs, what about you?
T: My “sound” is very versatile. I don’t like to play the same records every night. I m interested in all kinds of music and styles and I try to combine them into “my sound”. I’m so lucky that I get all this great music upfront from the labels. This is like a dream! I have hundreds of emails every month with only the freshest dance music of the moment. I play underground and I also like to play hits sometimes. Everything that I think is right to play at the moment and place.
Chris you’ve written some very big records that have had a big impact on dance music’s greater appeal; you’ve always managed to balance with one foot on the dance floor and one foot in the charts. Does Chris Lake ever wake up specifically in big record mode?
C: I make all sorts of music. I like having energy in dance tracks as I think it works well in the clubs. I don’t take the approach of making something big, just something I’d play in my sets.
Tocadisco do you have certain goals with you head into the studio or are you records the outcome of a more organic process.
T: I never think like this. I go into my studio and start with a beat. How it ends I don’t know. It’s like a journey. It can be bumpy or a smooth ride. Always depending on the vibe I have at the moment. I consider myself very lucky that the people like my music.
Tell me a little about the exclusives on the album and how did you both approach producing a track specifically for a compilation mix?
C: Well the track I wrote for the album is called “Amiga” It’s more of a visit back to my older sound, as it’s quite progressive in style and approach, but with a 2010 twist. I got my wife to do a few little bits of chanting for fun, and I liked it so much that i left it on the record. It feels like a Good end of night record also as it’s quite euphoric. I’ve also put my next single called minimal life on there, which I made with Nelski, a fantastic new artist from the UK who also sings. I’ve got some wicked remixes of that track in by filthy rich and DJ pp since I mixed the album which are really really good too.
T: I remixed the track “Stoppover” by Mark Knight and Dirty South. I know both the guys and we always bump into each other on festivals. I liked the track. It s different and I had a lot of fun to remix it.
During the writing process did you have a definite place and arrangement to where you would be slotting it in?
C: I didn’t no. I just wrote the track and hoped and prayed it would work . It did thankfully, I think..
T: I imagined myself playing the terrace of SPACE, Ibiza that I was playing this year for the first time. I had a lot of fun.
Both your music never fails to be energetic whether it be a club hit or an underground number, would be ever see a slow dark moody and tripped out track from either of you?
C: I’ve done tracks like this in the past, and I’ve done some downtempo stuff as well. Check out my track called “Communicate” and you’ll see what I mean. I also did a track years ago called “Echofalls – shiver”. Again it’s pretty deep, or the Original B side remix I made of “Changes” on Alternative Route back in 2006.
T: Yes. I m not a big fan of dreamy dance music. I probably would hear this kind of music at home. But for me a DJ set or a good dance track has to be powerful and push you forward. I don’t want to go to a party to relax. I want to go to let myself go. To become crazy and wild. I always loved the energy that dance music has. Its basically just some beats and bass combined with some other sounds… Its magic…
How do you feel about the resurgence of a very original house sound in 2010, and are there any artists around at the moment that are really catching you attention?
C: I love the fact that house is back. It always does, and for me, it’s a very good thing. House is mostly about positive vibes, and the slightly negative side about the sound of 2009 was that some of it was quite negative. This I felt transmitted to the dance floor in a bad way. House alleys makes me feel good. As for exciting producers, I’m loving artists like DJ pp, Funkerman, Siwell, Lys, Imbernon, Coyu etc. Loads of great music out there right now.
T: I think there are many new talents out there. And I have the feeling that at the moment there are so many good tracks out and a lot of different new evolutions. Institubes “Sound Pelligrino” label from France is doing great stuff at the moment. Very different.
Tocadisco what’s coming up for you for the rest of the year?
T: Huge summer for me touring and I’m also at alot of festivals. I will also do some more of my party TOCACABANA. A lot of remixes on my label and for some of my friends too.
Where and how was the cd mixed?
T: I mixed in my house in Cologne. I used Native Instrument’s TRAKTOR software with some hardware controllers
Interview by: Neil Bainbridge
This post originally appeared on Electronic Nightlife, now a part of beatcue.