Los Angeles meets Studio 80 - The Culprit Sessions with Droog

Los Angeles meets Studio 80 – The Culprit Sessions with Droog

Feb 15, 2012 |  by  |  Event, Music
About the author
Caroline (25) is a writer, an expat enjoying life at its fullest in Amsterdam and a girl born to party. She makes her Friday night plans no later than Monday morning and enjoys drinking verse muntthee just as much as hot-people-watching in the city.

Dancing on a rooftop in the last glow of the sunset sounds pretty much like something you would want to do always. At least that’s what you should do if you’ll ever get to see the Culprit Sessions in Los Angeles. That’s where Droog performs regularly at their famous Standard Hotel rooftop gatherings. This Saturday, Studio 80 invited the Droog trio Andrei Osyka, Brett Griffin and Justin Sloe to introduce some of that LA vibe to Amsterdam.

When did Droog come into being?
“We started Droog as a project in late 2005 or so. It was the result of the three of us getting together as friends in and around the LA dance music scene, looking for a way to share a similar taste in music and to grow as DJs in the local scene. Back in 2005, it was still dominated by prog house or old school US deep house, both of which seemed to be stagnating. Droog was at first the name of a small party we started, centered around three of us as residents.”

In Europe, people don’t really think of the US as a hub for electronic music. How does the LA scene differ from other places such as Amsterdam?
“It’s true that dance music culture overall is not as developed and prominent in the US. Europe is the birthplace of all the dance music genres and it’s cyclical in its affection for dance. However, I think electronic music is on the up in the US, especially the ‘poppy’ and more commercial genres. The more underground style is on the rise as well with California and Los Angeles being one of the busiest places in the US for dance music, no doubt.”

Amsterdam is famous for its annual Amsterdam Dance Event. Which parties should not be missed in the US during the year?
“Some of the biggest events in the world are now in the US: Ultra in Miami, Electric Zoo in New York, and the series of events which the Los Angeles-based Insomniac promoters organize. These are huge parties for the masses, mostly young ravers. For more discerning tastes, go to DEMF in Detroit and all the parties in Miami during the week of the Ultra festival – what until very recently used to be called America’s Dance Event.”

Your record label is based in LA. How much does the city actually influence your music?
“A lot; it’s part of our mission as the label to reflect the culture of Los Angeles as we see and feel it. Unfortunately, the pool of talented producers in our genre is small in the city, but we are hoping to change that. We select music that feels like it could have been made –and sometimes it was– in Los Angeles. It’s varied, cinematic in its scope, deep but fun and slightly weird sometimes.”

You have held down a residency at Avalon Hollywood, one of the biggest clubs in the US where you played with Richie Hawtin, Tiefschwarz, Mr. C, Booka Shade, MANDY, and so on. Who do you want to perform with in the future?
“The Avalon residency was a big launching pad for us, it allowed us to make a lot of important connections. We’ve now moved on from Avalon, but have a warm place for it in our collective memory. Not to sound too jaded, but we’ve performed with most of the people we admire by now, though there are still some left, like Laurent Garnier.”

What Dutch artists do you consider important for electronic music?
“Tiesto, duh!!! I’m joking, trance is not really our cup of tea. I love Rush Hour label based in Amsterdam, they have been one of the most forward thinking collectives in dance music in the last 5 years. We had Tom Trago, one of its leading Dutch artists, do two remixes for Culprit. Tom is very talented, a unique voice. I’ve always liked Patrice Baumel as well. 2000 and One has done some great stuff over the years, though he is a bit too ‘big room’ for us now.”

Droog is a DJ collective of three artists producing records together, which is pretty rare since normally you would have one DJ who is the main celebrity. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a collective?
“The advantage is that you are able to do more things at once if you have three pairs of hands and three minds. The disadvantages are that you split playing time and money three ways, which is tough. Though now that we travel more and get a lot more offers, we rarely play all together. It’s usually a pair or solo.”

You have played a main role at the famous Culprit Sessions in Los Angeles. Are these going to expand more globally?
“They have gone global already, especially in 2011. We’ve done Culprit Sessions at Sonar in Barcelona with our brothers-in-arms Leftroom label from London. We’ve also done parties at the BPM festival in Mexico and Culprit Sessions in Russia, but being on the rooftop of the Standard in LA is the real Culprit Sessions. That view and the vibe of being there is really unique. We will try to export that to Amsterdam this weekend.”

New Babylon presents Culprit Sessions

When: Saturday, February 18th
Where: Studio 80
Tickets: €15,-
More info: Studio 80 website

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