If last year saw Seth Troxler go into overdrive, flying up Resident Advisor’s DJ rankings, a sharply focused look on the world of house and techno, then 2011 promises to belong to Visionquest, his DJ collective and accompanying label with fellow Detroit visionaries Ryan Crosson, Lee Curtiss and Shaun Reeves, who you can read more about in the current issue of DJmag.
They’re also the latest additions to DJmag’s annual Miami residency at the Shelborne with a poolside party on Friday 25th March featuring Visionquest plus label mates Benoit & Sergio, Footprintz and Tale Of Us and special guest Guy Gerber.
We caught up the boys to talk about their recent adventures in Berlin, the ethos behind their new, poppier sound, and THAT video from Miami last year…
For those who haven't yet seen Visionquest play, how do you actually perform as a foursome?
Lee: “We will be performing in several ways this year. Some of our upcoming shows will have Ryan and I playing live together and Seth and Shaun DJing, others will be a mix of the four of us DJing together.”
Seth: “Further on we’re developing a live show with interactive visuals for next year. I think the main point to a Visionquest show is creating an atmosphere where people feel comfortable enough to explore the situation as well as themselves.”
Ryan: “We’re also planning to incorporate more of our artists, like Footprintz and Beniot & Sergio, into our live and DJ sets to create a complete night of entertainment, both audio and visual, and most importantly to just have fun.”
The label so far has displayed a deeper, poppier sound than some might have expected of four lads from Detroit. Does this reflect the wider Visionquest sound or is it just the tip of the iceberg?
Ryan: “I think it's both. We have a range of taste in music we like that expands further than the standard house cut. We want to be able to showcase music that we find special, regardless of the genre. There's a bit more risk involved but I think that's an interesting part of what we're trying to do. Sure the catalogue will get into the dance music thing but the artists on our label have a lot more to offer than the industry standard right now.”
Seth: “I think the deeper, poppier sound reflect us very much, we’re not typical Detroit artists and have never claimed to be. I think the time period where were all grew up in Michigan reflects our interest musically. Growing up in the suburbs listening to a lot of rock as kids also had a very deep effect on us. When it came to starting a label I think we are less focused on putting out club tracks and much more interested in creating a label without bounds, wanting to create something that transcends underground music culture, with a crossover into art.”
Lee: “The label is not essentially a dance music label; the label is a vessel for us to release music that moves and inspires us and to broaden the scope of what people listen to. Everything we release will have something for the dance music enthusiast but it doesn't start or stop there. We have amazing releases lined up for the year that range from folk to synth pop to forward thinking house and techno. The four of us have been inspired by so many different styles of music that it just seems natural for us to release anything that moves us.”
And how was your recent label launch party in Berlin?
Ryan: “It was such a bomb night. Karm and Matteo (Tale of Us) started with a classy two hours of solid house music and Shaun, Seth and I finished out the rest of the night back to back. There was a great vibe with an amazing crowd that stayed late and Seth kept his clothes on! There were many friends on hand as well. It was a great label launch.”
Seth: “When we came on people were so open to ideas and that’s something that opens the rest of the evening up endless possibilities. Also there were loads of our friends there so it was a perfect way kick off the label.”
As well as artists from the label you've got Guy Gerber playing - what's his affiliation to the group?
Seth: “Guy is a great friend; we hang out a lot so having him play in Miami was an easy choice. The party vibe is going to be off the chain.”
Lee: “Ryan and I have previously released on his label Supplement Facts and I am working on more music with him this year. We all love and appreciate each other’s music and take any chance we can to play together.”
Ryan: “He's a fellow troublemaker, we see eye to eye on a lot of things...”
Seth, it's been a year since we interviewed you at Miami around the pool of the Shelbourne. After the YouTube clip's viral popularity are there any expectations about how it'll affect the reaction you'll get returning there?
Seth: “Ha, yeah I haven’t been able to live that one down. In the end I think it comes down to me not really give too much of a fuck. I think I give less of a fuck now than I did then. We’ve got some surprises up our sleeves. I don’t know if I feel a any pressure about my return but do I feel like I can pull off some heavy prankage.”
Check the full line-up for DJmag at the Shelborne, which begins on March 23rd with our own poolside party, here.