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Gabriel and Dresden Interview

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Gabriel and Dresden chilling at WMC in M

Gabriel and Dresden chilling at WMC in Miami

www.gabrielanddresden.com

JS: Through all of the mixes that I've heard of yours, you've managed to avoid the pitfall that has claimed just about every remixer at one time or another: remixing a song even though the vocals don't work. Are unworkable vocals a dealbreaker for G&D?
Dresden: Absolutely. We can't let something leave the studio that we're not 100% on. That being said, I feel we've made a few songs we didn't really like into ones that we did.
Gabriel: If we don't feel something in the song we just say no. At the end of the day, if we can't feel it in the studio, how can people be expected to feel it on the floor - I don't think anyone wins in that situation.

JS: "As The Rush Comes" is everywhere now. How does it feel to have a track making that kind of impression on the dance music world? And now that you've made a video for it and it's been signed for the US (by Ultra), what future is in store for your writing and production work?
Gabriel: It feels great to have a track that has connected with so many people. For the future, we'd like to be doing more of the same, making music that takes people somewhere.
Dresden: For me it's absolutely amazing because we never set out to make a radio song. I don't ever want to get into the position of trying to aim a production to anything other than the sake of making something that I'm happy with at the end of the day. I hope we can continue to make songs that capture the moment like "As the Rush Comes" seems to do.

JS: Are there any artists or songs (current or past) that you desperately want to mix? As an egomaniac music critic myself, I'd love to see you do a track with Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips, or Kate Bush, or anything off of Marianne Faithfull's Broken English album. But that's just me.
Gabriel: I'd love to produce a U2 album, and as far as remixes go, I'd love to be let loose in the Mute/Sire vaults and see what I come up with.
Dresden: There are too many to list. We do take time out to remix songs we weren't asked to, so hopefully we can find the time to do many more in the future!

JS: Do either or both of you have any extensive background in theory? Your chord progressions leave me thinking so, specifically in the bridge of Deborah Cox's "Play Your Part."
Dresden: Josh does. I do not. My music training came from being inside a DJ booth for fifteen years and being a total and complete music freak.
Gabriel: I have undergraduate college degree in music composition from the California Institute for the Arts.

JS: Speaking of your Deborah Cox mix (and the Britney/Madonna track, while we're at it), how do you do the unquantifiable magic that you do with vocal effects? I'm thinking also of the way your dubs work along this line.
Gabriel: Lots of very basic effects, used in creative and subtle ways. Not overdoing things is the key.
Dresden: That must be the "G&D dub blender" you are referring to ;P

JS: In your studio, which piece of equipment is your favorite?
Gabriel: The Mac (just about to switch to a G5) is the most important piece of gear.
Dresden: We would be nowhere without our Apple Mac G5 and Logic 6 software. There are a lot of cool synth plug-ins being made now that have amazing sounds. Native Insturments' "Reaktor" is one of them.

JS: The Duncan Sheik Mix (for "On a High") has such an amazing shift in the rhythm structure towards the end that feels quite revolutionary, especially compared to how most house music feels content to pound away with the same drum patterns for the whole track. What motivated this?
Gabriel: We like to take you on a journey in a piece of music. Part of that is changing the sounds and the music, part of that is changing the drum patterns. That track lent itself to that technique because we ere able to go from something very housey to something more tribal.
Dresden: Probably it started with my attention deficit disorder. I get bored easily and have always loved records that took you on a serious ride. I strive to have that in every track I'm involved in be it with Josh or otherwise.

JS: When you get the chance to mix a classic, as was the case with "Beachball," how do you react to that kind of opportunity? Do you make a mix as a reaction to the classic mixes of the track, or do you simply treat it like you would any song?
Gabriel: A classic is a special case and we treated "Beachball" differently than other projects. We didn't want to stray too far from the original and just wanted to update it, rather than really change it. We had a great time doing that mix.
Dresden: We like to capture the essence of the song, no matter if it's a classic, a remix or an original. With Beachball, we wanted to re-capture the feeling that the original gave me back in 1996 while at the same time, make it modern-sounding. It's tough to remix classics because it always comes under serious scrutiny because the original holds so many memories for people. I'm always up for a challenge!

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