After a massive kickoff (thanks again, Pola-Riot!) and tons of amazing feedback last month, it’s about time for the second episode of The Austrian Tapes! Once again the ambitious goal is to showcase the best in contemporary Austrian electronic dance music, with an exclusive mixtape and a little interview, letting the artists get a word or two about themselves and their music.
To be honest, I’m quite proud to announce the guests for round two: Roland von der Aist, Andy Korg and Aka Tell – better known as A.G.Trio! After countless EPs and remixes, the trio’s debut album Action just hit stores two days ago, and their latest single Countably Infinite topped the charts on Radio FM4, Austria’s biggest alternative radio station, last night. Lots of big news – and as if that wasn’t enough, they’re playing two shows in celebration of the album release: one in Linz on June 2nd and another one in Vienna on June 7th. I have 2x 2 tickets for the Vienna show, just go to my Facebook page and send me a message there, including your real name – winners will be notified via Facebook. Good luck!
[ Interview + Tracklist after the jump ]
The release of the critically acclaimed Countably Infinite EP, several big remixes and bootlegs, a huge number of impressive live shows, lots of attention from blogs, radio stations and magazines all over the world. Things have started happening very fast in 2012 – and suddenly there was Action, an album on two discs. At what point did you decide to clear the hurdle of going full-length?
A.G.Trio: Doing an album in our specific genre is a difficult thing. Of course there are dozens of dance-albums released every week, but how many of them have a lasting effect? How often do you hear things like “the good tracks would have fit on an EP” and how many of nowadays’ dance albums do work in the typical album context? We always thought that going on with releasing one EP after another would be the perfect thing for us, as we did our music track per track. But after some time we realised that it would be great to have a collection, something that shows the development of our style on one record. So we decided to choose this approach for the album. This was in the middle of 2011.
Action comes on two CDs, the first one packed with both new and old original tracks, and the second one full of official remixes you guys did for other artists. How did you decide which tracks to put on the album? What was it like finally holding this selected discography, pressed on CD, in your own hands?
A.G.Trio: Actually the decision was not so hard to make. Of course we would have had more tracks and the limit was the standard CD length, but we did not have to discuss about these things very long. We performed most of the tracks live during the last season and we know very well what each specific track means to us. It was quite a challenge to license all the remixes, but this also went down pretty well. To hold the product in your hand was – undeniably – a very special moment, not only because ot the work we put into the making of the CD but also because it was like a little journey through our own history.
While always maintaining a unique trademark sound, your music covers quite a wide range of electronic dance music: from raw, heavy sounds on tracks such as Dancen or Bass Effect over cheerful electro pop anthems like Planet Disco to dirty dubstep sounds on your recent remix for Parov Stelar. Where do you feel musically at home? Should diversity be a key issue for musicians rather than evolving in one certain direction?
A.G.Trio: Diversity is most certainly a key issue for our music. But in general I think it is as well great to concentrate on one specific sound or aspect and work of the development of that. We are three producers and have three very different backgrounds, this is one of the main reasons why our music sounds the way it does.
Of all remixes you’ve done, which ones are your personal favorites?
A.G.Trio: We never would release any track that does not 100% satisfy us. But there are some tracks that have a special meaning, maybe because they were extra successful or maybe because they changed something. Right now our remix for Parov Stelar enters charts and playlists all over the world, so it would be wrong to not mention this one. But very often a remix was the first time we used a new sound or aspect in our production that later also became part of our own tracks. This is also one of the reasons why we wanted to include the remixes on the album.
One can’t help but get the impression that Countably Infinite is your special “baby” – how does this laid-back, contemplative song fit in with the other loud and bright club tracks? What was it like working together with guest vocalist Markus Zahradnicek from Francis International Airport – who’s coming from an alternative/indie background?
A.G.Trio: “Countably Infinite” is by far not the only laid-back track on the album. We may be better known for our dancefloor tracks, but diversity is always an important part of our work. Some people might know the early works of some of our solo projects, and considering that, you would not be surprised.
We got to know Markus a little bit more than a year ago, when we and his band Francis International Airport were booked for the same tour. We soon found out, that, though our music sounds very different, we have some similar approaches in music production and writing. So we wanted to try out a collaboration, and it worked out pretty good.
If you could do a collaboration with one artist of your choice, dead or alive, who would you pick? – why?
A.G.Trio: The KLF – their invention of combining dance music with conceptual art has influenced us in large parts.
All three of you have been experienced DJs and/or live acts on their own for years before the A.G.Trio project. What’s different now, sharing the stage with two other people for a live show? Will a DJ ever be able to make a crowd crazy as a live act?
A.G.Trio: Every producer should decide for himself what is the best way for him to perform for a crowd. Nowadays it seems to be a given that every producer also is a DJ – but some of them are pretty shitty ones. And of course there are still excellent DJs that are no producers, but that´s another story. For us it would not be possible to perform our music to an audience as DJs and bring the same amount of interaction and thrill as we do with the live-act. We permanently work on our live-set and are very happy that we are able to improvise our music live.
Aka and Andy still love to do solo DJ sets from time to time (as well as Roland does solo live-acts) but with a very different approach of course.
While other bands tend to bring an army of technicians, stage hands and other personnel, you guys are known for bringing not only confetti cannons but also your personal barkeeper on tour. What do you have to say in your defense?
A.G.Trio: We don´t have to defend ourselves, we have a barkeeper for that! Floh is not only an excellent tour attendant but also a trained barkeeper, and yes, that makes tour-life very comforting. 🙂
Recently we added our own light-engineer to the team and added some other great stuff to the show, which we will show at some festivals this year.
What are you guys currently looking forward to?
A.G.Trio: A summer full of touring and of course our two album release shows in Linz and Vienna!
01 Tits & Clits – Daedalus (A.G.Trio Remix)
02 Zedd – Stars Come Out (John Dahlbäck Remix)
03 Tocadisco – Jump
04 Pola-Riot – Brazza (A.G.Trio Remix)
05 Moguai – Mpire
06 Dada Life – Rolling Stones T-Shirt (Cazzette Approaching Starry Homes Remix)
07 Parov Stelar – Nobody´s Fool feat. Cleo Panther (A.G.Trio Remix)
08 Martin Solveig – The Night Out (A-Trak Remix)
09 Avicii – Next Levels (The Fat Rat Instrumental)
10 Dada Life – Kick Out The Epic Motherfu**ker (A.G.Trio Rework)
11 Gorillas On Drums – We Are G.O.D (A.G.Trio Remix)
12 A.G.Trio – Everyone With Us
13 A.G.Trio – Moldance
14 Dead C.A.T. Bounce & You Killing Me – Justice! (A.G.Trio Remix)
15 Orchestra Psychodelia – Cybatown (A.G.Trio Remix)
16 The Sexinvaders – LA LOVE (A.G.Trio Remix)
17 Laidback Luke & Sander Van Doorn – Who´s Wearing The Cap (A-Trak Remix)
The Austrian Tapes are a series of exclusive monthly mixtapes on discodemons.net, showcasing the best artists in Austrian electronic dance music – without sticking to any genre boundaries.