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Montreal’s Botnek Talks Macaroni Salad and John Lennon

September 17th, 2013

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With releases on Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak Records, Strictly Rhythm, and Wolfang Gartner’s Kindergarten Records, Montreal’s Botnek has firmly established themselves as one of Canada’s up and coming talents. Following a hectic world tour which saw the duo tour around Asia and Europe, “I think one of the coolest cities we’ve seen so far has to be Hong Kong. For two dudes from a small town in eastern Canada that was quite a big deal! We’re home now in Montreal, but about to head to the United States for the first time, and Australia later this year,” the duo is ready to take Tomorrowworld in Chattahooche Hills, Georgia by storm.

Beginning their careers in the dance music obsessed city of Montreal, Quebec, the duo has skyrocketed into global, main stage  attractions,“we met in the mall food court because Erick cut in line when I was ordering macaroni salad. Haha, no we met at a party where I [Gordon] was DJ’ing and coming from a smaller town, there weren’t too many people involved with dance music. This was before the whole ‘EDM’ thing, so we bonded right away since we were one of the few people each of us knew producing tracks.”

Boasting originals landing on Dim Mak and official remixes for DallasK, Mat Zo & Porter Robinson, Steve Aoki, Angger Dimas, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and Autoerotique, the duo commented on the difference between the two production strategies, “originals are for sure more rewarding, but for us, we spend a lot more time on them, probably too much. With a remix you at least are somewhat restricted as to what you can work with, but with an original you can literally do whatever you want, and that sort of freedom for us generally means we will try everything until finally coming to the most functional version of the track. Version 27 or whatever. We learned from experimenting so that’s still a major part of our creative process.”

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With so many different duos, trios, and collaborators in dance music, production techniques certainly differ from group to group. When another Canadian duo, Project 46, began producing, they were working together from the opposite side of the country. deadmau5 and Wolfgang Gartner have both commented on their strategy of leaving the studio when the other is producing, and Botnek seem to employ a similar strategy, “we’ve been compared a lot to the Lennon-McCartney partnership. That’s a lie, no one would ever compare us to them haha. But that’s sort of how it works. Erick and I both completely separately work on demos, and then send them to each other for feedback. We have very complementary skill sets I find. Erick is better at the technical side: sound design, and mixdowns. And I’m more into the musical elements, chords, etc. The final track will always pass through each of our hands at least a few times.”

The list of full length albums from dance music’s biggest stars seems to always be growing and although Botnek have released the amount of music most artists only dream of, there seems to be a lot more on the way, “the album is definitely happening, but it’s still a long ways away. We’re focusing now on doing singles and touring for the next several months, but we have more than enough material started for an album. For us though, we really want to experiment a bit more before we start narrowing down the tracklist for it. But the album format is very exciting to us because we grew up listening to electronic music as an album, and love how it gives you the opportunity to try out different ideas rather than just straight dancefloor material. So there’s no doubt it will sound like Botnek music, but there’ll at least few surprises on there.”

The duo’s unique productions and meteoric rise have garnered them support from the majority of dance music’s superstars. With a date at Tomorrowworld looming in late September, the duo commented on exactly what is coming next, “our newest release for Dim Mak is our single ‘I Know’, and following that there’s going to be a remix EP for that and ‘Through the Night’ together. Got some new remixes of our own in the works, and a few more singles this fall on Dim Mak, that don’t even have names yet.”  Truly a force, not only in the Canadian dance music scene but on the global dance music horizon as well, we can’t wait to see exactly how far these guys can go as they represent Canada on an international stage.

Aaron Berecz / aberecz@djmag.ca

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