Heidi Lawden Is Much More Than DJ Harvey's Manager

Running off to London as a teenager meant that Heidi Lawden was hanging at the coolest clubs at an age when most ravers are still dreaming of big nights out from inside their parent’s suburban homes. And Heidi hit the capital at just the right time, when the fashion-forward city was about to be overtaken by the acid house phenomenon.

“I thought the streets were paved with gold in London. And they were!” the self-proclaimed “den mother” told the Rave Curious Podcast about the club culture that would embrace her as a DJ and promoter during its 90s heyday of Ministry of Sound. That scene also led to her befriending heroes like Larry Levan and Masters at Work, as well as managing DJ Harvey, who she’s worked with for over two decades.

Heidi dishes about those early days of clubbing as well as the now legendary story of her move with Harvey to LA and the career rebirth that has taken place for both of them over the past 15 years. She also addresses the very real battle of being a DJ versus working behind the scene for one of the world’s most in-demand talents, and even spill some secret news about her charge’s next project. Check it out.

Subscribe to the Rave Curious Podcast on iTunes or listen on Soundcloud, and get a new episode every other week, plus download past interviews with Adam Beyer, Chris Liebing, Danny Tenaglia, Radio Slave, Heidi and more. While you’re at it, you can also follow Rave Curious on Facebook and Twitter.

Jesse Rose Wishes More DJs Would Retire

By pretty much any standard, the life of a successful DJ is a good one. Sure, social media is perpetually flooded with DJs complaining, but the cons of long flights, lost luggage and logistical meltdowns pale in comparison to the pros of global travel, VIP accommodations and endless afterparties. Oh yeah, and getting to share music with adoring fans around the world ain’t a bad deal either. It’s little wonder why once most DJs reach the upper echelon, they’ll be damned if they’ll let go.

Which is why it was so surprising the DJ/producer/labelhead Jesse Rose announced his intention to end his enviable career following his final album, Alright Mate, and a 2017 full of gigs at the best clubs and festivals in the world. But as he reveals on the Rave Curious podcast, Rose isn’t the only successful DJ who considers calling it quits after multiple decades behind the decks.

“Half the DJs who have been playing for so long would love to retire but they don’t because they’re earning a great living and traveling around the world,” Rose reveals before explaining the fundamental problem with this evergreen DJ mentality. “It’s actually a bad thing. New kids coming up with passion and excitement is what got us into dance music to begin with.”

Subscribe to the Rave Curious Podcast on iTunes or listen on Soundcloud , and get a new episode every other week, plus download past interviews with Adam Beyer, Chris Liebing, Danny Tenaglia, Radio Slave, Cassy and more. While you’re at it, you can also follow Rave Curious on Facebook and Twitter .

Joel Mull Is Saving Swedish Dance Music From It’s EDM-Sullied Reputation

As some of the pioneers of the Swedish techno sound, Joel Mull and friends Adam Beyer and Cari Lekebusch dominated much of the late-90s scene with unforgiving bangers that defined the looping minimalism of the era. Today, Mull—the Stockholm-based DJ and producer—has broadened his palette considerably, creating various shades of techno for everyone from Berlin leaders Dystopian to Sasha‘s Last Night On Earth imprint, along with his own Parable label.

Though admittedly not as high-profile as some of his Drumcode peers, Mull is an unsung hero of many a party across the globe, delivering sets of full-bodied techno that combine melody and drama with relentless rhythms and daring experimentation. In other words, everything that will keep you on the dancefloor hours after it was time to go home. He joined the Rave Curious podcast this week to chat about his history in techno, and his home country’s musical reputation.

Subscribe to the Rave Curious Podcast on iTunes or listen on Soundcloud , and get a new episode every other week, plus download past interviews with Adam Beyer, Chris Liebing, Danny Tenaglia, Radio Slave, Cassy and more. While you’re at it, you can also follow Rave Curious on Facebook and Twitter.

Baikal Proves How Hard It Is to Quit Techno

It seems like every producer eventually moves to Berlin, but Baikal might be the only one to do so while taking time off from his musical career. Having achieved some success under the name Mark August with releases for Innervisions, the Dutch producer needed a break—and decided that decamping to Germany was the way to do it. He couldn’t stay out of the game for too long though, and he’s recently begun releasing music on the Maeve label that he co-runs with fellow Innversions colleagues Mano Le Tough and The Drifter.

He joins Rave Curious this week to chat about that period of indecision and how his current output has earned him gigs around the city’s network of world class clubs, including Panorama Bar, Renate and ://about blank. It has also seen him take his heady-yet-emotional style of techno to all the inhabitable continents. Not bad for an artist who considered calling it quits altogether not long ago.

Subscribe to the Rave Curious Podcast on iTunes or listen on Soundcloud , and get a new episode every other week, plus download past interviews with Adam Beyer, Chris Liebing, Danny Tenaglia, Radio Slave, Cassy and more. While you’re at it, you can also follow Rave Curious on Facebook and Twitter .

Karl Meier Brings Chicago’s Industrial Music Heritage to Berlin Techno

Growing up in the house music capital of Chicago, one might not expect Karl Meier to make the sort of abrasive industrial techno found on his debut album as one half of Talker (with Johnathan Krohn). But as he tells Rave Curious, the city’s industrial scene—famous for the Wax Trax! label, home to Front 242, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and local legends Ministry/Revolting Cocks/Pigface—had just as much influence as the house heroes like Derrick Carter, DJ Sneak and DJ Heather.

The result so far has been a single album for esteemed UK techno imprint Downwards in 2014—not bad for Meier’s first release after years working record counters at places like the mythical vinyl emporium Gramaphone. That album lead to key gigs at Berghain and Berlin Atonal Festival, compelling Meier to take the next obvious step and relocate to the German Capital the next year.

The Rave Curious podcast caught Meier on his first official U.S. tour to find out how a dance music veteran can go from nearly unknown to underground headliner status after decades of DJing. We also try to make nice with Chicago after dissing the Windy City hard on the recent Boom Bip episode.

Subscribe to the Rave Curious Podcast on iTunes or listen on Soundcloud, and get a new episode every other week, plus download past interviews with Adam Beyer, Chris Liebing, Danny Tenaglia, Radio Slave, Cassy and more. While you’re at it, you can also follow Rave Curious on Facebook and Twitter.

Paul Oakenfold Learned About Ibiza Because Of A World Famous Drag Queen

When the books are written about the history of acid houseand there have been several alreadyone key fact seems to elude authors as they regurgitate the old story of how Paul Oakenfold and friends visited Ibiza, took some ecstasy, and came back to kick off the Summer of Love.

“I was working for a record company and they want Divine,” he tells the Rave Curious podcast. “That’s how I really discovered Ibiza.”

The rest, as they say, is history, with Oakenfold returning to London to bring that white island magic to the UK. From there he rocketed to the top of the DJ hierarchy, first working with Madchester stars the Happy Mondays, and eventually opening for U2 and Madonna on stadium tours. You even have Oakie to thank for the Las Vegas DJ craze, which he may have started in 2008 with a weekly gig at The Palms.

Throughout it all, he’s seen a lot and shares plenty on the Rave Curious Podcast, including his new Generations concept, celebrating 30 years of acid house and his new residency in an American city you’d probably never guess. Find out by pressing play.

Subscribe to the Rave Curious Podcast on iTunes or listen on Soundcloud, and get a new episode every other week, plus download past interviews with Adam Beyer, Chris Liebing, Danny Tenaglia, Radio Slave, Cassy and more. While you’re at it, you can also follow Rave Curious on Facebook and Twitter.

Dirtybird's Christian Martin Explains Why Guest DJs Can Be A Waste

Christian Martin will play well over 150 gigs this year around the world. Some will be solo, but many will be as part of the Dirtybird crew, which Martin founded with his brother Justin and friends Claude Vonstroke and Worthy. Today, they might all be international headlining DJ, but when Dirtybird began as an intimate daytime BBQ party in Golden Gate Park, and then a residency at San Francisco venue Shine, the four core DJs kept the decks to themselves.

“We wanted to sink or swim on our own merits,” Martin reflects, adding. “I wanted us to have our own unique sound.”

That attitude continued, even as the crew began to grow. Dirtybird parties started to pop-off around the world, and while the members started to play out on their own, they still managed to perform together often, creating one of the strongest house music brands in all of the American dance scene.

That DIY attitude is more relevant than ever. As dance music continues to grow, pushing DJ fees higher and higher as it goes, there’s starting to be a sense that the bubble could burst. That’s why the lessons in independence that Martin tells are so essential. You can hear them all on this episode of the Rave Curious Podcast.

Subscribe to the Rave Curious Podcast on iTunes or listen on Soundcloud, and get a new episode every other week, plus download past interviews with Adam Beyer, Chris Liebing, Danny Tenaglia, Radio Slave, Cassy and more. While you’re at it, you can also follow Rave Curious on Facebook and Twitter.

Louie Vega Mulls His Relationship With Kanye West On The Rave Curious Podcast

DJ, producer and bandleader Louie Vega knows something about partnerships. His collaboration with fellow NYC producer Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez is one of near mythical status. That pairing has produced tireless dance floor bangers like “Deep Inside” and “The Ha Dance” (as Masters At Work) and “The Bounce” (as Kenlou), as well as the timeless musicality of their Nuyorican Soul project, which featured legends like Tito Puente, Roy Ayers and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

The pairing has seen Vega and Gonzalez rock four decks at clubs around the world. But Vega’s also had plenty of experience as a solo DJ and frequent participant in various B2B sets at his weekly Wednesday night Roots NYC party that is still going after a jaw-dropping 12 years. “Man, I love playing with Moodymann,” the New York hero enthuses about the annual appearance of the Detroit enigma, although he usually prefers the spontaneous B2Bs that happen when the time is right. “The B2Bs that are plannedyou don’t see that guy until that dayit’s less natural.”

Even Vega’s stunning solo career is full of amazing musical alliances. His Grammy-nominated 2016 album, Louie Vega Starring…XXVIII, featured special guests on all 28 tracks, including Funkadelic, Soul Clap, Adeva and, most inspired, the combining of gospel groups 3 Winans Brothers and The Clark Sisters for the first time.

Meanwhile, Vega’s defining sample, the Barbara Tucker belted “Deep inside!” gets lifted by Kanye West on “Fade.” That track, with it’s Larry Heard music bed is basically Yeezy trying to pull a Daft Punk “Stronger” with late-80s New York and Chicago house heads instead of 90s French robots. “Kanye has roots with house music, he’s from Chicago,” Vega says diplomatically.

All of which is to prove that, beyond a stellar musical talent, Louie Vega is a terrific communicatorsomething he readily displays on this episode of the Rave Curious Podcast.

Subscribe to the Rave Curious Podcast on iTunes or listen on Soundcloud, and get a new episode every other week, plus download past interviews with Adam Beyer, Chris Liebing, Danny Tenaglia, Radio Slave, Cassy and more. While you’re at it, you can also follow Rave Curious on Facebook and Twitter.

Boom Bip Shares His Feelings About EDM With The Rave Curious Podcast

Much love to the Windy City, but Bryan Hollon (aka Boom Bip) and Rave Curious host Joshua Glazer are two Midwest boys who can’t help hold a bit of distaste for a town that, by their estimation, spawned the condescending hipster archetype.

Hollon also has some unkind words for EDM, a world he was almost drawn into, despite a catalog that consist mainly of rich and beguiling downtempo tunes. “I don’t want to have a bass drop every 45 second and pump my hands in the air and all that,” Hollon insists on this episode of the Rave Curious Podcast. “So as that new of DJing started happening, I just lost interest. As soon as I started to feel that pressure from William Morris to do that, I was like, ‘Fuck this.'”

Hollon is someone comfortable with contradictions. He’s been releasing music on Warp Records hip-hop offshoot Lex for 15 years, yet has only featured two or three MCs on any tracks. His Neon Neon project with Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals has produced two “pop” albums that can’t quite play the pop music game. “It’s hard for me to just give in when something feels uncomfortable and cheesy.”

But it’s not all bitching and moaning. There’s plenty of positives, including Hollon’s moody new soundtrack to the film Sun Choked, to talk about. Or the time he got to party at Bjrk’s house after his first UK gig with Aphex Twin. Or the time he DJed for a dating Justin and Britney in Hollywood with Steve Aoki. It all gets covered on this week’s podcast.

Boom Bip Has Some Feelings About EDM

Much love to the Windy City, but Bryan Hollon (aka Boom Bip) and Rave Curious host Joshua Glazer are two Midwest boys who can’t help hold a bit of distaste for a town that, by their estimation, spawned the condescending hipster archetype.

Hollon also has some unkind words for EDM, a world he was almost drawn into, despite a catalog that consist mainly of rich and beguiling downtempo tunes. “I don’t want to have a bass drop every 45 second and pump my hands in the air and all that,” Hollon insists on this episode of the Rave Curious Podcast. “So as that new of DJing started happening, I just lost interest. As soon as I started to feel that pressure from William Morris to do that, I was like, ‘Fuck this.'”

Hollon is someone comfortable with contradictions. He’s been releasing music on Warp Records hip-hop offshoot Lex for 15 years, yet has only featured two or three MCs on any tracks. His Neon Neon project with Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals has produced two “pop” albums that can’t quite play the pop music game. “It’s hard for me to just give in when something feels uncomfortable and cheesy.”

But it’s not all bitching and moaning. There’s plenty of positives, including Hollon’s moody new soundtrack to the film Sun Choked, to talk about. Or the time he got to party at Bjrk’s house after his first UK gig with Aphex Twin. Or the time he DJed for a dating Justin and Britney in Hollywood with Steve Aoki. It all gets covered on this week’s podcast.

Burning Man Regular DJ Three Has Some Thoughts On The Rise Of Playa Tech

DJ Three is a name that’s been on a lot of lips lately, thanks largely to several successive years of extremely popular podcasts recorded live at Burning Man. But this Robot Heart regular, who dismisses, “playa tech is the new dubstep,” discovered dance music about as far from the Black Rock Desert as you can get, in the Central Florida rave scene of the early 90s. It was a era that left an indelible mark on the America rave consciousness, spawning local heroes like Rabbit in the Moon and Kimball Collins, but also acting as an early port of call for European DJs such as Sasha and Digweed, and Paul Van Dyk, for whom cities like Tampa, Orlando and Gainesville were early ports of entry on their way to the top of the American club scene.

Though he’s called New York home for over a decade (with residencies at Twilo and Output to prove his bona fides), Three’s eclectic brand of trippy four-four music (he once ran a label called Hallucination, now cleverly updated to Hallucienda) has made him one of those beloved DJs DJ types, with supporters like Laurent Garnier, Doc Martin and Damian Lazarus. He’s able to speak intelligently about all shades of techno and house, regardless of their place of origin, which made him the ideal guest for Episode 30 of Rave Curious.

Subscribe to the Rave Curious Podcast on iTunes or listen on Soundcloud, and get a new episode every other week, plus download past interviews with Adam Beyer, Chris Liebing, Danny Tenaglia, Radio Slave, Heidi and more. While you’re at it, you can also follow Rave Curious on Facebook and Twitter.

Get To Know GusGus, One Of Iceland's Other Timeless Musical Exports

Averaging one album every other year for the past two decades has made GusGus one of the most consistent units in electronic musicdespite the fact that the group has had anywhere from two to ten members over it’s 20-year run. Currently a duo made up my constant producer Birgir rarinsson (Biggi) and regular vocalist Daniel Haraldsson, the Icelandic pair continue to craft melodic electronic songs and perform them live on the same basic stage set-up they’ve been using since the late-90s to adoring audiences worldwide. They’ve also found a home on Germany’s Kompakt, a record label as reliable as the band itself, after stints at legendary imprints 4AD and Underwater.

“I’m not a sales person, and I don’t want to be a salesperson. I’m a musician,” say Biggi, explaining why he has no interest in the DIY opportunities of online music sales. And if record labels, laptop-free performances and electronica albums sound a bit “retro” in 2016, you might want to change that last word to “timeless,” which is what good musicians should always strive for. And what GusGus, more often than not, has achieved.

Subscribe to the Rave Curious Podcast on iTunes or listen on Soundcloud, and get a new episode every other week, plus download past interviews with Adam Beyer, Chris Liebing, Danny Tenaglia, Radio Slave, Heidi and more. While you’re at it, you can also follow Rave Curious on Facebook and Twitter.