Friday, May 20, 2011

Art Department talk the future

Jonny White and Kenny Glasgow are two well-recognized veterans in theCanadian dance music scene, but neither have had the popular impact they've had together as Art Department. The awareness of the duo has been building for many months now and they've moved beyond the dance music ghetto in to the same rarified air that kicked off the DFA era last decade.
Art Department's album The Drawing Board is a culmination of all those pop influences bombarding dance music for the past ten year and offers a sea change moment, as even White alludes to in our interview time together. Timing is everything, because A.D. isn't the only artist out there exploring the radio-friendly possibilities that current dance music trends have to offer, but for whatever reason these guys have been the new it-kids.

But that is often the case in the crazy world of pop music and who knows where it will end up, but expect somebody like 
Rihanna or Beyonce to making the call to A.D. soon.
But for now, White and Glasgow are poised for that success, right at that moment before it all unfolds, when it is both kinetic and alive with potential.

That pause before the next breath, I. Voice got a unique opportunity to capture that moment in this brief interview with
 Jonny White.

There's a lot of buzz around the album did you ever think, after years of making tracks, that the Art Department project would be the one that would make such a big impact?
No, of course you can't predict that a project will catch the way that 
Art Department has.  However, we have never had this type of support on any previous projects - i.e. Having the Crosstown team behind us and all of our friends behind us so we did have high hopes, as we do with anything we undertake.

Tell us a little bit about making the album, what are some of your personal favorite tracks from it and what are some of your fondest memories in the studio during the making?
We love the entire album... I don't know that we really like one or two best because they each represent a different idea and time in the writing process. I think my fondest memory of studio time spent while writing the 
Drawing Board was the five days we spent in the studio with Soul Clapat my place in Toronto... Five days, camped out around my living room off your head making music with Soul Clap.

The album feels like a collection of music that needs to be listened to in its entirety with many twists and turns. Was there a conscious reject of the current notion of dance music LPs that makes every track a big singles that offer only variations on a theme that leaves fans only to select their favorites or was this just mere coincidence, the unconscious part of the creative process?

We're very proud of the ALBUM we just wrote. It certainly wasn't a collection of singles tossed together to fill ten slots.

What, in your opinion, draws people to your music? It seems to cross musical tastes and age groups to find wide appeal. Few electronic music acts seem to enjoy that success without making pop music concessions so perhaps you can share some insights with us?
I think a lot of it is timing. I think that people are hungry for change and for the next sound and as a result also very open-minded.

What are your touring plans for the album?
We've been touring non-stop since last 
August and there's no end in sight so we'll be continuing with our regular schedule - EuropeNorth and South America, and everywhere in between.

Where will you be playing at in Miami and for which WMC?
Well you've actually caught me during the after party here in 
Miami for the Hot Natured show at the Electric Pickle, which was really special. We also played the DJ Mag pool party, Flying Circus, Circoloco, Get Lost, and my No.19 label showcase all of which were really amazing shows.

Any thoughts on the WMC controversy?
I don't really know what was behind this year's scheduling so it's not really for me to comment on. Although I can say that it definitely took a bit of a toll on the numbers at some events, shows like 
Lawler's Light's Out with massive lineups were cancelled due to lack of ticket sales, while we managed to sell out Get LostHot Natured, andNo.19 which was a pleasant surprise and a bit of a glimpse into the immediate future.

Ibiza this summer for Art Department? Where will you be playing at?
As of now we'll be playing 
Circoloco @ DC10 quite consistently and see what else falls into place.

What other things can we expect from Art Department this year musically?
We've been working on loads of remixes over the last several months since completing the album. A few on the way include a remix of 
Damian's "Different Now", Azari & lll "Hungry For The Power" and Jamie Jones"Paradise".

-Taken from

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