Amine Edge & DANCE’s G-House
“It Ain’t Nuthin’ but a G Thang” for DJ/production duo Amine Edge & DANCE. With a friendship running 15 years deep stemming from their teenage years in Marseille, France, the pair finally came together officially a few years ago after first forging solo careers.
After a series of big releases—including remixes of Adana Twins’ “Everyday” and Frank Ocean’s “Lost”—the boys are on the forefront of the G House movement, a subgenre combining the basslines and BPM of underground dance with the swagger of hip hop. This sonic innovation hasn’t gone unnoticed. This year alone, they’ve thrown a full season of parties for CUFF Records—their new label—regularly packing out their Sankeys Ibiza residency, and Pete Tong enlisted them to provide an Essential Mix for his Radio 1 program.
We connected with Amine Edge & DANCE shortly after a performance at a secret Brooklyn party thrown by Sankeys New York.
DJ Times: Your signature G-House sound pulls from hip-hop influences. What sort of artists did you two grow up listening to in France?
Amine Edge: All the hip-hop bands from the ’90s that everyone knows, from Warren G and Snoop Dogg to Biggie, Jadakiss, Cypress Hill, and Wu-Tang.
DANCE: Also, 2Pac, ATCQ, J.Dilla, Dr. Dre and a lot of old-school R&B like R.Kelly, Jodeci, and New Edition.
DJ Times: Your tracks feature a lot of sample work. What goes into the process of selecting samples to use?
DANCE: Because I’ve been a producer for a while, I always like to use some samples. I’m from a hip-hop background and all the hip-hop producers use samples—it’s the base of everything. Sometimes I’ll hear a track in a taxi that I like, so I’ll Shazam it and then sample it. It’s easy. With our experience in music, we know which tracks are good to sample.
DJ Times: Your basslines are particularly unique. What software and hardware are you using to create them?
Amine Edge: I think we just have good taste! That’s our best tool. We use exactly the same plug-ins as everyone else—from [Arturia’s] Minimoog to [LennarDigital’s] Sylenth and [reFX’s] Nexus. We don’t have any secrets.
DANCE: Yeah we don’t use anything special. We just know exactly what people expect on a dancefloor, so we only use those important elements. We never use more than two different melodies—less is the best. We also create smart structures to make a track bangin’!
DJ Times: How would you describe the average Amine Edge & DANCE DJ set?
DANCE: I would say energetic, aggressive, and technical.
DJ Times: Are you playing back-to-back?
DANCE: We always play B2B—one track each—in our sets, but sometimes I let him play two tracks because I’m a nice guy!
DJ Times: You record and release more of your live sets than most other acts. Is there a reason behind it?
DANCE: We’re probably the only ones recording and sharing all our sets, and the reason why we are the only ones—and we’re going to have enemies now by saying this—is because 99-percent of the DJs do the same set for three months. All of our sets are different. We listen to a thousand promo tracks a week because doing the same set is so boring and we would rather end our DJ careers than play the same thing over and over.
DJ Times: What’s your DJ setup?
Amine Edge: Any Pioneer mixer, Traktor and two [Kontrol] X1controllers, and a laptop. We dream about traveling with just headphones and USBs like some DJs—they are so lucky. We’ve chosen to carry heavy Rimowa Luggage with our cables and stuff to make sets more surgical, and the effects of Traktor are much more amazing than with just a CDJ.
DJ Times: What was it like to be asked to contribute an Essential Mix and what was your approach to making it?
Amine Edge: It’s probably the most important DJ show in the world, so it was a dream come true. It was also really stressful because we only had two hours to showcase some innovative house from our label, a few of our exclusive tracks, some hip hop, some classic, some techno, some tech-house, and some deep house. It was hell, but we made it and had amazing feedback about the mix.
DJ Times: How do you balance such a hectic touring schedule with producing?
Amine Edge: We produce every time we travel. After all these years we have learned to produce everywhere—on a flight, in an airport, on a train, at a hotel, etc. I recently finished a mix and mastered it only using Ableton’s plug-in and some a-JAYS earphones, and we played it at Ministry Of Sound for our CUFF night and it sounded massive. Nothing can stop us. When you want, you can; you don’t need a studio. Everybody is DJ and everybody is a producer, so we work harder than everyone and don’t find any shoddy excuses.
DANCE: It’s hard, but when you really want something, you find the time and you do it. I’m an Ableton Live junkie. If I haven’t been producing for more than two or three days, I can feel that something is missing in my life.