Flosstradamus: Dropping Bombs
It’s rare for DJ/artists to stay afloat in the ultra-competitive world of dance music for nearly a decade without steadily producing their own music. But a combination of party-starting remixes, years of non-stop touring, and support from head honchos like Diplo and A-Trak have kept Midwestern DJ duo Flosstradamus on the map.
Their remix of Major Lazer’s “Original Don” was one of the most played tunes at both SXSW and Winter Music Conference/Miami Music Week. Add that to the duo’s February release of the all-original EP “Total Recall,” its May release of the remix-filled EP “Jubilation 2.0,” plus a new live-set approach, and we’ve seen the Flosstradamus profile achieve new heights in 2012. Not bad for a duo previously best-known for its manic remix of Lil Jon/Three 6 Mafia’s “Act a Fool,” way back in 2007.
We caught up with Josh “J2K” Young, who teams with Curt “Autobot” Cameruci to form Flosstradamus, and we discussed his love for everything hip-hop and learning to produce from videos done by 15-year olds.
DJ Times: What made you guys start producing your own songs?
J2K: It happened by accident, actually. We spent most of 2011 making beats for rappers, and decided to post one of them up as a Soundcloud free download because we got 10,000 followers on Twitter. That was the “Total Recall” joint. That, paired with our “Jubilation” EP, really got people ready to hear more original work from us.
DJ Times: You recently debuted your new “live set.” What gear are you using for these events?
J2K: The live set is run by Ableton using an Akai APC-40, a Novation Launchpad, touchAble running off an iPad, and Traktor.
DJ Times: How did you learn how to produce?
J2K: Loads of 15-year-old kids on YouTube dropping knowledge in tutorials, and hours and hours of learning from our mistakes. Curt has been at it since he was young, I think he started out when he was 16 or 17. I made edits here and there with Ableton and Logic, but didn’t really know how to make music. I spent most of last year figuring out how to get my ideas into a session. That was a huge step for us.
DJ Times: What is the interaction like between you two while making a song? How do you guys get along?
J2K: We’ve tried a lot of methods over the years, but we’ve really only figured out what works best in the last year or so. Curt moved to Brooklyn, and got really into the engineering side of production. I stayed back in Chicago. What really works for us is this assembly line of me pumping out demos, and Curt making them sound huge.
DJ Times: Recently you’ve released material on Mad Decent/Jeffree’s and Fools Gold Records, how did you get involved with these EDM powerhouses?
J2K: We’ve known both Diplo and A-Trak since 2006. They’re like family to us, and both have been big influences and supporters since our humble beginnings at Town Hall Pub in Chicago. For most of 2011, I was sending tracks to Nick Catchdubs from Fool’s Gold. We hadn’t had a release with them since 2009. I sent the track we did with Kid Sister, “Luuk Out Gurl” and they were feeling it, so we made a whole EP around it. Paul Devro from Mad Decent/Jeffree’s reached out to us after we dropped “Total Recall,” so I sent him some tracks and we picked three for the release.