April 23, 2014

Gabriel & Dresden: Happy Together?

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After a three-year break from each other, the award-winning DJ/production duo of Gabriel & Dresden is back.

From their stint as Motorcycle for the 2003 international smash “As the Rush Comes” (featuring Jes) to their 2006 hit “Tracking Treasure Down” (with Molly Bancroft) and beyond, Josh Gabriel and Dave Dresden toured the world and cranked out club-friendly music on a regular basis.

After splitting in 2008, Dresden collaborated with Mephisto Odyssey’s Mikael Johnston, while Gabriel continued his work with Mavie Marcos in the EDM duo Andain. Now that they’ve reunited and returned to the road, Gabriel and Dresden have released Mixing for Feet, Vol. 1 (Armada), a 35-track DJ-mix compilation.

We caught up with Gabriel and Dresden just before they took control of the booth at the Nocturnal Wonderland festival in San Bernardino Calif., this past September.

DJ Times: What’s it like to be back together after going on hiatus for a few years?

Dave Dresden: It’s awesome, actually. We just kind of feel like the whole is better than the sum of the two parts and when we get together and work on music, something really cool happens. We both can hold our own individually, but when we get together, big things happen and it takes us to places like [Nocturnal].

DJ Times: Since the New Year’s Eve reunion gig, what’s your schedule been like?

Josh Gabriel: We’ve been playing a lot more festivals and that’s influenced our music. And just the people that are coming to shows, it’s a different generation of people, so it’s an opportunity to try new stuff and that’s what we’re doing. American’s on fire, as you know, so the gigs are great.

DJ Times: Do you feel like the new generation of kids is familiar with you guys? What kind of feedback have you gotten from them?

Gabriel: What we’ve noticed is there are 18-year olds who have a brother or sister and they heard all our stuff because people download it over the internet, but they’ve never seen us live. So we’ve gotten a lot of comments like, “I’ve been waiting a long time to see you live because I heard about you three years ago when I was 15, but I couldn’t go to your shows.” So now they can.

Dresden: There’s also a lot of young people who are getting into Tiësto and go into his back catalog and hear our tracks there—or even us because we carved a nice little path in the electronic music scene and our songs kind of live on the internet. I think that we got more popular while we were apart and I think that’s really helping the reunion.

DJ Times: What about studio-wise? Anything new to listen for?

Gabriel: We have a track that’s finished. It was a collaboration with these guys called Secret Panda Society that are a dubstep group, so we’ll play that. It’s called “No Reservations.”

DJ Times: Speaking of dubstep, what do you think about the direction it’s taken?

Dresden: I think that Skrillex has really created a kind of dubstep that’s really, really commercial and palatable and hook-y. And he’s also kind of a rock star and carrying the torch for something different in the echelons of the electronic music industry that’s crossing over to all the other kids. Deadmau5 has supported him so all his fans are getting into it as well. So there are a lot of reasons why it’s popular.

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