Every so often, a group comes along which shakes the entire dance scene from its very roots with a style so unique, and a sound so intoxicating, that it influences scores of imitators, and inspires a new generation of producers. Pleasurekraft is exactly such a group.
The brainchild of Kaveh Soroush and Kalle Ronngardh, Pleasurekraft was born in the summer of 2009. Having had their very first track played by Pete Tong on his Essential Selection, and then doing remixes for Chymera, and John Acquaviva’s Definitive imprint, Pleasurekraft became a new name to keep an eye on.
Fast forward to the spring of 2010, and the year’s biggest smash hit, Pleasurekraft’s ”Tarantula” was released. Being hailed by everyone as the year’s biggest track, the critics and fans are already hailing pleasurekraft as the year’s most original tech house act. On the heels of “Tarantula”, Pleasurekraft are working harder than ever. While dance music trends come and go, those who stick to a singular vision and belief in the music they consistently produce are always left standing when the fads have long gone. Pleasurekraft is exactly such a group.
They will be making their debut appearance in Australia and will be playing alongside Hernan Cattaneo, DJ PP and Evil Nine in Perth for the Big City Nights Festival (27/10/2011 @ Shape Bar). We got up close with Kaveh and spoke to him about what Pleasurekraft is all about and also about their upcoming tour down under.
Our whole thing is making tech house with a hook. Plenty of tech house producers out there who make great grooves, but then just stop there – not that we are unique in this but for us to have a track that is complete requires a hook – something that people can latch on to – especially in a genre that CAN be quite monotonous.
Most producers would say finding their own sound is essential. How hard was this for you two?
Quite hard really. If you listen to our 4 tracks prior to “Tarantula” they were all over the place. Progressive/Eclectro/Techno etc, only one of them was a proper tech house record. It wasn’t until we finished “Tarantula” that we both agreed – this was really different, and had so much potential that THIS was the sound we should focus on. And though we have, I think we have grown a lot acoustically from “Tarantula” but of course your biggest success is your biggest curse too – everyone still requests Tarantula – EVEN after you have already played it! “Play it again! Play it again!” It’s like they’re mad sometimes! I mean its great – but if we had to rate our own songs in order of how much we liked them – I don’t think Tarantula would make either of our top 5′s.
Who or What are your major influences?
Well I can only answer for me – as Kalle’s taste is different form mine – though obviously there is some overlap. I personally listen to very little techno music unless I am listening to promos or Beatport for tracks – but that is work. Its not for pleasure. I grew up in the 80′s so I have alot of 80′s references, I also love Tool, Deftones, A Tribe Called Quest, Miike Snow, Meshell Ndegeocello, Van Hunt, Tom Waits, Philip Glass, Timbaland’s productions, Kanye West’s productions, I even love Lil Wayne for that matter! I would guess alot of readers would probably stop at the Kanye or Lil Wayne part and scratch their heads. But inspiration comes in many many different forms, and for me personally there is no one as original in their lyrics in hip hop as Lil Wayne – whether you love him or hate him, he registers some sort of emotion with nearly everyone, and that is all an artist can hope to do. Indifference to someone’s art would be the kiss of death in my opinion. Same with Kanye. Am I in love with his outside-of-the-studio antics? No. Do I think the media play a big role in making him appear a certain way? Of course. Is he a talented producer regardless of genre – without question.
When you two first started collaborating, did you straight away hit it off or did you have conflicting ideas.
Actually it worked surprisingly well from the get-go despite our different musical backgrounds. One thing led to another and we had the very first track (remix of Rossell’s Dancing With Strangers) we ever made together played by Pete Tong on his Essential Selection radio show – something which took both of us by surprise and was a level of success neither one of us had achieved individually.
(Their remix of Rossell’s Dancing With Strangers – the first track they produced togerther)
Your latest tune ‘Satyr Song’ is dominating the charts on beatport. What does the title refer to and we hear there is story behind the vocals?
“Satyr Song” was originally conceived this past Spring in Miami – the same time we won the “Top Track of the Year” award. After the award announcement was made, we decided to celebrate with some drinks on Miami’s beaches. After stocking up on alcohol and packing coolers with ice we set out for the white sands and sunshine. On our way, a local homeless man who saw our little entourage and coolers overflowing with various alcoholic beverages yelled over: “You got any Rosé in there?” We were kind of taken aback by the request and shook our heads, upon which point the man announced simply, “Rosé on my brain, Cocaine in my dick vein.” Immediately I looked at Kalle and was like – “dude – THAT’S IT! – That is THE line for our next track!”
Fast forward several months and you have “Satyr Song”. We chose the name based on the half-man half-goat beasts of Greek Mythology, who were famous for their hedonistic dispositions, immersing themselves and the people around them in drinking and giving in to all their carnal desires, the title of the track just seemed to fit with exactly what the main chant of the song (and Miami) exemplifies: excess”
Sonically the track is a slight departure from our deeper and circus-like tech house tracks, instead with a shot of adrenaline and housier vibe to boost the dancefloor appeal. Umek immediately signed the track and agreed to do a remix and there you have it!
You guys have recently started your own label “Kraftek”. Tell us more about the label.
Yeah well its always nice to have a bit more control over your art – and having your own label certainly allows you to do that. For now we aren’t doing alot of stuff on kraftek, but we are gonna keep growing it little by little until we feel like it should be the exclusive home for all our future work. But we aren’t there yet!
In an interview, Dave Seaman said the EDM industry is becoming too saturated and quality was lacking. Do you feel it’s harder nowadays to find real quality producers or do you feel there is just more variety?
I think with how easily accessible music production software is now, you certainly have much more market saturation than you have ever had in the past, and as a result fewer and fewer qualitative standards for the productions to be held up to. Like most things this complex, there are always two sides so I don’t want to sound overtly negative about this because it also allows for acts like us to be discovered – no one knew who the hell pleasurekraft was just 2 years ago, or even deadmau5 5 years ago. Its thanks to the progression of our industry that makes acts like us being discovered possible, but it also lowers the median quality of the productions that are out there.
In your opinion, which upcoming producers should we keep an eye out for?
Wow so many. I love Mike Vale, Belocca, Jesse Perez, Jaceo, Wehbba just to name a few.
If we’re not mistaken, this would be your first tour to Australia, right? Excited? We definitely are! The first leg begins in our lil city, Perth. Any surprises in store for us? Probably some unreleased material?
Yeah can’t wait! Very excited for my first visit to OZ as everyone for some reason keeps referring to it! Lots of new stuff that isnt out and some bootlegs etc etc – it will be a good time – really looking forward to it!
Any chance of you guys doing your own visuals (using SVM 1000) during your Australia tour?
Unfortunately that mixer is so f’ing expensive, and such a pain in the ass to haul around that its just not feasible for this tour.
You are flying straight in from Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) for the Australia tour. Last year was your first time being there. What was the experience like?
It was amazing, so many people wanted to talk to us at ADE and we were like – ehhh ok this is weird, but cool.
Tell us about the worst gig you had since forming Pleasurekraft.
Ha! Well it JUST happened! I won’t say exactly where but I showed up to a 1600 person brand new venue that no one knew existed, and had 15 people there. The opening DJ was pounding out hard electro at 130bpm and so I asked the promoters, who were brand new to that market – if we might be able to crash a party at some more intimate club and take the 15 people that came out to see pleasurekraft to that new club? He agreed it was the best thing to do – so I ended up at some super commercial college club that was packed, the DJ playing all the usual top 10 beatport chart electro / commercial house crap you can hear in every club in every city in every country and if we had life on other planets on every planet too. Anyway I got on and played the last 30 minutes of the night – and it ended on a surprisingly good note! Even the people who the resident DJ was treating like sheep, playing the lowest common denominator music to – were groovin the whole time to – get this – tech house. Imagine that!
Worst request you have had at a gig?
“Can you play something we can dance to”? And then she asked for Lady Gaga – who I actually like – but who would not exist as an artist if RedOne and her other producers did not use house music as their main influence for making her tracks! I have probably gotten worst ones than that – but some people don’t want to be challenged – they just want to be safe and hear stuff they know – you can’t blame them – everyone is built differently.
What does the future hold for Pleasurekraft?
Touring as far as the eye can see! Which is great as its an oppurtunity to directly connect with our fans. Plenty of new pleasurekraft material as well, including an original which will feature Green Velvet on vocals called “The Brother from Another Planet”. Also going to work hard on our other non- tech house project – which will be more pop / hip hop oriented and see if we can get lucky again like what happened with Tarantula!
Support Pleasurekraft:NuPHORIA CHATS WITH PLEASUREKRAFT,