Apollonia: "It's all about the music and nothing else"

Words by: Lena Kochetkova
Posted: 30/7/14 10:19

Apollonia: It’s all about the music and nothing else...October 8 will be the day so many of us have been waiting for: the debut album by Apollonia is released on their own Apollonia music label. Called Tour A Tour, it will represent the essence of the trio’s sound and concept and will take its authors on a big world tour.

Meanwhile here in Ibiza Dyed Soundorom, Shonky and Dan Ghenacia are playing almost every Monday at Circo Loco, causing a roadblock and always leaving the audience craving for more.

This “more” will happen on August 16, when Apollonia, following the annual tradition, will take over DC10 for a mind-blowing one-off show.

Another chance to catch them spinning all night long will be September 18 at Space, where the trio will take control of the terrace at ENTER. The have also compiled and mixed one of the four CDs of the official ENTER. 2014 compilation, with the other three created by Matador, Matthew Hawtin and Bella Sarris respectively.

We met Dan, Dyed and Shonky to discuss their long-awaited album, the clubs they have special relations with, and what happened when Dyed dared to check out an EDM event.**

How is your album doing?
The album is finished and now it’s being mastered. We tested all the tracks in clubs and are pretty happy with them. The album will be out on October 8 and then we start a world tour.

Testing the tracks in clubs, did you have to introduce many changes in them?
 This can happen sometimes. When we feel that the track is too long or too short, we can edit it.

Dyed: We didn’t try out the tracks when we were working on them. We tried them in their due time, but we didn’t have to introduce a lot of changes in the end.

Did the album start with an idea or with a particular track?
Dan: With the idea. When we started to do Apollonia together, we had this concept from the beginning of playing one track each. As a development to this concept, we decided to sit down in the studio and make an album that will consist of tracks that can fit in our DJ set. The name of the album is ‘Tour A Tour’ which means “to alternate” with the reference to our back-to-back-to-backs.

When we started to do Apollonia together, we had this concept from the beginning of playing one track each. As a development to this concept, we decided to sit down in the studio and make an album that will consist of tracks that can fit in our DJ set...You said you sat down in the studio. Does it happen sometimes that you are in different corners of the world, sending tracks to each other and editing them on the go?
All together:
No, we never do it like that.

Dan: Dyed and Shonky both live in Berlin, so I moved to the whole winter in Berlin as well. We didn’t accept any gigs on Thursdays and Sundays so that we could work from Monday till Thursday all day long.

Like in the office, from 9am till 6pm?
Dan: No, from 2pm to 2am.

So it will be the typical Apollonia sound, without pushing out the boundaries too much?
Dan: We decided to make something that sounds just like the songs we usually play. It’s our first album and it’s something that we really want to give to our crowd, so no experiments this time.

Maybe some day in future we will make a more conceptual album, but not now.

What for do you need an album in an era when everyone buys tracks and singles? It must be difficult to sell an album…
Dan: Yes, but an album is a very important project in the career of an artist, especially for a group. We wanted to be able to focus on our studio sessions together, make a lot of tracks, choose the best ones and have it all on a CD.

Studio TimeShonky: And also when we are working for a certain amount of time together, we create a special connection with each other, the effect of synergy. The more we do, the deeper we can reach.

When working on an EP, we’re doing a couple of tracks during one or two weeks. But the fact that we were working together for almost five months in the studio helped us get to know more about each other. It’s always nice when you can go further.

Dyed: Since we started Apollonia project, we’ve been playing together every weekend and been doing lots of things together during the week as well. As a consequence, the album is a way to express who we are and what our sound is.

We could have done an EP, but it was simply not enough. We wanted to spend more time in the studio – something that we had never really done before. We just felt it was the right time to do it.

Where will the promotional tour for the album take you?
Dan: It’s going to be a world tour from October till March, we will have approximately 60 gigs around the world. We will spend 4 weeks in North America in October, then South America, then Europe, then Japan and Australia until March.

We’re going to do very classic ones like Rex in Paris, fabric in London, Panorama Bar in Berlin - these are the best clubs, and we want to give them back all the support they had been giving us for many years....We will play at a few festivals in South America, but mostly we wanted to do the tour in clubs, especially the ones that have supported us all throughout our career. For example, we’re going to do very classic ones like Rex in Paris, fabric in London, Panorama Bar in Berlin – these are the best clubs, and we want to give them back all the support they had been giving us for many years.

What’s so special about your relation with these clubs?
Dyed: There is really something very particular about these places. For example, I had a residency at Rex club. Shonky often plays at Panorama Bar, that’s why we have a special relation with them.

We all have good relations with fabric. They have really cool soundsystems, they offer artists the perfect conditions to play, and many of them are that kind of clubs where we can play long sets.

Also we can play vinyl there – these days it doesn’t happen too often, unfortunately.

Shonky: We’ve been enjoying these venues since going there as clubbers for a long time. First of all, it was an honour to play for them, it was a matter of true respect, and after that we developed this relationship. It seems very natural to be doing the tour with them now.

Saturday 16 - Apollonia - All Night Long, DC10In Ibiza you seem to have a very special relation with DC10. Why don’t you start your own weekly party there?
Dan: Because we play there almost every week at Circo Loco! We are the residents of the club and it’s probably not the moment yet to have our own night there…
But it’s a good question.

You will be taking over DC10 on August 16. Can you tell us a few words about it please, or is it to be kept secret for now?
Dyed: We did similar takeover last year and the year before, so this will be the third edition.

It will take place inside, in the Main Room, and we will be playing from the beginning till the very end.

There will be no decoration – it’s all about the music and nothing else.

On September 18 you will be playing all night long at Space terrace for ENTER. What will be the main difference between this night and your DC10 takeover?
 ENTER. is Richie Hawtin’s party and we are his guest DJs, while the party in DC10 we promote ourselves. That means that we are bringing our team to DC10, we are doing PR ourselves and we are taking full control of all the organization. It will be a very special event for us.

ENTER.Ibiza 2014 - Week 3 (July 17th, 2014)How did it happen that Richie invited you for an all night long set?
Dan: Because of the success of our own party at DC10 last year, I guess. He heard about it and contacted us directly.

You made one of the four CDs of the official ENTER. compilation this season. Was it to some extent a rehearsal before your own album?
Dyed: No, because it’s a mix and we were using tracks of other artists.

Shonky: We did the album to promote our own music, and with the compilation you just take your record bag, you choose your favourite tracks and you mix them.

Dyed: For the compilation we used staff by other producers that we like. We included both the tracks that we play a lot and the new ones that we had just discovered. Our aim was to put them all together to tell a cohesive story.

Did you have to coordinate your work with the authors of the other three CDs – Bella Sarris, Matthew Hawtin and Matador?
 No, we didn’t even hear what they were doing. We all had the same deadlines and we all were working on it in the same time.

Shonky: There was no need to supervise anything, because all the CDs are so different: with the vibes of the Terrace, Main Room, Mind area and Sake area…

Dyed: There was a chance we could have used the same tracks as Bella Sarris, whose sound it similar to us. But Matador is obviously more techno and Matthew Hawtin is much more experimental.

‎PurpleRave‬ Mix Inc. Mixmag
A question that might be a bit unexpected: do you think that techno and EDM somehow influence each other?
Dyed: No, I think these are two completely different worlds. The only thing that they share in common is that it is electronic music, but you can’t compare them in terms of vibes and attitude.

EDM people put a lot of money in production, so their gigs are a mixture of music, projection, video, lights…  We have also lights and dancers sometimes, but the difference is that EDM is more based around the show than the music.  So I don’t see myself going to dance at an EDM event… Well, to be honest, I visited one recently. I’m curious, so I went to Ushuaia just to see what it was about.

Dan: And you ran away.

Dyed: Yes, I saw the production and it was beautiful, but for me it was difficult to stand the music for a long time…This is the result of my own test.

Dan: We paid him to do it! …It’s a joke, of course.

And finally, what is the best, the etalon album you have ever listened to?
Dyed: It might be too easy to say, but it’s Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’. This album helped me discover music and totally blew my mind – and is still blowing my mind every time I listen to it.

If I’m left alone on an uninhabited island with the possibility to take only one album with me, this will be the one.

Did you listen to Michael’s posthumous album ‘XScape’?
Dyed: No, I didn’t. I stopped following him a while ago – not because of the music, but because he became not the Michael Jackson I wanted to see, when he was not looking like human anymore. I kind of stick to my own idea of the original Michael, and I prefer to keep it with me.

Shonky: The tune they did with Justin Timberlake, I like it! I’ve got the feeling that they got back to basics with it. And ‘Thriller’ is my favourite album as well.

And you, Dan? Also ‘Thriller’?
Dan: My all time favourite is ‘Purple Rain’ by Prince.

Next Dates
Friday 01 - Limelight, Gotha, Cannes, France
Saturday 09 Day Time - Mixmag live, Rainbow Venues, Birmingham, England
Saturday 09 Night Time - MIGMAG, Studio 338, London, England
Sunday 10 - Cocoon Stage, Isle of Dreams, Basel, Switzerland
Thursday 14 - Hyte @ Atlantida, Barcelona, Spain
Saturday 16 - Apollonia - All Night Long, DC10, San Jordi, Spain
Wednesday 20 - Sonus Festival, Kalypso, Zrce Beach, Croatia
Friday 29 - Apollonia, Electric Zoo, New York, United States
Saturday 30 - Apollonia, Fork York, Toronto, Canada


Thursday 18 - ENTER, Space, Playa d'en Bossa - Ibiza, Spain
Saturday 20  - Chapiteau, Name Festival, Lille, France
More dates here

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