It seems like yesterday that Torontonians were kissing the Guvernment nightclub goodbye. Of their closing parties, one the most notable was on Boxing Day, where the progressive trance duo Gabriel & Dresden gave their fans a blast from the past with a mountain of classic tracks. The duo is well known for their heartfelt songs and their ability to keep older and younger audiences engaged during their shows. Their THUMP Guest Mix is a great representation of their abilities.
It seems as if their last show at The Guvernment sparked the idea of the Classics Only tour, so THUMP caught up with the duo to see if our hypothesis is correct on how this idea came to life.
THUMP: What sparked the idea of having this classics only tour?
Gabriel & Dresden: We were frustrated about the electronic music scene in general and started to go back and listen to the music that inspired us. This led us to many of our older tracks, which we never play anymore. We got excited thinking about playing all this music again. Coincidentally, we were booked to play our final performance at The Guvernment in Toronto and because we had so much history at that venue we decided to play a set that consisted of nearly half of our classics. We were shocked at how much these old songs still commanded the dancefloor and got people excited and singing. Classics Only's fate was sealed when we did a full set of classics at the Anjunabeats pool party in Miami this past March. After that show and the response it got, we knew that we needed to do this tour!
The tour has begun, but which cities are you most looking forward to bringing the Classics Only experience to?
We are excited about all of the shows. We have so much history in all the cities that we're going to. It will be fun to see all the familiar faces come and experience the shows. We've already had so many reunions with older fans at the shows we've done so far. We're also excited about the six plus hour sets because as a DJ, it's so much more fun to stretch out like that.
What are your favourite classic trance songs to play?
Probably Art of Trance's "Madagascar" the Cygnus X Remix. It's such an uplifting tune with gorgeous and powerful chords.
"Beautiful Things" has made a bit of a comeback in the past year or so. Are you in contact with Andain about collaborating?
That's a song that never seems to want to go away. Mavie Marcos, the vocalist from Andain, is currently working on her solo album. Once she's done with that we may go back in the studio and collaborate with her. We love working with her, she's very talented and down to earth.
Are you guys working on any new material?
We're setting up our studios to streamline our process for making music. We tried using software synthesizers and powerful plug-in boxes to make music on the road while we were touring relentlessly, but realized that the magic happens together in a studio, with a good mix of inspiring analog gear and the right software working hand-in-hand together. That's where we're going to re-start this story and we're using this experience of playing our older music to be inspired from.
What emerging talent has been capturing your attention in the past year?
We wouldn't exactly call Kolsch, Eelke Kleijn, E-Spectro, Andre Sobota or Daniel Avery emerging, but they are lesser-known acts that are making music that we love.
It is festival season, so what festival gig are you looking forward to most?
Since the concept for this summer's tour is "open-to-close classics only" we decided to not do any festivals this year, only club dates. We definitely have a bit of FOMO about this decision though!
Can you tell me some of your highlights of touring in Canada over the years?
Canadian fans have historically always been more up-for-it and educated about the music than pretty much anywhere else in the world—especially Toronto. We loved playing at The Guvernment... it was one of the first clubs that ever booked us. We are so sad to see that place go. One day we hope to make it back to Kelowna. What an amazingly beautiful area with the coolest people.
Ani Hajderaj is on Twitter.