From Dallas to Austin to England and back again, Cory Kilduff, half of trans-Atlantic DJ duo Ocelot, has not only been making a name for himself here in the Lonstar State, but with shows all over the country and overseas.
Oh, and the duo's got a forthcoming album about to drop in June (listen to the duo's long-leaked single, "Our Time," here). So you might say Kilduff 's well on his way to global domination via dance music.
Along with Kilduff (who we'll be going behind-the-booth with after the jump), Ocelot also features Jimmy Welsh from Leeds in northern England. The two have been friends for nearly a decade and met when Kilduff was the vocalist of hardcore metal band The Rise. A few years later, the boys started DJing together.
Since the birth of Ocelot, they've made remixes for various recording artists ranging from the Killers and Robyn to Royksopp, and they've DJ'd side-by-side to some very well-known names in dance music--among them Diplo, Grace Jones and Deadmau5.
After the jump, you'll see that Kilduff's influences range from The Beach Boys, to Daft Punk. And he is unashamedly into pop music. And give a listen to his exclusive DC9er mix. If you like what you hear you can catch Ocelot (sans Welsh) tonight at Plush Basement.
How long have you been DJing for?
About five years now, making various graduations from software like Traktor and Ableton to using CDs.
How did you get your start DJing?
In the beginning, it was more of a means to take stuff we had been writing in the studio and present it live. Originally, we had an elaborate live setup and would play on shows with bands. Unfortunately, that wasnt a great environment for dance music, so DJing became a way to play in the actual dance clubs and, eventually, it got to where we were comfortable with spinning other racks and improvising a lot more.
What was your first gig like?
When we first started, we didn't play dance music. We did more of a digital hardcore sound akin to stuff like Atari Teenage Riot, Kid 606, and Squarepusher. We played on our old band The Rise's last show at Emo's in Austin. It was a sold-out show, but I'm still not sure they knew what to make of two kids behind laptops making almost unlistenable noise. [Laughs.]
Who/what are some of your biggest influences musical or otherwise?
That changes depending on the week, but right now I suppose my playlist has been The Beach Boys, Hall & Oates, The Bee Gees, Daft Punk, Style Of Eye, Giorgio Moroder, Zapp & Roger, Cerrone, Dusty Kid,
Which DJ's do you follow? Do you have a favorite?
We are good friends with Bird Peterson. He might be the greatest dude on the planet. Also, we keep up with Calvertron alot. He also helped us mix our full-length. Sonically, there's very few people with a better ear.
What's your favorite genre of music, both to play and to listen to?
I mostly like to play tech house and techno. But when I'm at home, I mostly listen to '70s pop.
How do you decide what songs you're going to play?
I generally don't cater to a crowd. I play what I think is good, and hope that they are willing to let me take them for a little ride. Other than that, I try to start a little small and build up into tracks with big room-builds and big melodies. My first 10 to 20 minutes will barely have melodies at all--just nice rhythms to get people going without the music being too intimidating and keeping people off the floor.
How much preparation goes into putting a set together?
Not too much. I usually spend the day getting a handful of new tracks and I may practice with some of those to know where the breaks and drops are, but I like the flexibility of showing up and not knowing where the set is gonna go instead of being locked into things. It also lets me read the crowd a little.
What are your main objectives when it comes to playing music? (Are you looking to entertain the crowd, educate them, or something different altogether?)
First and foremost, I want them to have a good time., After that, I think we all want the same thing. We want to hear tracks on a huge system and just be amazed. People that want to go to a club and hear Beyonce and whatever is on the radio don't make sense to me. I want to hear some new shit. Something that is exciting and a bit forward thinking. This is much more of a challenge in America versus Europe. Here, I feel like I'm just trying to show people that techno isn't a four letter word anymore, and that it's safe to come back to the dance floor.
What can someone expect when they come to see/hear you play?
They can expect not to hear a lot of vocals or any Top 40. [Laughs.]
What kind of equipment do you use?
For DJing, it's Pioneer CDJ1000s and a Pioneer Djm800 Mixer.
Requests. Love em or hate em?
Hate them. But I blame DJs. They've let the crowds push them around and now they expect to be able to dictate whatever is playing in the club--and actually get mad if you don't have what they want. I dont understand when DJs say to me, "Oh man, that's such a good track, but I could never play that live." What? That's so sad. I do this because I love music and I want to share that with people, and I'm not afraid to clear a floor once in a while. I watched this documentary called Maestro a few years ago about Larry Levan and the Paradise Garage. It was amazing. People would let those DJs take them on a little journey through the night and just went to have fun. Also, the DJ booth was a good 15 feet above the floor, so I think requests would have been difficult. [Laughs]
If you could play a gig anywhere, with any other DJ/music act, whom would you play with and where would it be?
It would be in the '70s with The Love Unlimited Orchestra and The Bee Gees.
What sets you apart from other DJs in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth?
I spend a lot of time in the U.K., so I think my exposure to that music scene, and the tracks I bring back with me.
When/where will you be playing next?
The basement at Plush this Friday, the 12th.
What can Dallas expect to see from you in 2010?
Our first single "Beating Hearts" is out on April 11th and our album, No Requests, comes out in June. I'm sure we will be doing quite a bit of touring following that.
DC9er, Vol. 3 tracklist:
Notations - Gui BorattoTech (Milton Channels Remix)
Deep SoundEchoes - Piatto
A New Dawn - BaramudaWiplash (Umek Remix)
Libex & Jack De MolayMicroburst - Koen Groeneveld
Maximal Party - Electric RescueRed Planet (Space to Space Mix)
Vladimir AcicFlaps - Koen groenveld
Indecent Exposure - Christian Smith
Tocadisco v- 2 Many Shots Of Jagermeister (Koen Groenveld Remix)
Shuri Shuri - Phunk Investigation
Will Bailey - Hit The Club (Sidney Samson Remix)
Laidback Luke and Diplo - Hey! (Sidney Samson Remix)