This week’s Artist Spotlight features one of Chicago’s Dj duos that have been making some serious moves lately. They recently played at Spring Awakening, one of Chicago’s largest music festivals. They are playing along with Oliver Smith and Maor Levi at Soundbar on August 23rd and with Cosmic Gate at Concord Music Hall on August 9th. We got a chance to talk to Audio Velocity and here’s what they had to say.
What made you want to start Djing/producing?
We both already had a background in djing around the Chicago area DJ circuit. Arviol and I would play at all of the clubs together. Literally. We djed every single event, and always one after another. Eventually it just became a natural transition into Audio Velocity. Music production came a little later for us. We first started by working on mixes, and later into creating our own mashup and edits to add a little flavor into our sets.
Who is your biggest influence(s)?
I think hands down the biggest, most influential artists that we look up to is Above & Beyond. Those guys just really know how to connect with their fans. Constantly emphasizing on “the moment” which is a strong characteristic of the experience that we like to convey as Audio Velocity. Above & Beyond not only makes good music, but they are outrageously humble and are a huge light for up and coming artists through their label Anjunabeats. Overall Pavvo, Jono and Tony are just a kick ass trio with a lot of class and style that we both significantly respect. We hope to one day get added to their label and who knows maybe we’ll even get to play with them on the same roster.
Whats you’re favorite record of all time?
Favorite record of all time between the two of us is definitely Pressure by Oliver Smith. I cannot remember any sets we’ve played where we haven’t played that track. Fate just so has it that we will be playing with Oliver at Soundbar on August 23.
What is your favorite party in Chicago?
That’s a tough one because there are so many good parties in Chicago. We are lucky to be located in such a musically orientated city but if we had to choose a few than we’d say we are big fans of the Tranzit events ran by another fellow Trance artist Mario Florek. I remember going to those when I first started going to nightclubs and we used to look up from the crowd longing to fuse our own trance feel to it. Another good party worth a mention is the parties our friend Andrew Dalpino puts together. Aside from Andrew being a huge help for our brand, he posses high level of experience and knows how to throw proper musically orientated parties. Trancemission at Sound-bar is also certainly worth a mention.
Who do you want to collaborate with?
Probably Genix and Ilan Bluestone. We really like the work they put out and feel their style is unique and forward thinking. As far as local circuit goes,we feel Peter Kontor would be a great artist to collaborate with.
What’s the most embarrassing thing thats happened to you at a show?
Oh boy. Its hard to pinpoint the most embarrassing thing that happened because were always up there having fun, but ultimately the most embarrassing moment would have to be at Spring Awakening 2014. We were opening the Equinox stage on Friday, and often when we play we tend to lose sense of time and forget to mind our surroundings. As we are about 15 minutes into our set Arviol had his headphones on and started moving around me (Alex). The cord wrapped my whole body and as I go to lift my arms up the cord snapped and hit the play button and stopped the music. You can imagine the reaction of five thousand plus people as the music stops before an epic drop. Of course we played it off and kept going but we were pretty embarrassed from our silliness, I remember yelling on the mic “Lets try that one again”. It just goes to show that when we play together our minds completely focus on the energy and the music.
What do you like to do when you’re not working on music/DJing?
Alex – I’m pretty big on adventures and outdoors. I like traveling and seeing new places. I’ll often rent a Divy bike and just go cruise down North Ave beach or go late night fishing. I guess it depends on how I’m feeling but my mentality is that people are happier spending their time and money on experiences rather than materials.
Arviol – Family is huge for me so anytime I get the chance and my whole family is around I hangout with them and just enjoy the time with them. Also spend a lot of time on TED. Listen to speeches and just be blown away by the amazing ideas people have. Ocassionaly Alex will drag me out fishing to which I will complain about up until were there and I get to relax.
What is your opinion on the current EDM scene?
It has its positives and negatives. It’s certainly changing and expanding at a quicker rate than it ever has before. When we were just starting out as djs and producers the scene was very small, not many people knew about the music. Now a days it seems everyone and their grandmothers listen to EDM. This is a good thing because the artists scale has increased in its popularity. Djs are now viewed as famous musicians whereas this wasn’t the case before. As more people find and listen to new music, the culture becomes more and more diverse. Now in today’s EDM scene there are millions of different sounds within hundreds of different sub genres and the limit of these sounds is constantly pushed to create the next big things. On the downside, the culture follows a trend where the underground clique’s judge the “overground” clique to be uneducated and too commercialized. We believe music is music, everyone will listen to what they want to listen to and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, although sometimes a lot of really good artists become underrated because their sound doesn’t match the standards of what is being played on the radio by huge pop artists.
What do you think will be the next big thing in EDM?
Its so hard to predict the next big thing in EDM. A few months ago (and many may say it is still the trend), trap was the new big thing. Now it looks like Deep House and chill step are coming on the rise. Artists like Flume, Disclosure and Shiba San seem to be getting a lot more recognition then before as people are more immersed in the culture and begin to search for more. Even the Trance sound we used to listen to is so different and constantly evolving. It’s all a matter of opinion, but one thing for sure, festivals seem to be the breeding ground of the EDM culture and we feel the future will hold bigger and more spectacular productions.
Is there any upcoming releases/shows we should keep an eye out for?
We got a few big events coming up which we are fortunate to partake in. August 9th we are playing with another huge influential trance duo, Cosmic Gate alongside Andrew Rayel. We’ll also be headlining Drink Night Club August 15th and as mentioned before we have the honor of sharing the stage with Oliver Smith and Maor Levi on August 23rd at Sound-Bar. We recently did a guest mix on All About The Music podcast and are working diligently to get a few tracks out very soon.