Why Manchester is the new creative epicentre of neo-soul and hip-hop
Polish production duo Grzegorz Demiañczuk and Wojciech Tarañczuk, also know as Catz 'N Dogz, have a broad and varied output. Not content with moving along slowly via a single channel output, they resurrected their minimal techno moniker 3 Channels back in November following an eight year hiatus and also run their own label, Pets Recordings. With not a Shih Tzu in sight, they've followed up their album 'Basic Colour Theory' on Pets with a remix package, set for release in March. Packed full of dance music glitterati reworking the album, it includes contributions from Psychemagik, Eats Everything, Maurice Fulton, Fred Everything, and the almighty Karizma.
Taking a particular shine to Nobody Cares, the Baltimore scene stalwart takes the track down a level by swirling in a soulful and deep vibe, which you'll know Karizma does with expertise if you've ever heard 'Mind Of Its Own' track Tha D. Keeping the vocal sample intact and fluffing it up with fanfare, this is prime emotional house material ripe for hazy evenings (or shamefully early mornings).
To probe a little deeper into the relationship between the two production parties and what makes them tick musically, Karizma and Catz 'N Dogz took some time of their busy schedules for a chat about politics in music, alter-egos and…pasta. Déjà vu?
Listen to Karizma's remix of Nobody Cares below and read the conversation after the jump.
Karizma: "What are your favorite genre breaking records?"
Catz 'N Dogz: "Well there is so much good music nowadays it’s really hard to just name few but let’s try to keep it short. There are a few producers we were talking about while traveling. Floating Points is a perfect example of putting the essence of jazz and the essence of club music into creating his own sound. Floating Points is to dance music the same as what Kendrick Lamar is to rap."
Karizma: "What are your favorite things about Baltimore?"
Catz 'N Dogz: "Sadly we still haven’t been."
Karizma: "What’s your favourite Karizma album?
Catz 'N Dogz: "'A Mind Of It’s Own'! It’s a masterpiece. We’re still coming back to it and always discovering new songs."
Karizma: "What do you feel is your place in music?"
Catz 'N Dogz: "Our place in music is balancing between the lines. We were always running away from trends. When something is becoming overplayed we always move on and do another thing. That’s why we always spend hours looking for new music and discovering new inspirations; the best place for this is in a plane or car because you can listen to music without skipping and interrupting."
Karizma: "Do you feel responsible for the music and vibes you put out there?"
Catz 'N Dogz: "Yes a lot, music is very personal for us and we always feel very responsible for what we put out as Catz ‘N Dogz or on our label Pets. I think it’s a big responsibility and we do everything to keep the good quality and to use all the new experiences we learn from every time."
"Our place in music is balancing between the lines and we are always running away from trends." – Catz 'N Dogz
Karizma: "What's your favorite piece of gear?"
Catz 'N Dogz: "We love the A&H 92 Xone mixer, we work with it on every party and love the analog feeling and how it mixes the channels. We mostly play two to three tracks at the same time and analog mixing is very important for us here."
Karizma: "What do you usually listen to after a studio session?
Catz 'N Dogz: "Some hip-hop, indie, and deep house."
Karizma: "What’s your favourite food to cook?"
Catz 'N Dogz: "PASTA, PASTA, PASTA. All the different kinds and colours – you can really let yourself go."
Karizma: "Where you surprised that I knew about your work?"
Catz 'N Dogz: "We’re very happy about that and we were positive and surprised that you chose Nobody Cares as your favorite track, as also one of our favourites."
Catz 'N Dogz: "Why did you decide to change the name from Karizma to Kaytronik?"
Karizma: "Nice question. I’m still doing productions as Karizma. Kaytronik is an alter ego for my hip hop, electronic, experimental, and not so soulful house stuff. It’s just another vehicle so to speak."
Catz 'N Dogz: "How is the music scene and life in Baltimore?"
Karizma: "Right now it’s kind of sad. We are losing one of our biggest clubs Paradox in April. It was the stomping ground for all of the major talent from Baltimore like Basement Boys, DJ Spen, Ultra Nate, Maurice Fulton, as all of us played or had a residency there."
Catz 'N Dogz: "How is the new album coming together?"
Karizma: "Kaytronik's 'Thee Album' is done and coming out March 4th on R2 Records. I had a lot of inspiration due to the recent events happening in the US. It was not a subject I wanted to focus on but I felt something had to be said musically, so with this album there’s a bit of fun but it’s mainly a social commentary."
Catz 'N Dogz: "What’s your personal favourite track you ever made?"
"I love to play in Japan as they have an infinite love of music, so I fit right in." – Karizma
Karizma: "That answer changes every time I make an album [laughs]. Right now it's Holy (Let's not Play). I love it because I get to say something meaningful in a track, or rather make a statement. It’s cool to make music just to get people dancing but quite another to have someone go "He,y you’re right about that" like your Nobody Cares…its sad but true."
Catz 'N Dogz: "In your opinion, what's our best track?"
Karizma: "For me Nobody Cares hit me when I heard it. I also loved it because it was short and to the point."
Catz 'N Dogz: "Tell us the first three things that come to mind when you think about Poland."
Karizma: "Coffee, cheese and chocolate [laughs]."
Catz 'N Dogz: "Do you think DJs should share their personal opinions about politics?"
Karizma: "Yes I think we should. I don't think it should be banged over the head with it but we should speak when we see something that upsets us because we are the people too and right is right and wrong is wrong, why ignore it?"
Catz 'N Dogz: "What direction is the US music scene is going in and where do you see yourself there?"
Karizma: "That in itself is a long conversation. I think music is one of the media's vital assets to a civilisation’s growth. Creatively, music is going in a great direction but message wise it is lacking. I have hope the cycle will come around…it always does."
Catz 'N Dogz: "Where is your favorite place to play in the world?"
Karizma: "I love to play in Japan as they have an infinite love of music, so I fit right in."