Palmistry on how his father’s death inspired ‘Afterlife’ and working with SOPHIE on Rihanna material
Purveyor of “Atlantean techno” Hollagramz is the mind behind our latest Dummy Mix, and he wants to take you on a trip out of this world. Based in Denver, Ron Cole – who works alongside co-producer Cory Brown – describes his music on Twitter as “CONSCIOUS DANCE JAMS FOR THE NEW WORLD”, which tells you about as much as you need to know; to put it another way, it’s hard-edged, shiny electronic pop designed to rave to. Hollagramz has just released a self-titled LP via Small Plates Records, and to honour the occasion Cole has (virtually) dropped by to make the second ever Hollagramz Dummy Mix – the first being this acid-dipped adventure from 2011.
Unrelenting from the first beat, this mix – christened the “Solar Burial” mix – is one of the most intense and dancefloor-centric we’ve hosted in a while. We had a chat with Cole below about his admiration of Photek as well as the dance scene and paranormal activity in Denver; once you’ve read that and you’re ready to hit play, make sure you turn it up, get out of your seat and out of this world.
Good day Hollagramz, it’s good to have you back, how are you?
Tell us about your mix – is it fairly typical of your sets these days?
This is feel-good, hard-hitting house mix to usher in the summer. All of my favorite tunes to listen and play out to at the moment. Yes, I would say this is fairly typical of my recent sets, although they tend to change a lot each show.
Your LP is pretty dance-centric. What was your aim for the record?
Definitely. Anything HOLLAGRAMZ will always be dance-centric. The LP was co-produced with Denver local Cory Brown, I think that we wanted to make something that was very dance-y but cerebral at the same time. I think the album definitely takes you on some sort of “trip”.
Which track are you most proud of and why?
Probably the first track on the record – Corundum. I originally wrote that song something like a year and a half ago. It really conveys a certain emotional feeling and sound that was stuck in my head for a while, and it always feels good to manifest something like that.
Your music seems to scream colour, from its vibrant synth streaks to its accompanying artwork. Are there any artistic influences that spring to mind?
That’s funny because I’ve never really thought of visual artwork when working on the project. But artists like Paul Laffoley and Buckminster Fuller definitely come to mind when thinking about it. I actually used to do a lot of visual art but after going to art school that kind of squashed any desire or motivation to do it any more. So in a way electronic music has become my canvas.
In the same way that the Holograms in hit US kids TV show ‘Jem & The Holograms’ had Jem as their spiritual leader, which one producer would you choose as that of Hollagramz?
I have never actually seen that show!! Haha. But I think if I had to pick one it might be Photek? He’s an old school head and has alway’s had that futuristic sound, I think that would be a safe bet.
You hail from Denver, a city a little off the dance music map. How’s the scene doing these days?
Yeah, the dance scene in Denver is pretty small but there’s definitely some really cool things happening. I actually just got involved with a new monthly called “Deep Club” that my friend founded. Focusing on throwing quality, intimate dance parties. TheHundred is always throwing quality shows and bringing in good DJs. Other than that, right now, for the summer it’s all about the underground mountain raves that are happening. Nothing better than a giant sound system in the middle of the mountains on a nice summer night.
And for those just visiting, which tourist attraction would you recommend?
If you’re visiting Colorado you really need to just get on the road and see the mountains and vast beauty that is has to offer. I recommend any where in the San Luis Valley, which is the largest alpine valley in the world. Also known for high paranormal and UFO activity.
Finally, what has 2013 got in store for you?
Playing a lot of shows. Hopefully touring in the fall, and I’ve already started work on a new album.