Notes Life Can Dance Interview Thomas Von Party lfcndnc

” Trying to figure out how to get some community projects off the ground”

Thomas Von Party x Life Can Dance

Hello Thomas, first we want to ask you about the last thing you were cooking in the studio. Although this is your first mini LP I have heard that you do not like to take it as your debut album, why? When will that long-awaited debut take place then?

I suppose I see it as another concept collab record, kind of like Salsa Fingers or Drugface. The idea with Party Central was to release a lot of my different novelty musical ideas and I think at heart I don’t think in terms of ‘albums’ as a format and have always been more interested in the model of the label, Perhaps it’s generous toward myself / hubris to think that I have enough worthwhile music to create a label for it, but it feels more comfortable to release these little EPs than take seriously the idea of promoting one musical work and promoting it heavily as a big statement. I would probably get more mileage for my career if I just stuck on my identity as Thomas Von Party, but I’m more interested in musical creation being a tool to dissolve my identity, if that makes sense. I’ve been considering with the idea of making a proper album but I think more likely I’ll do a compilation at some point that feature all these different side projects.

What can you tell us about your guest in this launch, Mera De La Rosa?

I was introduced to her in Lima when I had a few days off and asked the promoter if he knew any vocalists I could work with. We hit it off instantly and had fun recording her and her son. I just had her try stuff over very basic drum loops and then basically sketched out 4 of the tracks during one plane ride with Inigo asleep two rows ahead of me. Anyways, she is a TV show host and a great personality – super fun vibe.

In this release, your Latin influence is very noticeable. How have your trips been around Latin America? What is your favorite place to visit and why? And your favorite clubs in the region?

I had always traveled to Asia and had been dreaming of traveling the Americas for years, so it was a great pleasure to tour in Peru, Guatemala, Brazil, Colombia and of course around Mexico in the past years. Each place was truly amazing and I fell in love over and over again with my hosts and with the warm and loving cultures to which I was introduced. It’s hard to choose favourites but my time with Guatemalan playboy Fabio Me Llaman Soltero was amazing, and hanging with Aristidez and his brother in Lima was also incredible. Of course Brazil and Mexico have special places in my heart. As for my influence, I think it’s generous to say I’ve really incorporate any legitimate latin feel, I would credit that to Mera for the most part 

You currently run 2 record labels Multi Culti and Party Central. What is it like to edit music in times of pandemic? How do you see the industry at the moment? Any advice you want to offer for young artists and new labels who are wondering what to do with this global situation?

Honestly I was super depressed for the first months of the pandemic. I was in a relationship with a girl living in Berlin and the pandemic took almost all our options away for a life together, all my touring plans were canceled, and the experience of quite radical self isolation for months was a big adjustment. I think that combined with a bit of burnout from touring and years of nightlife and I became a bit allergic to the whole thing. I couldn’t bring myself to post on social media and it felt like a moment for silence. I’m hopeful about the industry. People complain a lot about streaming but in many ways it’s much better than it was around 2009 when I was running Turbo and digital piracy was rampant. Bandcamp is amazing and it’s easy for artists to distribute their music while giving up a minimum of gross revenue. I think it’s more discouraging for labels. Spotify and Apple don’t even offer the ability to make a label landing page. At the moment with touring revenue gone I think it’s important for artists to not lose hope and try their best to use this time productively, even if that just means resting.

Let’s go back a bit. How and why did you create Multi Culti? Why with Dreems? and Party Central?

Multi Culti was borne of our friendship and it felt like a natural way for us to share certain ideas / aesthetics. There’s a lot of concern around cultural appropriation but I simply believe in the idea of cultural appreciation, and the concept was a nod to the plurality inherent in the postmodern soup of contemporary culture. Party Central is even more light-hearted and is really a clearing house for my own novelty projects. There’s an emphasis on FUN.

Together with your brother Tiga, you have managed to carry out one of the labels that has revolutionized electronic music of the new millennium, the famous Turbo Recordings. What can you tell us about that experience? Was it difficult working with your brother? how is your relationship? Are you currently working with him on the label?

I started working at Turbo when I was young and I worked very hard on building the catalog up (from Turbo 031 until around Turbo 145). To tell the truth, working for my brother wasn’t always easy and by the end I was ready to do my own thing. I think there was no way to grow the label without his involvement at every step of the way and he tended to be more focused on his artist career which kind of handcuffed me. We always shared musical taste and had a lot of great times working together, but I think we also started to diverge musically as he played more big festivals and I became more interested in niche underground parties.

Continuing with the family, with you and your brother, your parents have met two children who are passionate about music and who like to party very much. How has your relationship with them been throughout your career? Tell us an anecdote about your brother and you going out to party when they were teenagers.

I started going to raves pretty young where Tiga would be DJing and I wouldn’t even tell him I was going. It seems hard to believe now, but I remember the first proper rave I went to I didn’t even know where the DJ booth was… it was 100% about the dancefloor, the idea of the DJ being on ‘stage’ just wasn’t part of it.

We return to the present. what has been your favorite dish in these times of quarantine?

I’ve been really into this Nigerian dish, Joloff rice… has some nice scotch bonnet heat which I love. I like to fortify the original style with beans and add fried plantains on top. Super yummy.

In all your projects, psychedelia has always been present and I have read more than once your affinity for entheogens. How has your experience with them been? do you have any preference with any of them in particular? any crazy anecdote to tell?

Talking about psychedelics is hard. I do love them very much… mushrooms, acid and forms of DMT especially. I got started at a young age, doing a lot of mushrooms while most teenagers were drinking. All I can say is that I find them very helpful, insightful and humbling. It’s a useful tool to recalibrate the self, to see more clearly your place within the web of life and cosmos.

Finally, what news can you tell our readers about what’s coming in your projects?

I’ve been working on music in quite unstructured ways… couple of new remixes, a new Drugface EP, bits and pieces. I’ve been working on developing an ambient label called PLANTED and trying to figure out how to get some community projects off the ground but honestly, I’m trying not to pressure myself to decide or plan too much. It’s an uncertain time and I’m trying to relax and enjoy it. Multi Culti cookbook also on my mind!

Thomas Von Party teams up with Dominican singer / TV presenter / personality Mera De La Rosa for a mini-LP of left-field Latina-enhanced dance tracks, backed by remixes from Calypso’s Thomass Jackson, Guatemalan heartthrob Fabio Me Llaman Soltero, Multi Culti mainstay Mytron, acid-house masters DECIUS and Mexico’s freshest talent TYU.


BUY IT HERE
RELEASE DATE: 02/11

Career A&R man, Thomas Sontag was born into DJ royalty.

His father was proto-trance / industrial Goa party organizer Dr Bobby, and his brother is none other than the godfather of Montreal rave, Tiga. Thomas learned to DJ at 13, earned his chops working at Montreal’s era- defining DNA Records, and spent a solid decade curating well over 100 releases for the titanic Turbo imprint. A mainstay in Montreal’s thriving electronic music scene, he’s also an international music bizz magnate.

In 2014, he took a year to peer into the future, launching algorithmic mastering engine LANDR at the same time as he opened ‘Datcha,’ now a beloved fixture in Montreal’s nightlife scene, where he acts as sole resident and talent booker, showcasing his wide-eyed vision of dance music. His online radio show ‘Multi Culti Transmissions’ archives incredible selections and a whole lot of stoned banter.

Original productions like Pygmy Funk, Cobra Kush and Wet Raga have earned him plays from the likes of heavyweights Dixon and Harvey, and new productions are on the way, both for Multi Culti and his new label Party Central.