October 30 2017

Chopstick & Johnjon: Berlin in the House

New York-Le Bain
We talk house music with Berlin duo Chopstick & Johnjon before they play all night at Le Bain on Friday, November 24th.
LE BAIN: You just recorded an exclusive mix for Le Bain. Tell us about it.
CHOPSTICK & JOHNJON: When we make a mix for a club night, we always really want to portray what you will hear when you come to one of our gigs. So basically, it’s just the house music we love from our favorite producers at the moment. 
"The only way forward for us is to be versatile."
You've said about your sound that it's "house music that kicks ass.” What is your greatest example of that?
Take singer-songwriter music for example… All you need is three chords and the truth. With house music, all you need is a solid groove along with some music (chords, synths, etc.) and maybe some vocals (if you dig vocals). Our latest release, "What Is House Music," which will be out soon, has exactly those ingredients. It lives off one chord sound only, but the chord sound changes irregularly in harmonies. That’s what makes it interesting in our eyes and ears. We got lucky, though, and were able to feature CeCe Rogers on our tune, which in our eyes, takes the instrumental track we originally had to the next level.

You also said: "A good groove doesn’t need a rave signal.” But does it need a hook? 
Sometimes a good groove doesn’t need a hook either. The essence ultimately is to have people dancing, hence a good groove, with distinct sounds and careful arrangement, which all in total can be seen as a hook as well. Dixon’s beat edit of Ame’s "Fiori" is a very good example of how just a great groove can be the “hook” itself. 

Chopstick & Johnjon's "Pining Moon"

Would you say your style is about discretion? 
We see our style as “versatile," as long as it is under the overall umbrella of “house" in its original meaning. We love deep house, old and new. From Cajual Records to Running Back, from Glenn Underground to Atjazz. And even though their sound characteristics are so different and their releases are literally centuries apart, it’s all quality house music that we love. As long as it was authentic and came from the heart of the producer/writer, we were all ears. With that background, the only way forward for us is to be versatile.