Los Angeles’ finest heroic trio — Droog — light up every endeavor they take on with persistence and solidarity. Whether it be DJing, creating music, running a label, or producing events — Andrei, Justin, and Brett do it with class; a quality we honor here at Mi4L.
Droog’s famed Culprit Sessions on the rooftop of The Standard hotel in downtown LA has housed damn near all top tier artists in the game! The roll includes: Jamie Jones, Tale Of Us, Martin Buttrich, The Martinez Brothers, Art Department, Seth Troxler, Maya Jane Coles, Adriatique, Dyed Soundorom, DJ Tennis, and the list goes on! These legendary parties were the inspiration for us to start up our own event in San Diego — Lovelife, which has grown substantially the past 3 years — evidence that Droog’s influence proliferates the dance music scene in Southern California far beyond their own personal interests. A true community driver.
Besides throwing the best parties LA has ever seen, Droog’s original music productions are infectious to the fullest extent and have landed on the most prolific catalogues in the business: Crosstown Rebels, Get Physical, My Favorite Robot, Last Night On Earth, Supernature, No.19, and of course on their own label Culprit.
Droog’s taste in music resonates deep (pun intended) in our dance infested bones! Check out Culprit’s long list of releases from hot hands such as Adriatique, Finnebassen, Lee Foss, Matt Tolfrey, Jamie Jones, MANIK, Subb-an, Shonky, Martin Buttrich, Laura Jones, Miguel Campbell, Thugfucker, Shaun Reeves, Lee Curtiss, Dyed Soundorom, and most recently Maxxi Soundsystem. Impressive!
Droog’s résumé is spectacular and arguably one of the best in the industry. They’re the coolest guys you’ll ever meet too! It’s no wonder we’ve been hunting them down for an exclusive mix since day one and it has finally arrived!
* CLICK HERE if you do not see the SoundCloud link.
Interview with Droog:
Andrei, Justin, & Brett – How did it start?
Ah, the eternal question. A somewhat concise version of the Droog story has three strappings fellows from different parts of the corners of the world (Boston, Texas and Ukraine via Washington DC) case ended up in LA around the same time, circa 2001. Those handsome and well-educated young men came to California for the age-old reason of starting something new and exciting, chasing the proverbial dream. Through their shared affection for repetitive dance music and dingy nightclubs, they met and bonded. A loose DJ partnership formed and having been frustrated by the shortage of good opportunities to showcase their tremendous talents, they started their own party and called it Droog. They called it that mostly to baffle those who thought Droog was some sort of an odd misspelling of “Drug.” 8+ years later, here they – and we- are.
Your Culprit Sessions at The Standard in LA have inspired us in many ways – from the blog to our own parties in San Diego. Legendary times were had. Tell us an unforgettable moment.
The six years on the Standard rooftop were indeed the best of times — many excellent moments worthy of remembering. One fun bit, among many, that springs to mind is the time when we hosted The Martinez Brothers (as a late but fortuitous replacement for Maceo Plex): right after they started their excellent set, we were asked to be interviewed (we love interviews!) poolside. Just as one of us was getting into a long and winded response to a question, Andrei noticed something funny going at a highrise loft building across the street. Someone on one of the top floors seemed to have been trying to get our attention. Now, mind you, usually the residents of the said building got our attention by calling in noise complaints. So, to our surprise and delight, we saw a pair or young women with the home-made sign pressed against the window of their loft, that spelled out “We heart Martinez Brothers!!!.” Needless to say, we immediately motioned them over and as far as this story is concerned, they partied with us on the roof until the last note.
The Culprit BPM Showcase was insane! What were some highlight moments in Playa for you? What was your go-to track this year?
It was one of our best parties, if we say so ourselves. We kept our Play excursion somewhat brief and sweet this year, so, frankly, our own party was the biggest highlight. Keinemusik showcase was pretty intense, in a good way. A proper noisy and very sweaty party. Crew Love had the makings of a typically epic party too.
Maxxi Soundsystem’s “Medicine” EP was perfect for the outdoor party feel – (shameless plug alert) – it’s out on Culprit in a few days. Also loved hearing Soundstream’s “Julie’s Theme” on a pristinely clean and loud sound system. He (Frank Timm) is one of our all-time favorites.
What does Droog look like in 2015? Any spoiler alerts?
Droog looks better than ever, we dare say. Wisened with age, but full of vigor and drive. We have finally managed to finish a lot of original music, collaborations with our main man Inxec as well as Edu Imbernon and Lorenzo Dada. Two of the songs with Inxec will be released completely free, via Mixmag and Deep House Amsterdam giveaways, in the next week or so. Also, we are thrilled to be taking Culprit to the Middle East (Dubai, Egypt, Lebanon) and Central/South America very soon.
And – we are happy to say – that we have a new home for our parties in LA. It’s Lot 613 in downtown. Actually, we have thrown a couple of shindigs there earlier in 2014 but now are back on a monthly basis. Cassy is our first guest on February 27th, with Deetron to follow in March and many of our favorites to come in the months after.
Name one artist you would love to add to the Culprit catalogue? What advice would you give to an aspiring producer about pitching music to a label?
We are forever hopeful for someone like DJ Koze and/or Carl Craig to grace us. Time will tell.
As for advice, first off – know the back catalogue of the label you are sending your music too. So many people clearly send the wrong music to labels. Pay attention and familiarize yourselves. And then just work work work on your music, don’t obsess with equipment and technical detail. Just lay down your best ideas and the rest will follow.
Tell about your mix…
It’s, frankly, delicious. It might seem like a slight departure…it has some techno-ish heft on its typically (for us) melodic bones. It’s just a collection of tunes we are really enthusiastic about right now. And that’s what you really want from a mix, isn’t it?
Drink of choice…
Begin the day with a delicious cuppa coffee (Spanish latte from Urth Café would do nicely), take an afternoon break with a pint of Belgian beer and end the day with a shot of premium tequila — for better sleep, of course.