The 11th July will see Defected In the House take over a stage at Holland’s Dance Valley – one of Europe’s premier dance festivals now in its 15 year. And it’s not too late to join the Shapeshifters, ATFC, Hardsoul, Simon Dunmore, Shovell, Chocolate Puma and more to dance the day away. We caught up with the Shapeshifters Simon Marlin ahead of the weekend's festivities to get the low down on what to expect..
You’re headlining the Dance Valley Festival in Holland this month, have you played there before?
Not at Dance Valley but many times in Holland and it’s always been great fun, everybody’s really up for it. We’ve played in many clubs , in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven. So yeah it’s always fun and we’re looking forward to it.
How does playing festivals differ from playing a gig in a club? Do you get the same buzz from playing them?
Yeah I’d say it’s a lot different, I think that sometimes you have to adapt your sets for festivals, just because the attention span isn’t as long for some reason. In a club it’s a lot more intimate and sonically you can kind of give more of a journey, whereas at the festivals people are just looking for those big moments, and so you have to just give them to them.
What can the crowd at Dance Valley expect from your set?
Well we’re always pretty consistent with what we do, which is about bringing a positive vibe, and our main aim is to see the whole place with hand’s in the air - that’s our remit for any gig we do and with festivals it should be pretty constant.
Let’s talk about your upcoming E.P ‘Young Dubs’, a track that particularly stands out is ‘Nocturnal’. Tell us about the creation of that tune and the recording of the E.P.
Well funnily enough we did a track with Frankie Knuckles called ‘The Ones’, and ‘Nocturnal’ started its life as the dub version of ‘The Ones’. And, as it happens a lot when you’re making music, you start to think “well this could work on its own, I really like this”, so we kind of recycled it! (laughs) because we liked it so much and liked the vibe it had taken. We named it ‘Nocturnal’ after our club night in London because it’s very indicative of the kind of grooves that we play down at Nocturnal.
You’ve played Pacha in Ibiza again this summer. How have those gig’s gone and do you think that Ibiza in 2009 still retains the same magic and relevance that it has done in the past?
Yes I think that Ibiza is still the party capital of the world, there’s no mystery about the fact that the recession is going on, there’s definitely some elements that have been affected, but I think as the parties kick in, in July and August I think it will be business as usual. Perhaps the earlier parts of the season such as June or even September may suffer a little bit, but we were there a couple of weekends ago and the atmosphere is still fantastic.
By the looks of it you’ve got a very busy schedule of gigs coming up over the next couple of months and will be playing in many different countries. What does the experience of constantly being on the move feel like?
It’s a privilege in my opinion. We’re very lucky to be able to do what we do, which is make music and play records to people, professionally. It’s a real privilege. Yes, the travelling does get pretty tiresome sometimes and the hours can take there toll, but I wouldn’t swap it for the world. When I’m standing there in front of a few thousand people it’s a buzz that I think I’d find very hard to re-create in any other line of work.
Which gigs in the world are you particularly looking forward to this summer?
Definitely Croatia, we always love playing in Croatia - there seems to be a really amazing party scene going on there, in fact everywhere in Eastern Europe really, its fresh, and the enthusiasm for dance music over there is incredible. Also, Pacha of course, we always look forward to going there in Ibiza, and we’re going to be playing one with Frankie Knuckles on the 22nd of July which is very special. We’re going to Tokyo again as well, which will be exciting - the last time we played there it was one of our favourite shows ever. And on New Years eve and at the beginning of the year we’re going to Australia to play at the Summer Days festival so that should be really exciting too.
How are things with your label ‘Nocturnal Groove’ at the moment? And how have the tracks from the Nocturnal Grooves compilation been received at your gigs?
Really, really well. I mean, I went on record before saying that with the Shapeshifters taking up so much of mine and Max’s time the label was suffering slightly, and we made moves to make sure that the records we were signing were getting what they deserved and that they worked properly. Having the new set up with Defected has ensured this and it’s been a real blessing, it’s great for us, and we’re now really eager and excited to sign more stuff and we’re getting to the places where we should be getting to. The reaction of the re-launch and the compilation has been great - we got to number 14 in the iTunes compilation chart which was a great success as far as I’m concerned. So yeah it’s been really well received and people seem to be really re-finding their love for the label.
Finally, what tips would give any dance festival virgins out there who are perhaps attending the Dance Valley festival this month?
(Laughs) Just come with a positive attitude, that’s all you need to do at any festival, that and sunscreen and an umbrella! Oh and make sure you’re in the Defected tent!
'Young Dubs EP' is available to download now
Tickets for Dance Vallay are available right here