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NOEL SANGER interview

  NOEL SANGER

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Some DJ/producers aren't "superstar" Djs but are incredibly talented, prolific, and successful in their releases and touring, and manage to keep that level of enthusiasm and success going for decades... and its clear, they just LOVE the music. Meet Noel Sanger, who is expanding his reach even more, refocusing on songwriting, plus his recent internet radio shows...

Speaking of internet radio, I must digress in this intro to address why I'm guessing Noel jokes about the "top secret" location of the servers, but no doubt that has to do with the recent decision of the US Copyright royalty board to triple current performance fees, which may squash US-based indie internet radio. (blog here - savenetradio.org here)

But with the underground (and servers in Russia) and artists like Noel, indie internet radio will continue to thrive and play incredible music! Now go hug a tree... after you read our interview!

Tell me about your most recent set for Global DJ Broadcast! How did you end up doing it? Did you record it at home and send it in somehow? Are you talking on it, how long is it?

Well I've known Markus Schulz for quite some time, in fact, he remixed one of my tunes way back in 1997. I was one of the original rotating residents when he first started GDJB as a 4 hour show on Party 93.1 in Miami, and lately I've been doing a little programming for him and even have a collaboration with him on his upcoming artist album. So it was just time for me to do one, as my last one was aired in December 2004. It was recorded at home, and uploaded to the Top-Secret Global DJ Broadcast headquarters Severs located in a secret bunker far beneath the surface of an uncharted Bahamian Island.

What about the mix you did for Radioshow Asphalt in Russia??

Same thing, I record at home and upload. The subsequent KGB visit was interesting however!

Where can we listen to those?

Both of these latest sets are up on www.hybridized.org, where I try to archive all my stuff after it airs. It's an amazing site with tons of mixes from great artists like Hybrid, Way Out West, Shiloh and so forth.

You have so many releases coming up!! Let's do sort of a word association for them. I'll give you the title, and you say something about each one in ten words or less....

Anyone who knows me knows that ten words or less is like a death sentence. Yes that was an intended pun.

*Noel Sanger "Nothing" (with Kenneth Thomas and Mohawk remixes)- Curvve US: Lyrical verbosity, vocal mediocrity, Great remixology. These guys rocked it.

*Noel Sanger "Sugar Hollow" (with Stroud, Thee-O and Chad Cisneros remixes)- Mining Vinyl US: Housier than usual, good remixes, first tune I wrote in VA.

*Flash Brothers feat. Tiff Lacey "Stay" (Noel Sanger remix)- Coldharbour NL: Wicked Vocal, FB's are awesome, uplifting trancier mix. I like.

*Lustral "Because of You" (Noel Sanger remix)- Baroque UK: Wow. Lustral! Great Vocal! Remix is still progressive but I went for crossover potential.

*Miika Kuisma annd Ollis "Awakening" (Noel Sanger remix)- Baroque UK: Miika rocks. This tune = joy to remix. Plays on ASOT and GDJB.

*Jonathan Alllyn "Illuminate" (Noel Sanger remix)-Label TBA: Jonathan is a really good DJ and up and coming producer- watch out for this one...

Tell me about what you did for the X-games.

Well ESPN apparently contacted one of the labels I am in regular contact with asking for some music beds to use when they broadcast the X-Games. They provided examples of what they were looking for, and it was all right up my alley. So the label called and asked if I would be up for composing some bits and I agreed. I hope to do more like that in the future.

What are some of the essential elements of software and hardware that you use when you are making music?

I'm all software now, unless you count my computer. Logic Pro 7.2.1, and a bunch of plug ins. I made the switch from PC to Mac a year ago, and wondered why I hadn't sooner!

Is your studio in your house? What's it like? (Big room, basement, garage, rental space... black walls, gear floor to ceiling, neat vs. messy, any visual details you can think of!)

It's always been in my house, but that never really works out. It's tough to stay focused, and with three little ones around it just gets tougher. So just last month rented a commercial space adjacent to an amazing coffee and sandwich place and it's working out great. I get more done, never have to tell the kids to "be quiet a minute so daddy can record something" and my next door neighbor is a videographer who is making a cool documentary about wakeboarding - now we're kinda working together on a thing or two as well. The room is bland but clean, always a room temperature case of spring water at hand, and Icons of Christ and Buddha for remembrance/inspiration. Soon the walls will be covered intermittently with acoustic treatment but for now its just a big room with a desk at one end.

Where are you living right now? Why there?

Charlottesville, VA... I was born not far from here, and my whole family is basically around here. It's 2 hrs to DC and an hour to Richmond, and quite frankly the most cosmopolitan, big-minded small city I have ever seen. I walk the streets on which Thomas Jefferson walked each day. And the blue-ridge mountains here, well, I have a family connection to these mountains that goes back like 200 years. I truly love this place. That said, I'm not sure that we will be here all that much longer. We'll see. I'm just one person but I have a family of 5 to think of. We're making plans now.

What inspires you when you get in the studio?

Well I mentioned my Christ and Buddha. They sure do help! But inspiration comes from all sorts of sources, and the rotating pictures of my kids on my desktop is one!

Your bio on your website says, "he has (somewhat inexplicably) remained relatively undiscovered by the image-obsessed media hype machine..." We definitely agree with the "inexplicably" part! (Not us though! Link to http://www.raves.com/features/old/noelsanger.html here.) Do you have any theories as to why?

This is one that I could go on and on about and could sit and blame every person from A to Z and everything from 9-11 to the Bush Administration. But what good would that do? At the end of the day one makes one's own choices and when you plant apple seeds you get apple trees, end of discussion. I've made some mis-steps along the way, and some of them looked like the right thing to do at the time. I'm now in a process of getting honest with myself and asking some real questions. What am I after? What is the success I keep chasing? Do I even want it? Really? The dance scene has become so self-absorbed, self-important. Maybe it's always been but what I signed on for looked more like a revolution... in 1990 the Rave Scene seemed to hold so much promise, the music seemed to really provide access to expanding consciousness, with or without the drugs. Now it's what? VIP and Bottle Service? A global party circuit and bad designer labels for elite spoiled brats while a thousand kids a day die of malnutrition? DJ's who make millions? I don't know. The music is better than ever and I still love it, you know? And there are certainly enough conscious people in dance music. But with such unbalance in the world, it's tough sometimes to pretend to endorse such an excessive and consumptive lifestyle. And what's my point? God that was a rant. I guess that maybe I haven't wanted it bad enough, or have rejected it on an unconscious level. I get the tree-hugger thing all the time. That's fine. People oughta try hugging a tree sometime! It's a lot better than hugging your own insecurities and false pretense 24/7.

What’s up next for you?

I'm not sure, but if that last paragraph gives you any clues, I'm in a transition of some kind. Don't get me wrong. I love dance music and I love DJing and I wont ever stop. I'm just put off by some of what it's all about. And really, its all that stuff that will put an end to dance music as we know it. Maybe thats for the best. I'm just happy that people are still buying my records, playing them out, and inviting me to come to their cities and do the same. That's a real blessing. One change is that the door is closed on remixes from me from here on out. Unless the money is really good or someone really talks me into it, I am done for a while. I am focusing on songwriting and originals and more indie crossover type stuff. And even more than that, my wife, Dauby. She's one of the most gifted people I have ever met and she's totally frustrated that while I am always sweating to finish a remix for some other person, I never have time to help produce some of her amazing music. And we have been sitting on some of these songs since Bill Clinton was President. So no more remixes, just new songwriting and lots of it.

Anything else you'd like to say?

Yes and it has nothing to do with Music. Check out www.Kucinich.us. Dennis Kucinich, the congressman from Ohio, has been the only 100% consistent opponent of the war in Iraq, and he has a plan to bring the troops home in 90 days while restoring some kind of stability to Iraq. You can read it on his website. His story is amazing, his integrity unrivaled. He is running for President in 2008 and has the most substantial positions on nearly everything. He's considered a dark-horse, but his message is on point. He takes NO corporate money. At the very least - supporting him in the primaries means his voice will push the debate in directions that even many big-money corporate Democrats are uncomfortable with. At best we get a President that can bring honesty and compassion back into international and domestic affairs and help bring healing to the world. Either way, we all win!

Thanks Noel!!

:: www.noelsanger.com ::

:: www.myspace.com/noelsanger ::

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