Ten Years of Size: AN21, Max Vangeli, Third Party, and Qulinez speak up from Size Matters Miami
Size Matters is turning ten years old, and with a new decade comes new faces, new music, and even a new sister label. Some Size artists, however, have been an integral part of today’s label and will be sticking around for the next chapter. AN21 and Max Vangeli have already released a full length album, People of the Night, on the imprint and have used the POTN brand as a Size side project. Third Party bursted on the scene with massive remixes, originals, and collaborations, and one of their claims to fame, “Otherside,” is weeks away from an official release. Qulinez are a bit younger to the label, but are in deep after making a splash with “Troll,” their recent double-header of an EP, and forthcoming efforts.
Dancing Astronaut took to Miami to talk to the Size Records residents at the Fontainebleau pool’s annual Size Matters affair. See what life is like as a seasoned member of Steve Angello’s progressive army with interviews from AN21, Max Vangeli, Jonnie and Harry of Third Party, and Alex and Johannes of Qulinez.
AN21 & Max Vangeli
How has the Size Matters movement in Miami changed from the 2010 party where you first met to the 2013 party today?
Max: I’ve been coming here for years even before I started DJing and I remember there was a big dip, especially when the economy went down in the US. Miami was not happening, it was slow, especially the pool parties. The last two years have been mayhem. The 2010 pool party was the first time we met face to face.
AN21: A few years ago, every single person in the club or by the pool were your hardcore fans. I think today, there’s so much hype with the whole EDM thing and Miami Music Week, so it attracts so many people that come here because of the hype and they think it’s cool and they want to go out and take pictures and instagram. You have a lot less hardcore fans at your shows. When we met at the 2010, we already had done a few records and I was like – Hi I’m Antoine nice to me you. So weird!
People of the Night was at least a yearlong production process. What was it that had you guys putting so much work into one album?
AN21: At the end we were breezing through it. The last few records we were on such a good flow. We were in my apartment in LA with shitty speakers and just got all our equipment in one day for just a few hundred bucks, built up a little studio in my apt and did like four records that week. We were on such a good roll and just throwing out ideas, working two different songs at the same time — one in the speakers, one in the headphones. When I feel like a song I’m working on I’m out of ideas, I pass it to Max and he gives me what he’s been working on, which inspires each other to step it up.
What is coming next from the Size’s veteran forces of AN21 & Max Vangeli?
AN21: We have a bunch of new remixes, each and every song from People of the Night. We’ve got a Promise Land remix of “Glow.” We have two huge records together that are pretty much done by now.
Max: What we’re going to do is the People of the Night remix mode, we’ve got a lot of really solid remixes. We’re finishing a few more. We’ve been playing old material from the album for a year now and it’s nice to get an updated version of the records. — Tom Staar did a remix for “H8RS” with Kryder. We’ve got an incredible remix of “People Of The Night” by two Swedish guys who have been doing a lot of great work recently. Then we have another record that’s kind of an idea right now, and it just works really really well. Hopefully we’ll finish it up in a few weeks in LA. Those two records coming out around summer time.
How did you find your big room niche and how does it blend with the signature sound of Size?
Harry: We got into it naive in terms of the different terms of genres, so Steve took us under his wing and we had the influence of Size and the Swedish type sound. We try and mold it with everything we enjoy listening to as well. It’s like a combination of the Swedish house sound and everything else we like to listen to and hopefully it could be quite unique in that way.
Jonnie: We’re trying to move away from just being a standard sound. At the moment that’s “Lights” and our new stuff coming out next is more like “Lights.” Still melodic but a bit harder.
What have you learned through the process of becoming established artists?
Jonnie: The biggest thing was getting our names out there, obviously Steve and the Size shows helped. The biggest thing for me DJ wise was learning how to play before people or after people. Rather than just having the same set every single set, other DJs have to play certain records before or afterwards, that puts pressure on a DJ massively rather than to just think I’m going to play this type of music the whole time.
What have you learned from Steve while working with him in the studio?
Harry: The biggest thing is to take your time. A lot of people rush to get stuff out rather than really listening to it and really thinking ‘is this really something I love.’ Just wait for the right moment.
What is it like to hear the reception of “Troll” being it was the track that landed you with Size?
Alex: When you hear the track played by another big DJ, your whole body freezes. You hear something you’ve done by yourself and you feel like “Whoa” they’re playing our track. We’ve heard it now so many times, but we still love it every time. Every time we hear it we try to feel how it felt the first time.
Johannes: We didn’t know [the first time] but when we saw when Steve played it you could feel it was something.
What was it like to collaborate with the rest of the Size artists together in London and what did you take away from that session?
Alex: Everybody came together and we made 3 or 4 tracks. We’ve got an ID and Tim Mason had an ID, and we came together to join them for one track.
Johannes: You should do what you do and do what you love to do. If you love to do something, you should do it because it’s a good feeling.
What is the family dynamic you’ve experienced within Size Records?
Alex: It’s amazing, we’re all good friends like a good family. Once you meet, if you’re Size it’s like you’re already brothers. I don’t know if anyone has that type of connection at other labels. I think they’re just like ‘I made a release’ but they don’t have a connection like a family. With Size it’s just like a huge family.
Stay tuned for Ten Years of Size all week:
Thursday: Interview with Junior Sanchez
Friday: Interview with Steve Angello