TomorrowWorld Artist Spotlight: Botnek
by: Dylan Farella
Sep 23, 2013
Canadian electro studs Botnek have been soaring as of late joining Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak imprint across both the festival and release circuit. After making an appearance at Tomorrowland, Gordon and Erick will take south to Chattahoochee Hills to bring their showcase to the inaugural TomorrowWorld. Hot off “I Know” among recent releases, this duo comprise a sound unique to the dance landscape and are expected to be one of the gems that next weekend’s festival has to offer. Get to know the Botnek boys better and become acquainted before they capture your ears in Georgia.
Can you tell us about how you started getting into production, who inspired you, and who were some of the first artists to support you?\
When we met we had both been producing casually for about 5 years each, but only got really driven to take it more serious when we started to work together. When we first started producing tracks together we were both really into fidget, so it was a huge deal for us when the first DJs to support our tunes were guys like Jack Beats, Crookers & Foamo.
What was the music culture like growing up in Canada and how did you find the electronic music community to be there?
We live in Montreal now, which has an incredible nightlife scene with loads of talented young producers, but we grew up in a small town called Halifax that didn’t really have a scene for the music we liked. So living there Erick and I couldn’t really go out to hear new club music, so we would look to blogs and radio shows. And the only electronic music we grew up with were albums from the greats like Chemical Brothers, Prodigy & Underworld – stuff we feel super nostalgic for. It’s funny tho now after the explosion of EDM we’ve gone back to play in Halifax and had tonnes of support, which puts into perspective how big it’s getting!
How did you connect with Dim Mak, what skills or tipped have you picked up with that label, and whom have you connected with best there?
The Dim Mak connection was a gradual thing. The first track we ever did was a remix for a Felix Cartal tune called “Skeleton”, and since then we’ve done remixes for other Dim Mak artists like Clockwork & AutoErotique. The label then approached us about doing a one off EP “Sriracha & Beer”. We had always been big fans of Dim Mak music, I remember years ago giving Steve a demo at a show of horrible tracks I had made even before Botnek existed. So when the offer came from Steve after the EP was out to join the family in a bigger way we were mega stoked to be a part of it!
What productions are you most proud of and which would you say best embody the Botnek sound?
One of my favorites that we’ve done recently was our remix of Mat Zo & Porter Robinson’s “Easy”. We worked hard on that track to make sure it was a great impression of the Botnek sound at the moment: an effective big room track with a rave influence and a memorable bass sound. I dared Porter to let us remix it because I just loved the vocal sample immediately the first time I heard it. It had so much soul, and was the exact kind of vocal we try to sample in our originals these days.
What are your goals as producers and DJs and what does your career bucket list look like?
For as long as Botnek has existed our goal was always to impress the DJs and producers we looked up to, in hopes to maybe one day work with them or play a show together. We often think how lucky we’ve been to have the support early on from a lot of these guys we wanted to sound like, because they’ve shown their fans our music and I think that’s where a lot of our fanbase now has come from! It’s cool now too because I’m starting to see a new wave of cool young producers who list us as a major influence, and I like to support those dudes because it makes me think of us when we were first starting out.
As far as bucket list goes, we’d love to do a proper Botnek album, since the electronic music we grew up with always made sense in an album format more so than just extended club mixes. It’d also give us an opportunity for us to flex our production muscle on other influences we havent really experimented much with.
Is there anyone you’re currently working with or remixing for that fans can expect to hear in the near future?
Right now we’ve got most of our remix homework done, and it’s let us have a lot of time to focus on our next originals, and eventually an album for Dim Mak. So no collabs coming right away, but definitely a lot more originals!
After playing Tomorrowland, what are your thoughts on that festival and being able to play TomorrowWorld this month?
We’ve been looking forward to TomorrowWorld basically since Tomorrowland ended. The crowd that we played to had some serious Botnek fans, to the point where people were recognizing Botnek tunes just by hearing the drum intros being mixed in. It was also a great time to meet other DJs we’ve only spoken to on Skype or Twitter or something. Festivals like these are like a DJ family reunion at times. So yeah we are counting the days to TomorrowWorld, and preparing a lot of new originals and bootlegs to premiere for the set. Also, it’ll be the first time we’ve ever played in the States!
Check out Botnek’s Tomorrowland set as it may be an indicator of what the duo have in store for its American counterpart: