Juicebox Interviews Cactus Twisters

We catch up with the Belgian duo - Cactus Twisters, Karim (Ka) and Jerry (Jey), for a one-on-one conversation discussing their influences, studio & DJ'ing chemistry as well as celebrating the first release of Juicebox Music for which they provided a fantastic deep remix. With productions on Electronic Petz, Tulipa, Dubmetrical and many more, their music has reached a wide span of DJs ranging from deep house, tech house to techno. Super friendly guys and one of the coolest new duos around.

01. Tell us something about 'Cactus Twisters' that we wouldn't find in your biography.

Jey: The "Cactus Twisters" project rose by the desire to get together our tastes and influences in what concerns electronic music. The idea of being a binomial was in our minds long time before the production. A few years ago we played in a local collective. We already had similar tastes and above all the same feeling for music.

Ka: When we are in the studio, we love to exchange and share around a project. We appreciate the idea of acting together, that boosts us too. There is, above all, a friendship which has been going on since a few years.

02. You guys come from Belgium, a country known to produce some of the finest house & techno artists out there right now like Compuphonic, Filterheadz, Jimmy Van M, Spirit Catcher, Tom Hades just to name a few. How strong is the industry in Belgium for artists who'd like to make this a career?

Jey: The Belgian scene is very rich, we have a knowledgeable audience and many talented artists who knows how to party. But nowadays, it's almost impossible to get into a career only in our country. All the artists you mentioned play abroad too. We don't have the same structures as in Germany for example, at least at the same level.

Ka: Belgium has a "Club" Culture since the end of the eighties when the New Beat arrived and overruns the country in clubs like the mythical "Boccaccio". Then, early nineties, the age of Techno with clubs like "Globe, Cherry Moon, Fuse, La Rocca, La Chapelle". Nowadays, festivals draw more and more people like the famous "Tomorrowland".

03. The 'Cactus Twisters' name has been catching quite a few ears & labels lately, including fellow Indian label - Qilla. There are quite a few different styles we hear from you, which is refreshing. Do you guys produce according to a vibe or stick to a 'Cactus Twisters' rule to maintain your sound?

Jey: Well, both in fact. Actually, we have our own approach of sound but we also keep our feeling of the moment. About the different styles, we like to go to different ways but we always try to keep our identity.

Ka: We are fan of dark and hypnotic surroundings and sometimes atmospheric. But we must keep it dancing otherwise it can be quickly boring.

04. You've currently remixed the first single on Juicebox Music by Praveen Achary & Vipul called "Future Echoes", which has gotten rave reviews by everyone who's heard it. Can we expect more projects from you along with Praveen or Juicebox? Maybe a collaboration?

Jey: We are very happy to have contributed to this first release and wish a lot of success to Juicebox Music. Soon, We will go in studio for a next record with this promising label. It isn't a "One-Shot" of course !

Ka: A collaboration with Praveen? Of course! We want to be a part of this excellent and brilliant producer. The collaborations and featurings are always interesting, especially when there is a good feeling. And we have very good connections with our Indian friends.

05. As a producer, we are often influenced by other artists. Who are yours? Would you want to collaborate with the most?

Jey & Ka: They are so many! Right now there are the excellent productions of Pig & Dan, Mark Reeve, Dosem, Danilo Vigorito, Ron Costa, Miguel Bastida, Justin James, Hermanez, Rob Hes, Matt Sassari, Kohra, Robert Guerrero, Victor Vera, Sonate, Ante Ujevic . A collaboration with all these artists would be a real great pleasure because it's the sound we like!

06. Since the Cactus Twisters act is a duo, how do you guys DJ? Is it mostly back-2-back sets, or do you both have multiple tracks running together and loads of layering?

Jey: Our set up changes constantly but for the moment, we work with 2 laptops, 2 controllers (Traktor Kontrol X1 & Traktor Kontrol F1) and a Kaoss Pad. We're big fan of Allen & Heath mixers like Xone:92. While DJ'ing as a back-2-back, we both need to be absolutely active so we have multiple tracks running together & sequences with loops and Cactus-custom-built FX's.

Ka: If you ask the same question in a few weeks, we certainly will have change the set-up. We want to test different set-ups because nowadays there so many possibilities in DJ configuration. The most important for us is having fun and get it back to people.

Cactus Twisters 'Future Echoes' Chart

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07. If you knew you were playing the last gig of your life, what would be your closing track?

Jey: Mirwais - Never Young Again
Ka: Plastikman - Plasticity

08. For all our technology savvy readers, could you tell us what your studio looks like and comprises of?

Jey: It's well known today that you don't need a lot of equipments to make music. Today it's not a secret that you don't need it. We have our own Home studio. We essentially work with Ableton Live and we mostly use softwares and a lot of plugins. Our studio is rather basic but we like it so.

Ka: We have time to make our studio larger. In the meanwhile, we have a lot of fun during our sessions. And we learn every day, it's very interesting.

09. Any quick production tips you'd like to share?

Jey: As a matter of fact, you don't need a lot of materials. You just need to work, test, explore a lot.

Ka: And that means many hours in studio! But the most important is to stay yourself and trust what you feel.

10. Whats coming up next for Cactus Twisters in 2013?

Jey: We have many upcoming projects with the label of our bro "Sonate" : Nell records. It's a very special label for us because it's family !
The first release "Sparadra" includes our original and remixes of Sonate and Conrad Rogers (boss of Tigereye recordings). Then a new remix for Juanmy R. still on Nell records. There is also a remix for Ruslan Cross which will appear soon on Tug Underground. And an original on a compilation Nell records.

Ka: For the future, we have collaborations and projects on different labels. We'll keep in touch with you! We don't have a career plan but for 2013 there are gigs to come here in Belgium and abroad. But the word is: "Have a lot of fun!"

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