Cates & dpL are Jon Cates and David Lind, a fearless production duo based in Portland, Oregon. The pair have had had several releases high-profile releases on established labels like Morrison Recordings, Babylon Records, and most recently, OM Records. Joining the ranks of legendary producers and DJs like Mark Farina, Claude Von Stroke, Funk D'Void, and many many talented others, Cates & dpL are set to release their album "Through The Weekend," in Spring/Summer 2008. An eleven-track album that spans every genre of electronica from ambient, to hip-hop, to deep and of lucious house and techno, "Through the Weekend" is sure to have something for every fan of electronic music.
i:Vibes: I've just listened to the album straight through and I have to say, it's quite a trip. What was your timeline for producing the album?
A: Cates - Through the weekend was a year in the making... it spanned many chapters of both of our lives...Covering lots ground both literally and emotionally.
dpL - We didn't have a timeline for it, we just made music until we thought we had enough material.
i:Vibes: Your work spans so many genres and you guys clearly are influenced by a ton of eclectic music. How would you sum up your sound?
A: Cates - Wow.. um Id just like to think of it all as pallets of our lives really. We both write so much music that its hard to ever pin down exactly what we're going for.. a lot of times with a song we simply pick a style and see if we can pull it off... Others just simply spill out of us because its what we're feeling at the time....Which was one of the biggest reasons it was hard to find a label that wanted to release the Cates&dpL project in its entirety, rather than just singles here and there... But to sum up our sound in a lump of adjectives...I'd call it: cavernous psychedelic subtle dirty beauty
dpL - It comes from a mixture of passion, determination, our surroundings, our ever changing environments, friends, family, and situations that come and go. Add all these elements together, and you get our sound, something that is always changing due to the lives we have chosen. In a way we are like any garage band trying to make it, and this also is heard in our sound, there is more feeling in it than other electronic music out there. Sometimes our music will make you feel more than think and vice versa, this is what we are about.
i:Vibes: What is your typical approach to producing together? Does this approach change according to genre, or do you have a consistent way of doing things in the studio?
A: Cates - There is never anything consistent about our studio time apart or together... Songs just happen when they happen, whether we are both sitting there or working by ourselves. We've come out with what I would call our best material utilizing all these methods. Never just one.
We both definitely have our roles in the band, but the top notch stuff comes from pushing our musical abilities in new directions.
dpL - We always complete stuff together for the most part. Starting songs is usually a 50-50 type of thing, we can sit down and write something, or since we both have different work hours, I will work in the day before I go to work, and Cates will work on stuff at night. Then we will see what the other has been working on, and then if sparks something, we will finish it together. We write music everyday, lots of things will never make out of the studio, becuase they were experiments, ideas, or us just having fun. We are a band, we bring stuff to the table everyday, and our goal is to write the best music we can.
i:Vibes: What do you use to produce?
A: On "Through the Weekend" we used:
Reason 3.0 for sequencing and mixing
Ableton 6 for timestretching, vst sampling, and audio recording.
Wavelab 5 for sample editing
A handful of Korg, Native Instruments, and Waves plugins.
KRK Rokit 8 studio monitors
Lexicon Omega USB audio interface
And a PC with:
an AMD dual core 3.2GHZ processor
and 1 gig of RAM
Running Windows XP pro
Though since then, in some of our new OM remixes and future material we're incorporating Logic 8 and Reason 4
i:Vibes: What are your top 3 bands/DJs as of this very moment?
A: Cates -
RJD2 for his unrelenting ability to create music from his heart and make it sound like he's having a blast doing it...
AudioJack for pink noise and bloopbloop influence...
and Style of Eye for building the bridge between Sweden and San Francisco. It's taken us all to new heights on the west coast.
dpL - 1. Nick Warren - still the one dj that is consistently on the forefront of underground electronic producers, supporting the new sound like no one else. 2. Still Rob G - Om Records DJ, he has been really important in the US Scene for bringing new music to the masses via his mix cds on Om Records. 3. lots of metal music - can't get enough of anything that is heavy and loud.
i:Vibes: Other influences?
A: Cates - Life----> Girls, Makin up, breakin up, quitting my job, surviving on almost nothing for my passion, being a parent, being a room mate, trying my best to be a good friend.
dpL-Not watching TV. Makes you more creative with your time.
i:Vibes: Your recent remix of Samantha James' track "Angel Love" has been causing quite a stir since its release on OM Records. Your use of vocals is quite unique, but vocals are absent from all but one track on "Through the Weekend." What was the reason for this?
A: Cates - Y'know I think the occasional vocal track is really good... Its just that one of my pet peeves about electronic musician artist albums (especially ones that get released on semi-above-ground labels) is over use of vocals... You find it everywhere...The best example to me is BT's Movement In Still Life...Fucking great album! Tons of talent and potential, but ruined by 1 too many vocalists trying to make it pop....
Since we had "Through the Weekend" finished before OM even heard it, I think one of the things that made it stick out was this difference.
dpL - We don't need a vocalist to tell our stories, the sounds in the music are the vocalists we have chosen to work with. We didn't use vocals on "Through The Weekend" except for Short Easy Little Bleeps, and Magdalena. The vocals on Magdalena were chopped up and were used very minimally. Dealing with Vocalists can either be a great experience or a total disaster, so making the album without vocals made it easier in the studio, It will be out on Om Records very soon, and it will be interesting to see how people react, because we are not the typical Om Sound with vocals, and keys. We are a new sound that the Om people have found, and eventually signed. We hope the lack of vocals doesnt become a factor in this album, because its a soundscape of songs and emotions.
i:Vibes: Can we expect to see remixes of tracks from the album?
A: Cates - There is talk of a Bassnectar remix of "ShortEasyLittleBleeps", and we have sent out remix packs to a few producers I really think could interpret the sounds well...we'll just have to see what comes of all that...
dpL - I would like to see some remixes come from the Om crew, it would be nice to keep it in the family. We have sent out parts to our local crew of producers, and we just have to wait and see when we hear the one we like.
i:Vibes: Any remixes you yourselves have lined up?
A: Scary Grant - Chickens on the wing (Cates&dpL cross rhodes mix) Om Records
Andy Caldwell - Warrior ( Cates&dpL Turning The Page Mix)
AaronSontag&NicaBrooke - InnerPeace (Cates&dpL GrowlinTechDub) Om Records
AaronSontag&NicaBrooke - InnerPeace (Cates&dpL OnTheWagonToMarsMix) Om Records
Soul Clap - The Giraffe (Cates&dpL Long Neck Tech Mix)
and Cates is working on a 3 song EP w/singer Nica Brooke
Jon Cates - Under My Skin (Original mix) Monism
Jon Cates - Under My Skin ( Dave Dish Remix) Monism
i:Vibes: What can we expect from you guys this summer?
A: Cates&dpL - Lots of great music... Tons of remixes, bootlegs, and independent releases from each of us leading up to the release of "Through the Weekend". And then our plan is to hit the road and tour for a couple months to help promote the album.
i:Vibes: Jon, you are an established DJ and promoter in the Portland area. What can you tell us about the scene there, and how does the music you make reflect where you work and live?
A: Cates - Well you've got me with that one. Scenes are scenes and the problem with most local acts is their willingness to settle with being a big fish in a little pond... the fact that they're booked at the bars and warehouse spots move them up on the social ladder, making them content with their achievements. But both Dave and I have had high social ladder standings at one point or another, and its for the birds... Its distracting.
So though I have tons of respect and admiration for the drive behind these local DJs and promoters, I try to stay out of the politics as much as possible for fear of losing myself or losing my true goals.
i:Vibes: Dave, what can you tell us about how your experiences have shaped your approach to producing music?
A: Dave - My experiences from spending years on the road and touring, and learning from Jon has impacted my production the most. I was lucky enough to be the Tour Manager for Timo Maas for 7 years, and going to parties on 6 continents was an eye opening experience. Every place has its sound and vibe. And this helps when producing music, certain sounds will reach specific people, and effect them in the way I was intending on using the sound in the song. Learning from Cates has been the major point of my production, learning from him has been a gift from God. Cates and I have an interesting relationship with production, we have never really sat down and he instructed me on music making, it was more like he would come in when the time called for advice, reviews, or suggestions that would help better the song. So after years of working on stuff, and remembering what I had learned and also saw Cates do, I would work on music when I had the time to focus and learn. Now I have a few remixes under my belt, and also contributed tracks I wrote and produced for the album. I love making music, there is no better feeling than being in the studio, working on music with Cates. We both learn from each other and this really helps both of us grow as producers and band members. It can only make us stronger as a production duo when there are 2 visions that meet 99.9% of the time, and aim for gold.
i:Vibes: Any plans for solo work? Side projects?
A: Cates - Since the Cates&dpL name is tied to OM records you will only see remixes and bootlegs by us together for a little while... Though we are both still writing new material.
So I think its safe to say that there will be many monikers, side projects, and solo work in the coming months... otherwise, what would we do with all these new songs????
dpL - I want to do a metal album with Cates, and put out more remixes. Would be nice to remix some rock bands, and other electronic artists.
i:Vibes: Anything else you'd like to add?
A: Cates - The classic "You can do anything you put your mind to"
dpL - We are working on music all the time, I think sometime soon, we will start working on the follow up to "Through The Weekend". It will be a really cool album I know already.
-Thanks so much for speaking with iVibes!
Through The Weekend will be available on iTunes, Beatport, and many other fine digital download outlets as of Summer 2008.