Nick Catchdubs has made his rounds in the blogosphere and in the IRL music scene. From co-founding the one and only, Fool’s Gold Records to throwing the famed Flashing Lights party in NYC and everything in between, he is a man of many musical hats. Nick was kind enough to throw together this mix of some his favorite tunes at the moment as well as answering a few questions about his and Fool’s Gold Records musical mission. So sit back and enjoy Nick Catchdubs’ “Pink Lemonade” Mix (Ha! I just got it.).
Asian Dan Q&A: Nick Catchdubs
1. Who is Nick Catchdubs and what is that you do? Why do you do what you do?
I guess the simple answer is that I am a DJ, musician and record label co-owner. I have worn a lot of other hats (designer, editor, writer) but not so much these days because I devote all my free time to the label and my own music. I have been DJing professionally for the past 7 years and have been running Fool’s Gold with A-Trak for almost 3 of those. As far as WHY I do what I do… I’ve just been obsessed with music and art and media and pop culture ever since I was a very little kid, this didn’t happen by accident. I would still be making my own stuff and thinking about different ways to put it out into the world it even if it wasn’t a “career,” you know?
2. You are co-pilot of the famed Fool’s Gold Records, how has the trip been so far since you guys took off? What is Fool’s Gold Recs main mission?
It’s been fun and satisfying to launch artists’ careers, and help our friends’ music make an impact in the world at large. The mission has always been the same: to share the world that we are a part of creatively – the people around us, our friends and peers, new talents we discover – with official releases that could really stand the test of time. To put out records that could transcend blogs (no offense) and individual scenes and genres, to build up the brand so that it really stands for something unique and high quality. If I humbly say so myself…
3. You are starting to venture outside of the electronic/dance/hip-hop world by signing some bands such as Japanese Garage Rock band, The Suzan – any particular reason? What kind of waters are you planning to navigate the Fool’s Gold Rec ship into?
Our tastes are pretty broad, we’ve always looked for ways to expand the scope of what Fool’s Gold represents creatively. And the Suzan record came about organically the way all our best records do. (Did I really just say “organically”? Our shit is mad free range son!). A-Trak knew Bjorn of Peter Bjorn and John, who was producing their record, and he shot us a “hey guys, check out this band I’m working with, I think you might enjoy them” kind of email. And he was right! The Suzan are a rock band, but they have a really distinctive sound and character, a “grooviness” for lack of a better word that just fits right in and makes perfect sense with our catalog. Especially live, where the charm and energy comes across so strongly that it’s not a stretch to slot them inbetween other Fool’s Gold DJs, rappers, etc.
4. What do you for-see becoming a viable and relevant sound in 2010? Who are some of your fav acts/DJs/artists/bands out today that are exciting you?
I’m lucky enough to say that most of my favorite DJs and acts are already on the label! And everyone else that’s cool will eventually get enlisted to do remixes… you can get a pretty reliable sampling of my tastes just looking at our lineups.
In terms of what influences my own production (in spirit if not always sound), it’s the music my friends are making: A-Trak, Diplo, XXXChange, Nadastrom, Cubic Zirconia, tons more. There’s a feeling of creative development and achievement there thats very real and tangible, you’re watching your peers push themselves and get better and more polished, make more interesting decisions – its only natural for that to be crazy inspiring! But I’m into a lot of different music, not just my friends’ shit. My ear is generally attracted to sounds that are a little off in some way, with its own personality and ideas. Especially as a DJ, it’s songs that take the building blocks of familiar music and reassemble them in unexpected ways. I can’t say “disco will be big this year!” or “dubstep!” or something else, the best music is always some kind of hybrid (please nobody go and send me their discostep EP now…)
I really enjoy doing mixes like this one (Pink Lemonade) where I can kind of zone out, play tracks long and create a vibe with some things that aren’t always appropriate for the average club party. There IS club stuff but it’s moody, the indie joints all have a tweaked danceability… I find this one kind of romantic in an odd way, actually. Maybe that’s just where my head is at, in this not-quite-summer Brooklyn limbo. It’s all relatively new music except for the Out Hud, which is from a few years back but new to me (and soooo bugged out, I wanted to put the whole 9+ minutes!) This features a lot of artists I’m into at the moment – there were many other brand new records that I love and wanted to fit in too (KiNK, Deadboy, the Wolf+Lamb guys, etc), will have to save them for another one.
5. What are your top 5 dance/electronic tracks of all time?
In no particular order, and in no way comprehensive:
Aly-Us “Follow Me”
Soho “Hot Music”
Zinc “138 Trek”
6. What are your top 5 hip-hop tracks of all time?
Again, just a random sampling of favorites:
Notorious BIG “Got A Story To Tell”
Busta Rhymes “Gimme Some More”
Clipse f Birdman “What Happened To That Boy”
Redman “Da Goodness”
DMX “Stop Being Greedy”
7. Future plans for Nick Catchdubs and Fool’s Gold Records?
I’m working on my first solo release for FG, don’t want to say too much about it until it’s actually finished and ready to go. I try not to take remixes simply for the sake of working on something or other, but I like making tracks with with my friend Jon (Proper Villains) simply because we have fun coming up with shit in the studio, it’s not that deep. We just finished a remix for MNDR that I’m very happy with (even though it won’t see actual release for a while), along with a bunch of tracks for various MCs. I’m finishing up another volume of Radio Friendly Unit Shifter (the alt rock mixes I do with Mr Ducker for Mishka), and have some rap mixtapes in the works with different artists this summer too.
As for Fool’s Gold – the sky is the limit! Thats what Biggie told me anyway. We have a lot going on. Tons of singles throughout the summer, from our artists people know and love already (Jokers Of The Scene, Nacho Lovers, LA Riots, Treasure Fingers, DUCK SAUCE), some new debuts (Vega, Greenmoney, Kid Gloves), and more – I teased a Martin Brothers remix from our forthcoming KLAM (Kicks Like A Mule) single on this mix, really looking forward to that one. Plus the Suzan LP, a full-length Fool’s Gold compilation album going into the fall, parties and tours, and a bunch of surprises as always.
8. Any final words of wisdom for artists, labels, bloggers or anyone else in music industry.
Be original! It all stems from that. You can learn how to run a business, you can learn how to do basically anything – but you can’t teach yourself good, original ideas. Before you even start, figure out what you do that no one else can. Figure out what makes you stand out, then push that as far as it can go.
Nick Catchdubs “Pink Lemonade” Tracklist:
Flying Lotus “Do The Astral Plane” – Warp
Out Hud “Put It Away, Put It Away Dad” – Kranky
Matias Aguayo “Rollerskate (Sanfuentes & Alex Thunder Version)” – Kompakt
Li’ll Bo Tweak “The Funky Beat” – Loungin
Consistent “Instant” – Exploited
Markus Nikolai “Bushes (NT89 Remix)” – Southern Fried
KLAM “Funky 4 (Martin Brothers Donkey Punch Remix)” – Fool’s Gold
Caribou “Sun” – Merge
Mickey Moonlight “Love Pattern” – Ed Banger
Ratatat “Neckbrace” – XL
Little Dragon “Blinking Pigs (1-O.A.K. ‘God Made Me Funky’ Remix)” – white
Delorean “Real Love” – True Panther
Sia “Clap Your Hands (Diplo Remix)” – Monkey Puzzle
Ellen Allien “You” – Bpitch