May 31, 2018
GUZ & Tough Love Celebrate Dancin' Kinda Close
GUZ and Tough Love have teamed up to deliver one of the feel good house anthems of summer. Their massive collaboration “Dancin’ Kinda Close” has been on an absolute tear since its release on Danny Howard’s Nothing Else Matters imprint and we were delighted to celebrate the release with all of the guys. Enjoy GUZ’s groovy Exclusive Mix while you read on and learn about the collaboration and exciting summer ahead for the talented artists!
Do you remember when you guys first met and/or heard the other’s music? What was your first impression?
GUZ: I remember I first heard the guys in 2013/2014 through their Get Twisted label. I played more UK/melodic flavored house music, just like they did, and I found it strange that this label wasn't mega mega out there, but still released such a high amount of pure quality music. Well, I guess I heard it right cause it all grew a lot in the years after. When meeting in person for the first time at ADE 2017, I found out they had been in the game for so long, doing so many different things, like myself. That was a lot of fun to do some old boys networking.
Tough Love: We’ve supported each other’s work for a long time now under various aliases and it was great to eventually cross paths with each other in Amsterdam during ADE 2017. Freek’s work is always crisp and fortunately we share a mutual love for solid house music so it was great to finally get a chance to work on some material together.
When did you guys decide to work on a track together and what made this project the right choice?
Tough Love: Freek actually hit us up at the end of summer last year about the idea – we were into it straight away! There was lots of back and forth until we caught up at ADE to really nail down what was next and the rest, as they say, is history!
GUZ: We were actually in the studio working on something else when I got the message from my publisher that the clearing of the Next – “Too Close” vocal came through. They also loved that record and I just had a small draft, so we decided to jump on it together. Good choice that was :)
Can you tell us about how you settled on the vocal sample and how it factored into the production? How did you decide to reinvent such a classic vocal?! It works so well!
GUZ: I always have had a big love for 90s influenced R&B. I was born in '85 so halfway the 90s I started to hear all of that music on the radio and Next was one of my favorite tunes, such a slick production. The funny thing is that I was downloading promos and all of a sudden I saw a promo called “Dancing Close” and in my head I suddenly had the vocal loop and a beat in my head. Within the split second of hitting play on that promo I was hoping it was a totally different track, which it was. I went straight to the studio to work on a draft, sent to my publisher because obviously you can't release it with the sample, and then waited a long, long time.
In the answer above I already mentioned that after we got the green light, Tough Love and I were in the studio anyway and decided to rework it together. Then we had the whole thing resung and signed it to Nothing Else Matters.
Tough Love: As you’ve learned above, we can’t take credit for the origins of the record. Freek sent an early version with the original vocal so we worked closely together to get a re-vocal as close to the original as possible. It took a while to get it nailed down in truth, but it was worth it. The rest of the track was built purely with club land in mind and we never intended for the radio to pick up on it though it seems to be getting some amazing airplay. It’s great to see how well it works both in the club and on the airwaves. We’re all about the feel-good factor and lifting the crowd during a set. This record seems to do exactly that.
What are each of your favorite elements in the production and why?
GUZ: The dryness of the groove. Of course the vocal chop makes the track unique, but it's actually very danceable without the vocal too.
Tough Love: The record feels good. All of the elements seem to merge so well together giving a real classic house feel. It would be right at home in a Masters At Work set. Apart from the obvious familiarity of the vocal, the groove of the bass and the movement in the percussion really bring the record to life, giving it that timeless feel. It has the ability to fit into so many different DJ’s shows.
Alex and Stefan, this represents (surprisingly to us) your first release on Danny Howard’s Nothing Else Matters imprint. And Guz, this represents a big return to the label after the huge “Get On Board.” What does releasing on the label and having Danny’s support mean to you all?
Tough Love: It’s a tough industry and good people are hard to come by. We like to work with people we can trust and people we’ve developed friendships with outside of work over the years. Danny is certainly one of those guys. We’ve know Danny since very early on in our careers as Tough Love. We’ve played a lot of shows together and featured on his BBC Radio 1 shows a good bit too, so it’s great to get a record out that we all believe in.
GUZ: It's a fantastic confirmation that the music has a unique club and mainstream crossover potential. Of course it's great that Danny loves it, cause he is also hosting one of the most important radio shows for dance music worldwide. But the label is of course not only Danny. A lot of A&Ring has been done on it, so it's really teamwork and a great team at Nothing Else Matters to have behind you.
Can each of you pick another recent production of yours which you are particularly proud of, and highlight why?
Tough Love: There’s a couple because we feel the leash is off and we’re having fun in the studio creating music that we can confidently play in our shows again. A track coming soon on our label called “Keeping Warm” that we did with Soul Divide is becoming a highlight in our recent sets. It samples Jinny – “Keep Warm” and took us over a year to clear. We’ve been hammering it the last few months and we believe it’s going to be a staple part of a lot of DJ’s sets this summer. Another feel-good club chugger and definitely one for the festivals and terrace parties in Ibiza!
GUZ: I'm still very proud of “Playing With My Heart.” It was my first GUZ release, on Toolroom, and even though it was released on a big sampler, it really stood out with a lot of Spotify plays, DJ support, and huge reactions on the promo pool. I still play that track today too! Also I’ve got a track coming on Relief which I am very proud of, maaaaaaybe you could hear this one in the guestmix already. Just maybe. [Check back Thursday for a first listen!]
What has you guys excited as we approach the oncoming summer?
GUZ: I just joined a great agency from the UK and we’ve got a lot lot lot of releases and to be finished productions on the shelf, so it's all preparation for what's coming up.
Tough Love: Well we’ve got loads of records coming out, one on Low Steppa’s Simma Black label called “Boom Boom Kick” which is out right now. The one we mentioned previously with Soul Divide on Get Twisted. We’ve got a new single on Sweat It Out / Club Sweat called “Platinum & Gold” which we’re really excited about, Danny is already a fan of that one! We’ve also done a remix for the label of Torren Foot’s new single “Hot Sauce.” We’ve just signed a new deal with One More Tune / Warner Bros, and what we feel could be a summer hit called “Rain Dance” coming with them. Later in the year you can also hear tracks from us on This Aint Bristol & Insomniac as well as a collaboration with Brazilian DJ/producer Volkoder on Get Twisted. We’ve also got a pretty big compilation album on the way for the legendary “Pure” family so keep an eye out for Pure House dropping very soon!
We’ve just started our weekly residency for them at Aqwa Mist in Marbella. We’re about to announce a residency in Ibiza on top of shows at Amnesia for Together. Festival wise you can catch us mainstage at We Are Fstvl, SW4, Butterfly Effect, LIMF & loads more we’re about to announce!
You can buy or stream "Dancin' Kinda Close" on your platform of choice today!
short link 1001.tl/st9ssl