A course in Fedde Le Grand 101 would have to include the hit "Put Your Hands Up for Detroit" and a track that proved to be dance-floor gold for the Dutch DJ/producer, 2007's "Let Me Think About It." But Le Grand loyalists know that he scored those smashes while appeasing the underground with bombs like "Amplifier" and "Control Room." Now, he's bringing that particular alchemy to his "Dark Light Sessions," a new show on Sirius XM's Electric Area.
MTV News recently caught up with the Flamingo Recordings founder, and he talked about the kickoff of "Sessions" last November. Le Grand also opened up about his big 2011, detailing how he'll top himself in the months to come.
"Not everyone can come to your shows," Le Grand told us of creating the radio series, which launched its third installment last Friday; the next is due mid-February. "I think it's such a great way to show or let people hear your view on music at the moment, because it's very current."
The advent of "Dark Light Sessions" was a fitting cap to a major year for Le Grand, whose massive re-works topped the Beatport.com charts on more than one occasion. His 2011 was highlighted by remixes of Coldplay's "Paradise" and his summer anthem "So Much Love," a remix of "Love's Such a Wonderful Thing" by the Real Thing.
Of "So Much Love," Le Grand explained, "I found the original sample from the '70s band. I just loved the re-work Tom Bangalter did before; it was one of my favorite tracks. So, for me, it only made sense to put it more in a 'now' kind of way, so I could play it again. We were able to clear the original sample and that's how it started."
While sampling and bootlegging are key tools for the thriving dance-music industry, the SOPA (or Stop Online Piracy Act) legislation could have far-reaching consequences for the genre. Le Grand said he encourages practices like sampling, though, and the growing desire to reincarnate classic dance tunes. As an example, he pointed out Arno Cost's "Body Rum," which is derived from a bootleg of Le Grand's "Metrum."
"I actually only support it. I play that edit; I think it's great," he said. "Music and the whole process of music itself should be organic," he added. "I had the same thing about two years ago with a track I did called 'Amplifier.' Someone put a vocal on it and it kind of went its own way. So I think it's great that things keep evolving and recycling that way."
But it isn't just bootlegs and remixes that are keeping Le Grand busy these days. Along with label co-founder and fellow producer Funkerman, the Flamingo Recordings imprint has helped usher in some of the most influential music the genre has heard in years, staying away from the all-too-familiar progressive-house blueprint. Joining Flamingo alumni such as Baggi Begovic, Rene Amesz and vocalist Mitch Crown is recent sensation Deniz Koyu, whose records are currently smashing eardrums the world over.
When Le Grand first heard Koyu's "Grunge," he assumed he had been signed for years. "My mind was just blown by the sound and everything. It's a record that works really well and still has a coolness to it," he said. Le Grand and Koyu have been busy in the studio with Johan Wedel getting ready for the release their latest three-way collaboration, "New Day." And one can only imagine who the boys brought into the studio behind closed doors.
"I have a whole lot of people I'd love to work with," Le Grand said, listing Sia and Janelle Monáe as possibilities. "I just want to be in the studio with as many people as I can. But I think if you plan something, it doesn't work out. If you just go in there, jam and just make something that everyone likes, that's when the best stuff comes out. Otherwise, it sounds forced. It's an organic thing, and that's how it should come out."
What are your favorite Fedde Le Grand hits? Let us know in the comments below!