My Digital Enemy, a group composed of Kieron and Serg from Brighton U.K, was formed in 2003 and since then they have increasingly become a bright light in the house music scene. With several house tracks making it into the top ten Beatport house charts in 2013 including their remix of Crazibiza's "My Lips", and their collaboration with Jason Chance titled "Feel It In The Air" which went to #3 and #2 in the charts respectively. They are also exceptionally busy behind the scenes as they run their own labels named Zulu Records and Vudu Records. With their upcoming New Year's Eve gig at Set Nightclub in Edmonton, a few fresh tracks ready for release in 2014, and a closer alliance with Toolroom Records in the works, there has never been a better time to talk to these guys. Read on as I interview Kieron from My Digital Enemy as he explained a little history of the duo, where he thinks the popular sound is headed in 2014, the future of Ministry of Sound, and much more. Enjoy:
Give us a bit of history of My Digital Enemy
Kieron: My Digital Enemy is me and Sergey and we've been working for about 10 years writing tracks and doing different things. In the last 3 years it has sort of come together with the sound that we've got now. We've started Zulu and Vudu Records and that has become our main focus at the moment and has helped shape our sound to what we're doing right now.
What happened in the last 3 years that has brought it all together?
Kieron: We've been doing different styles over a long time and in the last 2 years we've really concentrated on house music. This year we've gone into deep house as the house stuff has become really big in England. That really helped because we were doing that sort of style. House music is being played on the radio now and we've sort of grown along with it.
Describe the My Digital Enemy style.
Kieron: I'd say piano-y groovy house music but with some deep basslines.
What has led to the explosion of deep house in the UK?
Kieron: The Swedish House Mafia, progressive, noisy sounding sort of stuff has been big for quite a long time and I think people have become quite bored with the same sort of sound. They're going for the more organic stuff now like with organs and pianos. We're seeing people getting into deeper and groovier stuff now. I've noticed this change happen here, in Russia, and quite a few European countries. But I think in America it is still very much the progressive sound but it feels like it is slowly changing.
I'm starting to see a lot of these big room guys start to incorporate groovier house music in their podcasts and radio shows – are you also seeing some of the big name guys adopt the groovier vibes of house music?
Kieron: I'd say that, definitely. Steve Angello started up “X Recordings”...
...With Junior Sanchez?
Kieron: Yeah. And that's obviously doing the house stuff. You got to remember that these guys started off writing that sort of music anyway, and I think they've always liked it but they've gone commercial because that's how things always progress and they made loads of money off of it. The underground is always a constant so you'll have like house and techno music, and then we'll see styles fall in and out of fashion like electro, progressive house, and deep house pop out. But the constant will always be the underground, and all of the big DJs are aware of that and they will always feed back to the line of the underground.
Who does the piano work between the two of you?
Kieron: I do. Serg does some of the piano stuff sometimes but generally I do a lot of the keys while Serg does more of the editing and engineering side of it. We both do bits but I generally favour the piano parts.
How do you select these dramatic vocals in your tracks?
Kieron: Sometimes we'll have a big bank of sample Cds with lots of different vocals on them and then listen in for that tiny hook to use for one of our tracks. We'll take that hook, sample it, slice it up, put it onto a sampler and try to make a groovy riff out of it. We don't generally do a “first chorus” type of thing as we have a hook and then the second half of the vocal will be sliced up into the groove.
2014 is right around the corner, do you have any predictions of where house music is headed in the new year?
Kieron: I personally think that the really big deep house stuff at the moment is going to get a little bit faster. It's working in the clubs but with music things generally just gets faster and eventually when it does get faster it will hit the house stage because of the tempo difference. You could be playing a track at 120 bpm which could be a house track if it was at 125 bpm. House will be the new progressive house.
Oh wow, so house will become the new progressive house? That's a bold statement.
Kieron: Yeah because even when you look now where MK did a remix of “Storm Queen” and that has gotten to #1 in England in the actual U.K charts. That's house with a sort of deep house influence. I really think that's the next thing to be honest.
I've noticed that your releases on Toolroom Records have picked up significantly in 2013, how did your relationship with Toolroom, Mark Knight, and yourselves evolve?
Kieron: It's really good actually. We've got a good working relationship with him. There's a couple of things in the cards that we might be releasing a lot more with them next year. We're currently talking contracts and stuff, so I can't really say much more than that. (laughs)
You're going to play in Edmonton for the first time on New Year's Eve, what can fans expect when they come to see you at Set Nightclub?
Kieron: We have a lot of energy and we'll play to the crowd. We're not the sort of DJ's that will turn up and say “this is what we play, and you're going to have to listen to it”. So we'll turn up, feel the vibe of the crowd and we'll take it from there basically. We'll obviously be playing bits of our tracks, but we'll see what the crowd wants and give it to them with MDE flavour. (laughs)
This NYE party is linked with the Ministry of Sound, and you have played at the Gallery a lot?
Kieron: Yeah, we've played there quite a lot and we're going to be playing there again in February. We've got quite a good working relationship with Ministry as well as we've known the guys working there for quite a long time.
I've been hearing a lot of news that Ministry of Sound might close down. Is the threat of MoS closing down actually real?
Kieron: Developers want to knock it down and build flats because flats there would just be ridiculously priced so there's so much money to be made from knocking it down. So the government and the big wigs are always pushing for it to close down. Ministry is always fighting back with petitions not to close. It's difficult. I don't know if it will close down but the amount of money is to be made by turning it into flats isn't good basically. It doesn't look good for Ministry.
What's the state of clubbing in the U.K with the recent news of Sankeys closing down?
Kieron: I think it's moved to small clubs. Before you'd play in clubs that hold 800-1000 people, but now there are smaller venues that will pop up that hold 150-250 people. It's down-scaled slightly, it's good in some respects but it's bad that some of the bigger clubs are closing down.
What's in the works for My Digital Enemy in 2014?
Kieron: We're pushing our new label called Vudu which is the deeper and techier side of the stuff that we do. So we'll probably be releasing more on Vudu than we have been on Zulu. We will be working closely with Toolroom next year and so you might be seeing us at some Toolroom events. We'll also be gigging a hell of a lot more. It's all looking good really. (laughs)
Do you have any productions ready for 2014 that you'd like to talk about?
Kieron: We've got a couple of bits bubbling within the pipeline and got a few collaborations with some singers that we're sort of working on. We've got a track called “Shaman” and it's coming out on Vudu in mid-January. It's had amazing response so far and Danny Howard played it on BBC Radio 1 a few weeks before. So that's a really good one to look out for.
My thanks to Kieron from My Digital Enemy for answering my questions.
You can catch My Digital Enemy in Edmonton for New Year's Eve at the Set Nightclub. Click here for more ticket details.
If you want to follow My Digital Enemy on Facebook, you can do so by clicking here.