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Catz ‘n Dogz is known primarily for their array of dancefloor heaters, and the curation of their Pets Recordings label. Their latest presents us with twelve tracks form the backbone to this wide-spanning sonic journey that document the highs and lows of this time. Drawn out of their comfort zone, it’s safe to say this shift in their creative paradigm resonates throughout ‘Moments’. We got a chance to talk with the guys about the making of this album, and some other cool stuff going on in the Catz ‘n Dogz world right now. Be sure to listen to the premiere of ‘It’s Ok‘ up now, and read our exclusive interview below!
Interview With Catz ‘n Dogz
1.) Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! Cat ‘N Dogz is a name we don’t usually associate with chilled out beats. Aside from the obvious period of lock down around the world, what were your inspirations for this beautiful album?
It’s hard to disagree but it’s not our fault that most of our popular tracks are mostly for the dancefloor! Before doing this album we were listening to our previous albums for inspiration and some of the tracks actually sound still pretty good. We always treat an album as something special, it’s a completely different project than what we do for clubs. This album is sort of diary of all the ups and downs we went trough last couple of months. Really helped us a lot to focus on this project. We were trying to focus on little pockets of joy every day. That’s why the album is called “Moments”. It’s about small things things that keep us grounded, discovering sadness is not a bad thing, looking at the clouds, having a walk, all those things can be very musical if you just listen to yourself good enough.
2.) Making a twelve- track album during lockdown, I am guessing this was quite unique in terms of production. What was your production process?
It’s an album made without big studios completely out of our comfort zone, working online, trying to find connection with people in this weird “normality”. We became masters of zoom calls where you can record, listen, compose, exchange ideas. Some of the ideas were created in a moment like the song “It’s ok ”. All the vocals recorded completely with iPhone to not loose the feeling and idea. Later we tried to re record the vocals with a good microphone but the feeling was gone so we left the raw version as the final one. Also our friend Kacper was recording guitars for us sending wavs from Warsaw and our friend Javi from Madrid was doing some additional composition, especially for the songs that change harmony. We wanted the album to sound a bit Lofi and very warm.
3.) How did the production process differ from other music you have made?
Honestly we were watching a lot of tutorials before we started to do this album. Specially how to make the sound warm, how to move things around to not make them obvious. Another thing is that it’s the first time we use our own voice on the album, signing was something really completely new. Another thing was that we didn’t have any touring dates between working on the album, which I think helped us to keep specific sounds and emotion and we didn’t have to force it too much. I remember once the lockdown in Madrid was eased and we met our friends a few times, when I came back to work on music it wasn’t the same. That’s how I knew the album was finished, the emotion was gone. Also important thing is the visual aspect of the album, each track has a video that fits the mood.
4.) There is a stellar line up of vocalists on this album. What made you use the artists you selected?
We always do big research when we produce an LP. We usually search a lot on soundcloud, Instagram and Spotify for new talent. We ask our friends or people that we worked with already, for their vocals or recomendations. On this album we are working again with James Yuill who has amazing voice and he’s a great writer. His style always fits our music. Jaw from dOP, who we have known for many years. But also Angienowak and Heather Chelan who we found on Instagram and Soundcloud. We were looking for specific voices that will fit the idea we had for this LP. There are a lot of vocal samples we were working on for a few months in our studio in Madrid.
5.) The track titles seem quite prominent. Can you tell us a little about a couple of track titles you chose and what they mean to you?
As I wrote before we wanted to keep the names as simple as possible. At the beginning we had an idea to just make an album dedicated to nature, but the more we worked on music we noticed that in the days we are a bit down it’s easier to talk about feelings and more about who we are. “Listen” and what we miss “Tomorrow”. For example track “Moment” was created because Gregory entered lockdown with his wife and a new born baby. For them it was really difficult to find a moment for themselves. They were up almost 24/7, so the track is about those small moments of peace that you want to hold on to, and remember being in a relaxed state.
6.) Focusing on ‘It’s Okay’. It feels like a very special cut indeed. Can you tell us what this track means to you?
It was something recorded just like that, sitting on the sofa and then suddenly this idea came out. I’ve sent it to Gregory and he loved it from the beginning but it took me few weeks to get used to listening to my own voice and be able to share it with people. I used to sing in a choir but this is something else. “It’s ok to be sad…” well, not many people are okay with sadness and I started try to embrace it. In general I like sad lyrics but with a fun instrumental, bitter sweet songs are my favorite.
7.) The child voice in Tomorrow is particularly profound. What can you tell us about these chosen words? What is the message?
The song is very nostalgic, we really miss the normal life and I’m sure all of us are thinking what’s gonna happen in the future and what the future is going to look like. None of us have the answer. The kids at the end are telling their dreams who they would like to be in the future, they don’t have the fear, they want to help people, to have a better world. Hopefully the world will find a good balance in the end.
8.) I’ve been watching Pets Recordings evolve over the years, what would you say has been the driving motivation for you guys when you are selecting music for the catalog?
The love of the music and the joy of discovering new tracks. It’s a lot of work as we work with every release to have good promo and reach new listeners. We also release not only one genre on the label so we do different promo plans for every release. Anyway is always a lot of fun, its rewarding and it’s an amazing feeling when the new EP is doing great at parties or when people who love to listen at home play it. We are DJ’s, this is what we love and we did that before we started to produce. This is a part of our lives that we will never drop. Discovering new music and new talent is the best thing.
9.) How do you think this new album plays into the discography for the imprint?
It’s definitely a different album than anything else we’ve done. I really hope people will enjoy it and identity with their own thoughts and feelings they had during quarantine and have a good relaxing time during the summer with this LP.
10.) How have you both been passing your time the last few months?
We had up and downs, definitely we miss traveling, we miss traveling together and seeing eaach other. Thats the longest time we didn’t meet for 15 years. So definitely up and downs as you miss your friends but also positive things as there is more time to self reflect, think about your life and look for new inspirations. I hope the worst is already behind us and soon we will be all able to live a normal life. I also hope it will be a warning sign for many people and they will think more about the environment, other people and things around them. A big plus is that we spend a lot of time with our families and discovered a lot of new technology and ways of working online.
11.) Are you working on any other interesting projects right now? What’s next for Catz ‘N Dogz?
We made a lot of new music, we will have soon a new EP on Dirtybird, we did a remix for Fatboyslim and Eats Everything, new remix for Duke Dumont. We also have 10 years of our label so there is a big VA coming out with many original tracks and collaborations. We have done a track with Andrea Oliva, Eats Everything, Truncate and many more.
-Catz ‘n Dogz
Turn it up & enjoy!