Self-proclaimed House Gangster, Sneak has the passion to keep House music alive and continues to push forward with new releases & remixes that capture and inspire the true essence of House music. While touring the globe and playing some of the most relevant gigs around the world, he continues to make an impact on the scene today. His signature sound of funky-jackin-disco-filtered House has revolutionized and redefined house music for 20 years and counting. ‘The Budcast’ focuses on new music currently being played by Sneak as he travels the globe.
Tripmastaz is the one of a few underground producers/DJ’s out of Russia, who gained the respect of an international community of professionals. Almost single-handedly he has been making Russia decidedly more funky over the last 10 years. Both Djs joined forces in order to produce their new project ‘RareTwo Inc’, and today they talked with us about their careers, music and their latest release.
Dj Sneak and Tripmastaz have recently formed the Rare Two Inc project and we chatted with them as they just released the ‘Extraterrestrial Intelligence’ EP on Cassy’s Kwench Records.
Electronic Groove: Hi guys, we are honored to interview you on Electronic Groove today. You just released a new EP under new alias ‘RareTwo Inc’. How did this project come along? Can you tell us more about the motivation in launching this project– why the name and why now?
Tripmastaz: Hey guys, the pleasure is all mine. Well I’ve been working on music with Sneak for quite some years now, and especially for the last two years, whether its Los Angeles or Ibiza, so after releasing numerous of records on Ovum, Mr. Nice Guy and Kaluki we decided to find a new name for this collab effort instead of using our own names. That’s how RareTwo Inc came about.
DJ Sneak: We are really good working buddies. Tripmastaz is one of the best producers on my label, I’m a House Gangster. Evolving to have our own alias seemed a natural step forward.
EG: Did you work together in the same studio or separately? Where?
DJ Sneak: We believe in being in the same room to produce, and we’ve been meeting halfway – in Los Angeles and Ibiza – because he lives in Moscow and I live in the States. This selection of music, including this EP for Kwench, was produced in Ibiza where we get together and we’ve been knockin’ out a bunch of ideas. We are a couple of production freaks – this past 3 ½ weeks in Ibiza we actually made over 30 tracks!
EG: Any particular concept behind these tracks?
DJ Sneak: Yes, we want to make the best music. We both have the highest respect for creative production, from deep house to techno styles.
Tripmastaz: As Sneak says, the concept is pretty simple in terms of producing quality music and more importantly, rare. Two guys who love house music coming together in the spirit of house and make golden era tracks with a magic touch of soul. Nowadays a lot of people who have been sitting on that minimal deep wave (which I admire to a certain degree) start to claim “now we play /make house” but in reality, they don’t. And I keep hearing the same minimal dry loop. Aaron Carl said, “house is a feeling, and if you feel it, you will understand”. That’s what we do. And we do it the best. With love and care.
“Tripmastaz is one of the best producers on my label, I’m a House Gangster. Evolving to have our own alias seemed a natural step forward”
EG: Sneak, we saw your Ibiza back-to-back alongside Villalobos at Amnesia at the beginning of the Ibiza season. How was the experience playing with Ricardo?
DJ Sneak: This is not our first dance as we say. Ricardo and I have been getting together from Ibiza to Romania where we first discovered we could jam out. At Amnesia it was really smooth; the vibe was thick that night. I had been waiting for this date since our last encounter 8-9 years ago for Cocoon. Anyway, all I can say is that when “greats” get together the magic flows and we are like water.
EG: You recently collaborated with Ricardo Villalobos. How did this opportunity materialize? Can you describe the experience?
Tripmastaz: Ricardo has been playing my music for a while, so when we met at Amnesia last year, I’ve got an invitation from him to visit his studio. Then we worked together. He’s not really into computers and internet, so we jammed for a good 4-5 hours. An incredible vibe in his spaceship… I don’t force the result to be released, though, as I truly believe that with more hours spent in the studio, we can come up with something really special. So no rush. It’s about the music, not the media opportunity.
EG: How’s your summer agenda looking like?
DJ Sneak: Summer is in full swing. I’m out here all summer playing as many gigs as I can, making people happy with my music and respect for it. My full schedule is available at djsneak.com
Tripmastaz: I’m really looking forward to going back to Ibiza later this summer – gigs to be announced soon. And I’ll be debuting in Budapest and Belgrade, as well as a comeback to Sunwaves – it’s been four years since the last time.
EG: Sneak, tell us about your S-Men project. What is about?
DJ Sneak: Well for the new people just hearing about this I will explain. Roger Sanchez, Junior Sanchez and I have been good friends for ages. We got together back in the day in NYC while I was traveling there and totally vibed-out in the studio. From there we had a small tour to support what now is considered a B2B but this one was a three-way which had never been done. We performed all over the UK, including festivals like Tribal Gathering in 1997. We’re now back together in the studio making fresh music. As you all can imagine the DJ skills have also evolved, so we’re back at it again, mostly having fun playing great music and showing these new kids how real DJ mixing skills work.
EG: Are you planning live dates in the near future?
DJ Sneak: We are currently working on more music, with our first release just dropping on Defected, and from there we will tour the USA and Europe. It’s time for the skills to get back to stage, NO SYNC allowed.
EG: Talking about the music industry, what is your view on its current state? Are you happy with its evolution when you compare it to your youngster days?
DJ Sneak: Honestly, NO! I haven’t been happy with the music industry in general for a while. Everything the pioneers build has been vandalized by many people involved today. Impostors, fakes, unprofessional goons running the show. Most have agendas of becoming the DJs themselves which really kills the vibe when you’re playing after the promoter or club owner – buzz kill! I’m not sorry to say that the best years in this industry happened in the 1990’s when people had a purpose, making timeless music for vinyl that still sounds better than most half-assed produced tracks today. We played the best nights, the best clubs, did the best drugs with the best vibes through the ‘80s and ‘90s when it was all a discovery period, now its tasteless saturated microwave meals.
Tripmastaz: The downside is that media is everything these days and the amount of fakeness is at an all-time high. The good thing is there’s plenty of new and old names who are still around making and playing incredible music. I see plenty of real music around and people still care about it. That’s love and hope.
“It’s about the music, not the media opportunity”
EG: Sneak, you live in Los Angeles, California. What are your thoughts about the move for marijuana becoming fully legal for recreation purposes?
DJ Sneak: As of now it is a growing industry. I’m very happy to be there, I have a new business venture in the works and one day when you come to visit California you can come to the Sneak Shops.
EG: A few artists have mentioned that one of the perks of touring is having the possibility to experience worldwide gastronomy. Where and what would be your last supper?
DJ Sneak: My last supper would have to be at my home because it seems like I’m never there – my professional life takes me around the globe. My vacations are all at my house, the meal would have to be a fine Puerto Rican Meal cause I’m from Puerto Rico!
Tripmastaz: True that. Last supper? I’d pick No limit over Death Row if you know what I mean…So many though… first thought Is a tough competition between chicken and waffles. The competition is between a few spots in New York and Miami – good old buratta and milk stout.
Rare Two Inc’s ‘ExtraterrestriaI intelligence’ EP is now available on Kewnch Records. Grab your copy here.