Interview with Polish dance duo Catz and Dogz:
As underground bass music continues to revel in its somewhat tumultuous era, as forever new sounds and sentiments are perpetually advancing and surpassing the boundaries of creativity, Polish duo Catz and Dogz have of late certainly made a worthy contribution.
From their more humble days in 2003, the pair set out organising a regular night in their hometown of Szczecin in Poland which upon gaining rapid popularity led to them landing their own show on Szczecin’s ABC radio. After a short time of merely arranging parties and showcasing an assortment of techno-centric music, they now have a rostrum to make their own productions.
By 2008 the pair re-emerged with a fresh approach, and a renewed flexibility allowing them to delve into a more pure house sound, however still encased with soundscapes from their techno roots. After the release of their album Escape to the Zoo in 2010 on the Mothership label, it subsequently built on their reputation of creating experimental, open-minded and meticulously contrived productions.
However, the duo has just released the second instalment of their compilation series with the album – Friends Will Carry You Home Too on their own label, Pet Recordings. The compilation contains all exclusive tracks especially made for the album from a breadth of established and up and coming artists.
I managed to catch up with Catz and Dogz just before they set off to play in Amsterdam.
Where did the name for the album come from?
The name originally comes from one of our friends from Berlin. When I moved to Berlin six years ago we used to hang out almost every day and we had a group of friends in Kreuzberg, we used to go out together to bars and clubs and one time she told me this title and I thought we definitely have to use it in the future: ‘Friends Will Carry You Home’ that was first part of the compilation and that’s why now it’s “…Too” at the end because it’s a second part. The title really fits to our label because most of the people we work with are our friends and actually the best part of our job is to hang out with great people.
Why did you release two CDs and what would you say the distinction in sound between them is?
We always wanted our label to be very diverse and for people to always be curious about what will be next. The first CD is pure club music and the second one is something you can listen in the car from the beginning till the end and it tells you a story…I hope. (Laughs)
In particular with CD 1, was there a similar sound you wanted to achieve across the CD or did you ask the artists to think outside the box?
We always ask the artists to think outside of the box. One time Claude Vonstroke told us that every time people send him demos and they say to him ‘I’m sure you will like this one, and here is the B-side, but I’m sure you will not like it’. He told us that it’s usually the B-side he likes the most. I’ve noticed that it’s happening to us very often. I think it’s because when you are producer and you listen to your own track you kind of lose the objective ear and the track you think is going to be a hit is actually isn’t. People say CD 1 represents a certain style in house music but to be honest we were trying to put out the most diverse compilation possible.
What tracks on CD 1 do you think nail this on the head?
Justin Martin’s remix of Rachel Row and not because it’s a hit but because Justin did something impossible to do. After the successful KiNK Beat Remix that was released few months ago he actually made an even better remix, it’s very hard to remix something that was already a hit. The other favourite would be the Tom Demac track. It took us many months to convinced Tom to put this track on the compilation when you play this track at the end of the night in a right moment pure magic is happening.
Starlight on CD2 is very subtle, where did this innovative direction come from and what was it influenced by?
I think Starlight shows that we are not afraid anymore. For us when we finished the track we were like ‘f**k this sounds like Whaam, what now?’ (Laughs) For many years when we were releasing records we were over-thinking stuff and now we are just trying to release what we like and it pays off way more. We are overwhelmed with the positive feedback we are getting for the label and two years ago we would never dreamt of this situation where we can have so many amazing artists on two CDS.
You set up Pets Recordings to promote Polish artists, which artists off your label can we expect big things from in 2013?
We are now releasing a split EP from Kixnare and Good Paul both guys are based in Krakow. We are also hoping to release another EP from SLG and Chmara Winter. SLG is one of the best live performers we know and we are hoping he will put out his EP on Pets because he really deserves to be more known worldwide.
The Friends Will Carry You Home Too release is your biggest project so far – what is next for Catz and Dogz and Pets Recordings?
We just did two tracks with Eats Everything and will put them out probably during summer under name Catz Eatz Dogz. We also want to put out an album we did with our dearest friend Martin Dawson. For a couple of months after the tragedy we didn’t really know if we should ever release it, but our friends convinced us to do it. It will be under a different name called Different Marks. We are also doing label parties which are very important for us and we are trying to put the Pets Recordings team more together, with plans already in place for parties at Sonar Big Openair in Munich, London and we are still doing residency at Watergate in Berlin and also Farbfernseher. We basically want to continue what we are doing right now plus work with Dirtybird and Get Physical.
From the days of when you first set up a club night Szczecin, how does it feel to unleash a double CD album with the support of so many established artists, all producing exclusives for your label?
We still can’t believe it, when I look at the CD it makes me feel very proud actually. Every release on our label is another lesson about life for us. At the beginning when we started playing in Szczecin we always thought we knew a lot about music and about the business but the more we are doing it we are finding more things to discover. It’s like your favourite TV show when you discover that there are new seasons to watch!
‘Friends Will Carry You Home Too’ is available on CD, vinyl and on digital formats at Redeye Records and Beatport
For more information on Catz and Dogz check out their Facebook page
Tagged in: Catz and Dogz
Recent Posts on Arts
- Friday Book Design Blog: The Ariel Poems, and other seasonal pamphlets
- Children’s book blog – Ask the illustrator: Rebecca Cobb
- Piggott's post: Jacobson, Heller and reflections on "real life"
- Ric Blackshaw tells us Scrawl about his street art enterprise
- Children’s books for November: The Something, The Imaginary and Eren
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter