You are here

Apollonia: Three's a crowd.

Whoever said 'two's company, three's a crowd' was talking nonsense.

There are plenty of pairings about in the dance music scene - Daft Punk, The Martinez Brothers, Modeselektor, Soul Clap - but when it comes to threes you enter a relatively exclusive group of people that completely ignore the 'two's company, three's a crowd' theory.

For three person collectives you start to get images of the Visionquest boys, whose home has also been setup within the walls of DC10, and Henrik Schwarz, Dixon and Âme of Innervisions fame - two groups of artists that have been dominant dancefloor forces for some time now. I wonder if perhaps this is the future of a happier, more successful music scene? You often hear of DJs having a subtle grumble about the life of a touring DJ. They spend much of their time going from club to club, airport to airport, hotel room to hotel room... on their own. So why not get together with a couple of your mates and embark upon the adventure together... If only for the sake of the afterparties (won't somebody please think of the afterparties!?)

Whilst Apollonia was initially born out of a desire to create a platform to launch their own music and the music of their friends, as Apollonia the record label, when they perform together they are Apollonia - pushing through many hours of back-to-back-to-back, one record each sets. As you'll hear in the very cool and insightful video by Jocie Cox, as she documents a typically hectic 24 period of life with the boys, they rarely prepare for a gig, "we are too lazy for that" says Dan. That says a few things to me. Initially I'm thinking how naturally the music must flow from every part of their body, and secondly, that they are liars. They have achieved more in only a short period of time, or even just last season, than many artists could hope for in their entire career, all through hard work and a commitment to the music. Who knows what could be achieved if they actually put some effort in?

Together the three of them have been fine representatives of the French dance music scene since Apollonia's inception, certainly as some of the most current and popular artists of the moment, leading many to refer to their presence on the island of Ibiza as 'The French Invasion'. If that's the case, vive la revolucion Française, mes amis.

So, at what point did all three of you stop and think that perhaps making this friendship you had more official might be a great move?

Dyed: "There wasn't really a specific moment. The development of our friendship and our music have run parallel, as we met as young DJs with similar music tastes so have played together since we met. We started playing after hours parties for hours and in the past few years the opportunities we have had to work together have gotten better and better, and today to be at the stage where we have a label, we feel very lucky. We not only have a great time playing and making music, but we also trust each other and I think that is very important in this crazy scene. It also feels great to be able to share these amazing moments with my best friends."

Has it always been the intention to have Apollonia be so active as both a label AND a touring threesome? I guess with you three they both go together really well…

Dyed: "Definitely. We had released tracks and played together for Dan's label Freak and Chic. Unfortunately due to a business fight with his ex-partner, it had to close."

"As friends we have always loved to play as a threesome, so it seemed like a perfect moment to do something that meant we could tour and also release music under the same pseudonym."

"One of the best things about this job which is travelling the world every weekend, can also be the worst thing. Flying with not much sleep, delays and transfers can make it hard. Having friends with you who are going through the same things makes it much easier and more fun. I think that together we have a good energy and the crowds hopefully feel that when we play."

"The label as you say is also importantly a platform for us to release our tracks, individually and together. We will be spending a month in the studio together in February so I'm really looking forward to that."

Obviously you (being Apollonia) almost exclusively play DC10 on the island, is that something that bothers you? I know you’ve done a few parties elsewhere, but will DC always remain your home?

Shonky: "How can you be bothered when it is one of the best clubs in the world! I have been going there since 2000, I have seen the evolution of it and feel super honoured to play there. I used to be a clubber and was admiring the people playing there, and now, to have the chance to play there is amazing... and I'm also going to play New Year's Day."

Dan: "For me, I was also a clubber there and a resident for over ten years and they gave me the opportunity to bring my music and my crew and some artists from the Lola booking agency."

Dyed: "...DC10 is our home!"

Dan, I know you lived over in Ibiza during the last season, is that your intention next year?

Dan: "Of course I will be back! It’s been more than 10 years now that I do it. It’s part of my life. I feel good in Ibiza and THE party is there at DC10 every Monday. Can’t wait for next summer already!"

Your EP on Apollonia – Trax On Da Road – clearly has some American influence, with one track titled ‘Manhatten 85’. Just how much of an influence has the scene stateside had on you?

Dan: "I was really influenced by the West Coast sound at the end of the 90’s after spending some time living in San Diego. It’s really what I was playing back when I started my career. If you want an example of the kinds of sounds, I’ve just uploaded my first ever compilation from 1999 ‘Sun Frenchie’s & Co.’ to soundcloud (soundcloud.com/dan-ghenacia/sun-frenchies-co-compilation). The main influence behind Apollonia is this mix of white soul and black music like a lot of tunes from America."

Away from Apollonia though, you've been on tour in America, right?

Dan: "Yes, I just got back last week from one month in the States, mainly based in New York but I played in Miami and San Francisco too. I just wanted to check the vibe as the underground scene is really growing over in NY… I really liked it. The city never sleeps!"

Few DJ collectives are successful enough to hold down their own party at a club like DC10, with the likes of Visionquest and yourselves being two of those that have done so during the last season. Do you see yourselves on the same level as those guys?

Dan: "Inspiration is everywhere. We are inspired by all the group collectives of DJs. we get inspired by RPR, Visionquest and years ago the End Soundsystem, with Bushwacka!, Layo and Mr C together..."

I guess with the three of you taking on equal roles within the label you all must have a good creative and working relationship?

Dan: "Things are just natural, we’ve known each other and been friends for a very long time. It’s a great accomplishment for us to be able to work together like we do. While at the same time being a lot of fun."

That relationship extends to you involvement with the exclusively French DJ agency - Lola Ed - how useful is it to have a group of people so focused on promoting the French scene?

Dan: "This was one of my first ideas, when I arrived more than ten years ago at DC10, I was the only French DJ around, and I realised that if I wanted the people to hear me, I couldn't just do it on my own, I had to build a crew and show who we are and what we do... all this became very natural."

Shonky: "For me it's a family thing, I have been there since the beginning, Sofia and Julie are my closest friends, it is like a family, every DJ was a friend before joining, we stay together."

You’re hosting Sankeys in Manchester on Boxing Day, is that a venue you’ve much experience with? How does the scene in the UK compare to say your home, or Ibiza?

Dyed: "I have played in Sankeys for a few years. It is a really cool club. I think the crowd in Manchester has a great energy, they are very into the music. From it's history it obviously still has a massive music culture. The UK has always been important for me, I've been playing there for almost 10 years, so I have a big group of friends and even my girlfriend is from there. The people are a lot of fun and they always have something to celebrate. In the UK it seems like most of the youth is into our music. It is massive in every city I go to: Birmingham, Liverpool, London, Leeds etc. Every city has It's own scene and vibes."

"In France, even though there are great parties, it is not as big as it is in the UK and we don't have enough clubs. I also notice that the English are really into dressing up which I don't see as much in other places. The English promoters and market have had a big impact on the success of the Ibiza club scene. However what I love most about Ibiza is how international it is. Every year people from all over the world descend on this one tiny island for six months just for the music and I think this is something very special."

Finally, what up and coming release plans / tour dates do you have with Apollonia? Update us.

Shonky: "Just now we are releasing the new EP from Dan 'Trax On Da Road', a repress of one of our favourite classic tracks ‘Underwater’ from Point G (AKA DJ Gregory). It’s one of those records that hasn’t left my bag for years but the vinyl is now very hard to find. The repress on Apollonia will give fans the rare chance to get their hands on it again… Also, an album of Chris Carrier and Hector Moralez, plus lots more."

"For touring, we have a South America tour coming up, plus dates at Sankeys, Manchester, on Boxing Day and next year we are really happy to return to Fabric and play Panorama Bar too."

Apollonia play Sankeys, Manchester UK on 26th December 2012.

Sankeys.info

facebook.com/ApolloniaMusic

facebook.com/DyedSoundoromMusic

facebook.com/DanGhenaciaMusic

facebook.com/ShonkyMusic

lola-ed.com

Try something new this holiday

Formentera Explorer

Formentera Explorer

Playa d'en Bossa, Ibiza
Nautical Ibiza

Nautical Ibiza

San Antonio, Ibiza
Private boat trip Formentera

Private boat trip Formentera

Playa d'en Bossa, Ibiza