Nightlife

Bay Area DJs Gabriel & Dresden are reunited—and headed for Marquee

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Creating sparks: Gabriel & Dresden are back at it after three years apart.
Sam Glaser

You split up for three years [2008-2011]. What did you learn from being apart?

Dave Dresden: We just came to realize and respect what each other brought to the table. Now we know what each other’s strengths and weaknesses are—and we focus on the strengths.

Josh Gabriel: And we give each other more space now, because we live in two different places.

What are your individual strengths?

JG: I’ve historically been the more technical one, that’s my background. Dave is better at looking back at the catalog of all music that’s ever happened and figuring out how a particular song might influence what we’re working on at that point in time. But we all pitch in on all areas.

How do you think electronic dance music became so mainstream during your time apart?

DD: I think it really stems from hip-hop guys going to Ibiza and taking ecstasy. I think that really has helped cross it over, honestly. They went to David Guetta’s club, they became friends with him, [and] next thing you know, they’re collaborating on records.

Do you think it’s for the better?

JG: Dave and I have differed on this. For me, I think EDM is gonna have the same problem that movies have: If you love movies, you pretty much hate all the Hollywood films, because now they’re made for everybody. Dave’s like, it’s better to have more rain if you’re trying to get wet (both laugh).

DD: Yes. I think it makes our music not sound so foreign to people. It gives us a chance to really reach a lot of people … Because people have heard dance music now, hearing a G&D set won’t be foreign to them.

How is the G&D sound different this time around?

DD: Overall our records need to be tighter, more pushed, more focused; they need to have more groove. The riff needs to be very prominent. The vocals need to be … not as many as before. Also, the tracks are shorter. People want to hear five- or six-minute tracks, nothing more.

What would you say is your greatest contribution to EDM?

DD: I think we brought songs to dance music. Like, real songs that mean something. As opposed to “Put Your Hands in the Air” and “Sexy Bitch” … We keep clichés to a minimum and songs at the heart.

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