True progression comes from a driving need to expand boundaries. For Gene
Carbonell, progression describes how this multi-faceted producer and
successful DJ/Promoter, has been able to build a very fulfilling career.
With the Seks club night held at Eleven50 (formerly know as Petris), which
he co-promotes with business partner Howie, Carbonell has come along from
way from his early days spent behind the decks while spinning tunes for the
devoted at The Chamber in Atlanta, Georgia. Carbonell, who has released
several tracks under a variety of monikers, including Dark Driver and Echo,
is now focusing his creative energies on his DJ career. Recently, Carbonell
took the time to grant an email interview to discuss his latest single "The
Beat" and explain why his music career these days has him feeling
How old were you when you were first exposed to dance music?
19, when 99X was Power 99 Radio and
they were doing a Sat night mix show broadcasted
live from Petris (which is now Eleven50
where I have Seks and my residency)
Do any early track names stick out
in your memory?
Wow....a million to say the least. "Drop A Beat" my Moby, "I Sit On Acid" by
Lords Of Acid, "O'Fortuna" by Apotheosis and so on.....those are the tunes
that got me into (what was then called) Techno.
Where were you first exposed to dance music?
Listening to the radio when I was 19 as described above.
How would you describe your sound
as a DJ?
I would say funky and chunky house with a dash of Prog + Techno for the late
night sets :)
How does it feel to be name checked
for your work by DJs like Danny Howells,
Saeed & Palash, and Danny Tenaglia?
One word....."Chuffed." It's a slag
term I've picked up from my Choo Choo
mates. It means OVERLY happy, excited
and pleased. To think that these DJ's
have played my tracks and remixes to thousands
and thousands of people can only bring
a smile and have me say, "I'm Chuffed".
How long ago did you relocate to
Been there since '81 because my Mom got transferred. I live in Birmingham,
Alabama following my life long dream of marrying a doctor and settling down
to have a Eugene the 3rd.
Your website states that Moby was an early-influence for you while he
was still "underground"? What aspects
of Moby's music caught your attention?
At the time, Moby was just starting to break into the global Techno crazy of
'92 + '93. The energy of his music at the time was really up and helped me
get into the music faster.
Were there any of his early tracks in particular?
"Drop a Beat", "Go", "Thousand" and few tracks off his "Early Underground"
What do you think of Moby's current level of success?
I think he's a genius! He's taken techno pop to a new level. He's taken "the
next step" of music production and has made people from my Mom to early
teens enjoy his music. I applaud him for his success.
Who/what are your current musical influences?
Barry Gilbey, Shafunkers, Deep Dish + Luke Fair
How were you first approached to work with Choo Choo Records?
Winter Music Conference in 2000. Scott and I gave Barry a demo of our track
(then called Dig). He called me on my cell that same day, offered some
suggestions on how to make it better, we went back into the studio the next
week......and out came "Revision-2". The rest is history.
Have you played the demo game with
labels in the past?
Hell yes!! And, still do.
What are three things people should know about Gene Carbonell?
1.) That I have pubes for hair.
3.) I may look like an asshole, but I'm
How was touring in Europe? Any good
road stories to share?
On my last trip, Delta lost my bags
before I landed in Lisbon, Portugal and
didn't get them to me until 3 days later
when I left. When I arrived in London
(from Lisbon) to take the tube to Choo
Choo towers, the tube broke down and I
had to walk with my 2 record cases and
2 bags of luggage about ? of a mile to
the nearest station and then climb about
10 flights of stairs to get out. On my
way to Lithuania, there were train strikes
in Sheffield which prevented all routes
to Manchester airport be cancelled which
in turn made me miss my gig. On the last
4 days of my trip, my girlfriend came
to London for my last gig of the tour
and we got engaged at the top of the London
Eye on the clearest night in London ALL
year. That made the stress of the previous
13 days all go away.
How would you describe your sound
as a producer?
Deep to chunky house. I'm still developing
a personal sound.
If you could work with anyone as
a producer, who would it be?
Deep Dish. They can make a 10-minute
track with 8 sounds and still make it
the best thing they've ever done.
Do you prefer to play in the club
or work in the studio?
Club! There is nothing like pleasing people with music you enjoy.
Does it come easily or are you a perfectionist?
It sure doesn't come easy and mostly because I'm a perfectionist. It's a
What impacts your working in the studio?
I am THE A.D.D. poster child.
Who have you worked with recently?
Mike Andrew (Decon) and Darryl Windham
of Red Shift.
Why was "The Beat" selected to be
released as a single?
Both Choo Choo and I decided a single
would be best to increase my profile in
the DJ market. Aliases are good when you
have a lot of material, but will hinder
you if you are trying to a name for yourself
as a DJ.
How has the response to "The Beat"
been so far?
Absolutely MASSIVE. It's been #1 on
Plastic Fantastic and Tune Inn's chart.
It's been in the Cool Cuts + Hooj Buzz
chart and a number of well-respected DJ's
have been charting in the top 10. I'm
really excited about it.
Is there a full disc of your tracks
in the works?
Not yet. Just working on some remixes
for Choo Choo at the moment and putting
my next single together.
How is your Atlanta club night "Seks"
Still VERY well.
What style of music do you generally
play at Seks?
Howie and I try to stick with lower
profile DJ's (meaning non-"A" list) that
play really good progressive and chunky
Any of the remixes in your past work
exceed your expectations?
Every one of them!
What are your reflections of the
dance music scene in 2002?
It went from bad to worse and I hope it gets better soon. I think the MP3
stuff has put a MASSIVE strain on smaller labels and less known artist that
now can't get paid because everyone has their music for free. I am one of
them! Please buy your records and CD's so artists can get what they need to
What do you think is on the horizon for 2003?
A virus that is injected to everyone
that steals and exchanged MP3ed tracks.
Will you be attending the Winter
Music Conference in Miami in March?
Yes, I've got "The Beat" to promote
as well as some remixes for labels.
Will you be touring at all in 2003?
I'm trying to put something together in the US for the springtime. If anyone
is interested, please email me at email@example.com. Another European
tour is slated for May / June.
-- written by Shawn Wallace
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