art department Jonny White and Kenny Glasgow are Art Department, one of the hottest acts in dance music today. We sat down with the deep house mavens on the closing day of the BPM Festival to learn about their new Social Experiment mix, the future of No.19 Music, and what CD they'd bring to a deserted island.
Art Department - Touch You Gently (Original Mix) [Crosstown Rebels]
LessThan3: What is it about BPM Festival that is so magical, and that really sets it apart from other festivals?
Jonny White: It’s Playa Del Carmen, it’s one of our favorite places on Earth, and we do get around. The festival is what you make it, and it can be more than just going to clubs everyday, which is what most festivals are about. There’s the weather, there’s the best food on the planet, and there’s being able to go out to Tulum and spend some time in paradise. They do a lot of the right bookings here as well; they’ve done a great job of keeping it tight as far as good music and good shows.
LessThan3: It does seem like there’s more of a family vibe here. While at other festivals the artists come play and jet out, here it seems that everyone just likes to stay and hang out at friends’ parties and play afterparties and relax.
Jonny: Yeah, I’ve been here for almost a month. It’s hard to get me out of here!
LessThan3: So you have the new Social Experiment mix coming out February 18th. What was your aim with the mix?
Jonny: This is our first hardcopy mix that we’re releasing, and it’s great because it’s on No.19 as well. Normally when we do a mix we’re thinking about where people are gonna be listening to it, like if it’s the car or the afterparty or whatever. With this one we wanted to show where we’re at with our DJing at the moment and keep it really dancefloor. We really wanted to showcase where the label’s at as well, so we’ve got a lot of our core artists on it. It’s almost 100 percent exclusive music that people have never heard.
LessThan3: We’ve always been intrigued by the ‘Social Experiment’ name. What was the inspiration behind that?
Jonny: What we’re doing has always kind of been a social experiment, even when there were ten people in the room.
Kenny Glasgow: The dancefloor is a social experiment.
LessThan3: What does the future hold in store for Art Department?
Kenny: We have a full-length album that we’re currently working on for Crosstown Rebels. We’ll be taking a few months off just to get in the studio and work on that concept album. The tracks on that will first be released as singles around March, and then the whole thing will come around late fall.
LessThan3: You guys have been all over the world now with your music, but as far as touring goes, is there one place you haven’t been that you would really love to play at?
Jonny: Definitely India, we’ve never been there.
Kenny: I’m intrigued. I’d like to see how that part of the world accepts the music that we’re playing. And we’d be down to stay and explore for a few days too.
LessThan3: Are there any new artists that you’re listening to and that we should watch out for?
Jonny: It’s gonna be a really big year for Tone Of Arc. We’re putting out a lot of full-length albums this year, and Tone Of Arc is a huge project that’s coming out first. We’ve got a My Favorite Robot album coming out that we’re really amped up about. Plus we’ve got Louie Fresco, Clayton Steele, Cameo Culture. It’s gonna be a big album year.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes, and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Kenny: Something from Bob Marley. So many good songs, I can’t name one, but I could just hit shuffle and go with it.
Jonny: We’ve always said if we were stuck on an island with any CD, it would have to be a Marley CD.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Jonny: Sick As F*ck.
Photo credit: Oliver Correa for Cultivora.com