Reuniting with Gabriel and Dresden at EDC Las Vegas

Photo credit: Joe Chung Photography

Gabriel and Dresden dove into everything from their recent showcases to their thoughts on Burning Man before taking the stage at EDC Las Vegas.

Few performing artists have such a rich heritage as Gabriel and Dresden. From some of dance music’s most important tracks like “As the rush comes” (like motorcycle with JES) and “Hunt down the treasure“Playing in festivals and clubs all over the planet, they just continue to grow their careers year after year. Gabriel and Dresden also found a way to thrive during the pandemic, quickly developing a new home on Twitch and forming Club quarantine – a community that remains strong even after everything has started to simmer.

More recently, Gabriel & Dresden have flourished with the return of festivals and the reopening of nightclubs. Not only did the duo play DreamstateSoCal and ASOT 1000 Los Angelesbut they also made the transition from Club Quarantine to Gabriel & Dresden + Friends windows too. These unique evenings feature artists who have performed during their live streams in the past and offer fans an intimate experience to connect in person and bask in their otherworldly, emotion-fueled soundscapes.

Before the Gabriel & Dresden set at EDC Las Vegas last month, we had the chance to chat with the duo and get some additional insight into those shows, their experience of the festival since being in LA, and their thoughts on burning man as well. Check out their beloved album Remedy on Spotify and read on for the full conversation with these two legends!

Flow Gabriel & Dresden – Remedy on Spotify:

Hello Josh and Dave, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today. You know, how are you? How has everything been this year so far for you guys?

Joe Gabriel: The pandemic has made everyone a little more struggling. So we are back to normal. Still in Club Quarantine, and we’ve been working on some new music, and hopefully it’ll be released soon. But I wouldn’t say things are 100% back yet.

Dave Dresden: Everyone has been waiting to do shows for two years, so everyone is touring, but in the same number of venues, so it doesn’t seem normal yet.

Yes, there has been a change I think, especially with the closure of certain clubs. And I feel like there are more festivals going on. It’s a very interesting change of scene. But you’ve done such a great job with Club Quarantine and growing this brand during the pandemic. It has been so helpful for so many people including me. I know you guys have started doing your own little Club Quarantine shows in real life too. So, are you okay?

JJ: We call it Gabriel & Dresden + Friends. We do club shows with an artist who did a guest spot on the stream, and at the end of the show, we do a b2b with them. It’s been a lot of fun bringing the stream to the club.

It’s a nice little surprise.

NOT A WORD : Yes, it’s always a good surprise. Like, “oh, wow, man, you should have stayed.” But, yeah, it actually changed the way we DJ because we used to feel the pressure to play the anthems that we created over all those years. We’ve done that a bit in the past, but this is the first tour we’ve ever done, it’s really about us as DJs. It was really fun to get away from what people expect of us.

I think one of the things that really stands out about Club Quarantine is that it really showcases DJing. There’s been such a focus on production in the scene lately. A lot of young DJs are so focused on releasing track after track and you end up in a situation where they might not be as good as a DJ. So what advice would you give to DJs starting out right now to be better?

JJ: Invite friends over on a Saturday night and just DJ for them.

NOT A WORD : Immerse yourself in the history of the genre you love to play. Find out where melodic techno came from and where tech house came from and maybe adopt some of those ideas from those records to push those things forward. DJing is like going to the gym. The more you put in, the more you get out.

JJ: I think it’s also important to go see someone who inspires you. Watch a DJ play a five or six hour set and see what it sounds like. It’s true with festivals and club shows these days, 90 minutes seems like the longest thing you’ve ever seen. 90 minutes is not seven hours.

I think the most impressive sets I’ve ever seen were those open-to-closes and the marathon streams.

NOT A WORD : We need to do some more open sets at the close.

JJ: Just like a G&D only instead of Classics Only. Literally only the music we made because we never did that. Just us up there all night.

That would be really cool. I would like that to happen.

NOT A WORD : Well, you know what, actually, that would be dope because that’s what we did on Club Quarantine #200.

Gabriel and Dresden at EDC Las Vegas 2022
Photo credit: Joe Chung Photography

There have been so many episodes, it’s amazing. Kind of a really quick shift. We’re here at EDC and you guys have a really long relationship playing this festival over the years. I think the first time you played was in 2006?

NOT A WORD : I think it was 2006. We were in Holland that summer, and we had to fly to America to DJ. It was fun.

Considering EDC as a festival, as a brand, becoming this global giant. What do you guys think of Electric Daisy Carnival’s growth over the past three decades?

JJ: There’s something about it that they always do well. There’s a reason people keep coming back, and it’s on the rise. I think Pasquale’s inspiration comes from the right place.

NOT A WORD : Yeah. Pasquale goes to Burning Man, and he’s been doing it since the early 90s. He’s got a passion for it. As if that were insane, look at the magnitude of this one.

It’s massive. I think the only real comparison is Burning Man.

JJ: I think I did my freshman year at Burning Man in 1995. He was probably there around the same time and was inspired – I went to make music, and he went to festivals.

Speaking of Burning Man, I saw you play Opulent Temple years ago. It was one of my favorite sets I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Have you ever planned to go back and play again?

NOT A WORD : Yes. I started late, so I made a rule – if I’m alive that year and have two working legs, I’ll go to Burning Man. Because why miss it? We narrowly missed it for two years, and I wasn’t up for going to see the rogue Burning Man.

I mean, I need the portable potties.

NOT A WORD : I think you must be one of the hardcore people who knows how to survive in this really tough environment. There’s some creature comforts when you go for true burn, but with rogue burn, you’re right there on the perimeter.

I’ve been there for a number of years, and Burning Man is very special, but do you feel like there’s a different energy when you were playing there years ago compared to here at EDC?

JJ: It’s definitely different to play here. Not to mention the quality of anything, you can just say that it makes sense that if you put something in Vegas, the entertainment hub where everyone can easily go, compared to some part of the desert that you need to bring out all your water and food which are very expensive – it’s not practical.

People work harder to get to Burning Man. They just have to plan more, so as a result you kind of get a more intense self-selection process. I feel like there’s a younger audience at EDC than at Burning Man as well; that’s quite a big difference. So I think those are two different things. I wouldn’t be surprised if people here end up graduating from Burning Man.

Yeah, much like The Gorge takes time to get there and so the journey makes it a very special place. It’s almost time for your set, so thanks guys for chatting with me!

JJ & JJ: Thanks!

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