New York City – No matter how much NYC’s nightlife tastes evolve – toward trance or trap or bass, for instance – it seems that there’s always a place for the deeper flavors of house music. Case in point: Roger Silver, whose meticulously musical tracks offer supple dancefloor grooves for the hips and ethereal melodies for the head.
His most-recent EP, “Forests,” on Germany’s revered Plastic City imprint, features a trio of deep-tech tracks that range from melodic and bewildering (“Magic Forest”) to richly layered and hypnotic (“Paradise Found”). Devoutly deep, wildly atmospheric and techy at times, Silver’s sounds deliver the richest, headiest elements of modern house music.
Also, his SilverCast mix/podcast, which recently released its 41st edition, offers a wonderful hour of deep-house goodness, featuring up-and-coming production talent. As he prepared to spin at Manhattan’s Gospël club on Saturday night, we caught up with talented New York DJ/producer Roger Silver.
How long have you been DJing? What got you into it?
I started my wonderful adventure in 2012. Music has always been and continues to be my singular greatest passion in life outside of my family. Funny, in school I was the guy telling everyone to listen to alternative music, whether it was early R.E.M., King Crimson, Brand X or Jean-Michel Jarre. I have always had such a strong passion for unique and well-written music regardless of the genre. I would say DJing took all of this to the next level.
I read that you’re a drummer – does that inform your DJing at all? If so, how?
I was a drummer until my early twenties, playing in various cover bands, earning $20 a gig. Keeping time as a drummer is the main thing, and I was decent at it, which helps with beat-matching and the pairing and mixing of tracks.
Which DJ/artists are you digging these days? Is your sound influenced by them?
I enjoy the sounds of Finnebassen, Bedouin, David August, Black Coffee, Tale of Us and Adriatique. Each of them has unique and special qualities, but in my opinion are at the head of their class. My vibe brings forward these sounds, accentuating flowing and rhythmic melodic techno, Afro-house and deep-house elements. I would say that the sounds of Bedouin and Black Coffee are the closest comparisons of what I play live. I gravitate to a more progressive sound, which is tribal at times.
What’s the process for putting together your SilverCast?
When I set out, I always think first about how the vibe would be perceived by people sitting in their living room on a Sunday afternoon. In other words, I try to gear my mix for listening at any given time of the day. SilverCast is meant to offer a more relaxed, but driving and upbeat collection of songs from up-and-coming producers. There is so much incredible music out in the world today, and only a small percentage is ever heard. I am trying to raise that bar in my own way. The creation of this mix gives me so much pleasure because I never know how it will turn out until its finished. It is a pure labor of love.
In the DJ booth, what’s your platform?
I play three Pioneer CDJs and a Pioneer mixer, either the DJM-2000 or DJM-900. I love playing manually with just a USB. There is something truly inspiring and magical about mixing the music yourself.
What’s your general process for making tracks?
I work with Logic Pro, and usually, the process starts with a reference track in keeping with my vibe. I begin with laying down the bassline and kick drum, and slowly layer it with top-end sounds. In particular, I love guitar and violin, which brings a warm and distinctive element of sound.
What new music should we anticipate from you?
My forthcoming work, “Into the Clouds,” has guitar riffs interjected throughout the composition. I also completed “Circling,” a more chill-out and even track featuring the stunning vocals of Gaby Nesmith. I will release these works soon, either on my label, Subdivision Music, or another label. We are shopping the tracks now and will see how they are received. I am pretty excited about them.
What are some of your most favorite recent gigs?
I’ve been playing at Gospël here in New York recently and I enjoy the people and the energy they bring. The crowd there loves all music, so when I play the music I love, it’s always met with appreciation, which brings me a lot of happiness. Juriël Zeligman and his team do an incredible job of creating good vibes, which translate into a family atmosphere with people that come to dance and party. I also recently opened for Claptone at Marquee, which was amazing – I opened and closed the event to a sold-out crowd the week after Labor Day. The energy in the room was explosive and the crowd was energized and electric.
So, what should fans expect from you at Gospël when you play there Saturday night? I want to bring my brand of energetic music and energy to the Gospël faithful that I hope creates a memorable night for everyone. I want to bring light and good vibes into their lives with the music I love so dearly.
Roger Silver will play Gospël in New York City Saturday night, Feb. 1. Greiner will open the show. For more information, please visit www.gospelnyc.com.
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