Our first K / D feature came from New York based Dj Qu many moons ago on his Fabric London debut alongside Jus Ed and Fred P. Since then Dj Qu has raised his profile and his Strength music label, learnt valuable lessons in the dj box concerning the energy and freedom on the dance floor and now we welcome Qu’s first album Gymnastics on his Strength Music imprint.
Dj Qu used to be a dancer on the other side of the Dj box and Gymnastics is a body off work that represents an artist pushing out ideas, finishing off some thinking and finishing off a certain chapter that comes with producing and completing an album. There is definitely a certain tension and rhythm within the works that feed and inspire the fluency, flow, dialogue, and feeling of the album which will reward over several listens. There is a specific vocal ‘I Bet You Can’t Right Now’ that will sonically arrest and traverse’s your consciousness into thought whilst underpinned by a deadly dark groove. You will also find some subtle piano workouts contrasting the timbre and gritty drum programming that Qu is slowly becoming recognisable for. There is a very special and insightful conversation between two people presented around the middle of the mix which draws some enlightenment and context to the body of work which overall sets a personal benchmark for Qu to build and progress from, and as stated below I too would love to see this album road tested at the Paradise Garage in its hay day just to document the reaction on the dance floor and all that jazz. The heat from the New York House community will become more and more apparent going from strength to strength and Dj Qu’s album reaffirms this distinguished period.
1. How long was the album in production?
The album actually was in production mentally for a while. I would say a couple of years. It only took me a few months to get it together physically. I’m happy that I finally made it come together and that I was also able to make it presentable.
2. Where did you get the album name from?
The title Gymnastics was chosen because the term best reflects the goal I was after with this album. All the tracks & music on this particular album are pretty much dance tracks with different approaches or takes but still dance tracks. This also goes on in actual gymnastics. There are different aerials, layouts, tucks, body rotations etc in gymnastics but it’s still all gymnastics.
3. Can you describe the journey the album represents?
I think journey wise the album is pretty much open for different ventures in Dance. It’s not specific to one thing, one place or one feeling. There is freedom in this album to journey in any direction one feels. Music should always do that. It’s a universal language.
4. Can you provide insight into why tracks 4, 7, 9, 10, 11 are named so?
Track 4 was named “BabyLuv” because I did that track with some of my younger family members so Baby Luv fit the mood. Track 7 was named “Thrilla” because it has such a scary sense to me so Thrilla was appropriate. 9 was named “Prayer” because it’s actually reciting a prayer in the spanish language. 10 was named “Aerial” because that’s what Jus-Ed was doing when he made that track..haha. 11 was named “Opened Arms” because the feeling of the track felt like it had opened arms ready to grab me up.
5. When you hear the album what do you feel?
I feel happy that it’s completed.
6. What hardware software helped you realise your ideas?
No hardware/software help me realize my idea. That’s just not possible in my opinion.
7. Which people helped the project come alive and become reality?
Basically everyone around me, Everyone!
8. Where one space would you like to road test this album loud and why?
The Paradise Garage, I would like to see what that crowd would think of my music.
9. Any tour dates?
No tour dates because I don’t really do tours right now. I am going to be visiting some countries in Europe for the month of May though.
10. What’s next for Dj Qu?
Dj Qu will be doing more personal music for Strength and remixes for other labels in 2011, Lookout for that.
11. Can you take it any deeper than this?
I never really thought about it in that way.
TRACKLIST & MIX:
3.Mud the Congo
7.Mixing Room (What We’ve Concluded Thus Far interlude inside)
8.Step Back Up
12.Opened Arms-Bonus-(unreleased original version not included in the album)