The talents of two of house music’s heavyweights have come together, igniting an explosive combination of beat and sound, as they bring to life their instinct for infectious, melodically infused, soul-powered and driving progressive house.
The founder of Ready Mix Records, Adel Ghandour a.k.a. BiG AL, along with his partner Levente Szabo, commonly known as Human8 and one half of the well-known Hungarian group called Marrakech, have joined forces to bring you the best in funky, modern progressive house.
Music armed with heartfelt melodies, pulsating grooves, big room orientated beats and chunky basslines that will have dancefloors elated in rhythm.
After an introduction through mutual friends, a series of cyber-encounters, and a meeting of the musical minds, the union between BiG AL and Human8 was created.
They both shared the same goal of putting out quality records in record time, offering the greater musical public their respective efforts into one superpower.
This partnership has brought to life intelligently layered grooves, hard-hitting beats and sound engineering at its finest.
The visceral quality of their music reaches out to the universality in every listener. Through its intensity, their music undeniably brings about the sensation of a catharsis.
Already hard at work on offering solid quality, Beat Factory have remixed heavy industry players such as (John Creamer & Stephane K, Davi and Cid Inc. to name but a few).
They have also sealed many record deals with some of the biggest labels in progressive house music history such as (Global Underground, Baroque Records, Ministry of Sound, Proton Music, Harem Records, Ready Mix Records, NightShade Music and Outta Limits to name but a few)
Beat Factory will undoubtedly unleash many future anthems and supply absolute satisfaction for a strong musical thirst.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled as the masterminds behind Beat Factory will be pumping out beats to a dancefloor near you.
Please check out our exclusive interview (below) with Beat Factory which was completed just prior to the release of their brand new LP ‘Revelation’.
1. How old are you guys and how long have you been producing / DJing?
Beat Factory: BIG AL is 40 years old, been DJing since 1989 and producing since 1999. Levente is 30 Years old, been DJing and producing since 2003
2. How did you guys get involved in electronic music? How did you discover your love for it and how did you meet and begin collaborating together.
Beat Factory: At 15/16 years old, BiG AL inherited his parent’s record collection which included everything from Disco to Funk to Jazz, blues and R&B, he then moved to England where he discovered the UK Acid House / Rave scene and in 1991 he visited the Sound Factory night club / bar in NYC with DJ’s like Masters at Work in the Bar and Junior Vasquez on the main floor and the rest is history. He was hooked!!!
Levi was 14 years old when he started to listen electronic music. He was at Club Stargate in Gyor 1997, and what he heard there was amazing.
We met over the internet, Levi used to send AL all his demos for release consideration on AL’s label Ready Mix Records and AL loved one of Levi’s remixes as Human8 and asked Levi if he interested in collaboration on some tunes and Levi suggested that we create a new formation instead of collaborating and the chemistry between us was the right one to make music together. We understood each other, we had mutual respect for each other’s styles and production quality and we knew what each of us had to offer.
3. Talk a bit about electronic music in your respective cities? How is the scene there and do you get an opportunity to play in your home city very often?
Beat Factory: Montreal is a great place for Electronic music with awesome and world worthy clubs such as Stereo, Circus, Salon Daome, Peopl and more, the city is always buzzing with inspiring talent that flock in from all around the world. The city has also exported many great talents such as Tiga, Fred Everything, Mistress Barbara and many more to great international heights. Big AL is a resident at Circus Afterhours and plays there as often as he’s back in the city because these days he spends lots of time on the road playing in cities such as Beirut, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Amman, Ibiza, Casablanca, and more…
Gyõr, Hungary is not the best place for this style. Some people try to create something. It has 2 clubs in this style, Levi used to play at sometimes.
4. So you guys are based on different parts of the globe, the production process is obviously a matter of passing files back and forth but do you ever get a chance to work together in the studio?
Beat Factory: Yes we do pass files back and forth but we also use Skype while producing so we can talk to each other live and produce things on the spot as if we are together in the studio. It’s a matter of getting used to it, at first it was weird but we got used to it and things flow very well right now. We talk, we amend, we add, we change, we fix, we mix and we create everything live through Skype. We did meet on a few occasions for gigs but in different countries where neither of us had their studio available. AL’s Studio is in Montreal and Levi’s studio is in Hungary. And we met in Beirut.
5. Is there a Beat Factory sound? and if so how would you describe it?
Beat Factory: Yes of course, BF sound has to be on the progressive tip with lots of Dancefloor energy. Rhythmic basslines, melodies, cinematic soundscapes, grooves and soul. It has to also have a deep edge but varies in genres from deep, tech, progressive, minimal house and some techno and downtempo/chill out music as well.
6. You had the great opportunity to remix John Creamer & Stephane K ‘I Wish You Were Here’ earlier this year. That’s a pretty daunting task, how did the project come about and how did you go about tackling that remix? tell us a bit about the production process o that one?
Beat Factory: Well that’s a long story but here we go, “I Wish You Were Here” was a favourite track for both of us and after finding out that the singer “Nkemdi” behind the vocals had died, we decide to do a somewhat of a bootleg and dedicate it to her soul. RIP. So we bought the acapella and the one that was available in the market only had the spoken word vox and not the full chorus etc…. so AL found an old Lexicon Avenue Remix which had the chorus solo in the break and sampled it. We then produced our remix and slept on it for a while, AL was playing it around the world and passed it to some of his A-List DJ friends and slowly but surely, after a year had passed by, he decided to drop a line to his old buddy John Creamer to ask him if he could license the song and release it on his Ready Mix label with a bunch of new remixes dedicated to Nkemdi’s soul. John agreed and the work began. We got the new parts with everything and reproduced our remix with the Original vocals and AL went on to get more remixers on board to produce a huge pack. After that, AL had sent a request to Omid 16B to ask him if he could re-release his old remix which was initially released on the now defunct Alternative Route Recordings and that conversation sparked a whole new project between AL & Omid 16B for his Alola and Sex On Wax labels where Omid decided to use our BF Remix and a few others on his labels in return for AL using the Omid 16B remix on Ready Mix. AL & Omid also collaborated on one of the remixes credited as the BiG AL vs Omid 16B Remix and was released on both Alola and Ready Mix Records. It was a great collaboration between everyone involved for a very humble and warm loving cause. To remember Nkemdi’s amazing voice and soul. RIP Nkemdi. 🙁
7. Your new album ‘Revelation’ is out this week, you must be quite happy to see it finally hit the shops. How did the album come together, was it something you guys set out to do a year or two ago and just started working on tracks specifically for that or did it kind of come together almost by accident if you know what I mean?
Beat Factory: Yes we are extremely happy about it, and no it didn’t come by accident. After having hundreds of Originals and remixes out in the market, we decided that it was time for us to put an album together and we were both very excited to start working on it. So the production process began and we started producing tracks specifically for the album and 6 months later, we had over 20 tracks and began the elimination process. We called it “Revelation” because it was very easy to come up with ideas for it, as if the inspiration was revealed to us by a higher energy source. We were channelling ideas and we couldn’t ask for a better flow. Hence the title of the album.
8. Now that the albumis released and you can sit back and listen to it how close is it to the original vision you had for it when you started it?
Beat Factory: We think we nailed it and we are very happy with the outcome.
9. The first single from the album ‘Big City Siren’ was released a few weeks back with two great remixes from Andre Sobota, will there be other tracks from the album getting released with new remixes? and if so what can you tell us about those?
Beat Factory: Yes I think there will be a great list of remixers for future singles off the album but we don’t necessarily know who will remix what yet. I think that Keith at Baroque Records is more aware of what’s happening in this case. I know that DJ Samer from Pangea Recordings is working on a Remix but no idea who else is working.
10. What’s happened to the genres in electronic music? Artists, DJs and fans are constantly complaining about everything being miscategorised, where did everything go wrong?
Beat Factory: Nothing happened, everything is still the same but we think that there are no longer good genre categorization managers working for online shops. At first between 2005 & 2009 Beatport used to amend and change any genre they thought was misrepresented by the labels that uploaded the music and re-categorized it in the specific genre they thought was best fit for the music. Now, they allow labels and artists to decide the genre they want without any control whatsoever. You can have a Drum & Bass track in the Deep House Genre and there’s no one controlling it. That’s where things went wrong. Lack of control of what goes where. They need to bring back those Genre managers to oversee the Genre wars.
11. How often do you turn down remixes? and why do you generally not take on specific remixes?
Beat Factory: When we first started, we never turned down any remixes but as the years gone by, we started receiving more and more requests and didn’t have time to juggle everything since both of us run labels, have solo careers, gigs etc…. So, we decided to take on remixes that inspire us and we can almost see and hear the final product. If the vision and inspiration is not there, then we have to turn them down. It’s never about the money they offer but 100% about the music, the inspiration and whether or not it’s in line with our musical vision. So we do turn down a good number of remixes these days. Not sure about the exact number, but at least 2 to 3 out of 5 remixes get turned down.
12. When the production process gets tough what gets you through it?
Beat Factory: Luckily this has never happened to us yet cause we do feed and inspire each other on many levels but the solution to this kind of situation would be to take a small break, get busy with other things in our lives and come back fresh and recharged with new ideas. That usually does the trick for our solo stuff so we wouldn’t be surprised if it did work for our duo careers.
13. Has Beat Factory ever played live and if not is this something you’d like to do?
Beat Factory: Yes we did play a couple of time at one of the hottest night clubs in Beirut, Lebanon called B018. We were so inspired that we even did a track called B018 and released it on Nueva Digital. It was a great experience and we had finally the chance to meet each other in person. We also took the opportunity to do some press shots while we were at it. And yes, of course it is something we’d like to do in the future when the demand and the right time.
14. What does the core of your current studio consist of and what are some of your favourite programs to use?
MAC Pro with Logic Pro / Wavelab / Ableton / FL Studio11
PC with FL Studio
Echo Layla 8-8 SoundCard
EMU 1212m soundcard
M-AUDIO BX5a Monitors
Mackie HR824 Monitors
Access Virus C Analog Synth
Novation Supernova Analog Synth
Novation Nova Desktop Analog Synth
Roland Juno 106
MOTU Midi Express
Lexicon MX 300 Efx Processor
DBX 162 SL Compressor / Limiter
Behringer Compressor / Gate
Novation Bass Station
BBE 882 Sonic Maximizer
Electrix Filter Factory
Moog Minitaur Analog Bass Synth
Lots and Lots of VST Plugins
15. What do you draw inspiration from when working on a new track or remix? Are you influenced by the sounds of other producers when you are in the studio? Who are some of your favorites? and who are some of the best undiscovered talents in your eyes?
Beat Factory: Yes of course. The writing and sound selection skills are very important for us and the better the original sounds, the better our remix sounds. There are a few producers that we just love their work and our remixes of their music are always top notch due to fact that we are very inspired by their Original Work. Some of our favourites would be Stan Kolev, Eelke Kleijn, Jody Wisternoff, John Monkmann, Martin Roth, Ricky Ryan, Johan Vermeulen, Lank, and the list goes on really. But Stan Kolev has to get an honourable mention.
16. What artist or track would you love to remix?
Beat Factory: We’d love to remix something from John Monkmann or Martin Roth at this point.
17. Beat Factory Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Food: Sushi, Indian, Thai, Dim Sum and Lebanese Mezze for AL & Cheeses, Broths & Soups, and Chicken for Levi.
Drink: Water, Coffee, Diet Pepsi and Fresh Juices for AL and Water, Fresh Orange Juice, Milk and Wine for Levi.
TV Show: Breaking Bad, Seinfeld, and Anything on the Discovery Science for AL and The Bible 2013, Tom & Jerry, Monk, Columbo, Magnum for Levi.
Movie: Scarface, American Beauty, 5th Element, Pulp Fiction, Fight Club and many more for AL, The Bible Movies, The Postman, The Renaissance man for Levi.
Nightclub: Fabric London, Stereo Montreal, Space Ibiza & Miami, Bergain Berlin, 360 Dubai.
DJ: For AL it’s Danny Tenaglia and Levi Sasha & Digweed.
18. What do you do outside of music? Do you have a regular day job and what do you like to do for fun when you’re not working on music?
Beat Factory: Levi Likes Reading the Bible, be with my girlfriend, making photos. AL likes to spend time with his wife and son, works in real estate on weekdays, and road trips to visit different cities and cultures.
19. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would be your last track be?
Beat Factory: Bottom Heavy by Danny Tenaglia. Just Look over your shoulder cause from now on, I’m gonna be right behind you. 😉
20. What can we expect to see from Beat Factory in 2014?
Beat Factory: Hopefully more gigs, more remixes, more Originals and we start working on our second Album to finalize for 2015. But 2014 is looking great so far and we got lots of new stuff under our sleeves.
Huge thanks to Beat Factory for taking the time to do this interview and thanks to Keith at Baroque for setting it up.
Beat Factory’s ‘Revelation’ LP is out now on Baroque, you can purchase the release: here