Interview with Mike Duz (PHW Mix by Mike Duz Included)
Well everyone we are extremely excited to bring you yet another review, this time with one of progressive house’s most admirable rising stars as well as one of the youngest to date. Ladies and gentleman we bring you the young progressive house star David Cknsk…better known to the progressive community as “Mike Duz” as well as his new alias “Matt Fax”. Let’s see what this talented young producer has to say about life, music, his two aliases and his future in the EDM industry.
PHW: Hello there David!! Let me start off by saying what huge fans we are of your work here at PHW. You have a real knack for pumping out some incredible tunes. So to kick this interview off why don’t you tell us a little about yourself? Who is David Cknsk and where did this alias Mike Duz come from? Also some people may have noticed that you have been doing work under a new alias called Matt Fax…care to tell us about that alias and what the differences are between these two incredible aliases?
Mike Duz: So yeah basically it’s not Cknsk, just shorted my name on Facebook so they won’t sell my informations, or they will sell false informations ahah! So Mike Duz came from Mike Dub, but as it was already taken, I replaced the ‘d’ by a ‘z’ and that’s why Duz! For Matt Fax, Matt is taken from Mat Zo, add a second ‘t’, and Fax as a wink to Jeremy Olander’s track ‘Fairfax’, that i was listening while trying to find a new name. It’s basically for Progressive and Tech Progressive stuff. Mike Duz is more Electro and Big-Room now.
PHW: So where does your story in music start? Do you have any main inspirations? What drove you to decide to become a producer?
Mike Duz: I started first as a DJ. At my home, on Virtual DJ. It was quite shit i must say. But one day, I discovered the french DJ Joachim Garraud, and then I bought his Invasion album in 2008, with the DVD. In that one, there was some production tips, so I saw what he did, how he proceeded to make this sound, that drums… Then, I said ‘yeah, I want to produce, that seems cool’. So after I ‘bought’ Ableton (big up to my good friend BitTorrent haha) , and started to work. Then bought my DJ set-up too. My main inspiration is Eric Prydz for Progressive/Techno, and Hardwell and Nicky Romero for Electro-House/Big-room among others.
PHW: How would you describe your sound as an artist? What truly inspires you to make the incredible music that you do? Is there any immediate source of inspiration that you feed off of regularly such as family, friends or spouse?
Mike Duz: For me, Mike Duz is more Electro mixed with Club music right now, and Matt Fax is Progressive mixed with Techno. I try to put what i feel in all my productions. Nobody in my family or friends inspire me directly, excepted maybe my girlfriend, as i done some tracks for her under the Matt Fax alias, as ‘Magnificent Night’ who outs on Macarize on June 4, or another named after her name ‘Léa’, who will be released on Neuroscience soon i hope! But also ‘Dedicated’ as Mike Duz, who was my best selling track for a moment! Girls are very inspiriting i must say.
PHW: Now for some technical questions for other producers out there as well as fans who are generally interested in your setup. What do you use for your productions as far as software? Do you use any hardware? Are there any specific plug-ins or interfaces that you particularly like and tend to use?
Mike Duz: I only use Ableton Live 8 and Sylenth1 as vst (use it for all my tracks), all running on a MacBook Pro, with Fostex PM 0.5 as speakers. No hardware excepted a keyboard from M-Audio. As effects or additional plugs, I only use ‘The Glue’ for modify drums n stuff, and Ozone plug for mastering.
PHW: Give us a quick idea of what you do when creating a new track. What are the processes you take and in what order do you usually work when finding new ideas and inspiration?
Mike Duz: You know I listen a lot of diverse music, Techno, House, Tech house, Progressive, Electro, Dubstep, Rap, Rnb, Rock, so I have a lot of inspiration (or not). So when I have, I begin most of time by a melody, then I add a bass, drums, and try to construct around that. But sometimes I begin with drums or bass, it depends. For example, sometimes to find a melody, I remake some tracks I like, then i change keys and doing my own melody.
PHW: What is a normal day in the life of David Cknsk like? Are there any hobbies or sports you are into that tend to peel you away from the computer screen on a regular basis? Also how do you find time for school and music production at the same time?
Mike Duz: So basically I’m still at school, I take train each days to Limoges (where my school is located). Don’t do sports or having hobbies, still behind the computer, even at school, as it’s a school where i learn ‘electronic’, so we are a lot behind computers! I only have the weekend to produce, and the holidays, but sometimes I make loops in the evening when i’m back from school (and chatting with friends and girlfriend in the same time), bit difficult sometimes but i can hold it!
PHW: For the short amount of time that you have been in the music industry you have really made some headway with your productions and have attained a good name for yourself so far. What can we expect from you in the near future and what can we expect from your other alias Matt Fax?
Mike Duz: I’m now changing the Mike Duz style to electro-house. So yeah, fan will say : we want progressive, that’s why I have the Matt Fax alias. So a lot of releases are coming under Matt Fax, as a remix for Kobana on Silk Digital this summer, a release on Neuroscience with two tracks including the mighty ‘Léa’ i talked about, ‘Magnificent Night’ on Macarize in June, a remix for Dunkan on WeRecommendRecords, and a lot of new tracks still seeking home. For Mike Duz, I don’t have so much releases coming, excepted the Transition EP on WeRecommendRecords, and a release on Emotive Sounds who will come soon, I hope. But I’m also working on a new project at the moment, I don’t know if I’ll keep Mike Duz, the change to Electro House/Big Room is maybe not a good idea, as I did Progressive for 2 years with this name. I’ll see!
PHW: If you had to choose 5 different DJ’s that you admire and respect the most, who would they be?
1. Eric Prydz – Love his music and his DJ sets are always magic! Still new Ids to discover.
2. Laidback Luke – The ‘i play 30 tracks in 1h, problem?’ guy. His music his cool but his sets are.. without words! What a man behind the decks.
3. Joachim Garraud – Promotion for French Djs. First DJ to mix audio, video, and do live at the same time!
4. Sébastien Léger – I sometimes listen to his sets, great way to discover new tunes, even if it’s not my style!
5. I don’t listen to a lot of DJ sets so my list will stop here. I don’t include deadmau5 as he do live and not Djing.
PHW: Now the same question but pertaining to producers this time, who would they be?
1. Mindset – My good friend, always surprise me at each track! Had the pleasure to do a remix with him, he’s a cool guy imo.
2. Hardwell – My Electro/Big-room god. That’s all i have to say.
3. Eric Prydz – Progressive House master. The only guy who can make me almost cry by listening one of his tracks.
4. deadmau5 – Not a big fan of his last tunes but second Progressive god.
5. Nicky Romero – Electro house master imo.
PHW: What are the top 5 tracks that you are truly enjoying right now?
1. Favright – Funcats : great complextro track, available in free, i recommend to all Electro House lovers!
2. Dyro & Rene Kuppens – Raid : Does I need to say it’s a bomb with the biggest drop ever?
3. Nicky Romero – When Love Calls : A bit old, but still a pleasure to listen to it!
4. John Dahlback – You’re In My Heart (Electrokid,Timofey & Dave Lambert Remix) : * no words *
5. Nyx Syrinx Nelio – Overdrive : one of my favorites at the moment.
PHW: As many of us already know you also are a DJ as well as a producer. Are there any shows you have plans for in the future on any radio stations?
Mike Duz: I have an upcoming guestmix on Party107.com on May 23rd, it will a Matt Fax one. For Mike Duz side, no guestmix or gigs planned for the moment. I’ll let you know on my Facebook fanpage (http://facebook.com/mikeduzfp)
PHW: If you were given a glimpse into the future, where would you see yourself? What accomplishments would you like to see if given this glimpse of yourself?
Mike Duz: Honestly I don’t know. I just want to see my music growing, and want to see more people enjoy my music. That’s what I want only.
PHW: Well that about wraps things up here, we truly appreciate your time in completing this interview with us. Are there any final words you would like to say to all of the fans at PHW?
Mike Duz: I just want to thanks all people that supported me since the beginning, my family, my friends, my girlfriend, all labels who released me as mau5trap or WeRecommendRecords, my ‘manager’ Chris Type, and finally all the ProgressiveHouseWorldwide team for this interview!
Once again thank you so much for this amazing opportunity to do this interview, we would also like to thank you for the PHW Mix you did for this interview…it is incredible and really goes the extra mile to show your appreciation. Many thanks again Mike and we are sure everyone enjoys this mix, see you all next time!!
Download Link for Mike Duz PHW Mix: http://www.sendspace.com/file/t5g1ya
- Third Party vs. Zombie Nation – Feel 400 (Pixel Cheese Reboot) [CDR]
- Favright – First Blood [Plasma.Digital]
- John Dahlback – You’re In My Heart (Electrokid, Timofey & Dave Lambert Remix) [Mutants]
- Dyro & Rene Kuppen – Raid [Revealed]
- Sidney Samson – Get Low [Rock Da Houze]
- Avesta – Rollin’ [Mixmash]
- JoeySuki – Kiwistick [Revealed]
- Nick Swartz – ID (Shorted Version) [CDR]
- TV Rock ft. Rudy – Been A Long Time (Laidback Luke Remix) [Axtone]
- Mike Duz – The Rave [CDR]
- Nyx Syrinx Nelio – Overdrive [Vicious]
- Henrik B ft. Rudy – Leave A Light On [Axtone]
May 14th, 2012