Pleasurekraft, a DJ/production duo that splits time between Stockholm and D.C., isn’t one of the countless big-name acts to hit Miami for Ultra week. But its shows might wind up being among the most compelling, as the group – composed of Kaveh Soroush and Kalle Ronngardh – serves up a devilishly delicious mix of wicked underground beats and crowd-friendly hooks, including its playful track “Tarantula,” which out of nowhere had the most units sold on Beatport in 2010. Soroush talked to Miami.com about Pleasurekraft’s recent wild ride.
How would you describe your sound?
We kind of talked about it jokingly, as you go to a circus, and it’s like, “Oh, isn’t this fun,” and everything’s cool and interesting. But then you go onto this one ride, and all of a sudden you’re not sure if you’re on the right ride, and things kind of take a dark twist. That’s the most visual way I would describe our music. Technically speaking, it’s groove-heavy tech-house, and we try to work hooks into all of our tracks, which I think is something a lot of tech-house tracks lack. They’re very circular and minimalist, and you can walk out of a club after listening to three hours of someone’s set, and you might be able to hum one or two tracks. I grew up in the ’80s, Kalle same thing, and for us that pop sentiment seeps into our music, where we’re not happy just having a track have a great groove. OK, now we have to build on that, to make people be able to say “the track that went…” and be able to hum a melody. It’s not these big, dumb, commercial dance tracks, but at the same time, it’s not these uber-underground, “I’m too cool to have a melody” tracks, either.
What kind of feeling do you want your music to create?
That’s an interesting question – I’m not sure. I guess like I said before, fun but with this dark undertone that bubbles up to the surface and goes back down. Euphoria and dread, simultaneously.
What can we expect from your shows at WMC?
We have a lot of new tracks – for the last three-and-a-half months, we’ve just been holed up in the studio in Stockholm working, so we’re really excited to take these tracks out on the road. Miami’s gonna hear a ton of tracks that aren’t gonna be out till April. What better stage than Miami? It’s just got an awesome vibe.
What other shows would you like to check out that week?
Claude von Stroke is one – what a unique niche he’s carved out with Dirty Bird and Mothership within the dance scene. And if I’m anywhere near where Nic Fanciulli‘s playing, I always try to check him out. He’s one of the guys I’ve looked up to for years. And we’re playing the quote-unquote closing party with Sander Kleinenberg, who back in 2003, 2004, 2005 – I was listening to his Renaissance compilations to death. So to be playing the same party with him is just … he’s one of those guys who always walks this line between underground and commercial, and stays relevant. It’s very hard to do, and I don’t think a lot of DJs can do it well, but he has.
What do you think of WMC and Ultra splitting?
I hate it. I hate it. I think Ultra wanted exclusivity on some of their artists, and they’ve been talking and talking about it, and this year they said, “We want these artists exclusively – if they play here, they’re not playing any other WMC parties.” And I think the WMC guys were like, “Whoa – well, screw you guys then. We’re gonna do our own thing, two weeks earlier.” So as sad as it is, I think it shows that Ultra has a lot more pull than anyone imagined, because if you look at all the parties, 80 percent of them start during Ultra week. And I’ve already read that people from both camps are saying that this year was a mistake, and next year is gonna be the same week again.