Interview: PBR Streetgang

Releases on Crosstown Rebels, Skint Records, Polydor Records and other top imprints, alongside their Rinse FM residency, have put PBR Streetgang in a pretty positive place looking forward.

The Leeds duo recently returned to their own KURTZ label, releasing their 3 track Sendeturm EP – which also includes a brilliant remix from Johnny Aux.

We spoke with the pair to chat about the new release, how they handle studio sessions as a duo, any advice they might have for aspiring producers, and what projects they have coming up. Get the full discussion below.

You recently returned to your own KURTZ imprint for the release of your Sendeturm EP, talk us through the tracks in your own words?

These works were sort of imagination pieces in a way. They’re all written as if you were listening to them in a certain setting, real or imaginary. I think it’s always nicer if the listener imagines there own place these pieces are from as their vision could be very different from ours and thats great, I wouldn’t want to spoil that. That said, ‘Sendeturm’ is the name of the the radio transmission / lookout tower above the Love International festival site in Croatia which is a really beautiful place.

And it also includes a remix from Johnny Aux, what was your first thought when his final version came back?

Oooof!! It was even better than we could have hoped for! Quinn is a true master of his craft, and he has such a distinct sound – we were so honoured he did a remix for us.

Releasing on your own label is always a challenge, as there is no external force to question the quality of the tracks, do you ever second guess a release when it’s coming out on KURTZ?

It’s always tough to decide which records to put out yourself, but once we’ve decided not really no. There are two of us, so we have to both be confident and believe in what we’re doing, or we just don’t do it at all.

And working as a duo, how do you manage studio sessions when you each want to take an idea in a different direction?

We’ve been working together for a long time, over 15 years, so we’ve crafted a good workflow by now. Usually we know what we want to make before we get in the studio but there are still some days where it’s more of a R&D experimental session if we see different directions for how the track can develop. We then save off the various different versions and work on them in our own time, but that is pretty rare to be honest.

How about DJing? Do you play b2b or split the set time up into larger chunks?

Its really depends, if its a short set then back-to-back all the way, but if we’re playing all night long we might go 20-30 mins each to begin with to get ourselves in the mood and then go from there. We like to have an effects unit and sampler if possible as well to really make the most out of the set, and to do things you can’t really do if there was just one of us playing.

And on the topic of DJing, we’ve caught a few of your monthly shows on Rinse FM, do you approach a radio show any differently to playing in a club?

Yes, slightly in regards to the track selections. We really enjoy playing ‘across the board’ so to speak, but have learnt there are certain tracks, sounds and styles that just don’t have the impact on the radio compared to say within a club environment.

Also, our Rinse FM show is a daytime slow running from 2pm-4pm, so we’re mindful of that. We both purposely buy and collect records/music that are radio and club specific. It’s fun listening to new music and being able to categorise where it will fit. Overall it just means our record collections are growing with even more depth!

In the past you’ve released on some top labels, including Polydor, Domino, Crosstown Rebels and Skint, what advice would you give to anyone that’s hoping to one day release on these kinds of imprints?

I guess first and foremost, perseverance. Followed by acceptance that there are always going to be knock backs. We always adopted the attitude of ‘what have we got to lose’. And If we get a ’no’, it’s no real biggy!

Having confidence in what you’ve made goes a long way, although that’s of course easier said than done, especially when you’re starting out. Honestly, just keep on going – that sounds so basic, but just keep aiming for that dream label. If you want it enough, it will happen!

And what can you tell us about any forthcoming projects you might have in the pipeline?

So we have an EP coming out on a new imprint by Lars from Dam Swindle (formally Detroit Swindle) at the start of next year, followed by another EP on Sprechen which should be dropping before the summer. Also, expect another one on KURTZ at some stage in 2021, and maybe some cheeky edits too.

One last question, how many times have you watched Apocalypse Now?

Hahaha! Enough to be able to recite most of the scenes word for word!

PBR Streetgang’s Sendeturm EP is out now on their KURTZ imprint.