September 11, 2011

MWED Interviews: AlterImage

Recently featured in Time Out New York Magazine as NYC's most sought out DJs, AlterImage have been making massive strides in the industry since they started. With a successful DJ-ing career and stellar productions, they also run AlterImage Recordings - their own label housing some of the best and upcoming artists in the scene.
Here's an exclusive interview with Adam Force & Ian Resler, the duo behind AlerImage. Read on.

1. How did  AlterImage start? The story behing the name & the driving force behind the

Ian: Hi all, and thanks for having us! AI started from two best friend’s shared love
for music and desire to be a part of a community that has brought us so many great
friends and memories. Adam and I met back in college and formed AlterImage once
we graduated and moved back to NYC. The name came from us mixing different words
with A & I (Adam and Ian) and AlterImage was the final product!

Adam: Exactly, and we formed AIR just over 2 years ago with the goal in mind of
creating a world class label where we get to work with many of our friends and people
we admire, as well as continue to support the music we love. A ton of hard work,
planning and things falling into place due to that hard work are what allowed us to get to
where we are now.

2. AlterImage has created a wave in the NYC club scene. Tell us about your musical
journey, the big break that got you guys to where you are?

Ian: NYC is a tough nut to crack; the scene here has had its ups and downs over the
last 10 years since we have been involved. We are very lucky to do what we have done
and can attribute that to networking with clubs, promoters and other artists and I think
playing good music has played a big part too. J

Adam: Like any act we started opening small rooms and just kept trying to build on each
event, release. We have been fortunate to work with some major promotion teams that
hold events at clubs like Pacha and our music fit in well with the nights they would host.
It has been a steady climb as opposed to a big break for us but a major turning point
was our label launch party at Pacha with Dave Seaman, Nick Warren, Randall Joes,
Derek Howell. That was massive!

3. The groundbreaking success in your DJ-ing & productions lead to the start of
AlterImage recordings. You have some of the top names & rising stars such as Cid Inc,
Quivver, Ricky Ryan to name a few. Your thoughts on this amazing artist roster you
have for yourselves.

Ian: Awesome, thanks for that. We love our fans and our artists first and foremost.
We wanted to have a roster of both new and old spanning many genres of house and
techno. We love all forms of this music and wanted the label and artist roster to reflect

Adam: Getting to work with many of these guys is like a dream come true. I remember
listing to Space Maneuvers “Stage 1” on Sasha and Dgweed’s ‘Northern Exposures’
and now we have Quivver on the label. This just makes us very proud and fortunate to
put this music out as it is what we love.

4.  It’s one thing to maintain consistency & quality in the music you produce & play. A
whole different scenario, a harder one maybe to run a label with everyone competing
to stay the best. What was that experience like to start from scratch to make it the
successful powerhouse it is today?
Ian: In the beginning it was very tough, I can’t tell you how long emails would be that
I would send to artists asking them to work with us! I was like ‘trust me, we will do a
good job releasing your music and have big plans!”, lol. Today there is a lot less of that
needed as our track record speaks for itself. We are also approached by many artists
now so that is great as well.

Adam: It’s a huge challenge to stand out from the rest, you have to do your best with
every release, every post, every email, every mix… thinking of new ways to stand
out and create stories that people will be interested in. It’s a constant challenge but
something we love to do. This constant effort along with putting out a premium product
and service is what helps drive AI and AIR.

5. With limitless sub-genres, experimental sounds & emerging technology, EDM has
undergone a long and evolving change. How has the AlterImage, as an act & a label
adapted to these and maintained to keep the sounds fresh consistently?

Ian: Music is like anything that evolves, it starts with one form then it changes, grows
and before you know it you have 30 genres! We love it and don’t get caught up in what
category we are in at Beatport. We have never jumped on any band wagons or worked
with someone just because they are ‘hot’. We put out what we love and that will never

Adam: That being said, our sound has, does and will always evolve. Because we open
for Steve Lawler one week and Cosmic Gate the next we play a wide variety of music
BUT it all keeps the feel and essence of what we love. So playing music to fit that event
based on the venue, crowd, other acts on the bill is what helps us narrow down the
music we spin on that night.

Ian: I am on Beatport at least 2x a week and have over 700 favorite labels and 500
artists I follow and I could tell you the background on all of them. We are also fortunate
to get many great promos almost daily so we are constantly getting fresh music. We simply love this music and I’m always looking for my next favorite track!

6. A brief insight into AlterImage nights.

Adam: We have held our label showcase nights all over NYC from the biggest clubs
like Pacha to the underground venues that go until 6am and have featured artists like
Quivver, Chloe Harris, Lank, Derek Howell, Randall Jones and many more. These
nights are all about the music, friends and promoting what we love.

Ian: Yeah, absolutely… When we DJ for other promotion teams or clubs these are
typically bigger nights with top 10 acts. These are a ton of fun also and a real honor to
play with people we respect and admire. Again, we are all about ass shaking and good
times no matter if it’s our party or run by someone else.

7. On this coming September 10th, you have some of the most phenomenal artists –
Antix/Fiord, Subfractal, Barry Jameison  along with yourselves playing at the AIR record
release party. What are your expectations for what looks to be a very promising night?

Ian: We can’t wait for this one! This is our first AIR night in a while so we are excited to
kick them back off. The line up came together quite naturally as we are all friends and
respect each other as artists. I am expecting some nasty, tech beats and can’t wait to
hear Antix/Fiord live!

Adam: Even if this wasn’t our party I would be there! If you know this music at all,
you know this can be something special. We love all these guys as Ian said and I am
looking forward to dancing almost more than playing!

8. Subractal happens to be one of Erphuns favorites, who also is on your roster. And
Barry Jamieson has worked with industry legends such as Charlie May & Sasha. Tell us
more about Subfractal & Barry.

Ian: Sure, I actually came to know Subfractal from their work with Erphun. They are
made up of Syed and Fahad who lives in NYC and Canada. These guys are super
cool, talented and have some major stuff on the way including a new label in addition
to the already super cool Killing Machine Records. As for Barry, what can I say? The
guy is a genius and class act. Writing music for TV shows, video games, co writing the
Involver series with Sasha and he was nominated for a Grammy! Bazz also runs his
own Circular Sounds Recordings and has a remix coming up on AIR, but SHHHH! you
didn’t here that from me! ;)

9. Coming to Antix/Fiord. These guys are my personal favourites. Love their work. A
little insight into their live setup and performance for the night.

Adam: They are one of our favorites too! Again, such cool dudes as well. Their live set
up consists of laptop, various bits of hardware and a whole lot of energy. It’s very much
an improv set consisting of their many smash hits. I’m looking forward to hearing some
of the new material. On a side note, we also have a new EP coming from the guys next
year so be on the lookout for that!

Antix-Fiord Live Mashup @ Cere's Melbourne January 2011 by Antix Music

10. Playing in some of the top venues in the world along side legends such as Dave
Seaman, Markus Schulz, Steve Lawler etc. Would’ve been quite an experience. Playing
alongside which legend would be a dream come true?

Its really has been a dream come true. One of our highlights has to be playing
alongside Jimmy Van M who we have idolized since the Twilo days (old NYC super
club) where he opened for Sasha and Digweed every month. Sasha was in attendance
that night and at one point we were all in the booth together with the club going off and I
didn’t think life could get much better than that moment. Our 3 hour live set is recorded
from that night too, a great memory to have.

Ian: After the set Sasha came up to me and told me we had a ‘brilliant’ set, that was
very nice to say the least! Also handing the decks over to guys like Lawler, Pig and Dan,
Nick Warren is always a treat as it’s our job to build the night up to that point and the
club is ready to burst as soon as they hit the decks.

11.  On that same note, playing at which venue would be a dream come true?

Ian: Wow, so many great venues all around the world.. Womb in Tokyo, Watergate
in Berlin and a chance to play in Argentina like Amazon Club would be very cool.
Amsterdam, Greece are high on the list too!

Adam: Getting to play anywhere outside your home city is a treat, we really hope to do
more festivals next summer and I hear India has a huge scene we would love to be a
part of! :)

12.  The world is ending tomorrow:
            a.    What would be the last things you would do?
            b.    The must play tracks on your playlists

Ian: Haha, hope this doesn’t happen but I would try to rally up my family and close
friends for one last laugh and hug. These people mean everything to me and what drive
and support us. I would want to be sure they knew I loved them for all they do! The
soundtrack of the night would be Sasha and Digweed “Communicate” of Digweed GU

Adam: I would probably wind up at Ian’s party, haha. Really, I’d spend the time with
friends and family to celebrating this thing we call life! Hmm, music would be quite a
range of things that inspired my all my life. Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, Pink
Floyd, Sasha’s Involver, Digweed GU19, the list goes on and on! It would be a big mix

13. Lastly, a shoutout to your fans in India.

Ian: Yes! Hi everyone… India is an amazingly colorful and vibrant culture (with
awesome food!) which is why electronic music is such a great fit. The best thing is that
its quality underground music that is getting popular there, not the commercial stuff like
in the US. This is a great sign.

Adam: Its great to see EDM picking up in India. From the Frisky Radio Loves India day,
to major acts like Dave Seaman touring and great artists and like Praveen Achary and the Sound Faction show leading the way, the future is bright for India! Much love and

Thank you Adam & Ian for taking time off to do this interview.

Follow Alterimage on Facebook, SoundCloud.

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