Together, Maxime Ezekiel and Louis Vee are EZLV, a talented duo with a keen knack for churning out dancefloor gold. Having already turned out on a slew of well-known labels (and not to mention their own, Seaking imprint), the boys only recently made their debut on Kruse & Nuernberg’s fast-becoming essential Save Room records. The EP we’re alluding to is the Juicy EP, and if you haven’t heard it, it really does feature this duo at their dynamic best and even comes with a pretty anthemic remix from Shur-i-Kan. We caught up with the guys recently, as they talked us through their unusual sense of humour, their production techniques and much more besides…
Hey Maxime and Louis. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. I wanted to start by asking about Canada. Electronic music wise, what’s it like?
It really depends in which city you are. We consider ourselves to be lucky to live in Montreal, because the scene here is quite big, even concerning the more underground stuff. There’s a couple of great clubs who book international DJs, representing many styles, from Deep House to Techno but also EDM or Trance. We’re not really familiar with Toronto, but we’re aware that their scene is doing quite good also. But, as in the States, if you go outside of those bigger cities, the underground electronic music scene is almost nonexistent.
So how did you two first become endeared by the sound? What was it about it that so appealed to you both?
For me, Maxime, I started to go to some raves at quite a young age, 14 years old, that’s the first moment I got in touch with electronic music. It was in 1998-99, so the big thing was trance at that time! For Louis, as a teenager I’ve listened to a lot of hip-hop, and I slowly moved to Techno or House, from 2001 to 2004-05.
And how did you first really hook up? Was it through a shared love of house music?
We met at school about ten years ago. Louis wanted to start DJing, and met Maxime who was already djing since a couple of years. We started to mix together at Max’s apartment, all those classic trance and techno records. Back then, we were just mixing for fun! Not long after that, we became best friend!
Your bio is filled with funny stories. Do you think electronic music takes itself too seriously at times?
We had a lot of fun writing this description! We are big fan of that kind of humour, quite absurd and child-ish. We noticed that most of DJs biography are always the same thing… (DJ NAME) started listening to music at the age of 7… He played alongside (insert big name)… He has a great future ahead, bla bla bla! So we decided to create that story about we met in prison in 1982. To respond to your question, we’re not against any type of intellectualization of music, it can create really interesting debate or subjects. But our bio just reflects our personality, always fooling around and joking!
You run your own label, right? What was the thinking behind that one?
Yeah, we run our label, Seaking. We are quite happy with every release out at the moment. Our aim is to have quality over quantity. We don’t release much but we try to put out some really good music by great up-and-coming artists, joined by well-known remixers.
And are you full-time musicians or do you both still have day-jobs?
Actually, Maxime is finishing this semester his Master degree of Kinesiology (Sport Science) which is more specialized in sport psychology. Louis finished last year his diploma in History, touching on the International relations in the 20th century.
Maxime, I believe you were a trance DJ way back when? What made you move away from the genre? Is it a sound you’ve completely abandoned or are these aspects of it you return to from time-to-time?
As we said earlier, I was attending raves at 14, and started to DJ at that age also. Trance music was quite big at that moment, I started to build a good vinyl collection! In 2001-2002, I slowly moved away from that genre, without any specific reasons, I started to buy some hip hop vinyls, and learned how to mix it, also how to scratch. That when I met Louis who put me back in the electronic music track! I’m not really aware of today’s trance music scene or artists.
Your recent EP, the brilliant Juicy, just dropped on Save Room records. How did that come about?
Both original tracks are quite different as you can notice. For ‘Juicy’, we were fooling around with the starting point of a chopped up vocal, and we though it sounded great! We then builded a quite simple track around that idea, send the finished product over to Kruse & Nuernberg and they really liked it! About ‘Three O Clock’, we created a nice catchy melody around a good acapella, we’re really satisfied with this work!
Shur-i-Kan delivered a great remix too. Is he a producer you’ve admired for some time?
Yeah, we discovered him in 2006-07. What we really like about him, it’s that he can deliver quality deep house, as well as peak time club banger! Lately we’re in love with his track ‘Simpler Time’, released on Muak Music last november. We must say also that we played his remix of ‘The rusty Piano’ from Karol XVII & MB Valence at almost every of our 2012 gigs! We talked about him remixing us for our Save Room release, and Kruse & Nuernberg thought it would be a great idea!
And did the EP end up exactly as you’d imagined it might have?
Yeah, we’re thrilled by the brilliant work Shur-I-Kan did with his remix. It is now a well balanced EP.
So what sort of tools do you typically rely on when producing? Are you more hardware or software guys?
We started music production in 2006-07. At that time it was already possible to learn everything only with computers. We already had a KORG Electribe but to be honest, we didn’t make really good music with it! Back then it was only a hobby, so we learned little by little. We bought two years ago a Moog Slimphatty, used it in a couple of tracks. But at the moment we’re quite happy with the software we got.
And what else can we look forward to from Ezlv over the next while?
Louis is still in prison for stealing Ms Thatcher’s (RIP!) wedding dress… so no gig sahead! haha! Seriously, we’re focusing on music production for the next couple of month. It’s crazy cold here in Montreal… that’s a good thing for our duo, we’re forced to stay inside and be musically productive!