New York born musician, guitarist and producer Derek VanScoten a.k.a CLOUDCHORD (previously known as D.V.S*) has quickly gained traction within the electronic music world. Having created hit remixes for DJs like Bassnectar in the past, his latest remix for Of Monsters and Men climbed to the number 1 spot on Hype Machine, beating out a track from one of Disclosure’s singers! CLOUDCHORD is definitely one to watch. We asked the musician about his selected remix for OMAM, his creative process and upcoming projects.
TH: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What do you do?
DV: I make all kinds of electronic music from a guitarist and songwriters view. Whether it’s obvious or not, there is guitar in every single tune I make. That being said, my remixing philosophy is more like “If I had worked with the songwriters, this is how I would’ve originally produced the song,” instead of “How far can I twist this beat from the original.”
TH: How did you come up with your concept for the Of Monsters and Men “Wolves Without Teeth” remix?
DV: I also play folk music on guitar, mandolin, and ukulele, so I feel confident in the singer songwriter realm. Folk music and disco house are like peanut butter and jelly, at least to my ears. It was a natural combination.
TH: What did you do when you found out your “Wolves Without Teeth” remix went #1 on Hype Machine and then got selected by OMAM?
DV: I kinda freaked out considering the track knocked away one of Disclosure’s singers! It was a pure validation from the musical goalkeepers of the world (the fans). You can’t deny the organic powers of democracy.
TH: What is your creative process like?
DV: Every tune starts a little but differently, but most of them are derived from harmony or melody. It’s kinda rare that I get to the beat first, even though it’s quick to follow.
TH: What software and instruments did you use to create the OMAM remix?
DV: I’ve used Ableton for years, ever since I started performing electronic music live. In this mix there are live electric guitars, lap steel and harp, in addition to a few soft and hard synths, and sequenced bass lines and beats.
TH: 3 favorite musicians of all time?
DV: Jimi Hendrix for being a game changer, Brian Eno for his eternal wisdom, and everyone else that I ever listened to and loved.
TH: What was it like to work with Bassnectar on the official remix of “So Butterfly”?
DV: Ironically it was one of the easiest remixes ever. He had no critiques and loved the first version I sent him. It was a little surprising because part of it had a 4/4 tropical house feel, which isn’t his thing, and that’s the part that he loved. The people at the top tend to be the easiest to work with in any field. It was one of the final tracks I did under my old moniker, D.V.S*.
TH: Do you have any projects you are currently working on, or planning on doing?
DV: CLOUDCHORD is a new name and I’m honored to have this level success on the second track. I plan on releasing about a single a month, mostly in the realm of house music, in addition to scoring some videos and maybe an ep. But really, I’m into singles. It feels like I’m musically dating, and I wanna sleep around for a while. Stay tuned!!
TH: What are you currently listening to?
DV: I’m such a musical anthropologist it really depends on the time of day and purpose. But when left to my own devices, it’s been Oh Wonder, Tom Misch, FKJ, Lane 8, Alina Baraz, St Germain, and Jamie XX. When I go to bed it’s Geotic, Hammock or Eno.