Codes has been a long time DAD favorite and last week saw the culmination of a long time labor of love, his Brooklyn Bounce LP, released on Slow Roast Records. While the album maintains his signature sounds, you can tell this extended format of a release really let Codes get in the cut and show off his versatility and depth. His updated take on that classic house vibe shines brightly through on each cut as the essence of NYC house feels in full bloom once again. We decided it made sense to get some feels from the man himself in an effort to understand how long this project took and what influences him on the creative tip. He also offered up the story on how the name "Brooklyn Bounce" came to be.
Congrats on the album coming out man. Talk to us about the massive single "We Get Crazy?"
Thanks! Well, "We Get Crazy" started as a completely different track and was just going to be a single I was working on a little over a year ago. I had a few singers write and sing on it but it wasn't quite where I wanted it to be. Then last last year I met Janelle randomly at The Meatball Shop on Bedford at the bar when we were both getting dinner. The bartender, Wilber, introduced her to me and we started shooting the shit. I found out she had just done a record with Dennis Ferrer and was curious to hear it. We got along well, so we decided to work in the studio a couple days later. After a good 10-hour session we wrote it and recorded it. She really nailed the vocal. I mixed that freaking song over a hundred times but I'm pretty happy with how it came out.
"Brooklyn Bounce" is a term you've been using for a bit now. Can you explain what exactly is "Brooklyn Bounce" and how you came up with the term? When did you start messing around with this fusion of house music?
So I've always been told that my tracks have a "bounce" to them. I think it's because I use a lot of side chain compression (probably way too much sometimes), and maybe how I swing my drums a bit. But I was DJing at a party in Bushwick and someone said "that's that Brooklyn bounce shit" on the mic a few times. Early that week I had recorded a mix for you guys and I was trying to think of what to call it. I ended up calling it "Codes' Brooklyn Bounce Mix.” It made sense and kind of stuck after that. So making that mix was definitely part of it's inception.
Who were some of your biggest influences growing up and who/what ultimately inspired you to start DJing and producing?
I bought a mixtape back in Rochester at a rave when I was 14. It was called Return Of The Jungle Warrior by this RI dude DJ Venom. He plays hardcore and hardstyle stuff now, but he use to play some really good jungle in the late '90s. Had a dope intro with cutting all over the mixtape. I still listen to it to this day. Tons of hip-hop, R&B, and reggae flipped jungle stuff. Really inspired my whole style of doing mixes and even production. Also dudes like Craze. He was one of the first people I seen doing the multi-genre thing seamlessly with vinyl, way back before that became a fad recently. Also seeing him rock jungle in DMCs which was unheard of back then. [He's] still in my eyes one of the best DJs to this day, so I am very fortunate to be able to play shows and write music with him. Also house-wise, I'm a huge fan of Armand Van Helden and Kenny Dope.
What's your motivation for keeping a foot so firmly rooted in the past with the music you make?
I just use influence from things that I like and that are important to me. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel, just make solid dance music that I'm proud of. Stuff you can play in 510 years from now and will still make people bounce.
You seem very disinterested with music fads and doing much of adjusting your sound for anyone but yourself. I've got to think that really helped you hone in your own sound and vibe. Any words of wisdom for the producers out there still floating in that realm of "what the fuck do I make to get noticed or standout?"
I think if you are doing something intentionally to get noticed or stand out you could be fighting a losing battle or doing it for the wrong reasons. Just do you and be true to what you love and all that other stuff will come if you stick to your guns.
Do you feel like there's room for a rebel / punk rock type personality in dance music right now? Why or why not?
Sure why not. Just like I said before as long as that's you, then do you.
Putting you on the spot...what are your three favorite house records of all time?
Kenny Dope Presents The Bucketheads - "The Bomb"
Inner City - "Good Life"
Praxis ft. Kathy Brown - "Turn Me Out (Sol Brothers Turn To Sugar Remix)"