Panic Bomber Talks Brooklyn, Miami and “Question”

A Miami local by way of Glasgow, Panic Bomber’s versatility behind the decks has earned him coveted spots onstage alongside a diverse range of artists including Kaskade, Skrillex, La Roux, Rihanna, Ke$ha, Wayze & Odyssey, Disclosure, Duke Dumont, Chus & Ceballos and Azari & III. He’s made appearances at Ultra, SXSW and Electric Forest, and has produced and ghost-written for some of the biggest names in the electronic dance scene. With music signed to YYZ Records, Anjunadeep and John Digweed’s Bedrock imprint, the now Brooklyn-based producer has earned international praise for releases that run the gamut from minimal techno to indie dance and deep house.

You recently moved from Miami to Brooklyn. What prompted the move to the Big Apple, and how has it been going so far?

I’ve been living in Miami for the last ten years and while I love it there and it’s become a real home for me, I felt that it was time to try a fresh scene and get some new perspective. I feel like it’s healthy for musicians to stay light on their feet and switch to a fresh locations from time to time.

How is the nightlife scene in NYC compared to the scene back home? Are there any big differences in terms of the music and club preferences there?

I’m admittedly still pretty green, and I generally prefer to work on tunes in the studio than go out at night, but so far I like the looseness and openness in this city. It feels like one can play a little more outside of the box here.

You recently introduced the Slap & Tickle party to NYC’s Goldbar. How was the turnout for that? Do you plan on keeping it going?

Our Goldbar party went swimmingly! People really responded to the Slap & Tickle “signature smooth” DJ sound. We’re definitely going to be doing more in a few different places throughout the summer and beyond. I think it’ll go really well.

It’s one thing to have talent, and quite another to get noticed for it. You have had your work released on some of the most respected labels in the electronic music arena (Bedrock, Anjunadeep, YYZ, etc.) How did those kinds of partnerships come about? Did the head honchos approach you?

I handed John Digweed a CD-R of a demo I collaborated on with with Troy Kurtz (when we perform and produce together, we go by Kurtz & Bomber), and when he listened to it he immediately wanted to sign the whole EP to Bedrock, so that was pretty gratifying. Really though, everything is about working hard and being persistent. I just try to write the best music I can and play the best gigs that I can.

You have shared the stage with a very diverse collection of artists (from Kaskade, Azari & III and Skrillex to La Roux, Rihanna and MGMT). How do you maintain the ability to tailor your style to so many different kinds of genres while still keeping a trademark sound?

My close friends know me as being very particular about music and a tough artist critic. But I think that when you really listen to different kinds of music, you can find beauty in radically different forms. It’s all about keeping an open mind and figuring out how to translate your talent and taste in a way that bridges to other acts while maintaining your artistic integrity. It’s not always easy, but it’s totally doable.

What is your favorite style to produce and perform? Deep house? Techno? Progressive house?

I prefer to leave the genres to the bloggers. I just do whatever I’m feeling at the moment.

You’ve performed at some of the most lucrative clubs and festivals in the world (SXSW, Ultra Music Festival, Electric Forest), but also at a host of local-known underground spots (Electric Pickle, Bardot). Of all venues and settings you’ve played in, which one has felt most like home in terms of crowd, space, sound system, etc.?

I have a soft spot for the Electric Pickle in Miami, with its dark, cozy wooden interior and sound system that’s a bit too big for the room (and therefore just the right size). I definitely feel more comfortable in small rooms, where I can really enjoy the audience and the sound in a more intimate way. I prefer seeing bands and DJs in small rooms myself, so it feels natural to me.

Which artists have you’ve enjoyed working and performing with the most?

I could list famous artist x or y, but I really love playing with my Slap & Tickle crew: Santiago Caballero, Troy Kurtz, and Pirate Stereo. We love going in together and we know how each other tick. It’s like wearing your most comfortable pair of jeans.

Tell us about your new release, “Question.” Its been getting quite a bit of attention from fans.

I’m pretty sure the main vocal rift was stuck in my head for about 10 years and I had no idea what it was from but I knew I really liked it. Then, one day a couple weeks ago I heard that tune and immediately knew I wanted to visit it in my own way.

Listen to “Question” below.

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