David Gtronic & Reboot team up for new LP on Personality Disorder Music (Interview + mix)

David Gtronic and Reboot's new collaborative album, "Heads Above Water," is a profound exploration of music, emotions, and art, meticulously crafted over 16 months. This album transcends genres, blending ambient, electronica, breakbeat, electro, and house into a cohesive sonic experience that reflects the tumultuous journey of artists navigating a world full of uncertainties. Born from a spontaneous idea that blossomed into an intense creative partnership, the album encapsulates personal stories and shared challenges, resonating with a distinctive and deeply personal vibe. 

Utilising high-quality equipment, the sound design and mixing deliver a powerful, warm, and limitless auditory experience across eleven tracks. "Head’s Above Water" invites listeners to immerse themselves in the soundscape that emerged from David and Reboot's creative journey, embodying their struggles, hopes, and the pursuit of their best artistic selves. Supported by Ricardo Villalobos, Raresh, Sonja Moonrear, Skream, Chris Stussy, Andrey Pushkarev, Cristi Cons, Dorian Paic, Vlad Caia, Nu Zau and many more, it's already tearing up dancefloors aplenty too.

To celebrate the release of the album, the guys put together a special mix for us. We also caught up with them both to learn more…

Nightclubber Podcast 210

It’s quite unusual that two artists collab like this on a full album. How did it come together?

Reboot: It all began as a spontaneous idea to create a few songs together and see what happens. None of us could have imagined that it would lead to such an intense and productive collaboration. After the first few sessions together, it quickly became apparent that we complement each other well and that something great could emerge from this partnership. Throughout the journey, we've grown into close friends, and I'm incredibly grateful for the entire experience thus far.

How long have you known one another then? Have you always been fans of one another’s music?

Reboot: I've been familiar with David's music since around 2012, but we didn't actually meet until two years ago. It was at DC10 in Ibiza, where mutual friends introduced us, and we hit it off right away. While the idea of collaborating with someone often arises, it's rare for something as special as this to unfold. We held onto that connection tightly.  

David: I've known about Reboot since I first entered the scene as a young 19-year-old moving to Ibiza from the States. Back in 2013, I was thrilled to have Reboot remix one of my tracks, and he actually did two different remixes, both of which were fantastic. Interestingly, we never had the chance to meet in person until two years ago at DC10.

Tell us a bit about the label you’re releasing on — it’s on Personality Disorder Music, right? How did that come about? 

David:  Yes, it’s on Personality Disorder Music. The label was founded in 2019 when Guti and I produced our first album together. We created the platform to release our collaborative projects, driven by Guti’s passion for creating art from scratch using collages and abstract techniques. One of our main goals with the label is to share beautiful art and music. With our new album with Reboot, we’re taking it a step further by creating stunning visuals to accompany the music.

How did you both produce it? A lot online or were you in the studio beforehand?

Reboot: We held joint sessions in my studio in Frankfurt, focusing primarily on developing concepts, sonic landscapes, and themes. Since we both don't live in the same city, the most of the work was carried out through online exchanges of projects and ideas afterwards. Once the creative aspects and arrangements were finalized, I took charge of finalizing and mastering the mixes. But producing music is just one part of the equation nowadays. As independent artists, we handle every aspect of the production. Additionally, David takes care of designs, promo campaigns, and communication for example. In these areas, we complement each other excellently.

We loved some of the unusual vocal samples on the record, especially on Emos and Heads Above Water! Frank, you’re quite well known for your sampling prowess, but I wanted to ask where inspiration came from for this one?

Reboot: Thanks for the kind words, but in this instance, David contributed a significant portion of the vocals. Typically, when we start working on a track, we begin with a theme, groove, or vibe that resonates with us. We spend a lot of time talking things through and searching for vocals that capture the essence of what we're trying to convey. Our inspiration often comes from deep conversations about everything from music and films to art and, of course, our own emotions. David really dives into the process, using tools like AI, search engines, and libraries to find those special nuances that bring our vision to life. These ideas were seamlessly integrated into the projects by me. It's a collaborative effort that we both pour our hearts into.

What do you think you bring out of one another in the studio? Do you have have pretty settled roles or is it just dependent on the day that’s in it? 

David: We both share a passion for pushing musical boundaries, and this collaboration reflects that beautifully. I grew up in Miami and studied sound engineering in Orlando, FL, a city renowned for its prolific breakbeats and Miami bass sound. Intrigued by this genre, many of the tracks on this album started with sketches inspired by these ideas. We fused the old-school breakbeat sound with our modern styles, and Reboot's unique engineering approach helped us achieve incredible results. After releasing our first EP earlier this year, the organic support we received was overwhelming and motivated us to develop this project even further.

Reboot: There aren't really set roles, but of course, each of us has our strengths and weaknesses. As luck would have it, we complement each other really well in that regard. For example, vocals and melodies are an area where David is strong, while I excel more in rhythm, arrangement, or mixing. Many songs have evolved through numerous versions, to the point where I can't even remember who did what anymore.

A couple of the tracks have been released already, but can you tell us a bit about the other tracks involved here?

David: Most of the breakbeat sketches originated at the beginning of our project. "Kongafluss" was one of our first sketches and it developed rapidly, taking listeners on an 11-minute sonic journey. Although we shortened it for the album, we knew this track was too special to be just another club track, which led us to consider creating a full album. "Chaos" came together really naturally. After deciding to create an album, we wanted to add more musical tracks. On my last visit to Reboot's studio in Frankfurt, we started working on something new. Reboot sat down at the synthesizer and just started playing with so much feeling that we almost recorded "Chaos" in one take. When I listened to the recordings, I immediately thought of Mari Kvien Brunvoll, one of my favorite singers. Her beautiful voice fit perfectly. I was so happy when she agreed to collaborate with us, making the track even more special.

Do you both have to compromise when you make music as a duo, or do you generally agree with one another on most parts of the production?

Reboot: Every relationship involves compromise, and ours is no exception. But that doesn't have to be a bad thing. On the contrary, the common ground can sometimes be more uncompromising than the individual parts. We often disagreed on the musical direction of a song. Each time, we aimed to keep the essence of the song in focus, putting our own egos aside for the greater purpose. Ideas that weren't used may find a place in the future.

What’s the best thing about producing music together? And - be honest! - the worst?

Reboot: The rule that shared pain is halved fortunately applies here. I can't stress enough how well we complement each other in our collaboration. Being able to motivate each other, share experiences and tastes, has certainly helped me to identify so strongly with this project. And yes, it's not always easy. We're both strong personalities, which can lead to discussions about whether the kick should be louder or softer. But I think the key to success was simply that it just worked so well.

David: The best thing about producing music together is the synergy we have. We push each other creatively and bring out the best in our music. It's exciting to see how our different styles and ideas come together to create something unique. As for the worst, I’d say it’s the occasional clash of opinions. We’re both passionate about our work, so sometimes we have different visions for a track. But even those disagreements can lead to better results in the end.

Is there generally a testing period you have to overcome where you think ‘I’ll give it a few weeks to see what the chemistry is like’? How important is that instant spark and respect? 

Reboot: The respect and chemistry was there straight away, which lead us to starting the collaboration in the first place. But of course, time is precious, so naturally, you test the waters before fully committing. We threw a few rocks in the water, so to speak, and after just a couple of tracks, we knew we were onto something special.

Should we expect more from you both as a duo together?

Reboot: We have several sketches we'd like to revisit in the future. Right now, our focus is on presenting the album and releasing a vinyl single. We're both busy with other projects, but we'll definitely come back together to work on new ideas when the time is right.

David: Absolutely, you can definitely expect more from us as a duo. We already have several tracks that just need some finishing touches. While our main focus right now is getting the album out, there will certainly be more to come in the future.

David Gtronic and Reboot

Have you DJd together yet? And is that something we might see too?

Reboot: We didn't have the chance yet, but it is something we both cannot wait to finally set up. We are on it

David: Last summer was the first time I saw Frank play live in almost a decade, and I was really impressed by how much thought, passion, and emotion he put into his DJ set and performance. That level of dedication is something I value deeply as well. So I can’t wait until we get the opportunity to DJ together, it would be incredible.

What else have you got coming up that you’re really excited about?

Reboot: My release calendar for this year is quite exciting. This summer, I have upcoming releases on Cecille Records, Crosstown Rebels, Mood Child and Cadenza. I will also be dropping a new solo album at the end of September. Remixes and other collaborations are also in the pipeline.

David: After the album, I have a few more releases lined up for the year. There’s a new vinyl on Rob Pearson's Evasive label, a solo EP on Outright Records in September, and another EP on Love on Cropsey from New York. After these releases, I'm planning to take some time off from releasing music to get back into the studio and reshape my sound for next year.

Listen to Nightclubber 210 below

David Gtronic and Reboot's  "Heads Above Water" LP