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Alone, together or as one of their multiple incarnations, Demo Castellon, Vincent DiPasquale and Larry Granite have been providing dancefloor anthems and remix treatments to world class artists such as Donna Summer, Nelly Furtado, Missy Elliott, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Planet Funk, Basement Jaxx and the Destiny's Child, just to name a few.

But it was in the form of their Rebirth collaboration that they ended up giving their very own touch to the sound of the Queen of Pop. Larry and Vincent stopped by at MadonnaTribe and talked about their Madonna remixes, from 4 Minutes to Miles Away and much more...


MadonnaTribe: Welcome to MadonnaTribe, guys.
Before the dancefloor gets stormed by the notes of your brand new "Miles Away" remix we want to ask you a bit about yourself.
How did your career start and when did you realize that your love for music had the chance to become a full time job?

Larry Granite: I’ve always been into electronic music and was really pushed into doing this full time 8 years ago after seeing Carl Cox play in front of 10,000 people.

Vincent DiPasquale: I grew up in a very musical family was introduced to piano and guitar at a very young age. When the technology started really to shift in the early 90's I started gravitating towards electronic music and midi/synth programming. After a couple attempts at a "normal job" that was going nowhere fast, I finally decided to go for a career in music production and engineering. Since then it has been very much a full-time job.


How important is being dee-jays and would you say that those who are used to the both have a different approach from "conventional" producers when it comes to create a remix?

LG: It’s not really important these days since the recent influx of DJs. Some of the best electronic music out right now are from guys who don’t DJ. I think DJs who are producers will always make tracks that cater to mixing and follow a formula; 32 bar intro, 32 bar outro etc.

VDP: Yea, I agree with that as well. It helps in knowing what arrangements are most DJ friendly and what types of sounds and things will get the biggest reactions from the crowd, but in the end, it is like most other areas of music where knowing the basics of the genre you are going for is key, but bringing something completely different and fresh is always a good thing.

MT: How would you describe your relationship with Madonna's music?
Your style is rather different from the one of her most classic dancefloor hits - did you use to play her tracks before making your own versions?

LG: Madonna's music has always been in my ear since an early age. I was a huge fan of the Confessions album and use to play Get Together and Hung Up a lot.

VDP: I’ve always been a Madonna fan but for me, the real turning point was when she teamed up with William Orbit for Ray of Light. That album was so in tune with a lot of the electronica I was listening to at the time and for a major artist like her to lead the way with those sounds was incredible.
I listen often to that album to this day.

MT: Have you ever worked on a Madonna track before making your first officially commissioned mix?
Was being asked to remix a Madonna song something you had been looking for?

VDP: In 2002 I did a bootleg mix of Madonna's Bedtime Stories collaborating with Thomas Penton that got a good amount of buzz in the underground scene.
Even though I wasn't actively seeking it out, prior to being commissioned to work on Madonna's new project, she was absolutely on my list of artists I would love to have worked with.

LG: I made a Vogue DJ tool that I use but that’s it.

MT: 4 Minutes was the first commissioned Rebirth Madonna remix.
Do you remember how you were approached to give the leading single off Hard Candy your own treatment and what was the first thing that came to mind when you were asked to remix it?

Demacio "Demo" Castellon and I had been working together for several years at the Hit Factory/Criteria in Miami and always shared a love for electronic music. Since those early days, he went on to become Timbaland's main engineer and I was focusing more on the remix side of things. We were involved in a few remix projects together and always discussed forming a new remix team. Larry and I have worked on several studio projects together and when the 4mins remix was given to us, we immediately started putting together some ideas. ReBirth is the final result of all our efforts and starting it all of with the first single of Hard Candy was amazing!


LG: Working on a track for a major artist has been a dream of mine since day one. When I found out it was for 2 major artists I was ecstatic!

MT: How would you describe your approach to the song? Did you like the original, to begin with, and where did you want 4 Minutes to move towards with your Rebirth version?

LG: The original was great to start so that always helps the creative process. We wanted to make a big room club track that picked up where Stuart Price left off.

VDP: I love the original and Tim's drums were what I hooked on to first. He is doing so much in faster tempos and the track just has a certain bounce that only Tim can create. With our mix, we spent a lot of time early on with the vocals and really experimenting with creating new hooks and patterns.


MT: Miles Away is even more different than you 4 Minutes mix. They both emphasize a specific bit of lyric - Justin's "are you ready to go?" vs "so far away", but Miles Away has even a more unconventional structure. How was turning a ballad into a mix of two very different vibes with that strong "dub" feel?

LG: Both tracks were great from a vocal standpoint but certain lines stood out and had the club vibe just by themselves. The chorus in Miles Away was so strong that we decided to only use that and none of the verses.

VDP: From the beginning of the Miles Away mix, we knew we wanted something that had incredible contrast in the sections. We took the prettier vocal melodies and built this synth groove which built up in the breakdowns to finally resolved into this completely almost shocking drum and synth pattern, which I feel worked out really great and gets the intended reaction every time :)

MT: If you had to pick a Madonna classic to create your own remix of it, which song would you pick and how would you reinvent it?

: Probably go with Justify My Love or Frozen. They are timeless classics that will please any crowd.

VDP: Wow tough one. I would have to say Nothing Really Matters or also Frozen... hey Larry...what are you doing later??

MT: Aha great. Well be sure to let me know when you're done...

Speaking of Madonna, did you have a chance to attend the Sticky & Sweet Tour? If so, what do you think of the show and of the use of samples and tricks from the dee-jay culture that Kevin Antunes has filled the concert with?

LG: We will catch Madonna when she stops in Miami on Nov 26.

VDP: I have not been yet, but I know Kevin is using our Miles Away mix and think the DJ twist the has added to the show is great!... looking forward to checking it out!

MT: Among all the artists you have provided remixes for, what's your favourite one?

: You cant get any bigger than Madonna & Justin.

VDP: Yea, I wold have to agree, this takes the cake!

MT: And is there one you didn't have a chance to work for yet, and you would love to?

LG: There are so many new female talents that I would love to work with like Tegan & Sara, Lykke Li, Robyn, Feist, or Adele.

: Peter Gabriel and Tori Amos are two artists I have always wanted to work with.

MT: How important is for you to use the internet to get in touch with fans and other artists, and what do you think is the direction services like MySpace should move forward?

LG: The internet has been very useful in reaching all kinds of people from all over the world.

VDP: The internet is absolutely essential for artists and anyone interested in music (or anything else) for that matter. In addition to connecting with fans and other artists, I also love teaching and sharing my music knowledge with aspiring remixers and producers.

Online video is the future and I have been working now on an online course that will let me open my studio to the word!
You can check it out a

MT: What are you currently working on, what's your latest project and what's coming next from Rebirth?

LG: I have 2 new original tracks with my group Granite & Phunk that are collabs with MC Flipside and another with Morjac.

As Rebirth, we have plenty of remixes, side projects and collabs forthcoming. We do it all!

VDP: Been working on a couple remixes for Chris Cornell's new album and also an edgy new group out of Canada called Fritz Helder and the Phantoms.
I am also starting to working on some new original projects that I plan to release next year.

: Thanks guys for stopping by at the Tribe! All the best for all these upcoming challenges and more!

Check out 4 Minutes (Rebirth Remix) and Miles Away (Rebirth Remix) on CD, 12" and on iTunes.

For more info about Demo Castellon, Vincent DiPasquale, and Larry Grante - a.ka. Rebirth please check

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