Dance music fans may recall Garenz at the 2017 Seoul World DJ Festival in May, an energetic and funky Korean DJ duo that danced atop the DJ booth while spinning one of the anthems for this year’s annual electronic dance music festival. The DJ duo that produced “Wanna Get You Closer,” chosen as one of two official tracks for this year’s festival at Jamsil Olympic Stadium, said it was time for DJs to move beyond the ailing local club scene and explore their options as artists.
Consisting of two DJs P.Nutz and Daywalker, Garenz rose as a leading DJ duo, headlining major music festivals and clubs for the last 2 1/2 years. Garenz released the single “Pursuit” last year, but it was not until the duo rolled out “Wanna Get You Closer,” a pop-influenced EDM track featuring American singer-songwriter Allison Kaplan, that the group carved its name into the public’s mind.
Before teaming up, P.Nutz and Daywalker were individual DJs working in different fields, but their passion for EDM and goal of becoming real “EDM artists” brought them together. “We first met each other in May 2015 at a music festival that paired up DJs to perform together, and we clicked immediately. After having so much fun and synergy together, we decided to team up as ‘Garenz,’” the two DJs said during an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul Just like any other rookie DJ, Garenz got its start club-hopping in Gangnam-gu, famous for its lively nightlife scene.
But finding problems in the local club scene thatt clashed with the team’s musical pursuit, Garenz sought ways to produce its own music, rather than compromising to meet the clubs’ demands. “I don’t even know where to start talking about the rotten reality of local clubs. All I could see in there were VIP clubbers seducing women while lying down on the clubs’ sofas and the club owners bowing down to those wealthy clubbers. Some club owners even stepped up to the DJ booth to complain about our music.
Then why not just play a CD, instead of hiring DJs?” said Daywalker. P.Nutz also said, “To tell the truth, many local DJs are spinning in Gangnam clubs mainly to earn money. Also, if you see major clubs here in Seoul, they now have less space for a dance floor, but are packed with expensive tables for VIP customers.”
In order to escape the muddy reality, P.Nutz established a label called DCTOM Entertainment in January to nurture and promote talented EDM artists. In April, the head of the label also opened an Oriental-themed club called “Mu:in” in Sinsa-dong, Seoul, to provide DCTOM artists a space for playing their own tunes freely.
P.Nutz said the small-sized club is unique in that it opens at 2 a.m.: He wanted to invite pure music lovers who wanted to continue clubbing even after the prime club hours at major Gangnam clubs. Featuring Oriental-style decorations, “Muin” also serves Korean alcohol such as soju and makgeolli. P.Nutz said he hopes to promote the club to more foreign visitors, and plans to open several more branches of the club in the future.
“Muin is an unprecedented unique club where foreigners can have a lot of fun. I also want to promote this kind of platform overseas, and show the world how attractive Korean-style clubs could be,” P.Nutz said. Garenz also shared that it is now focusing on re-mastering its previous songs, including “Wanna Get You Closer,” in Korean, as well as seeking ways to collaborate with K-pop artists so as to familiarize the public with EDM.
“Other than producing well-made EDM music, our company’s utmost goal is to produce Korean EDM songs that can be accepted by a wider public. I’m sure that within a few years, we will be able to fill our hourslong performances exclusively with our music,” the duo said.
By Hong Dam-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)