Gettin’ the Party Started
By Ashley Bennett
The Green Flash EP by DJ and producer Suzanne Kraft (aka Diego Herrera) is the kind of single you’re glad you purchased a decade later. Whether it’s the ethereal spirit of “Morning Come” or the resounding, driving momentum of “Femme Cosmic,” the groovy, uplifting music Kraft makes can be described in a lot of ways.
“My intent is to make people feel something. I don’t really put much thought into how it’s going to be received when I’m working on music. Any label applied is just accidental.”
Kraft will be performing at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club on Feb. 4 and 5 for L.A.-based record label Friends of Friends’ event, along with Daedelus and Tomas Barfod. The venue will feature a lounge atmosphere combined with the spring break buzz only a poolside party can produce.
“The place is cool. I played there about a month ago during a beer tasting night for an Internet radio station I work for, so I know the crowd. It’s fun, very laid back, with a resort vibe and a full bar,” says Kraft.
In addition to performing, Kraft hasn’t stopped creating. “I’m working on a new EP for this label that’s part of, well, it’s a baby label, for a friend of a friend called The Young Adults. I don’t have a name for the EP, yet. I’m also working on a record for 100% Silk (www.listentosilk.com), a record label that launched just last year.”
Producer, DJ and musician Tomas Barfod will also be performing. “It’s a small place, so when I’m by the pool I’m going to play some pool music, mostly a lot of slow disco,” he says. “When I get inside I’m going to play a lot of house music to start out, and then get into some harder electro or industrial.”
Barfod started making music decades ago using an Atari computer, an Akai monosampler and a vinyl record player. Since then he’s toured the world from America to Japan, composing remixes for artists like Franz Ferdinand, Gorillaz and Shakira, and creating dance club hits for labels like Turbo, Kompakt and Gomma.
He is also a drummer for the band Whomadewho. “I started playing drums when I was 10,” Barfod says. “I was in a lot of bands and at some point in my late teens I was earning money playing gigs, but I realized that I didn’t want to be a drummer, I wanted to be a DJ, so I got into electronic music.”
Barfod is currently working on a solo album to be released this spring. “I’ve been making a lot of music under different monikers, but now I want to do an album in my own name.”
After so much collaboration, he’s enjoying the freedom of being on his own. “It’s really nice to have a project for myself. When you work with a band it’s a blessing because you get to work with other people, but sometimes your ideas have to go through compromises. Now I can sit down and really make a song sound like I want.”
Barfod promises that his new album is going to be worth listening to many times over, combining electro, pop and blues sounds, but with some tracks featuring chimes and wind instruments to keep the listener guessing.
“I love to create songs that are completely different than what you expect.”
Suzanne Kraft with Daedelus, Tomas Barfod and The Young Adults at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, (760) 320-8550; www.acehotel.com/palmsprings. Sat-Sun, Feb. 4-5, Amigo Room, 10PM. Sun, Feb. 5, poolside, 12PM-5PM.