Polish production duo Catz N Dogz found their way onto the charts of SF DJs when they first came out onto the scene after remixing Claude Von Stroke’s “Who’s Afraid of Detroit?” in 2006. In fact, they were with the Dirtybird head honcho when he launched his Mothership imprint with their debut album, Stars in the Zoo.
Their quirky, pet-themed antics make it apparent that Catz N Dogz like to humor their audience with light-hearted fun. But behind the scenes, they are some of the most productive party people you’ll meet. As label owners, promoters, producers, and DJs, Catz N Dogz have the drive and pull to push forward the sounds between—and beyond—techno and house that inspire them worldwide.
How did you meet and when did you become Channel 3?
We both come from the same city, Szczecin, which is like 400,000 people, so it was just a matter of time before we started to work together since the scene was not that big.
At the beginning we were doing a radio show together and parties where we were inviting a lot of DJs from Berlin and all over the world. We were also working on productions and after a while we decided to start to produce together. We sent a few demos as 3 Channels to Trapez and Crosstown Rebels and after a few months we had some releases out.
When did you decide to switch gears and become Catz N Dogz?
When we were starting in 2004, we were focusing on a techhouse/minimal style, as that was the music we were really into. The thing is that we were also listening and working on other genres, but we weren’t releasing that. 3 Channels was tagged as a minimal act and we really wanted to have the freedom to release whatever we felt and play a mixture of genres depending on the atmosphere in the club. We then made a remix for “Who’s Afraid Of Detroit?” Barclay (Claude Von Stroke) also asked us to make an EP for Dirtybird. That was the first EP where we changed our name from 3 Channels to Catz N Dogz.
What inspired the pet aesthetic?
The simplest answer is that at the same time we both got a dog and a cat, and that was the time that we were looking for a new name. Also, our friends say that we argue like an old couple, or like a cat and dog.
To be honest, we always wanted to have a funny name that we could play with and be more creative with. We’re trying to build a lot of projects connected with our name, like our label Pets, our podcast is called Petcast, and we do some parties under the name Pets Gone Wild, etc.
How do you feel about your development as a duo since then?
Everyday we learn something new. The beginning was very hard since in Poland we didn’t have anybody to ask about how to run the label or how to work with the software and hardware, so we were learning everything on our own. We were working on simple Aiwa HiFi speakers using a shitty audio card and didn’t know a lot about production techniques. Right now we’re setting up the new studio, we have really cool software, and we’re buying a lot of new gear as well. Also, we have a lot of friends everywhere we go so traveling right now is much more fun.
When did you become affiliated with the SF-based label, Dirtybird? Having previously appeared only on European labels, do you believe there is something about your music and the music that Dirtybird releases that clicks?
I’m sure there is something. We play a lot of parties with the Dirtybird crew in the US and Europe and those parties are always the best! The guys are so much fun and I think even though we play a bit different at the parties everything is a perfect mixture thanks to that. Having a label in the US is only beneficial to us, as we can get inspired from the US scene and mix it all together in our studio.
Is there anything in particular that you like about the SF tech-house and deep house sound?
We love the people here. We have a lot of friends and coming here is always a lot of fun. We were always into the sound of SF when we were starting to DJ and now we know the people who we were always big fans of, so it is very inspiring for us. When we’re here we always try to work with some friends in the studio.
You started your label Pet Recordings in 2010 with the intent of showcasing Poland’s production talent. What do you feel is special about the Polish dance music scenes?
The special thing is that it’s super small. So you need to spend a lot of time searching for the new producers and promoting the release. That was the main goal with starting Pets. We know that there are a lot of talented producers and we would like to help them release their music.
How have you seen the Polish dance music scenes change over the years, and where do you think you fit in?
In the 90s there were a lot of big techno parties for 5000 people. Almost every weekend you could go and rave. The clubs were really underground and at small illegal venues. Right now there are a few clubs with very good sound systems and lineups. There are also a few very good festivals like Audioriver, Unsound, and Tauron.
We do about 10 label showcases every year in different cities with special visuals and Pets artists playing live or DJing.
What can we expect for your next album?
We have a lot of ideas ready and we’re looking forward to sitting in the studio in Berlin and starting work on it. For sure it will show another side of Catz n Dogz and will be inspired by the US.
Catz N Dogz play Monarch with support from Galen, Mozaic, and Dax on Saturday, September 29. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.