The San Francisco-based house DJ duo of Josh Gabriel and Dave Dresden celebrated its "Best American DJ" award at this year's Winter Music Conference in novel fashion: They broke up the act. They went out with a bang, too, slaying the Pawn Shop crowd with a five-hour set March 28 and closing out the Beatport/Remix Hotel Pool Party at the National Hotel two days later. As good as they were as a team, though, there was something missing for them as individual artists. Dresden's public statement summed it up: "Over the past year, Josh and I have been moving apart as artists, and we decided that rather than milk it and be moderately happy together, we separate and examine ourselves as individual artists for a while."
Gabriel and Dresden hooked up through Pete Tong, who, in 2001, dispatched Dresden to find songs for Tong's Essential Selection radio show on BBC 1. Unlike Dresden, who was a bread-and-butter New York DJ from the get-go, Gabriel was a degreed sound designer whose tinkering with electronic gadgetry eventually resulted in the Mixman, the DJ/producer's version of a Walkman.
Josh Gabriel: Saturday, June 7. Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Doors open at 11 p.m. Tickets cost $20. Ages 21+ with ID. 305-531-5535, www.theopiumgroup.com
The two joined forces and made a name for themselves by remixing whomever would have them, all of which later led to their first single, "Lament," in the United States. Their legacy also includes three compilation albums and one self-titled artist album.
Gabriel has a full-length of originals coming out this year, to be titled Tone Program, released on his just-launched record label Different Pieces. It'll be a patchwork of new and old songs, such as "Crosstalk," his Kraftwerk-meets-progressive-trance contribution to 2007's Toolroom Knights Vol 2 compilation.