Gabriel & Dresden
Gabriel & Dresden
Photo by Maria Cavali

How Kickstarter Helped Gabriel & Dresden Make Trance

Musicians not named Adele make most of their money from touring, not singles and albums. But Josh Gabriel and Dave Dresden came up with a clever way to fund the 12 tracks on their latest album, The Only Road.

A year ahead of the record's December release, they launched a Kickstarter campaign. Up for grabs was a private party at a backer's house with Gabriel & Dresden for $5,000. A $10,000 pledge promised a cowritten and coproduced track with the duo — publishing rights would be split 50/50, and there would be a five-day visit to their Bay Area studio. A $75 pledge secured a spot on the Gabriel & Dresden VIP guest list at any club event, along with a photo, an album download, and other goodies, while a mere $10 pledge came with the full album available as a download.

The campaign was a massive success. It raised $75,000, which led to a deal with Anjunabeats and a full slate of touring dates. Powerhouse events such as Luminosity Beach Festival in the Netherlands and Tomorrowland in Belgium are on the calendar in July, but first comes the Club Space Terrace tonight, Friday, June 1.

“We’re not aware of other musicians that have done this, but it’s a brilliant thing if you have fans and you have things to give them," Dresden says. "It’s simple: For $5, they get a song from the new album; for $10, they get the entire album. We also gave away signed CDs and vinyl. We love to cook, so we offered to travel and cook dinner for eight."

From those pledges came The Only Road, Gabriel & Dresden's second studio album and the first in 11 years. Listeners will discover a lot of "found sound" on the record, from birds to a random bucket drummer. The duo also drew inspiration from the unlikeliest places. On "Hospital Piano," for example, Gabriel recorded in a hospital waiting room after his son broke his arm. For "Underwater," Dresden captured sounds from Christmas morning.

So if you see the two wandering the streets of Miami with their phones in the air, no need to worry. They’re probably recording everyday rhythms for a possible future release.

The duo's appearance at tonight's Trance on the Terrace Episode II says a lot about the state of trance music today. It's symbolic of Gabriel & Dresden's career resurgence and the growth of trance. (Even Pitchfork acknowledged trance and how it fits in Europe's current political climate this week.) It will be the first time since 2007 that the duo performs in the Magic City outside of Miami Music Week or Winter Music Conference.

Trance on the Terrace Episode II. With Gabriel & Dresden, Mark Sixma, Jochen Miller, Kristina Sky, Haliene, and Veniice. 10 p.m. Friday, June 1, at Space, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-456-5613; clubspace.com. Tickets cost $25 to $40 via eventbrite.com.

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