Q&A with Trent Cantrelle – Otherworldly Techno with “Android Bordello” on MOOD

Author : Jennifer Liu
October 16, 2015

Q&A with Trent Cantrelle – Otherworldly Techno with “Android Bordello” on MOOD


With over twenty years of experience manning the decks at parties from BPM to Coachella, the New Orleans born and Los Angeles based DJ Trent Cantrelle is something of an unsung legend along with the predecessors of the electronic music scene. Trent has an established presence in both the mainstream and the underground, a feat that only a select and talented few have the power to achieve and to maintain in the current state of affairs.

Trent Cantrelle has pulled the trigger with a hot new release titled Android Bordello EP on Nicole Moudaber’s techno imprint Mood Recordings as a follow up to the serendipitous pre-summer release of his original deeper than thou All of Them EP on DC’s Yoshitoshi Recordings. The support for the release has been overwhelmingly positive, receiving support from A-list DJ’s such as Adam Beyer, Carlo Lio, Jon Rundell, Monika Krause, Joseph Capriati, among many others.

The first track Android Bordello is the result of a calculative lovemaking session between a higher extraterrestrial being and a classic drum machine, producing an otherworldly aura of sci-fi tech lines and trance-like transitions. The psychosomatic audio journey of this track is a negotiation between the open door of mind manifestation and the corybantic dancing of the body in immediate reality.

The second track titled Out of Line beautifully incorporates the ethereal vocals of Im Nin’Alu by Ofra Haza, meshing old Yemenite tales with the progressive sound of the underground culture. Trent synchronizes the past and the present to give us a glimpse of the future to come by deliberately creating a crossroads of archaic and modern sounds in this next level track. Nicole Moudaber sent a ripple among the crowd when she dropped Out of Line at Tomorrowland in Belgium this past summer.

After a successful season of Sounds Like parties across Los Angeles, Trent will take to the airwaves with the launch of his weekly Sounds Like radio show on Sirius XM’s Chill station. The eagerly awaited broadcast starts on October 16 and will become the weekly 9PM essential music ritual for fans.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the master at work regarding his recent EP release, experiences this year, and prospects for the near future. Check out the insightful conversation in the following Q&A.

The Android Bordello EP is available on Beatport.

Trent Cantrelle: Official Site | Facebook | Soundcloud | Resident Advisor

Q&A with Trent Cantrelle


Hi Trent, thanks for taking the time with us. How did this summer treat you?

Thanks for the opportunity! Summer was pretty great I must say.

Sounds Like recently celebrated the 2015 Summer closing! What are your feelings reflecting on another summer in the books?

It was a fantastic summer for the Sounds Like parties. Being our third season and biggest year yet, the nights and attendance were a reflection of it. The thing that changed this season was we outgrew using a small intimate venue. As much as I love the feel of playing small tight quarters, it was hard to fit everyone who wanted to get in, creating times where it was literally too packed to dance. I guess this is a good problem to have. The closing party was held in a much larger size room which was honestly the best one we have ever done. It was very special because it’s like watching our baby grow up.


Sounds Like follows a similar path like many successful parties around the world in the sense that it is a seasonal affair. Was it always your intention to do a summer party with Sounds Like?

It was not always the intention when starting back at Avalon years ago but changed as time went on. When we decided to take the party seasonal it was modeled after Ibiza seasonal parties thrown by a particular artist or label. There are so many events in Los Angeles, especially now more than ever. Almost all are a revolving door of talent which in turn leads to a revolving door of vibes each week. We wanted something people could depend on musically. You know what you get coming to a Sounds Like event and I think that’s what keeps people coming back; the consistency.

You ended summer with a strong release on Nicole Moudaber’s label, MOOD! Can you tell me about the process for Android Bordello? Seems very much inspired by main room techno, with a fitting home on MOOD.

PIC CUT EDIT 21I have always made this style of techno but only released a few titles in that sound. I think having the right home for a particular sound is important. Much like the way I DJ for a certain crowd or audience, I tend to write music based on the label I know it is coming out on. I met Nicole last year via my management when she featured a song of mine on her In The Mood radio show. Earlier this year we both remixed the same song for Yoshitoshi so we reconnected again. I spent the night at her BPM and party in Play Del Carmen and was completely blown away by her take on techno. Inspired to say the least when I got home I began to work on some music in a similar vein. Techno with groovy dance floor appeal.

The title track Android Bordello is a sonically complex techno track primed and ready for the dancefloor. Can you share with us some of the tools/synths/etc used in the track?

I wrote this song in a different way than probably any song I have worked on. I wanted sounds that I could not find with a regular synthesizer so I began searching elsewhere. I started searching online for sounds that might make me think of electronic music but were not exactly electronic. Some of the sounds are actually tigers and lions roaring in which I threw into a sampler, pitched them into key, and warped or stretched to fit an actual groove. I also began finding a lot of robot type noises that I put into the sampler and used the same process to turn into grooves. After gathering as many unique sounds as I could find it all began to feel like robots having sex. Hence the name Android Bordello was born since “Robot Orgy” did not have the same ring to it. It was not until later in the process that I decided an old school rave feel at the break would provide the right contrast to make it more dance floor worthy.

Android Bordello QuareThe EP is receiving widespread support from all the major DJ’s in the industry such as Adam Beyer, Carlo Lio, Pig & Dan, Monika Kruse, Sian, and the list just keeps going. Moving forward, how will you build off this release moving forward into the new year?

I have actually been writing a lot more in this style because it feels fresh to me and am more inspired in the studio as of late. This is actually reminiscent of my earlier works and the sound of the parties we did at Avalon, but with a new school twist.

Which do you prefer – Long studio marathons or brief sessions?

Whatever it takes to get the job done, but that usually means long studio marathons. Most of my work is what I like to call “happy accidents”. I keep toying around until I get something my head starts bobbing to and eventually find a way to finish.

What are some of your studio essentials?

I would say anything WAVS. I use the plugins so much and rely heavily on them. I know exactly how to get the sound I want using them so they are very essential for my process.


Can you tell us a bit about the launch of Sounds Like Radio?

It has been a year in the making and am very happy to finally have my own show. It’s something I have always wanted as another outlet to express myself musically. Playing for the radio is much different than a club or party because most people are probably listening sitting on their asses. Right now is a crucial time in the US as so many of the post pop EDM fans are discovering a more underground sound for the first time. I am hoping with this show being on Sirius XM might help some of these music fans cross that bridge.

Sounds Like Radio

How will you be spending the rest of 2015?

Making more music, playing any shows that will have me, and planning the return of Sounds Like for 2016.