Congratulations on your new single OneFourThree with BJ the Chicago Kid and Buddy! How did this collaboration come about?
Thanks! We’ve been big fans of both of their music for a long time now. We had that beat in our back pocket and knew that it needed a rapper, but we actually got in touch with BJ first. He sent back the hook which we both loved and then we found out that Buddy wanted to jump on the track as well. As you can imagine we were beyond stoked. So while we were in LA, we headed over to Buddy’s studio and cut the track in a day!
Please tell us about Pollyanarchy.
It’s our new record released last September! We decided to take a bit of a different route with this one and feature mainly vocalists for the majority of the record. We always like to push ourselves out of our comfort zone so reaching out and collaborating with different artists in different countries was a big step for us. Luckily it paid off and the result is a sweet succulent nugget of gold!
You’ve been creating together for over 20 years and were the first electronic, instrumentalist duo signed by Elefant Traks – one of Australia’s first independent Hip Hop labels. How did you start producing together? Can you tell us a bit about the scene back then and the role Elefant Traks played in Australia Hip Hop? How does it compare to the Australian music scene today?
It’s actually our 6th record! We started producing together after we played together in bands for a couple of years. Gusto was writing hip hop on an S2000 and I was writing techno on an Atari ST so we joined forces and started writing music heavily influenced by the UK trip hop scene. Elefant Traks had its roots in the electronic scene but over the years morphed more into the hip hop scene. Hip hop in Australia had started to take off around the same time so it was natural that Elefant Traks were a big part of that movement. Around the time we released Hyperparadise, the downtempo electronic dance scene was blowing up in Australia and we were a big part of that wave as well. It’s been an amazing journey from then and now that we’re arriving at our 6th release we feel like our sound has developed yet again into something different and that excites us both!
Who were your early influences?
The Herbaliser, DJ Krush, DJ Food, A Tribe Called Quest, Herbie Hancock, The Prodigy, Digable Planets, Primus, Third World and Capleton to name a few.
How do you guys stay working and touring together for so long?
We make sure we give each other space from time to time so we don’t strangle each other. Nah, tbh we pretty much brothers. We’ve spent most of our lives together and playing music together and we’re both super chill dudes so as long as we have a little break from time to time we’ll keep pumping out the hits lol.
What’s your creative process, and has it evolved from those days when your were hermits in Sound Haven Studio in the Blue Mountains?
I think the equipment and tools have changed over the years, but the creative process is essentially the same. We of course try different techniques to produce different results but I think years of working together has helped us realise what our individual strengths and weaknesses are and so we can complement each other with our different styles.
Every album seems to be a shift in sound? Is this intentional or does it just happen organically? How would you describe your sound now?
A bit of both. We always try and push ourselves with new sounds and directions each time, but we also just try and write what makes us feel good and happy. This latest record is definitely leaning towards a more modern hip hop sound but we’ve also got some bangers in there that hark back to that Dark Night Sweet Light sound.
And who are you listening to now? What are you watching, reading, enjoying doing lately?
Listening to YBN Cordae, Cashmere Cat, Schoolboy Q, Shungudzo, Dorian Concept, Chick Corea, Goldlink, Milan Ring. Just watched Chernobyl. Crazy. Haven’t been reading much lately and just enjoying some nice warm weather which is staring to happen down here.
Where is your favorite place to tour and why?
It’s too hard to narrow down to one place as each place has its own special vibe. I really like touring through Europe. So many cultures so close to each other. You go to a festival in one country, then drive 3 hours to another festival in a different country and it’s completely different! So sick.
Tell us a bit about your shows and the importance of the live element?
We came up playing in bands so our live show is a big part of what we do. We bring a high energy performance highlighted with lots of live instrumentation so our fans are engaged and excited not only by the sounds coming out the speakers, but also by us jumping around and playing lots of different things on stage.
We also asked Hermitude to take over our Spotify playlist, the theme was “Songs that make me feel good”:
Photo Cover: Cole Bennetts
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