Princeton grads turned producers, Local Dialect releases two-track EP, Erebus. We have had the pleasure of speaking with them and this has been the result.
What was the first thing that attracted you to electronic music?
Reed – I was always into music but I remember being in high school and reading about the UK dubstep scene that was happening back then. It was the first time that I realized that music could be made on a computer rather than with an acoustic instrument. It was a lightbulb moment for me and I quickly started researching everything I could about it. I think it was because I didn’t feel I was good enough to make music the “normal” way, but I was good with computers and thought that I could have more control over things that way!
Sam – Daft Punk. A friend in high school showed me Homework and that opened a whole world for me! I had been playing Jazz and listening to Hip-Hop and Rock for years but hearing songs like “One More Time” and “Da Funk” really shifted my musical focus.
Do you remember any album or concert that changed everything?
We had a few formative experiences together with electronic music during the summer between our sophomore and junior years in college. We went to a music festival together with a bunch of friends called Camp Bisco. It was 3 days, very chaotic and crazy, but also so much fun and so freeing. It was the first time we’d been in a festival environment and it blew our minds! Everyone was so friendly, inclusive, and supportive. We both felt very safe and loved.
Later that same summer we went to Electric Zoo. Most of the festival was not as cool as Camp Bisco, but we saw Above & Beyond for the first time. We’d both been really into their music and Anjunabeats/Anjunadeep for a while by then, but seeing them live for the first time, everything clicked. When they typed out messages to the audience on the screen behind them, every message paired with the song they were playing perfectly, and it felt like it was made just for me and related somehow to whatever we were going through at the time. It really turned me on to the power of electronic music. We still remember that show to this day.
How is your sound evolving? What artists and genres do you enjoy mixing right now?
Right now we’re very into everything that Stil Vor Talent is doing, as well as folks like Desert Hearts Black, Einmusika, and Zerothree. Been mixing a lot of melodic techno from artists like Lexer, Enamour, and Super Flu and really liking how that feels in the club!
What projects are you working on right now? What can you tell us about your last job?
We just released our debut EP on Desert Hearts Black! We’re very proud of both of the tracks – Erebus and Prometheus. Erebus is named for the Greek primordial deity of darkness, and it’s a strong, chugging track with a crazy topline that culminates in big bursts of energy. It’s quite a bit different from anything we’ve made before.
Prometheus is named for the Titan who was responsible for bringing fire to humans. According to the Greek myth, Zeus punished him for this by chaining him to a rock, where an eagle would come every day to eat his liver. Although he did something that he believed was right, he ended up paying for it. This sort of moral gray area reflects the emotional space we like to occupy with our music, and especially with this track – it’s dark and moody but can also be uplifting and moving depending on the context. We like to leave it up to the listener to decide how our music makes them feel.
Has that sound changed a lot in recent years? What is your musical criteria?
Our sound is constantly evolving. We set out with the intention of making a lot of different types of music, from chiller melodic deep house, to more energetic progressive, to clubby techno. The melodic stuff has always come more naturally to the both of us, and only fairly recently have we begun to settle into our darker side. It’s just a bit more difficult to execute technically and we’ve only gotten into this type of music within the last 5 years, whereas we’ve both listened to deep house and progressive for over 10 years now.
Do you feel safe now to play a more experimental sound?
We’re definitely always experimenting in the studio. We tend to get bored if we do the same thing for too long, so we’re always trying to switch things up. We try not to worry about the end result when writing new music so that we can be fully free and in the moment with whatever is catching our interest. Sometimes it ends up that the idea doesn’t work out or the track doesn’t quite fit with the Local Dialect sound, but that’s ok! Play is an important part of the process, without it things can get sterile very quickly.
With DJ-ing, we’ve found that we prefer longer set times so that we can tell a more complete story, but also because it leaves enough time to try some different sounds and go off on tangents that aren’t possible with shorter sets. Our most recent set that we played closing for Bob Moses and Amtrac is a good example of this. We were able to play a wider range of sounds, starting with progressive and moving into techno about halfway through, with a few more experimental cuts interspersed throughout.
We have a few releases lined up with Zerothree this summer, working on some vocal tracks which is very exciting! And also have another EP with a label that we’ve looked up to for a very long time coming out in August… Stay tuned!