Next up on the Brooklyn-founded, Düsseldorf-based Desolat imprint is the acclaimed deep house and techno pair youANDme, who drop a new single that comes equipped with remixes by label boss Loco Dice and label associate Pablo Bolivar from Pulshar.
youANDme is a collaborative project between Martin and Daniel, who take residence in Berlin. They've done official work for artists like Moodymann, Radio Slave, Seth Troxler, Lawrence, and a host of others, as well as running Rotary Cocktail and a handful of other mysterious labels.
"Take Away," which is dropping on digital this week, was written last summer with South African vocalist Black Soda. The track itself—as featured in our instrumental premiere—is built on a bed of pinging drums, coarse claps, and colourful xylophone-like melodies. When coupled with the jaunty arrival of Black Soda's spoken word addition to the original, you have a proper underground anthem in the making.
THUMP: The youANDme project is known for making raw, emotive underground sounds. Explain the collaborative production process between you two.
Martin: We both have our own studios with nearly the same setups. That makes it easy to share ideas and work together. You will find a lot of old synthesizers, drum machines, and obscure EFX boxes. We really love the warm and fat—and a bit dirty—aesthetics of the analog stuff. It's always a lot of fun to jam with real machines because it makes the sound more natural.
Daniel: Our style is still very influenced by Detroit-inspired techno, but also open to all kinds of electronic music! We try to mix up stripped-down dirty beat structures with interesting and experimental sounds.
Since you mentioned analog, can you detail the various hardware synths you used to create "Take Away"?
Martin: The synth sounds here are made with the Moog Voyager, the Prophet 12, and the Roland Alpha Juno. For basslines, the Moog is our favorite because it's really powerful. The dirty top sound is played with the Prophet 12—it creates a certain deep and raw feeling. The Alpha Juno is another favourite. It's a synthesizer which you can find in all of our latest productions. The strings are fantastic and used in this Desolat track, as well as our new Cocoon release "Jungle Book." We're sure it was used in many old Detroit techno records. It has a warm, emotional, and responsive sound, only it's not as famous as the Roland Jupiter series or the Juno 106. This means it's still affordable and one of the analog world's undiscovered little gems.
Although we are premiering the instrumental version of "Take Away", how do you define the effect that Black Soda's vocals add to the original?
Daniel: Black Soda from South Africa is an amazing artist, we love her unique voice. The instrumental version is solid, but the heaviness truly takes off with the arrival of her breezy, spoken word vocals. She's just magic. When we recorded the vocals in our studio, we got goosebumps and knew this song would be something special.
The remixes on this EP span many different worlds of house and techno, from Loco Dice to Pablo Bolivar (from Pulshar) to Back To The Void. How does it feel to hear your original reconstructed in these diverse ways?
Daniel: It's a pleasure to have these awesome artists doing their own interpretation of our song. We are really happy with the results. Loco Dice did a bit more of a minimal and groovy floorshaker, taking the original track into a completely different direction. It works great on the dancefloor!
Martin: Pablo Bolivar did the two other remixes. The first is more dreamy and you could feel the sunny vibes of Barcelona. The other one is really deep and dub techno inspired.
Daniel: Big thanks to Dice and Pablo for their great work!
What does making your debut release on an iconic label like Desolat mean at this stage in your careers?
Martin: We're happy to work with Desolat because it's an established label with a great pool of artists. The guys work really professionally. They gave us the opportunity to have two awesome remix collaborators and did a hard promotion with amazing feedback. We can definitely say we are looking forward to working on more new stuff for Desolat!
Daniel: Also, our "Jungle Book" EP on Cocoon got so much support from all the big players and it turned out to be a big success, especially in Ibiza. It makes us really happy. And there will be other youANDme releases coming out soon. In October, we have a record featuring the vocals of Brothers' Vibe on Finale Sessions, a US label. Then we've got the vocals of Gjaezon highlighted for an effort on one of our favorite labels, Drumpoet Community from Zürich. It's an exciting time!
Christopher is on Twitter