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Yolanda Be Cool Are Actually Super Cool

The Aussie duo drops a remix from their new record and tells us about pushing boundaries at their new home, Dim Mak Records.
August 12, 2013, 9:00pm

Remember "We No Speak Americano," that incessant, swing-y jingle from 2010 that briefly became everyone's ringtone? Of course you do. Because you loved it. Admit it. Well, the Aussie duo behind that earworm, Yolanda Be Cool, have officially busted out of one-hit wonder status with the help of Steve Aoki's LA electro imprint, Dim Mak, and they're gearing up to drop the new single, "Sweat Naked." Fun fact: that pitch-shifted demonic voice you hear in the track—"When it feels like I'm totally, completely losing it," etc.—is actually sourced from an obscure gabber headsplitter. (We shit you not. Check it out).


We caught up with Sylvester Martinez and Johnson "Durango Slim" Peterson of Yolanda Be Cool, and scooped an exclusive remix of the track by the up-and-comer Harris Robotis, who smooths out the original's machine gun-like kicks with his lush deep house vibes. Go ahead and download it gratis before the Sweat Naked EP drops August 13 on Dim Mak Records.

THUMP: Hey guys, where are you right now?

Sylvester: I am in New York sitting on Johnson's sister's couch or sofa or whatever you call it here.

You can call it whatever you want because this is America. So, how did you get into electronic music?

S: Once I realized all the best hip-hop records had already been made, I slowly made the transition from the hip-hop section of the record store to the house section. It was a slow move and started with a lot of Masters At Work until I eventually felt comfortable not high-fiving the guys selling hip-hop, and just heading straight over to Azzido Da Bass and friends.

How did you guys meet each other?

S: We actually used to see each other out surfing at our local break in Tamarama, but finally met years later when I was working as a barman and Johnson was the DJ. I used to hit him up for tracks at the end of every set.

What was life like before you had a breakout single in the charts?

S: Life still consisted of making music and playing gigs every weekend, except back then I wouldn't be sitting on Johnson's sister's sofa/couch in New York. I would probably be sitting on my own sofa/couch in Bondi dreaming about one day sitting on a sofa/couch in New York doing interviews.


We're meeting a lot of internationally renowned artists from Australia these days. What's going on with the Aussie scene? Is it something in the water?

S: The Aussie scene is super healthy and diverse. You got our man Flume absolutely selling out shows around the world and Jagwa Ma being the band to see at Glastonbury. Then you have legends like Plastic Plates and Wordlife, not to mention Rüfüs, who have just had their album debut at #1 on iTunes in Australia. Our label Sweat It Out is actually on fire at the moment with Rüfüs, What So Not, Indian Summer, Caseno, Playmode, Terace, Go Freek, Danny T., and Harris Robotis all making some serious moves.

How did you settle on Dim Mak records?

Johnson: We had bumped into Steve on tour a few times and he's such a lovely guy, but we always had the perception that his label was too banging for us. Then we were in Berlin and had dinner with the Booka Shade guys, who for us are about as cool as they come, and they had just signed to Dim Mak and were singing their praises. Then Azari & III did the same, so it just all felt right. Steve has actually said to us that we are part of the new sound for Dim Mak, which we were pretty stoked with.

What's next for Yolanda Be Cool?

S: Release-wise, we have a really exciting collab with the singers from Azari & III, Fritz Helder and Starving Yet Full, coming out on Dim Mak, which is a cover of the Ace of Base tune "All That She Wants." Then we have what is probably the track we are most proud of coming out on Nurvous also pretty soon, which is called "To Be Alone" and features Omar and a very, very talented Aussie singer. And gig-wise we are about to play at three massive U.S. festivals that if we weren't playing we would definitely buy tickets to: Burning Man, Electric Zoo, and TomorrowWorld.

Can you tell us about some of the cuts you've been playing in your sets recently?

S: We like to call them cool bangers or funky bangers. They are songs that do the job of big, cheesy EDM Beatport Top 10 tracks, but still have a nod to the cooler underground scene which we love. Guys like Alex Metric, Justin Martin, Destructo, Wax Motif, Wordlife all have tracks we are smashing at the moment.