We all like to think of electronic music culture as one big family, right? I mean, just look around. PLUR has been our guiding principal since roughly 1987, strangers exchange custom Kandi bracelets with each other on the dancefloor, and we all really love hugging. Whether it's a New York City warehouse rave, a farm festival, or a Soul Cycle spin class, I like to think that at some point you will feel at least a modicum of community and the connection with your fellow revelers.
So doesn't it make sense that many of electronic music's most beloved acts consist of artists who came from the same, how should I say… orifice? When forming a successful DJ duo you always want to pair up with someone who can read your every move and understand all of your intricate tendencies—and who better to do so then your bro or sis?
We all know that talent lies in the genes—just look at the Wright Brothers, Peyton and Eli, Alec, Daniel, William and Stephen Baldwin!!! OK, maybe not Willy B, sorry dude. But seriously, the proof here is in the numbers and just because I wanted to make all your lives easier I decided to craft a run-down of some of the most successful DJ sibbies out there. It's a family affair, people.
Brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence have had about as big a year as they possibly could have, so I figured it made sense to start this all off with them. Like many fraternal duos the Lawrences picked up the music bug at a very young age and were more or less prodigies from the get-go. An early interview with Mixmag shines some light on their humble beginnings and states that it was a mutual love for dubstep that first brought them together. In a musical sense that is. After a course in music technology they decided to make the plunge into brotherly production.
Though they both share a seamless affinity for crafting stellar house music as well as a noticeable charisma on stage it is said that they actually have quite different personas, especially when examining their early musical influences. Guy's teen years were characterized by a passion for hip-hop while Howard preferred artists more on the singer-songwriter spectrum. An interview with The Guardian states that Howard initially hated anything electronic and it was only "when Guy turned 18 and started to venture into clubs, hearing sets from Floating Points and Joy Orbison for the first time, that he persuaded younger brother Howard to make electronic music with him. "
2ManyDjs is made up of Belgian bruddas Steven and David Dewaele, who you might also know as two members of the alternative/electronic rock group, Soulwax. In 1998, Soulwax released their greatly acclaimed album Much Against Everyone's Advice, which included the standout cut "Too Many DJs," an ode to the many wannabe disk jocks out there and the hoards of obnoxious clubgoers who think they're the authority on talent. The track ultimately helped spark the side project, which has transformed into one of the most acclaimed DJ duos in history.
Over the course of their careers—which are still going strong after nearly 15 years—the brothers, who are sometimes referred to as "The Fucking Dewaele Brothers" or "The Flying Dewaele Brothers," have earned a reputation for seamless, eclectic sets that keep dancers in a state of exuberant anticipation. The Dewaele's owe much of their record-selecting prowess to their father, who was a DJ himself—with a record collection in the thousands. Also, fun fact: Stephen is the chairman of the Belgian Carpenters Association and David has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Ka-Pow!
You can't mention the early UK rave scene without including Orbital in the same sentence. This brotherly duo which consists of Phil and Paul Hartnoll, were pivotal in the early era of acid house, techno and rave music, and are widely acclaimed as one the most influential groups in electronic music history. The group recorded their first record "Chime" on their father's cassette deck in 1989 and within a few months it became a certified rave classic.
Their productions consist of countless beloved classics like "Halcyon" (a track dedicated to the Hartnolls' mother who was addicted to the tranquilizer Halcion for many years) and "Belfast," both of which capture the groups' knack for hypnotic, enveloping soundscapes. Orbital was also extremely influential in the early culture of live electronic music performances and were among the first groups to incorporate elements of live improvisation into their sets—sequencing their tracks on the fly and always wearing their trademark head-mounted torches.
THE MARTINEZ BROTHERS
Bronx-bred Chris and Steve Martinez, known to the world as The Martinez Brothers, are among the most promising duos in underground house and techno music—and year after year they continue to move up the ranks. These tight-knit New Yorkers began rinsing house records before they were even in high school and like many other sibling teams were inspired by their dad, who instilled them with awe at nightlife glory tales about iconic dance clubs like The Loft and Paradise Garage.
The brothers caught a break when they befriended the legendary Dennis Ferrer, who helped spark their career with an invitation to spin at another former NYC house mecca, The Shelter. Since those days, Chris and Steve have been gigging around the world and have cemented their place among house music's finest. In a November article with Rolling Stone they attribute a lot of their talent to the fact they are indeed two peas in a pod. "We're literally the same person," says Steve. "If he says it's wack, then it's wack, and vice versa."
I know what you're all thinking—this list is quickly turning into a serious broverload. Don't fret people, because here's a couple of lovely and talented sisters to add a little gender diversity into the mix. Yes folks, I'm talking about the Nervo twins. Miriam and Olivia Nervo aka Mim and Liv were born and raised in Melbourne, Austrialia and began their careers as fashion models. But as Liv Nervo stated back in 2012, music was always their main focus.
The duo quickly went on to pen a deal with Sony/ATV and began a career in songwriting, and in 2009, they ended up co-writing David Guetta and Kelly Rowland's worldwide smash hit, "When Love Takes Over." Today, the NERVO sisters are among the most sought after in contemporary house music with DJ sets everywhere from Pacha Ibiza to mega festivals like Ultra and TomorrowWorld.
Their sound is characterized by big-room beats often paired with their own euphoric and commanding vocals. When asked in an interview with Beatport what it's like to work together as sisters, Liv describes how much working closely together has shaped their career and fueled their creativity. "It's good. We always have a friend around, we never get lonely. We run around the world together and if we didn't have each other, we wouldn't have nearly as much fun. It's also good because we've always got someone to bounce ideas off of… If you're unsure about something or you need advice or you just need another creative mind—we're very thankful for that." Awww!
A-TRAK & DAVE1
Without a doubt, two of the the industry's most influential brothers are Alain and David Macklovitch—known to the world as A-Trak and Dave1, of electro-funk outfit Chromeo. A-Trak, a world-renowned DJ and turntablist and the head honcho at Fool Gold Records has been making serious moves since winning the DMC world DJ championship back in 1997. Since then the dude has been on a nonstop path towards world domination and has become an overall ambassador of electronic music. His older brother, David, hasn't been too far behind as he gained worldwide acclaim with Chromeo's unique flavor of funk infused electro-pop music. In a Q&A from Interview Magazine, the brothers discuss how their paths have often crossed throughout their careers, leading to unique opportunities and what Dave1 refers to as "the Macklovitch Mafia."
In an inteview with SPIN the brothers dicuss how their own divergent musical careers have only served to boost their reach and subsequent fame. "Chromeo got a broader reach in electronic music, and then A-Trak's stuff went beyond hip-hop, and then we both got reclaimed by the hip-hop community," Dave 1 told SPIN at SXSW. "Now, it's kind of become one big scene and we get to play together." The taste making siblings have often been known to take advantage of this fact and love to throw down collaborative DJ sets, often under the moniker "The Brothers Macklovitch."
Move over Nervo—you're not the only DJs who came from the same zygote! Twin bros Sherwyn and Kendrick Nicholls make up the Denver-based outfit Two Fresh and are known for a wide swath of styles, from hip-hop instrumentals packed with catchy synth lines all the way to more overdriven, trap-infused beats. Before even turning 21 the duo had found home with 1320 Records as well as the Boulder-based Elm & Oak Records (owned by Paper Diamond), and more recently have been releasing and touring as part of the LA-based SMOG Records crew. These dudes have an affinity for throwing down diverse and tigh-knit live sets and continue to expand on their sound year after year.
In 2013, a whole lotta people caught Krewella fever or as their many fans would put it—got wet. The trio, which consists of sisters Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf as well as the far less eye-catching Kris "Rain Man" Trindl, were on just about everyone's radar and could be seen and heard everywhere from Good Morning America, to FM radio, 13-year-old girls' iPods, and even in an anti-bullying music videos with Headhunterz. The sisters hold down the singing and songwriting side of the group, and have been known for provoking mayhem with their live performances in which they jump, scream and flail around like a couple of crazy people. In an interview with The Music Ninja, the Yousafs discuss how they came from a very musically-aware household, with a "rock girl" mom and a dad who was more of "pop guy." Makes sense to me seeing that their music certainly packs a hybrid flavor that sits somewhere between pop and punk.
Little do you know that David and Carl Cox were actually seperated at birth. @DLGarber