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INTERVIEW: Local Dialect

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.

Can you tell us a little about your experience? Where are you from / how did you get into music?

The two of us met in college and began DJ-ing together at large events, even throwing some of our own parties in our dorm rooms. Those were pretty crazy!

Reed - I'd gotten into electronic music a few years prior. I'd taken piano lessons and played in a few bands in high school so I was always into music, but only started discovering electronic music after arriving at college. There was an electronic producer's club that we both joined, we met a ton of people there who showed us a lot of cool music and helped kickstart our production journeys.

Sam - I've been into music my entire life, but I started getting into electronic music through a high school friend, but Reed and others in the producers club really kick started my journey as a DJ. I didn't actually start producing by myself until after I graduated, around 2015.

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!

How do you feel that your music influences or impacts your listeners?

With every track and DJ set, we strive to tell a story to our listeners and take them on an emotional journey. We tend to gravitate towards big, epic sounds and moving melodies - no point in holding anything back! Our favorite messages that we receive from our listeners is when they tell us that a song touched them or impacted them in a significant way. We're lucky enough to be able to share our music with the world and it's so rewarding when we hear that it meant something to someone.

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 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.

Where are you and what have you been doing now?

Reed - We're both located in Queens, New York City. It was my 30th birthday not too long ago and I went and got some amazing Thai-fusion omakase in Jackson Heights, Queens. Apart from that I've been enjoying the spring weather in New York by biking around the city and rock climbing a bunch.

Sam - I've been stuck inside because of an injury recently, but luckily our studio is in the basement of our apartment :). So I've been enjoying having some free time to create in the studio, and then relaxing by playing some video games. Can't wait to get back outside now that New York is finally getting warm!

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 all know that the digital revolution has affected sales, but has it affected creativity?

In the studio, we really enjoy all the possibilities that digital technology has to offer in music production. We're huge fans of analog synths and have many of them, but since we've become more experienced we're able to create our signature "in the box" as well. We also love to incorporate digital synths and effects even when the main elements of the track come from an analog source. We try to take the best of both worlds and use them together, almost all of our songs are hybrid creations.

Outside of that, we've found that social media and marketing plays a much bigger role in our career than we anticipated. And streaming is definitely changing the landscape of the music business very dramatically as well. Nowadays it's become the norm for artists to derive most of their income from touring rather than sales. These things are definitely challenging at times but we're getting better at taking care of them separately and not letting it influence our creative decision-making.

Can you tell us what your present and future projects are?

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!

Connect with Local Dialect:

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