Australian house music duo Dylan Griffin & Chad B have started to make waves beyond the shores of their island home with releases on USA’s highly respected Little Helpers as well as exclusive vinyl & digital releases with home imprint Subsonic Music. Now catching the attention of Steve Bug, they make their debut on Poker Flat’s sister label Sublease Music with their ‘We Were Sleeping” EP, consisting of two solid deep house cuts and a dub mix. We invited them along for a guest mix and a chat about music, dreams and annoying habits…
Hey guys, welcome to CC invites 🙂 Firstly, what is your background – how did you each get into music and how did you end up working together?
Dylan: Thanks for the opportunity. I had a pretty eccentric hairdresser as a kid that would always be blasting techno & trance music, so the love for electronica started then I would say. And then in my early twenties I decided I wanted to pursue DJing. And have been DJing across Australia and the Asia Pacific regularly for the last 10 years and wanting something a little more expressive, production was the next natural step. Adam and I have known each other since high school and connected over a shared love of electronic music and now as adults many years and beers later we live in the same city and producing was something we always wanted to pursue together.
How would you describe your sound – do you think your music falls into a particular genre?
Dylan: Ah these questions are always a little difficult. I’ve always loved the minimal more stripped back sounds since the early 2000s, so no matter if it’s a shade darker or more on the house tip I always look for the minimal leaning groove-based music, so naturally our output is coloured by our inspirations. It would fit somewhere in the deep house and micro house realms, always aiming for the hypnotic groove-shaded style of house music. Adam is a sucker for a good melody so we try to meet somewhere in the middle. This latest release is definitely a little bolder and more melodic than our usual output.
You have just released your ‘We Were Sleeping’ EP on Poker Flat’s sister label Sublease. What was the inspiration behind this project and how did the collab with the label come about?
Adam (Chad B): The collab came about through social media actually. Dylan noticed that Steve Bug had included one of our tracks from our EP on Little Helpers which is one of our fave labels! Dylan reached out to Steve and started a dialogue. After a little back and forth, Steve really resonated with a few of our tracks – we’re still really stoked about that – and We Were Sleeping EP was confirmed!
The inspiration for the We Were Sleeping EP actually very much came from the main pad sound in the track combined with the vocal cut. They have this dark, somewhat dystopian vibe that we built the track around. It’s a clubby track but we both enjoy the unique sense of space that the track conveys.
What is your production process – is each project or track different? And what are your key pieces of studio kit?
We usually try to start writing a track based around an idea or sound – that might be a vocal sample, a groove or melodic element. Hate to be bogged down early on, but we have a lot of go to drum sounds. We flesh out the idea by building the parts in Native Instruments Macschine and jam with them to get an idea for an arrangement. We do some processing at this point but try to leave it fairly raw – mostly to make sure that we’re happy with the samples that we’ve chosen along the way and that it fits a certain aesthetic.
Arrangement is next. This is often revised or added to along the way. And lastly, we do the final mixdown. I’m used to fairly traditional studio workflow – recording and then mixing – so this way of working suits me really well. It also allows us to work remotely for the times we can’t get in the studio together.
Ableton and Logic both feature in our setups and we lean on UAD and Slate plug-ins through mixing. But outside the box we like to use our own field recordings and we do use some analog synths like the Korg Minilogue, Roland’s small SH01 and their TB3 Aira and a new fave is the Arturia Microfreak.
What would be your dream label to release on?
Adam & Dylan: Infuse, Berg Audio and Moscow. Oh and… Poker Flat 😉
Which of you has the most annoying habit and what is it?
Dylan: Adam can put away a good few hours looking for “that kick” or that “ride cymbal”.
Adam: And Dylan has a habit of physically taking over the controls – pushing me out of the way in the studio if he has a rush of blood to the head with an idea or thinks I’ve been tinkering with for too long 😉
What is the coolest, wildest or worst gig you have ever played and why?
Dylan: I won’t publicly name and shame on any worst or total disasters haha. But some of the coolest and wildest would be the multiple Rainbow Serpent Festival and Subsonic Music Festival appearances over the last 10 years. Both very special festivals which I miss immensely. Beyond the music these festivals have a real connection to community and a coming together that is really palpable when there and the atmosphere is absolutely electric.
What do you have coming up in terms of releases and gigs (or live streams)?
We’ve been busy in the studio so some more releases in the pipeline.We have a forthcoming release on well-known micro house label Whoyostro this year and some others we can’t mention just yet.
We’d love to work on a stream together. If COVID-19 keep us from leaving the country, we’ll definitely be exploring options for bringing some sort of live show or DJ mix online in the future.
How did you put together your guest mix & what have you included – any exclusives or surprises?
Dylan: I sat down in the winter sun in a loft in the blue mountains, which are a few hours from Sydney, collected some of my current faves and stitched it together with notable mentions to some of our own music, like the title track on our latest EP We Were Sleeping, as well as music from friends. There’s a cheeky, lesser known bootleg from Stephan Bazbaz – not sure if this has been released and an unreleased original from Aussie Somersault. Actually lots of UK gold in there too! 😉
T R A C K L I S T //
- Kazuya Nagaya-Wolfman’s Dream (Original Mix) (SCI+TEC)
- Alexkid – tribute (Original Mix) (RAWAX)
- Traumer- exercise (Original Mix) (Gettraum)
- Mihai Popiviciu – Dublearic Rhythm (Original Mix) (Gruuv)
- Dylan Griffin & Chad B – While we were sleeping (Original Mix) (Sublease Music)
- DJOKO- Barbrady (Original Mix) (PIV)
- Stephan Bazbaz- different morals (Bazbaz edit) (no label)
- Janeret -Gamma (Original Mix) (no label-Bandcamp)
- Somersault – Nuden (Original Mix) (unreleased)
- James Solace – Setting Sun (East End Dubs Remix) (Four Thirty Two)
- Luca Donzelli – Der Sphere (Original Mix) (Moscow)
- Subb-an – Rise feat. Ahmad Larnes (Original Mix) (Moscow)