Rising duo Cortese follow stellar releases on Shall Not Fade and Sasha’s Luzoscura LP with a solid debut on Constant Circles. Ahead of the release, we invited them along for a guest mix and a chat.
Hey Cortese, welcome to CC 🙂 Firstly, what is your background and how did you end up working together?
Yo! We both get started making tracks together when we were studying at DMU in Leicester and kind of evolved from there after graduating.
We both grew up listening to various forms of electronic music but with slightly different backgrounds in it, especially old-school trance, house and UKG so you may be able to hear those influences in our music.
Where are you based and how has your home country or town influenced your music & career?
When we were living in Leicester we were making melodic techno-influenced tunes to begin with but then became influenced by the sounds of the Sophbeck where DJs like Stray and the Beastwang guys played a lot of post-dubstep, bassline or UKG shows.
Moving to Reading after that we moved more into breaks and techno, partially because we spent a lot of time at a club called Purple Turtle. Now we’re at different ends of the country, Brighton and Manchester, so our collective influences have grown through those locations too.
How would you describe your sound – do you think your music falls into a particular genre?
I think we’re fairly genre-fluid at this stage as we’re making different-sounding tracks all of the time but each with a focus on trying to make interesting melodies and drum patterns through fusing genres.
We never want to make the same track twice and are always discovering new influences which work their way into our production.
You are making your debut on Constant Circles with a killer 2 track EP – how did you approach this project and how did the idea come together?
Off the back of our track on Sasha’s LUZoSCURA LP we got in touch with Just Her who was also on the record. We found Constant Circles to be a great platform to develop the sound we had started to work with in the LUZoSCURA track.
We had a lot of fun producing the track Circles and wanted to blend the dark breaks sound of that track with more upbeat melodies and UKG rhythms in Terminal. In Parallels, we wanted to blend some big piano house chords with an electro rhythm.
What is your production process – is each project or track different? And what are your key pieces of studio kit?
We don’t really have too much of a routine with projects, they just tend to come from random ideas and then evolve by sending project files backwards and forwards to get each other’s take on them.
In terms of studio kit, we have a SH-01A and a MS-20. They’re not integral to our sound, more just to jam on.
How do you work as a duo – do you both have specific roles in the studio and when performing?
We both do a bit of everything, but we definitely have our individual strengths. So, we probably have certain roles, but those roles can change from track to track.
Right now, we’re making music almost entirely over Zoom which is something we had to teach ourselves over lockdown. It’s been effective though. We’ve definitely done some of our best work remotely.
Which of you has the most annoying habit and what is it?
We both have a bad habit of not trying to fix the WiFi when it plays up even though the amount of time wasted trying to reconnect to Zoom is ridiculous.
What is the coolest, wildest or worst gig you have ever played?
We haven’t actually had the chance to play too many shows but before lockdown we were at Ministry of Sound where we played Renault Sport out for the first time, before it was released. The reaction of the crowd was wicked and convinced us to release it, and that was the biggest turning point for Cortese so far.
Now that the world is opening again, what do you have coming up in terms of releases and gigs?
In August we’re playing with the Eton Messy crew up at NT’s Loft and then a few more lined up for the rest of the year which we’ll be able to announce soon!
Other than the Constant Circles release, we have a track called Girls Like You with the incredible vocals of Emma Cannon which will probably have been released by the time this interview is aired.
There are a few more bits to come later on in the year which we’ll be able to talk about soon hopefully!
How did you put together your guest mix for the radio show & what have you included – any exclusives or surprises?
We wanted to showcase some of the music we’ve been really releasing on the Plaza label recently as well as some of our own tracks combined with some of our favourites that we’ve heard recently. Hope you enjoy it!
Mon 02.08 – https://www.cosmosradio.de/ 8pm Berlin (7pm UK)
Tue 03.08 – https://ncradio.fr/ 8pm France (7pm UK)
Wed 04.08 – https://www.dnaradiofm.com 11pm ART (2am UK)
Every Sat – https://www.deepinradio.com Midnight CET (11pm UK)
Sun 08.08 – https://www.saturosounds.com 3-5pm UK
Wed 11.08 – https://www.protonradio.com 10pm EST (3am UK)