Set to pilot our third floor next Friday, the Brooklyn based collective, Safer At Night (who we introduced to you last week here), are just one of the many imprints supporting the latest state side offering, Walker & Royce. Dipped in vocals and charged with solid basslines, Sam Walker & Gavin Royce don a groove that's already shaping up New York City's electronic spectrum, releasing on labels like Moda Black, PETS and Crosstown Rebels since they made their entrance back in 2012.
Now, as they continue their musical pursuit, the hotly tipped duo are fixing up for their fabric debut on 10th October by providing us with this exclusive new mix and a little introduction to themselves as we ask a few probing questions...
For anyone that might not have heard of you guys before, can you briefly introduce yourself? We're Samuel Walker & Gavin Royce from Brooklyn NYC.
How would you describe your sound and what you do?
Tweaky house with a bit of soul and usually a bit of a slamming edge. We like epic moments in our music and usually some vocal element to ground things here on Earth.
How’s your year been so far?
The year's been fantastic. We started it off with our second time in Europe and then spent some more time here in the summer. We had some great plays both times, particularly in Dublin where people were literally climbing the walls, that was nuts. We had one run where we had three gigs in one day. We were lucky to make it all the way through! We've been really happy with the music we've put out this year, on Safer At Night, Pets, Sincopat, and Moda Black. Oh, and Sam got married!
You just released your new EP Sister. Can you tell us a little bit about that? How’s the response been so far? What we did with Sister was a bit of a risk because it really wasn't quite like anything we've done before, at least not to us. But with any track, going in we aren't ever trying to copy ourselves. We never use a template or anything. We wanted to do something jacking and subby and this is what came out. And at the time, we weren't sure how people were gonna take it. But the response has probably been some of the best we've seen yet, with the DJ support we've been getting and from the crowds too.
For Do Not Disturb, we were warming up to the idea of a lot of distorted bottom end and aside from that, the track just came together over these loud hiphop-inspired saw wave intrusions, which I think a lot of folks aren't expecting from the rest of the track. Again, we didn't know how it was gonna go over until we started playing it out but the response for this one has been really good too!
What else do you have in the pipeline that we can look out for?
S:We recently finished a remix for Worthy's track Luna which will be out soon, as well as a remix for Outputmessage's track 'Pillars'. Our main focus in the studio has been on new originals that will be coming soon on Moda Black and Pets Recordings and finally an EP with our good friend and talented vocalist Steven Klavier for Safer At Night.
G:We are also going to spending a lot of time over in Europe this winter, mostly between Berlin and the UK. Some people thought is was silly to come for the winter but New York City is really cold during these months so for us its the perfect time to leave. We both own multiple winter jackets and are prepared.
So take us back to the beginning a bit, how did Walker & Royce come about? What influenced you to start making music?
S:We both started working together in 2011 when Gavin needed some help putting together a remix for Dither Down Records. I had recently quit my job at Ableton and Gavin had been DJing in NYC for years so we were already set up for things to develop but we had no idea that it would take off like it did. I think the main thing that made me want to write music was not hearing enough of a particular sound and instead of going and digging for it, why not just create it ourselves?
G: Yeah we have been friends for over 10 years now and sort of had different tastes for that entire time. When we did do a few sessions together I think we realized we had a similar philosophy on how dance music (particularly house) should sound and progress. It really felt like a light bulb came on and the rest was just natural. The response was really good right away and we had just helped set up the Nervous Records sub-label 'Nurvous' so having that outlet really helped fuel the fire as well.
What have been the greatest challenges so far? What have you learnt in the process? S: The biggest thing is time. Things take a lot of time to happen and you can't expect success overnight. We've learnt to be patient.
G: Yes, or one could say we are learning to be patient. We love what we do and wouldn't change it for anything, but its not always easy. We won't go into it anymore as another thing we learned is that people hate DJ's that complain.
Other than music, what do you guys like to do? S: When I'm not writing or listening I'm usually reading, I read a lot. So much of my time is noisy, I looooove quiet when I get the chance.
Gavin: I like to boogie. I love, love, LOVE a good sandwich...
What do you like about London and the UK?
S: London has a great music scene, there's never a dull moment, it's always easy to get around, and the people are usually really into it. Oh and Dirtyburger!! And it doesn't get dark, like, ever in the summer. Tough in the winter though. As for the rest of the UK, it's so green, even right in London but especially outside of it. It's great countryside. The smaller towns we've been to have all had populations of clubbers that simply do not exist in the US and for us that's just so refreshing.
G: We absolutely love it here! The stigma that the food here isn't that good is total horseshit, we have never had a bad meal in London. My family also comes from the North, a little crazy town called Barrow-In-Furness (yeah that place). I was born and raised in the states but spent some summers up there. As far as music goes, the energy and attitude towards house music is incredible. In London and all over the UK, people are so passionate about it and extremely open. It's so refreshing and exactly why we want to spend time in this environment, its totally opposite of the US. I love that dance music is growing and maturing in the US but its still such a taboo genre to people, especially when it comes to quality house music.
Who else are you supporting right now?
S: So much great stuff at the moment, we're loving the new stuff from Dark Sky, Beesmunt Soundsystem, Curses, Doctor Dru, always a huge fan of Andhim & Super Flu, Doorly, Danny Daze, Aaron Snapes, Volkoder... there's way too much to list!
G: Yeah Sam said it best, too much to list. We are always paying attention to our favorite labels like Safer At Night, Pets and Moda Black. There are also a lot of labels out of Brooklyn we love to support like Let's Play House, Throne of Blood to name a few. We are really proud of our home town friends making big moves.
Finally, you're making your FABRICLIVE debut next month. Can you tell us a little more about what to expect?
Expect us to bring our 'A game'. This is literally a dream come true for us and we are not taking it lightly, we are super honoured to be playing FABRICLIVE and haven't been this nervous about a gig in a while, its good nerves though...