Behind the Beat: DSEM
Following on from their stellar EP ‘Dance With Me’ released on Rec Division we caught up with the duo to uncover more about this new fresh sound and their journey towards DSEM.
Only The Beat: So let’s start off with where the music all begins, can you talk us through your studio setup?
DSEM: We work both with analog and digital gear. The heart of the set up is a 2005 Mac Pro, we don´t work with a console instead we use all type of vintage and modern mic preamps, eq and dynamics processors like Neve, Api, SSL, Telefunken, Crane song. We are also very fond of guitar pedals of all types for processing For Akiles vocals we normally use a vintage RDA Neumann U87. We like to play with our Viruss TI, JP 8000, Nord Lead, Gibson les Pauls, S.G, but we also like Maschine quite a lot , Spectrasonics Omnisphere and Logics EXS24 Sampler.
OTB: What would you say is your most defining plug in/hardware sound from that makes up the backbone of DSEM?
DSEM: We always try to give a smooth analog touch in all our productions on every instrument we use, sometimes using specific digital plugins, sometimes processing with the analog hardware mentioned earlier.
As a plug in Native Instruments Maschine is a cracker , we can’t live without our SSL channel.
OTB: Working as a duo, do you take on different roles when writing/producing? Who is best at what?
DSEM: Half-half we know how to complement each other, when one of us is editing the other is thinking about the arrangements or structure. This helps to liberate blocked and saturated minds
OTB: Again, as a duo, how do you set out to play live, surely the option is there to be more creative? Are you tempted to bring the live factors in?
DSEM: Sure we are always trying to make our sets bigger but usually we have to fit in very reduced spaces and you wouldn’t say we´re little either. Many aren’t prepared for a live act with synths and lots of cables lying around, we are hoping to gig with live drums, guitars, synths. The vocals is the most important element in our live set since we started, so we care all the details to have a big and attractive whole sound on them.
OTB: Going back through your musical history, do you have similar musical upbringings? Were you ever formally trained? If so, do you feel this gives you an advantage when being creative in the studio?
DSEM: We share many influences and we like same music in many different styles. Our music formation gives us an extra punch at the studio to create the compositions but always let the music flow.
OTB: Your most recent release, Dance With Me, has just been released. Were there more than the three tracks we have here and you cut the EP down, or did you only make these three tracks with the intention of being the ‘Dance With Me’ EP?
DSEM: Well this year that`s ending has been very productive for us. We tried to give a solid character to the EP from the dark/deep sounds of Nightshift or Dance With Me, to the house groovy non-stop dancing feelings of Heat Dancer but always seeking the Deep Soul Electronic Music that we carry inside.
OTB: Is there a common sound or story that runs through the original tracks?
DSEM: Sure it’s the night itself, you start loosing feet at the club to end at the couch with a touch of romanticism and why not, some lysergic emanations…
OTB: Was house music always your main focus within electronic music or have you ever broadened your search and delved into branches such as drum and bass etc?
DSEM: No we like many styles in electronic, considering our music quite “eclectic”, we don’t want to be locked only in one style, and our roots are rock, post punk, new wave, we always give a touch to our music on that way
OTB: Is there one artist out there that most influences your sound?
D.S.E.M.: From Depeche Mode, Gus Gus to Ten Walls…
OTB: Who has been the best DJ you have ever seen live?
DSEM: Wow!! one of the best…there are many: Matthew Herbert, Ricardo Villalobos, DJ Hell, Laurent Garnier, James Murphy, Maceo Plex.
OTB: What are your top five tracks right now?
DSEM: Solomun – “Zora”
Tale Of Us, Mind Against – “Astral”
Kintar, Brigado Crew – “Oz Zone”
Lopezhouse, Angela – “Mude Tod”
Maceo Plex, C.A.R – “Mirror Me” feat. C.A.R
‘Dance With Me’ is out now on Rec Division and available here.
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