2012 has started off strong in the wide and wondrous world of house. Gooey basslines and 808 kick drums have been making house heads get dumb since 12:01AM January 1, and judging by some labels’ spring and summer release schedule, the upcoming months will be hotter musically than the center of an active volcano. New to the scene, but not new to the charts, is UK based LOVERDOSE. After a measly seven months together they’ve managed to churn out floor-filling deep house jams and even chart in the Beatport overall top 5 with their release Another Dimension, but they’ve promised there’s more to come. Luckily the guys had a few minutes for chat about their beginnings and where they hope to go. Read on for more!
Hey guys. Seven months together and you’ve already scored the #1 release in deep house and the #5 release overall! How exactly do you do it?
Everything started casually; we met at Gepy’s house for a chill out after a boat party. A quick chat and lots of music led to a studio session. We both have many years of experience so we were sure that something good would happen. After a few sessions we were both very impressed by how comfortable we were in the studio and we really liked what were are creating. After a few releases as Gepy & Levan, we realized that our collision was something unique. That was the moment to start a new project. LOVERDOSE was born in August 2011. The idea was to create quality music without stereotypes.
Tell us a little about your musical upbringing. Were you entirely self-taught? What kind of music did you listen to when you were growing up? What instruments do you play?
Levan: I started piano lessons when I was 7 years old and I found it pretty boring playing classical music at that stage. That was the basis of my musical education. When I was 13, I started to listen to rock music, and my dream was to play guitar like Jimmy Page. So I picked up a guitar and started teaching myself, and by the time I was 17, I was in my first rock band. I used to be a rock’n’roll guy! One day I borrowed a Yamaha sequencer from a friend of mine, just to program drums for one of our recording sessions. Within a few hours, I was hooked, and that was the beginning of my involvement in electronic music. So here we are now with N1 on deep house…
Gepy: Everything started in 1989 on my 10th birthday when my dad (owner of two clubs and a recording studio) bought me my first DJ console as a present. A few years later I was already into music production. I will never forget my first Atari with Cubase and Notator as a platform, MIDI only. My first studio was analog with massive hardware like Oberheim Matrix 1000, Juno 106, Chroma Polaris, TR 909 and many more… Massive 32-channel Allen & Heath mixer and the mythical Yamaha NS10… From there, lots of practice and evolution made me what I am now.
All your tracks are pretty sample-heavy. When you start to write a track, do you start with the samples themselves and write around that, or just start cranking out a house track and all of a sudden realize, “Wait! ‘Another One Bites the Dust’! Right here!”
It’s a bit of both really. Sometimes, when we’re making music, we don’t really think about it. For example, for both tracks on the Another Dimension EP, we didn’t have a particular idea of what we wanted to produce. We just followed our feelings in that moment, but occasionally we have an idea of what we want to do and then that’s it, we carry on… Anything can happen… the last edition of The X Factor was very inspiring for us.
Every track has its own birth story, like everything else in life.
When you were producing the Another Dimension EP what kind of hardware/software were you using?
Ableton as a platform and all sorts of sound generators, from hardware like Fender Chroma Polaris, EVS 1 to VSTs like Specrasonic, Arturia, etc. The vocal was processed with Native Instruments’ The Mouth vocoder, which made Gepy’s vocals sound good. When mixing and mastering, we always use the hardware vintage spectrum analyzer Fostex Sa1, which helps us to see the peaks of frequencies of each instrument well. Also, we used Ozone 5, which we think is the best software for mastering. Seven in one, great result!
Where do you record/produce?
We both have studios at home and we take turns by going to each others. That is because changing the environment gives us more creativity. We also hear music on different monitors, which helps us to achieve the quality mix and sound.
I’ve read you guys have some kind of hybrid Traktor+Ableton computing machine that allows you to perform live on top of a DJ set. How exactly did you put that together and how does it work?
Basically, we synchronized two laptops trough MIDI sync, using the first computer with Traktor as master and the second with Ableton as slave. So, everything is already synced automatically. This gives us the chance to focus on being creative on the set. One of us would play a DJ set with Traktor, and the other with Ableton with an 8-channel MIDI controller and Novation Launchpad. We add extra grooves, melodies, sound FX and all sorts of stuff in real time to create a different mood on top. Also, in the right moment we can play our tracks live with Ableton. That combination gives us lots of fun and allows us to always create a new version of our music in real time. In the future, we’re planning to perform as a live band with live percussion, MIDI guitar, vocals, etc.
Any other release dates/gigs coming up in the foreseeable future?
We are proper music addicts. We think we can’t really survive without creating new music, with new ideas and are always trying to find a new story. We’re constantly working on it. 2012 will be an orgasm for the music lovers. We always play in London and we’ve both played around the world in the past. As LOVERDOSE, we’ve already had some gigs in Italy, Ukraine and Portugal, with more to come soon.
Check out LOVERDOSE’s Top Ten here.