Parisian bassheads The Town have a bit of a bass-music pedigree. Producer Kazey claims to be Europe’s first importer of Baltimore club music, and his partner, Karve, is not only France’s 2005 DMC champion, but also DJed in Saian Supa Crew, who, for those who aren’t familiar, was one of France’s most well-known rap crews a few years back. The pair also run SpottieOttieDopaLiscious, a bi-monthly club night at Paris’ Social Club, which brings together all manner of deep-and-dirty sounds (think house, UK funky, 2-step, B-more), so it’s no surprise that their debut under their new moniker, which came out this week on French Fries‘ ClekClekBoom label, carves an equally gritty, percussive club groove. So give that EP, The Movement / Pulse, a listen below while we happily introduce you to The Town.
Can you tell us a little about your background? Where did you grow up, and where are you based now?
Kazey: We both grew up in the suburbs on the west side of Paris. We’re now both living in the north of Paris—the XVIII is our hood. My real interest in music started at the end of the ‘80s with hip-hop, Miami bass, and hip-house, and then later with the second wave of Detroit’s producers. Since then, I’ve always kept an eye on electronic music.
Karve: I’m younger than Kazey, but started pretty much the same way in the early ‘90s with hip-hop and later Chicago house.
How did you get started DJing and/or making music?
Kazey: I’ve always bought records, so starting mixing was a really natural process. I started playing in the mid-’90s at rave parties, then progressively in clubs. I played everything between Chicago house, garage, drum & bass, techno, and of course hip-hop. I started producing really late (sometime around 2005 probably), even though I had a lot of friends with home studios.
Karve: I got started with a deep passion for turntablism when I was young. I used to be really into those DMC championships, and finally won the French competition in 2005. I had the chance to tour with a hip-hop crew for a few years and then realized it was time for me to step it up, and I decided to get on-board with production. I met Kazey a bit later when I moved to Paris and we created The Town.
How would you describe the music that you make?
Kazey: I would say TwistedTribalFunkyBassyParisClubMusic or subjackin’, if we had to put a name on it.
Karve: It’s a mix of a lot of genres. We both have slightly different tastes, and we get inspired by a lot of stuff we listen to, from Chicago house to UK garage, 2-step or hip-hop.
How would you describe your sets?
Kazey: We only DJ at the moment, and we love it. It’s a mix between house and bass, Baltimore, UK funky, garage, Jersey club, and hip-hop. We do a lot of edits so we can surprise people with new versions.
Did you have any mentors when you were starting out? Who helped you get established?
Kazey: We don’t have any mentors, but we do have references—producers that made the “perfect beat” we are always looking for, guys like Paul Johnson or Rod Lee.
When did you first feel that you had finally discovered your own individual sound?
Karve: It would take a lot to say that we already found our own individual sound. We released our debut EP this year and have a lot of new material that will clearly indicate where we are going musically. It’s a long and difficult process, though.
Are you the type of musicians that know what kind of track you want to write before you sit down to make it, or do you create music more from a process of experimentation, trial, and error?
Karve: That’s when working together really helps us. Personally, I jam a lot and create a lot of random beats. Then we try to pinpoint ideas, and Kazey helps us focus on the main direction. He knows exactly where to go and what to do to make it work.
How do you explain your music to your family members?
Karve: My parents don’t understand at all, but they try to.
When you sit down to make a track, what’s the first thing you typically do?
Karve: Before even opening our DAW, the first thing we do is to create a quick pattern on a Roland TR-606. Then we try to stick with the rhythm and build the track around it. Working with someone is always a long process because we both need to approve every idea. From time to time, it’s really important to take a step back and think, so we don’t get caught up in something useless.
Where do you record?
Karve: It depends. It could be at home or at the studio. Usually, we can create a groove and build ideas at home, but we always end up in our studio to get the best of our gear.
Do you currently have a favorite piece of gear/software?
Kazey: We don’t really have a favorite piece of gear, even if we always end up using our TR-606 or Manare‘s Korg Triton in the studio. Then we sequence everything in Logic 9.
Are you morning people or night owls?
Kazey: I’m a night owl, but I do wake up early in the morning.
Karve: Definitely night owl.
Which record do you wish you had made?
Karve: ”Fever” from Little Willie John.
Kazey: ”Spottieottiedopaliscious” from Outkast. This song is a must for me. We even used the name for our residency at the Social Club in Paris.
If a wrecking ball was headed for your house, which one record would you rescue before it hit?
Karve: I would probably saved the Moodymann records from Kazey’s collection!
When you’re not making or playing music, what’s your preferred pastime?
Kazey: Spending time with my girlfriend, digging sounds, and saving the world.
If you weren’t a musicians, what would you be doing with your lives?
Kazey: I would love to have an art gallery.
Karve: I have no idea, and I’ve never thought about it, to be honest.