New York duo Solidisco have been on a undeniable hot streak as of late, with their refreshingly modern take on classic disco winning over ears everywhere. Coming off of the heels of a hugely successful 2013, they've launched into the new year with not only an incredible single in Top Of The World ft. Skyy, but a new EP out today on Ultra Records, a remix out last week for LA's Mystery Skulls with many more on the way, and a consistent string of shows. There's a reason why they made it into our Top Artists to Watch in 2014, and we think it's safe the say they're poised for a big year. We were fortunate enough to have the chance to sit down with them, to talk about their first experiences with dance music and it's infatuation with disco, to modernizing a classic sound and their biggest moments yet. We'll let you dig a bit deeper into what they're all about below, but first don't miss the amazing exclusive mix they've put together for us — with generous goods from Lenno, Duck Sauce, The Alexanders, and of course the guys themselves.
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Caveman Sound: As your name denotes, you guys are clearly very influenced by disco, tell us about your background and inspiration with it.
Solidisco: We've always had disco/funk around us pretty much our entire lives. We grew up hearing Michael Jackson on the radio. We both were listening to hip-hop in the 90s, which heavily sampled disco records at the time. Then when we first really got into dance music it was through disco house tracks from people like Armand Van Helden/Dimitri From Paris/Cassius.
CS: What was the first dance/electronic song you heard growing up?
SD (Matt): I was an indie/alternative/nu metal bro when I was younger. I just looked at my iTunes...this is pretty embarrassing but the first dance song I added to my iTunes way back in the day was Gigi D'Agostino - I'll Fly With You. I also remember The Prodigy being one of the first electronic acts I listened to.
SD (Don): My friend put me onto Daft Punk when it came out, I liked it but at the time was totally deep in hip-hop at the time and didn't fully appreciate their musicality until later. My first musical love was punk rock so not too far away from Matt, then moved onto rap later when I was in High School. It motivated me to start DJing, and it wasn't until I was out in clubs a lot I really started to really fall in love with house music. I'd say Armand van Helden and Axwell were the two artists that really sold me on dance music.
CS: Let’s talk Hustle Radio, which we love by the way, can you fill us in on the concept behind that?
SD: Thanks, glad you guys enjoy it! Hustle Radio is our monthly mix show/podcast. It's an hour of the disco/funk/nu disco/house stuff that we're feeling for that particular month. We play a lot of throw backs, rare disco records and some exclusive stuff from us that we don't play anywhere else. You can subscribe here.
CS: So far this year we’ve seen the successful release of your first single for 2014 'Top Of The World' on Ultra — how has that experience been? What was it like to work with Skyy?
SD: We couldn't have started 2014 any better musically. The record's been doing well and I've been hearing from our friends across the country it's being played in clubs all over the place which is truly incredible. We had the opportunity to work with Skyy through Ultra, as they asked us to go through tons of old master tapes from their Salsoul and West End collection and find samples we liked. Skyy's team liked what we did, so they are now officially featured on the record, which is their first release in over 20 years I believe.
CS: Why do you think people are so drawn to disco house/funk, and that feel-good vibe in general? And how do you view the transformation it’s having in dance music recently — the obvious being Daft Punk’s RAM, Duck Sauce, and the recent work Russ Chimes, Tensnake, or The Magician have been doing.
SD: I think you had the reason right there in the question. Disco's attraction is all about the feel-good vibe. It's difficult to not like this kind of music. The mood at these parties we play are totally different than what you'd see at a progressive house, trap, or dubstep party. It's a nice change of pace. It's good to see more and more artists dip into making disco-influenced tracks. It obviously helps us because it exposes more people to our type of sound.
CS: What’s been your recipe for modernizing such a classic sound? And how has the response been at your shows?
SD: Tough to answer how we do what we do exactly, because we never try to do the same thing twice. Sometimes it's about getting the feel of something we like from 30 years ago and expressing it in a modern club track, or it's about taking a horn line or sample and engineering it to sound fat to today's standards. We have had great luck on the road, but it's certainly a challenge in ways to do something that sounds unique. We kind of joke around about it saying we are too mainstream for the underground clubs, and too underground for the mainstream clubs. Our style is very different than a lot of current trends right now in ways which can be a blessing and a curse. But we strongly believe everyone in dance music should be forging their own style and path, so the genre can really expand artistically. That said, our shows have been simply crazy lately, so much love to all our fans that make this happen!
CS: Have there been any particularly crazy or “this is it” moments for you that you’d like to share?
SD: Playing main stage at HARD: Day of the Dead last november was probably the biggest "this is awesome" kind of moment. Also having Ultra allowing us to sample some of our favorite disco tracks of all time was a great feeling.
CS: What artists would you suggest for people to check out that they may not have heard? Or acts that you feel are paving the way for others?
SD: Recently, our favorites are Lenno, Wise D & Kobe, Koobra, Jean Tonique and Anna Lunoe. If you want to go back in time, I definitely suggest checking out the first couple Chic albums. Everyone knows Nile Rodgers from 'Get Lucky' but those old Chic albums he did are still amazing to us to this day. Zapp & Rodger on a warm weekend afternoon is also highly recommended.
CS: Your music is the soundtrack to what city?
SD: I'm going to say Ibiza if that helps us play there this summer. Miami is a close second.
CS: If you were to organize your own festival, where would it be and who would you choose as headliners?
SD: You can't really do any better than what HARD is doing at the Hollywood Bowl in LA. Chic, Giorgio Moroder, Tensnake and Oliver? DAMN.
CS: What would be your dream collaboration and/or b2b set?
SD: Dream collaboration would probably be Nile Rodgers right now. And Back to Back set would have to be A-Trak. He is an amazing DJ and is into our style of music obviously (Duck Sauce). We're pretty nice on CDJs so I think we could keep up with him during a house set at least. Or we could go on vinyl, it's all good. We got some cuts, but he will shame us with the Versace scratch.
CS: We know you recently put out a fantastic remix for Mystery Skulls, what else is on the horizon for you guys?
SD: We're working on signing a few originals now and in March we have a couple remixes coming out for our friends The Knocks and a new Icona Pop remix which we're excited about. We're always working on new jams and testing them out at our shows!
We want to say a huge thank you to Matt and Don for taking the time to chat with us. If you haven't caught the disco house fever yet, now's the time. Get involved with all things Solidisco via the links below, and be sure to keep an eye out for a show in your city soon!