T’was an early Sunday morning in the beautiful city of New York, when a few of Moodswing‘s artists boarded a coach bus heading straight to the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT for an end of the summer pool party. There was a bit of TWRK on the bus along with a splash of Brenamar club, and even some disco and funk from the guys of Solidisco. Despite everyone’s depleted energy level from a day of good music, company and beaming sun rays, Run The Trap got to learn a little bit more about Matt and Don, their craft and where they’re headed.
How does it feel to be recognized as a part of the movement for the current disco era?
Well, we’ve never really heard anyone say that, so it feels pretty good if you think that’s how it is! There’s not a ton of people doing what we do, so it feels good to try and be one of the few groups helping to keep disco alive. A lot of people are doing music which is classified as nu-disco, and people like Chromeo are obviously killing it but that’s more funk to us and not really disco. We use a lot of elements from original disco music that those groups don’t necessarily use.
You guys played a flawless set at the Mohegan Sun. How did you both master the art of letting each other shine but still translating out one cohesive sound when together?
What do you guys prefer to spin on: CDJS or Vinyls?
For what we do as Solidisco, nothing can beat CDJs at this point. We walk up, plug in our SD cards, and we’re ready to go in 30 seconds. Dealing with computers and serato just adds too many variables for stuff to go wrong in our sets; from computer crashes, to vinyls warping at a pool party like this one because of heat; a lot can go wrong. Pioneer really nailed it with the CDJ-2000 Nexus, it does everything we’ve needed from CDJs without having to use a computer or any midi controllers (like dicers/X1/etc). The CDJs and mixer all talk to each other well and Rekordbox doesn’t suck anymore as much as it used to, so we’re pretty content with all our Pioneer setup.
The Mohegan Sun was pretty laid back so we let stuff drag out a little longer than usual because that was the vibe of the party, but usually we are moving just as fast as those guys. We started out DJing open-format sets and we played hip-hop for years and looked up to guys like AM, so we know how to move really fast. We also have lots of bootlegs that we make that use non-disco vocals over some of our songs to keep things fresh for the crowd.
Kinda what we said earlier, but also we’ll play some songs at a pool party type show that are a little ‘chiller’ that we wouldn’t necessarily play in a club. To us (especially since we played early in the day) today was about hanging out in cabanas and sipping Ciroc (Diddy, where’s our sponsorship). So our goal wasn’t to get people jumping around and crowd surfing. But when you put us on a system like the one at Cielo, we’re not going to be playing around. We’ll be going hard on the disco/funky bangers all night. Totally different vibe.
How did this pool party even come about?
It was thrown as an ‘end of summer’ pool party for a bunch of artists on our management group Moodswing. Us, Twrk and Brenmar are all on Moodswing, and then they invited some friends (Skeet/Jillionaire) to come play too.
You have played along some dope DJs, who all have very different styles than yourselves. Does that intimidate/motivate you guys in any way either positively or negatively?
I wouldn’t call it intimidating, but it definitely does make our job harder. On one hand it’s difficult for us because it makes sense for those guys to do a trap/jersey/twerk remix of a top 40 hip-hop song. So, all those DJs can come out the gate with a Drake remix where right off the bat you engage the crowd and have girls who love Drake dancing and everyone singing the words to widely popular songs. We can’t really do that and stay true to our sound, so it definitely takes more time for us to set the vibe and get people into what we are about. On the other hand, everyone else playing similar styles helps us stand out more and makes our sets more memorable because our sound is ‘different’ than what people are used to hearing.
Do you ever get the fear of losing core fans if you ever decided to step outside the realms of disco and experiment with new sounds?
Yeah, we always have that discussion at some point while making a song. “Is this us?” is a question that comes up a lot. We don’t consider ourselves strictly “disco”. We think we have a pretty big variety in our library. Sometimes we do nu-disco stuff that we consider more 80’s and funk based than being necessarily disco. We also really like freestyle music and have a couple songs that are heavily based on that. It’s more a process of making sure our songs make you feel a certain vibe rather than having to “sound disco.”
What’s the number one thing you want all of your fans to take home with them after one of your shows?
I guess our goal would be to see people having a great time and dancing their asses off to a genre of music that they wouldn’t usually expect to enjoy at a house/dance/EDM show. We try to bring that big room/festival energy level to our sets, while also applying it to our original sound.
Any advice for future DJs and producers?
Finding your own sound is key and then putting in the hours necessary to make it work is even more important. It takes a lot of time to become unique, but it takes WAY longer to take what makes you unique and figure out a way to present it in a way that people will be able to enjoy and relate to.