SINCE BREAKING THROUGH IN 2016 ON HOT SINCE 82's LABEL KNEE DEEP IN SOUND AND STACKING UP RELEASES ON TRUESOUL, OCTOPUS, SUARA & BEDROCK, OC & VERDE HAVE TAKEN THE NEXT STEP IN CREATING AMPERS&ND, A PLATFORM TO CALL HOME WITH NO RULES, NO BOUNDARIES, JUST GOOD MUSIC...
Hello guys, thanks for speaking with us at Virtus. How is the current #StayAtHome life treating you both?
Hi guys, the current stay at home situation is frustrating as it is for everyone around the world right now. We are living in crazy times, but we are both lucky though as we have gardens to get out in at our homes. We’re massively missing being on the road though. This summer was shaping up to be a really good one and extremely busy, but who knows what’s around the corner now…
Have you been using the time to work on new music, even though you cannot get in to the studio together?
Unfortunately not, we can’t get in the studio together and our studio Mac broke just before we went into lockdown, so we’re trying to get that fixed at the moment so at least Jon can get back to work on new music. We have releases lined up for the rest of the year so its not too bad, and we currently have a track out on Terminal M called ‘Magicians Of The Gods’ which has just gone top 10 on Beatport today as I write this, so that’s some positive news.
Take us back to 2016 before you had made your storming debut on Knee Deep In Sound, what were you both doing before and how did the OC & Verde project begin?
We were both making music and working together for about 6 or 7 years before we started OC & Verde, we had a little success here and there with a few tracks under different names, but had no real plan behind what we were doing. So we both decided to stop the solo work and concentrate on a new project with the knowledge and contacts we had picked up in the industry those previous 6 years.
4 years later and having released on some of the biggest labels the scene has to offer including Terminal M, Bedrock & Truesoul, which release do you feel was the one that really catapulted your name on to a global stage and gave you the most attention?
Hmmm… We think our tracks Maasai and Solstice put us on the map in the melodic techno world. They put us on the radar of Solomun, Tale Of Us etc, then our remix of ‘Bedrock - Heaven Scent’ became Adam Beyer’s festival closing track for the summer 2018. That really put us on the map in the techno world and, to be honest and without being big headed, all of our releases have been picked up by big names and their support has helped so much in bringing attention to what we are doing, across a few genres.
With such a solid catalogue of releases behind you, was the step of creating your own label a natural progression and something you had both always planned to do?
Honestly, we never intended to start our own label. We wanted to be a part of the labels that we were releasing on but that never really happened for us. We produce a mixture of deeper melodic techno through to the more peak time driving stuff. We can’t just put out one style of music, that’s alien and just too boring for us in the studio. There’s no way we can sit in the studio day in and day out just hammering out the same sound, we’ve tried that and lose interest very quickly.
One day we might be working on a 130bpm banger, like our track ‘Magicians Of The Gods’ on Terminal M, and the next day we’ll be working on a deeper 122 or 124bpm melodic groover like our ‘Cloak & Dagger’ EP on Truesoul. Keeping things interesting in the studio and pushing our sound to find out what we can come up with is how we’ve managed to have so many successful tracks and get support form a wide selection of DJ’s.
The problem with working like this as an artist though is that labels have become very linear and seem to stick to just one sound, which we understand, but for us that doesn’t always work with what we are doing. If you move outside the box from release to release as we do, you have to keep finding a new home. So after a few years of label hopping we’ve decided to create our own home so the people that have been supporting us for the last few years can really see what we want to do and where we want to go with the music. We don’t want to be a copy of any labels out there, we want this to be unique, like our DJ sets. Our sound is our sound. The only thing that changes is the pace of the music.
What is the meaning behind AMPERS&ND, what is your long term vision for the brand and will it only be a platform for OC & Verde to release on?
AMPERS&ND is the name of the ‘&’ symbol. Obviously our name is OC & Verde, the name AMPERS&ND is a play on that symbol, its about bringing things together. It’s about us "&" you.
‘Only Human’ is the huge debut track on AMPERS&ND, can you tell us a bit about the process of creating the track, from the beginning idea to how long it takes to be ‘club ready’?
We always find it hard to explain how me make tracks because there is no exact science to it. We just mess about till we like the sound of something then we just see where that takes us. With this one we found the vocal first and just worked around that. The track is quite unique in some ways because it can work as your peak time weapon or you can open with it, its kind of tough and deep at the same time.
We made it over 2 days which is pretty fast for us, we normally can take 4/5 sessions on a track and test it out a few time until we’re happy with it, but with his one it just came together. Then we sent it to Adam Beyer the night we finished it and he played it the very next day in his Cercle music set. So we definitely knew we had a winner on our hands.
Where do you both draw influences from when creating music and do you both have specific roles in the writing process?
Influences come from anywhere and everywhere. We listen to everything and everyone from 80’s pop to Mongolian throat singers, wherever we can find new sounds we dig them out. Writing wise Jon is all about the melodies and I’m all about the groove.
As a DJ duo, you have played some pretty spectacular gigs in the recent past, what has been your most memorable to date?
Saint Petersburg in Russia for System Festival was insane. The crowd was wicked with around 5000 people all going crazy from start to finish. We didn’t want that set to end. Tokyo and South America were pretty special too, fell in love with those places.
If you could give one piece of advice to anyone starting out a career as a DJ/Producer, what would it be?
Never, ever, ever, ever, sign a management contract.
What is next for us to keep our eyes & ears on with OC & Verde?
Who knows what will happen after Coronavirus… but release wise we have new music coming on Kraftek, a remix for Green Velvet on Bedrock and our next single from ourselves on AMPERS&ND. Keep ‘em peeled!