Warung has been an integral part of the dance music scene for years now, with releases on Audiophile XXL, OKNF, Medium Rare, Tribe Out West, and House of Hustle. One of the most important things to understand about Warung is that they’re a pair of friends and equals, not a duo with one member pulling the weight. They kill it both in the studio and out; last year the duo played at the OKNF showcase in LA as well as numerous times in their home base of Boston, MA.
Their latest release Beyond The Gates is a moody departure from their distinct striking tech house flavor. The first track Slow is an uplifting progressive techno song that is both energizing and soothing. Psychedelic vocals, rolling bass, and haunting guitar comprise a wonderfully emotional headspace, composed with a keen specificity both in the individual sounds and finished track.
The second track from the EP, Call Of The Lion, is also progressive but leans more to the house or techno side of things. Swirling vocals and synths propel the energy forward, masterfully layered above an awesome thumping kick and syncopated bassline. Warung has also gone the extra mile and included an hour-long mix of their new EP and their inspirations as producers and DJs. The DJ set reflects a new impressive direction in the duo’s style and we are very excited for the tracks to come in the future!
We got in touch with Warung to ask some questions that have been on our minds about the duo’s latest release, as well as their history, influences, music equipment, and more. Dillon and Aaron are both down-to-earth and hardworking individuals, completely obsessed with making the best art they can. We truly appreciate the awesome opportunity to get inside their minds!
How did you start making art together? Why do you both make art?
We first met backstage at a Shaun Frank show in Rhode Island. One of us was working on a track right there actually and after passing the headphones back and forth realized we should trade contacts and the rest as they say is…history. To be honest, art is fun, right?! So it is that simple, we make it because it’s fun. As we have progressed, we realized there are ways to share it with people and once you catch that bug as well, you can’t stop wanting to make art for others to experience. Dillon also loves photography and is starting to include that into the Warung project as well (more to come there).
How do you know when a project is finished?
This is a toughie as we’re very different when it comes to this. Aaron needs to make sure every “T” is crossed and “I” is dotted, whereas Dillon is much more “if it sounds good, its good.” That difference used to work against us but know it helps us to find that middle ground.
Usually when the tracks feels like most “T’s” are crossed and Dillon has lost interest (kidding – kind of) and moved on to making another track we know it’s pretty close. It’s also very important to step away for a few days and come back to it with fresh ears. If the track still has that character/theme you wanted, then you know you have something. Is a track really ever done though?
What are some of your inspirations behind your latest release? What artists have you been listening to and what practices have taken your music to its current state?
For the past two years, we’d been making music almost entirely “in the box.” About a year and a half ago we started collecting some hardware. At the same time, we really started taking a liking to some of the OG’s, you know, the Sasha’s, Solomun’s, and DJ Koze’s of the world. We started studying the elements more and more and decided to try and incorporate our new hardware into something that was more progressive in nature. From that, out popped our new EP (as well as a bunch more new tracks)! In the future, we want to keep cranking out our tech house two-steppers, but this new vibe is going to continue as well, as sort of a two pronged approach to our sound. Make what you like, right?!
Your synth game is on point throughout your new EP. What gear, plugins, or techniques are you using most often in the studio these days?
The EP was a nice mix of hardware and some “old faithfuls.” We certainly used some of our go-to drums; although we just got “Kick 2” and used it on both tracks. We love the level of control offered by that plugin. Some of the synths are from our new baby [a Moog Sub 37], but others came from good ole’ Native Instruments’ Massive.
We often start tracks by fishing for distinct sounds that sound new to us, through lots of experimental knob twisting. We build around these unique sounds, often using the plugins we know best, like Massive.
What’s the next step for Warung? Any projects in progress, collaborations, or shows to keep on our radar?
Lots in the works at the moment- we have several collaborations and releases lined up. We are also working towards something special for the Warung brand. We can’t quite share it just yet, but we are excited because we know it’ll give people a better understanding of what Warung means and why the word is so important to us and our music in the future.
Finally, with so many talented upcoming producers in the scene- who’s your “artist to watch out for” in 2018?
Woof – you saved the toughest for last. For us it’s Thomas Garcia, Scotty Does Know, and Foolie. Sorry, we couldn’t settle on one but these guys have been dropping some killer tracks lately. We are excited to have some collaborations in the works with some of them as well- definitely check their stuff out!