The NYC house duo rushes to paradise on this week's RA podcast.
It may not have been the originator of the genre, but New York certainly has its fair share of house music heritage. As House Of House, Olivier Spencer and Saheer Umar are one of the latest acts to take their place in NYC's house lineage, causing a major stir last year with their dance floor-slaying debut single, "Rushing To Paradise (Walking These Streets)." Its slick synth pulses, cascading pianos and visceral climax made sure that it found its way into the boxes of DJs looking for a dance floor track with plenty of emotional clout, and our panel of critics here at RA couldn't get enough, placing it at #20 in our Top Tracks Of 2009 poll.
When they both get behind the decks as House Of House, though, don't expect a straight up set of deep house. As this week's podcast proves, Spencer and Umar are a wild and diverse pair when they get down to mixing, managing to traverse from organic house through to dark minimal techno and back, even managing to work in a bit of pitched-down dubstep. We caught up with the duo by e-mail to ask them about the mix, their recent activities and what revellers can expect when House Of House hit their local clubbing establishment.
What have you been up to recently?
Work, work, work. Basically... working. We've been writing new material, and working on a remix for a new Crookers single featuring vocals by Roisin Murphy. To top it off, we're also relocating the studio, which to put plainly is not a walk in the park.
How and where was the mix recorded?
It was a pretty standard set-up actually. We recorded the mix using two turntables and CDJs in Liv's apartment.
Can you tell us a little about the idea behind the mix?
We try to give a peek into what a set from us "might" include. When we're out playing at night, this can really vary depending on what the audience is giving us in return. Since this was somewhat created in a vacuum, we had to go off our instincts, rather than a live response.
"House Of House was formed to inject a grandiose and soul-searing bit of drama onto the dance floor." Explain.
To put it simply, dance music has, at some point or another, been perfect fodder for emotional release. Whether that emotion be celebratory or otherwise. We can't say when it happened, but there was a point when truthful human expression in dance music, whether that be via machine or voice, took a back seat to artifice and superficiality. Not that there isn't value in those aspects, because there is, it's just not what we were interested in exploring. It had run so rampant that we decided to get back to what we felt the heart of making music was about: The Heart.
Can we expect a follow-up to "Rushing to Paradise" any time soon?
Definitely. The new studio should be up and running within the next couple of weeks. The first order of business will be to record and mix a couple of new songs we wrote this winter.
What do you have coming up?
Quite a bit of travel planned for this Spring and Summer with club bookings in Europe and Asia. When not on the road, our heads will be down, deep in studio gear working out new tracks.
Photo credit: Silja Magg