Interview: Dark & Stormy

The next in line for our exclusive interview series is a fresh selection from Dark & Stormy. He spoke about his latest release ‘Feel Me East Coast’, out on Rejekt Music! Grab it here.

For starters tell us something about your Dark and Stormy project?

I’ve been releasing music under Dark & Stormy for about 12 years. Over the years I have put out releases on labels like Hot Fingers, Top Billin’ and more in 2020 I launched my own imprint, The 10 Room.

I’ve been talking with the dudes at rEJEKT for a while about this release so I’m really excited to finally have it out there.

Hailing from New York, a city with a big underground scene and house history, how would you say it shaped your style, or was it house music itself?

Absolutely, often a sound that I may be going for isn’t inspired by a song I actually know or have in my collection, it’s from what I remember hearing on a dancefloor in some warehouse.

Speaking of making music, how does your creative process start? As a producer do you prefer some key element you want to hear in a track?

I’ll usually lay down some scratch beats and then start to work on a bassline. Some of the most banging tracks or even moments of tracks that bang hardest are just bass and drums so this is really where I focus a lot. While this latest EP was made largely with software instruments, most of my more recent work is pretty much all outside the box.

I’ve been at this for a bit so I do think it’s fair to say that on top of a sequence of events, there are also some sounds that I typically reach for like 808’s for bass and grimy ass Rhoads samples. This latest release is certainly influenced by early NYC house and UK garage.

You have recently released ‘Feel Me East Coast’ EP, which comes with original tracks and remix versions. Can you tell us something more about your originals? What was the inspiration or is there some story behind the release?

These tracks are actually all produced a while ago in fact. I sat on them for a while because I really wanted to find the right home for them and I think we did that with the rEJEKT release of these originals and remixes.

In terms of the inspiration here, as I mentioned earlier I realty dig early NYC house, and to and UK garage so I think that came through a lot here in this release however I really also wanted to create somewhat of a new and unique sound with Fuq With It for example. With Feel Me East Coast I think the aim was to create something a bit more timeless. I guess if people are still feeling it nearly 10 years later it’s working.

That song has a bit of a cool story actually. The bassline there shifts at about 2/3 of the way through the song. It was an accident but I shifted a block of midi by like one bar off and in doing so created a really cool swing to the bassline so I just kept it.

In general, I’m really into creating a sound that is fairly raw deliberately not over-refined.

How do you see the positions of house and tech house music on the scene at the moment when techno is the most popular genre?

I don’t see house music ever going out of style. Moments like the summer of acid, tech house etc will come and go but a really timeless house will always be moving people on dance floors.

Some of the best dance music songs of all time are house and I think it has a wider appeal than techno which in many ways is good for all dance music genres. I happen to also produce techno to so for me it’s sort of about what sort of vibe I’m looking to create on dancefloors.

A fellow NYC DJ Joeski, Riki Inocente & Columbia’s rising talents Siwark & Hassio contributed to this release, can you tell us something about their twists of your original?

I really appreciate each and every one of them. I think they are all banging and really took what I started in very cool directions.

We saw the release was supported by major names on the scene, Laurent Garner, Luigi Madonna, Cristian Varela, Claude Von Stroke to name a few.. How are you satisfied with the feedback so far?

The feedback so far has been really amazing, one of the most motivating things for me is hearing that people are playing tracks out. If you ever want to make my day send me a video of you or a friend rinsing out a track.

Your latest release is out on Manchester’s rEJEKT Music, what can you tell us about your collaboration with the label?
Any upcoming releases or projects?

I’m actually discussing releasing some other tunes with rEJEKT. I may also have some collaborations coming up soon.