May 31, 2019
Only 100s With The Aston Shuffle
The Aston Shuffle have enjoyed a fantastic 2019, with their latest collaboration "Back To Me" with TCTS out now on Idris Elba's label! To celebrate, the Australian duo sat down to discuss all things Aston Shuffle, along with the May edition of their Only 100s series exclusively for 1001Tracklists. Listen to their Spotlight Mix below and get to know more about The Aston Shuffle in our exclusive feature interview!
Hey guys - thanks for joining us! How's the year been so far for each of you and what have been some of the highlights?
2019 has been a great year for us, especially on the music front. We’ve put out three singles so far - “Stay” a collaboration with Fabich, featuring Dana Williams on vocals, as well as “Now Or Never” (both on The Magician’s Potion label), and we just dropped “Back To Me” with TCTS, featuring Blush’ko on vocals, on 7 Wallace (Idris Elba’s label). Never in our wildest dreams did we think that we would be releasing music on Idris Elba’s label, we couldn’t be happier for him to be championing our new release and that’s definitely been a highlight of our year so far.
Let's jump into your latest track “Back To Me" together with TCTS. How'd you come to work with TCTS on this one? How did the track come together and what was the experience like working on it?
We first came across TCTS a few years back, we had been playing his tracks for a while already when he released his track “Icy Feet,” which was a really big track for us. The song blew up in Australia and we reached out to see if he’d be keen to tour with us for our inaugural Only 100s tour, alongside Icarus. During the week off between shows, we managed to fit in a few days of studio time in Melbourne. It was an absolute breeze working with TCTS, things definitely clicked pretty quickly in the studio, we got an initial idea and vibe super quickly and the track came together very easily, especially with Blush’ko there as well, who we’d asked to come down to write with us. We smashed out the initial version of the song over those 2 days, and we all felt like we had something pretty special.
Once the tour was done and we went our separate ways, we kept working on it but as we all live in different locations (Australia, New York and London) you could say this record has certainly been on journey. We couldn’t be happier with the end result.
You guys also released “Stay” on Potion this year, which was a very refreshing tune to hear! Tell us a little about that and how it was like working with Fabich and Dana Williams on the song.
That’s so awesome that you thought it was refreshing. It really did feel like a fresh new song when we were making it in the studio with Fabich.
Vance and I were in LA in early 2017 for a week of writing and production sessions, and as luck would have it, Christian (Fabich) was in LA at the same time we were, so we jumped in the studio, and he played us an idea he had started with Dana Williams. It was fully arranged as a song demo, but was mostly just piano and Dana’s vocals, as I recall, not much by way of production, and with quite a jazzy, slower-tempo kind of feel to it. It really jumped out at us immediately as being pretty special, and the sparseness of the production on the demo definitely allowed us the freedom to take it wherever we wanted, which I think accounts for that “refreshing” element in the final track. We basically got the track written in one afternoon - it was one of those sessions where everything was flowing, was an absolute pleasure & heaps of fun!
Shifting focus to your Spotlight Mix, what are three highlight tracks included and why do they stand out to you?
Fisher - "You Little Beauty": It’s hard not to get caught up in the whole vibe surrounding Fisher. His tracks are so simple & effective, and all about the bassline. Chuck in that classic house vocal sample and this track feels like 2019 in a nutshell.
PNAU - "Solid Gold": This one is a big, warm, shimmering summer jam, and that vocal is hard not to sing at the top of your lungs!
Camelphat & Cristoph - "Breathe" (Eric Prydz Remix): The original was a monstrous track in its own right, but this remix takes it to another level of huge. It’s Eric Prydz’s first remix since 2016 as well apparently, which is kinda crazy too - he’s definitely not lost his epic touch!
If you had an hour to spend in the studio with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Mikah: I would love to have been in the studio with Dr. Dre when they made The Chronic back in ‘92. That album was my bible growing up. I really connected with stories and sentiments of the songs and musically it educated me into the world of funk music and early electro. I didn’t actually start writing music until the early 2000s, but thinking about it I guess it was the start of my musical obsession that would ultimately lead to wanting to have a career in music.
I would also love to get in the studio with Stuart Price (Thin White Duke, Jacques Lu Cont, Les Digitales Rhymes, Tracques). He’s one of the all time greatest dance producers in my mind. All of those aliases says it all really!
Vance: J Dilla without a doubt, he’s definitely one of the producers that’s had the most influence on me and how I try to work, and who I’ve tried to emulate - the absolute king of sampling. Nobody has ever done it better than him in my opinion. Eric Prydz would be amazing to spend time with in the studio as well, I’d love to just sit back and watch him work. All of his tracks have such a massive sound to them, I’d love to be a fly on the wall and learn all of his tricks. Thundercat would be an amazing guy to collaborate with as well. I’ve been listening to his stuff a lot lately and I love how dense and intricately musical his stuff is, but he still manages to keep it super fun and not overly serious, and his personality shines through with everything he does. That’s a sweet spot that we always aspire to with Aston Shuffle tracks.
And lastly, is there anything that you're particularly looking forward to in the summer months ahead? Will you be touring the Only 100s concept again?
We’ve got some exciting US and European shows coming up over the summer, supporting The Magician on some of his upcoming US shows, supporting Dom Dolla in London, plus more big & exciting European shows coming up later in the summer. We definitely plan to tour under the Only 100s brand again, stay tuned on that front!
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