Mar 23, 2020
Wh0's Exclusive Mix
Mysterious UK duo Wh0 have been making waves over the past two years with their infectious house sound. From releases on Toolroom, Positiva, and Ultra to official remixes for Tiësto and Basement Jaxx, the duo’s production prowess is clear. Having also launched their own label Wh0 Plays with an onslaught of big releases and taken over some of the top UK nightclubs as headliners, the momentum is building to a roar. We were delighted to get a rare deep dive with the duo to discuss their music, masks, and unmistakable consistency. Turn it up for their Exclusive Mix which features some world premieres and let’s groove!
Hey guys, thanks for joining us! For those who are unfamiliar with your sound, how would you best describe it?
Thanks for having us. High energy, playful house music with heavy sample influences.
As you’re just dropping your first live video, how do you approach your DJ sets when playing live?
We are living on different ends of the UK, so it’s a case of getting a playlist of tracks together that we are both loving, then one of us crafts that into the set, whilst the other prepares sounds to go alongside. These include acapellas, synths (so we can play the melody of the song live), drums etc. Then whilst one of us is DJing the other is triggering samples, sampling live and sequencing over the top of the set. Having a selection of tracks to start with means we can slightly adapt as we go, but giving a high level of control and continuity between the DJing side and triggering/sampling side.
Looking closer at that set and your 1001Tracklists Exclusive Mix, can you highlight three tracks included and why they stand out?
We recently re-discovered “NYP2” by CamelPhat, which was released on our friend Glenn Morrison’s label Ambient Wave Records. For us this is simply a banging club track. It's not too much disco, not too underground sounding, which is no surprise looking back at CamelPhat’s track record. They really know how to make a banger!
Second had to be “Serotonin” by Elliot Adamson, released on his new label, IDEAL. This tune is awesome, the sample is great, the drums and technique of sampling sounds very old school, like it’s all made on an MPC, which really translates into the record. But best of all, the way he holds off on the drops is brilliant. Definitely recommend checking the rest of the EP out!
Third, we had the immense pleasure of remixing “Reach” by Lil Mo Yin Yang (this is the first mix it’s ever appeared in online!). This will be out in the near future on the one and only Strictly Rhythm! This is our rebuff, we have also done a tech house mix. We really wanted to make sure we connect with the new school and old school heads of the scene with this remix package!
Tell us some more about your choice to remain anonymous and keep the air of mystery going with the black masks in not only all your press pictures, but also your DJ sets.
The masks are extremely important, we stand for something.
The audiences you have to gain attention from at the moment (and the foreseeable future) are so consumer heavy that we had to be outside the box. The masks are there to take attention off what we actually look like and transfer that onto the music that we are producing/playing. We want you to turn up to our gigs, think, “oh that's cool” (or even if you don't like the masks), then put your phone down, dance and forget what's going on outside the four walls you’re surrounded by and enjoy yourself.
If you don’t stand for something, you'll fall for anything!
For a newer act, you guys have absolutely rocked things with your own label Wh0 Plays from branding to music to support on the records. What’s the mission behind the label?
We really want to continue to release big, fun, energetic party records that build up the brand. We have recently had new label artists DJ OMC & Dj Dharma 900 release on the label, welcoming them into our collective label group. Looking back, some of our biggest releases have been on the label and we plan to keep releasing and upping the standard with very high quality control! Wh0 Plays Records was also a vessel for releasing with full control, as many others in the industry are doing!
What have been a few of your favourite releases on the label?
Our latest release “Courage” has to be up there. In such a troubled time, the record is motivating, and also still a high energy, fun party tune. Other tracks like “House Of Wh0” & “Scream” have to be mentioned for their streaming figures, both coming up to 1,000,000 streams each on Spotify! “The Poet” was another highlight (featuring house legend Chuck Roberts), and seeing Black Coffee play this on the mainstage at Tomorrowland was a truly magical moment!
We have actually just started a label Instagram page, feel free to go follow. https://www.instagram.com/Wh0playsrecords/
Your remixes are also in very high demand and your resume boasts an impressive array of original artists from Tiësto to Basement Jaxx. How do you approach your remixes and what do you think makes them so popular?
It has been an amazing six months for remixes. From November we have had enquiries almost four times a week. Our attitude towards the remixes (as we are very aware we have done many of them) is that we’d rather say yes and give you too much music than not enough, it’s not like they have an expiry date! It’s funny, you have to pinch yourself when you get Tiësto ’s team, Mistajam’s team, Basement Jaxx etc. hitting you up for remixes, and we are grateful for everyone involved that made them happen!
If you want to hear our latest remixes and releases, this is your place: http://tiny.cc/Wh0Discography
As the current situation of the music industry continues to escalate, what’s your perspective on how to tackle the forthcoming months as an artist/producer?
Honestly, keep plugging away! We have been on lockdown for the last two years (occasionally getting some sunlight and taking the mask off when no one's looking). Work hard, keep your head down and keep your distance. Support each other, share and make an effort to engage with artists in your field, showing them some love and support!
What has you excited as we look past March?
Our release schedule and collaborations we are finishing up! We have tracks coming out on Strictly Rhythm, Nervous Records, Sweat It Out, Altra Moda, our label Wh0 Plays Records & more! We are also finishing collaborations with Mistajam, Just Kiddin, Nile Rodgers, Josh Barry just to name a few!
Do you have any particular goals that you’re hoping to accomplish in 2020?
We would like to officially pass 1,000,000 streams with a Wh0 Plays Records release (which will be very soon). We are always aiming to chart higher and higher on Beatport, which we have a good feeling about with the coming remixes. We are always excited to meet and connect with more like-minded artists! But most importantly, continue to keep our release schedule jam-packed full of juicy new music for you all, #Wh0Army!
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