Young Austrian funkateers Dossa & Locuzzed reached a significant milestone in their career this year with their debut album Resonate.
Released last month, it’s the culmination of the last four years of working together since they signed to Viper with a series of party-minded buzz cuts that sat between dancefloor energy and disco soul. The 14-track album builds on these foundations with class, flexing from silky disco house/D&B hybrids (Take My Hand) to big riffy jump-up nuggets (Get Nasty) via Timewarp-esque cosmic chuggers (Starship) with cohesion and consistency. Make no mistake; this is a proper album with years of thought behind it.
Now out of the intense album process, Benni (Dossa) and Rene (Locuzzed) have completely remixed their workflow, they’re feeling reenergised, inspired and ready to start a brand-new chapter. And they’re already packing dub heat. 2020 has potential to be a big one for Dossa & Locuzzed, here’s how 2019 has been for them…
Congratulations on the album. How’s it gone so far?
Dossa: It’s been great. What we didn’t expect was the amount of people sending us messages and getting in touch about it just out of support. It’s cool and very humbling to see.
Locuzzed: People were posting the music and sharing stories about it what it meant to them, which is very overwhelming and not something we expected.
Nice. How was 2019 been for you guys in general?
Locuzzed: It’s been an interesting year because we’ve done things differently. We built everything towards the album release so it was all planned. We knew which tracks we’d put out. We had a line to work to and everything made sense. It was a nice approach actually. A new one.
Do you prefer that to a more spontaneous creative process?
Locuzzed: It has advantages to work in a schedule. There are many people involved with the label working on the release, so you have to have to some type of structure. This year we knew what we were doing, how long we had to finish tracks. We still had time to be spontaneous as well, making tunes for future release. But yes, I liked the experience because I’m very organised.
Benni, do you have a different perspective?
Dossa: For me it’s still about finding a balance. As good as it is to have a schedule and be organised, you need time to be spontaneous and have freedom.
Sounds like you did get those moments, though. And now you have ammo for next year. The next chapter!
Dossa: Exactly. We have so much lined up. We kept on writing while we finished the album. We had so many ideas in our heads which we’ve got out in the last few weeks. A lot of it has potential.
I guess after an album that feels like a fresh canvas?
Locuzzed: That’s the cool thing: after an album you can decide where to go next. The main thing we wanted with Resonate was consistency and for the tracks to work together. Now that’s done we’ve completely changed how we’re working and even changed our DAW to Bitwig.
How are you finding that?
Dossa: it’s a nerdy one, there’s not a big community using it who you can discuss problems with, so you have to dig deep to work it out and find solutions. But it’s a very exciting forward-thinking DAW. You can do some very interesting things on it.
Locuzzed: It’s more playful. They want you to try out weird combinations of modulators and you can get some crazy results with it.
Give me a crazy moment you had this year…
Dossa: Getting to Fabric, going backstage and seeing all the family. Matrix and Futurebound, Ekko and Sidetrack, UKF’s very own Sampo was there. Paul InsideInfo was there. Miss Trouble was there. We went in there and it was like meeting up with family. We realised we knew more people in London backstage than we do in Vienna. That was a mindblowing moment!
Locuzzed: I think just generally being booked more and being the only international DJ on the line-up. Or being the main guest. That’s a humbling feeling. Going to places like Estonia and The Netherlands and being the headliner there has been really cool.
Let’s talk about your album. It covers such a wide range but it’s got that consistency and cohesion to the whole thing…
Locuzzed: That’s always the challenge. We wanted to focus on the sound we’d set out to develop on the album but also didn’t want to restrict ourselves. We always want to try new stuff. As a result there are some hard-hitting tracks on there, some funkier tracks and some smoother ones. The cool thing about the way we work is that I’m more into electronic music while Benni comes from a more organic musical side. We both come from different perspectives, so if one of us goes in one way, the other one will bring it back.
Symmetry! Stellar is a highlight for me. Those early 2000s vibes…
Locuzzed: It brings back childhood memories for us, Modjo and Daft Punk. It was the house music we grew up to on the radio and charts and it’s got a lot of nostalgic feelings for us.
Dossa: It started as a bootleg but then we wanted to make it into an original with Pat Fulgoni’s vocals. We tried many things to get the right vibe of cheesy and nostalgic. The work paid off.
It’s just on the right side of cheese
Dossa: That’s what we wanted. Just that straight-up 90s cheese. Baby you’re so beautiful , I want to dance with you tonight.
Give me some other wholesome moments…
Dossa: Take My Hand is special because it’s the first track we made for the album. We didn’t realise it was for the album at the time. We were inspired by Justice and Daft Punk. It came together so nicely but we knew it wouldn’t make sense as a single release, so it started the album as a result.
Loving the Marky collab, by the way!
Dossa: He was one of our earliest supporters. Out of the blue he sent stems over to us and we put a twist on it. We weren’t sure about it, but we sent it over to him and he was flipping out and sending back messages in capital letters. It’s great to have Marky on the album.
How does it feel listening to the album now?
Dossa: It’s overwhelming to hear it. All these tracks we’ve been working on for three years. They’ve gone through so many mixdowns and different vocals and lyrics. It’s crazy to hear when you sit down and listen to it and think ‘there’s nothing else we need to change’
Locuzzed: Yeah, and if you make a change on one track then you have to make that change on all of them. We had to draw a line and make any more changes.
How do you feel about the musical landscape in drum & bass this year? A lot of artists in album mode shut out the rest of the musical world as much as possible. Did you guys do that?
Locuzzed: We couldn’t avoid listening to other people’s music because we have our Friday Funk Show and our DJ sets. We’ve kept a good track on what’s going on musically and I do feel musicality is coming back. A lot of labels like Hospital, Technique and Viper are pushing that sound again. Urbandawn’s been on a mission to bring back that fusion too. There’s a lot of people doing cool things and all of our sets have benefited as a result. Camo & Krooked coming back with so many exciting tracks has been amazing. It makes your job as a DJ much easier when you have tracks like theirs! Music like this was very hard to find for a long time.
Who have you been feeling on a new artist tip?
Dossa: Polgygon have done a great job. Buunshin was on a mission this year. Kanine has been killing it and we love what Fade Black are doing. I also have to say IMANU as well. Obviously he’s not a newcomer, but he’s got such an exciting twist in his sound with every release.
Indeed! What are you hopes for 2020?
Dossa: More shows! We want to showcase our music to the world and get more dates where we can push out the sound we’ve been working so hard on. We’ve also got a remix EP coming and other things we’ve been working on that we’ll be throwing out as dubplates to DJ friends and see what impact they can make on the dancefloor. See you on the other side!