Amsterdam-based duo Homework burst onto the electronic music scene in 2010 with a refreshing take on lush, Chicago-inspired house music, pricking up the ears of some of the most respected underground dance labels such as 20:20 Vision, the now defunct Made To Play, and Berlin-based Exploited. More recently here at DT we’ve been tipping fellow Amsterdam pairing Detroit Swindle to follow suit for a while now with the Dutch duo having had an impressive last 12 months as they’ve traversed the globe with a series of energetic live and DJing performance whilst dropping releases on some of the scenes most credible labels such as Freerange, Saints & Sonnets and Tsuba in additon the launch of their own imprint in the shape of Heist Recordings. So with Homework about to touch down in London for Pacha Presents on November 8th we thought we’d get two of the Dutch capitals most illustrious double acts to ask each other the questions as well as deliver the answers.
Detroit Swindle: Tom, Zip, we’ve known each other for some time now and it’s safe to say we have a slight man crush on each other. However, before we were around, you guys had been releasing some tunes in a slightly different genre. How do you feel about the music you are releasing now compared to the music you released earlier?
It’s probably testament, equal parts positive and equal parts negative, to the way our musical taste is in constant flux. The music we released when we hit the market was still very much the work of two inexperienced youngsters. Looking outwards instead of inwards. In a way it’s funny that you can see us evolve (hopefully!) musically through the years, finding our way of doing this. Somewhere around the time of the release of our Hudson Square EP things started to really click. We’re still on that trip in a way, even though our production style has changed a lot. But still… we tend to function like little kittens, fascinated by every new/old thing that jumps by.
Homework: Social media, the way we present ourselves online and build, maybe not consciously, our profile as artists is very important for the both of us. We’ve discussed this on numerous occasions but what do you think is important in the way you use the interwebs nowadays? Any tips for struggling socialites?
Sure thing: keep on twerking. For whoever that works. For everyone else, try to build a profile that fits your personality. Be genuine and share what works for you. And if you’re a complete idiot with computers or generally just dislike doing anything online, get a good story together with some pro’s and have them do the social media for you.Detroit Swindle: Obviously, you are two handsome, well dressed guys and have a lot of fans. How do you handle the attention you get during and after your set and do you have any styling tips in particular?
We try to never take things too seriously. It has led us to being called both insane and down-to-earth. We’ve always tried to stay very humble when being lauded. It’s just stunning to see people’s reactions sometimes and the times we get asked to sign our own records mostly feel like outer body experiences. Maybe it’s cynical or just realistic, but attention can vanish in an instant. So you better not let it get to your head. Sober up and have a beer.
Homework: On the road, both of us, are always stuck with another doofus. What do you think are the main pros and cons of being a DJing duo? Or are there instances where you’d rather be a solo carpenter?
DJing together is definitely exciting and maybe even more challenging then DJing by yourself, because you really need to work together and plan ahead, talk about what you’ve got in mind to build a good set. There’s another thing and since we’ve been so busy, it’s been on our minds a lot. It might not be the most obvious upside of being a duo, but for us, it’s certainly one of the most important pro’s: There’s always the other guys to keep you focused and down to earth. The other guy is your constant reality check. On the downside though, there’s also always this other guy to get you that drink you didn’t really need any more…
Detroit Swindle: We get to play a lot of parties together lately and we always enjoy each other’s music. What, in your opinion, are the unique selling points of both acts?
On a purely humanistic level we’re pretty much aligned, which made it very easy to become good friends. Thank God you guys weren’t playing trance! That would’ve probably made it a bit more difficult to talk about a new Andres record or “yet another amazing remix by KiNK“. As goes for Unique Selling Points (USP): we both know what we want. We’re both ambitious but not asocial because of it. We can be infantile, but there’s always a place for philosophical nonsense. For some reason this also shows in the way both of us perform probably. It’s messy, funny, but heartfelt. The guts that are being spilled are our guts and the only one’s we have. And we yell “Feast upon them!”Homework: We’re both based in the lovely city of Amsterdam, which not only makes it amazingly easy to grab brewski’s together but also makes it a blast to party together in the Dutch capital. What’s your take on the status of the house music scene of Holland?
There’s illegal raves everywhere, We’ve got a bunch of really good clubs and Dutch producers all around are making big waves in the international dance scene. Along with the liberal pro-nightlife policy of the local government, it’s safe to say house is hot and getting even hotter.
Detroit Swindle: And last but not least, is there a unicorn in club land that you’ve not been able to catch? A club/festival that you still desperately want to play? Or a remix for an artist you love? Or maybe just once crowd surf in the Berghain?
Two of the unicorns we desperately wanted to catch were The Standard in New York and Panorama Bar in Berlin. Those are in check and we are still very happy to have played both. Womb in Tokyo has been on our list for ages, but seems a wish that will take a while before we can fulfill it.
Talking about Berghain: when we played Panorama Bar the club manager wanted us to show the dark room. He disappeared to find the light. But came back to tell us even he couldn’t find it. For the better, we reckon…
Homework: So yeah, Berghain dark rooms… Any surreal or strange stories of club gig’s you want to share with us and the readers?
Other than that time we got lost in the… eeuh. Nope, never mind. No comment.
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