"I Only Sweat... For The Money", oh yes! We were all singing this one last year. 'Sweat' the killer collaboration of house legends Groove Armada and hot new production duo Brodanse swept across clubland becoming a favourite among many a dance music fan and connoisseur. A raw chugging bass coupled with the sweet vocals of Cari Golden made an instant hit and propelled the Brodanse brothers of Austen and Scott Smart into the forefront of the contemporary dance music scene...
As a follow up to our Stars of 2014 Spotify Feature, we decided to catch up with Austen to see if we could squeeze a bit of information out of him on the Brodanse project and to find out what their plans are for the not so distant future...
Hey guys, thanks for having a chat with us today! Firstly tell us a little bit about how the Brodanse project started; obviously being brothers you must have been making music together for quite some time?
Hey guys! Thank you for having us, much appreciated! Despite being close we had both been doing our own things for quite some time and then about 2 years ago there was this day when we were stood outside the office and said, “What shall we do with our lives? What do we love?” and it was that day that Brodanse was formed! Although we had been Djing together before it was really from that day that we began to make music as a duo!
What first got you both into electronic music?
Funny, we were both massively into Hip Hop in our teen years and it wasn't until our friend showed us this track by Joey Negro called 'Make A Move On Me' and we were like "whooaa what is this!?!" We got into Funky House and starting going clubbing (at 14, and 17) in Manchester to places like Ampersand and from there began going to Sankeys and Tunnel when living in Milan; I think this is where our taste was really formed, it was here we were seeing and hearing guys like Radio Slave, James Zabiela, Dixon and Switch!
You have your own label Danse Club Recordings; what initially brought on the urge to set up the label? Has it always been your intentions to self release your music?
It was all a bit serendipitous really, I posted a video of 'Cherie Lee - Love Me Or Leave Me' on my Facebook wall and Oliver $ clicked 'like' and we thought “Hey what if he could remix it...” I asked him, he said “Yes” and then we went and hunted down the the original DATs from New Jersey. That track was until 'Sweat' our best seller and it properly kicked off the label. Of course we planned to do some remixes at that point on some of the EPs, it made total sense, but now we are at a point where we actually don't see much point in sending any other labels our music . . . why would we when we can control everything our end... e.g. when it gets released, how it is marketed, who does the remix . . .
Basically they played our track 'Activate ft. Cari Golden' on their BBC 6 Mix and a few months later our good friend Severino was plaing after them at Village Underground and invited us down! I went down and said “Hi” to the guys, and thanked them for their support, I told them if they wanted I could hook them up with Cari Golden and did so a few days later, much to our surprise Tom asked us “how do u want to kick it off” and from there 'Sweat' was born! Amazing really - stuff of dreams!
Was it quite a daunting experience when you first started working in the studio with them?
Yer still remember first going round, never been in a studio like that. Scott and I have a pretty basic (but decent) set up, this was on a whole new level. Tom was really cool though and took the time to explain how things worked. On one hand it is amazing and we are learning so much on the other hand of course it is a little 'daunting', sitting there working with someone who was behind some of dance music's biggest ever tracks, makes it hard to say “Hey why don't we try some of these high hats in there!!” I mean who are we to say that?!
How have you found working with vocalists? You’ve already collaborated with Cari Golden on a couple of tracks, is there more in the pipeline?
We really like working with vocalists and creating something new, Cari is amazing, she is such a good writer, she was solely behind 'Activate' and 'Sweat', she is so great to work with. Kevin was awesome too, we had this idea for a track based on a book we read all the time and in the book there is a chapter called 'The Advancing Man' - together with Kevin we came up with this idea to turn it into some kind of song! The next thing with a vocalist we have is with Extra Curricular who you may remember from the 'Duke Dumont - Streetwalker Ep' and then after that . . . is a collaboration with someone sooooo big and so out there you would not believe, but we have to keep this one close to the chest!
Outside of electronic music whom would you say where some of your biggest influences?
Our Mum and Dad have been very influential to us for many reasons, but one thing we thank them for more than anything is that they took us traveling as we grew up. Dad would even take us on his business trips when we were like 8 years old... they included us in everything! They also had a really good taste in music, the house was full of a lot of 80's soul music from Mum, and Dad's stuff was predominantly 60's rock. I really think this was crucial. Aside from that, it is no secret that we take a great interest in certain Philosophies and Metaphysics and again this certainly plays a big part in what and how we do things.
You guys are pretty big vinyl heads, what have you been really digging on wax recently?
Yeah we do like our vinyl . . . Stuff we are into . . . Really feeling Late Night Tuff Guy's stuff, new stuff on Moondanse of course - limited pressing, custom artwork, Groove Armada terrace anthem, bootleg, what is not to love!? The other stuff we pick up pretty much without fail is anything Mr G in particular Phoenix G stuff. Aside from that our manager James Masters (Rekids) has been sending us some CLASSICS . . . which we will be incorporating into our sets going forward!
Austen, you started working at BM Soho last month. How have you found the experience so far?
Yeah totally love it! It is an amazing privilege to be a part of such an institution and piece of history! What is best though is that I am listening to stuff I may not have previously, meeting new people and massively building our vinyl collection!
We tipped you guys in our ‘Stars of 2014 Spotify Playlist’, is there anyone that you think (apart from yourselves!), will be making some serious waves this year?
Yes and thank you again! The list i think is pretty bang on to be honest but one act we are certain will really start breaking through this year is 'Drew Hill', the guys are next level, they are getting support from Pete Tong, Eats Everything and Skream to name a few! We are about release what is one of the most exciting EPs we have ever put out on the label from them, 'super super cool, 90s vibe, a touch of Janet Jackson on the vocal almost. House act with real live presence . . . such a godsend'!
You’ve done the guest-mix on the Future Disco Radio Show for us this week, what kind of vibes did you go for?
We really wanted to give people an idea of how our sound moves throughout a standard 2-3 hour set yet pack it into 30 mins! The mix kicks off with the new 'GA - Rockers Revenge' out on the vinyl only label 'Moondanse' - thing is an anthem! We have two tracks from one of our all time favourite producers Mr. G and of course we are showing for the first ever time the new 'Advancing Man' track from ourselves and Groove Armada. This is actually the 'Danse Club' mix which is a new project/collective by Myself, Scott, Tom Findlay and Severino - expect plenty more on that tip this year!!
So what’s next for Brodnase and Danse Club Recordings?
So next up for us of course is 'The Advancing Man'! After that we are doing a remix alongside Groove Armada on the Drew Hill track 'Talk To You', keep your eyes open for that one. We have a Brodanse single with Cari Golden due to come out in the summer and 2 more Brodanse EPs following that. On the label front as you may know we are really ramping things up this year after doing a deal with the mighty Dutch Armada Music (Not to be confused with Groove Armada) and the plan is really to take things to a whole new level - we have stuff from the above mentioned 'Danse Club project', Emerson Todd, Markus Homm, James Barnsley, Lauhaus, Groove Armada, Drew Hill, ourselves and of course a couple of big surprises up our sleeves!!