Following on from the success of their debut EP on Freerange Records, Kyodai (or “Brothers” in Japanese) were asked to release something on Local Talk (the Nordic masters of underground House music.) The resultant Breaking EP is a triumph. Its pulsating bass and simple hook are simply unmistakable, there is even a 90s mix on the B-side to titillate all the throwback junkies.
“The Scene,” a continuation of this Local Talk success story and Kyodai’s latest EP, perhaps eludes to the current House “scene’s” predilection for nineties-esque production. Altogether, the title track feels very laid-back with a classic combo of smooth chords and luscious strings. The bass keeps things ticking and maintains a firm foot in the present, while the vocals and shuffling hats evoke a retro appeal.
The opening bars of “Moving (Breaking Pt. 2)” sound like the defiant big brother of part one. That familiar organ is twinned with a more pumping bottom end, but despite obvious similarities this track stands out brilliantly from it’s predecessor. A soulful vocal sample keeps things funky and the lively percussion is delectable – these drums truly highlight the brothers ear for sonic beauty.
We loved Breaking. Why did you decide to make Breaking part 2?
Thanks we’re glad you like it. Well, after “Breaking” we got a lot of remix requests, and many of them asking for the same formula, so we decided to do an original track keeping that sound but pretty different. It is a handicap for an artist to do a second single after a successful one as happened with “Breaking”. Due to this we made “The Scene” as main track of the EP and “Moving (Breaking Part 2)” as the second one. Once again, the track surprised us and it is on the way to be another successful track.
What do you like about the ’90s sound’? Why do you think it’s seen a revival lately?
Hehe, for guys like us the ‘revival’ is funny, because we’ve always been into that sound, and it is always an important influence. When we started DJing and producing between ’92-’96, we remember always travelling to London to buy Garage House and classic vinyls. We think that the revival makes sense because we are talking about a classic sound and it is always good to go back to the roots of everything: if you learn jazz music you must study jazz standards, if you learn classical music you must to study classical composers, and many young people now don’t know the 90’s sound. It’s a great revival!
After extensive research I learned Kyodai means ‘brothers’. Are you really brothers? If not how did you meet?
We are brothers yes! From the same father and mother.
What is the first record you bought?
Stevie Wonder “Hotter than July” and the second one Billy Cobhan “Spectrum”
What came first: DJing or producing?
Playing music came first from our Father, he is a scholar and saxophone player and we have been part of various jazz bands along with him. We developed an interest in electronic music and house in the early 1990s, then we started playing house music and producing at the same time.
We’ve heard hints of latin and other styles from you in the past. What are the biggest influences on your sound?
We have a lot of influences, mainly jazz in all its styles – latin, jazz-fusion, soul – but also pop and rock sometimes.
Do you have different roles or areas of expertise in the production process?
Yes, we both play keys and different instruments, but Louis has more expertise on piano and Jay on drums. With sequencing and production stuff we are both equal.
How do you start when laying down a new track?
We use to sit and talk about the idea, we think it is very important to fix the idea in your head before proceeding in the computer, because if not it could be a little disperse. The way we start depends, either with the beat or a harmonic idea on keys… it is very variable.
What’s the best gig you’ve played so far and why?
One of the gigs we enjoy most was at Wanderlust in Paris at a Local Talk party, but we had fun at all of them. D-edge in Sao Paulo was very nice. Recently at NuSpirit in Bratislava, the connection with such a nice crowd in was the remarkable thing.
We hear you guys have an album in the pipeline? What should we expect?
We are trying to show the identity of Kyodai’s sound in this album, because it is our first. Obviously people know our previous EP releases for different labels, where we tried slightly different styles. Now we have the opportunity to focus on a complete album, continuing in own our style and with some surprises: collaborations and remixes that we feel proud of.
What are you guys looking forward to in 2013?
Finishing our first album as Kyodai for Local Talk of course! We expect to do as big a tour as we can, and continue doing a lot of collaborations to develop Kyodai into a solid project on the scene – if that happens we will be happy!
Alongside this interview, Kyodai have also taken the time to put together our latest podcast … you can listen to it here!