Hartebeest... In focus
Published on October 23rd, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
We dug the blissed-out electropop of “death.”, the debut single from Hartebeest – or H A R T E B E E S T, as it’s stylised – so we sent over our Showcase Q&A in order to find out more about them…
How would you describe your music, if pushed?
We’ve always been interested in the darker side of pop, memorable songs with heavy undertones. We really don’t feel limited genre-wise when we write so we are influenced by whatever we listen too. A bit of EDM, R’n’B, hip-hop, pop etc, its all in there somewhere. It’s an unfamiliar mix of familiar sounds.
Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?
We were born on a small secluded island off the north west of France called Guernsey. It’s only 25 square miles, and is surrounded by open seas and cliffs. Our writing process is so heavily effected by what we see and live amongst, so the stormy seas and heavy weather changes we get at home on a secluded island really inspire us and impact our direction.
Our studio setup is very basic; a simple home studio with a mixture of specific analogue equipment, outboard FX and digital plugins/software. Although we always love to experiment and try new toys, we definitely know what we like.
Are you signed to a label? If so, how did you come to their attention?
We dropped our first track “death.” only a couple of weeks back, so currently we are not working with any record label. We write and produce our own tracks, so really are just so focused on that, as well as the remixes we are working on for some other artists out there.
We also do our own artwork and write/direct our own music videos. Creative control in all areas is something we really value, anything we put out musically or visually will always be decided and created by us and that is really important to us.
Is there a full album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it? (Feel free to be as abstract as you like…)
All we can tell you is that we have more songs than we can count and we are very selective on what makes it to a final mix. We want our first full release to feel complete and full of great tracks and it’s something we are really investing time in. As to when we drop an album, it’ll be a case of when we are content with the concept and the time is right for us.
Where can we hear your music online?
We upload our tracks and our remixes to SoundCloud, as well as “liking” all the artists out there that we’re vibing. There is a lot of strong stuff out there, and always something new to hear. We like to share that with like-minded people. It’s a good time for new music.
Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far?
What’s the most exciting thing about this project is the freedom and versatility we have. We’ve been in bands over the years and have had a lot of great experiences, but with this duo project, there are no restrictions.
We have the opportunity to perform our full setup which is a mixture of DJing and live instruments, joining that genre divide to a certain extent I suppose. That’s something we really enjoy doing and challenging ourselves with. When we aren’t doing that we are DJing – mixing our own tracks, artist remixes and everything we’ve been enjoying.
Got any more coming up? (Gigs, that is…)
We’ve been spending a lot of time in our home studio over recent months, but there will be plenty of live performances of all styles in the not-too-distant future and we’re looking forward to that.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
MURA MASA is a homegrown talent, only 17 years old and big vibes. He’s remixed our first track “death.” and its amazing. Young producers like him are definitely the future of electronic music.
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
That is a pretty vast question to answer. We love a lot of stuff but I guess it’d have to be those timeless artists that never grow old, never tire: The Police, Bjork, Bowie, Simon and Garfunkel, Prince… The people that have influenced the future of music in some shape or form.
Hartebeest – or indeed H A R T E B E E S T – thank you.