May 31 2016

Northeast Kingdom Goes Live

Slow Hands and Cameo Culture join forces for their new project "Northeast Kingdom," and are set to perform poolside at Le Bain on Saturday, June 4th.
LE BAIN: Northeast Kingdom describes the northeast corner of the state of Vermont. Are you both from there? 
CAMEO CULTURE: Ryan [Slow Hands] is from Vermont. I'm originally from Australia, but I'm an adopted Vermonter. We both live in Brooklyn and share studio spaces in both Vermont and Brooklyn. 
Cameo Culture

Cameo Culture

How did you start as a duo?
CAMEO CULTURE: It stems from working on 3 albums together over the course of two-and-a-half years. Two of those albums were released last year under our solo projects (Cameo Culture's Burning Bright and Slow Hands' I'll Find Me), and the third record is an unreleased Slow Hands album. Through working on those albums, we discovered we had a mutual desire to not only explore musical directions within electronic music, but also to explore music outside the genre as well. A good example of this is the recent remix we just completed for High Highs' Catch The Wind, recorded at The Sharn, our Vermont studio.
"Crew Love has always been a great source of friendship and camaraderie."
Performing live instruments in a club can be challenging due to the dance floor pressure. How will you deal with that at Le Bain?
SLOW HANDS: It can be. I have done it for about 5 years now, and there are certainly as many moments of frustration as there are of bliss. The hardest thing is that you can't quickly shift like you can when you DJ. The, "If this song isn't working, I'll do this on the next record" mentality goes out the window. But people seem to really appreciate seeing live instruments and singing, whether it's in a club or elsewhere. 

CAMEO CULTURE: There is definitely a different energy that is created by playing live music in a setting where people are used to hearing DJs, but in our experience it can be equally as powerful. With the array of instruments we use for our show, we have given ourselves the opportunity to play with the energy of the music and the crowd and improvise off the pulse of the audience. 
High Highs' "Catch The Wind (Northeast Kingdom Remix)"
Dave, what lessons did you learn from releasing your first album?
CAMEO CULTURE: There were lots of positives that came out of making that album, and I'm very proud of it, but it was also a bit like running a marathon, and in some respects I wasn't fully prepared for it. There is a definite danger with overthinking the songs when you are overseeing the whole process from song idea to final mix down, and I fell into that trap at various points along the way. However, I did learn a lot about the subtle nuances of creating a production aesthetic, and I've been able to put that architecture into the work I do mixing and producing for other bands and artists.  

Ryan, you’re from Manchester, Vermont. Do you have romantic visions of Manchester, England?
SLOW HANDS: I have been to Manchester, England a few times!  Very different than Manchester, Vermont, but a great town. I suppose my romantic vision of it would have to revolve around the late '70s through the '80s. Factory Records, Joy Division, The Happy Monday's, Tony Wilson, The Smiths; if you're involved in dance music and don't know about Manchester's history....well. I have actually stayed in a hotel right across from where The Hacienda was and it's a condominium building now. But CBGBs is now a John Varvatos, so apparently the historical societies of New York and Manchester have similar moral standards.
Slow Hands

Slow Hands

You’re both part of the Crew Love family. It's impressive how you all have been working together for such a long time as a crew. What would you say is the secret to your longevity?
CAMEO CULTURE: I think the secret for Ryan and I is that we try and create a working environment where we are always trying to push ourselves musically and creatively, but we never take ourselves too seriously. Crew Love has always been a great source of friendship and camaraderie. Even if people come from a different place musically, everyone is very supportive, and that helps ideas and collaborations flow in every direction.  

On Saturday, June 4th, Le Bain presents
The Dolemite Party by Dusk & Haze
featuring Northeast Kingdom (live)
Sophia Saze, Kyle & Griff
Doors open at 10pm | The Standard, High Line 

(Header photo of Slow Hands)