THE ROOFTOP: What can you tell us about your first encounter with your Earthboogie partner Izaak Gray?
NICOLA: Izaak and I met in London when I was DJing at a fashion launch event in Shoreditch. Izaak is a huge sound nerd and runs East London Audio, specializing in bespoke speakers, PA kit etc. He was providing the audio setup for this event. We developed a very close music relationship from there and Earthboogie formed a few years later...
Looking back, how do you explain that first connection gave birth to such an ambitious musical project?
We first connected over my DJ set from that evening and we also bonded over our passion for high fidelity sound, warehouse parties... It took us years of getting into each other’s head and sharing music daily until we were totally in sync. We love positive music and dancing and that's exactly what we produce as Earthboogie.
Earthboogie "Silken Moon" (Leng Records)
Is “Kaleidoscopic” a good way to describe Earthboogie’s many influences?
Yes, Kaleidoscopic is a great word! Our music and personalities are very colorful and our musical rhythm is a complex blend of international sounds.
Do you think today’s international dance music has any impact on our international politics?
I think international dance music can open people up to different cultures through musical understanding and acceptance.
"There's a lot of physics involved..."
How did East London, where you live and create, evolve in the last couple of years?
We both love East London, it’s always changing and of course the club scene has taken a big hit over the last few years but there are so many unique venues popping up. Most of our favorite venues are focused around quality audio experiences, like Brilliant Corners in Dalston and The Lion & lamb in Hoxton.
Tell us about The Control Room?
It’s a large studio where we make our music and host listening parties for around 20 people. It’s almost like a mini club so we can make music in a club like environment where our Earthboogie Sound System is setup in quadraphonic.
Compared to David Mancuso’s The Loft sound system, and the 2ManyDJs and James Murphy's Despacio soundsystem, what makes the Earthboogie sound system special?
Well, there's a lot of physics involved, but the main thing is that we can play free flowing and dynamic records up loud with clarity in a way that competes with (and very often surpasses) what passes for 'dance' music, because it's not lost by the sound system. This dramatically affects your play style as DJ, as the breadth of scope of what you can do is as wide as the leeway the dancers give you.
When will you bring the Earthboogie Sound System in US? Is that possible?
We would 100% love to bring the system to the US, but to make the logistics worth while we’d need to give it a residency or a tour.
Nina Miranda, Angelique Kidjo, Gerd Janson, Felix Dickinson… this is a very exciting list of collaborators. What if the men were singers and the women remixers of Earthboogie?
It's interesting that there's a male/female split between performer and producer, and we can't say we'd particularly noticed with our own work, probably because its so extant in general, but now you mention it... First off our opinion is that it's an environmental factor at play, not biological. Whilst the depth of a voice is a sexual characteristic, the whole situation could be entirely reversed without practical consequence, i.e. its cultural vestige of a bygone era that'd slowly withering away, a lot like the human appendix really. But with all that historical context put aside, I think we'd pick Peggy Gou as a remixer and Prince or Todd Rungen as a singer.
Earthboogie "Human Call" (Ali Kuru Remix)
Tell us why “It’s Rude to Stare”?
NICOLA: It's Rude To Stare is an online magazine which I founded in 2014. I ask the question 'What was the last thing that made you stop and stare?’ because it goes straight to the source of capturing people with something powerful and unique. This could be someone’s outfit or an incredible piece of street art. I used to write for a small magazine years ago and loved sharing inspiring news about venues, brands, music, hotels... I now have an independent team of RUDE Editors whose mission statement is to showcase and celebrate cultural happenings and experiences worldwide.
On Saturday, October 13th, The Rooftop presents Eartboogie (DJ set)
2pm | The Standard, Downtown LA