Still Going- Some EDM is Actually Quite Good (interview)
Specialising in producing seriously powerful deliciously dirty disco, New York erstwhile DFA duo Still Going sound a million miles away from the pop-dance EDM championed by superstar DJs such as Steve Aoki, Avicii and Guetta though Still Going’s Liv Spencer insists it’s not so.
“Some of these so-called ‘monster’ tracks are actually quite good,” he laughs.
“I tend to steal clear of anything too shameless or brash but my ears are always open. I’ll never veto a track just because some commercial producer is behind it. If I like what the track does, and it works on the dance floor that’s good enough for me.”
Teaming up with Rub n Tug’s Eric Duncan last year to form Still Going, the pair has since released a number of exceptionally effective dance-floor fillers of their own, initially on ex- LCD Soundsystem main man James Murphy’s label DFA and more recently on their own label Still Going Records.
Recent single Work That Shit Party- featuring hi hats played by Pat Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem and a soaring vocal delivered by Fischerspooner’s Lizzy Yoder- crossed over into Berlin underground tech/ house territory as much as amongst London’s hipster elite (including Hot Chip and Erol Alkan), but what about in EDM?
“Like anything else, the new audience is discovering this music via its more ‘commercial’ incarnations. I feel that as time passes, a percentage of these new fans will start to tire with the mainstream sound and start to look for more interesting outlets,” he predicts.
“You can definitely feel the change that EDM has brought here in the States, it’s definitely having an impact across the board,” he continues.
“And here in New York City, the scene here feels more vibrant than it has done in recent years. Though this new wave is definitely more ‘global sounding’ and less “NYC” than its predecessors.”
Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): Starting with Work that Shit: how long did the track take to make? How did it begin?
Still Going (Liv Spencer): “The track came together fairly quickly. I wrote the main synth bassline on an SH-101 using the (very basic) internal sequencer. The samples you hear are pulled from the many field recordings I do around New York City. These streets always have stories to tell and I always carry a recorder with me. The vocal itself came from the sample which sounds like it’s saying “work that shit party”. I wrote a few vocal riffs around that phrase which Lizzy Yoder lent her great voice to.”
Skrufff: Who does what between the two of you?
Still Going (Liv Spencer): I write, program, and play the music. And handle recording and mixing. We do arrangements together and share responsibility for lyrics as well.”
Skrufff: I wouldn’t usually ask, but given that it’s useless for Googling and somewhat suggestive, why call yourself Still Going? What other contenders did you have for names?
Still Going (Liv Spencer): “I remember James Murphy suggesting we call ourselves The White Shadow. But Still Going had a natural ring to it. I think Eric dropped it one day and it stuck from there.”
Skrufff: How much harder has it got to make a living through DJing/ making music in recent years: have either of you ever considered getting a day job?
Still Going (Liv Spencer): I’ve been living from music for years now. My day job if, you want to call it that, involves scoring, sound design and music supervision for TV and film. With regard to DJing and dance music, I feel that your output tends to be a barometer of your success. If you create quality music, you’ll always have an audience. Having a good support team behind you doesn’t hurt either.”
Skrufff: What’s the model for Still Going- the label; how do you fund it?
Still Going (Liv Spencer): We’re just getting if off the ground and are currently self funded. A few third parties have expressed interest in lending a hand. More to come in that front soon.”
Skrufff: Anything else to add?
Still Going (Liv Spencer): I’m heading back into the studio next week to wrap production on new material. Much of it for a new project I’ve been developing over the past few months. Stay tuned.”
Jonty Skrufff: http://listn.to/JontySkrufff