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Artist Interview: Funk cartel

Artist Interview: Funk cartel

Sequences <br> by Michael Klein

Artist Series Funk Cartel

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Could you tell us about your background?
Hi Samplesound, we were born in London raised in Kent, our family has always had close ties to dance music and in particular all things House. Our Uncles threw acid house raves in London back in the 80s and ran a record label, being surrounded by the music growing up it was only natural for us to carve our own path and being Brothers we took to DJ’ing & producing together under the alias Funk Cartel.

How would you describe your music?

We produce and play house music, this can be funky & uplifting or deep & dark depending on the situation. Whenever we play out we are usually testing out new tracks from the studio and like to keep our sets high energy to get the people going.

What sets your music apart? What is unique?

As artists we aren’t confined, our music can be uplifting for the daytime or heavy for the clubs. We like to release both because we enjoy and are inspired by all areas of house and many other genres. Trying out different sounds is important especially as young artists and you don’t know quite what to expect from our next release which is what our fans have grown to appreciate.

What does your work aim to say?
Ultimately we make our music to create happiness, we want tracks that bring enjoyment and bring people together regardless of the environment or situation. Theres also no better feeling than seeing a dance floor go for one of your own tracks, the energy this creates is indescribable and certainly special, this is why we do what we do.

What gear do you typically use?
We both produce using Ableton Live 10 and rate the VSTs from the Roland Cloud. Hardware wise we have a Yamaha DTX electronic drum kit that we sampled heavily for the pack, this has great percussion sounds, especially toms. We recently got a Behringer TD-3 which is great for creating acid lines for basses and synths. Of course a MIDI keyboard and we also have a Roland Handsonic HPD-20 to sample for drum sounds, we can’t wait to develop our studio over time and add new bits of kit as we grow.

Which current musical trends are you following?
We wouldn’t say we follow one particular musical trend but there are many great labels from the UK and the Netherlands we especially like. One that would stick out is the thriving East London underground house scene, from the likes of 93 Feet East, E1, Fabrik. We are grateful to have played at 93 Feet East on multiple occasions and have had some wicked nights there. We appreciate the ‘outside of the box’ thinking and music from some of the tastemakers in the scene.

Who are your biggest influences?
When we first went out to Ibiza and saw the best DJ’s in full force people like Roger Sanchez and Eric Morillo stood out as being big inspirations behind the decks. In terms of productions there are so many artists that we have been influenced by, Josh Butler is one whose quality has always shone through for us. More recently we really like what a lot of the Dutch guys are up too. Ultimately though we are on our own path and in time you work it out your own way as everyones journey is different.

What do you enjoy most about being artists?
Being an artist leads you on crazy experiences like no other within these you get to meet people along the way that share the same passion for the music as you. Also collaboration is a massive part of it as working with new people can inspire tracks that neither would’ve been able to create before, this has also opened up so many opportunities for us.

What are your plans for any future releases?
We are extremely excited to be releasing three tracks on Point Blank’s new record label which feature vocals from the icons; Ultra Nate, Kathy Sledge & Kym Mazelle. These will all be out in the coming months this year.

Also along with the rest of the team we run the record label THUNDR, this has consistently started to get Beatport chart positions and support from the DJ’s we respect. We have a remix coming out on there for an Ellie Cocks EP. We have a release on Amsterdam imprint Bla Bla Music and have collaborated with the owner Daniel Sanchez for a remix upcoming on elrow. The music won’t stop coming from us and we are always giving tracks away on our soundcloud too so keep your eyes out for those.

Would you have any advice for “would-be-artists” wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Find friends who are into the music as well, start your own label and events as a platform to release and play out your own records. Collaborate as much as possible, work extremely hard and put your self out there. Persistence is key!
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