DJ collective ‘Surround' – Masha, Jeniluv & Heidi Lawden – have just launched their new imprint Dusk Recordings with a superb compilation album ‘Dusk Volume 1', which they describe as "a love letter from California". Packed with dark dub disco and psychedelic chug, we asked them and the artists to talk us through the album, Track By Track.
Dave Aju: "Desierto" was originally born out of a return home to the studio after an enlightening trip to Yucca Valley, which later gathered further inspiration from a Montana and Moulton unclassic of similar name, then finally a tribute to the early Dusk origins in Joshua Tree made it a three-way deal sealer. It channels some pretty heavy Cali/LA traveling vibes, from the PCH top-down at midnight heading to a DT warehouse warm-up, or deep Hwy 10 East to back Out There in 29 Palms as the sun sets in the rearview mirror. It's also a study in how lower tempos can defy popular belief with just as much force and feels as the faster stuff at times, which is a beautifully West Coast philosophy in itself.
Simon James: The duo's contribution to the Dusk compilation, ‘Graffiti Fonta', is an ode to the fashion world spoken from an iconic perspective.
C.love: ‘Deux Femora' was inspired by a Femora (femur) bone found on Santa Rosa Island- possibly the oldest human remains ever found in North America. These remains laid buried since the end of the last Ice Age when our ancestors crossed over a green lush land bridge in the area now known as the Bering Strait. It serves as a reminder of humanity's perseverance and our drive to explore new horizons. ‘ Deux Femora' breaks down and reformats emerging AmaPiano house music. It was created in my studio in the Mojave Desert using Ableton, percussion instruments I've collected while traveling, a Moog Slim Phatty, a Microkorg, and an Alesis DM10 Drumkit."
Heidi Lawden: Heidi Lawden and Hein Höven have been working on tracks on and off for 7 years. Mucking about as they put it, mostly tracks and edits for Heidi to play exclusively in her DJ sets. At the close of 2020 as things slowly opened the two decided to go back into the studio primarily to lift their own spirits first and foremost. Within a week they had sketched around 6 tracks, ‘Dancefloor Dreams' being the first.
Travis ‘TK' Kirschbaum: The inception of Warehouse Preservation Society was less an intention than an imperative of expression. It was only a matter of time before Los Angeles residents, Travis ‘TK' Kirschbaum & Tavish Graham knocked out records with their own breed of funked up industrial dancefloor energy. They knew when they became close musical cohorts that there was something that they could uniquely donate together to the beloved global nightlife community.
Juliet Mendoza, "LA native, dancer, dj, mother and a true heart of the underground House music and dance culture": This track came about from sitting still and growing into a more responsible self. I feel like mental health is my first priority and music helps me stay sane. So the track is about emotional growth from this last year.
Masha Mar: Inspired by the surf term, ‘Last Light' is Dusk- that final fleeting moment of post-sunset beauty before darkness.
John Tejada: ‘Ashes' is a continuation from his latest album ‘Year Of The Living Dead', both in mood and production techniques while being inspired by the times we are in and challenges we face.
JP & Vulinej (Jeniluv): We chose pieces of Tevo's track that would remain familiar to the original. Then we wrapped our own sounds around the pieces and swirled the frequencies together with hypnotizing beats, until magically the song appeared in the air of the San Francisco studio we share with 40 Thieves. The sounds of the SH101 and Juno 60 floated together in space with dancing mushrooms, hippos and alligators. This took 5 days but like Rip Van Winkle we arose from the studio as if no time had passed.
SONNS (Alexander Mouracade):The track was essentially inspired from the Starck Club in Dallas and how it left a permanent mark on club culture. Ecstasy was legal in 84. The after parties and undergrounds in and around that time undoubtedly inspired and gave rise to the American rave scene especially on the West Coast.
Force Placement: ‘Her Feet Never Touched the Ground' is a tense minimal house jam with tripped-out vocals and dark atmospheric textures. The song was inspired by one of Jason James aka Force Placement's favourite horror films of all time, ‘The Blair Witch Project'.
Initial Sequence: Our song ‘R & R Time' came together earlier this year when we were asked by Heidi Lawden to contribute a track to Dusk Recordings first compilation. This coincided with us having recently retrieved one of our favorites synths from the repair shop. We ended up relying almost solely on it for the synth lines as we sampled it heavily on our MPC and constructed the track from its parts. As a result, a more minimal approach was used than we usually employ when making full use of our studio in East Hollywood. The sound that came together forged to our ears a surprisingly tough and funky techno beat. We listened with amusement at the final results and patted our trusty old synth on the back.
Heidi Lawden: These two brothers from LA, foot soldiers and pied pipers of the LA scene with their first ever release – Traffic Jammers what can we say… It's a blend of our love for the 80s with a splash of house. It doesn't get any better than that in our book!
Dusk Volume 1 is available to buy and stream.
21st June, 2021