MDC.124 Devin Dare

Next up we are delighted to air the very first podcast from Brooklyn’s veteran disco aficionado’s Devin Dare! Duane Harriott and Sean Marquand (from The Phenomenal Handclap Band) are two of NYC’s most respected figures when it comes to the underground disco, rare groove and Brazilian music they have spent most of their careers championing. Before first coming together in 2012 to create the funk fuelled Feels So Wrong EP for Stilove4music, the duo had already dedicated their lives to unleashing heat in NYC’s sweatiest spots, be it via Marquand’s long running Brazilian Beat Brooklyn or Harriott’s legendary Negroclash party that he curated alongside Lindsey Caldwell and Prince Language. With an outrageously catchy edit recently being picked up by FunkinEven’s Apron Records for their limited Record Store Day release, plus a long awaited follow up EP for Stilove4music around the corner, we gave the guys the task of recreating some of that unbridled NYC dance floor magic that they’ve become synonymous with over the years, this time in the form of our 124th exclusive podcast.

If I’m not mistaken this marks the first official Devin Dare podcast and interview? I know you guys have both been involved in various music projects and parties in NYC for years, can you tell us a bit about how you came to working together and what’s the story behind the name?

Duane: Yeah I guess you’re right. Well, this is great company to be in. Many of your guests are incredible DJs, producers and colleagues of ours, so this is as good of a place as any to “make it official”. Sean and I had been on each other’s radar for years. The short version of it is, we were both Participants in the local underground Disco/Rare Groove NYC scene either as DJ’s, producers, bartenders, record store clerks, band leaders, etc.

Sean: I used to have a night called Brazilian Beat Brooklyn where I spun tunes I’d found in Bahia and São Paulo over the years. I met Duane in the mid 2000s as my night was taking off and he was doing that legendary Negroclash party he threw with Lindsey Caldwell and Prince Language at APT. I caught one of Duane’s insane sets there one night and I was a fan from then on. I always wanted to work with him but never had a chance until a couple years ago.

Duane: Sean suggested we do a project together, so we went into the studio to see what would happen and we came out with “Policy”, our first 12”. As for the Devin Dare name? The stories behind interesting band names are rarely as interesting as the band name (Unless your band is called 10CC), and we’re no different. It’s basically an inside joke that’s not that funny.

So far the music you have put out together has been incredibly DJ friendly edits of high energy, high tempo funk and disco records. I’m guessing these edits were initially made for your own DJ sets and it grew from there? Do you plan to continue the project in the same vein?

Sean: We came across that off-kilter sound kind of by accident as we didn’t want to beat grid any of the music we worked on. All the loops in our edits swing weirdly which don’t always make for easy mixing, or listening for that matter but seem to offer different pleasures for the dance floor. We gravitate toward rockier arrangements in soul and disco and we feature the same kind of stuff in our original music.

Duane: We are both fans of techno and house, but our fave music to dance to is huge, fruity, organic, diva wailin’ disco. In NYC, disco never really died. You’ll hear “Is it all over my face?” pumpin’ out of cars in Bed-Stuy as often as “Hypnotize” or “Juicy” by Biggie. It’s still the pulse of the city in a lot of ways. The edits have a human organic swing to them and that aesthetic will always remain in our sound.

Sean: I’m really excited to keep the cross-influences going between our edits/deejaying and our original production work.

Sean I was excited to find out that you’re also a member of the Phenomenal Handclap Band. What has the band been up to of late, have you guys been working on any new material?

Sean: I loved touring and working with Handclap Band. The band’s been on hiatus for a little while now. We’ve been working on individual live projects and production endeavors. I know our label Tummy Touch has some material from our sessions at RAK Studios in London that they’ve been threatening to put out, so I’m hoping we will see some of that stuff soon.

Tell us about how you two hooked up with FunkinEven and appeared on his label Apron’s Record Store Day release this year? Do you have any plans to release more on the label?

Duane: I met FunkinEven two summers ago here in Brooklyn when he came to DJ at the Mister Sunday Party. Justin Carter from MSN introduced us, we got along and we continued to stay in touch. When I was in London last fall, Steven (FunkinEven) and I met up for a drink. I had sent him “Best” earlier that month and he asked when it was coming out and I was like “It’s not, you want it”? He was like “of course!” Earlier that day he had played me “YM2” at his flat and I flipped out. So it made sense to do a split 12 with those two tracks. I think the door is definitely open to release more stuff on Apron, but nothing immediately is forthcoming at the moment. Steven and I came up with a pretty cheeky concept for a project while I was in London that I’d like to pursue. It’s inspired by another horrible inside joke…

While on the subject, many would have heard a forthcoming track of yours on Stilove4music in FunkinEven’s recent XLR8R podcast. It’s been a couple of years since your first EP for the label, what can you tell us about this follow up record and when is it coming out?

Duane: Yeah man! Once again props to the homeslizzle FunkinEven for hooking us up with some promo. The new Devin Dare should be dropping early in September on Stilov4music. It’s a 3 song EP of “incredibly DJ friendly edits of high energy, high tempo funk and disco records”. We Hope you dig it. Big shouts out to one of the realest in the game Jerome Derradji for letting us do it one more time.

What can you tell us about this podcast that you’ve recorded for us? Who are some of the artists featuring in the mix?

Sean: We did the mix in two sections. When I was doing my part, my refrigerator in my apartment broke and I didn’t realize that it was leaking freon. Not sure to what extent I inhaled or was influenced by those fumes, but I did feel pretty high while I was putting it together. Maybe this mix is what dying brain cells sounds like. As far as tracks go, I was really happy to include a song from Dan Selzer’s fantastic project, New York Endless. The EP is out soon on Golf Channel Recordings and I couldn’t recommend it more. The song that follows is an original tune I worked on with Patrick Wood of Paqua/Phenomenal Handclap fame under the moniker Totes Preesh that features live drums, guitar and every synth we owned at the time. That one’s coming out on the forthcoming Mangiami comp also on Golf Channel.

Duane: It’s a loose affair on my end. Just some greasy, flanged out funk the junk in your trunk. There are some exclusive Devin Dare edit weapons sprinkled amongst creations from friends and colleagues like Twilite Tone and Jerome Derradji. It sounds like Summer in NYC. My house cats seemed to like it, hope you do too.

What else do you guys have coming up?

Sean: Duane and I have done some original house and disco stuff that’s coming out and we’re working on a track right now with Swedish avant R & B singer Kissey and Duane’s sister Deah Harriott which is killing. I’ve been missing the full studio experience, so we’re in the middle of assembling all of our talented friends to do a full LP of dance/soul stuff under the Cinchy name.

Duane: You can always catch me every Wednesday at noon on WFMU. I host a show where I play anything I damn well please. I’ll also be back in Europe doing a small DJ tour in October. You can find me on all the annoying social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, etc.. I don’t do fan pages, but give me a shout and I’ll add ya… just play nice. Love & Light y’all!

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