Since the beginning, Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman have made a habit of bridging worlds. Their earliest work split the difference between lush progressive house and UK bass music, with hits like “Lost Highway” and “Flo Jam” leading the charge. Since then, they’ve weaved various sonic threads through their sound, from techno to electro to the breakbeat influence you can just detect on Love Taking Over, the first EP on their new label, 17 Steps, which is released next week.
In that time, Dusky have become one of the biggest club acts on the planet, with one of the busiest touring schedules out there. The duo’s RA podcast shows off their wide-ranging appeal, folding techno artists likes Slam, Truncate and Alex Smoke in with the heady broken beats of Benton and the usual deep house suspects. It’s obvious that Dusky have been growing as DJs—this set goes from an amble to a sprint without batting an eye.
What have you been up to recently?
We had a month off gigging to work in the studio but we’re now back touring. We’ve just come back from a couple of weeks touring in the States and Canada followed by Glastonbury and Hideout festivals. There were lots of standout gigs, Hideout had great vibes and our Monday morning sunrise set at Glastonbury’s Temple in Shangri-La was pretty special. A lot of our closest friends were representing and the setting was perfect for that time in the morning. Not sure the subsequent Stone Circle silliness until stupid o’clock was entirely necessary, but it was a lot of fun!
How and where was the mix recorded?
In our studio in North London. We made some edits of various tracks first but we then recorded it how we DJ at shows: back-to-back with two decks each.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
We wanted to include tracks we’ve been playing in our sets recently, combined with some new productions from us and a few tracks that interest us, as well as some classics that have been an influence over the years. As with a lot that we do as both DJs and producers, we’ve focused on the many shades of house and techno, but we’ve also nodded to some of the broader influences that have been just as influential to us over the years—be it classical, electronica, jazz or jungle. In the mix we’ve referenced artists like T Power and Igor Stravinsky, who were so inspiring to us when we were growing up—albeit in very different ways. Hopefully it is something that represents our club sound but also works on a deeper level as a home listening experience.
You’ve played some big US festivals this year—Ultra, Electric Daisy Carnival, Hard. How is your style usually received in such environments?
It feels that the big US festival crowds are becoming more open to what we do. Granted, the average people at those festivals are unlikely to be familiar with our style of music, but there’s always a solid contingent of people that are clued up. The ones who aren’t that knowledgeable at least seem keen to give it a go and have very few preconceptions, as the crowds are so young.
What are you up to next?
We’ll be touring over the rest of the summer, playing at several festivals around the UK and Europe, as well as various club shows. In September we kick off a world tour that runs through to December taking in the UK, Europe, North America and Australia. At almost all of those shows we will be playing four-hours sets, except for our London date at Studio Spaces on 4th October, where we’ll be playing for six hours. In the midst of all of this we’re hoping to make progress on our next album, but we’re still getting going on that so watch this space.