INTERVIEW: WAZE & ODYSSEY

Waze & Odyssey are part of a new wave of emerging UK producers who are helping to keep the UK house scene on its toes.  After their first release in early 2012, “Ah Baby (Here We Go Again)”  they’ve released a whole load of remixes, originals, and bootlegs, ranging from raw, urban garage tracks through to epic ’90s-influenced house anthems.  They originally created a fake background story about being US garage veterans raised on a diet of funk & soul in Miami, but then they came clean that they were just having a laugh with that story and are actually a couple of London veterans called Serge Santiago and Firas Waez.  With a distinct Waze & Odyssey sound evolving, a new W & O record label, a love of keeping people guessing, and support from the likes of Pete Tong, Lazaro Casanova, Bicep, and Friendly Fires, Waze & Odyssey are set to be BIG in 2013.  We caught up with them to find out what they’re all about…

Let’s start with the most obvious question first…you recently came clean that you weren’t a couple of US garage veterans raised in a Miami funk and soul record shop. Did you start that story to create a bit of mystery and hype around you, or just for the jape of it?

We wanted a fresh outlook; people to see us with through eyes with no baggage and no pretence. If we put out a farfetched idea thats semi-believable then people would cling onto the music rather than the story, plus really it’s all just a bit of a mind f*ck. We kinda like messing with people and confusion sticks in the memory.

Your fake background story kinda made sense in some ways – you’ve got quite a varied style that seems to take in an eclectic set of influences and genres. But now that we know that was made up… who are you actually influenced by

Everyone always thinks you must be influenced by something while you’re growing up, childhood, teens whatever, we’ve been raving for YEARS, just picking up things here and there. We just like writing music that’s a bit rough round the edges.. Really you start to influence yourself after a while anyway, one track leading into another.. you gotta release crap someones to see where you’re going wrong.

Did you decide to collaborate together for W&O because you both had a particular musical/creative vision you wanted to achieve that you weren’t doing through your other production outfits?

Nah, we just wanted to write House music… Under-produced House that rolls off the tongue.

Your tracks ‘Love That Burns (Hot Enough)’ and ‘Dance, Yeah How’ have quite a ‘90s NY house vibe to them. Are Waze & Odyssey moving away from the tough garage sound of a lot of your tracks and more towards a classic ‘90s house sound to be more accessible, or is this just what you guys are into producing at the moment?

We write what feels good. Stick an M1 bass sound in and everyone thinks its 90s house because of MK, Robin S etc. It’s a case of what happens, happens. Things aren’t planned.

Did you intentionally want to be one of the front runners in the new UK house and garage movement that has sprung up with fresh, forward thinking producers like yourself, Disclosure and Dusky… or has your emergence been more spontaneous than that?

We went for an ‘eat all you can burger’ joint one freezing night in October last year, chatted about music and realised we should get busy. We then holed ourselves up in the studio for a few months and just knocked out a whole load of tracks. No joke.. We got a great feeling out of it, felt it was going to work. Some of our most recent trax were made right at the start.

Where do you see your sound going in the next couple of years?

As we’ve said, each track influences the next, so the sound dictates itself really. We may use the same sound in more than one track as it warrants the best environment and sometimes it takes a few tracks to do that. Put simply, we think we have our own sound and we’ll let it decide where it goes.

You’ve just launched a new record label, W&O Street Tracks. Have you got a vision of where you want to take the label, and have you got any other acts lined up for release that you can tell us about?

It’s a chance for us to work without pressure and just do what we want and there’s lots of great new producers out there we’d love to work with. Right now we’re going to be working with Ejeca quite a lot. He’s a top guy and a very good producer. He’s done a 3 track EP for us and we’ve remixed one of the tracks. It’ll land on vinyl on 26th November. So hyped about this one! We’ll be dropping it this weekend.

You’re only gonna put out vinyl releases on the W&O label. What was the thinking behind that? While it’s great to see labels supporting vinyl, it could be argued that it’s bit elitist to exclude DJs who just use CDJs?

Well it could be argued that releasing digital is elitist to people who use CDJs. We want you to feel the music in your hand. We love the label, ‘My Love is Underground’ – they put comments on their record art and it’s amazing to see.. “1993 forever, Vinyl Lives, No Compromise” – it sounds like brainwashing but its telling its fans how dedicated they are.

Your DJ mixes for RA, Mixmag, and DT have been highly acclaimed… so what can we expect from your set at the Bugged Out & Trailer Trash Halloween special?

Exactly what it says on the tin.. Rubber dinghy rapids.

WIN FREE TICKETS TO SEE WAZE & ODYSSEY

If you want a chance to win 2 free tickets to go and see Waze & Odyssey DJ at the Bugged Out / Trailer Trash Halloween warehouse party this Saturday at Netil House with Andrew Weatherall, Ivan Smagghe and Hannah Holland, then just pick the right answer from the following question.  The gig’s sold out, so it’s gonna be a wicked party!

Which music genre did Andrew Weatherall cut his teeth in?

(a) Acid House

(b) Flaccid House

(c) Flamingo House

Send your answers on a postcard to admin@wearenotarockband and we’ll announce the winner this Friday lunchtime.

NOTICE FROM BUGGED OUT + TRAILERTRASH: Advance tickets have now sold out, there will be 50 held back on the door from 10pm. Join them at 6am for their notorious after-party at The Dolphin, Day Of The Living Dead.

You can check out one of Waze & Odyssey’s latest releases, ‘Dance, Yeah How’, on the new More Music Compilation album.

Red Ben

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