You may know them by the name Dusky, a name that has become instantly synonymous with UK house and techno. In 2011, Nick Harriman and Alfie Granger-Howell of Dusky “marked themselves out as accomplished electronic musicians” by dropping their critically acclaimed LP “Stick By This”. It wasn’t long until the electro-duo took over the dance floor and cemented themselves in the underground house music scene.
In mid-July, Dusky launched their new record label 17 Steps, and started with the release of their own ‘Loving Taking Over’ EP. As for other artists signed to the label, they were all handpicked by the duo themselves. The new record label “draws on their love of forward thinking production, British rave aesthetics and both classic and contemporary electronic music of all forms.”
"Over the last few years, our identity as artists has continued to grow and crystallize into something we never envisaged possible. The introduction of 17 Steps feels like a natural phase in our development, and a logical move that enables us to take more control of our musical identity and provide a platform for music by other artist that we believe in."
EPIC had the opportunity to catch up with Dusky this summer while the duo was touring across North America. With their recently released record label, newly dropped tracks and big plans for the fall, Dusky tells us a little about how they got their start in electronic music, their musical inspirations and what to expect from the duo in the coming months.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: How did you get your start in electronic music?
DUSKY NICK: One of my earliest memories of electronic music is when I was eight. At the time, I had a tape called Rave 92, it had loads of big commercial dance tracks from the time but also included The Orb’s “Blue Room”, which had a massive effect on me. It really drew me in and inspired me to learn more about electronic music. By the time I was 10, I was really into Jungle. This was when I started playing the drums, which I then soon quit at 14 when I bought my first set of turntables, eventually leading into production. DUSKY ALEX: It’s a similar story for me. I’d heard dance music on the radio and on television as a kid and was really intrigued by it. When I was nine, I used my pocked money to buy a CD compilation called ‘Dance Hits of 94’ or something like that. I was hooked from then on.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Who do you consider some of your musical influences?
DUSKY NICK: This is an impossible question to answer because my influences are always changing. I would say music of all forms inspire me as I’m interested in almost all music, except maybe Deathcore, but I can still see the appeal. Often, music you don’t like can be just as inspiring as music you are really into, so it’s important to keep an open mind and force yourself to listen to stuff, even if you’re not enjoying it, it can help you form a more informed perspective on your own music. DUSKY ALEX: My musical influences and tastes are varied too. There are lots of individuals that have shaped my musical path as well, my parents for example. I’ve had a formal musical education, so many of my teachers along the way have been hugely influential too. A lot of the classical and jazz greats are a particular inspiration to me, their sheer dedication to their art and belief in the power of music have been very influential on my musical development.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: In your free time, who are some artists you’ve been spending your time listening to?
DUSKY NICK: Recently, I’ve been listening to the new Little Dragon album, Astrud Gilberto and Arthur Russel. DUSKY ALEX: I’ve been listening to Aqua’s greatest hits (laughs). Not really! But mostly I’ve been listening to Lone, Drexciya and La Monte Young.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: If you could collaborate with anyone in the industry, who would it be?
DUSKY NICK: Just like my inspirations, this changes all the time. But I think working with Herbie Hancock would be amazing. DUSKY ALEX: Brian Eno. He’s worked on such huge varieties of music and seems like the versatile producer you could learn a lot from.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What has been your most memorable experience while touring?
DUSKY NICK: Playing the Terrace at Space for the first time was an amazing experience. It’s such a legendary club, that feeling of stepping up there for the first time will be hard to forget. DUSKY ALEX: Our first gig at Glastonbury was one of our most memorable too. We’ve been attending for so many years and always wanted to play. To finally get the opportunity to was a great feeling.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What are your upcoming plans in regards to new releases and more touring?
DUSKY NICK: We just released a new track “4T4” on Anjunadeep. We also just released our new label 17 Steps in July.
DUSKY ALEX: Tour wise, we will be embarking on a world tour this month and into December with shows in United Kingdom, United States, Europe, New Zealand and Australia.
For a full list of upcoming tour dates and news on releases, be sure to visit Dusky's website, and look for more to come from this UK electro-duo in the coming months!