Chicago-based electronic dance duo Dance Loud has released the audio for hypnotic
single “Hollow” is about the hollowness inside us all and the good and bad in everyone. Check out the first listen on MXDWN. Crafted from analog guitars, drums, and field recordings, distorted synths give way to an angular beat as hypnotic vocals enchant and engage.
The track blurs the lines between electronic immersion and alternative orchestration. “Hollow” is the first single off of Dance Loud’s 2020 DIY independent debut album, The Moment. A reflection of the struggles of the world and the emotions within it, The Moment is meant to be listened to as a whole in an endless loop and can be described as “emotional dance music,” offering sounds you can dance and cry to.
Tell us about the genesis of your project. How did you get to where you are now?
“The Moment” released in 2020 and is our first full length album. We went all out pressing on 180g audiophile vinyl and had Thom Yorke’s mastering engineer cut the lacquer using a specialized half speed cutting technique to capture every sound as well as master the entire album using a mix of hardware and software. He was the perfect mastering engineer for this project because we prefer to use old school recording techniques (hardware) with new school processing (software). We had to interview a lot of mastering engineers in order to find the right one we felt would best work for our hybrid engineering style.
“The Moment” is a concept album inspired by Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” where the album’s songs are mixed with no silence between tracks. The first and last tracks are each one half of the same song “Time” & “Travel” tiring the album together to be heard in an endless loop. This album took careful planning as it is the first part of an overall 3 part concept. Our next album will be part two.
How would you describe the highs and lows of being an artist?
Uncertainty and self-doubt is something most artists feel. Uncertainty on financial security, bouts of “am I doing the right thing?” Yes, of course you are doing the right thing. It’s what feeds the soul! Where there’s a will there’s a way. We always try to remain positive and grateful for all the little things along the way. Also, sound equipment being super expensive creates the lows of being an artist. To battle that, we call our style HiFi on a LoFi budget. We were always to scared to spend huge amounts on audio equipment until we stopped being scared and spent wisely. We dumped more into quality software for electronic production and signal chain but less on microphones and studio soundproofing. With that, we broke engineering rules and used 2 medium priced mic’s in different frequency ranges instead of one really expensive full range and just dealt with phasing issues.
Who are your all time musical icons?
DJ Kristin Sanchez: Kaskade, Cajmere, & Timbaland
Desereé Fawn: Radiohead, Deadmau5 & Pink Floyd
What are some sources of inspiration for you?
Music documentaries, movies and audio engineering tutorial videos. We enjoy trying experimental methods when it comes to engineering and producing. Often with lower budgets comes high creativity to work around limitations. That’s one reason we enjoy field recording and creating our own samples. It’s just cheaper, more creative & more fun. We believe constantly furthering our education and understanding is key. We prefer to make everything from scratch anyway! Just like fine dining.
Who is an artist that you look up to more than others today?
We created our album because we were having a hard time finding new music. We often will find one song we are absolutely in love with. When looking more into each artist’s catalog, we find that is the only song that speaks to us. It’s hard to say who really inspires us these days. We find little bits here and there. The only band that we seem to like almost all of their catalog is Rufus Du Sol.
Favorite activity to blow off some steam?
Gaming and Hiking. We started to recently stream our gaming on Twitch because why not! It’s something we enjoy and can communicate with our tribe more that way while doing so.
Hiking is something we do year round. Living in Chicago, we often go on winter hikes and love field recording along the way!
Tell us about your latest release and how it came about.
We have a remix of “Hollow” coming out on July 21, 2021. Sictone Records out of London paired us with one of their artists, Jess Kidd to create a remix for us. We are in love with it! She took a dark song and made it happy. It has an Afro House meets orchestral sound. We teamed with an abstract artist from Portugal to create the album art. It is very exciting for us to create and collaborate with two artists from two different countries. This is a first for us.
What are some things you do to deal with anxiety and creative blocks?
Camping and hiking. Getting into nature is a great way to reset. Being around so many electrical magnetic fields can be very draining and cause frustration. Making sure to spend time in nature weekly is extremely helpful for us and we often find inspiration from nature’s soundscape.
What’s the future looking like for you?
We recently got an email saying our music is going to be used for a tv show but can elaborate just yet because contracts haven’t been signed. We are continuing to create more audio engineering videos with Reverb.com. We are starting to convert our studio into Dolby to create an immersive next album. It’s going to be a whole project with a large learning curve and we are very excited about it. Also have some festival shows coming soon!
Who inspires your style and aesthetics?
It’s a very broad mix of all music from Will Smith to Slipknot. We have a habit of listening to a wide range of genres. Some days it’s classical, others jazz, old school hip hop to old school country. On average, we do regularly listen to melodic house.
What is the achievement or moment in your career you are the most proud of and why?
Our entire career has been a series of small accomplishments all feeding the future. It felt really good to be featured in Billboard, Ear Milk and Music Connection magazine. Every day’s work constantly feeds the future. Now that we finally have a good understanding of the music business, our vision for the future is clear and we feel we are just getting started. The moment our test press for vinyl came in was the moment of accomplishment. It was holding this finished product in our hands. It felt like that moment when a baby was born for us.
What do you think is the best way to make it as an artist nowadays?
Everyone finds their own way. We often study and watch documentaries about how each artist did it and it’s very different for everyone. The one thing everyone had in common in these documentaries is that they were driven and focused on what they wanted. It’s hard to ask, if you don’t know what you want. It’s all about visualizing your goals and putting in effort, the rest will follow. Be patient and keep going. We believe it’s better to have an engaged tribe of 10,000 vs a not engaged tribe of 1,000,000.
Where do you think the music and entertainment industry is headed after this past year?
Streaming isn’t going away. I’d like to see all festivals and venues create streaming opportunities for every show so our tribes from different parts of the world can experience all our lives. Virtual reality will also create a big future for music!