Interview By Terry Gotham
1. How’s 2016 been for you two so far? Any wild party stories from touring or festival sets you’re looking forward to?
Omni – 2016 has been great. So many great things have happened but I think being an official artist at sxsw for the first time takes the cake. That whole week was just overwhelming in a good way.
James – Yea SXSW was nuts this year I feel it was a tie between that and Magfest. Magfest was giant convention with a 24 hour arcade (pretty much our heaven) and SXSW we were official artists so that was pretty crazy.
2. You are unabashedly about chip & 8-bit. What’s it like producing that kind of sound for listeners who may have missed the 8/16-bit video game systems entirely?
Omni – It’s not as jarring as I thought it would be for the younger generation. I feel like there is a really strong wave of nostalgia culture centered around youth today that makes them aware of chiptune type music in games even though they kind of missed out on that Era altogether. It’s almost like people my age having an appreciation for Frank Sinatra and seeing that influence in Michael Bublé’s style.
3. I saw you & Grimecraft partying on Twitter, and it got me thinking. Is there a RaveCon/Chip/VGM label or collective out there artists like you & he could become a part of to help get your sound booked/promoted?
James & Omni – There actually is an awesome label called Gamechops it’s run by a few people including DJ Cutman and Grimecraft himself. They are the world’s largest video game remix label and they are pretty much one of the top in the Con World. They also booked us for MAGFest which was one of our favorite shows to date.
4. Are you still producing solely for Play Me Records, or have tracks started to drip out to others?
Omni – Our last EP was released on Play Me, but outside of that we’ve been really open to releasing with a variety of different labels or even self releasing at the moment.
James – Lots of self releases, usually when we send stuff to labels they find it hard to place but we are super open to all sorts of releasing platforms.
5. It seems like comic/anime/game conventions really like this fusion of VGM/ Chip/Breaks/ Trance/ Electro and a healthy pile of remixes. How do you prepare for sets like that, as opposed to sets at regular clubs & festivals?
James & Omni – Honestly we try to keep our sets pretty consistent no matter where we play, we are really trying to hold down the 2ToneDisco “brand” and vision. I would say the only difference for video game conventions is the video game remixes go off way more.
6. When it comes to production or live performance, are there any synths or pieces of software/ hardware that 2ToneDisco couldn’t live without?
Omni- When it comes to production, Fruity loops is a big part of our sound. A lot of the sounds are from fruity loops exclusive synths like Poizone or 3xOsc.
James – As for live we use a Roland Gaia so Omni can play tons of leads and improvise during our sets, also we use an RMX-1000 that really adds an extra edge to live effects and sampling.
7. Instead of asking who your favorite DJs/producers are, what are the video games that inspired you to tune your sound in this direction?
Omni – A lot of Sega Dreamcast titles like Jet Set Radio or Space Channel 5 have been a huge inspiration. They both had soundtracks that were musically impressive, but we’re written with very simple and goofy sound pallets that gave them a very fun and lighthearted energy that I try to put into our songs.
8. Do you find that being nerdy in the era of BroEDM has been a good or bad thing for your career?
Omni- For me it’s been good from the producer perspective because a lot of us producers are actually nerds. People that stayed inside playing computer games as kids seem to naturally transition into people that will stay inside producing on laptops as adults. However, the overall EDM atmosphere is catered to “bros” and I find it alienating at events.
James – It’s tough, you definitely don’t get as much mass appeal or plays but I feel like it’s constantly changing, we try not to judge too much tho, honestly a lot of the time you can be surprised by people and what they enjoy.
9. If you could open for, or collab with, anyone in dance music right now, who would it be & why?
Omni – I’d want to work with Tofubeats, mostly just so I could just pick his brain about sound pallets. I appreciate his arrangements a lot and would love to learn from him.
James – I feel something with Giraffage would be really cool.
10. Now that we’re finally in the post-Big Room/Brolectro world, where do you two think dance music is going? Where would you like it to go, if you had the power to change it?
Omni- I think the scene is becoming inevitably more eclectic thanks to SoundCloud. A lot of people are making music that not easily identified and it’s making it harder for people to have a show or stage at an event that’s just one type of music and that’s a good thing.
James – Everything is going in so many directions I just am more curious to see where it goes. Personally I just hope it continues down a road that is open to so many different styles and experimentation.
Bonus: Favorite track of 2016?
Omni – But U Don’t by Goldwash
James – It was right at the end of 2015 but honestly Beautiful World by Tennyson.