Hailing from Paris, Bass Music legends Dirtyphonics are an electronic duo consisting of Charly Barranger and Julien ‘Pitchin’ Corrales. Their live shows have built a reputation all over the world, and are renowned for their high octane energy and huge production values. They have released on many top labels, and collaborated with the likes of Skrillex, Linkin Park, Kaskade, Foreign Beggars, NERO, Modestep, Steve Aoki and many more. We join them as their long-awaited sophomore album is set to be released…

So, it’s been a long time coming, huge congrats on your new album! We’ve been loving all the singles so far, what can you tell us about your new tracks and the inspiration behind them?

Thank you! We wanted “Magnetic” to be a representation of what you can experience at our shows. It’s a multi-genre album yet we went back to our roots and wrote a lot of Drum and Bass. We’ve been loving seeing the DNB community grow bigger and stronger than ever and it definitively inspired us. Of course, there’s also some heavy Dusbtep tracks, a few Bass House ones and a dark Hard Techno slapper. We’re already super happy with the love we got from the singles. “You Want Me” is played by so many DJs in an outside of the DNB scene and we hope people will vibe with the album from beginning to start the same way we did writing it.

The Dirtyphonics back catalogue covers a wide range of genres and styles, yet it all seems to hang together so well. What are the fundamental components that help you define your signature sound?

I think it’s in the energy within the tracks. We always picture ourselves playing the songs out and we focus on the energy and emotions that they will convey to the crowd. What is fundamental is to focus on the idea more than the details. If your idea is bold you don’t need to over complicate things for the sake of it. We have been doing this for a minute now and we’ve always stayed true to who we are and what we like. You can bend the genres many ways, what matters is how you do it with your experience, your influences etc. We don’t limit ourselves to what we could do so we can focus on how we’re going to do it.

Can you give us insights into your writing process and any specific bits of hardware or software you’ve been using in the studio or on the road recently?

For “Magnetic” we simplified our writing process a bit and focused on the bigger picture, the overall vibes and flows of the songs. It’s very easy to nerd out on a 2 bars loop and then move on to the next one but we’ve tamed down our ADD some. We used to think every sound needed crazy layering when in reality, the less the better. The same approach applies to song structures. For example, we have deliberately chosen to have some parts that repeat instead of trying to tweak each section because “you have to”. If a section is good, why wouldn’t it be great to hear it again?

Regarding studio gear, we try to keep a pretty minimal setup in the studio so we can work on the songs remotely even when we’re on the road (which eats a big chunk of our year). Hardware wise, on this album, we’ve used a Gibson LesPaul custom and a Fender electro acoustic guitar fed into a Headrush MX5. We used a Neumann TLM103 and a SM58 for vocals and guitar takes, and a TD-3-MO for some added acid fun. In terms of plugins, we use a lot of Serum, Phase Plant and Kontakt. We’ve been trying to keep our processing to the minimum unless a crazy chain was necessary for sound design reasons.

You’ve been championing up and coming French talent within the Bass Music community recently, can you share any artists we should be listening to right now?

There’s a lot of frenchies killing it at the moment. From the 4 guys we wrote the “What The French EP” with (SampliFire, Ivory, Ecraze, Graphyt) to The Caracal Project, Visages, Hol!, Ushuu and many more…A few years ago we decided to reach out to the newer generations of French Bass music producers to solidify the scene and share experiences. Today, we are very proud to see homies like SampliFire and Ivory touring in the US and representing the French scene in their turn.

What advice would you give aspiring DJs when putting a live or DJ set together to manage this energy over the course of the set, for maximum impact?

The main thing is dynamic within the set. Without dynamic, there’s no contrast and no contrast means no impact. It may sound counter-intuitive but for a big impact try and ease the vibe down a bit before playing a huge banger. A lot of people seem to think that you need to go hard for the entirety of your set but it doesn’t work like this. Less is more is you want to keep the crowd alive and engaged until the end of the show.

Think of your set like a journey. It’s not about hammering a playlist of bangers, it’s about sharing a vibe with the crowd and you need to grab them where they are to take them to where you want to go. So if you open a show you want to ease them in the vibe of the show and build the energy up to the next DJ.  Also, keep in mind that you don’t need to be technical just for the sake of it. Double or triple drop songs because they elevate each other, not because you feel like you have to. Master you craft and most importantly have fun!

Can you give us any insights into how your collaborations and remixes come about, and any tips on maintaining good relationships to get the most out of these opportunities?

Because we’re a duo, we have been collaborating together for 15 years so it’s a very natural thing for us to do and all our collabs happened very organically. We met the other Artist(s) on the road or online, had a good chat and good feeling that led to writing music together. It sounds obvious but the human aspect of collaborating is extremely important to us and it doesn’t matter how popular or not you are. We have turned down collaborations with huge acts because we didn’t click with the person or because it was going to be a “write the song and let’s put both names on it” thing. We’re not in the music industry for fame or clout so if we’re not feeling it it’s a no go. The best way to maintaining a good relationship is just like in your personal life: stay true to yourself yet be open to comprise, listen to your collaborators, be honest and don’t be a POS.

With the album release and hype now in full flow, what does the future hold for you in 2024 and beyond?

Now that the album is out, we’re focused on the Magnetic summer tour that will take us all over Europe between May and September. We’re designing a new show and we can’t wait to share the album with our fans at Tomorrowland, Rampage Open Air, Dreambeach, Parookaville and many more. After this we’re going to be touring the album in the US, Asia and Oceania so it’s going to be a busy year, just how we like it!

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