Trav & Volta have been making some massive waves recently as one of the fastest-rising duos in deep house. They consistently have one of the quickest track turn-around rates (having released over 50 songs in just around two years), without ever sacrificing the quality of their productions. Throughout their discography, you truly can’t find any duds among the slew of soulful yet dark “shady house.”
Trav & Volta’s newest release, a remix of Bellatrax’s “Falling For You” (out digitally yesterday) sees the duo turn the original into a disco-infused club-ready stomper that is assured to get the attention of the dancefloor. Fusing the original’s poppy vocals with their more deep house-oriented production, Trav & Volta have successfully bridged the gap between the mainstream and the underground. Needless to say, this track is not one to sleep on so grab your copy now.
We were lucky enough to catch up with the duo that’s taking the deep house scene by storm, and they gave us some insight into their production techniques, influences, and favorite tracks from the 80’s.
The Dankles: Hey guys, thanks for taking some time to talk to us at The Dankles! Let’s start off with some introductions, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Trav & Volta: Hi guys, it’s our pleasure to speak with you. We’re Nick & Chris, and we’re both from Southwest UK. Individually we’ve both been Dj’ing for quite a long time, performing all over the place and we started producing together as Trav & Volta at the end of 2011.
TD: How did you two meet each other? What made you decide to join together as a production duo, and what’s the history behind the name Trav & Volta?
T&V: We probably met in around 2004/2005 through the local clubbing community, we’ve both been clubbers for years and our town has a relatively small scene, so you get to know a lot of people when big groups of us used to go traveling around the country partying every weekend. I (Nick) started running club nights in 2006, and Chris was one of the first resident Dj’s on board, so we became really good friends from then on really. The nights ran for four years, and around 2008 we first got in the studio together making few electro bootlegs which went down well with a few blogs at the time. It wasn’t until late 2011 that we started producing together on a regular basis. As for the name, well we both love dancing, thats the primary love, and who also loves dancing? Big JT.
TD: What did you listen to while growing up, and how does that early music influence your sound now?
T&V: We discovered our parents have very similar tastes in music, which meant we listened to a lot of the same things growing up. I think you could say Genesis / Phil Collins played an important role! We take inspiration from all different place, so it depends on what type of vibe we’re going for.
TD: With more than a dozen new releases already in 2013, your turn-around rate for tracks is truly baffling, how do you manage to produce so many quality tracks in such a short amount of time? How long does it usually take before you’re happy with a track?
T&V: Haha, thanks! We have a pretty good work ethic when we’re in the studio which plays a big part to that, we also know pretty much instantly when we’re onto something we both think sounds good. If we have an idea but its not quite panning out, we just bin it off and get creative again working on something fresh. We really try to not spend too long on any one single element of the track, its quite fast paced. You can’t really put a time scale on making a track, sometimes we’ll get an idea down in a day, road test it and then make changes. There comes a time though when you just have to say it’s done and move on.
TD: What’s the artistic process involved with making a Trav & Volta track? (i.e. drum line first, then synth or whatnot) What’s your favorite piece of hardware to use, and what’s your favorite VST?
T&V: It entirely depends on the track but usually its drum line first, build a strong simple groove and then start working in the melodic components. Other times, one of us might have an idea for a riff or a particular vibe from a track we like so it can start melodically too.
Our favorite hardware at the moment is our Roland Handsonic, we take it to our gigs to play live, but also use it in the studio to record some live percussion elements and FX into our productions. We use a lot of different VST’s, but most recently we’ve been using Rob Papen Sub Boom Bass a lot, it has really excellent warmth in the low end.
TD: What’s the chemistry like between you two in the studio and on the decks? How do your individual tastes in music differ, and how does that difference affect your live shows?
T&V: The chemistry we have is great as we both love a lot of the same old records and new ones, our tastes differ slightly in certain areas but we have a massive common ground to work from. First and foremost we’re music lovers so we’re both always on the look out for new music, then we come together in the studio to go through each others new tracks and pick the best from both to go into our set list.
TD: What vibe are you trying to create with your original work? What is the reaction that you hope to get from the audience while playing live?
T&V: We like the vibe to be anywhere from sexy to party to groovy to straight up heads down ‘lets get on with it’ belters. If hands are in the air and theres smiles on faces, we’re winning! The best reactions so far have been to some of our tracks, which makes Dj’ing even more rewarding when people are throwing down to our own grooves.
TD: What exactly is “shady house” in your own words?
T&V: Sexy, groovy house music filled with emotion & hooky vocals
TD: If you could collaborate with two other artists to make a four-piece super-group, who would it be and why?
T&V: Maceo Plex, because he’s the baddest producer right now and we love everything he writes and he would go alongside Dennis Ferrer, he is without doubt one of the most consistent Dj’s out there in regards to both his productions and his live performances. Basically they both know how to make people lose their shit on the dance floor and we like that a lot!
TD: In our recent interview with Sleazy Deep label owner, Rob Made, he named you the “best new artist of 2013” in his opinion. What do you think of that? Who would be your best new artist of 2013?
T&V: Who’s Rob Made? Ha! Sorry Rob! In all seriousness we were very humbled to hear Rob say that, he’s a top man who’s doing great things with Sleazy Deep. He also works with a lot of really good artists too so of course we’re very pleased he considers us as his best new artist. Robs been a really strong supporter of our work throwing a lot or remix opportunities our way as well as releasing our ‘Heart & Soul’ EP which did really well in the Beatport charts a few months ago, we can’t thank him enough for his support. If we had to pick a best new artist, we’d be sliding towards Sebb Aston, we’ve been liking his work from the start and always look forward to receiving his latest promos.
TD: Thanks again for sitting down with us guys, any shout-outs?
T&V: We’d like to big up the Buddha for his teachings, Black Dynamite for being righteous, Diego (the cat) for his constant entertainment & anyone who’s ever bought one of our tracks or has supported us in some way, be that coming to a gig or just writing about us online! Thanks.
Dankles rapid-fire questions:
Favorite Trav & Volta original or remixed track:
Thats a tough one, obviously it changes all the time, we can only go with how we feel in this moment, as this moment is all that matters! We have a new EP forthcoming on King Street which we’re really excited about featuring a track called ‘Hey Boy’, thats been getting one of the best reactions in our sets recently. Should be out in the next couple of months.
Go-to track to revive a dancefloor:
Anything by Maceo Plex!
Track that defines “shady house” the best:
Huxley – Let It Go (Original Mix) [Hypercolour]
Favorite track to start out the night with:
That entirely depends on whats playing before we go on, we like to keep the vibe going but normally we’ll start with something sensual and groovy and build from there.
Favorite track from the 80’s:
Theres no way we can name only one!! In no particular order …
EVERY TRACK from the Top Gun Movie Soundtrack
Rocky 4 the Movie Soundtrack
Chaka Khan – Ain’t Nobody
Alphaville – Big In Japan
Phil Collins – I Missed again / Sussudio / Easy Lover
Genesis – Turn It Again / Land of Confusion / Jesus He Knows Me
Prince – When Doves Cry / Purple Rain / I Would Die For You
Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror / P.Y.T
Level 42 – Lessons In Love
Nik Kershaw – Wouldn’t It Be good
Go West – We Close Our Eyes
Talking heads – Once In A Lifetime
Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence
Track that still blows us away every time we hear it:
Marco Darko – First Impressions. It’s the only track we’ve played in every set so far! It was released recently on Sleazy Deep but Marco originally gave the track to us quite a while ago and we’ve been championing it ever since. Seriously on point sexy vibes.