Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman make up the London-based duo Dusky, and also make music under the moniker Solarity. Having released their debut album entitled Stick By This last year, the pair have since achieved strong support from a wide range of DJs, including Loefah, Jamie Jones and Toddla T.
Their Flo Jam EP really caught our attention back in July, so we felt it only right to catch up with the pair and find out more about their processes, experiences, tastes and proudest moments so far.
How did you both get into making music?
A: I trained classically in piano from an early age and my interest in producing and DJing developed from there.
N: My path was quite different to Alfie, as I became involved in producing through DJing.
What is your current production set up?
N: We’ve just got a Mac running Logic Pro with a slew of plugins, an RME interface, and Dynaudio speakers. Everything we do is software based.
Do you sit down and work on tracks together or do you fire projects back and forth over the net?
A: It depends really. Sometimes we start ideas on our laptops and then pass them on to the other to add to and develop. Then other times we sit down in the studio together and start a track from scratch and it’s a joint process from beginning to end.
What do you think you each bring to the table?
N: Alfie brings his classical training and attention to melodic and harmonic detail, whereas I’m an engineer at heart, so focus more on the overall production values and mix. Having said that, we both contribute on all the aspects of a track and help to refine each other’s ideas, which is why we work well together.
How do you see your two aliases as a duo progressing?
A: It’s hard to say as we don’t have a vision of what we want either alias to become. We just try to let things progress naturally and follow what we’re feeling to create. The Solarity alias has definitely taken a back seat as we’ve been so busy with the Dusky stuff, so we’re not sure if or when we’ll revisit that project.
Good advice you wish you’d been told earlier?
N: Knowing when to keep things simple.
What is the proudest moment so far in your career?
A: Probably getting booked for DC10 [in Ibiza] this summer!
N: Yeah, the DC10 booking is massive, but I’m also really proud of all the great feedback and support on the Dusky project from artists and DJs we’ve looked up to and respected over the years.
What are your goals for the next year?
N: We’re just going to keep on writing tracks and probably get started on a new album. The bookings have been really good lately too, so we really want to travel and DJ as much as possible.
Which artists and producers are you enjoying currently? Both within club music and further afield.
A: Bicep are killing it at the moment, as are Boddika and Joy O.
N: Paleman, Huxley, Breach, and Midland are all making some really cool tracks. Further afield I haven’t heard anything that has really stood out recently. When I’m not listening to club stuff, I mostly listen to old jazz and soul so miss a lot of new music that is released outside of the dance music world.
And finally, give us five non-dance tracks that you think everyone should listen to at some point in their lives.
N: There are too many, but here are five tracks I like that you might enjoy:
Ahmad Jamal – I Love Music
Dexter Wansel – Life On Mars
Steve Reich – Electric Counterpoint III. Fast
808 State – Headhunters
Kerri Chandler – Get It Off.
A: Zapp – Computer Love
Stravinksy – Symphony of Psalms
Souls of Mischief – 93′ to Infinity
DJ Shadow – Blood On The Motorway
Ravel – String Quartet in F