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Oliver’s Light Years Away EP, released last month, is an extension of the space disco sound first heard on 2013’s excellent Mechanical EP. The musical output and visual aesthetic of the LA-based duo (yes, there are two of them—Vaughn Oliver and Oliver Goldstein) is, like a mid-‘80s vision of the future, sleekly futuristic and simultaneously retro. That’s no accident. “We love the way that the ‘80s tried to portray the future,” Goldstein says. “The 1982 version of 2014 looked great. We were all wearing silver windbreakers and riding around on hoverboards.” (“I feel bad,” Oliver laments, “we never got those hoverboards.”)

We met the guys on a Friday night in downtown Los Angeles just before they played a killer club set. They drank water. We drank a vodka cranberry. Here, in their own words, the duo talks about the cultural influences that have shaped the smart dance music they make.

Author: Hunter S. Thompson

Oliver: For the unhinged, debauched intellectualism.

Filmmaker: Stanley Kubrick

Goldstein: There are so many layers to his work. It’s entertaining on so many different levels. There’s some subversive messaging going on. I always loved that scene with the apes in the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

Place: Space

Oliver: It sounds really corny, but I think about a recording studio in space. You know how they’re starting to fly people into space now; it doesn’t cost that much money anymore. It used to be a million dollars and now it’s like, a hundred thousand dollars. Pretty soon you’ll be able to have the record label fly you into space to record your record.
Goldstein: It will be like, “Shit, I can’t play this mandolin because it’s floating out of my hands.”

Musician: Lifelike

Goldstein: Lifelike is one of the guys that when Vaughn and I both met, we related to.
Oliver: He’s an early 2000 French house wave producer. He still going around doing shit.
Goldstein: He’s just a timeless thing, man.

Artist: Hajime Sorayama

Oliver: Sorayama is awesome. Just look up “sexy robots.” He did these paintings in the ‘80s that were for like, Penthouse magazine. He did this whole series of paintings that are these robot women; they’re like, cloned out. Pretty iconic.

Substance: Coffee and Cigarettes

Oliver: Unfortunately.

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