Insomniac’s Metronome series features mixes from some of today’s fastest-rising electronic stars, as well as championed legends. It takes listeners deep across a wide range of genres, movements, cultures, producers, artists and sounds that make up the diverse world of electronic music.
It seems all the right puzzles pieces have been laid out in front of Vicetone. With a rapidly rising profile that’s only seen the Dutch duo take charge in the fast lane, they’ve inched closer and closer to mainstage stardom, tacking on one milestone after another with each passing year. Since forming in 2012, the DJ/production duo, composed of childhood friends Ruben Den Boer and Victor Pool, has charted on the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll multiple times; built a discography comprising a who’s-who of electronic music labels, with releases on Protocol Recordings, Spinnin’ Records, Armada Music, Revealed Recordings, Ultra Music, Dim Mak, and many others; collaborated with and remixed dance music’s elite, including Hardwell and Tiësto; and topped the Beatport charts with “Let Me Feel,” a collaboration with Nicky Romero.
“We’re always trying to push the envelope and try new things, rather then going with what’s popular at the moment.”
Vicetone now tackle their biggest challenge yet with their debut EP, Aurora. The five-track release, now available via Spinnin’ Records, sees the producers weaving a cohesive sound that is new to them. Individually, the tracks ignite a dancefloor burn, but as a whole, they frame a type of storytelling rarely seen in come-and-go singles. Throughout Aurora, Vicetone also aim for a wider range, extending their production abilities and songwriting talents for a style reaching far beyond dance-centric circles: On opener “Bright Side,” they employ grand orchestral strings across a memorable vocal chorus care of Cosmos & Creature, while “Don’t You Run” and “Siren” underline Vicetone’s skill with vocal collaborators.
Vicetone approach their Metronome mix much like they launched into Aurora—with the goal of making people dance, sing and love all at once.
You’ve just released your debut EP, Aurora. Tell me: Do you feel relieved, excited, nervous, scared, or all of the above?
A little of all the above, but most of all, relieved to finally have it out in the world! It took a long time to create and to plan it, so to finally see it released feels very satisfying.
Aurora is your debut EP, following a string of successful singles. What made you decide to compile this collection of work into EP format?
A couple of things: We have wanted to do a bigger project for a while now, since we’ve only released singles in the past two years. We also just had too many tracks that were finished and unreleased. We got to a point where we had too much music that we couldn’t possibly release all as singles—we would’ve had a new single every three weeks! So, the EP was the perfect way to release a group of songs together as a unified collection that showcased our sound in a broader way.
It is said Aurora takes the time to tell a story. What exactly is the message?
One of progress. We’ve continuously evolved our sound over the years, and we love where music is headed. We want this EP to show progress of our music—and a different side to the Vicetone sound people know. There’s a song on the EP for everybody, and that’s something that really excites us.
It seems most electronic artists disguise singles as EPs. Aurora is a true EP, with five original tracks. Is a full-length artist album the next logical step for Vicetone?
Maybe in the future; right now, we feel singles and EPs work better for us. But it’s definitely something we want to do later down the line.
It seems you’re pushing the Vicetone sound on Aurora while implementing new production techniques. Is this a reflection of your growing age and experience since forming as a duo?
Absolutely. We never stop learning, and we feel that in music, you will never know it all or be done with learning new things. We’re always trying to push the envelope and try new things, rather than going with what’s popular at the moment. We always stay true to what we love, a lesson we learned a long time ago.
On “Don’t You Run,” you employ live rainstorm sounds to create an earthy texture. As producers and children of the internet, spending countless hours staring blindly in front of a screen or in a music studio, do you ever feel out of touch with the planet and/or your natural surroundings?
Sometimes we do. We try to go for walks and visit places as much as we can, but after a nonstop week in the studio, you sometimes have to readjust to real life. It’s a great feeling to be that disconnected, though, and just be worried and focused on the music, where nothing else really matters. It’s one of the things that made us love to make music all day.
When we met last year in Miami, I learned the two of you produce separately in two different rooms of a house. Is this still the case? Do you share some sort of telepathic bond, or does creating in separate rooms inspire you individually?
That’s not always the case! We have two separate studios, but we often work together in the same studio. It’s important to do so, as it always makes the music better. Vicetone is the product of our musical preferences coming together as a whole, which is why even though we have separate studios, we still often work together. When we’re doing mixdowns or starting little ideas, we sometimes do that apart. It’s great to have two studios, though.
With releases on Spinnin’, Ultra, Dim Mak and more, any thoughts about launching your own independent imprint?
This is something we have thought about over the years, but not something we are currently focusing on.
What’s next in the world of Vicetone?
Some really exciting collabs, remixes, new originals, and a whole lot of touring. 2016 will be huge, and we’re so excited to show you what we have in store for you!
- Track List:
Lucas & Steve “Make It Right”
Tritonal & the Chainsmokers “Until You Were Gone”
Gazzo “What You Waiting For”
Morten “Beautiful Heartbeat” (Deorro Remix)
Vicetone & Pia Toscana “Siren”
Axwell x Benny Benassi “Barricade Satisfaction” (Vicetone Mashup)
Steve Aoki x Linkin Park x Tujamo x Skrillex x GTA x Sam Bruno “Red Lips” x “A Light That Never Comes” x All Night