Interview: Waze & Odyssey

Having the ability to channel the past into the present day while remaining contemporary and relevant is no mean feat.

To then take one of RnB’s most seminal songs and turn it into a modern-day classic is quite possibly even more of an outstanding achievement. Waze & Odyssey have not only managed to tick both of those accomplishments off their bucket list, but they have also notched up a seriously impressive list of accolades in the short time they’ve been together. All the while they continue to press on with their unerring campaign to keep making house music of the highest calibre, traveling the globe performing dynamic DJ sets and generally being one of the most exciting acts to emerge from the electronic music world for quite some time.

It’s been just over four years since their first meeting and, in that time, Waze & Odyssey have performed at some of the world’s most influential club spaces; Panorama Bar (Berlin), fabric (London), Warehouse Project (Manchester), Chibuku (Liverpool), Monarch (San Fran), Arma 17 (Moscow) and many more.

In tandem with their globetrotting DJ schedule, they have also been responsible for a series of releases that have established them as a force to be reckoned with. Influential labels such as Wolf Music, Lets Play House, Tsuba and Throne of Blood have signed their tracks, as well as the duo releasing music via their own W&O Street Tracks label. Meanwhile their talents have also been employed to remix acts such as Disclosure, Duke Dumont and T.E.E.D.

Anticipating Waze & Odyssey’s performance as part of Straf_Werk‘s ADE event on Saturday, October 17 we spoke with the duo on their globetrotting DJ schedule, the reality of their backstory and more. Though that event is sold out, tickets are still available when Straf_Werk teams up with Pleinvrees on Thursday, October 15 to bring ADE a Hungry x Noir Music showcase.

“[I] think the [excessive partying] culture has changed. Yes, most dance music producers like a good party but all of decadence of the late 90’s and early noughties has died down a little bit.”

Hi guys, hope you’re well. Let me ask you first what was your best festival experience this year.
There are so many now and loads are really different so they can be great in different ways. You’ve got the smaller festivals like Farr Festival and Field Manoeuvres where the vibe is totally different to say the bigger festivals like Glastonbury. We’re going to be biased though as we book the DJs for the Pagoda stage at Secret Garden Party so we’ll say that the best…

Saw that you played Secret Solstice Festival in Iceland as well. A lot of buzz has been going around for that festival, did it live up to the hype?
It was great and we DJed with Kerri Chandler which is always a bit of an honour. It’s literally light the whole time that you’re there so it’s kind of nuts. We’ve been lucky enough to go to Iceland quite a few times and it’s a pretty unique and amazing place and the people are amazing. They serve sheep head at service stations with mashed potato. I once saw that on a hangover and it turned my stomach. 

Your now famous ‘fake backstory’ was created to let your music be “judged without context or pretence”. Isn’t there always a context to the music somebody makes, whether they want to or not? In other words, can music (and all that it invokes in people’s minds) be free of any context or value?
I think really we just made up a load of words because the thought of writing a biography as such for ourselves seemed slightly ridiculous; we were just starting out, it was a little more fun to have a laugh with it all.

Looking at your approach in the studio as of this moment, what constitutes a true Waze & Odyssey track?
It’s all about the groove…

What’s the most clichéd rock n roll anecdote you have ever heard from a colleague? (no names necessary of course)
To be honest it wouldn’t be up there with some of the Ozzy Osbourne’s – think the culture has changed. Yes, most dance music producers like a good party but think all of of decadence of the late 90’s and early noughties has died down a little bit….which is better because it kind of got a bit ridiculous. 

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