Hot off the heels of an incredibly busy summer, Australian house duo The Aston Shuffle found time to catch up with us about Tomorrowland, studio time, and how they feel about Output (hint: they think it’s the best club in the U.S.).
Let’s play a little catch-up: last month, the duo – Vance Musgrove and Mikah Freeman – released the groovy house track “Everything I Got” on The Magician’s Potion label, then joined a cast of greats on the Potion stage at Tomorrowland Weekend 2. If we weren’t missing Boom, Belgium, enough, The Aston Shuffle put together a recap video that shows how much fans and attendees adored their set at The Core. Take a look:
From the look (and sounds) of it, 2018 is shaping up to be The Aston Shuffle’s biggest year yet.
This isn’t your first Tomorrowland. How did this year compare to last year?
It was really great – again! We had an absolute ball during our set. It was great to see fans from so many different countries around the world (and plenty of Aussies!) at the stage, singing along when we played our tracks. That ability to bring dance fans together from so many different countries is such a unique part of the vibe of Tomorrowland.
Mikah wasn’t able to make it to last year’s festival, so this year it was awesome that we could both be there flying the Aston Shuffle flag. This year it was also great that we had just released a new song, ‘Everything I Got’, so our Tomorrowland set was our first opportunity to play it since it had been released, and it was amazing to see that so many people knew it already.
The Potion stage had a stacked line-up this year, it was hard to leave The Core at all on Sunday. Did you get to see any other sets? Any favorites?
It was quite hard to tear ourselves away from that stage, we were really excited to check out Idris Elba (who absolutely smashed it), Pete Tong and The Magician’s sets in particular. We did sneak away for a bit though to check out the main stage, which was unreal, that level of production is so crazy, it really blew us away – especially for Mikah, since this was his first time at the festival.
Editor’s note: For reference, if you haven’t been to Tomorrowland here’s Martin Garrix’s closing set in all its production glory.
You recently hit up Output in Brooklyn, which has become a dance music institution. How did it feel to play there?
We honestly feel it’s the best club in the US, the vibe of the room and the energy of the crowd both pretty much embody everything we love most about playing a club set – everything is so focussed on the music, first and foremost. It was so great to play there, it was definitely one of those sets where we just wanted to keep playing and playing!
You’ve played in New York quite a bit. How does the vibe of New York compare to other cities you play?
The vibe in New York feels quite unique. One aspect is the way a crowd will react, and the energy of the crowd in general, it seems like there’s an electricity in club crowds in New York that isn’t quite the same elsewhere. It feels like you can play a broader range of tracks in New York as well, things in other cities in the US and elsewhere in the world can tend to revolve more around scenes or genres from time to time, whereas in New York the crowds are hungrier for a broader range of sounds, so as a DJ you can genre hop a little more and the crowd will be right there with you. The diversity of the crowds in New York is a big factor in that I think, and again, reflective of the city overall.
You just finished a massive club tour around Australia, and what seems to be a super busy summer. Are you headed anywhere next on your tour?
We’ve got a bit of a break coming up for the next few months, Tomorrowland was the culmination of a fairly busy few months of touring and travel.
What’s next for you in terms of recording? Any new tracks or remixes on the horizon?
We spent the week leading up to Tomorrowland in London working on a whole bunch of new tracks, which we’re extremely excited about. We just released our track ‘Everything I Got’ on The Magician’s label Potion Records, and we really want to focus on getting a consistent stream of new tracks released to follow that song up, so it was great to have a super productive week getting as many new tracks started as possible, to make that happen.
Where do you usually record? Do you carve out time for a home studio, or does it happen wherever you have time?
We both have home studios – me in New York and Mikah in Canberra, so working individually from home and then swapping projects back and forth online is generally how we’re getting our tracks finished, but we definitely work a lot on the road as well. There can be a really positive and productive balance between the two, sometimes the pressure and constraints of working on the road can produce different results than if you were working from home, where things are often more chill.
Your July 2018 ‘Only 100s’ mix was groovy af. Any artists or songs inspiring you lately?
There’s lots of dope music at the moment. Artists like Peggy Gou, Patrick Topping, Fisher, and Camelphat are having such a moment right now, everything they’re doing is amazing and setting a bit of a benchmark for what’s happening in house music at the moment. Michael Calfan has been putting out an unbroken string of amazing tracks and releases as well, he’s really pushing a distinctive sound at the moment.
Special thanks to Vance and Mikah for taking the time to chat with us! You can learn more, hear the latest, and stay up to date by visiting their website here.