By Mike Olinger
Music junkies looking to the UK, and London in particular, for inspiration will likely fix their gaze on Digital Farm Animals. Their eclectic mix of bouncing nu-wave is lighting up the blogosphere Stateside and making London locals proud to call them an export. As 2014 approaches, fans can take the opportunity to catch DFA come into their own as a live act. As for more tracks, we are likely to see some insanely great collaborations with new vocalists on their forthcoming full length. If your M.O. is to “feel good” this fall, then keep the Bugged Out EP’s summer vibes in the air.
Check out our chat with the band below and grab a free download of the new EP via Digital Farm Animals’ Facebook page here.
UK dance act Digital Farm Animals dial up guest vocals from songstress Holly Partridge & Rudimental collaborator MNEK outfitting them with shimmery 80’s R&B-leaning synths and a limitless spread of end of summer beach vibes. “Bugged Out” is the new EP from Digitial Farm Animals.
B3SCI: First, we have to ask. Where/when can we catch you spinning?
DFA: Well we’ve actually taken a break from playing live over the last few months as we’ve been focusing really hard on getting material together. We played a few one off gigs…did a really cool show last month supporting De La Soul at Soho House (Where I strangely had a drink with MF DooM….that was pretty cool).
Now that the first EP is out & we’re underway with some pretty cool stuff to follow up with, we’re going to start putting a lot of time into our live side of things. There will definitely be a lot more on the performance side in 2014. Watch this space.
B3SCI: What influence has growing up in London played on your music?
DFA: I’m lucky to have travelled quite a bit growing up & London undoubtedly has one of the best, if not the best scene in the world. There is so much experimentation happening & so many really unique artists popping up everywhere…It’s meant that I’ve always been able to listen to such a variety of music. I also think that right now people are looking to the UK, and London in particular for inspiration. People are interested in that Burial, 2-steppy sound. That’s a sound that I’ve been fascinated by since a kid (when it was huge back in the 90’s) & it’s definitely helped shape my sound.
Aside from the music itself, London is a great place to be as an artist…there is so much opportunity for collaboration…it can also be overwhelming at times.
B3SCI: How do you see American Disco, R&B and Funk influencing this Bugged Out EP?
DFA: It’s funny – I mentioned above that Garage/2-step has featured a lot in my influences & then I’ve gone and put out quite a synthy/80’s sounding EP. Whilst I’ve always had a few funk/disco records around, it’s not something that I’ve gotten that into. I mean I love disco, but I just haven’t really spent time studying that scene yet. What I have always loved though is the 80’s New Romantics sound – artists like Duran Duran, Art Of Noise, Gary Numan etc. I was playing a lot of that around the time of writing this EP…but I suppose I’ve tried to give my own take on it.
It’s always a difficult balance between adopting elements of influence & adding your own contemporary spin.
B3SCI: The cover and colors of the new Bugged Out EP conjure up west coast / Florida keys. Did geographic location have any influence on the sound of this album?
DFA: Well I was actually in Australia at the time of writing a lot of this EP & whilst Melbourne is nothing like Miami! It is sunny & beautiful. I definitely wanted this EP to have a sense of ‘feel good’ about it. To me those colours capture the essence of how I felt when writing the EP.
B3SCI: The opening track “Adore You” has a particular positive tone to the lyrics. Was this a result of the collaboration between you and Ofei?
DFA: When we started writing Adore You we had it in our minds that the track should be really positive, but also emotional at the same time. We also wanted to keep the lyrics/concept really simple. And so whilst the production & melody is quite sad, the outcome is still positive – which was an interesting way to write. Ofei is exceptionally talented & a really interesting guy to work with. We are actually in the process of writing some more material together right now.
B3SCI: At what point during the funked out production on “Buggin Out” did you know Tyson was the perfect vocalist for the job? With his star on the rise, he has been described “the new disco ham, with plenty of cheese” by the Guardian.
DFA: Tyson is THE MAN for funk vocals. It was a no brainer.
B3SCI: How might you say Kitsune and Ed Banger have influenced your record making / branding process?
DFA: Ha.. it’s weird you ask that I’ve just pulled out a Cassius CD this morning after about 3 years. I’ve always followed Ed Banger really closely. It’s a legacy of amazing electronic talent & so it’s it’s definitely influenced me in some way over the years. I love Mr Oizo!!!
B3SCI: What can we expect from Digital Farm Animals in 2014?
DFA: Wow…how the hell is it nearly 2014!? We’re really really excited for next year. There will be lots more music to follow this EP & I’m already in the studio working with some amazing artists (including a few out in the States). So definitely more music….but we are looking to make our Live Show really fun & interactive too so that’s a real priority for us too. 2014 will be busy!!
B3SCI: What’s in store for your full-length debut?
DFA: We like to experiment with quite a few different styles of music & whilst its unusual for an artist to cross genre’s…I don’t know if we could stick to just one style…so it will definitely show a number of sides to what we do. Of course there will be themes running through the record, but we’re going to make sure its interesting. Lot’s of amazing vocals, weird synths & hopefully great lyrics are my criteria -outside of that I’m not setting any boundaries.
B3SCI: What current song are you dying to remix?
DFA: CHVRCHES – The Mother We Share
Digital Farm Animals (Facebook)
Reviewed by b3