Yesterday, NYC duo East & Atlas dropped their new single 'Casablanca', their first on Enhanced Progressive! You can Stream / Download the new song right here. We caught up with the dudes to learn about their production process, aspirations and favorite cartoons.
Tell us a bit about yourselves. Who are you, where are you guys from?
Devin: Hey guys! So glad to be doing this interview with you. We're really excited to be giving everyone a glimpse in to East & Atlas.
Bruce: So we are two guys from New York; I'm from Buffalo and Devin is from Syracuse. The two of us actually met while we were at college.
Devin: We both went to a University where EDM and dance culture isn't really a thing, so we found out about each other through mutual friends who knew that we were both in to making dance music.
Bruce: Yeah first we started off DJing and throwing parties and stuff together, and finally decided to team up as a production duo about a year and a half ago. The rest is kind of history from there!
How did you get into making music?
Bruce: I got in to dance music early on and was influenced a lot by people like Porter Robinson and Madeon. A lot of it was out of curiosity and wanting to know how they made such complex music.
Devin: Believe it or not, my parents were actually rave kids in the 90's, so I grew up around dance music and listening to old-school house tunes and stuff. Making EDM was just sort of a natural progression for me.
What sort of gear do you use to make your music? Any hardware or software that you think is essential?
Bruce: Our production process is actually pretty unique. We both use different DAWs and plug-ins, which we've found helps us to keep our projects clean and organized, and also allows us to be as creative as possible.
Devin: Neither of us are really held back because we both use what works best for each of us.
Bruce: We actually both have our own studios and we both have different studio monitors and different everything pretty much. Probably the most important piece of equipment we both have are the studio monitors that we use. It's really important to us to know that we can trust our equipment and we can also trust the music we make on these monitors to sound just as good and just as clean on a big system.
Devin: As far as software goes, I'm not gonna lie, the most important plug-in we use is LFO Tool.
Bruce: Yeah, having perfect sidechain settings really effects the entire flow of a track.
Do you make music with a specific aim or goal in mind?
Bruce: The whole theme of East & Atlas is the journey, not the destination. We guess you could say that our goal or aim is always to make music that is unique, but we never have any one specific goal in mind when we make our track.
Devin: To us, it's all about just enjoying the creative process and writing music we enjoy and our fans would want to listen to.
Who would be your dream collaborators?
Devin: Oh wow, there's so many haha.
Bruce: Andrew Bayer is definitely up there for me, also Myon and Oliver Smith.
Devin: I'd love to collaborate with Kaskade, Third Party, and probably Kryder because his music is so groovy.
Where do you draw inspiration from outside of the world of music?
Devin: We always get a lot of inspiration for our music when we travel somewhere. That's why we have this whole journey theme going on with East & Atlas.
Bruce: Any time we go to a big city or we take time to go out in nature or go on a road trip, it feels like we come back with fresh new ideas.
Run us through 'Casablanca' Â. How did you land on that song title? Is this song a good representation of the East & Atlas sound, or were you exploring new territory?
Devin: Casablanca is a city in Morocco and the name fits our whole traveling/journey theme that we've got going on.
Bruce: Musically, we think it's the perfect representation of the East & Atlas sound.
Devin: We like to use a lot of tribal sounds in our production and we also like to make drops that are super danceable.
Bruce: We think those contrast really nicely with our atmospheric breakdowns and huge supersaw drops. In all, our sound is pretty experimental and boundary pushing for the realm of progressive trance.
What can we expect to see from East & Atlas in 2017 and beyond?
Bruce: We're actually currently working on our debut vocal track which you should see here pretty soon. We've also got a collaboration in the works with fellow label mate Lycii, along with some original ideas that continue to push the envelope for ourselves and progressive trance as a whole.
Devin: Most of our work is highly classified at the moment though, so we've gotta stay tight lipped about it. In all, the rest of 2017 looks very promising for us as a production duo. Hopefully you'll be able to catch us playing some shows here pretty soon too!
Lastly, what's your favorite cartoon of all time?
Bruce: Any of the Pixar movies have got to be my favorite.
Devin: I've got a thing for the old-school Scooby-Doo cartoons. They are the bomb.
Thanks for taking the time to catch-up with us guys - we love 'Casablanca' and can't wait to hear more!