Straight from the scenic streets of Paris, France, bass collective Dirtyphonics has been raising hell since 2004. Since dropping their 2008 debut single, “French Fuck,” the troublesome trio—now composed of producers/DJs Charly Barranger, Julien “Pitchin” Corrales and Julien “Pho” Lignon—has assembled an arsenal of hit releases, including “Holy Sh!t,” “Neckbreaker” with FuntCase and the Write Your Future EP. Their collective body of work has earned them kudos from DJ Mag, who crowned them the Best French Electronic Band of 2016.
Now more powerful and louder than ever, Dirtyphonics recently released the Night Ride EP via Buygore. Packed with fresh, heavy beats and bangin’ bass for every shade of bass-head, the Night Ride EP is as filthy as it gets.
Dirtyphonics are celebrating Night Ride with a special show, presented by Bassrush DTLA, alongside Doctor P Thursday, February 23, at Exchange LA in Downtown Los Angeles. Ahead of their performance, we caught up frontman Charly for a little nighttime chat.
Let’s talk Night Ride. What was your favorite part about the project, and what proved most challenging
Our favorite part is that it happened organically and took shape by itself. We didn’t have to think too hard about how it was going to sound. We knew we wanted the ensemble of songs to make sense all together; we wanted to explore new sounds and emotions and find the right balance between the tracks. On the EP, each song has a specific vibe and personality and gives us the medium to express where we are at this point of our lives and how much new music keeps influencing us.
The writing process happened naturally and was really fun! Collabing with Example and Virtual Riot gave an extra flavor to the sounds and pushed us to new musical territories. We met Example at a festival in Austria and we already had the instrumental for “Lost in Your Love” written. After the show, he came to our green room, and as soon as he heard the track, he jumped on it! He wrote the lyrics on a plane to Japan and they fit perfectly with the instrumental. He understood the vibe and took the song to the next level. Being in the studio with Virtual Riot was super chill, too. Valentin is super talented, so it makes it that much easier to work together. Music is a language, and we speak the same one. The opening title, “Night Ride,” is the perfect balance of a bunch of stuff that has influenced us recently. We wrote it pretty fast and it has been our set opener for a couple of months now.
We know you guys ride skateboards around the cities in which you perform. Is there any correlation between skating and the Night Ride EP?
Yes there is! We actually found the title of the EP after a long and intense skate ride in the middle of the night. We were shredding in the streets of L.A. and then we headed back to the studio to write what was about to be “Lost in Your Love.” The energy, adrenaline, and the general feeling of being happy to be hanging out, the three of us riding together, triggered the idea of transforming this feeling into the EP’s title. It just made sense and clicked with our vision of the music we wrote and our experience of nightlife: music that takes you on a trip through different landscapes and emotions. The idea of going on a night ride is universal, whether it’s with a skateboard, a car or a motorcycle.
The global bass community is continuously growing. What is the #1 pro tip you’d give to an up-and-coming DJ/producer and why?
Don’t listen to what you’re told; you’re the only one to have the key to the best you. You’re going to be the one living and breathing your project 24/7, so you have to feel extremely comfortable with all your choices. And work more than you thought you would—then double that.
You live by the mantra, “We don’t follow rules—we create them.” What are the top three rules you create for yourselves in regards to making and performing music?
When we first started, a lot of people told us we couldn’t do it this way; it would never work. We proved them wrong, and we’d like to thank them because they gave us the fuel to our fire!
Since our early days in the drum & bass scene, we’ve always wanted do things differently. The music was inspiring, but we wanted to give it a twist, an edge, something that would make it even bigger. What’s awesome about D&B is that you can incorporate any influence and blend it in. We wrote music that merged with dubstep, electro, and breakbeat and had crazy tempo switches so we could play all the music we like onstage without being confined to one genre or one [range of] BPM. We basically wrote the music we needed and couldn’t find. It doesn’t mean we’re always trying to reinvent the wheel, but we gave ourselves the freedom to do whatever we wanted. The Night Ride EP is a perfect example of us blending genres and trying new things.
Then we choose to play this music live all together, and we created a unique live setup so we could enjoy being onstage and share music with our fans together. We respect all formats; we just weren’t in the dynamic to have some people write the music while others would play it. To this day, our setup is still unique—even if Pho is not on the road with us anymore—and we still write the music that makes us vibe without any limitation. We believe music is the reflection of who you are. People are complex; they go through different emotions, and that should transpose to art. Multiply this by the three of us and that gives you a rich and complex musical landscape.
It’s funny to see lots of the rules we broke became new rules, so we keep breaking them. And always remember: Rules are made to be broken—even this one!
What’s next for team Dirtyphonics?
This year is off to a fast start for us! We released a remix [of “Blame” from] Zeds Dead and Diplo at the beginning of the year. Then our Night Ride EP came out on Buygore a couple of weeks ago, and there’s much more music to come out soon. Next month we’re releasing our long-awaited collaboration with Bassnectar, then we have another single the month after that, and we’re already planning more releases. We’ve been on fire recently and we’re super inspired, so expect lots through the year, maybe even another EP. We also had the Prototypes remix one of our OG anthems, “Teleportation,” and it’s coming out as well in a couple of weeks. The Prototypes are killing it, and it’s so cool to have the new guys paying homage to your music.
At the same time, we are embarking on a big world tour through Europe, Asia, Oceania and North America. And finally, we also have some super-secret, sick projects we’re currently working on that you’ll see popping up here and there throughout the year. We’re so excited for 2017. We feel more inspired than ever, and we can’t wait to share it all with our fans!
Bassrush DTLA presents Doctor P & Dirtyphonics takes place Thursday, February 23, at Exchange LA in Downtown Los Angeles. Tickets are available now. For more information, visit the official event page.
Night Ride from Dirtyphonics is available now on Buygore.
Sharon Hinojosa gets down and dirty. Follow her on Twitter.