The Buffalo, New York duo of DStar & Biacco have teamed up to produce their own brand of modern disco-house, with tracks championed by the likes of A-Trak, Laidback Luke, Chuckie, and others, along with tracks released on Dim Mak and Get Right Records. This is Solidisco.
WeAllHitPlay.Com: Tell us about this history of Solidisco.
DStar: We started a year ago, Biacco brought me some tracks. They were good, they were really good ideas. I said we should do something a little more exciting with the build-ups… like try to make it a little more how modern stuff kind of sounds now, as opposed to traditional house. More dynamics, I guess. We expanded from there, and figured out more techniques to make the music sound more interesting. And then we started Solidisco officially last summer. Our first release was called “I Need It”. It was one of our best-selling releases ever, actually. It all just kind of went from there.
WeAllHitPlay.Com: Let me read a quote from your bio, it says, “We don’t want this to just be about disco. It’s disco flavored, modern house music. We want to make dance music for people that actually want to dance.” Can you elaborate on that a little bit?
DStar: I think that the idea was not to pigeonhole us as just being “disco”. Our name is Solidisco, and we don’t want to just do straight up disco house in the sense that everybody knows it. Like some guys, they just take a sample, filter it, and put a kick drum over it, and that’s it. We kind of want to expand a little more, I could even see us doing a little more deep stuff in the future too. We like some of the deep house stuff, we like nu disco, we like everything. We actually have a song coming out pretty soon that’s more of like nu disco meets disco house. We don’t really want to be pigeonholed into one thing, we want to make really good music, but try to keep it disco, keep it 70′s and 80′s flavored.
WeAllHitPlay.Com: So what is Solidisco using to produce?
Biacco: We pretty much do everything in the box in Ableton.
WeAllHitPlay.Com: Dstar, you have a history of doing a lot of remixes for Crooklyn Clan, and with guys like Danny Diggz. I’m actually looking at my hard drive at a remix you did of Keyshia Cole’s “Shoulda Let You Go” you did in 2008.
DStar: Yeah, that was actually like my first production ever. When I was in college, I kind of dicked around in production. I never took it too seriously, but I finally buckled down like, “I should probably learn how to operate this thing.” (Laughs)
WeAllHitPlay.Com: As both producers and DJ’s, where do you guys stand on the “DJ’s vs. Button Pushers” debate?
DStar: Times are changing. I think you have to be more of a producer now. I actually am a pretty skilled DJ, but I don’t think that means anything until you are playing in a club, and to get to that club, you have to have production. You need to have records. I think your business card these days is the internet and your production. So, to make the transition, I kind of sat down and forced myself to learn to write music. At first it was a little bit of a struggle, but now I pride myself on studying and writing music.
This is a whole topic. I think A-Trak put it best. We both started as DJ’s at heart. I really looked up to A-Trak and Craze when I was younger, pretty much all the turntablist guys. I learned to scratch when I was young, so we just try to keep it moving, and try to keep it as real as possible. I actually just started using CDJ’s. We both kind of have this thing where want the new CDJ’s. I used to hate them and everyone that used them (laughs). But now I think they are pretty cool and part of electronic music is being up to date. People just want to be entertained and they don’t care how you do it.
Biacco: And we like keeping up with the technology. Anyone can match beats as pretty much all the tracks are the same speed. We’re cool with the sync button two, because it gives you more time to play with extra decks and the effects and everything.
DStar: I think the sync button is a little overrated. I think if you are a good DJ, it’s only going to take you 8 or 12 seconds to match a beat, even if you are playing hip-hop at 95 or 102 beats per minute. We both come from the mainstream DJ world, so we’re cool with it.
WeAllHitPlay.Com: Who would you say some of your primary influences are, in both the DJ and production worlds?
DStar: DJ world, I’d definitely say Laidback Luke, to be honest. I think he’s one of the best, he’s so underrated. Obviously A-Trak and Craze.
Biacco: In production, right now, I really like Fireflowers. We’re really into The Magician – everything he does.
DStar: Armand Van Helden, for sure. That’s probably the reason I am into house music. Duck Sauce, of course. That’s kind of a no brainer, I think.
WeAllHitPlay.Com: Let’s talk about that Rihanna “We Found Love” bootleg. A-Trak played that one night at Tryst in Vegas and I was like “YO! Who did that?!!?”.
DStar: I got the vocals, I have a couple of friends that pass me stuff, that probably shouldn’t have (laughs). Nobody had really done a remix, outside of the R3hab and Chuckie remixes. We just decided to take a different spin on it, so we stayed up all night, we were really excited, and we put it up on Soundcloud. We woke up the next morning and they took it down. So we were really pissed off. (Laughs) It was on a lot of blogs though, and we wanted to give people an opportunity to listen to disco house. Disco house is one of those things that people really like when they hear it, but they don’t really go out of there way to check for it.
WeAllHitPlay.Com: Do you know if Rihanna heard it?
DStar: I hope so! I hope she listened to it and got funky. (Laughs)
WeAllHitPlay.Com: You guys have worked with Dim Mak, Fool’s Gold, and Get Right? Who would you say “discovered” Solidisco?
Biacco: A-Trak’s help has been the biggest. BBC Radio One played our record “With You”, that was pretty big for us.
DStar: A-Trak definitely. Benzi helped us out a lot too. Fashen actually helped us out a lot with the remix. Him and I talk once in a while, and the label commissioned the remix. I like the song, it was cool. That helped us a lot, because I think a lot of American DJ’s know Fashen, so that helped a lot. It’s been a little bit of everything from everybody.
WeAllHitPlay.Com: Being that you guys are producing a lot of sample based tracks, could you see yourselves signing with a major label? Could we see an album?
DStar: It’s definitely something we’ve talked about, I want to, but Biacco doesn’t like the idea that much (Laughs).
Biacco: It’s definitely something down the line. It would take a lot of time off to try and figure something to do.
DStar: That’s the thing, as DJ’s, it’s tough to get popular. If you look at someone like Swedish House Mafia – not to compare ourselves – but they have such a crazy tour schedule. DJ’s, even on a medium level, are playing out every weekend. It’s tough to take the time out. I think a lot of the bigger DJ’s have trouble doing an album. Even someone like Avicii, trying to follow-up “Levels”. You think, “do we even have the time to take off and do an album?” And is the album a good format anymore? We could see us doing major label stuff, maybe in the synth direction. We’re actually working on some remixes tonight for a really big label that does dance music. We also did a couple for American labels with the pop music, incorporating some sample-based stuff with the synth type sound. Kind of like “We Found Love”, to be honest with you.
WeAllHitPlay.Com: What direction do you see house music going in next?
DStar: That’s a tough question to answer. It’s really unpredictable. If you look at back in the 90′s, when Trance was really popular… It completely blew up, and “Sandstorm” was a really cool song, and now I think a lot of people take it as cheesy. From what I understand, the vibe in European countries is more on the deeper, minimal stuff. I think the electro/progressive stuff is really popular in the radio/club sense, but not really to the intellectual people listening to music. So we wonder if that will happen here. We kind of just stay doing our own sound, which fuses both worlds a little bit, and maybe it will get bigger.
WeAllHitPlay.Com: So what can we expect next from Solidisco?
Biacco: We just gave away the Daft Punk remix, you guys posted it. We have another single coming out this month, we have another giveaway coming this month. We have a ton of tracks coming out by the end of the year. We have another EP coming out. And we’re working on a ton of remixes.
DStar: A lot of stuff. We’re working overtime, trying to do as much as we can, and do it the best we can.
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