Fur Coat Talks Debut Album and Making EDM in Hugo Chavez's Venezuela
"You and I are like cocaine and ketamine -- I just wanna make you high," sings Cari Golden on "You and I," the insidiously catchy 2012 breakout hit from Venezuelan DJ-production duo Fur Coat. And with such provocative party favor references in its lyrics, what hedonistic club rat could resist the record, right?
But the hype that's built up around Fur Coat this past year has just as much to do with the sheer appeal of the act's psychedelic tech-funk grooves and the brooding intensity of its live sets. This sound and approach has made them right at home on Damian Lazarus's beloved Crosstown Rebels and druggy dancefloors around the world.
Ahead of a headlining performance at Treehouse with LINK in support of their new Mind Over Matter LP out today, Crossfade caught up with Fur Coat's Sergio Muñoz to talk about the political situation at home, the new album, and breakthrough success.
Crossfade: How did you first get into electronic dance music? Where there local influences in Caracas that shaped your musical tastes, or did you have to look outside the country for inspiration and guidance?
Sergio Muñoz: Our inspiration comes from outside our country. We are both influenced, not only by electronic music, but from disco, salsa, funk, R&B and hip-hop. I started listening to electronic dance music around 2002. But it wasn't until 2004 that I was involved as a DJ and producer. I first started with my name Sergio Muñoz. And after that, I became Delete. [My production partner] Israel [Sunshine] got involved in electronic music after his first trip to Ibiza around 2000. From that day, he took electronic music and DJing as a career. And in the mid 2000s, he started producing.
Has the political situation in Venezuela made it challenging for the electronic dance music scene to flourish in any way? What have been the limitations you've experienced at home?
The political situation has been a critical challenge in the past five years. One of the most important factors here is the money exchange control. You can't get dollars, Euros, or any currency freely. So there is a black market to get money, as everybody has accounts in USA or Europe. Thing is, the price is the double as it should be, so bringing a DJ raises up the costs.
This whole political situation has brought many clubs to close. But there is such a great will for making things happen, that promoters and clubbers have managed to make parties happen with local and international DJs, having as venues private places or houses. The scene from the early 2000s to nowadays has reduced in gigantic steps. For us, the main limitation when we lived in Venezuela was how expensive it is to route gigs. It's ironic that being almost in the middle of the world, flight costs are so high.
How did you first hook up with Crosstown Rebels for your first releases?
It was really something that [just] happened -- we just clicked with Damian [Lazarus] at the right time, the right day, with the right music. We had a really good connection, from that day on. We passed from an EP to remixes, a second EP, an album, and being part of the Rebel Agency.
Your breakout hit "You and I" featuring Cari Golden has quite the unforgettably provocative lyrics. How did you approach the songwriting with Cari on this record?
Cari was really the one that wrote the lyrics. People, most of the time, just remember the chorus, but it's really more than that. It's a twisted and bad relationship, based on a real story. When we first talked abut the lyrics, we just went back and forth with Cari, but she felt free to express herself -- the music flowed, and so did the lyrics, and "You and I" was born.
What can you tell us about the new Mind Over Matter LP? What is the concept behind the album and what the creative process in the studio?
This is our baby of a year of work in the studio. We really wanted to do this project, as here we could express ourselves and show all our sides: emotions, ways of thinking, in short words a real concept. The album is a story from beginning to end -- slow tracks, beatless, dubstep, house, deep techno, experimental. Plus we had the honor to have onboard so many singers that we wanted to work with.
When we started to produce the album, we had in mind what we wanted, although inspiration just flowed, 'til we created the story we wanted to tell. For us, it touches all the emotions and feelings when you hear it -- it makes you go up and down, and it's an album you can play some tracks at the club or just sit and relax and hear it from beginning to end in your home or car.
So how did you hook up with all the different vocalists on the album, like Mel Blatt, Stee Downes and Big Bully? And what can you tell us about the collaborative process?
Some of them are friends, and some others turned out being our friends. [Laughs] As we said, things just flowed. We got in contact with the vocalists we wanted to have onboard, and they really loved the project and concept, so they agreed to participate with us. The collaborations are pretty easy with Internet these days. We just go back and forth with ideas, we sent them the track, we discussed the lyrics, or just let them feel inspiration, then they came back with an idea. If we were all in the same page, we continued, 'til they sent the final vocal and we produced it, cut it, and twisted it.
What have been the biggest personal highlights of your international success and globetrotting this past year? Any memorable parties or moments?
So what else can fans expect from you this year?
For this year, it's time for our debut album, some really nice remixes of it, some remixes from us coming later this year, and some surprise we will reveal later on.
Fur Coat. Friday, September 21. Treehouse, 323 23rd St., Miami Beach. The party starts at 11 p.m. Call 305-674-7447 or visit treehousemiami.com.
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