Austin is known for its guitar music. Few people think of the Texas capital as an EDM hot spot, but electronic geniuses Tritonal call it home. "I came from a Texan musical family," explains one half of the duo, Chad Cisneros. "My grandparents played guitar and piano. They had my mom and her sisters cut records as a family band of
As a teenager, Cisneros was attracted to less holy music. "I got into the Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, and Crystal Method. It wasn't dance music, but it was electronic. I got caught up in the rave scene, which had me start asking DJs where they got their vinyl. I started going to underground record shops, and on the internet, I'd find mixes from Radio 1 or Ibiza."
It was on the internet that he found the other half of Tritonal, Dave Reed. "We met through an online forum on a synthesizer we both owned, Access Virus TI," Cisneros says. "It was the first synthesizer that connected to hard drives and acted like an audio interface. It allowed us to arrange 16 tracks simultaneously." While Reed was in Washington, D.C., and Cisneros was in Texas, they sent each other clips of their music. After a while, Reed decided to move to Texas and commit to their musical partnership.
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A decade later, the pair is in great demand, playing more than 100 shows per year, including August 11 at LIV. They're excited to share with Miami their new single, "Love U Right." It's a benefit for the National Alliance for Mental Illness — all streaming revenues will pay to raise awareness of the issue in music. Mental health is important to Cisneros. "I'm 13 years sober now, but I had a darker time of my life where I struggled with alcohol and drugs." Following those struggles, he helped found Infinite Recovery, an Austin-based medical facility that helps get people off alcohol and opiates.
They made "Love U Right" with relationships in mind but soon realized it was a perfect vessel to champion mental health. "It's about loving someone... but we realized it could pertain to self-love and the willingness to be your best you, mentally, physically, and spiritually," Cisneros says.
The song will eventually be part of a new record Tritonal has been working on for more than a year. "It's a cross-pollination of dance-pop and electro with some bass music," Cisneros says. "Jon Hopkins is a composer who's been a big inspiration on it. He's done work with Coldplay and does a lot of atmospheric experimentation that pays tribute to piano sounds." Sounds like something Texas could be proud of even if there are no guitars.