Exclusive HIHF Interview: We Chat With Desert Dwellers About Their Creative Process, Performing At The Lincoln Memorial, & Their New Album ‘Breath’

Desert Dwellers are making some of the most beautiful and intricate soundscapes out there. The two producers have been making ‘Global Fusion’-style electronic music and are celebrating the twenty-year anniversary of the project this year.

They’ve played shows alongside Clozee, Thriftworks, and are even providing direct support for Shpongle’s final live performance, this Friday and Saturday at Red Rocks. Their new project ‘Breath‘ perfectly encapsulates those tribal influences that they are best known for. We had the pleasure of sitting down with the two creatives to pick their brains. Check out what they had to say below!

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H: Who/What are some of your biggest inspirations? Inside or out of the music industry.

D: In music everyone from Bob Marley to John McLaughlin to Pink Floyd to Shpongle to Eat Static to Dub and Metal and Hip Hop and everything else!

What’s your creative process like in the studio?

We live in two different states so we are rarely in the studio together. So our process is individual until we feel like we’ve done enough on something to send it off to each other. We go back and forth until we’ve finished the song.

When it comes to recording live instruments contributions to your tracks, how does that process intertwine into your production?

For the new album “Breath” we started most of the songs from a traditional song re-imagined by our multi-lingual vocalist Meagan Chandler. From there we got some basic grooves going and would then start to think of what other instruments we wanted on the track. We also have vast archives of recordings of people playing many instruments and we finally used a lot of stuff we had been holding on to. We have been lucky enough to know and record some incredible musicians over the years.

You played Catharsis last year at Lincoln Memorial (we are based in DC), how did that come to be? How did you like playing that festival in the nation’s capital?

Well like most shows we do the event promoter reached out to our booking agent and of course, the idea of playing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial was a very unique and lovely opportunity. We definitely feel that positive vibes are needed there and it went over very well.

How does playing a festival show compare to a nightclub show?

Our music is light years better outdoors so in general festival shows are better for what we do. However, sometimes a really good venue show can be very satisfying too. All in all though, when the walls are not there and the sky is visible, our music is much much more appropriate.

What are a few dream locations to play your music? You are both Black Rock City Alumni, what can you tell us about your time at Burning Man?

Dream locations, in front or INSIDE of the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu would be sweet, Tahiti maybe! As far as Burning Man well Treavor has been 21 years in a row now and Amani has been many times as well. Each year is its own experience with 1000s of little experiences in each. Kinda hard to explain in an interview to be honest.

Any dream collaborations?

That’s a good question. We are hoping to expand our collaborations with artists in different sub-genres of electronica like the slower 4/4 tempo producers making waves these days. As far as naming artists perhaps remixing Dead Can Dance would be sweet or Shpongle remixing us!

What do you want your fans to know about your newest album Breath?

The album is the final installment of the Downtemple Dub series even though we left that out of the title itself. We really wanted to do something totally different than our last album and didn’t want to make any “Bass” music either. We love that bass, but we grew tired of that sound and in a way this album is a return to our roots in the Tribal House genre. Many people don’t know that when we started making music together we were making faster, uptempo house and techno styles. The obvious difference here is that we’ve slowed that style way down to make it sort of Downtempo House if you will. We recorded 20 different musicians on the album as well so it’s got a very organic feeling.

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