Taken from the upcoming collaborative two-track EP from Deepak Sharma and Cory James, available soon on Hidden Recordings, Gowanus Taps is now premiering on Monument. The track sets upon minimal, stone-cold loops with heavy, hypnotic arrangements as their sidekick. This approach produces a characteristic, dark groove that trickily seduces the warping bass in a continuous motion pattern, both enclosed in a playground of swaying bleeps. An output that relies on symbolism but also reflects an equally personal taste. Based on this occasion, Deepak answers the following questions regarding the release and his personal and label plans for the future.
What can you tell us about the idea behind this EP and how it relates with the title Union Street? Is there something you’d like to highlight aesthetically through it?
Everything about the EP is very organic and personal. From when Cory and I first started talking about collaborating to finding studio time to work on the EP. I’d take the subway to the Union Street stop in Brooklyn which was the closest stop to his studio. From there, we’d often first grab a pint of some local craft beer, maybe grab a bite of bbq, chat a bit then mosey over to the studio space. Union Street refers the meeting point where Cory and I would begin our studio nights. Coincidentally, it’s our first collaboration so there’s some symbolism there too.
The premiere track is Gowanus Taps on the EP’s B-side. By doing a quick search we see that this is the name of a neighbourhood in Brooklyn. Did that, somehow, affect the inspiration and the sound on the track itself? How were both of these defined?
Gowanus refers to where Cory’s studio was located. Taps is a nod to all of the pints of beer we ordered en route to the studio, lol. The sound of the track is something we’d like to hear and play late at night. Stripped back, dark with a heavy groove.
What was on your mind during its creation and what made you satisfied with the final result?
We wanted to ensure that both of our interpretations, styles and nuances of techno are reflected in the music. Yes, we are pleased because the release showcases our belief that less is more and there is always room on the dance-floor for a powerful bass groove.
How would you describe the collaboration between you and Cory James and what do you think you gained from that?
It was fun, easy-going and felt natural throughout the creative process. I’ll chalk that up to our long friendship. I gained a fresh perspective on producing. I can be a bit stubborn on my music so it’s not easy for me to trust others with it. Working with Cory challenged me because it forced me out of my comfort zone and made me question my approach on certain things such as mixing, workflow and equipment. Since I trust him, it was easy to learn from his feedback, and overall I believe I’m a better producer. When you trust someone then friendly debates become a place of learning and compromise.
Any plans for the future? For you as a producer but also for Hidden Recordings?
After I wrap up in South America, I have a few weeks in New York to prepare for my first Asia tour, specifically in Vietnam and Cambodia. I’ve always been very curious about that part of the world so to play gigs there is a dream come true. Production wise, it’s been a busy year and it’s not slowing down. I have pending EP’s forthcoming on Pink Room out of Saigon (Vietnam) and Dynamic Form out of Sevilla (Spain). This is off the heels of my release this Summer from Soptik in Karlsruhe (Germany) which included a remix by Thanos Hana. Then there is my monthly DSC (Deepak Sharma Collection) releases that is really for the heads, the close friends and fans. It’s important to me to have an outlet and consistent way to keep releasing works instead of waiting for the ‘perfect time’. Year two of the project begins in January. Regarding Hidden, we have a very cool offering in the queue. Next up is the V/A introducing my new alias, Bala. On the EP there is a collaboration with Ecilo from Jakarta (Indonesia) who has done some great work on Jeff Mills’ Axis label amongst others. Also included is a track by Viels from Milan (Italy) who I’ve been a fan of for a while now through his work on Non Series and Edit Select. After this V/A, I’m going to concentrate on my Bala alias for a while. I’ll be releasing two track vinyls which will be similar to my hypnotic, minimalism style but with more emotive, raw and broader soundscapes. The alias is deeply personal as it refers to my mother’s middle name and the artwork will be black and white photos from my parents earlier years that they helped me select from. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more reflective and music has become a way for me to show my appreciation towards my loved ones.
The EP will be available on digital format via Hidden Recordings Bandcamp.