Let’s Go Disco with COEO
In just a couple of years, German dynamic duo COEO (Florian Vietz & Andreas Höpfl) have established themselves on the House scene with a classy back catalog of releases, on labels like Lets Play House, Toy Tonics, Lagaffe Tales, etc. 2015 saw them continue their production success, with an obvious highlight being the signing of their relentless ‘Neuhausen’ to Kerri Chandler’s Madhouse label. And not forgetting of course, their Traxsource #1 ’Native Riddim’, a huge, filtered-piano disco-house concoction which picked up plays from the likes of Kevin Saunderson, Giom, Jimpster, Tensnake and more.
Keen to keep up the momentum, COEO have been busy in their various Munich studios and have come up with another treat for the heads, in the shape of their exclusive-to-Traxsource ‘Back In The Days’ EP on Toy Tonics. ‘Back In The Days’ is a four-track feast of MPC beats, obscure disco samples and some serious production chops. Despite riding the wave of their success with an enviable DJing schedule, we managed to get COEO in a room together, and quizzed them about House, Disco, and drop-crotch jogging pants.
First, we love the new EP on Toy Tonics, it’s a brilliant housed-up take on the disco sound – have you been listening to your old disco records by any chance?
“You’re right, we wanted to put more soul/disco into our productions, and the most effective way to do so is to sample a lot from that time. We’ve bought an MPC about a year ago and we kept on sampling sounds with that instrument. The record in general represents a lot of influences from back in the days ;-) and therefore became more funky than our former EPs. We have a continuously growing disco record collection and we have probably spent more time listening to disco tracks over the past few years than to any other contemporary genre.”
So, disco is the key to the concept for ‘Back In The Days’ but this isn’t just a standard disco-sample cut and paste job, the ‘Back In The Days’ EP has been put together with love, and features some serious dance floor material. There is definitely a skill to which samples a producer picks and how they use them. The careful use of the right sound at the right point can produce moments in music that are both evocative of the past but are also utterly contemporary, and this is where COEO are really excelling at the moment:
“It’s a nostalgic thing for us. The use of samples plays an important role. A big amount of music that influenced us contains samples from former decades of music. For example: We came in touch with soul or funk music by listening to A Tribe Called Quest or Digable Planets and we like the idea that many of these artists (or at least some of their songs) from the 60’s or 70’s had a revival or became more popular again after dozens of producers of mid school Hip Hop era have sampled parts of their songs. It’s like keeping this great music alive and we also want to achieve that the roots of House and Dance Music (i.e.: Disco music) won’t be forgotten.”
For Florian and Andreas then, ‘Back In The Days’ means the thrilling sound of an obscure disco break, or the nostalgia for their 90s childhoods and spent “…listening to Kenny Dope’s Bucketheads, Armand Van Helden or Basement Jaxx in our rooms.” They draw upon the full range of the rich heritage of the 4/4 beat, and distill it all into the grooves of their productions. The pair are also committed DJs and work plenty of disco into their house sets, a style that seems to be successful with the traditionally-techno loving German clubbers. They put this down to a “…growing German house music scene where a lot of DJs tend to bring more disco influences into their sets”. If it continues to produce results like this EP, then that can only be a good thing for the scene.
In a House music world of strangely named producers and artists, we had to ask: the name ‘COEO’ – what does it mean?
“Long story short, we originally named ourselves Contents Hot years ago because of a sign on a coffee cup. At that time it was quite trendy to throw out all the vowels of an artist’s name. We thought it would be a good idea to rebel against this trend and kept the vowels in the name and threw everything else except the first letter out. It was a big coincidence that this word came up with a deeper meaning: “unite” or “to form an alliance” – we thought it perfectly describes what a DJ is all about: He should bring people together on the dance floor. “
COEO demonstrated just how they ‘bring people together on the dance floor’, when they dropped a superb guest mix for Traxsource LIVE on 22nd January, consisting of, in their own words: “…new stuff and unreleased tracks from some of our favourite labels, such as Lagaffe Tales and Toy Tonics and of course a lot of tracks that we currently like to play at gigs!”
Sidestepping our smartass question about if they ever wore the standard European House DJ uniform of drop-crotch jogging pants, COEO simply informed us they know how to dress well, but clothes really aren’t what’s important about DJing, it’s all about the music – never a truer word said!
Their ‘Back In The Day’ EP, is available exclusively from Traxsource ‘HERE’, and check out COEO’s DJ set for Traxsource LIVE.