Have you had that little devil on your shoulder telling you to dance lately? If you have, youâ€™ve probably caught the infectious new single, â€˜Speak Of The Devilâ€™, off Hermitudeâ€™s latest album, â€˜HyperParadiseâ€™.
Luke Dubs, one-half of the Elefant Traks luminaries, talks about the direction of the new album and his love for the fans. â€œWell we havenâ€™t actually played much of the album live at all yet, weâ€™re about to hit the road in about six weeks so itâ€™s all going to start kind of happening. Weâ€™ve played â€˜Speak Of The Devilâ€™ ... and thatâ€™s been doing really well obviously, because of all the radio love itâ€™s had.
â€œItâ€™s been hard to find a song that can follow it and maintain the same level of energy, and â€˜The Villainâ€™ luckily has been delivering on that front. So weâ€™ve been playing that for the last couple of shows after â€˜Speak Of The Devilâ€™, and keeping people on the same level of intensity. Itâ€™s been working really well.â€
Hermitude has been a mainstay of the instrumental hip hop scene in Australia for a decade, dropping the now highly sought, limited release vinyl, â€˜Imaginary Friendsâ€™ EP, in 2002. Widely known for their ridiculous technical abilities, Hermitude consistently push the boundaries of both record production and live skill and â€˜HyperParadiseâ€™ is no different.
â€œWeâ€™ve been experimenting with different styles of music over the years, like we came into this Hermitude thing with a massive love of hip hop and all the instrumental hip hop beats that were happening in the â€˜80s ... with â€˜HyperParadiseâ€™ we pushed for more of a synthy direction because weâ€™ve been listening to you know, heaps of Hud Mo, Rusty and that type of future beats thing thatâ€™s been going on.
â€œWe wanted to go in a bit of a different direction and go a little bit more synthy and samply but also kind of put together everything that weâ€™ve been doing over the years and kind of meld it.â€
The new release may side-step slightly out of their typical hip hop territory, but Dubs reveals there was nothing they wanted less than to alienate longtime fans; they just wanted to bring the best out of themselves and a fresh take on their skill set. â€œEvery Hermitude record is like a massive journey for us and we keep a lot of things in mind about where weâ€™ve come from and where weâ€™re going. We also just try and forget a lot of it and basically get in there and just try and kind of push our creative limits.
â€œYou know, itâ€™s probably steered a bit away from hip hop this time â€¦ itâ€™s always going to have a hip hop background, the music we write, (but) itâ€™s definitely gone a bit more electronic, maybe a bit more club â€¦ itâ€™s different sounds that we like to experiment with and see how we kind of go with it.
â€œWeâ€™ve always been able to write those downtempo, instro hip hop tunes quite easily so weâ€™re always going to have those on the records â€˜cause we just love writing that stuff as well. But, yeah, weâ€™re definitely keeping our old fans happy, we think.â€
Approaching the complexities of the record with a note of nonchalance, Dubs explains the recording process was a close-knit affair. â€œHermitudeâ€™s always been an instrumental act primarily, and it was just time to do everything ourselves this time around. We decided to do pretty much everything. We got a guitar player in on one of the tracks and we had a vocalist in for â€˜Speak Of The Devilâ€™, (but otherwise)â€ˆit was all us.â€
With a common love for vinyl the duo always wanted to release â€˜HyperParadiseâ€™ on wax, but the downturn in the industry forced them to rethink the strategy. They opted for a buy-in process where fans could sign up for a pre-release and the faith doesnâ€™t seem to have wavered, the band easily making the numbers required to print.
â€œWeâ€™re both vinyl collectors still to this day so itâ€™s really important for us to do vinyl. Unfortunately with the current climate of the music business, itâ€™s quite hard to front that kind of money when you donâ€™t know if itâ€™s going to sell. You know people say they want vinyl but itâ€™s a different thing to say they want it and actually forking out the money.â€
Hermitude play The Brewery, Byron, March 9 and The Zoo March 10. â€˜HyperParadiseâ€™ is available from February 3.