Dutch duo Homework recently took some time out their busy schedule to have a chat with The House Of Coxhead about how they first came to meet, what their thoughts are on illegal downloading, what they are working on at the minute and how they see Dance music evolving the next 5 years. One of the most exciting Deep House acts around at the minute, and a privelidge to be able to pick their brains. Get their latest EP 'Conversation Piece' HERE.
1. For those who don't know, who are Homework?
Homework is a cocktail of vodka (Zip), cointreau (Tom) and cranberry juice (house music). It's a very cosmopolitan affair.
2. When did you first meet and how did Homework come about?
We wish we could change history and juice our origins story up a bit. Sadly it's not that compelling, since we, for instance, were not put together using "sugar, spice and everything nice". We met each other in one of the oldest record stores in Amsterdam, called Concerto. We both worked there at the time. It was an ideal environment to explore a wide array of music. When we realised we had overlapping tastes the DJ-thing sort of evolved from there.
3. When you were younger, what did your parents' listen to and how did this influence the music that you grew up listening to and the music that you are making today?
Z: My father worked in the music industry for years, so I saw my fair share of a wide range of music early on. He had an enormous record collection that is now in my possession.
T: I don't think the music my parents were into really shaped my musical taste or has influenced my approach to music. I remember my parents (when they were still together) listened to a lot of classical music, especially Mozart, and folk music from Southern Europe. Though I'm still a big fan of Mozart piano concerto's I wouldn't go so far as to say that's on repeat on my iPod. I do however think that my time at the record store gave me an insight into genres I might have never picked up. It also really shaped my way of looking at music in a more studied way; connecting dots, etc. Lately I've been going through my old records and have come to realize I've been and will always be a huge fan of The Rat Pack. Make me a time machine, cause I'd love to go back and see them live at The Sands Hotel...
4. Most of the samples you utilise are from Soul tracks, but away from House/Dance music, what stuff is in your car/headphones at the minute, and are you taking any techniques from that music and using them in your own productions?
For the last couple of weeks we've had 'New For U' by Andres on repeat in the studio. Absolutely stunning track that samples from an also incredible record by Dexter Wansel called 'Time Is The Teacher'. Although we have chosen to step away from sampling for a while, we must say this track propelled us to some cut and pasting again.
5. Your latest EP 'Conversation Piece' shot up the Deep House Beatport upon its release a couple of weeks ago - what was the thought process behind this record, and how does it differ (for you) from your previous releases?
It was an honour and a complete surprise to see it rise in the Release Charts on Beatport. Conversation Piece came together rather organically. It was a logical continuation of themes we had been exploring on previous records, but also a step away from other aspects. Making music has always seemed like a never-ending lesson for us. (No, we're not going to make the obvious 'homework' joke here...) Because our taste is in a sort of constant flux it seems as though the music we tend to make also seems to change from over time. In the past we've been afraid people wouldn't get our new output, but thankfully our fan base has always understood the way our records interconnect. The common denominator for all our records seems to be a sort of 'disco-ey' feel. Which is funny, because we never really go for that on purpose... If it's even true?
6. Illegal downloading is at an all-time high in 2012, and with the countless Electronic file-sharing sites, it's impossible for music likes yours to not be available for free download - how does this this effect you as artists and what are your thoughts behind this generation of people who feel it is okay to not give anything back to the people making the music they listen to?
It comes with the territory nowadays, so it would be foolish of us to start bitching about it. There are two sides to the story: on the one hand all these torrent sites, scene releases, etc. help to get our music out there. Folk who might have never found our music through the legal channels might pick it up via the illegal ones. In the end, that is a positive thing. On the other hand it's a shame that people have come to find it normal not to pay for music.
7. What can we expect from Homework over the next twelve months, and beyond - is there a full-length LP in the works?
Yes, we are indeed working on an album, but we can't really go into specifics, because we don't know when it's going to be finished. It's definitely going to be released on Exploited. It feels like a huge step for us, but also, instinctively, like a very logical one. We have a lot of material laying around that would only fit in a more story-oriented fashion. An album is ideal for such material. Some of the material might not even be for the dance floor, but more for home listening. There is also going to be a Remixes EP of our Conversation Piece EP later this year with remixes by Audiojack, Detroit Swindle and an Alternative Mix of Conversation Piece by yours truly.
8. Finally, in what direction do you see music, Dance music in particular, going over the next 5 years?
In the last few year (deep) house has had a very interesting revival. Not that it ever disappeared, but it definitely found some new territory that appeals to a new audience of party-goers. A lot of our friends, that used to be into nu-disco and electro, are now followers of the new sounds in deep house. It's one of the most fascinating aspects of house/dance music: it always seems to be finding new ways to revive, restyle or re-imagine itself. There are constantly new waves, new renaissances, reinvigorating the genre(s). What that next wave is going to be? Who knows? But hopefully we are among those who start the ripples in the pond...