Classixx, is an L.A. based production duo comprised of Tyler Blake and Michael David. Amidst being recognized for their remixing abilities, the dynamic duo have shifted to produce tracks of their own. The evidently intuitive collaborations on their debut album Hanging Gardens, allows the listener to enter a sun dappled nu-disco dance paradise, complete with west coast vibes. Currently, in midst of touring with Toro Y Moi, BeatRoute caught up with Tyler to discuss the aforementioned Hanging Gardens, and the duo’s transition from remixing to performing live.
The pair met, when they were in middle school and realized very quickly that they wanted to make music together.
Gaining fame from their eminent remixes for high profile bands like The Gossip, Passion Pit and Yacht, it was always in the back of their minds to create more original music. Their vivacious sound is a reflection of their love for L.A. , and it’s clearly projected through their debut album Hanging Gardens.
“We grew up in a city on Venice Beach, it’s just who we are, we gravitate towards that sound just because of our environment. We have done DJ sets at beaches and pools, and it’s our favorite environment to listen to music, so it’s only natural that we make music like that,” says Blake.
Album single “All You’re Waiting For” features the very talented Nancy Whang from LCD Soundsytem. Blake told BeatRoute that in the early stages of writing, they knew they wanted their good friend to sing on the track. However, as he recall’s “It became an ordeal to track her down.” With Wang’s busy touring schedule, the chance to collaborate was looking grim.
“Lucky for us, they broke up! James Murphy called it quits so we got a less busy Nancy Whang to bug about doing a song with us.”
Although bittersweet for music fans, the finished product engineered in Nick from Holy Ghost’s studio, leaves listeners wanting more.
Classixx are no strangers to doing high profile collaborations. When asked who the duo would love to work with in the future, Blake was quick to respond.
“I think it would be really cool to collaborate with someone we really looked up to our whole lives. Someone like Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac, to have him play guitar on one of our songs. Despite the fact it would just be good because he is amazing, it would also be a pretty special thing for us.”
The duo’s songwriting skills amongst other things for Hanging Gardens have been lauded by Pitchfork. Tyler emphasized that all of their work is collaborative, although a song usually evolves from an idea by one or the other. Tyler and Michael challenged each other on this album as musicians to produce a sound that allows listeners to reach a level of euphoria. In response to all of the critical acclaim their album is receiving, Classixx is just happy to finally have their original material out there. Blake humbly adds, “I think the coolest part is seeing Tweets from people saying it has helped them get through their workday, because that’s part of the reason why we made it.”
Vancouver fans can expect a live set rather than a DJ set when they roll through town this month. Playing live as Blake recalls is a daunting task,
“It’s a lot more dangerous than DJing because there is a lot more that can go wrong.” Wanting to highlight their eclectic new album in a medium that they could play their instruments, their live sets are a true testament as to how talented these two are. This tour is allowing them to grow as artists and it clarifies that Classixx is far more than just two DJs.
Catch Classixx live set at the Vogue Theatre on November 10.
By Ashtyn Bevan