Solardo can’t wait to be back in California and get the CRSSD Fest party started. The Manchester-based house and techno duo have toured around the world and the next stop is FNGRS CRSSD Festival this Saturday, Sept 30th on San Diego’s Waterfront. When We Dip caught up with Mark and James via email about the origins of their unique sound, where their music is going next and the excitement of playing their first Southern California festival.
Before they were Solardo, both Mark and James had independent producing careers. Mark had been making music for over 15 years, under the name MRK1. “He started out making grime and early dubstep” James recalls. “I had been a massive house head and about on the Manchester scene for over 10 years. We’ve known each other for the same sort of time but started hanging out again once Mark moved back to Manchester from London a few years ago.” Mark adds: “I wasn’t until James introduced me to music from people like Jamie Jones and Steve Lawler that we decided to start working together. We’ve been working constantly since then!”
How did the combination of grime and house fuse to make their signature sound? Would the guys describe it as Tech House? “We like music with a party vibe, stuff that’ll get people moving and having a good time” James explains. “When producing, it’s about looking a those classic sounds and the way the pioneers used to make them, but putting a Solardo twist on it – bass heavy – which is a nod to Mark’s earlier production days.” Mark notes the goal for shows: “In terms of performing, we just love seeing a crowd really going for it with all their friends — it’s a massive buzz a part of that experience!”
2017 has been an incredibly busy touring year for the duo – they’ve been pretty much on the road non-stop for over a year. How do they stay sane on that schedule? “We don’t!” they laugh. “But seriously, 2017 has been insanely busy for us – we’re on the road every weekend and throughout most of the week. North America, Australia, Argentina – all incredible!” Any highlights to share from the packed summer? “Our highlight would have to be selling out to 3000 people for our hometown show at Manchester’s Albert Hall. That was the final night our Solardo Sessions tour across the U.K. and the vibe was unreal. That night really showed us that all the hard work really paid off.”
Solardo’s latest EP “On the Corner” released in June on their Solä label features the track “Mental Atmosphere” which CRSSD attendees are sure to hear pumping through the festival sound system. “It’s a proper party starter” the guys beam. “We’ve loved the reaction is gets when we drop it at peak time.”
What else are the guys listening to these days? Any new artists they’re loving? “Mason Maynard is an up-and-coming producer people should watch out for” they recommend. “We’re also trying to champion some of that new stuff with our label Solä!” As for what other artists they like to include in their sets, they recommend checking out their spotify playlist for the latest updates.
And what’s next for the tech house duo with the deep dirty sound? They can’t give too much away just yet but it’s sure to be big and their CRSSD set will provide some clues. “We don’t want to give too much away,” they hint. “But we’ve got some really exciting stuff coming up – we’re buzzing to share it with everyone! Keep your ears open if you come see us!”
CRSSD Fest Ready
Are the guys excited for CRSSD? You better believe it. Who else are they excited to see on the lineup? “It’s quality across the board! It’s always mint watching Hot Since ‘82 and Patrick Topping – we’ve caught them a few times this summer and the crowd’s always going mental. We’re buzzing to get back out there!”
Solardo will be at the City Steps stage at CRSSD Festival this Saturday, Sept 29th from 6:00p – 7:00p. “We always love a good after party” they promise and this weekend is no exception. Solardo will be holding it down at SPIN afterhours on Sunday 10/1 featuring a B2B with fellow Manchester-based Latmun (along with opening sets from Detlef and The Drifter) at Spin on Sunday 10/1. More info and tickets here.