PAX duo Aaron and Charles are some serious rising stars in the house and techno scene. We’ve been itching to get them to record a mixtape for us and with their schedules permitting they delivered a stellar one for us! With signings on some of the scenes most prominent labels (Elrow, Sola, Toolroom and Roush to name a few) and nods from Solardo and Leftwing & Kody as one’s to watch, we couldn’t be more excited to have them join our mix series! We got a chance to ask them a few questions and dig a little deeper into their world chek out the interview below along with a complete track list.
LAMP: Hi guys! We have been working on getting this one together for a while now and excited to finally get you guys into the rotation for the weekly podcast. Can you start off by giving our listeners a heads up on what to expect from your mix this week?
PAX: Hey! Yes long time coming, so we’re happy to finally get it dusted. So in this hour we’re dropping some of favourite current records, a couple of unreleased ones from ourselves, and other acts, and we explore a few different styles along the mix.
LAMP: Looking back in my library I have been collecting your music since around 2015 and I was like “ooooh I need to keep an eye on this act”. There have been so many more releases since then and the variety in your style is so diverse. Can you tell us a little about your musical backgrounds and how the project came together?
PAX: So we officially came about circa 2015, but we had a long stretch before then of just working hard in the studio, finding and refining our sound, and then equally as importantly, making sure we had a planned, systematic release schedule. When you’re brand new on a very saturated talent rich scene, it is very easy to be noticed and forgotten about almost instantly.
So with that in mind, we were very mindful to have something in front of people continuously for that first year. Our release schedule back then was relentless. It’s a game of quantity and quality when trying to get on the map.
In terms of our musical backgrounds, we were always competent solo producers, we can play keys and guitar, which can give you that edge as it gives you a foundation in writing and composing which translates into electronic dance music as well.
The project itself came together after we met on a music production course in our hometown. Two like minded house loving students who just wanted to make good music to make people dance. The rest is history.
LAMP: I would say recently your releases have leaned more to towards, get your butt on the dance floor, house bangers. Your most recent release on Armada Subjekt “Catfish” fully satisfies this description. I love the growling bass lines and groove on this one. What would you say guides your music making decisions when you guys sit down to make a track? What determines whether you wind up making a house banger or something more melodic and techy?
PAX: Yeah, so the releases for the summer just gone were strategically released to land at that time. Electric Feel, Movin’ and Catfish all lend to a more upbeat lighter sound, so they were always planned to come out in the Summertime to have that seasonal relevance.
In terms of what and when we produce, it’s mainly what grabs you at the time you know, and simply down to what do we feel inspired to make today.
We will work back and forth in the broader more commercial market whenever the timings are right, and the balance of the release schedule allows it. Catfish being a perfect example, as it was played on Radio One’s Dance Anthems, and the music video was picked up by MTV, and at the same time we have huge underground records scheduled to follow it up.
Our foundation will always be in the underground, and we will never alienate our fanbase there, but at the same time we have potential crossover records in our locker, and we’ll explore it all.
LAMP: Your musical output has always been solid since you guys jumped onto the scene in 2015. This summer in particular has been a pretty good one for you coming off your remix of Electric Feel that went out on Glasgow Underground, along with your release on Sola that also did very well. You guys had shows all over from Ibiza to Lithuania and Cyprus in addition to a healthy number of events in the UK as well. Can you pin point a moment or two this summer that was really special for you while you traveling about?
PAX: Yeah it’s been a great summer home and away, with tonnes of memories for the books. We think the one that stands out the most is closing the Karkle Beach Festival in Lithuania, with Beardyman MCing over our set. He was playing the festival as well, and he strolled into our tent just before we were about to go on and close the festival. We hit it off instantly, and mid set we passed him the mic and he killed it. The atmosphere in there was incredible, and with Beardyman giving us shout outs to such a responsive up for it crowd, was unreal and surreal. Great times man.
LAMP: In terms of releases we have mentioned Glasgow Underground, Sola and Armada. Your resume includes several more heavy hitting labels for which you have released including Elrow Music, Lapsus, Lost, Cr2, Toolroom and the list goes on. Are there any labels out there on your wish list that you are hoping you will get a call from one day?
PAX: There are definitely a few left on the radar, but we’ll tell you about them when we sign to them. Haha.
LAMP: If we were sitting in your studio with you what sort of setup would we be looking at? Do you have any particular pieces of hardware or software that you really love to work with?
PAX: So in our studios we both use Logic X with countless plug ins. We especially love the FabFilter Pro Q-2 plug for EQing and the Waves CLA Classic Compressors though. In terms of synths we have tonnes of custom patches we’ve tweaked and saved over time in some go AU’s like Arturia’s Mini V.
Most of the outboard gear we have lying around like the Nord Rack 3 and Novation Bass station amongst others we barely use anymore. We use a Neumann TLM-103 microphone for recording vocals, and a Martin Shenandoah Electro-Acoustic Guitar for song writing. For monitoring we’re on Focal Alphas’s.
LAMP: Let’s say you’re working on a new tune and you’ve got the chance to program some remixes for the EP. If you could have your pick and money, time etc were no object who are some of you favourite producers right now that you’d want to have a go at reworking your tracks?
PAX: Will Clarke. We love pretty much everything he does, so he would come top of the list for sure. Another would have been Michael Bibi, but he has already remixed us. Haha.
LAMP: What is your favorite thing to listen to when you want to get away from all the house and tech stuff?
PAX: A lot of the time it is just PAX stuff as we’re constantly writing so we constantly need to be listening repeatedly to the tracks currently in production to see what needs tweaking or changing. If there is a rare window outside of that it tends to be quite folky or downtempo stuff.
LAMP: Is there anything else coming up in your world that we should know or you want to tell us about that we should be keeping an eye/ ear out for?
PAX: Yeah, our music video for Catfish will make its premiere on MTV on October 24th, and we have releases forthcoming on Elrow, Kaluki, ABODE Toolroom and Farris Wheel Recordings before the year is up, and we’ve got some huge collaborations being wrapped up as well, which we’re mega exited about.
LAMP: Thank you so much for your time and the incredible mix you put together. Please keep us posted on future releases and we would love to see you in Los Angeles soon.
PAX: Absolute pleasure guys, and likewise. It won’t be long until we’re over your way, and we can’t wait.
1. Idris Elba – Badman – Will Clarke Remix (7Wallace)
2. Inner City x Latroit – You Give Me That Feeling – Jay Robinson Remix (AKA Music)
3. Bruno Furlan – Blow Minutes (Dirtybird)
4. PAX – Snake
5. Prok & Fitch – Celia’s House – Solardo Edit (Sola)
6. PAX – Just Touch (ABODE)
7. Shiba Shan – Look Back (Kaluki Music)
8. Oscar L – Monster Tube (Truesoul)
9. Edwin Oosterwal – Elasticity (Rejected)
10. Cloonee – Gospel (Repopulate Mars)
11. Jude & Frank Feat. Toto La Momposina – La Luna (Official Audio)
12. PAX – Electric Feel (Glasgow Underground)