DJ and production duo Compound X have been disrupting the scene with their own take on techno meets rave meets pop. We caught up with them to discuss the project, their latest release and more.
Welcome to Klubikon Dar & Dave. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. How are you today?
Thank you for having us. Oh man, it’s been a very weird few years with Covid and the current state of the world, has got us feeling a little strange about releasing and promoting music, and how to move forward genuinely, we love creating experiences for people, sonically and visually, hoping to give some positive energy to the world at the moment through our creativity by elevating our consciousness with our art.
Together you form duo Compound X, could you please give us an overview of the what, who and how of this project?
Compound X is our vision of melting psychedelic rock, house music, funk, techno, and pop, together we alchemise and synthesise our variant of ground-breaking rhythms.
We both grew up in Sydney, Australia, and went to the same high school, we hadn’t seen each other for about 10 years, then randomly ran into each other at Panorama Bar in Berlin, in 2016, which turned into an all-nighter and ultimately the creation of Compound X, we wrote music for two solid years before we were happy with our sonic identity before moving forward.
We debuted at Dark Mofo festival in Tasmania, Australia, 2021, and recently we signed two limited edition record labels Distopic Utopia Records and CX BLACK with Republic of Music in the UK, partnered with our distribution partners Universal Music worldwide.
Your music is a melting pot of genres merging techno, rave, and pop influences. I’m happy to see more artists explore this refreshing combination. Do you think the underground music community’s attitudes towards mainstream music is changing?
The underground scene will always have a different view towards commercial music, in our eyes, there are different levels of commercial music, we believe in staying true to our core ethos, whilst still producing radio playable music moving forward.
How do you balance experimentation with genre conventions when mixing such a broad range of styles?
We both have eclectic taste and extensive experience when it comes to music, all our concepts within Compound X are driven by a research and development process, with sound design and a creatively written ethos for each concept, thus creating our genres based on different influences from various inspirations. We’re creating an infinitely evolving sonic and cinematic world, delivering a forward-thinking take on electronic music.
You run the labels Distopic Utopia Records & CX BLACK, what are the respective visions behind these imprints?
Distopic Utopia is focused on an experimental IDM mentality with a strong visual identity. And CX BLACK is a dance floor-focused electronic label with minimalistic artwork letting the music do all the talking, we create conceptual music videos for all releases across both labels.
Distopic Utopia Records seems to have an exceptionally distinct ethos and visual brand, could you tell us something about its futuristic identity?
The label draws inspiration from experimental art with strong connections to space exploration, synaesthesia, which we both have different forms of, and the cinematic emotions evoked by sound, slowly drifting towards the outer limits of society, in search of a way to sculpt sound through acute biorhythms, and hunting the true liberation of the mind through our artistic language.
You are both multidisciplinary artists, what do you keep yourselves busy with outside of music? Do your other artistic pursuits influence the way you make your tracks?
We both have deep connections to fashion, cinema, and composition, we’ve been scoring music for runway shows, short films, and an immersive audio/visual installation from Compound X which have all been in the works for around two years now, these experiences have changed our approach to writing music with more cinematic influences this has helped forge our development as artists into our two new studio albums and installations.
As part of your solo careers, you have played in many significant institutions in the world. What were some of your favorite places to play? Are there any exciting locales lined up for your collab project?
Though our old labels, we executed showcases and some pretty amazing clubs, festivals, and environments, Fabric, DC10, and Panorama Bar, it’s hard to beat the vibe at Panorama Bar when its on, but there’s something to be said about the sound in Room 1 at Fabric, we’d be crazy to not mention Robot Heart at Burning Man, that is one of the most insane experiences any DJ could ask for. We’re looking at Dark Mofo again this year and focusing on ‘Make It Bounce’ and ‘Make It Stop’ for 2023 aimed at festivals.
What can we expect next from Compound X and the labels? Anything you’d like to share that we can look forward to?
We have been writing music since 2017, in that time we have written a stupid amount of music, from this experience we have managed to naturally progress into our new direction dubbed Hollywood Bass/Dance/Pop genre, This sound was intuitively born from deep within our souls, these are the new LP’s we mentioned above called ‘Make It Bounce’ and ‘Make It Stop’ both LP’s are exploring our inspirations from Daft Punk, The Prodigy, NIN, The Chemical Brothers and The Gorillaz, staying true to our artistic identities delivering a radio playable sound with integrity.