Remember breakbeats? While the youthful fellows from Prospa might not recall those halcyon days of rave, they still do plenty to honor its genres. Indeed, the Leeds-bred/London-based lads – Gosha Smith and Harvey Blumler, both 22 – offer quite a blast from the past.
Just check their latest EP, “Rave Science, Vol. 1,” which imagines some of the more thrilling moments of ’90s “electronica” acts like The Chemical Brothers, while still dropping punchy elements of U.K. bass. Cuts like “Sira,” an anthemic collab with Sweden’s DJ Seinfeld, and “Burns No More,” a bracing techno ride over whopping breaks, highlight the package. We recently connected with the duo during their London lockdown.
DJ Times: How have you spent the past year?
Harvey Blumler: Making music, as we always do; however, we were living away from each other, which had its positives and negatives. The positive side of it was that we didn’t have any shows to play; therefore, we had way more time to be able to experiment with new technology and reinvent part of our sound. The list of negatives is endless. For example, we couldn’t switch between each other’s rooms when we wanted to work on something in precise detail – and we missed the shows!
Gosha Smith: Yes, we lost the whole summer and we had a special event lined up in Ibiza, which really meant everything to us – 2020 was looking to be a year that really stepped up our live game. We had not just DJ sets planned, but also live performances with synthesizers, drum parts, modular synths and the rest. We also lost extremely important income-producing work, which put a massive stress on everything.
Blumler: Streams and radio play are the only viable source of income at the moment. We were really planning to try and get into making music for media and film, but, as there are barely any operational workplaces, we weren’t able to get anything.
DJ Times: How have things changed over time?
Smith: Everything has changed. I feel like the lack of gigs can really affect how you make your music, as we take a lot of that inspiration from the live side straight into our production. With the lack of shows, we have had the opportunity to explore new creative ventures within us, as musicians, and it has really benefited the progression of our sound. Incorporating acoustic instruments and structured songwriting has been fun.
DJ Times: What has this downtime taught you?
Smith: We are constantly learning and evolving on an ever-growing path that is music. I think we would both agree that, when it comes to creativity, we have to step outside of our comfort zone. For example, there may be something in the track that we’re not particularly used to and don’t like because it’s not something we have done before or we may believe that it doesn’t fit our aesthetic. Yet, we have experimented with this mindset and proven to ourselves that when listening to the finished result, we loved it more than we could’ve ever imagined.
DJ Times: What’s 2021 looking like?
Smith: We released our “Rave Science, Vol. 1” EP, which we are really excited about. This year is the time to showcase a side of our sound that we believe people haven’t heard enough of. This is the club sound. Ironically, we are probably not going to have many club shows this year, if any at all. But we’ve been sitting on this music so, so long, and we are absolutely dying to get it out there and give people what they’ve been waiting for.
DJ Times: What’s in your studio?
Blumler: Roland JX-3P, Roland Kiwi-3P, Eurorack Modular with countless modules, two acoustic guitars, a Fender Strat, a guzheng, a bouzouki, a Minimoog, and a Roland drum pad.
DJ Times: What you done online?
Blumler: We have been running Rave Science Virtual Warehouse, a live, virtual-reality rave, based in a crazy, dystopian, abandoned bunker where you can literally move your screen around to our own Prospa world – and everyone who wishes they were at a rave can connect all at once. We really did this for all of the people needing an escape and for those who haven’t been able to properly party for a long time.
DJ Times: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this time?
Smith: We’ve found that socially distanced raves could actually happen and be successful, in the fact that many were managed very well. Of course, we had a few planned before tighter restrictions came into place.
DJ Times: Any advice on staying sane through this situation?
Smith: Keeping in touch with your friends is very important, as well as doing exercise, and also not putting too much pressure on yourself and your career. The world has been an uneasy place with this pandemic, so we hope people are looking after themselves.
To check out more interviews, click here.
DJ Times Magazine is copyright © 2021 by DJ Publishing, Inc. www.djtimes.com