Lostribe is the collaboration between Agustus ThElefant and JusLuv, and we liked their recent LP Sophie (reviewed here) – so we thought we’d have a chat.
Oh Drat: We found there was a nice breadth of styles on the LP, but the album as a whole still felt contingent. Tell me a little about where you get your style from and what ‘places’ you go to to bring it all together.
JustLuv: Yeah, obviously we’re super heavily influenced by the evolution of conscious hip hop over the last 10-15 years, but we’ve also been somewhat immersed – I guess this is more myself – in the electronic music scene so we try to incorporate some of those influences and work on melding ‘modern music’, you know? If it has a break beat and it makes people wanna dance, then that’s where we wanna go, as much as possible from all different genres.
JL: Yeah – I produce mostly on software I’m not willing to disclose, it’s one of my secret weapons, but we use a bunch of different plugins, VSTs I use like Omnisphere, the Effectrix plugin, Izotope Stutter Edit -
“I produce mostly on software I’m not willing to disclose, it’s one of my secret weapons” – JustLuv
Augustus ThElefant: MIDI keyboards
JL: - MIDI keyboards, everything was pretty much produced on software, there was very little actual analogue work done, it was all recorded at Nate Da Gr8’s studio, he engineered and mixed everything down and it was recorded on Cubase, but there’s definitely some secrets we’ve gotta keep under wraps a little bit about how we actually got that sound.
OD: Okay, so do you think that as production gets increasingly into the digital age, and increasingly computers are powerful enough to power software that sounds as good as a hardware synth, that it gets more and more important to have those secrets and keep things under wraps?
JL: Yeah, it seems like the software that’s being created now is creating avenues and the ability for producers to explore sound in ways that was never possible before, and the music in many ways is a product of the technology, in many ways, it seems. There’s a lot of software and DAWs coming out that anybody with no talent can jump on and sound good on, because the technology adds so much to the creative process at this point.
OD: So when it comes to writing tracks, as you say talent plays a big part in creating something that’s memorable, but getting that initial ‘bang’ is something that’s getting increasingly easy to do from a beginning stage, how do you guys combine when it comes to lyric writing and music writing process to make sure you get these ‘tight’ songs?
ATE: Well, you know with this project JustLuv was creating enough music for us to create an entire album, and I basically look at the beat and emotionally how I respond to it entails the direction of the writing, where it’s going to go.
OD: Do you feel your emotional response to the beat is an important factor in the fact that you two are a group?
JL: Yeah, I mean the thing about the music we make is that we hope to, whatever it may be, touch on some emotional theme. Whether it be a breakup, reminiscing about old times, getting over bad times.
ATE: There’s always a conceptual thought to the music, you know, but for me particularly as a writer – and I know this is different for different writers – it’s important to get inspiration and influence out of the emotion I get from the track. There are plenty of tracks on this album that had a concept, and I knew when I heard the track what needed to be covered.