On November 3, multi-talented London trio Dems will be releasing their debut studio album, Muscle Memory. With less than a week to go until their debut’s drop, the trio have created an exclusive mix for us in anticipation of their full-length introduction to the listening world. Comparisons have been drawn to James Blake, The XX, Kindness, and others who sculpt dreamy, delicate, and atmospheric sounds out of electronic and pop palettes. Their mix for us, like past single releass, represents that eclectic approach to music as well. You can listen to the mix above and read our short Q&A with the trio below.
Who are you?
We are three average men living in London – David Gardener, Duncan Mann and Dan Moss. Together we have been making electronic songs as Dems since 2011 and this has culminated in our debut LP being released on Monday, and we are really excited for people to hear and own it and the reception we have been getting so far.
How did you approach this mix?
We wanted to foray into some of the recent leftfield records we have been listening to from the world of dance and electronic music. Thirty minutes isn’t very long but this contains some new favourite discoveries, and looking over the track list, we appear to have jammed it full of tracks with strong melodic vocals, which was sort of unconsciously done. The new Audion record, ‘Dem Howl’, has this unbelievable vocal from Troels Abrahamson which just stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it. Incredible. There’s also some Brassica, Addison Groove and Dntel in there. It’s a mix you can stick on and have a proper sad dance to.
Any upcoming projects?
After our record is released next week, we are preparing for a launch show in our native South London at one of our favourite venues ever, and playing a few UK dates. We’ll have a number of collaborators with us to put on an awesome expansive event. We are just finalising details but if people check our Soundcloud or Facebook the details will all be on there in the next week. As for other plans we are currently scoring a film in production and have already started constructing some skeletal plans around the next album.
What is missing in the electronic scene in 2014? What are its prospects and what can you bring to the table in 2015?
One of the most exciting things about electronic music, in all its varied forms, is that creative people in the underground keep evolving and transforming it, as well as listeners’ perceptions of what is new and exciting. I don’t think there’s any anxiety about anything that’s missing in particular. I do think there is an increasing appreciation for artists who blur the lines between songwriting and electronic music rooted in dance, which is a space we like to operate in. You see artists like Aphex Twin or Nils Frahm happily jumping from a pulsating synth-led 4×4 track to an atmospheric piano solo record, and people appreciate that diversity and experimental purpose.
Words of wisdom?
Be proud of your work, ruthless with your creative ideas, develop some artistic principles and stick to them, and be nice to people on the tube.
Dems Mix (Tracklist)
Brassica – Art Ebb Lull Us (Civil Music)
Caribou – All I Ever Need (City Slang)
Audion – Dem Howl (Kompakt)
Aidan Lavelle & Robbie Akbal – Stars (Culprit)
Dems – Lioness (Sew In Love)
Mndsgn – Camelblues (Stones Throw)
Addison Groove & DJ Rashad – U Been Gone (50 Weapons)
Dntel – If I Stay A Minute (Leaving)
Aphex Twin – Minipops 67 [120.2] [Source Field Mix] (Warp)