Boulder-based Dynohunter never want to completely fit in with what’s going on around them. Cutting a way for themselves through the festival and EDM scene across the country, they have opened for legends such as Infected Mushroom, Papadosio, and Bonobo. A household name amongst the Colorado festival circuit, each year their name climbs higher and higher on the line-up posters. We spoke with the Dynohunter guys ahead of their gig at ARISE about all the things that make them tick.
What makes a good remix?
It starts with the original tune and digging into all the different parts and sounds to find things that are unique and interesting about the track, whether it be a tone, a melody, or a rhythm. Sometimes we choose to follow the framework/structure of the song loosely or completely change the structure and style of the tune but use some of the sound palette or melodies from the original. It’s finding a balance of reinventing the track and really making it your own while supporting and honoring what you love about the original.
With such a body of work and busy tour schedule, how do you separate what you want to hear from the “noise”?
Not settling. We’ve always tried to make music that inspires us – where that inspiration comes from is constantly changing. Sometimes it’s a new sound or a new vibe, or it’s a different level of execution, continuity or diversity. Inspiration is fluid and you just have to ride its wave. Sometimes you have to really hunt for it, but when you find it, it’s like a return to that familiar joyful feeling. That’s where it all starts; that’s what keeps us pushing forward.
It’s also really important to develop continuity, to work hard to refine and distill your brand to its essence but at the same time be diverse and unafraid to try new things out, even if they don’t end up working out. We’ve worked hard at really carving out our own niche and constantly trying to break our own ‘formula’. At the end of the day, you always have to be making music for yourself; no one’s better at doing you than you.
Do you do anything differently when preparing for a festival gig compared to a smaller venue?
What does make a difference is what time of day/night and the general vibe of the party we are playing. We try to make our sets create a vibe that is fitting for the surroundings. This has manifested into some pretty special, very late night sets as well as sunset sets at festivals attempting to capture and give a soundtrack to that moment.
Did you learn anything new this time around in the studio?
Yes. Always yes. Evolving and growing in the sound always keeps us on our toes. Constantly trying new or tweaking newly established recording and mix techniques helps us get close to the sound we have in our heads. We’ve been trying to capture that classic vintage analog sound and find the delicate balance between a mix with character and warmth while still having a modern punch and clarity to it.
What led you to electronic music?
Electronic music is an endless universe of possibility. The creative flow and production aren’t hampered by the confines of a single instrument. There are no boundaries. As a band we are not only trying to write good songs but create the whole Dynohunter world – combining elements of past, present, & future. Producing electronic music and combining it with drums, bass, sax and synths allows us to reach deeper into that world and create a more immersive experience for our fans. We also love dance music – the positive, high energy feeling you get, the way it brings people together and raises everyone’s vibration collectively. There’s something deeply spiritual and ritualistic about dance music’s driving drumming style. It harkens back to our ancestors beating on drums and dancing around fires 100,000 years ago. You can really feel that even today.
How has festival and EDM culture changed since you began doing shows?
The culture has expanded exponentially. Almost every subgenre has multiple festivals dedicated to them specifically and there are more festivals that aim to include them all under one roof. The production value has skyrocketed and many people have come to expect the experience of an otherworldly atmosphere. The barrier of people who were “against” electronic music in favor of more traditional styles has broken down too. Artists in all genres are innovating the way they include and blend live elements with electronic production and people are taking notice. I would say its steadily maturing.
What was the biggest surprise you experienced in the last year?
We love that house and techno seem to be catching on with a larger festival and jam audience. Being born out of the jam scene and gravitating towards house and techno ourselves, we have helped others see how, for example, a DJ is able to weave together a 2-hour set and take the audience on a ride in a similar way to a jam band. Both are doing a lot of improvising and creating unique moments, both are long format approaches in contrast to 3-4 minute pop songs. We would love to see this trend continue, go to a music festival and get every musical itch scratched!
Dynohunter play at the epitome of such a festival, Loveland’s Arise Festival (Green Tree Stage) Sunday, August 5th.