Brame & Hamo on self-releasing & their debut Australian tour
Irish duo BRAME & HAMO are arguably one of the most exciting names in electronic music. The pair made the move from Sligo to Berlin around five years ago now, and now, armed with a studio space and the inception of their own label a little over a year ago, they’re basically just pumping out the tunes now.
With three EP’s under their belt last year (Club Orange, Limewire, Celebrity Impersonator), the duo seem to be putting their foot on the accelerator in 2019, and already have another bunch of releases both planned and underway.
They’re headed to Australia this weekend for their debut headline tour, with four shows happening between Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, including Astral People‘s Summer Dance on Sunday. We connected with them via mobile to chat the tour, what’s been going on since they moved to Berlin and what they’ll be bringing to 2019.
What’s been going on for you guys these last couple of months?
It’s been pretty nuts, we’ve just been touring like mad the last two years. It’s really just kind of blown up for us. We’ve seen lots of Europe and the UK at the minute, but we’re really excited to get over here for our first Australian tour, and we’re hopefully getting to America and Canada a little later in the year, so it’s nice to get to see new parts of the world. And Indonesia.
It’s all happening. You guys have been making music together for a while now, over 5 years?
Yeah, I think our first release together was in like 2013.
Would you ever have thought that all of this would have happened?
No, it was all winging it really. We’re just going with the flow. I think that’s sort of the way it needs to happen for us to still enjoy it.
You’ve been living in Berlin for a while now. How do you think making music together has changed since you made the move?
I think having a proper room, studio, to kind of build on is a big change because at home when we were making music together in Ireland, it was really just like in our bedrooms or in the kitchen, or thrown all over the place. But having an actual work environment where we can get up everyday and during the week and go to a proper workplace that we have and just a headspace where you can get into where making music is really nice. It’s a real privilege to have a studio space. It’s not the fanciest set up, but it’s somewhere where we can kind of turn it all on.
Over the years it’s really shown, you’ve been pumping out the releases, but they’ve all been so markedly different from one another. It’s been really cool following you over the years and seeing how your sound has evolved from more house inspired to now you’re making thumping techno. What’s inspired that shift for you?
Sometimes we’re conscious of the change in style, but at the same time we’re just going with it and I think it came out quite naturally.
We’re just finding new music everyday, listening to new music and being inspired by different things, so it would be silly for us so early in our career to pigeonhole ourselves to certain genres so we’re happy to explore.
It must help that you guys have your own label. That’s been a recent thing for you. What was the reasoning behind starting a label?
Sort of exactly that. Anything that we did have, we could just release. We have a good deal, so we can turn out a record in five or six weeks after we get the masters back.
A lot of labels have issues with pressing delays and stuff, but for some reason our distributor can bypass all of that, so we’ve got a pretty good turnaround with that. It’s just handy to not have anybody telling you that “Oh, you can’t have an old school breakbeat tune on the same disc as a techno tune”. We just kind of do what we want and it seems to be working, so we’re really happy that we had the opportunity to start our own label.
That’s the best way to be. Being able to have this freedom to put the music out, not only when you want but how you want as well. If you want to do a pressing, you can do that. If you want to just release something digitally, you can do that. Are you guys going to eventually put other artists on your label?
Possibly at some point, but right now our skills are best left to learning by releasing our own music. If someone sent us music that was really, really good, then we’d probably pass it on to one of our friends that professionally runs a label, but I think we only put the trust in releasing our own music.
Since you’ve been putting your own music, have you found that you’ve been less motivated to send demos elsewhere? It’s just easier isn’t it.
Yeah, the more the label goes well, the less motivated we are to send demos. We’re just kind of like “Oh this is working for now, let’s put it out on our label.” And then of course the waiting time on other labels if you did get signed is probably a few months.
What have you guys got in store for the year?
We have a few now. We have one EP coming out in maybe six or seven weeks. It’s in the process. That’s the first one of the year on our label. We’re also working on a second one that’s not in production yet, but we’re finishing it off at the minute, and then we’ve got one other release on another label, really big label that we can’t talk about just yet, but we’re really excited for it. Very spicy.
You’ve been remixing a whole bunch as well. I was just scrolling through your Spotify, you’ve recently done a remix of Dusky. Is it cool getting to do those other projects too outside of your own originals?
Yeah, we love remixing so much because we come from a sampling background because both of us used to make hip-hop and sample-heavy house, so it just comes really naturally to us where we get stems from another person and get to work on changing their ideas. It’s a really natural thing for us to do. It’s really fun.
It would be nice to break it all up too.
Absolutely. Going into a studio with a blank template is kind of terrifying when you have nothing to work with. But when you’ve got some bits and pieces to work with, you can get something going really quickly.
It’s nice to have parameters.
You’re here in Australia, kicking off your tour in Perth tonight. What are you looking forward to most about your time here in Australia?
We were actually just trying to figure out some stuff to do and then we came across, there’s some islands outside Perth with the penguins – Rotnest Island. We’re going to go across to the island and see the quokka’s, so we definitely have to do something like that. And of course the beaches.
We definitely take that for granted here.
We’re really looking forward to the shows. The first one in Perth we were told is the oldest gay club in the world, so we’re really looking forward to that.
Are there any Aussie artists you guys are listening to at the moment?
We’ve heard absolutely amazing things about Roza Terenzi, she’s doing really really well at the minute. Also we love the Untzz guys, Mic Mills and Babicka, they’re fantastic. Francis Inferno Orchestra and Fantastic Man, we’ve been listening to them for years. They’re proper inspirations to us.
BRAME & HAMO AUSTRALIAN TOUR
Friday, March 22
Saturday, March 23
White Hart – Day
Saturday, March 23
XE54 – Night
Sunday, March 24
Summer Dance, Sydney
Words by CAITLIN MEDCALF