Focus On: Warriors Of The Dystotheque
“We’re just four lo-fi electronic jazz funk loving beatniks.”
By Stacy Fitzpatrick
Forming a band, creating a bond and making the all important time to make the music is often a challenge in itself.To find the right chemistry, produce the perfect sound that reflects all personalities whilst, more often than not, keeping up the day job.
Imagine how much more challenging it would seem when all band members are scattered across the globe. Many would say ‘How can that possibly work?’
Well, Warriors Of The Dystotheque are band who have epically broken the mould. Despite being located in Ireland, the U.S and England and France respectively, the four piece-Jonny Mac, Sean Graham and Mike and Nick Rufolo, have managed to make and release not one, but three EP’s in under two years.
Remarkably, New York based Mike and Nick have never met Jonny and Sean yet despite the distance the group find it simple to keep communicated and ‘get it’.
“I’ve known Sean since 2000 when we studied music together in Coventry and Sean was a resident DJ at my club night Frequency in the Midlands for several years so we’re pretty tight musically” founding member Jonny Mac explains, adding:
“As for Mike & Nick well they are in New York and none of us have met- that would of been a bit tricky a decade ago but with technology these days it’s pretty easy for myself to lay down a groove and then just upload it to a drop box that we all share and then either Sean or Mike & Nick in NYC can pick it up right there and then and get to work on adding whatever parts they are feeling at the time.”
The group’s first EP ‘The Future Is Ours’ was released in October 2015 followed by ‘Return To Coney’ March this year in which the heady mix of trip-hop and dark wave coined the ‘Gloomtronica’ genre.
‘Return to Coney’ notched up airplay from some of the biggest names in Radio seeing the Warriors been championed by BBC Radio 1’s Nemone and Phil Taggart, as well as BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne and Shaun Keaveney. And when Huey ‘Fun Lovin Criminal’ Morgan sits up and takes notice…that’s a statement in itself!
Their third and latest EP ‘Just Breathe’ released in August is following the same path clearly showing that these guys know what they are doing-and are doing it very well.
‘Just Breathe’ features the sultry vocals of Bella Deanie cushioned with a powerfully sophisticated, mood invoking electro-jazz infusioned soundtrack. The empowering and reassuring lyrics of ‘Just Breathe’ written by Bella herself take you deep into your psyche.
The foursome have found a natural instinct into collectively adding their ideas into each track.
“We just seem to of clicked and what we share always just seems to be the right part.It’s pretty crazy I guess.
“We’re just four lo-fi electronic jazz funk loving beatniks, we are definitely all in tune cause nothing has been a chore music wise but were nowhere near on the same wavelength which makes it exciting.”
Jonny Mac spent many years on the club scene in England before WotD came into being as he reveals:
“After years of DJ gigs in some of the best clubs and on the same bill as the best artists in the land I had many unforgettable experiences and plenty of laughs, but I began to lose my way and the shine went off it all.
“I decided it was time to freshen things up so I moved back to Ireland in 2011 and spent a few years not really listening to much music and just let it find me. Then around late 2014 I started to dig out my old kit and began laying down some bits. I wanted to get back to my roots so found myself in a trip hop haze and from this came Warriors of the Dystotheque.”
“Soon I knew I’d got back what I’d lost. I built myself a new studio, locked the doors and got to work making the connections with Sean, Nick and Mike.”
Reflecting on WotD journey so far he says modestly:
“Over the last 18 months we have been greatly received across some of the country’s top radio shows. Each release seems to be going from strength to strength so it seems all those years in the clubs absorbing the music and lifestyle is paying off.”
WotD evidently aim to be original, their intention with the music they create being simple: Thou Shalt Not Follow.