Coffee break with Marvin & Guy
One year after their unforgettable ‘Super Conjunction’ release, Marvin & Guy return on Life & Death with a long-awaited 3-tracks EP. We had the chance to grab a coffee with them and ask them a few questions about it.
Is ‘Marvin & Guy’ a reference to ‘Marvin Gaye’ and the Motown years?
Yes, of course. We thought it was quite obvious since the moment we started with M&G but apparently a lot of people didn’t get that, so you are officially the first person who got the comparison. We grew up with Soul, Disco, Boogie, so basically his was one of the first thing that came to our mind when we chose our name. No fancy stories, sorry.
Since you signed your first EP on Life & Death in 2017, “Superior Conjunction”, your style evolved into something more cosmic and dreamy. Do you see it as a way of escaping reality, or maybe is it meant to help people escape it?
In all the records we made so far there is a dreamy touch, and that’s actually the biggest part of our music, that we are still using and growing with. The reason why we’re so mental is mostly because we want to see people listen to our music in clubs, of course, but also on the plane, or even better, before falling asleep. You just need some dreamy sounds in music to take care of both aspects. It honestly doesn’t really matter if it’s 100bpm or 130bpm. One of the last things we do to make sure the track is good, is to actually listen to it in bed before falling asleep. No jokes. So it could also be a way to let people escape from the rest of the world, definitely.
In your upcoming EP ‘Solar Warriors’, released today on Life & Death, two of the three tracks contain voices. What do you think about the use of voice in electronic music? What function did it have in this EP?
Voices are important in every kind of music. Even if it’s just a short loop of voice. We’ve used voices on 90% of our music. On this record it’s probably not the main thing, but we still wanted to use it as a reminder and proper follow up for ‘The Train Of Fantastic’ but without copying it too much. We also wanted to collaborate with our dear friend Annegret (Perel) so it was perfect because she has such a unique voice right in this moment, and we think she really builds properly what we had in mind. Still dreamy, still sexy and smooth. This is how we really like it. It doesn’t need to be a full song, you know. Just a few spoken words are perfect, but they need to be really strong. It is not so much about function, but mostly about the feeling you want to create when adding voices.
Your music has very strong 80s/Italo-disco influences. Are there any particular synths or drum machines from that period that you love using?
All the synths we use are from that era yes, no particular one, just all of them!
Can you walk us through a day in the studio of Marvin & Guy?
First step: a nice espresso with a cigarette. Then we start for example to play melodies that we recorded with our voice on our phone. We sometimes record melodies that come to our mind because otherwise we’d totally forget them. When we find the right sound for the main melody, Alessandro starts building up the beat and playing pads and leads while Marcello will try to catch the right melody and bassline. Middle step: cuddle the cat and drink another espresso. Final step: mix everything, espressos and cuddles included.
You guys work as a duo both in the DJ booth and in the studio. What are challenges and the advantages of working together?
Working together helps a lot in many ways. Especially if you are very different people like we are. One makes up for the other, and that’s really what helps for everything, from making music to touring together. We’ve never had a single fight since the first day we met.
Do you have a guilty pleasure track, or one you associate to a special memory?
Alessandro: Queens Of The Stone Age - Make It Wit Chu
Marcello: Nu Colours - Desire Full Chorus London
I was curious about how important music is in your life. Do you listen to music during your spare time? What other kinds of music do you listen to?
Of course we do. Marcello is more into black music during his spare time, especially while taking showers. Alessandro is more into soundtrack vibes, more relaxing and mental stuff.
According to an interview on Tech On, Marcello likes wine and Alessandro is into beautiful old cars. What is you favorite track to drink and to drive?
No need to say there are millions of course, but to choose one right now we would say ‘The Jeremy Spencer Band - Cool Breeze’.
Is there an unusual place where you would like to play?
It’s not an unusual place but somewhere impossible to do right now for obvious reasons, there are two: Paradise Garage in NYC or Music Box in Chicago.
Thinking of something really unusual we would say in the middle of Teotihuacan in Mexico.
Can you tell us about exciting projects you are working on?
There will be a side project of M&G, which is going to be more Space Disco, and played live with musicians. This is all we can say now. Also there will be a first album somewhere in the near future.