Ballarat dance duo Yacht Club DJs unveiled their highly anticipated No. 1 EP today via Create / Control. The release is the band’s first official collection of original material, which the boys introduced to fans and the public last month with the release of the EP’s bouncy single Undertow.
The project was first teased when the pair announced their Oddity Number Five East Coast tour back in February, revealing that while the band’s current tour, which kicks off tonight at Elsewhere on the Gold Coast, was celebrating their latest mixtape release, a debut EP was on its way.
“We’ve always wanted to release original material, but I think for both of us, it’s never been something we wanted to force,” said Gaz Harrison of the long wait. Gaz has now offered Music Feeds readers a track-by-track rundown of the EP, which you can check out for yourself below.
Listen: Yacht Club DJs – No. 1 EP
This was one of those tracks that ended up almost entirely different to how it started. I’ve always played in punk bands and loved punk music as long as I can remember, and one day decided it might be cool to sit down and sample a heap of guitar chords and put something together that could be a kind of punk dance hybrid.
I can’t say it really turned out like that at all, but I really like the way it came together. It’s definitely the weirdest track on the EP, but it’s got a huge place in my heart because it’s a collection of so many weird ideas and techniques, and I’ve always loved the weirder parts of electronic music. Turn this one to 11.
Watch: Yacht Club DJs Interview Themselves, “Smash It Like Friggin’ Rockstars”
2. Real Talk (feat Fingertips)
This is the track on the EP that has probably existed for the longest amount of time in one form or another. I think the first time Guy and I worked on this was well over 18 months ago. Originally, it had this Funkadelic wobbly Moog bass thing going on. It had so many parts, kind of funny to think about.
Anyway, we had been playing it around in this weird form and sending it to vocalists and getting a lot of weird reactions and eventually we just decided it was way too weird and to re-tool it. As straight as it sounds, it has this mad big swing in the groove and we decided to put some weird lush sounding stuff and live drums and children squealing.
Basically it’s what Yacht Club would sound like if it was a band. Mental. We’d also sent it to Claire (Fingertips) in its original form and she had a go at deciphering our weirdness, and we really liked what she did.
Next thing you know, we had crafted a ghetto vocal booth out of a table, a few couches, and a vase holding the microphone, and we all sat around and came up with ideas for a few hours over burritos.
Claire nailed the hell out of it, I knew she would though because Fingertips’ jams are rad. Everyone involved was more than a little chuffed that we had called a song Real Talk as well. R Kelly 4 LYF baby.
Watch: Fingertips – Scissorkick
3. Undertow (feat Josh Haire from Them 9’s)
Undertow was probably the track that happened the quickest. Guy got the writing bug one weekend and came up with this super crazy song that had Queen-style stomps, a big Madchester-sounding “chorus,” and this epic five-minute half time ending that sounded a bit like a beat from a Mac Miller song or something.
It started out as an instrumental track, but we got Josh from Them 9’s to have a crack at vocals and see what came out. We recorded at my house, and I remember it being hellishly windy, so we had to get every mattress in the house and build this massive sound-proof cubby house in the middle of the lounge room.
It was so ghetto, and looked pretty stinky, but it ended up pulling a great sound and more importantly, you couldn’t hear my rattling chimney and house trying to fall down. Josh has always been great to write songs with and came up with this awesome surfy sounding vocal for the track. We’re all super stoked with how it came out; it has a sense of humor in it I hope people get.
I wish everyone could hear the five-minute version, but luckily Woody [Annison, Red Door Sounds Studio] roped us in and helped us make it a tighter pop song.
Listen: Yacht Club DJs – Undertow
4. Say Hello To Techno
I’ve always been a huge fan of early techno and electro and was also a massive fan of the electro clash movement of the late ’90s/early ’00s. I was rummaging around in a draw one day and found this old ’90s mixtape by Bexta from the front of a DJ mag I had in high school.
I chucked it on for a bit of nostalgia and was really drawn to the cheap vocal sampling and stretching and thought it could really work. I rang up Guy to see what he thought and then called the old bass player from Them 9’s, Josh, who relocated to Berlin.
I thought it could be cool to have a German accent on the record, and he sent me a bunch of samples from his friends saying stuff that was hilarious, but I couldn’t quite get them to work the way I wanted. Just when I was about to give up on it, I ran into an old friend who said I should use her dad (who had a thick German accent) to do the vocals.
Long story short, he came round to my home studio and I quickly scribbled down a whole bunch of stuff for him to say, and the way he delivered it ended up perfectly matching the track without even trying. The best part was he couldn’t understand a word I’d written and just said a whole bunch of random stuff that I ended up using over what I had thought up.
In fact, I think the whole “Bunch of wild animals” part and “Say hello to techno” were all him. When I finally played him the track, he told me a whole bunch of funny stories about nightclubbing in Germany and wanted to start cracking beers.
I was just happy I got the exact feel I was going for – a creepy, techy, 3am-dancing-by-yourself electro track. Twisted and bouncy and slightly cheesy in the right places.
Watch: Yacht Club DJs’ They Mostly Come At Night, Mostly Tour
Yacht Club DJs’ new EP ‘No. 1’ is available now. See YCDJs on their upcoming East Coast tour — full details here.