Giant Step Presents
Dirty Vegas Soundsystem
Morsy & Kestar (Crooked Disco)
70 N. 6th St.
(between Wythe and Kent)
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
This event is 21 and over
Dirty Vegas Soundsystem
Ready to capture the international dance floor once again, ELECTRIC LOVE marks the explosive return of legendary electronic act DIRTY VEGAS.
After touring the world on the strength of two albums, two film scores, and an international dance hit that snagged a Grammy, the trio (Steve Smith and the non-related Ben Harris and Paul Harris) parted ways in 2005 to work on individual projects and just to take a breather.
“Being in a band is like a heavy relationship, and we just needed that big break,” explains Steve Smith. “We also needed to take time to become music fans again and send each other music and get excited about things.”
Without the pressures of a recording contract or label executives issuing directives, the trio found a fresh kind of positivity when DIRTY VEGAS reformed four years later. What started as a single experiment in the studio soon blossomed into something more profound and special than a second wind: A brand-new beginning, and a first taste of true musical freedom, the hard-to-articulate, but easy-to-feel sound that pulses throughout ELECTRIC LOVE.
“It was just purely about getting in the studio and making music,” enthuses Smith. “It brought back so many good memories about starting out, because it took all the expectancy out of the equation. We never fell out or anything so this was one of the best times we’ve ever had. We made close to 40 songs of what we felt like we wanted to make.”
ELECTRIC LOVE finds that elusive sweet spot between the slickly polished electronic sounds of their past and a more decidedly rock edge, deftly balancing beats and guitar-led melodies set aloft with the pleasing tones of Smith’s vocals. The results are versatile enough, whether it’s playing at a bar in Brooklyn or blasting at an Ibiza beach party.
“Pressure” was the first song recorded after DIRTY VEGAS got back together and is perhaps the most buoyant effort on the album, with a propulsive tribal groove that slams like the group never left. Guitar riffs and twittering synths flirt like natural bedfellows on songs such as “Little White Doves” and “Emma,” while “Electric Love,” with its bass-heavy dance floor stomp, is a fitting choice for the single and title track.
With Ben Harris and Paul Harris still based in London, but Smith now located in New England, ELECTRIC LOVE was recorded via Internet collaborations. The long-distance working process actually led to a new level of cohesion when it came down to creativity as they felt more comfortable critiquing each other online.
“Because you’re not in the same room together,” says Smith, “you don’t mind cutting to the core of critiquing. So we just got to the good stuff quicker than ever before!”
The band is rocking with an updated sound, but the fact that DIRTY VEGAS are game-changers is nothing new; just ask anyone in the music business who deals with the worlds of licensing for film and television. The band’s debut single “Days Go By,” originally released in 2001, appeared on a television advertisement for Mitsubishi. The revived single, and its wonderfully magnetic original video, not only catapulted to Grammy success (for Best Dance Recording in 2003), but was a huge benchmark that helped set a whole new model for the marketing of music. The band also won three DanceStar Awards and was even named Electronic Artist of the Year by Playboy.
“It was an electronic song that really connected with people,” says Smith of “Days Go By.” “It went from selling a few copies on import to winning a Grammy, which was amazing for us to experience as a band. Many bands since then have gone on to use TV and commercials as a launch pad.
“We’ve always wanted to do a lot of different styles, whether it’s a commercial pop hit or an eight-minute experimental dance track,” he continues. ”And electronic music is where you can do it all. We’re just always excited to try different things. There are club tracks, there are indie rock tracks, and there’s everything that we’re into and everything we wanted to write about. With this new record, we were not on anyone’s watch, so we could just do what we wanted to do!”