Entrenched in America’s west coast underground scene, Amani Friend and Treavor Moontribe first met through the legendary full moon gatherings in the ‘90s known as Moontribe.
A fruitful partnership has allowed the duo to collaborate for two decades, with their downtempo offering Desert Dwellers now their priority.
Your music has been described recently as ‘yoga-whomp’. Do you dig that description?
[Amani] I have heard many terms floating around these days such as ‘sacred bass’, ‘temple step’ and ‘psy-step’. We have used terms such as ‘downtemple dub’ and ‘yoga dub in the past. I understand that giving music a genre name can help people to place that music in their heads and in relation to other artists, but in general I really don’t like labels as they always put an artist in a box. Once you start listening to our music you will see that you can never fit everything we do into just one box, and that’s because we love so many styles of music, both world music and electronic forms as well. Our motto has always been: music beyond borders. I guess ‘yoga-whomp’ is as good as any other, but it does imply that this music is in a dubstep tempo range of 70bpm, which we love. But we also write a lot of music in the mid-tempo range from 100 to 110bpm and uptempo grooves as well, especially on the new album we are working on.
“It’s kind of crazy this is our first Aussie tour considering all the family we have there.”
Australia’s electronic underground... how do we rate on a global scale?
[Amani] We have heard about your scene ages ago, and have wanted to play at your festivals for many years. Since our only actual experience so far is the Solar Eclipse festival in 2012, it would be hard to compare or rate things we have not yet experienced. But I can tell you that your music artists are a huge phenomenon around the globe, and especially in the States. It is truly inspiring to see so many great acts emerging from down under — keep it coming :) [Treavor] We're about to find out soon. We only played out there once and it was the Eclipse Festival, so haven't truly experienced the Australian underground, but considering some of the badass artists coming out of that land, I'm pretty sure it’s gonna be killer!!!
You’re headed out to Australia for Rainbow Serpent and Earth Frequency early next year... will you be looking to connect/ collaborate with any other artists while down under?
[Amani] Well, because we are on tour and timing is always tight, we probably will just be traveling and sightseeing to be honest. But we have had the honour of collaborating with so many of your artists already including Kalya Scintilla, Whitebear, Deya Dova, LubDub, Temple Step Project, Ganga Giri, and Becca Dakini. Many of these artists have released their music on our own label, Desert Trax, and we have done remixes for some of them as well. I feel a real connection with the Australia music movement already! Next on my personal wish list is to try and get Grouch from New Zealand to collaborate with us. He is producing some real mind blowing stuff!
[Treavor] It would be nice, but we actually don't have that many days off. We've already worked with so many of our favourite Aussie artists though, and have such strong connections with them all. It’s kind of crazy this is our first Aussie tour considering all the family we have there.
The next 12 months for Desert Dwellers... what is the plan?
[Treavor] First things first, we are going to have a new album; it’s about halfway done now and sounding really nice! We are also expanding deeper into the international scenes and really just plan to continue to share our music with as many people worldwide as possible.
Desert Dwellers play the Rainbow Serpent Festival on 23rd-26th January, 2015 in Lexton, Victoria. They also play the tenth anniversary Earth Frequency on 13th-16th February, 2015 at Ivory’s Rock, an hour’s drive south from the Brisbane CBD.