Interview by Callum Reid
After months in the studio, local electronic duo Hartway have released their debut EP Motions. Drawing inspirations from the likes of FKJ and Flight Facilities, Hartway produce house and acid-jazz duo beats with sexy layers of sax. Conor Barkway (DJ/producer) and Jack Degenhart (instrumentalist) have been making waves in the Adelaide as recent winners of the Fresh 92.7 Producer’s Series where they worked closely with Luke Million and Oisima, and performed on stage with KLP for the Adelaide leg of her national tour.
Yewth (in the form of Callum Reid) caught up with Hartway about the release of Motions ahead of their launch at Rocket Bar & Rooftop this Saturday.
Callum: Congrats on the new EP! I personally could not wait to hear it... What can people expect to hear in this release?
Conor: Thanks heaps! It feels great to finally be releasing a body of work that we’re really proud of. I think the EP sets the tone for the kind of music we want to be making in the future. It lives somewhere between the realms of acid jazz and house, and we’re really happy with the variation it has from start to finish. With each of the five tracks, we’ve done our best to blend a healthy mix of both electronic and organic elements, and create a vibe that you can either dance to, or chill out to.
Also, a huge congrats on being selected as the winners for the Fresh 92.7 Producer’s Series earlier this year! How was that experience?
Jack: Incredible! Getting to spend three full days in the studio with Luke Million and Oisima was truly invaluable, and it couldn’t have come at a better time while we were trying to hone our craft. We learnt so much from the guys, and were over the moon with the two tracks we came out with. It felt like a real kick start for 2017, and it’s led so so many other awesome opportunities, not to mention an overwhelming amount of radio play.
You've been pretty busy with gigs lately, recently performing at Electro Live out the front of the Fresh 92.7 studios! How did that gig go for you guys?
C: Electro Live was such a cool vibe! It was a really intimate setting, and the audience was so receptive. It felt like we were playing in front of family! Stoked that everyone got up and had a dance towards the end of the set as well. It was the first time we properly performed ‘Dreaming’ live too, so that was pretty special.
Before that, you even performed onstage with Triple J's KLP at Fat Controller - that looked like such a wicked vibe! How did that relationship come about?
J: That was such a crazy experience. The relationship came about during RCC this year. KLP was after a sax or trumpet player to play for a few tunes during her set and thankfully, Zane Dean the legend from Fresh 92.7 passed my name on. KLP is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and as you mentioned, she even invited us to perform our own track on stage with her during her latest national tour. We ran with ‘Beyond (feat. Lesley Williams)’, and noticed for the first time that people were singing the lyrics back. Such a memorable night!
Your upcoming EP launch is happening at Rocket Bar this Saturday (26th August). What can people expect from the show? Any special guests lined up?
C: We love playing live, and we’ll be going all out for the launch party. You can expect our signature live sax and bongos, the stunning vocals of Lesley Williams, and we’ll also be accompanied by some other killer horn players for a few jams too! Basically, we’ll be trying to give the audience every opportunity to get down and boogie. We’ve got another big surprise involving a particular type of saxophone too, but you’ll have to come to the gig to find out exactly what that is…
It seems like you two are pretty bloody good at remixing some unconventional tunes; the Play School theme, Game Of Thrones theme, Super Mario theme... What other themes have you got in your sight? Seinfeld maybe?
J: Haha, Seinfeld could be a good one... Sometimes it’s harder to paint from a blank canvas, so putting our own spin on a classic theme tune can be a great creative outlet, and obviously a bit of fun!
What lies in store for you guys on the back of this EP? Any other new tunes in the works?
C: Good question! We’ve been so encompassed by the EP that we haven’t looked too far beyond it really. Now that we’ve kind of ‘found our sound’, we’re really looking forward to taking it further, and already have a few ideas in the mix for the next EP. We’ve met so many incredible people this year too, and definitely have plans for some future collaborations. It’s all pretty exciting, and we can’t wait to find out what’s next for the Hartway project ourselves!
Finally (and most importantly)... What is your favourite pizza?
C: Definitely BBQ Chicken.
J: Hmm, it’d probably have to be Margherita with Pepperoni and Olives.
Catch Hartway launching their debut EP this Saturday at Rocket Bar with supports Cavlry and Cazeux O.S.L.O. via the event here.