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Electric Zoo with Nervo: Why the macho men of dance music should take note

This summer was anything but average for Liv and Mim Nervo. Before touching down in New York City to take on the main stage of Electric Zoo, the twins spent two months on the sunny Spanish island of Ibiza, jetted to Amsterdam to work hand-in-hand with Armin van Buuren, and landed their Hook N Sling collaboration, “Reason,” in Beatport’s top 10.

I caught up with the girls before their set and we spoke about everything from dance music geography to future productions to the industry’s latest controversy. Let’s just say the bubbly Aussies have a mindset that the majority of producers or DJs lack — and the macho men of dance music should take note.

Splitting their time between Ibiza and the states, Nervo has felt out the many tastes for dance music across the globe. The duo reiterated their love for house – yes, old school house – yet established their ability to adjust accordingly and deliver whatever a crowd may desire. “Ibiza is a lot more housey, old school housey, less electro,” explained Mim, seemingly excited about both sides of the fence. Quick to point out a difference in sets when it came to crossing the seas, she continued, “In America, the kids just want it harder and harder, so we play a harder set out here.”

Afrojack, Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike, and Nervo – The Way We See The World

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That’s when I learned the biggest lesson of my Electric Zoo weekend: never underestimate a Nervo twin when she says she is planning to go hard. Following up on their promise, they opened with a never-before-heard festival edit of “The Way We See The World,” which they also gave us a fair warning about, claiming it would be “Just epic, really cool, and really different.”

Of course, they included some electro staples such as edits of “Kick Out The Epic Motherfucker” and “Here We Go,” which seemed to be the festival’s unofficial anthems by the time they took the stage on day 2. However, they would pick up the slack by following with two unreleased tracks. Their upcoming Nicky Romero collaboration “Like Home” worked wonders, as did the highly anticipated “Army,” which Liv said would “finally [be] coming out by year’s end.”

Nervo & Nicky Romero – Like Home (Snippet)

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Original productions aside, most interesting was Nervo’s bootleg selection, which featured a mash up of David Guetta’s “Sunshine” with Calvin Harris’ “Spectrum,” a mix of Nicky Romero’s “Toulouse,” and a blend of Porter Robinson’s “Language” with Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida.” Respectfully, the twins dropped these bootlegs without complaint from any of the mega producers mentioned in the preceeding list.

You may have seen your Twitter timeline blow up last week with Tweets from SHM blasting Hardwell for giving away bootleg packs in exchange for Facebook likes. Given the recent timing and extensive use of bootlegs by the girls, I asked for their take. “We would be honored for Robbert Hardwell to mash up any of our records,” Liv gleefully proclaimed. Both twins had Hardwell’s back, recognizing his longevity, “The guy [Hardwell] has them [Facebook likes] already, he’s incredibly talented, and he’s always shared his bootlegs,” Mim chimed in.

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Nervo vs Hook N Sling – Reason (Original Mix)

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Our favorite Aussie twins would finally bring their main stage set to a close with their brand new Beatport chart-topper and a surprise appearance from the track’s co-producer Hook N Sling. Seeking a brief background of the production that made its way to a top 10 slot in its first week, Liv filled us in on all that is “Reason.” “So we were in Sydney with Anthony. We love Anthony, hes a good friend of ours,” she said. “We had half a day in the studio, still 7 hours. The track just wrote itself.”

Celebrating the instant success of “Reason,” Nervo cooked up a surprise guest for Electric Zoo attendants, calling on their buddy Anthony to join them on stage for their collaborative finale. The twins continued to gloat about how they brought Hook N Sling to New York on such short notice, explaining “We basically called him 2 days ago when the record went top 10 on Beatport, and we said we have to somehow be together when we’re playing this.”

To say the least, I was overly impressed with their attitude towards the scene, their respect for the genre, and their well-rounded outlook on dance music around the world. The low barrier for entry in electronic music has allowed amateur artists join the league with formulaic productions and exaggerated claims of standing behind one side of dance music’s continuous battle to win over fan bases with loyalties to either underground or mainstream house.

Liv and Mim are not those artists; they have proclaimed their own sound and courageously support all styles of house. These honest traits, along with a contagious stage presence, prove Nervo holds the formula to be a beloved DJ duo. Dance music’s biggest acts, those that receive never ending critcism, should look no further than the Nervo twins and their Electric Zoo exhibit as a model for how to get the job done — and look good doing it too.

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