TWO LANES' "Never Enough" came into my life at a time of a crossroads when I felt really lost and had no idea what's going on. I have experienced both great and sorrow moments ever since, but I clearly remember back in July last year when I spent countless hours listening to the track in my aparment in Berlin. Somehow the lyrics really resonated with me and the music was just... one of the most beautiful things ever.
The 2 brothers are (for me) at the forefront of the new wave of electronic music and I really appreciate their craft and how quicky (and much) they've come in just a few years time. They've been working really hard and had been super consistent when it comes to releasing. They also joined bitbird who we admire a lot and this seems to have been a great partnership!
Having them over for a chat is true blessing and I hope you find it interesting as well!
Hi guys! Where do we find you today?
Hey, thanks for having us! We are in our studio right now which is located in Berlin Friedrichshain, right at the Spree. We recently released our new single with Panama called "Rolling Back" as part of our upcoming Reflections EP. We try to come to the studio every day to work on new music.
Who is the older brother by the way?
Leo is actually 5 years older than me (Rafa).
Does being siblings helps or the opposite when working on TWO LANES not only from the music perspective but the project as a whole - visual identity, live performances, administration etc.
Being brothers is definitely an advantage when it comes to being honest and trusting each other which is crucial if you make music with other people. We can be very straightforward and know how to get through difficult times. We couldn’t imagine making music with someone else, to be honest.
Berlin is the world's electronic music capital. To what extend you think it has shaped your music's essence and do you think being there gives any advantage for artists in the organic electronic/techno scene?
We have always been big fans of so-called melodic techno and downtempo music. Artists such as Paul Kalkbrenner, Moderat, and andhim were huge inspirations to us when we started out with producing music. But it was also the whole post-modern, Erased-Tapes-aesthetics that had a big impact on our musical perception.
The good thing about living in Berlin is that you can easily connect with all kinds of artists, producers, and sound engineers. Getting an insight into their work process can be such an inspiration.
Leo, you studied classical music at The Juilliard School (NYC). How much of your classical training you bring when creating the music of TWO LANES and do still work on classical music on the side?
Becoming a musician was a decision that I made very early on in my life, when I was about 10 or 11 years old after I had heard a recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. If you study an instrument you not only develop technical skills and gather knowledge about music theory and music in general, it is also an intensive confrontation with oneself. This whole journey has shaped me as a person and the way I perceive and make music. When it comes to making music there is probably a lot I am doing a certain way because of my education.
Since I am a pianist we have been incorporating the piano more and more into our tracks lately. We also started releasing piano versions of already existing tracks and are planning on doing more in that direction.
I tried to do both things at the same time but came to the conclusion that it is not possible - at least for me - to perform at my best if I have too many things going on, so I decided to focus exclusively on electronic music. I am still practicing if I find the time and also started to write pieces for the piano a while ago.
What's one thing each of you appreciates about the other when it comes to making music together?
Leo: Rafa has a very genuine approach to music. He can tell immediately when an idea has potential.
Rafa: Leo always prepares good food for the studio (and is a decent piano player)
Rafa, you have been the first one to start producing electronic music - what kind of music did you use to create back then?
I was a huge Justice fan when I started out producing electronic music. I listened to their tracks over and over and wanted to create something in that same sonic realm. But I also experimented with other genres. In the beginning, it was just about trying out a lot of different things and getting to know the process of producing music.
If you need to describe your music with one adjective (each of you), which one would it be?
If you could collaborate with any artist who would that be and why?
Bonobo is the first name that comes to mind - although there are many other artists out there that we would like to work with. We love the sound of his productions: there is always something interesting going on, full of detail - however, it never sounds overly complicated and there is something very uplifting and genuine in his music. We like it if you can hear this spontaneous energy from the production process in a track.
What's next for TWO LANES?
We are currently in the process of releasing our new EP Reflections. A lot of work has gone into making these tracks and we can’t wait to share this EP with the world. It will also be available on vinyl.
Besides that, we are preparing our live set right now. Bringing our music on stage will be the next step for us. We are excited to start performing once shows will be back.