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In the second of a new series of interviews with artists, DJs and collectives that are making waves in the North West of England and beyond we grabbed a quick chinwag with tech house duo Solardo.

From attending illegal raves in Manchester to regularly playing elrow, Sankeys Ibiza and The Warehouse Project (which they’re playing this weekend), the duo’s meteoric rise to the top of the tech house tree in just under two years has been nothing short of astounding.

The duo, which consists of Mark Richards & James Eliott, have been on the up ever since their breakthrough track, ‘New Jam’, released in 2015 via Viva Music, went onto become an Ibiza anthem over the summer.

Since then, they’ve had a string of releases on a variety of labels, with their biggest release to date, ‘Tribesmen’, dropping next week on Jamie Jones’ Hot Creations.

The pair also run a weekly radio show on Rinse FM and are residents of the well known Kaluki party as well as running their own successful event series, Solardo Sessions.

With so much going on, we thought we’d find how Manchester has shaped their musical outlook and output, what they’ve got planned in the coming months (including their Amsterdam Sea Sessions concept), and what’s next for the colourful Manchester duo.

Tell us about your next release on Hot Creations? It seems to be getting a lot of attention online.

Yeah we’ve never had hype about one of our tracks like what we have had about ‘Tribesmen’. We sent it to Jamie Jones and he got back to us within a week and signed is as a a-side for an EP on Hot Creations. Then luckily enough the next track we made which was ‘Psycho Ex Girlfriend’ and he took it straight away for the b-side which completed the EP.

Is being from Manchester an important part of your identity?

Being from Manchester is a massive part of our identity because there’s so much musical history in the city and is being two local lads watching the full journey from the Hacienda to Sankeys and now The Warehouse Project. We feel Manchester has really influenced our sound because we grew up listening to people like 808 State with all the old school acid sounds which we now try to incorporate in most of our music.

Which Manchester clubs did you used to go to before you blew up as Solardo?

We used to go to all different venues mainly Sankeys and The Warehouse project but many nights we would find ourselves in mad illegal raves in disused warehouses in and around the Manchester area.

Tell us about this Amsterdam Sea Sessions you’ve got coming up – you’ve chartered a ship, right?

Yeah well the ship leaves Newcastle to Amsterdam on Friday 11th November and returns on Sunday. Basically it’s a two day rave on a cruise liner with a 5 hour stop in Amsterdam with us and various other DJs who we’ve hand-picked (the ones that can party the hardest haha).

You’re really active on social media – what’ the weirdest/most outlandish thing someone has said to you online?

Well we’ve had a few marriage proposals. Also we get so many random people offering forfeits for guest list and V.I.P passes for sold out events we are playing.

What’s next for Solardo?

A lot more of the same really, make more music, keep pushing our label Solä and keep building our party Solardo Sessions. We are actually doing a Solardo Sessions UK tour early next year but can’t give away to many details away just yet.

If your studio was on fire and you could save one thing – what would you choose and why?

Without a shadow of a doubt out Moog Slim Phatty Stage 2 because it has been the foundation of all our basslines for virtually all of our music. Speakers would be next if we had time.

Solardo’s ‘Tribesmen’ is out October 14 via Hot Creations, and can be purchased here.


Andrew Rafter

Andrew Rafter is the editor and founder of Harder Blogger Faster.