Locally Grown: LOL Boys
"We’ve always been influenced by emotional vibes and this is the first time we’ve really honed that in."
In a pre-SoundCloud era, Jerome Potter and Markus Garcia, of the cheekily named DJ project LOL Boys, found each other on an online messaging board, quickly connecting over similar musical tastes that include ‘90s house music put out by Chicago labels Dance Mania and Trax. Apart from being new producers that had both once lived in that city, what unites the duo and distinguishes them is their embracing of what others might see as an obstacle to constant collaboration, their physical distance: Potter lives in L.A., while Garcia calls Montreal home. They accomplish this by utilizing the Internet to inform everything LOL Boys: it’s in how they met, their homage to web slang moniker, the place where tracks are swapped back and forth during production time, and even the source of creative inspiration for the visual side of their music, which includes music videos and a Tumblr where oddball memes and ‘90s cartoonish graphics are posted as a way for listeners to enter their off-kilter world. “[It’s an] Internet extension of our real life persona,” Garcia explains.
LOL Boys rely on an eclectic rotation of worldly musical influences that begins with electronic acts like Dubbel Dutch and Kraftwerk but continues with genres outside the dance music terrain, like an array of funky Latin beats, bands such as Explosions in the Sky and female siren Fiona Apple. “If you [only] surround yourself with the same style of music [you produce], you’re just going to end up sounding like that,” Garcia says. Rather, their diverse array of influences that stretches from music to pop culture results in club music that mixes bass beats and funky vibes with the occasional nostalgic ‘90s reference through sound sampling that follows their visual side, like past used quintessential 56k dial-up modem sounds.
What Potter describes as, "house informed romantic vibes" first landed support of artists like Teki Latex and A-Trak and led to remixes with Para One, Gold Panda and most recently Shlohmo on their fourth EP, Changes slated for a July 17 release with L.A.-based record label Friends of Friends. Potter and Garcia are especially excited about their first release with Friends of Friends because along with collabs with their artists, they’ve received incredible support. “Friends of Friends artists seemed to be the first group to really take us in and treat us like we were part of a collective,” says Potter.
A departure from current electronic releases, Changes uses no samples and shows a clear maturity through an overarching female vocal presence from Heart Streets and Angelina Lucero that lends a new emotional side to their percussive based sound. It’s still dance music, but when Lucero sings, “How can I get you in my arms?” on the title track and "Get Close To Me" to the sound of repetitive cymbal strikes you know you’ve hit something special. “It’s the first EP that really sounds like us. We’ve always been influenced by emotional vibes, and this is the first time we’ve really honed that in,” says Garcia.
LOL Boys may be moving up, but deep down the duo are true to their name. As Garcia puts it: “You should just like whatever you like, listen to music and have a good time.” We couldn’t agree more.
Changes will be out on the Friends of Friends label on July 17. Pre-order it here.
Image by Jennifer Dunaj