Ben O’Connor and Jon Verde, the Northern tech-house team going by OC & VERDE who's music you will have most definitely heard doing the rounds in clubs, spent last year going from strength to strength. Born in the 80's and raised in the 90's on acid house, techno and synth pop, the duo has been delivering original and heavily influenced tracks periodically throughout that time. With support in sets from the likes of Hot Since 82, Richy Ahmed, Cristoph, Detlef, Anek and countless other names – the support from their counterparts is continuing into 2017 as they look forward to new releases.
With three releases coming in March, including a new EP Rain/Aviator, we here at EARMILK wanted to take it back to the beginnings and talk about last year's success. 2016 saw the release of the Maasai EP which really put the talented duo on the map and saw a monumental amount of support – we asked them how the release on Knee Deep In Sound materialised:
Our manager got us a remix for Defected Records. We did it and sent it too them and they knocked it back and said they didn't want it which we were gutted about at the time because we thought the track was really good. Also at that time our manager was chatting to Daley about something on email and he phoned us saying have you got anything you want me to send to Hot Since 82, so we quickly took the vocal of the remix that Defected had knocked back renamed the track "Symphony" and Daley took it for Knee Deep. So it was half an accident and half being in the right place at the right time really, but that opened the door for us to send Daley ‘Maasai' and ‘Iboga' which he snapped up, and that was our first EP on Knee Deep In Sound. 'Maasai' was massive for us last year and still is now to be honest, a lot of that is down to the support that Daley gave it so we can't thank him enough really for putting us on the map.
With the previous year also seeing OC & Verde making many of their big UK club debuts including the infamous EGG club in London, Mint Club in Leeds and The Steelyard – many of their most memorable gigs came in 2016. But as many artists will highlight, the white isle stuck with them most.
Playing Sankeys Ibiza for Viva Warriors for the first time last year was amazing. The crowds in Ibiza are the best we've ever played for and that gig will always be so memorable. The place was rammed from start to finish and literally every track we played went nuts, such a good vibe in there for that night.
Their upcoming three releases are coming on three reputable labels in the tech-house world. Barcelona-based Suara, Lawler's VIVa label, and Glasgow Underground are all bringing an OC & Verde release this month. The Glasgow Underground release, Rain/Aviator, is a 2 track EP with tracks of the same name. "Aviator" is a deep, dark journey – swaying more towards the techno side of things and keeping true to the mesmerizing heavy synth and bassline sounds OC & Verde have created for themselves.
We wrote "Aviator" and "Rain" last summer. They came about pretty quickly which isn't like us as normally we take a while with tracks, but those two just fell into place. We wanted to do an EP that was slightly tougher than previous tracks we've put out to reflect some of the techno we play in our sets and I think this EP has done that and we're really happy. It's on Glasgow Underground too which is a great label.
The release of the EP is accompanied by a big year for the duo. After an accomplished 2016, the duo no doubt has even bigger plans for this coming year's performances as they build up their resume. Festivals and Ibiza seem to be highest on the agenda.
We’re really excited for Beatherder festival this summer, it's pretty much a home town gig for us and it's probably the best festival we've been to so we can't wait to play that. Also a few Ibiza dates are being discussed but we can't talk too much about them yet, but we’ve also got some cool UK gigs coming up. One of them is a daytime gig in London called Ritual and the production these guys put into it looks wicked.
The Rain/Aviator EP is available to purchase on Glasgow Underground from the 24th March 2017, but until then, listen to it above.
You can catch OC & Verde in the UK on the dates below:
25/03 Century Club, London
22/04 MiNT Club, Leeds
17/05 Mangle E8, London
30/05 Gorilla, Manchester