Making friends with Polographia
Sydney chill-wave duo POLOGRAPHIA lock in their first ever headline tour to mark the release of their EP, Friends. We chatted with one half of the band, DANIEL JOHN STAPLETON to talk about their release.
Polographia are no strangers to the spotlight. They’ve collaborated with, and supported with some of the most influential dance acts in Australia. Having established their own unique style of production, live acoustic elements has always been a foundational element of their live performances.
You mentioned that you guys prefer to classify yourselves as a band rather than DJs, any specific reason for that?
We both started off DJ’ing under Polographia when we started producing together. To us it was a whole bunch of fun to mix different tracks but at the same time we really wanted to make our shows live. We both play instruments (and had played in various bands before Polographia) so it was always something that was going to happen. Over the last few years we’ve been able to improve the live show with each performance, so we’re stoked to able to take a strong show on the road for this upcoming EP tour.
What do you think sets Polographia apart from other electronic acts on the scene?
I think it might be making our live sets one big continuous mix without any pauses. We like to make keep the grooves going! I think the music is also a nice middle ground between current high-fi produced electronic material but still has soulful / jazzy components that are an ode to our record collection that’s filled with these sort of genres.
How’d you discover your unique chill style?
After years of making music we both tried to stay away from labels cause our music is always changing but ‘Chillwave’ would have to be the start of everything. We both love old-school and electronic music so we just brought them together and really got sunk into it ever since. Having spent a few years in the studio now working on different sub genres of that, we’ve now been able to find what our ‘sound’ is and work towards that with all the upcoming material.
What process of experimenting and playing with sounds did you go through?
We always try to be creative with how we make our sounds. Whether it’s turning our voices into synths all the way to trying to be experimental with some of the samples we use from time to time. We make an effort to think out of the box and start new methods of creating music, try and keep the idea of going into a studio for long periods still exciting.
Can you name any key influences on your style?
TORO Y MOI has always been a big influence for us! But at the moment we’re really digging new material from CHILDISH GAMBINO and CONNAN MOCKASIN.
You’ve had the chance to work with some really interesting Aussie producers like COSMO’S MIDNIGHT what was it like working with them?
It wasn’t something that was planned! It just happened after a couple of friendly hangs.. Moktar was always over their house and he always takes his hard drive everywhere with him. Every now and then we always share demos with each other and Goodnight was just one of them that Moktar had with him. And of course Cosmo’s Midnight being geniuses really did a number with the demo and brought it to life.
How was it producing for HTMLFLOWERS, he’s doing some pretty incredible things in hip hop/electronica and pushing the boundaries?
Grant is one of those guys that is truly an artist. He lives and breathes art.. If you guys know HTMLflowers you know he has a beautiful soul and always has a powerful message to send. Moktar started a track ‘AM’ and quickly finished it off Dan. We both really wanted to send something across to HTMLflowers and thought it would be a perfect track for him.
Did the production of storm bloom influence any of the sounds on Friends your latest EP?
Yes and no cause we’re always looking forward and Friends was heavily inspired by what we were vibing on at the time. But ‘Storm Bloom’ has inspired us to make more music with HTMLflowers and other hip hop artists for sure.
You’ve been busy with developing your music for the latest release Friends, what was is like putting together this EP?
We had so much fun making this EP. We’ve become real close with WINSTON SURFSHIRT and LOOKS FADE over these past few months and we have the EP to thank for that. This has definitely been the biggest thing we’ve worked on to date and now that we’ve found our sound, we can’t wait to do more!
How’s the response been to the EP so far?
We’ve really surprised with the amount of love it’s been getting. We’re stoked that people are vibing on it cause it only just makes us wanna make more music and release a shitload now haha. It’s also allowed us to sell out shows and play festivals – something we’ve never dreamt of doing.
When it comes to technology/sounds, do you think that’s where you differ from other electronic producers in that you’re loyal to acoustic elements?
I think it’s just how you use the instruments I guess!
What’s it like combining elements of ‘bands’ with ‘dance’?
It’s so much fun being able to perform. It’s always a highlight for us! We both prefer to play instruments when were on stage cause it something we’re used to and comfortable with. It’s nice.
What are your thoughts about the rise of dance culture?
We think it’s great. Everyone is killing it at the moment
The LIVE element has always been really crucial for you guys, how does it influence the way you develop your performances?
It’s really important to always have fun with our live show. We’re always looking for ways to make it more exciting. We would really like to expand the show with more people to join us on stage and bring in more gear! It’s all baby steps though
Were there any LIVE producers/acts that stood out to you and influenced your sets?
Our good friends at RUFUS always take our breath away. We make completely different music but they are true performers. Hopefully our live show will get to that sort of level one day. NICOLAS JAAR and SHIGETO are a couple of other live acts we’re loving at the moment.
You guys were labelled artists to watch in 2014, and since have gone on to do some incredible collabs and support sets, what’s been a stand out experience so far?
This Friends EP has got to be the biggest highlight for us. We didn’t think any of this stuff would happen!
Polographia tour dates
Fri 25 November – The Workers Club, Melbourne – tix HERE
Sat 26 November – Newtown Social, Sydney – tix HERE
Fri 2 December – El Grotto, Perth – tix HERE
Fri 9 December – Rocket Bar, Adelaide – tix HERE
Words by Rosie Rae