While NYU’s music scene is more typically associated with the indie rock genre, there’s a plethora of students whose tastes are more diverse. Students Nick Kohler and Alex Blanton are a perfect example of just that. By day, the two sophomores attend class – Kohler in Steinhardt and Blanton in Stern – but by the night, the two perform as Electronic Sound Outfit, a techno-dance DJ duo with a serious set of skills.
Currently signed to 50/50 Records, the pair recently sat down with our staff for a video interview, which can be viewed on WSN’s YouTube page. They revealed that they both came from the same town before joining forces within the past year to work shows together. And while you wouldn’t expect two boys from Tennessee to be emulating the likes of David Guetta and Calvin Harris, all doubts vanish upon listening to them play.
Kohler elaborated on the challenges of working as a duo in mixing.
“Since we are both DJing at the same time with the same equipment, it can be challenging to coordinate with each other. Our performance has to be flawless, so we have to be in sync with each other and think like one person.” Their show last Thursday at M Lounge demonstrated the tight synchronicity between the two, who would either communicate with few words or anticipate what the other would do next.
The crowd of young urban dwellers thrived under ESO’s live mixing last week, which was impressive, even to an untrained ear. Both Kohler and Blanton danced enthusiastically as they worked, often jumping out of the booth to mix with clubgoers before returning to liven the mood even more.
When it comes to writing their own music, however, the duo takes a completely different perspective. Kohler said, “Composing dance music is a lot like composing a symphony. With a symphony, the composer has to think about all the instruments involved and write parts specifically for them. Dance is the same.”
Having played numerous shows this year already, the two have hopes of reaching larger, more prestigious venues, in addition to releasing their own music. Their latest single, “Rvltn,” was released last Thursday, and it carried more than enough energy to pump up the crowd later that evening. With such formidable talent in both composing music and mixing it live, it’s hard to imagine that Electronic Sound Outfit will be anything but successful in years to come.
Alexandria Ethridge is music editor. Email her at [email protected]