The Twelves Talk Mixtapes, Radiohead, Daft Punk, Europe vs. America, Coachella, and More

Categories: Interview
the twelves photo.jpg
The Twelves are scheduled to perform on Sunday at 910 Live.
Like many other DJs and EDM artists have done in recent years, the Brazilian beat-blasting duo of João Miguel and Luciano Oliveira (a.k.a. The Twelves) made it to the big time via the blogosphere.

After their raucous remixes of MIA, Asobi Seksu, and Erlend Oye garnered rave reviews on the Interwebs, the producing pair found themselves performing on BBC, signed to deal with Modular Records, and gigging at SXSW and other tastemaking festivals around the world. Miguel and Oliveira are still getting mad love for such mixtapes as The Twelfth Hour and Twelves to Midnight, and are even scheduled to appear Coachella in April.

Before heading to Indio, however, The Twelves will stage a session on Sunday at 910 Live in Tempe. If you'd like a primer on the duo and their addictive mixes (try giving 'em a listen without getting hooked, we dare you), be sure to peruse the e-mail interview that New Times did with The Twelves.
The Twelves - BBC 5 Min Mix by discothreat

New Times: What is each of your musical backgrounds The Twelves?

The Twelves: : We were both in indie rock bands before we started The Twelves It was good, but [it] soon dawned on us that we weren't quite into it as much as we should be. So we started experimenting together with loops and Ableton and before you knew it, we were sending bootlegs to blogs and getting really good feedback.

New Times: Your mixtapes are a thing of beauty. How much work do you put into 'em:

The Twelves: : A lot. I think people underestimate how much time we put in. When we play a live show it is slightly different, but if we are doing a studio mix for a blog or podcast, it can take literally weeks of planning as we want it to be perfect. Or at least as perfect as it can be.

New Times: How much do you agonize over the finished product?

The Twelves: : Massively. Our management are always saying that we should just let it go, but when it is something that represents us, we agonize over it for ages and tweak things here and there until we are completely satisfied with it.

New Times: How to you determine which songs to include?

The Twelves: : It's a combination of what we have to work with at the time and what is hot in the musical landscape at the time. We're not in any way genre-specific as we generally take stems of tracks and remix them as we're playing so we can play anything from rock tunes to house music, so long as we can put our spin on it we'll definitely have a go.

New Times: How much of your remixes or mixtapes are original, and how much is working with existing songs?

The Twelves: : Mostly we only use the vocals from other people's tracks. The vocal is the best part of the song to work with, we have found, because it creates the basic structure and melodies for the track. We never mess with the timing in the vocals, just load it in and build around it so that whatever we do with the rest of the track, it is still in some way distinguishable to the original.

New Times: Do you make good songs even better?

The Twelves: : We like to think that we add an element of flair to already great tracks.

New Times: Are there certain songs you've wanted to include but have been unable to use?

The Twelves: : In terms of playing them, not really. But in terms of actually releasing them, we have one that we would desperately like to get out to the public - The "Reckoner" remix of Radiohead. We love that track and I think it is probably the one that sticks in our fans' minds the most also.

New Times: What tools do you use to create your music?

The Twelves: : Ableton Live, a Macbook Pro and some MIDI keyboards and soundcards. We recently made the move from PCs to Macs [and] are still getting used to it, but it is a much more stable platform to work with.

New Times: How much of your output is original work versus remixes and mixtapes?

The Twelves: : In the past the majority of our work has been on remixes. That was how we came into the spotlight and where many think our talent lies. But more recently we have been working on original material with a view to reeling something this year. We don't think anyone has heard the true sound of The Twelves yet, so this is something we really want to show to the people.

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