Dance

The Knocks Talk New Music, Reminisce About Their Wildest 'House Party' Ever

The Knocks
Rachel Couch

The Knocks

It feels like there's a lot of personality missing in dance music right now and we're trying to bring a bit of that punk rock back into dance records," says B-Roc.

Back in the early days of The Knocks' career, the New York City-based DJ and production duo played a lot of college towns. It was a circuit carved by like-minded acts that fed off the wild frontier of the blog-house electro sound. The guys were young and free, and things were simpler.

One of their favorite things to do after a venue show was ask around for an after-party to play. One night in Boulder, Colorado, the guys were invited back to the house of a group of girls to play in their giant backyard. But as soon as they cued up the first track, cops came to bust the place.

Instead of packing it up, they packed it in to the living room. It turned into the sweatiest, wildest house party either of them had ever played.

“There were kids on the ceiling and the kitchen table, hanging from the walls,” The Knocks' B-Roc remembers. “We had to keep the windows closed to keep the music (from getting) out, so it was literally dripping sweat. It was so hot that you couldn't breathe. It was almost like a sauna and then the fire alarm got set off -- not because of smoke or fire, but because it was so hot. The temperature from the body heat set off the fire alarm, so it had to clear out. Then, when everyone left, we literally had so may people in there that we almost broke the floor. The floor was caved in to a point where it had collected water or beer or whatever, like a little pool.”

The Knocks can't party like that anymore. Agents and managers would freak out, things would get out of hand, it wouldn't be a good look. Yet the luster of those days still shines in the mind and the act tapped into that spirit for single “House Party,” a collaboration with Captain Cuts that lays a funky groove with a fat, gritty synth melody.

The Knocks' JPatt, who has never been afraid to sing on the track, debuts a kind of talk-rap style, just going off about his everlasting party lifestyle and that electricity of putting the function together.

“House Party” is out now on Big Beat Records and it's the first in a forthcoming onslaught on new material. The dudes have been in the studio working on new tracks for an EP and a full-length album. This track and the others in the arsenal are inspired by B-Roc and JPatt's early days, coming up in NYC's blog house scene of '08 and '09.

“We're not trying to recreate that, but just nod to those days,” JPatt says. “There's a lot of musc that came out back then that a lot of people are unaware of, because it was pre-Spotify. Some of those are even pre Soundcloud. If you didn't know what blog to go to to download the Grum remix of ToNy Sparks, you don't know that song, and that song is incredible. There's a lot of music that flew under the radar and we're just trying to recall on that in the studio as much as we can.”

“House Party” definitely has that nu disco, filtered-out French Touch 2.0 jam. It's modern, for sure, but it's got that certain je ne sais quoi that made that era so magical.

“Right now, there's something missing when it comes to dance music,” B-Roc says. “A lot of dance music is made to sound really good and it's all very pleasing to the ear and satisfying, but the content isn't saying much. A songwriter comes and writes a topline about some random love story that probably doesn't exist. It feels like there's a lot of personality missing in dance music right now and we're trying to bring ... a bit of that punk rock back into dance records. Everything is just so polished and it all sounds great, were not trying to hate on anything by any means, but we just kind of miss a little bit of that right now.”

Reminisce about your favorite house party memories by listening to the Captain Cuts collab below and look out for the after-party remix package coming soon.