Respected Dutch production & DJ duo Around Us is celebrating the release of their much-anticipated debut studio LP, ‘Reaching Home’.
The project signals the duo’s debut on Manual Music, with a string of EPs and singles (including ‘Until Fall’, ‘Homecoming’, and ‘Undiscovered Times’) leading up to its release as a monumental 18-track record. An immersive journey reflective of free-flowing sound Around Us has become known for, ‘Reaching Home’ expands upon their captivating story while thrusting them into an auspicious future.
EG caught up with Around Us to learn more about the drop of ‘Reaching Home’, the recording process, their relationship with Manual Music, and more.
EG: Hi guys! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been? Where are you based right now?
Around Us: Hello to you, EG! All is good here. Thank you. We are living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
EG: Congratulations on the release of your ‘Reaching Home’ LP, which is already available via Manual Music. What has the initial reception been like? Have you been able to test these ones live?
Around Us: Thank you. Support has been awesome. Artists like Nick Warren, Hernan Cattaneo, and Eelke Kleijn, to name a few, are supporting our tracks. The tryouts in the club were a success when we played them for an audience. It’s always an exciting moment when you play what you produce.
EG: So, what can your fans expect to find on ‘Reaching Home’? What’s this album all about?
Around Us: The album is a mix of electronic tracks. It has melodic house/warm techno vibes and goes to progressive and organic tracks for the dancefloor. We even asked a guitarist to join us in one of our tracks, ‘Sunrise’.
The name ‘Reaching Home’ means that what we do in the studio is finally at a level where we feel comfortable releasing a variety of electronic beats as an album. Not only for the club but also for when you walk or drive home.
EG: Featuring 18 original tracks, this is quite a monumental effort. You must be really proud of this achievement. How long did it take you to get everything together and program the layout for the record?
Around Us: (Laughter) We are very productive. We actually send Paul from Manual Music some 33 tracks, 2 years ago. Jan knows Paul for 22 years now because of their mutual work in the dance scene as DJs and he proposed the idea of releasing an album after several releases on his label. We discussed which tracks we should work on, and, after several meetings, we came to this collection of tracks.
“The name ‘Reaching Home’ means that what we do in the studio is finally at a level where we feel comfortable releasing a variety of electronic beats as an album”
EG: There are also a couple of collaborations with Callecat and Izak Boom. What was it like working with both of these acts?
Around Us: Callecat are great guys. We have the same humor and laugh a lot when we meet. They became friends and we asked the guys to do a collaboration.
Izak Boom is a fantastic guitarist and is Jan’s uncle. He is a professional guitarist and is doing a lot of studio work for various artists in all kinds of genres.
The combination of dance and guitar was something we always wanted to explore. So we had a very good vibe with these artists in the studio.
EG: So, what does this mean for Around Us? Where are you going musically from here?
Around Us: The name is more or less meaning that when we play in the clubs, we make the vibes together with the crowd in the club. So it happens Around Us.
Musically, we continue to explore the melodic beats we produce at the moment. Musical direction is us looking more and more into modular sounds. We love that stuff. You can already hear this in the album tracks. Lots of melodies that aren’t straightforward.
EG: Do you guys have any plans to showcase ‘Reaching Home’ live in its entirety?
Around Us: At our events in Amsterdam, Around Us Invites, we combine the album tracks in our sets all the time. The total album won’t work on the dance floor. But, who knows, in the right venue we might do a live show.
EG: By the way, how do you keep entertained when not in the studio? Have you checked out any good movies, series, books, or albums you’d recommend?
Around Us: We listen to all kinds of music. And see all kinds of movies. We get inspired by our city, family, friends, and fellow genre producers. Also, the support and fun we have together in the studio provide us with the inspiration to continue.
“Musically, we continue to explore the melodic beats we produce at the moment. Musical direction is us looking more and more into modular sounds”
EG: Can you tell us something about you that very few people know about?
Around Us: Don’t give us any tequila, (laughter)! We won’t say more than that!
EG: What’s next for Around Us? What particular milestones are you looking forwards to this 2023? Where can your fans catch you next?
Around Us: We play at our events Around Us Invites in Amsterdam and play regularly in the city. At the moment, we are doing a collaboration with DJ Gustin, who flies in from Ibiza every month. This EP is almost finished. After the album’s release, in a couple of months, this will be our next move.
EG: Thank you so much for your time guys! We wish you all the best for the future.
Around Us: Likewise EG. Thanks for having us!
Around Us’ ‘Reaching Home’ LP is out now via Manual Music. Purchase your copy here.