Bringing forth a new testament, renowned explorer Terron Darby presents his ‘First Contact EP’, a menagerie of tracks that exemplify the artist’s broad creative scope and metier for storytelling. Following an eventful summer and European tour, the FNR and Dance Artifakts founder is breathing a different air as he plans for an even brighter future.
We caught up with Terron Darby to learn more about the drop of ‘First Contact’ EP on Dance Artifakts and other interesting stuff.
EG: Hi Terron! Welcome back to EG. Always a pleasure to have you here with us. Where are you based right now? How have things been going this year?
Terron Darby: Hello and thank you. It’s always a pleasure to speak with EG. I spend most days between Florida and New York. For the last 2.5 years, I’ve spent more time at the beach. This year seems to have flown by with family, friends, and a bit of travel. Everything is flowing nicely so far; I’m looking forward to the fall and winter seasons.
EG: What was your summer like? Any particular highlights?
Terron Darby: This summer was filled with yoga, family, music, and technology. As for highlights, my label Dance Artifakts debuted on a European tour. We traveled to Berlin, Dublin, and Waterford. We released massive tunes from Anthony Georges Patrice, The Antelope, Remix Collection 001, and celebrating the 20th release this month from yours truly. We also added color to the artwork for the ‘Remix Collection’ and my latest EP, ‘First Contact’. There will be some exciting new art coming soon with a bit of color pop. The tour, releases, and celebrating our 20th release filled me with love and gratitude. I was able to spend quality time with many of the artists on the label, some that I met ‘in person’ for the first time. I also DJ’d my first “ecstatic dance” set at the ‘Yoga and Arts Festival’ in Berlin. Bonus, I was able to attend the AES and NAB show in New York, that’s always a highlight for learning about new technology to integrate into both my studio design career and audio production life. Overall, that was a perfect summer for me. Thank you, universe.
EG: Congratulations on the release of your ‘First Contact’ EP on Dance Artifakts! What has the initial reception been like?
Terron Darby: I have received fantastic support from producers I dig like Sabo, Marco Faraone, Jimi Jules, Dodi Palese, Danny Serrano, Gene Farris, Radeckt, Jepe, Bog, M.A.N.D.Y., Horse Meat Disco, Just Her, APSTE, Braxton, Harri, Black Coffee, Bill Brewster, Eelke Kleijn, Nicole Moudaber and many more. The feedback means the world to me. Thank you to all that have supported me. I’m super stoked about this release. It’s my first solo release on the label and I’m looking forward to many more to come.
EG: So, what’s the concept behind ‘First Contact’? Is there a thread connecting all five tracks
Terron Darby: There is a connection between the title and the songs. The backstory is a bit long, but the short version is, enter ‘Zion’, no matter how big or small, we all have mountains to climb in the ebbs and flows of life. I feel we all strive to reach some form of “peace” in all aspects of our lives. I feel the music and video for ‘T’s We All Have Mountains to Climb Mix’ portrays the human experience through different challenges/inspirations we all overcome/experience daily. There is wonderment all around us. The first time I listened to the final masters I was driving through Zion National Park, so it simply fit.
‘Solitary State’ is from loads of self-reflection and personal growth with my health and spirituality. This inner work allowed me to connect with what I call “the source”. It’s a conversation we all need to have with ourselves. With radical self-care and integration of lifestyle change, I’ve attuned my energy to the astrological position in life. Through my yoga practice, I learned that we are capable of moving energy around with our breath. I’ve become more aware of the earth’s energy forces that influence our nervous systems. We need to integrate these powerful energy systems. On that spiritual tip, I learned about C.M.E.’s (Coronal Mass Ejection a.k.a. sun flares), Think, the sun burped, and this burp sends a stream of charged energy to Earth. This energy travels fast and is strong (and is known as a “geomagnetic storm”). The force of this solar wind enables it to push its way into our planet’s energy field. So now, we are being bathed in energy that came straight from the sun.
In Greek mythology and astrology, ‘Chiron’s Transit’ can mark major turning points or events in your life. They represent an opportunity – or series of opportunities – to align with your deeper nature and allow it to manifest in the world.
The alternate version of ‘Zion (We Are All Walking Each Other Home Mix)’. This tune is beatless, ambient, and warm. It expresses the sentiment of a ‘hug’ or holding hands walking in ‘Zion’ as we all experience these external energies. We can all help each other live our most authentic lives.
‘First Contact’ has parallel meanings for me, both spiritually and marking the first of many solo releases. Stay tuned.
“Each of these records has its own unique sound or mood, there is a little something for everyone”
EG: That was deep, thanks! Now, what can your fans expect to find on this one, musically speaking? How has your sound evolved since your last outing on Dance Artifakts?
Terron Darby: Each of these records has its own unique sound or mood, there is a little something for everyone. My sound is forever evolving, I could not be happier with my workflow these days. There is a touch of classic house, breakbeat, melodic techno, deep house, and ambient vibes. On ‘Zion’ there is a beautiful cello recording that I really love. Enjoy.
EG: By the way, this is Dance Artifakts’ 20th release. Congratulations! How do you feel about the journey so far? What can you tell us about the first annual European Dance Artifakts tour
Terron Darby: Thank you. This is a special one, my first solo release on the label, it’s a true milestone and the journey has been wonderful. The tour was a culmination of our first vinyl and nineteen releases leading up to the tour, each release holds a special space for me and the artist. The tour kicked off with playing my first “ecstatic dance” set at the Yoga and Arts Festival in Berlin. The next weekend, we played a very special club night with Quarion, Anthony Georges Patrice, Geoff Foley, Declan Burke, Jay Skelly, and yours truly on the decks. The crowd was there till the end and Anthony closed us out like a champ. The vibe was on. The following week landed in Ireland, Dublin, and Waterford. The lineup in Dublin was Neil Flynn, Jay Skelly, Between Ourselves, and myself. The club Hang Dai is straight out of the movie Blade Runner. Loved it. That sound system/booth is the nicest setup I’ve played on. We danced till closing. Absolute legendary space, staff, and dancers. Thank you, Dublin, and all that traveled to dance with us. Waterford was with hometown faves Between Ourselves, NeverMore, Declan Burkes (DJ debut), local legend Noel Cleary, and me. The turnout was a packed club, and we are already scheduled to return this December 2nd with Akari, SX2, and Declan Burke. Exciting times. If you are in the area that weekend stop by Electric Avenue.
EG: What does your studio look like at the moment? Any new soft or hardware that you’d recommend?
Terron Darby: My studio has been the same for some time. For this project, I used various analog synths, soft synths, and drum machines like Moog Grandmother, Korg Minilogue XD, Roland TR-8S, Elektron Digitakt, Elektron Analog Four, TB-303, Native Instruments Maschine, Big Sky Reverb, and Juno 106. As for the gear I’d recommend, I would def say the ERM Multiclock is my favorite piece of equipment at the moment. Oh, and also the Elektron HEAT box.
EG: How do you keep entertained when you’re not in the studio? Any good books, movies, or series you’d recommend?
Terron Darby: I recently started the new ‘Game Of Thrones’, so I’ll let you know. Otherwise, if you haven’t seen Ted Lasso, do yourselves a favor and check it out. It’s hilarious and perfectly cast. As for books, not for the faint-hearted but ‘The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology’ by Ray Kurzweil. I don’t get a chance to watch television or shows but I do practice yoga daily and this makes me happy. If you want to read something spiritual check out ‘Osho: Living Dangerously – Ordinary Enlightenment for Extraordinary Times (Masters of Wisdom)’.
“This is a special one, my first solo release on the label, it’s a true milestone and the journey has been wonderful”
EG: What are your current thoughts on the state of the scene? What would you like to see more and less of?
Terron Darby: Depending on what part of the world you live in, my answer is a little of the same but different, more undiscovered talent in the big parties/festivals and less undiscovered talent not being booked in the big parties/festivals. Also, few venues feature a weekly dance party dedicated to House music to support the locals in their community. More often, promoters create monthly or destination events—the sort of events that generate less risk than a weekly residency. I know that’s a big ask, but most of the large production venues really overshadow the ‘local’ thing and smaller events can’t compete with all the lasers, lights, and $$$ of these elaborate production venues. I fully understand the need to draw ticket sales with big names. I would like to see the big names still but let’s shake it up a bit. I really like what Man Power is doing, it’s important for the next generation to have an opportunity. New blood is good blood IMHO.
EG: What’s next for Terron Darby & Dance Artifakts? What particular milestones are you looking forwards to now?
Terron Darby: There are some great records coming out from some new faces and of course the regular suspects. I’m working on my first Dolby Atmos mix. That’s exciting as I design Dolby Atmos rooms in my studio design career, it’s merging my two worlds and it feels great. Dolby Atmos technology is a lot of fun to work with. We are excited to continue our label showcases around the globe. As I mentioned earlier, after our debut in Europe this summer we are returning to Electric Avenue in Waterford, Ireland. More info on U.S. dates coming soon.
EG: Thank you so much for your time, Terron! We wish you all the best for the future.
Terron Darby: Thank you, it’s always a pleasure to chat with you.
Terron Darby’s ‘First Contact’ EP is now available via Dance Artifakts. Grab your copy here.