If, as the expression goes, travel broadens the mind then it is perhaps not unreasonable to assume that permanent relocation to a different hemisphere would do wonders for the creative prowess of aspiring musicians.
Two friends testing that theory are Argentinians Luca Oliva Knight and Tomás Susevich who together comprise nu-disco duo ABC Dialect. Their musical voyage has so far seen them hone their talents in their home city of Buenos Aires before making the bold move across the Atlantic to London and finally settling in Barcelona.
Relative newcomers to the languorous world of ‘daytime disco’ (to borrow a term coined by influential peers Poolside) the fresh-faced vagabonds dipped their toes in the glistening waters of synth-heavy dream pop with debut EP ABC Dialect.
Shortly after the release of that record, the pair swapped comparatively drab (yet musically fertile) South East London for the sun-drenched Catalonian capital and, listening to lead single The Heat, it’s hard to be surprised; you can’t help but feel sunshine is an integral part to both the production and the consumption of their craft.
Indeed ABC Dialect’s satiating, relaxed nuances are best savoured laying supine in a park or at waterside as the sun beams, planes glide across the azure ceiling of the sky and the zephyrs gently carry the diffident vocals and beatific synth sounds.
It is fitting then that the Barcelona-based duo are set to release new music in time for the balmy summer months. Real Life is the four-track follow up to 2018’s debut EP and is slated for release in early June (on the aptly named Casablanca Sunset label). Lead single Magic is scheduled for release on 3rd May.
GIGsoup had the pleasure of talking with one half of the duo, Luca , ahead of the release dates.
Let’s start at the beginning. Tell us about the genesis of ABC Dialect.
The band started in 2017 while Tom was doing his masters in record production and I was playing with my other band Smooth Ends, we were both in London. We were eager to create something new but weren’t exactly sure how it would turn out.
We used to hang out a lot at the Funky House – our old house which was also the home studio of Smooth Ends in Brockley, South London – and that’s how we started creating our first songs and crafting what would later become ABC Dialect.
And the name “ABC Dialect”?
Tom had the name from a trip he made to Japan. He never wants to tell the actual story but here it goes:
Tom had just broken up with his girlfriend when he travelled to Japan. He was feeling sentimental and wanted to call her but he was trying not to. So he decided to leave his phone in the hotel and go wander through Tokyo by himself. After a while he realised he had completely lost track of where he was and had no phone to check for directions, so he asked a Japanese girl if he could borrow her phone to check the map. As soon as he started typing he realised the keyboard was in Japanese and he couldn’t write the address, and that’s when the girl said ‘you have to switch it to ABC Dialect’.
Describe your sound in words that only begin with A, B or C.
Aesthetic, Blissful & Crispy
So, let me get this right, you are both Argentinian born, lived in South London where the project was formed, and now residing in Barcelona!? You guys are real jet-setters!
Barcelona is much sunnier and cheaper and we had the opportunity to make a studio in a really cool art gallery called Mutuo. The cost of living in London forces you to have an extra job and struggle with surviving. In Barcelona we can dedicate fully to producing and playing and being in the studio together making music.
Do you feel like the relocation affects your sound? Has the move allowed your music to evolve and keep your output fresh?
Definitely something changed since we moved. We have more time to experiment with music and recording, and that makes the workflow much better. In London we struggled to find time to finish our stuff because we were so busy with non-related music stuff, but here we can be outside all that pressure and just concentrate on what sounds true and right for us.
The sound is definitely becoming more real.
Tell me about your dream show. Where in the world is that!?
LA or Tokyo. Some terrace in a skyscraper. People dancing and warm weather.
Do you get a lot of time to fly back home to Argentina?
Actually we recently hosted the launch party for (self-titled debut EP) ABC Dialect back home in Buenos Aires. The crowd in Argentina is the best, a lot of friends were there and it was nice to play our music for them. Although the music scene in Argentina is vastly different than in London, people love to dance so it was really nice to have all that enthusiasm and familiarity. We can’t wait to go back and play some more shows there.
In early February, you returned to London to play at Rye Wax in Peckham. Is there anything you miss about London?
It hasn’t been that long since we left so we don’t really miss it yet, but it was nice going back to South London and playing a show in Peckham. There’s a huge scene going on there and you can definitely feel the vibes, we like it there.
Who are your big influences right now? What music gets you out of bed in the morning?
Louis Cole, Benny Sings and Ed Motta.
What are you most looking forward to in summer 19?
We’re releasing our second EP this June, followed by a small Europe tour in which we get to open for Peter Sagar (Homeshake), this is a huge honour for us. After that we’re flying to Berlin to record our first LP with the guys from The Whitest Boy Alive and we’re super excited about that too. Hopefully you’ll be able to listen to our first album by end of this year.
Tell us about that upcoming EP?
It’s called ‘Real Life’. It’s our second EP consisting of four tracks that we are really pleased with and we can’t wait to share them with the world. The title ‘Real Life’ is a reference to the more organic approach we have taken to making this record – both with the lyrics which reflect our real daily experiences and emotions and also with the music itself; for example we started out using a lot of electronic drums but we have made the conscious decision to move in a more pure, authentic and organic direction.
How can we hear more from ABC Dialect?!
Our EP will be released on all of the big streaming services. Check out our socials or, even better, catch us at one of our upcoming shows!