Consisting of two high-school friends from Mexicali, Mexico, these ambitious amigos established the Climbers and embarked upon their musical journey almost 18 months ago to the day. Boasting very different styles of music and contrasting musical influences; Jay having already been a DJ for several years and Kiko coming from a Rock band, they are certainly not your most conventional underground music duo…Yet they both seem to share one-view, one fundamental vision, “to be happy with ourselves and also the music we make, to put our thoughts, feelings and just let it go with the flow”.
One year-on, and the Climbers have already released their first EP, ‘Law of Attraction’ on Droog’s infamous Culprit LA; a record which has enjoyed being timelessly played-out by the likes of Kiki, Art Department, Droog, James Teej, My Favorite Robot, Tanner Ross, Miguel Campbell and Catz n Dogz.
They are proving that they are not just a one EP wonder, with their latest release, coming swiftly after their first success. “My Life” is the second EP in only a month, which has been released on Nervous Records and keeps in line with the distinct Climbers sound. The title track is very much the prominent piece of the EP boasting a blissfully soft vocal, a track that is going to be played all through the summer, far and wide.
Their music can be characterised by classic house percussions, overwhelming baselines, old school vocal sampling and atmospheric pads, which inevitably always pushes all of the right buttons.
For this reason alone, Climbers already have a South American and European tour lined-up in 2012, with their debut UK gig headlining Virunga, before they move onwards and upwards throughout the country, with gigs at Basing House and 93 Feet East soon to follow later this summer. And yet they still seem to have time for another release for Culprit LA to which they say “we are super excited for the track we are releasing and the remixes that are coming with it”.
You guys have both been friends since high-school, but what was it that first inspired you to get into making music together?
“It was really curious actually, because one day K.D. came to my house and we started talking about music and our separate journeys in music, he was coming from a Rock Band and I was DJing for about 7 years back then, and that it was really hard to put every idea in place.
So after a while we thought why don’t give it a shot and just make one track together because we are friends and to say at least we created something together and leave it there, but now it has been a year together and it doesn’t look like the end is near.”
You both boast individualism and differences in your respective sounds and musical expertise, which is arguably why your collaborations sound so good! In three words, how would you define the sound you are trying to achieve through your productions?
“Melodic, Sexy and Organic.”
The sound that you are playing and releasing at the moment; does it differ to the sound you had a few years ago and if so, why do you think it has developed to what it is now?
“Yes totally, well we think it got to the point where we didn’t want to make music for anybody else or to please a certain audience. But rather to be happy with ourselves and also the music we make to put our thoughts, feelings and just let it go with the flow”
With your most recent release ‘Law of Attraction’ on Culprit and the intelligent remix of Dexter Kane’s ‘Speak & Spell’ on Lower East, which arguably seem like the perfect labels for your sound, how does it feel to have releases with these production powerhouses?
“To tell you the truth since we started making music, about the third track we said ok if we are going to do this we have to be proud of our music and where it would be released, so since day one we got our minds thinking if we are going to release something it has to be with labels we feel are committed to their sound and their artists, so releasing with Culprit for our first EP was such an incredible achievement for us, something we will always be grateful to them and the remix for Dexter Kane on Lower East was also such a special one, because we respect those guys so much.”
Would you say that Lee Foss has been a major influence in your most recent productions?
“We can say that Lee Foss has been an influence in our early productions but most important I think what he brought to the table was a fresh start for house music especially for us, because when he got to play the first time in our hometown Mexicali, Mexico, we heard his music and the way he was totally into it, and got us thinking are we really feeling the music we are playing, and from that point on we developed a totally different approach on making and playing music.”
Last year you (Jay) established the globally acclaimed Mexa Records with your good friend and fellow Mexican, Louie Fresco, and between you all, Mexico has since found itself firmly asserted as a new-found hotbed for underground music. How do you see the scene progressing in Mexico over the next five years, and are there any other aspiring Mexican artists we should be looking out for? Jay Blakk: “Well thanks a lot for your comments… Well yeah I mean there is no secret that Louie is one of the main focuses on Mexico, he is an incredible artist, and a good friend of mine we used to be roomies and was a pleasure because we started this with just one vision and it was to uplift the Mexican scene and to have the exposure of how the things in Mexico can be made.”
“I see the Mexican scene rising and being talked about more seriously worldwide, also I think all the Mexican producers are realising that the best way to work is with one vision and to know we have our backs and its better to work as a team than everybody for himself.”
“Right now I think Louie Fresco is always a guy to be looking for, also just had a chat with a long time friend of ours called Monzta and trust me that guy is going to be something else in a year from now, also Sordo and Balcazar are making awesome music, so proud of them and there are so many more.”
“We as Climbers are just happy to be part of this generation of producers and put a positive thought on everybody.”
Before securing your recent flurry of successful releases, which have firmly established your reputation outside of the Americas, tell us a little bit more about what the Climbers were doing on the music scene in Mexico during the early days?
“Well like we mentioned before we used to be in different projects but the funny part is that we experienced the whole rave scene growing on Mexicali together, and Jay Blakk was really known for his after party mixes. Those parties where it was really wild and just so free spirited, with no strings attached from anybody.”
You are due to embark upon your debut European tour at the end of June. Where are you most looking forward to playing and why?
“Yes we are, we cannot believe it in such a short time together, we are just so blessed to be going to Europe. That one is a dream come true, and may sound cliché but we really can’t pick one because this tour we see each day as one, because without everyone together this could not have been possible and just so happy that people dig our sound. Thank you so much.”
Aside from your European tour this summer, what else can we expect from the Climbers during the rest of 2012?”
“Right now we are planning our first South American tour with countries like Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and wherever they want us.”
Virunga: Climbers Promo Mix
Climbers kick off their UK tour with their debut gig at Virunga, London on 29 June 2012.