Joe Jo and Can Nguyen have put their individual talents on hold momentarily and combined to rule the world — well, the world of the electronic nightlife. Teaming up to form the DJ group Dusky Hunters, they’re now techno mavens. For the duo — Joe Jo, the co-founder of Just Kidding Films, and Can Nguyen of the Poreotics — it’s just another step towards supremacy. For NMR, it was a chance to check out their bumping club-ready LP, now available for download on iTunes.
The album, an instrumental techno ode to the music of robots, hits hard and keeps the party going — even if the party is just me and my cotillion of cats, sharing a can of chili at 2 a.m. (ain’t no party like a chili cat party). I’ll admit I was apprehensive when I downloaded the album because, well, two guys from two different legs of the entertainment world coming together to make electronic dance music seemed dangerous — like ripe for parody dangerous. And I’m a pretty big fan of EDM, so I was skeptical at best. But dammit, pass the molly, I dug “Fool Moon” like it was a hobo’s grave.
So much was my enjoyment of “Fool Moon” in fact, I wanted to reach out to Joe and Can and find out what is up with everything they are doing and see if they needed a partner. Well, it turns out they are doing just fine without me. Oh well, at least I’ve got “Fool Moon” to help me dance away my blues. Read the interview and then pick up their album here.
What made you two decide to team up and form a kingdom?
Can Nguyen: The funny thing is, we didn’t plan any of this to happen.
Joe Jo: We were already living under the same roof for about half a year, and one day I had this impulse to walk into Can’s room while he was making beats and say, “Hey, let’s make a track.” Our first song was “Sometime Party” and it was received well so we decided to keep on going.
How do two guys make a kingdom out of nothing? And how come you didn’t invite NMR to join in?
Joe: Well we didn’t start from completely nothing; we got a little boost to start from our previous fanbase in Justkiddingfilms/Poreotics. Our friends helped introduce our music to their fan base as well — David So, Geo Antionette, Bart Kwan, Chengman, just to name a few. Our first album wasn’t even planned; we released tracks as we finished them on a weekly. We really don’t know how the demand kept growing but we’re pretty grateful that people kept asking us to make more. It kinda just snowballed after that.
How the hell did you come up with a kickass name like “Dusky Hunters”?
Can: We usually make beats at night. Actually we’re the most creative when we’re delirious and jamming out in the middle of the night. We hunt the beasts (beats) in the dusk.
What is a “Fool Moon”?
Can: When the moon is out, everyone comes out to play, dance, and act a fool … Fool Moon. This album’s about letting go, entering the zone and just losing yourself in the music.
Who is the better DJ between you two?
Joe: Can! Definitely, he taught me how to spin. For production, Can is the sound engineer and producer. I play the keys and makes melodies.
If you had to pick a style that you are closely tied to (no, not just “techno” get specific) what would it be?
Joe: I’d say we fall closely under the category of electro house. One of the tracks in our album, though, we were inspired by Melbourne Bounce and we created the “Dusky Bounce.”
We hear you guys are performed at an OC club recently. Was that the first time you both have DJed live?
Joe: Yeah, that was our first live gig as DJs. It was pretty amazing being able to share that moment with a crowd. Once people saw that we did live shows though, promoters approached us and we got booked for the next three weekends. This is a fresh change from film making and dancing. It’s just a massive party, but I control the music.
How will you guys balance this new venture with your commitments to JKF and Poreotics?
Joe: We’ve been balancing it out by meeting after 5 p.m. or from dusk. Since the beginning, we got together at night and jammed out on beat production or DJing. It’s been an ongoing thing since early 2013. It works perfectly — film/dance, all the meetings happen in the day and at night we do Dusky stuff.
Joe, you have a hip hop background and we hear you are a good freestyler. Will you bring that influence to this new venture?
Joe: Haha! That’s interesting that you bring that up. I get a few requests from fans who know of my rapping to put it on our tracks. I haven’t found any inspiration yet but we’re working on including vocals, rapping/singing into our third album.
From all your adventures, what’s the coolest story you’ve got?
Joe & Can: (Haha we’re going to skip this question)
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