Despite unprecedented conditions, Doorly has pressed on with collaborations including his new project with Colour Castle: MISINGO.
For more than two decades, Doorly has been a force in the electronic music scene. Over the years booking club shows and festivals for months at a time while still producing and playing music has become the norm for him. Although the outbreak of COVID-19 has basically eliminated his touring schedule, he’s channeled that energy into creating more beats, exploring new projects, and catching up with himself.
The latest project from Doorly, MISINGO, sees him team up with a dynamic duo from Melbourne, Australia, Colour Castle. Comprised of Christian Pillot and Casper Tromp, this duo has been on the rise since first breaking onto the scene and has garnered support from tastemakers and fellow artists alike.
Previously working on tracks like “Jaspers Keys” the collaborative project resurfaced with a surefire jam perfect for those rave cave parties, “Disco Bango.” A warm house track that also brings a disco vibe, it shows the brilliance of both Doorly and Colour Castle in the studio, even if working on music remotely has been the status quo.
Looking for more insight on how this came together, we caught up with Doorly for a chat, so read on and find out what we can look forward to when things start to go back to normal.
Stream Doorly and Colour Castle Present: MISINGO – Disco Bango:
Hi Doorly, thanks for joining us today. Let’s start off by talking about the pressing topic that everyone has been dealing with: the coronavirus pandemic. What have been the biggest adjustments you’ve had to make personally and professionally?
Doorly: Well, yeah, as the news was breaking of the pandemic in March I was preparing to go on my usual Spring USA tour and then begin the Spring / Summer festival circuit in Europe.
I’ve been DJing 20 years and only ever missed one show in all that time which was due to an airline strike so for me to think about canceling appearances before the blanket ban on mass gatherings was enforced I had a really tough few weeks trying to decide on the best move to make – at the beginning flights were still running but being canceled daily but for me to have to let my promoters down that I’ve worked with for years and cancel a run of shows didn’t sit well with me at all.
It was breaking my heart phoning people, discussing our options about shows being canceled depending on each state’s guidelines on numbers, but then with hours to go before I was due to fly to the US and I was still agonizing over whether to go and if some shows were still viable, the decision was made by the US government to cancel all flights from mainland Europe to the USA so they made my final decision for me and I stayed at home.
After the initial shock of a whole tour being canceled and getting over the financial implications that it brought I know the decision to ground travel and cancel mass gatherings are for the greater good and I’m relishing this time at home with my family. As someone who has been on the road touring solidly for the majority of the year for the last 10 years this time is a real treat for me and my family. My dogs can’t believe that I’m home with them all the time and it’s actually been a nice reset as scary as it all is I think I really needed this forced break to be honest just to catch up with myself a bit.
Finding the motivation to create new projects during these uncertain times has been a challenge for many in the industry. Do you have any tips or advice on what’s worked to keep you moving forward and developing new projects?
I know the first thing I did was take a break to get my head around what was happening and make sure my family in Ibiza and the UK were staying safe. It was quite an extended break really… It’s pretty easy for a lot of people to burn themselves out these days without realizing and I think I was guilty of that.
Being on the road so much meant I had quite a few projects sitting unfinished in folders so this has been a real bonus for me to sink my teeth into these without the distraction of daily flights and shows.
I’ve also been approached with some really exciting remix projects that I’d typically have to turn down due to time restrictions so it’s been really refreshing to have music sent over to me by artists I wouldn’t typically get to work on projects with.
But my advice is just not to force it, creativity comes in waves and when it that spark comes no matter what time night or day you just have to go with it and make the most of it whilst it lasts and when its not there, especially in these mad times of uncertainty, just relax and don’t beat yourself up about it or it will spiral and you’ll start to get depressed which is not a good friend of creativity. I would recommend a great book by Stephen Pressfield called “The War Of Art” for anybody stuck in a creative rut and there’s a beautifully read audiobook of it available as well. That really helped me out.
Speaking of new projects, MISINGO is a project between you and Colour Castle, can you share the backstory on how this project got started? Where did the name MISINGO come from?
I met Christian at a show in Australia a couple of years ago and we gelled immediately. He invited me to jam with himself and the other half of Colour Castle, Casper, in their studio on my days off touring in Melbourne and I’ve honestly never experienced a fluidity like it.
We wrote five solid tracks in a day’s session every time we get together and then we work together remotely. We seem to be each other’s yin and yang in three directions and I think together we have all bases covered and the music we are writing is all none sample-based and we are working on a live show which is really exciting and we can’t wait for all of this to be over so we can go and give it a go on the road.
The name was just a word I made up when we were trying to think of a name, no real back story other than I wanted something that sounded like one of our biggest inspirations which is that great African Disco sound so MISINGO worked perfectly. I’ve since found out that MISINGO is actually in the Spanish dictionary and it’s a very rarely used word which means domesticated cat apparently haha so I guess there will be some confused people when we start being announced on bills in Ibiza!
“Disco Bango” is vivid and catchy, capturing a very disco vibe. What was the production process like for this collaborative tune?
So “Disco Bango” is the fourth track we’ve released together. We have released “Stay Hungry,” “Jaspers Keys” and “Knights of St Kilda” all on my label Reptile Dysfunction. “Disco Bango” actually came from that original first session we did as well but took us a bit longer to perfect remotely.
What’s so great is that we used zero samples in this and played in all the elements ourselves and that little bit of vocal was from a vocalist with a bit of vocal the lads had spare from a Colour Castle session but sounds like a disco diva. Casper, in particular, is a bit of a witch and is great at playing lots of instruments incredibly well making of the track came together really naturally.
Many artists have mentioned that collaborating via distance has its own set of unique challenges. What technologies/tools/tips have you found to make some of these hurdles easier?
Yeah, it’s not easy, we all use Ableton which makes sharing a project easier. We’ve just started using this new bit of software called Loopback which means we can link up our DAWS and work remotely that way but honestly, we work so much faster in the same room. I tend to tour Australia twice a year and we get lots done when I’m there and as soon as this madness is over the boys are flying to Ibiza to come and work on an album together and perfect our live show for a tour.
Obviously both you and Colour Castle come to the table with different styles and preferences. What advice would you give to artists trying to work with someone that might contrast with their sound?
It’s all about compromise really but if there’s too much of a contrast and it’s not working then it’s just not going to work. I’ve collaborated with so many people in my career right across the musical spectrum from Green velvet to Grandmaster Flash and Shadow Child to Idris Elba but you have to have a respect for that artist’s sound in the first place or it’s not going to work.
Also, personalities have to match as well, you have to actually get on with somebody or it can get a bit awkward in the studio! I do love a good collab I’m a big believer of finding a hybrid between sounds that don’t usually work together, its the best way to find something new that’s not been done before.
The track was released on All My Friends. What has it been like working with the AMF family and what does their support mean for this project?
I mean label boss Destructo is an absolute industry hero. I met Gary (Destructo) during my time living in LA and he booked me to play his “HARD Events” and I was a regular on his groundbreaking Holy Ship rave cruises every year. Gary then launched AMF and with that his new rave on the seas, Friendship.
I can’t express what an incredible atmosphere Gary creates at AMF and Friendship. It’s like one big loving family and I owe Gary so much for any success that I’ve had in America over the years so when Gary asked if he could sign some MISINGO tracks to AMF we were, of course, very happy to do so. I’m such a huge admirer of what Gary has done for the club scene in the USA, arguably more than anybody else that it’s great to be a part of his story with our music as he continues to push things forward.
Finally, can we expect to see more tracks from MISINGO this year? What goals do you hope to achieve with the project?
You Sure will! Speaking of Gary and collaborations above We have a MISINGO / DESTRUCTO collaborative release coming out in June on AMF (that might be exclusive info for you there) and we have three other almost finished tracks and a big juicy folder of ideas we’ve started so you will be hearing a lot from us this year!
We were also getting our live show ready to tour and we’ll continue to work on that for the day we all get to party together again. MISINGO is a long term plan for myself, Christian, and Casper, and it’s really inspiring to me every time I work with these guys. So it’s going to be a big focus for me moving forwards and I’m really excited for what the future has in store for us!