Love and Light – Interview + Artist Spotlight

Love and Light is an electronic duo hailing from Reno, Nevada.  Up-and-coming in the West Coast bass scene, Matt Madonna and Ryan Anderson create music with the hopes of “uplifting people across the world through pure intention, melodic synth lines, complex chord structure, intricate rhythms, and funky, chunky bass lines.”  These artists started 2012 with a bang, having already played at Envision, Ultra, Lucidity, and Cochella this year.  Matt and Ryan’s enchanting stage presence and charming smiles make it obvious as to why they call themselves Love and Light.

I had the pleasure of catching up with Matt in Miami, where they played a set at Ultra and an after-party at The Stage with Kraddy during the Winter Music Conference.  Even after three full days of dancing in the scorching Florida rays, nothing could stop my feet from moving until the very last of their set closed out my weekend.  These guys brought the room to life with their radiant energy and continued to astonish me with their positive vibes and friendly personalities.  Check out our exclusive Lost in Sound interview with Matt where we talk about new music, “crunky bass,” and fist pumping.  Be sure to click on the links below for Love and Light music and information.

Lady Binx:  This is your first time at Ultra – what do you think of it so far?

Matt:  It’s kind of what I expected as far as like a large outdoor rave, but I’m really impressed with how happy people are and how much people get along out here; there are good vibes that are here.  A lot of people from the West Coast tell me that it’s different, you know, in Miami.

Lady Binx: Where are you originally from?

Matt:  I’m from Reno, Nevada.  It’s near Tahoe and where Burning Man’s held.  I’m just super happy and super impressed with how awesome everyone is here and the vibe of everybody…it’s impressive.

BAO Dome at Ultra Music Festival

Lady Binx: What was it like for you playing at the BAO Dome?

Matt:  Dude, it was a dream come true.  It’s hard to explain how much every day is a dream come true for us right now.  It’s like all we want to do is make music and play it for people, and we get to do that for a living.  So to be here at the BAO Dome today and at Ultra, we’re super grateful.  I mean, how often do you even get an opportunity to play at Ultra?!  It was one of the best sets that I’ve played in a little while.  I was on today.

Lady Binx: You guys were just at Envision in Costa Rica.  How was that experience for you?

Matt:  The time slot we got was pretty prime time.  We played after Gaudi on Saturday – I’m not really sure what time it was.  That guy holds it down. We actually got a chance to hang out with him all week.  He’s pretty funny, pretty classic.  He’s got lot of experience, he’s seen so much happen, it’s like you’re not gonna bullshit Gaudi, he’s a pro, he knows what’s up, you know?  He’s like Freq Nasty or Tipper or somebody you know, he’s been around.

And Kaminanda played after us which is someone that we’re looking forward to collaborating with – Kaminanda and Kalya Scintilla.  We really like their music and like them and vibe with those two guys.  Yaygon lives in Australia – he also tours the world as a trance DJ too, which is pretty impressive.  In fact, at the last festival he was at in Israel, two missiles flew over the festival and exploded two miles from it…like an act of war!  There’s 8,000 trance kids “dancing from their heart” as he says just you know, “you can’t stop us!”  So, just actually being somewhere other than home, Reno, is awesome.  But now we get to play across the world, and to be on the other side of the planet in a different time zone, everything’s different over there.  It’s awesome being able to play anywhere.  And the people that make Envision happen are really awesome people, I must say.

Lady Binx: You guys released a free EP in December, Crunk Reduction.

Matt:  That was a free album we gave out yeah, just a two-track.  We did a little bit of experimenting with different kinds of sounds and seeing what kinds of weird stuff we could get out of it.  It wasn’t something we felt like we wanted to sell, or was even worth selling, but we wanted people to hear it so we gave it out for free.  We’ve kind of been stockpiling a bunch of our new music just so people could hear it live for the first time, but you can look forward to hearing more on our Soundcloud as the weeks go on. I think we’re going to release them every few weeks on Soundcloud just to listen to and then hopefully an album in August, a bunch of songs, so everyone can enjoy that.

Lady Binx:  Love and Light samples music from Stephan Jacobs, RHCP, and Desert Dwellers. Where do you pull all these inspirations, all these samples from?

Matt:  We actually work with Stephan in person.  Desert Dwellers are good friends of ours from New Mexico.  Salva and Amani are good dudes.  Amani is one of the founders of Desert Dwellers.  I’ve loved Desert Dwellers since before I met them, and I got to meet them and they’re just so humble.  We actually have a bunch of CD’s from all their previous albums and they want us to make a big compilation remix of Desert Dwellers.  Stephan – we look forward to working with him more in the future, it’s just our paths haven’t really crossed recently, but we love making music with him.  He’s very smart, very fast, he’s quick, he knows what he’s doing.  I love working with Stephan. We look forward to working with Chris B as well as like I said previously Kaminanda and Kalya Scintilla.  It’s fun collaborating. It’s crucial to get the juices flowing.

As far as other samples we get from other places, we’ve learned to sample jazz because a lot of jazz is poppy, happy, funky, it’s like blam! In your face yadayadayadayada blam! In your face!  History repeats itself, we just have new technology now.  It’s cool to hear that echoed by the electronic stuff.  A lot of people who’ve discovered organic sound with electronic music have discovered that it sounds great and it’s really fun and it’s easy for people to become successful.  So we’re approaching that we’re getting there, we’re making the steps to get to where we want to’s just a process you know?

Lady Binx: Someone reviewed your music and called it ‘crunky bass’.  What is ‘crunky bass’?!

Matt:  Okay for example, I would assume that if you attempt to use your fingers to describe the word crunky, it’s like the music makes your fingers do [this!] makes you want to dance in sort of like a crinky, crunky way its just like uh!  When you put your crunk face on it’s like a bass face but it’s like ‘crunk’, ‘face’ uggghhh! Haha you know what I’m saying it’s like a nose wrinkle or something, uhhh it’s just like crunk!  But it’s like happy you know.  So it’s like a blend of a bass face with like a ughhhh!! but happy uhhhhhh, yeahh!!  So that would be the crunky sound that we refer to.  There’s other sorts of music that’s referred to as crunk, so crunk’s getting defined.  If you remember MartyParty defining ‘purple,’ it took a while, everyone was calling everything purple, and then purple was actually established.  So I think its going to take a while before crunk, or crunky beats gets established, but we’re doing our part and so is Opiuo and Blunt Instrument and actually a lot of people from Australia and America alike are doing their part to make crunky music that’s not dubstep.  So, to be continued..

Lady Binx: What’s your inspiration for making music?  How’d you and Ryan start Love and Light?

Matt:  Myself?  I’ve always been inspired to hear music.  First of all, I’d like to say that art in general is all related.  Architecture and drawing and speaking and writing and making music and playing music, it’s all really similar in ways that you can only find out if you do more than one kind of art.  So inspiration comes from everywhere, you know.  I’ve been making music for quite a while, but Ryan and I together got inspired together seeing acts like Fort Knox Five and Bassnectar.  People like that – Glitch Mob, Tipper, Vibesquad at festivals.  Burning Man and Lightning in a Bottle – just seeing how cool people were.

It wasn’t all like ‘fist pump’- it was like getting down.  Fist pumps are cool sometimes, but other than that I’d have to say that inspiration comes from life.  Tipper can be quoted as saying ‘one of the most important things about making music is actually not making music.’  You have to let it go for a little bit and gain inspiration from your experiences.  You define what your experiences are, so go do what you want to do, go be who you are and make music or make your art that way.  That’s my best advice that goes along with how we get along with our inspiration.

Lady Binx:  What’s your plan for this summer?  What are you most excited for?

Matt:  I think I’m allowed to say now, sometimes you’re not but I remember a few people bringing some stuff up.  So the next big big big festival we’re playing at is Coachella at The Do LaB Stage.  A festival that’s going on in Santa Barbara, Lucidity is going to be really cool, all the heads of the West Coast bass music scene.  We’re gonna be there, Russ Liquid’s gonna be there. I think Random Rab and Vibesquad, all the guys that we look up to you know.  We’re gonna play at Wakarusa, we’re gonna play The Big Bounce.  It’s actually called The Bounce now.  You should check it out if you haven’t heard of it.  The people that throw it do a really good job its super awesome.  We’re gonna play at Shambhala as well so we look forward to that.  And yeah, we started it off this year with Envision…I still have the bracelet on!  Yeah that’s basically the summer festivals that we’ve got.

Thank you so much to Love and Light for the interview.  Keep bringing us the beautiful beats!

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