In a mere five years Waze & Odyssey have accomplished the kind of notoriety it takes many DJs and producers a lifetime to achieve. Chart-topping dance singles that manage to reach an audience outside the genre; remixes that receive more air time than the originals; and bookings that have seen them adorn some of the most prestigious listing boards in clubland, including Panorama Bar, The Warehouse Project and Fabric.
Although their rise came rather quickly and suddenly, it is not without its merit, and behind Waze & Odyssey we find two accomplished DJ/Producers in their own right who set out to create something unique as a duo that would negate their individual pasts for a new combined future. What was Serge Santiago and Firas Waez would become Waze and Odyssey and in the same way they would contemporise their own careers, they would contemporise music.
Taking sound from the past and merging them with the current trends both their sets and their productions play on the dichotomy of yesterday and today to find something truly unique in the current landscape of electronic music. Their sets are invigorating, high energy affairs that honour the traditions of Chicago and can go from the pedestal of a festival stage to the intimate space of a 200 capacity club.
They’ll be bringing this to Jæger for Frædag and before they land, we caught up with them via email for a Q&A session to find out what makes them tick.
You were both accomplished producers and DJs before Waze and Odyssey. What drew you to each other creatively and how do you think you compliment each other in the booth and in the studio?
2 is always better than 1; we meet in the middle with relatively similar tastes but the fringe tastes that we both bring make for an interesting take.
In the mere five years you’ve been together you’ve been an unstoppable success. How has it shaped Waze & Odyssey if at all?
It’s been great; we were very fortunate to hit the ground running slightly; we have learnt a lot along the way but arguably have a better handle on how we balance touring, writing & life.
What do you think are the key ingredients of any Waze & Odyssey track that makes it so appealing to the rest of the world?
The kick and the groove, gonna punch in the club!
There’s a sense, in your music and the way bring it to the larger world, that you like to uphold the underground roots of the music. Is there some specific era or idea of club music has always been your intent uphold as Waze & Odyssey?
In lots that we do, we like to blend the old and new, outboard vintage synths with WAVES plugins; usbs and vinyl; we are massively influenced by loads of those amazing old records so we like to try and update them a little in our way.
For me your music can be summed up as a high-energy nod to the origins of Chicago House with elements of R&B and Soul interjecting a modern sound palette. How would you describe your sound other than that?
It’s just good dance music.
And how does that inform your DJ sets?
It varies on set, each slot is different and we work to that. Whether it’s big club, small club, festival stage; you’ve gotta play for the moment.
You’ve played so many notable clubbing institutions around the world today, from Panorama bar to Fabric to Warehouse project, to name but a few. How does a venue inform your work in the booth?
We’ll have a knowledge of the club already and have an idea of where we can go within our sphere. Each of those clubs can all differ also depending on time, so that has a lot to do with it. We’re soundtracking people’s free time, it’s what mood we feel and want to try and achieve.
Your productions I imagine is quite effective on the bigger floors like WHP, so how do you adapt your sound or sets to accommodate smaller, intimate venues?
Actually playing to the bigger venues has been what we have had to adapt more to; when we started it was all about small clubs across Europe where you can play things a little differently / undoubtedly the bigger shoes like WHP you have to connect a bigger audience together so it’s a different style. We love playing both, but the smaller shows can sometimes feel like a lot more intimate.
We’ll be streaming your tour mix from WHP along with this Q&A. What do you hope the mix will bring across that will be brought to life during your tour?
Our variety, we like to mix it up across our sets within the realms of house & techno. It will make you wanna move.