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Diamond Haze

The unique shine of Diamond Haze – interview

Diamond Haze is an electronic music project formed in Budapest by Gábor and Milán. Gábor is a seasoned bassist with a musical journey traces back to high school bands, while Milán is a vinyl aficionado whose eclectic collection and DJ sets span a range of genres from early trance to modern disco.

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Diamond Haze’s unique sound is made up of a harmonious fusion of their distinct musical backgrounds and innovative perspectives, with two releases to date on their own Tapes Sublimating label.

Their latest EP is Unstable Cloud Filter, a four-track release that further established them as a duo with a singular musical sound. Incorporating elements of house, dub, broken beat and even jazz across the four tracks, the result is a highly atmospheric and deeply engaging release.

Thanks for talking to us today – how’s the year been treating you so far? 

Gábor: Apart from my phone falling into a lake which I bought not even a year ago, everything is alright. There is always room for improvement, but I’m stable and I feel good! 🙂

Milán: Getting the most out of my free time: spending time with family, friends, going home to the countryside, always digging for new music, working on new tracks, DJ-ing here and there, etc. I could do all of the things I love, so can’t complain. 🙂

First of all, we want to get to know you “from the beginning”. How did your history with music begin?

Gábor: I’m from a very musical family. My mother is a music teacher in elementary school and also a choir leader, and my father is a bassoon player in a symphonic orchestra. It was inevitable for me and my siblings to learn to play instruments. I ended up with 6 years of classical guitar practice and after that I bought my first bass when I was 16. Me and my classmates formed a Rage Against The Machine tribute band, but we soon started to experiment with our own ideas. Through the love of The Prodigy and Black Sun Empire, we moved away from the classic rock-based sound to something more electronic. Throughout the years this band has reduced to me and the guitarist, but in the meantime we started to work with Milán on this totally different and more experimental project which turned out to be Diamond Haze. And here we are now.

Milán: I was listening to crappy pop music for a while, then Eminem became really big when I was around 13. We were listening to his stuff and other mainstream hip-hop and fell in love with it. Then we started to search for more and more music online religiously, found labels like Stones Throw, Rhymesayers, Anticon, Def Jux. A classmate had a turntable and he started buying records – I was fascinated! We had a show on the school radio playing these weird hip-hop tracks. Then Pendulum got pretty big so we got into DnB, both the more mainstream and the deeper side. Around the time I got to university we were into this instrumental electronic hip-hop thing that the likes of Flying Lotus, Ras G, Lorn were making. We also loved the original deep dubstep tracks that were conquering the underground music world then. And, finally on a sunny day at home for some reason I was listening to a techno track and something just clicked, I felt that I finally understood what it is all about and all the beauty in it. Stuck there ever since.

How is the local scene in Budapest, what are the highlights for you in terms of venues and artists?

Milán: Local promoters are doing a good job as I’m aware of all the good clubs and the parties that are happening there every weekend , but since our baby girl was born last year I just go out when I’m DJing somewhere time to time. In the past we really liked Lärm, but unfortunately the club was closed. In terms of party series the Technokunst events are always worth attending. Whose music I enjoyed the most recently is Grema who also happens to be our mastering engineer. 🙂 We released great music by mostly local artists on our Tapes Sublimating label – have a listen!

Gábor: I’m not going out as often as I did before Covid, but I still like to check out shows of artists I like. I’m a big liquid and atmospheric DnB fan, so I like to visit the A38 party ship, where every Friday evening this kind of music is played. I also went this summer to the Kolorádó and Inota festivals that have the kind of music and vibes I’m into. These are definitely worth checking out if you ask me! Regarding the scene in Budapest in general, there is always someone big coming to a club, there are always good parties for DnB, techno, house, and trance lovers. This year I got to see Fatboy Slim, Kosheen, and Harrison BDP. All were absolute highlights, and finally I can tick them off my bucket list. And obviously I go and check out Milán’s and his brother’s sets as well when they play somewhere. 🙂

As a duo, what do you feel you each bring to Diamond Haze in terms of creativity or specific skills?

Gábor: As I have classical music education I’m responsible for most of the melodies and making sure everything ends up in harmony.

Milán: I listen to tons of electronic music, so I have a quite good ear for interesting sounds and vibes that we incorporate to our tracks. Ideas are coming from the both of us, we are challenging each other and always making sure both of us are happy with the final product. Regarding managing the label I’m doing most of the things.

There are clearly a lot of influences on your new EP, but overall how would you describe the tone?

Gábor: Although we put finishing touches on each of them recently, the EP is a selection of tracks from the past 3 years. They are all a bit different in terms of mood, tempo, genre, but somehow all sound like us. If we had to describe it soundwise, it’s a dreamy and deep release with a lot of attention to detail, but the music is still party-compatible. It should work both on your headphones and a big sound system. 🙂

What does your current studio set up look like? Lots of hardware, or are you mainly ‘out of the box’ type producers?

Milán: We work with Ableton Live since the beginning, we record everything there. In terms of hardware, we have cheap MIDI controllers, an electric guitar and a bass, and a BOSS GT10B multi-effects pedal, a decent sound card and a Roland TB-3 for fun. During the years we bought a big bunch of soft synths and effects. We also download a lot of freeware plugins and some of them are surprisingly good!

What should we be looking out for from Diamond Haze in the next few months?

Milán: The EP is coming soon, and we are working on new music all the time. You will most probably hear some of that as well next year. 🙂

What is the best advice you ever received as an artist?

Gábor: To be honest we didn’t really have a mentor or any such, did not attend music production courses, so did not get too much advice. What we’re doing is just experimenting, always trying to learn and develop, come up with something new and interesting. As we are getting better at it we enjoy it more and more.

Anything else you’d like to tell us…?

Gábor: Hug someone today and cop the EP on 22nd September!

Thank you.

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