Two Dudes in Love on the Immortality of Disco Music and Friends With Benefits Records

Mat Love and David Sylvester, aka Two Dudes in Love, have a history that reads like a true DJ love story. First DJing together in early 2012, it wasn’t long before the two noticed they shared more than a passion for music. “Our musical chemistry foreshadowed our intense emotional connection. We’ve been in it together ever since,” says Love and Sylvester. Nowadays, the duo is conquering the world together, including a recent summer tour with Hard Ton that ended controversially. Two Dudes in Love answer some questions for All Shook Down about their first gig together, their upcoming original EP, and the importance of disco music. They perform Friday, Oct 3, with Double Duchess at Elbo Room and Sunday, Oct 5, at the Castro Street Fair. 

[jump] What was your first gig together?
Our first gigs as Two Dudes in Love happened at Burning Man 2012. We were invited to create our own party on Tuesday night in Comfort & Joy’s tent, and the result was The Mechanization of Fertility. We started off playing soulful, groovy house to represent organic, human sexuality, but at midnight we unleashed a barrage of visceral techno and a flash mob of interstellar robot sex workers onto the crowd, signalling the unstoppable takeover of human sexuality by technology. The energy had everyone in the packed tent dancing and fucking until, ironically, the generator ran out of power at 4 a.m.

You guys recently toured with Hard Ton this past summer. How would you describe that experience?
It was a learning experience, no doubt. After months of planning and thousands spent on flights and hotels, Hard Ton were detained for eight hours at the Seattle airport before being forced to return immediately to Italy. It was gut wrenching. We carried on with shows in Seattle and Vancouver on our own. In San Francisco, we pulled an incredible turnaround, booking three of our biggest DJ heroes to headline the party at F8: Carlos Souffront, Jeno, and Gay Marvine.

How do each of your personalities translate into the music you make?
David is obsessed with reverb, delay, and dense chords; Mat is delighted by rhythmic chaos and conceptual ideas. We each bring completely different mindsets to production, but we’re both focused on the same end-goal: deep, dark techno and house with human soul and queer sensitivity.

Can you share with us some of the inspirations behind your upcoming all-original debut EP?
We’re inspired by improvisation, recording sounds that aren't made inside a laptop, queer history, and social revolution.

Tell us about Friends with Benefits Records. If the label had a motto, what would it be?
FWB Records is the label we run with our friend, fellow producer and DJ Trevor Sigler. Our mission is to spread authentic joy around the world through the medium of house and techno music. We believe in amplifying the voices of queer artists and advocating for radical social changes that enables freedom from oppression, consumerism, and heteronormativity.

Why do you think house music manages to capture the LGBT community's spirit so well?
The roots of house music lie in disco. Most Americans think of disco as superficial pop music that died on July 12, 1979 at the Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park in Chicago. But the heart of disco never died; it was always in the underground, occupied with minorities and queers who found community and hope in music that had nothing to do with pop sensibility and everything to do with dancefloor catharsis. Disco begat house, and together they are the soundtrack of the queer liberation movement.

You guys will be opening up for Double Duchess on Friday. What were you trying to capture with these two remixes?
We’re so excited to play with Double Duchess! Like house music, the roots of hip-hop also lie in disco’s grooves, and bringing the two genres back together made both these remixes really exciting.

The “What’s That All That” remixes hearkens to vogue (by utilizing the classic “Ha” hit) and to 1990s Shep Pettibone remixes. 

With “Deviant,” we recast the song as dark, deep, erotic techno; the soundtrack for an underground sex club. 
Lastly, you will also be part of the Castro Street Fair Sunday. What makes this S.F. event so special to you guys?
Castro Street Fair metaphorically marks the end of San Francisco summer. After accomplishing so much this year, we plan on switching gears this winter and focusing on writing original music. As the year’s final outdoor street fair celebrating queer culture and community, we’re feeling thankful for the chance to experience and share so much joy with the people around us.

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