Andrés Martynowicz and Mauricio Infiesta aka Oliver & Tom are Argentine masters of groove and emotion, who constantly impress their growing global audience with their skilled musicianship that sets them apart from the crowd. Their collective project is a symbiosis that originated in their childhood, having grown up together playing guitar and drums, followed by studying piano and synthesizer. Oliver & Tom’s highly impressive musical and studio skills first caught the attention of Nick Warren’s The Soundgarden back in 2017 and their career trajectory has continued upwards ever since.
Already busy through 2020, their releases have previously appeared on Tarnished Tracks, Balkan Connection, Vested Recordings and Massive Harmony. Never ones to rest on their creative laurels, they’ve just released ‘Penny’ along with the perfectly complimentary, heavenly melodic wonderment of ‘Till Sunrise’ (two of their finest works yet) on Tripswitch’s onedotsixtwo label, so we thought this a perfect time to catch up with the duo and find out what they’ve been up to…
Oliver & Tom (Andrés & Mauricio), a big welcome to DMCWORLD and congratulations on the release of your ‘Penny’ EP. The first thing we want to know is what’s the story behind this exciting collaborative project?
Well, first of all thanks for your kind words! Really glad you like our release! This EP has two sides, one more melancholic and the other with happier harmonies and melodies. The track ‘Penny’ was made in a moment when Andres’ girlfriend’s dog passed away and there were lots of emotions around. We love animals, especially dogs (‘Luly’ was named after Mauricio’s dog) and we thought it would be really nice naming this emotive track after her.
For anyone not familiar with your music, how would you describe your individual styles? Can you put your finger on the elements of your music that make it so distinctive?
Mainly it is ourselves expressing emotions and feelings through electronic music that we can dance to – that is where the groove takes part to make us move while we are enjoying the progressive trip. We express ourselves not only through rhythm and melodies, also with our own sound design through synthesizers. Sounds that are made from scratch, we don’t use any pre-sets at all!
Talk us through ‘Penny’ and ‘Till Sunrise’? How does the creative process work when you’re making music together?
Usually we have to ways of working together, sometimes we get together at the studio and one of us starts making a harmonic base while the other one starts making the beat, looking for the perfect groove, and there are other times that one of us starts a track alone and then we start sharing it and we start from there making contributions to the track.
‘Penny’ also features a remix courtesy of your compatriot Nico Szabo. What do you think of his interpretation of your work?
Amazing work from Nico! We love it when talented producers interpret music with their own touch. Nico is known for his deep unique style, so we knew he was going to do a great job and also give EP more versatility.
Tell us something about the psychological effects of music that totally blows your mind?
Music has been the main thing in our lives. Since we were 10 years old, we started learning instruments and it really affected us. It is amazing how frequencies and the right harmonic base plus melody could affect that much on the brain and generate amazing moments and different moods.
Great music is often described as being “timeless” – is this a concept that you can relate to?
Of course! There are tracks that never get old, classic tunes so good that you can listen countless times through years and years. Also, you can play them smartly at the right moment of a live set and people will love recognizing that classic track.
Let’s rewind for a moment. You grew up together playing guitar and drums, followed by studying piano and synthesizer. Tell us about that?
Yes! We believe that having this background is really important for us and is something that helps us work really well together. Mauricio has a great ability on creating the groove/percussion and I (Andres) can do the same with harmonic bases and melodies, but the most important thing is that we both studied synthesis and sound design so we can create amazing things together.
At what point did you get into producing and DJing?
First we started producing back in 2011, making trance music because it was so popular at that time. Years passed and we started finding ourselves loving progressive house music, so we slowly made the transition and here we are now. DJing came secondary because we prioritize our music first. When we got our first release on The Soundgarden, thanks to Nick Warren, we started DJing a lot, we even played an 8 hours set!
Who/what have been big influences in your music career so far?
Definitely Hernan Cattaneo, Sasha and Nick Warren. The three of them are such amazing DJ/Producers and, well, Hernan and Nick are also really nice people who help young and upcoming producers, such as ourselves, and we are grateful for that.
What piece of studio equipment couldn’t you live without?
Our mini fridge! haha, just kidding.
We love our analog synthesizer “Moog Sub Phatty”, we use it in every track we make, so it will be weird not having it in the studio.
How is the music scene holding up in Argentina?
Artists are making a lot of effort in Argentina right now, as it is impossible to play for people live as we have the longest quarantine in the world! There are lots of big names offering personal tuition and also making live streams.
Is the scene going to change positively to recover and develop in new ways in the future?
We hope so! Before COVID-19 there were lots of things to improve, but unfortunately we realize when the damage is already done. The majority of clubs exceed their audience limits, making the scene about quantity and not quality. Now, we need social distancing to be safe and there are a few clubs prepared for that, we all deserve to have a great time and be safe. Now, streaming is great! It is keeping us entertained, but everyone is missing seeing their favourite DJ in a venue, so we hope that comes back with new improvements.
If you could play for a whole night with any DJ (ever), who would be at the top of your wish list?
If you could remix any track by any artist (ever) what would be at the top of your wish list?
We would love to remix Nick Warren ‘Buenos Aires’ – we love that track!
After this superb release for onedotsixtwo, what new projects should we watch out for from you in the coming months?
We have some new originals and remixes incoming in the next months and are also finishing some new tracks at the studio!
And finally, what’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
A few years back, we sent our first track to Hernan Cattaneo and he took his time to give us a piece of advice – that we should have more personality and identity in our music. Honestly, the first time we read that, it hurt! Haha. Later we realized it was the best advice we ever were given.