It's been awhile since we've heard from Italian duo Crookers, but this year they're back with the non-Hunter Thompson-related-album Dr. Gonzo. Producing music together since 2003, Phra and Bot may be best known in mainstream music for their "Day N Nite" remix of then little-known rapper Kid Cudi. However, to dance music aficionados, they are defined by their distinctive Caribbean dancehall-inspired and bass-infused beats. Dr. Gonzo, which is already up on Beatport charts and features remixes by Sinden, Mumbai Science, and more, goes back to the feel of their early EPs -- utilizing unusual sounds including African drums and fidget-house. Phra and Bot chatted with All Shook Down about Dr. Gonzo, their multiple collaboration efforts, and what they want from the audience when they play Mighty this Saturday.
The newest album is called Dr. Gonzo. Is this a reference to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?
Not really. It's not a direct link to Thompson's Dr. Gonzo and the gonzo way to approach life. It's just the title of our next album.
Then how did the name come about?
The name came out during a night where everyone was pretty tipsy and it just sounded right. There's no hidden other meaning to us, it just is the right name.
Can you tell us a bit more about the collaborations on this album? There were quite a few on the previous album, Tons of Friends.
For this album we collaborated with some producers we like and respect. There's much less collaborations than in our previous one, though. The featured producers are Hudson Mohawke, Carli from Savage Skull, Style of Eye, His Majesty Andre, Lazy Ants, and Keith and Supabeatz. Not every track is collaboration, though; a big part of the work was done just by us two.
Since you guys often feature so many artists on your releases, is it difficult and time-consuming to put it together? Or do you get together with the artist?
For this album we usually met during days off from touring in a studio up in the Alps, and yes, it was time consuming. But in a way, the fact that everyone took an effort to be there is the reason why it was efficient. We are extremely proud of the final result. Also, we had a good time doing it, which is great, of course.
You guys also live geographically far apart. What's the most important technological production tool you both use when producing an album?
How long did the process of Dr. Gonzo take, since Tons of Friends took two years?
This was a bit faster than that, especially the last part happened at a quite surprising speed.
You guys are most known for your dancehall rhythms. Which Caribbean style do you pull the most from?
That might sound generic, but it's all of them. Caribbean music with all its new and old styles as a whole is one of our influences.
With so many fans on your Facebook music page, is it strange to update with a mundane comment and have 500 people respond to it?
It is still weird to think that way, because all these followers or fans aren't there to actually watch you at shows. There's a much different perception and the communication is very direct and honest.
How's this U.S. tour going?
We're halfway with this North American tour, and are looking forward the next gigs. We're playing in some cities for the first time and going back to others that treated us well in the past.
What's been the most memorable stop of your U.S. tour thus far?
We just had a great time in Chicago -- played at this new club called Mid which is just what we want from a club. Also Nick Catchdubs joined us for this leg of the tour, and he's the best warm-up DJ you'd ever want.
San Francisco is the last stop on the U.S. tour. Anything your fans can do to conclude it right?
Dance! And maybe less jumping, but more smiling and grooving.