Introducing electronic duo Delac with their brand new single ‘Xenon’. As Delac, producers and songwriters James McAdam and Stephen Dooley create a dancefloor-primed blend of broken beat, progressive house, electro, UK garage, and leftfield pop as a welcomed antidote to the self-serious image sometimes associated with the electronic scene.
With ‘Xenon’, the duo have pushed their sound into a dreamier, upbeat, and more transportative place. Speaking on the track, Delac explain: “After organising a club night in east London, we promised ourselves that we’d write tracks for the dancefloor and away from the inward-looking electronica we’d grown used to producing. Xenon is a gateway to that dancefloor. Its initially haunting atmosphere, symbolic of those early pandemic days, is reversed by a soaring synth line that gives an overriding sense of hope. It sets the scene for the new direction we want to go in.”
This openness of feeling and desire to inject positivity characterises much of Delac’s music. Whether writing hug-your-mates anthems for the sweeping euphoria of summer festival stages, or reflective downtempo vocal tracks to sink into with a pair of headphones, James and Stephen wear their hearts on their sleeves – what matters most is what the song means and how it touches someone’s soul. This is taken to its fullest potential at Delac’s live shows, which – inspired by live electronic acts such as Bicep or Overmono – mix instrumentation and live vocals with electronic production and recontextualise their songs as part of a continuous overlapping mix. For Delac, the ideal live show is one where they feel like they’re part of the crowd themselves.
Writing for live performance was always Stephen and James’s intention. Stephen credits a raucous set from Disclosure in Galway back in 2013 as the key to bridging the gap between his indie background and the blend of live and electronic music. James, meanwhile, had a transformational experience watching Floating Points at a warehouse space in Bristol while at university that same year; a subsequent move to Berlin saw him immersed in the exhilarating sounds of the techno scene, but he remained a melodic composer at heart. Together James and Stephen have developed a fluid method of collaboration, building each track from the ground up: James brings much of the songwriting, story, and narrative sensibilities to their work, while Stephen – whose background is in computer science – brings much of its musical vitality and technical edge.
‘Xenon’ follows Delac’s previous two EPs, 2021’s Can’t Let Go and 2020’s Blue Skies, kicking off a string of new releases and summer live dates for the duo throughout 2023. It follows previous live performances at London’s Pickle Factory and support slots for Catching Flies, editorial support from Spotify’s New Music Friday, and guest mixes for BBC Introducing.
Stay tuned at Melodic Journey Tracks of the Week selection and Listen to Delac’s new music first