Meet your Local Options -a collaboration between Chicago veteran djs and producers Chris Santiago and Frank Solano. Their unique blend of deep yet driving house music with a special attention to melody make them a perfect fit for the expanding Large Music roster. We sat down with these fine gentleman to get a picture of where they come from–and where they are going:
1.) Can you tell us when you first started producing as a team? Was it an accident or more intentional?
We first met in the late 90’s in college, and started throwing parties a few years later with a few other friends for most of the early to mid 2000’s. We first got into the studio in 2008 under an earlier moniker titled “The 312’. We released a few EP’s and remixes, but at the time Chris’s other project was taking off so we shelved our productions for a few years. We got back into it around 2013 and have been working ever since. Totally intentional.
2.) Had you both played together before you created Local Options?
Yes we have been playing together for over a decade at some capacity, We really enjoy playing together, we both have different perspectives that really complement each other which is nice to hear.
3.) You have created a very unique and specific sound—do you cite any producers or labels as influences for Local Options?
Our productions span a variety of different styles so its hard to name one artist or label that has influenced us. One day we will get into the studio and decide to make a really deep track, another day we will go for something more big room, or more tech. We do listen to a lot of stuff so if we are both feeling a certain artist, we will try to use that as a reference for an original song.
4.) What is your current studio set up. Do you mix in the box and analog gear or are you exclusively on a DAW?
We are completely in the box, we run Ableton after both being Logic guys for years. We both have day jobs and other stuff going on so when we are in the studio we need to get as much done as possible. We would love to buy analog gear, but we don’t have the time to nerd out for hours tweaking a patch. We use the plugins and soft synths we are comfortable with that gets the job done.
5.) Can you tell us how the Dream in the Sky project came about and the back story of how it ended up on Large Music.
We started this track right at the tail end of winter. We were already thinking of Chicago summer so we started with the happy chord progression. We set out to make a very summery tune, something you would hear at a pool, an open air or even on a boat. Frank had lyrics written for Dream in the Sky and Sweet Surprise, but it wasn’t until Chris came up with the final bass line that we knew we had a nice tune on our hands. A friend posted a soundcloud clip to her facebook which got Jeff’s attention, and the rest is history.
6.) Finally, if you could pick one favorite track or release from the vast Large Music catalog what would it be?
Such a hard question, we have have been DJ’s since the late 90’s so Large has always held a special place for us. Here goes
Frank: First Large Record that really got my ear was Jazz Ascension by 95 North. I can always hear some Large records and they will totally bring me back to a certain point in my life, Jask’s Thai vibes record brings me back to my early DJ days, that record didn’t leave my bag for a while. Dennis Ferrer “Colors” takes me back to the old 3 degrees parties here in Chicago. If I could only take one Large Record with me, it would easily be Kerri Chandler Digital-soul sessions 2 “I Found You”. It’s such a raw, but beautiful track, just how I like them.
Chris: The John Cutler remix of Shame used to get a lot of play from me
Dream In The Sky will be released on August 21