wed Jan 1
Hailing from Halle, Germany, the brothers Lars and Sven kicked off their quest as Monkey Safari in 2008, launching the musical collaboration, along with their What!What! Records imprint, with “Saturday Night Fish.” Another non sequitur, a club called Charles Bronson, came a year later, giving the siblings a tree house to call home. Owning their own ecosystem within their former East German habitat allowed Monkey Safari to expand their family, with similar species such as Super Flu and their Monaberry imprint now fully part of the family.
This evolution, however, didn’t happen so quickly. Brothers since birth, Lars went first down the DJing path with his hip-hop obsession, followed by Sven who developed a taste for UK big beat. Determined to find common ground in their communal appetite for Gangstarr and Guns ‘N Roses, they conceived a youth-powered party, Electric Ballroom, that brought indie/alternative in one room together with electronic sounds in the other.
They continue to function with that separate-but-equal ethos today, with Lars gathering sounds in the studio while Sven hunts tunes for their DJ sets. But the sum of this two-man tribe exceeds its individual parts. No wonder their 2012 hit “Hi Life,” received Pete Tong’s coveted Essential New Tune blessing before sharing CD space on Ministry of Sound’s Chilled House Session compilation series with stars like Royksopp, MK, Disclosure and Hot Since 82.
The Monkey’s special sonic stew is a flavor favored by DJs such as Sven Väth, Joris Voorn, Pete Tong, Tensnake, or Jaques Lu Cont but it’s always best when served fresh by the simian chefs themselves, who dish it with enough spice to fuel fires on famed dance floors like Space Ibiza, Watergate Berlin, Revolver Melbourne, Social Club Paris, Fuse Club Belgium, DGTL Festival Amsterdam, and Fusion Festival Berlin.
2014 sees the brothers swinging to new trees, retiring their Mambo and What!What! labels to focus on their recent Hommage imprint. It will also unveil their second full-length album, following 2012’s Happy Body Music. But the mandate remains the same, sending sunny vibes to make even the darkest dance floors smile.