TF Spotlight: Dossa & Locuzzed’s Funky DnB

Hard-hitting and resonant but pounded with funk; Austrian drum & bass duo Dossa & Locuzzed have redefined the funk aesthetic in DnB.

Growing up in Austria and being a part of the their country’s drum & bass scene, which came during the prototype neurofunk era, Benedikt Dengler and Rene Maierhofer were heavily inspired by Ed Rush & Optical who were belting bangers after bangers in the early 2000s.

Taking the funk ingredients from the era they were inspired by, Dossa & Locuzzed started making music in 2015, and they have now become one of the hottest properties in the genre. With tunes like ‘Shag’, ‘Funkyfied’, and ‘Stoned Love’, Dossa & Locuzzed have delivered some delicious funk-fueled anthems on Futurebound’s Viper Recordings imprint.

After a brief hiatus, the Austrian duo returned to Viper Recordings for their jazz-infused signature marked tune called ‘Glow’. We caught up with them to know more about the release, their journey so far, the Austrian DnB scene and lots more.

How and when did the Dossa & Locuzzed journey begin?

Dossa & Locuzzed: We decided to merge our solo Projects in 2015. Before that we’d both had successful solo-careers going on. We live in the same area and when we got to know each other we started showing early demos to each other for feedback and inspiration.

Our approaches were different back then as you can hear in our individual releases. Nevertheless, combining our sounds was surprisingly easy, our first release was done within a few days! The cool thing is that we still have different tastes in music and are excited for different aspects in production/song writing. That way it always stays exciting, and we still learn from each other.

From your first ever release in 2016 to the funk driven, hard hitting and dancefloor-focused sound that you have now mastered; how do you think your sound has evolved since your debut?

Dossa & Locuzzed: Not repeating ourselves has always been the centre point of our vision as we always want to challenge ourselves to make the next release special again. When we released shag in 2016 everyone was demanding a follow-up in the same style. Instead of doing that we started to introduce more analogue gear, including vocoders, effect-racks to our tracks and explored the funk-side of music.

Lately we’ve tried to combine those sounds in a more technologic-sounding manner. We love to make melodic tunes which are radio friendly, but still want to keep the dancefloor energy in in our music.

Who were your biggest influences when you started making music?

Dossa & Locuzzed: We both were Drum & Bass heads when we got into producing. Dossa grew up in a musical family and used to play the Drums. When he got into Drum & Bass the likes of Pendulum, Ed Rush & Optical, the Full Cycle crew and the 2006-ish Ganja recordings influenced the sounds a lot.

The interesting turning point though was when we dived a little bit deeper into the funkier bits in the world of music. The journey went from Herbie Hancock over Vulfpeck to Herzeloyde and Kaytranada. Also, the whole French-touch era with artists like Daft Punk and Justice. Disclosure also had a big impact on our sound.

Your latest single, ‘Glow’ on Viper Recordings is another example that the Dossa & Locuzzed sound is unmatched. What are your thoughts on the tune?

Dossa & Locuzzed: This track had a long journey. We started it during the first lockdown as a melodic-house-inspired track using Benni’s old 70er Hohner organ – so it had more of an experimental touch. At that time, we met Redshift Biedermeier at a party and it was literally a “check this track on my phone” moment. The next day he re-sung the placeholder-vocal we recorded ourselves and just nailed it!

After that it was lying around for some time since we were not 100% happy with it being kind of too experimental. Last year we had the idea of just “remixing” the track into a more dancefloor-friendly version – the one we played in our UKF x Connect Set on YouTube. Then in early 2022 when everything opened up again we took it to our current production standard and did a rework to fit it into our DJ Sets as well – that rework was released in the end.

Austrian Drum & Bass has been significant for the wider DnB scene. How do you guys think it has evolved over the years?

Dossa & Locuzzed: The scene is still strong with new talents rising all the time! It feels a bit like we are becoming veterans with all the younglings stepping up. It’s refreshing to see the different approaches of upcoming artists to make music and seeing the whole genre grow even more.

What’s your best festival memory?

Dossa & Locuzzed: That has got to be our first show at Let It Roll. We met so many people there and the vibe there is unmatched. I think that also was the first time we did a reload on one of our new bits to around 3k people because it went off so hard! That feeling is hard to put into words.

How does the rest of the year look like for Dossa & Locuzzed?

Dossa & Locuzzed: We are about to release another collaboration with DJ Marky in the late Summer and there will also be another single with Viper this year. Also, we have some really nice shows coming up, including our Rampage Open Air debut and we also have some things running in the background. As always we’ll announce once the time is right. But we can already say it’s a good year for us!

5 tunes you guys are digging at the moment?

Dossa & Locuzzed: 1- Noisia – Scrapped
2 – Onipa – Fire (Disclosure Edit)
3 – Jamie XX – The Rest is Noise
4 – John Carrol Kirby – Rainmaker
5 – Flume – Get U

Listen to Dossa & Locuzzed’s full discography here:

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