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ApSci - Chemical Reaction

Author: Jane Stabler
Monday, 19 November 2007

How do you work together musically… and manage to stay in a happy relationship- Sounds like a difficult equation, but ApSci (Applied Science for long) have worked it out. To 3D’s Jane Stabler, it sounds more like magic than science.

ApSci are Australian Dana Diaz-Tutaan, and New Yorker Raphael LaMotta, and if 3D ventured into romantic fiction, their story is how the first novel would read. Almost 10 years ago the pair were in New York for different musical reasons, they met, were married two years later, and began making music together – and that’s not a euphemism. They now split their time fairly equally between either side of the equator, with the one constant being each other.

Whilst most people sometimes like to escape their partner by going to work that’s not possible for these two. Dana admits she likes it that way. “It’s the only way I know because we’ve been doing it for so long!” she laughs. “Even on a Saturday night if we’re just at home, if he’s silent and I know he’s thinking of music stuff I won’t ask because I know it will open up a whole new thing right there! But that’s the way the cookie crumbles. It is our life. It’s good that we know how to push each other’s boundaries. We can be brutally honest. We throw so much of ourselves into ApSci that we live it and breathe it.’

Together Dana and Ra have created music that many have found difficult to classify, having been called alternative hip hop, electro hip hop and futuristic. Dana’s classical training is clearly recognisable in what she brings to their sound, as is Ra’s hip hop background. Working on a new album for release in May next year, Ra reveals that people will continue to be surprised by their evolving style.

“It’s a very different style and direction,” he divulges of the new album. “Someone joked to me recently that [I must be] spending more time at the beach and it’s chilled [me] out.” His friend was clearly having a laugh: ApSci’s emerging sound is anything but ‘chilled’. The new album is up-tempo and aggressive; fairly different to the mellower style they produced while in New York. Ra credits it to their respective environments. “It’s like in New York everyone is jaded and no one wants to hear about more aggression, so maybe that’s why we were more mellow. Here it’s the opposite!”

Dana is equally keen to not be stereotyped into a particular genre, but accepts that it’s just what people do. “We can’t help being weird!” she adds. “Definitely with the new material it’s more electronic pop with hints of hip hop. We don’t mind the classifications, it’s a standard thing but if someone came up with a new genre to describe us then I’d be happy with that!”

WHO: ApSci
WHAT: Play Bamboo Banger at Oxford Art Factory/ Play Art in Motion at the Forum
WHEN: Wednesday 5 December / Thursday 6 December

Photo credit: Matt Booy