Trutopia Celebrates 30 Years of Nervous Records with an Exclusive Mix

The Welsh duo details their musical journey to date, their winning relationship with Nervous Records, and delivers an hour of classic house.

9 min
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Sept 28, 2021
Cameron Holbrook

It’s always a family affair on the dance floor when Trutopia hits the decks, and that’s precisely the vibe they aim to create. Hailing from the Welsh city of Swansea, brothers Ash and Kris have spent the past five years performing everywhere — from Ibiza to Sydney to Amsterdam and throughout their current home base in London — with energy that has won them fans around the globe. Meanwhile, the duo’s productions have landed on powerhouse labels like Night Mayors, Strictly Rhythm, MadTech, REALM Records, and most notably, Nervous Records — Beatport’s Label of the Month — which just celebrated its 30-year-anniversary.

Their 2018 debut on Nervous, Soul Heaven” reached number one on the Beatport house charts, and subsequent Nervous tracks such as “Can’t Let Go” and “4 The Show” have also gone global.

Following the release of their most recent Nervous Records track, “A Brooklyn Sesh,” we caught up with Ash and Kris to learn more about their brotherly connection both in the studio and in the booth, how they first fell in love with house music together, and more. They also provided a marvelously groovy mix with some of their favorite Nervous tracks and some killer exclusives. Listen to the mix in the player above and check out the interview below.

Check out Trutopia’s new ‘Hot 20’ chart on Beatport.
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Thanks for joining us, Ash & Kris! How has the summer of 2021 been treating you?

Ay, an absolute pleasure. Summer ’21 was mad surprising, to say the least! At first, we weren’t expecting too much to happen in terms of dates, but luckily, the parties we were booked for found ways to make them happen — from naughty villa parties in Ibiza to open air boat parties on the Thames. We’re also just off the back of playing Sundown Festival in Norfolk, which was large. It’s such a good feeling to see packed-out crowds back at the dance!

Growing up in the Welsh city of Swansea together, how did the two of you first fall in love with house music?

Well, being brothers, it’s always on the older brother to show the younger the ropes, duplicating IDs so the younger could get in before his time. We spent most of our teens at clubs called Escape, Monkey, and Sin City. That’s where we fell in love with house music, from the likes of heavy hitters Skream, Disclosure, Eats Everything, and Dave Spoon all passing through, bringing all sorts of flavors that we just didn’t hear too often while growing up in Swansea at the time.

When did you first start producing and DJing together? How would you describe your workflow both behind the decks and in the studio?

We’ve always made music together, even as proper young kids. Kris would be on the drums and Ash on the guitar and vocals, but we didn’t start to take things seriously until we moved to London a few years back. We started going to places like XOYO, Fabric, and The Nest. Then, loving the sounds that London offered, we got straight into it. Production-wise, Kris is the creator. He’s the beat and bassline maker and everything in between. Ash is more of the yes/no guy, bringing toplines, melodies, and a little bit of focus to the table as to where we want the sound, musically. That being said, there has been the odd tune where all of the above gets thrown out the window, and we just jam it!

DJ-wise, we have different tastes as to what we look for in records, but seemingly our sounds always work together (we hope, ha).

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How did you first get linked up with Nervous Records for your first single on the label, “Soul Heaven?” How has your relationship with the imprint progressed since then?

Our first record on Nervous, “Soul Heaven” — now there’s one we still get the @s from.

Since releasing with them back in 2018, we’ve gone on to create a huge relationship with Nervous, Andrew Salsano, and Mikey Weiss, releasing over seven records with them. We feel privileged to have such a world-renowned label with such heritage as a home for our music. A massive highlight of our Nervous ongoings was getting brought out to New York for a week of sessions in Brooklyn. We sat in the studio and made some of our favorite work to date with all the inspiration from the culture that surrounded us while there. It’s pretty crazy that we get to call these guys friends, and we chat to them weekly, if not daily, not all about music (mostly about getting on the beers).

Your latest track on Nervous, “A Brooklyn Sesh” — which we used as our featured track for Beatport’s Global Producer Challenge — is quite the banger! Can you tell us a bit more about what went into this one?

Certainly, a fun one to make and one we’ve been battering in our sets all summer. Thanks for your huge support on that, the competition looked tasty as well as them prizes!

This one is taken from our time in Brooklyn at the very wicked Key & Needle studios. Sitting at the studio window, looking at the Manhattan skyline, thinking, “this is mad!” We’ve never sat in such a wicked studio to make music, but somehow it didn’t seem overwhelming and really got the juices flowing. We got a mixture of Roland drum machines together to create the drums, and once the groove came together, we hopped on the OB6a and created a very British-influenced baseline. We then jammed with Moullinex to get some keys down again from the OB6. Next, Ash hopped in the booth to get the small vocal chops sung in, later then adding our sister, who has a big diva vocal for the extra hooks, “I Need You Tonight.” Big ups for all your support on this one.

What are three of your all-time favorite Nervous Records tracks, and why?

So hard to pick just three, but the ones we have selected, you can absolutely hear what it is we love about Nervous and their unmistakable sound from the ’90s.

Kerri Chandler – Rain

Nuyorican Soul – The Nervous Track

Loni Clark – Love’s Got Me On A Trip So High (Mood II Swing Remix)

Can you give us a little insight into the mix you made for us?

Packing this mix with energy, we feel like we all can’t get enough of it now that we are all free. So expect some of our favourite Nervous records, tracks we’ve been smashing in our sets all summer, along with a few exclusives. We hope you enjoy!

Cameron Holbrook is Beatportal’s North American Editor. Find him on Twitter.