The UK production duo and Magicbag label co-founders set out to fuse all forms of disco, house and pop to refreshingly catchy effects
After gracing New York label Wolf + Lamb's Soul Clap's FreE.P. with their joyous edit of Bananarama's Cruel Summer, Leeds-based duo Death on the Balcony's brewed mix of deep house, disco and 80s pop meant a string of tour dates to follow - set to play the People Get Real party and London's Horse & Groom next. Mark Caramelli and Paul Hargreaves from up North have come a long way, running their own Magicbag Music label releasing the likes of Youandewan, Ste Roberts and remixes from 2020 Vision's Simon Baker, Gavin Herlihy, Soul Clap and Jamie Jones. Dazed Digital chat to the duo about playing vinyl, their love of Patrick Swayze, and Egg McMuffins.
...so special about you, then?
We are children of the golden mile, and escaped from the tower to join the circus (that is the music industry) It's where we belong!
Paul: What else is special? I'm double jointed?!
Mark: I play vinyl in this digital day and age! Who would have thought that would become a special thing in this industry!?
...your worst vice?
Good dark rum and Coke please... Forgetting to go to bed.. Chinese food.. there are a few! It's all about the balance.
…the story behind your name?
Long story short: It came from a pretty dark experience we both witnessed in a club five years ago which happened around the same time we planned on getting in the studio. The day after we had a conversation about life and death, on a balcony... so there you have it... Death on the Balcony.
...your favourite website?
Youtube has to be up there - you can lose hours on there and Juno...
...your favourite Bananarama video?
Cruel Summer of course!
...your worst fashion secret?
Paul: I once bought a hat that I thought was the 'next thing' on second inspection after wearing it out it resembled nothing more than a butchers hat.. think I still have it somewhere actually. I also have a coat my granddad gave me which I feel a little bit like Rodney out of Only Fools and Horses in so I avoid it.
Mark: I went to a wedding in an espresso brown suit with cream tie and a pair of cream crocodile shoes to match and to top it off a semi-black eye from a drunken slip leaving a party the night before. Combined with my Italian surname Caramelli there was obvious Mafia connections and was later coined the Cappuccino Kid.
... good for breakfast?
With no sleep - Sausage and Egg McMuffin. On a rested Sunday maybe some eggs Benedict with crispy bacon and the papers, coffee or a nice cup of tea. Or if you get lucky... forget breakfast “Ooo eerr missus.”
...at the top of your shit list?
At the moment... illegal filesharers, Gillian Mckeith and broken doorbells!
...are you listening to now?
Patrick Swayze – She's Like the Wind. God rest his snake hipped soul... and copious amounts of Disco, House & Deep Techno we acquire, buy or are sent!
How would you describe your work?
From a DOTB DJ set you can expect anything from disco new and old/re-edits through to house and deep techno, depending on the time, space and environment. We like spontaneity in our DJ sets so much is never planned! Production wise... we make deep trippy disco, house music and a cheeky edit here & there, focusing on groove, infused with melody and most importantly to bring this to the people on the dancefloor...We hope to make tracks with longevity, that connect and that people would like to listen to again! We have a penchant for music/culture from 70s and 80s (no surprise)! Inspired by anything & everything around us & equally importantly each other!