For Vonne Parks and Andre Gainey, music discovery and exchange are fundamental to music making. The magnetic rap duo first bonded as teenagers in Tampa, Florida through a shared love for crate digging, and sharing their discoveries with one another. When they started making music and DJing together, their omnivorous tastes converged into what they’ve come to describe as the Gulf Coast sound: an electrifying fusion of anything from hip-hop, post-punk and jungle with more localised sounds like krank, jook, Florida breaks and Miami Bass.
“The Gulf Coast sound is foundationally these sounds that come from here,” Parks told DJ Mag last year. “But then it reaches and finds the parallels in these other genres from around the globe, from across the diaspora, and lets us flip it on its head.”
It’s a style they demonstrated on their breakthrough 2022 album, ‘Finally, New’, and which they’ve spent the past 12 months showcasing all over the world with their genuinely life-changing live sets (don’t question it, buy the ticket). The fruits of their travels, and all the musical discoveries and friendships they made along the way, have now manifested in ‘Wish You Were Here...’, an EP for Jagjaguwar that finds the pair working with guest producers for the first time.
With the help of UK artists like 96Back and Wu-Lu, as well fellow Floridians DJ Orange Julius, Vritra and Charlie, the pair’s genre hybrids stretch further than ever across these five tracks, touching on sugar-rush footwork, filter house, grime, punk, drum & bass and abstract electronica. Home is never far though, and their playfully braggadocious bars reference Florida locales as much as they do tour stops and international highlights. As Parks raps on ‘So Excited’: “Gulf Coast… I bring it with me anywhere I go.”
This energy is mirrored in They Hate Change’s Selections, in which they spotlight tracks from friends and peers, spanning deep Florida breaks and bass, Gulf Coast gold, jam bands, indie, dub, and more.
“Still haven’t heard ‘Forget me Not’ played in enough sets. Even with the Miami bass and freestyle revival of the last few years, it’s still a bunch of people acting like FL producers don’t exist. All I can say is, if you’re on that wave and not playing Sel. 6 you’re a damn loser.”
“Real Florida shit. This shit sound like a Southside Teen night jam. It’s vintage Florida but definitely would sound brand new to the global audience. Put this shit in your next set, right after some HiTech or something.”
“Might be the best project of 2020 and beyond, cause this shit hasn’t really been topped yet, truly. First heard this joint on radio, pretty sure Moxie was playing it, and I’m thinking, ‘how is this shit SO good’... I peep the artists and of course it’s my man from New Sector Movements involved. Kaidi Tatham is the real definition of ‘your last shit ain’t better than my first shit’.”
“Shout to Jeff Weiss for the rec on this one. Idk where the backlash or jokes about ‘jam bands’ derives from (some cultural barriers there I guess haha), but if they all sound like this, I gotta dive even deeper! 2024 if you see me with a Phish T-shirt on, mind your business.”
“Gulf Coast represent: yet another FL band that everybody should have been hip to like five years ago. This is actually a side project of Charlie, who appeared on our EP ‘Wish You Were Here…’, and listening through this joint reminds me that the members of that band can do just about anything. Before they started either band, they were making drill records in our home studio haha. Couldn’t tell you what genre this joint falls under, but there’s guitars here if you’re into that.”
“Met Seloki’s label manager randomly on a trip to London, and that was the intro to what might be the best record label out there right now. This Leo Fazio record is my favourite thing they’ve put out so far, and I don’t know if it’s reached the heights it should have yet for how cool it is. Can’t even exaggerate how NEXT this shit is. Music only sounds like this on this label.”
“First heard about Stimulator Jones from a friend; it was the ‘Exotic Worlds and Masterful Treasures’ record. The production on all of Jones' projects have a ton of layers and even with the latest release some tracks are stripped back but it's still rockin’. A favourite of mine on this joint would have to be ‘Pain Inside’ or maybe ‘Talk To You ft. Fat Tony’.
“I remember being at Pickathon [festival], Vonne and I were in line waiting on our food. We were talking about how our camping experience was going and we both started toe tapping and then full-on dancing with plates in our hands. ‘Aye hold on Dre… who the heck is this!?’. Ran over to the stage and from afar we saw someone dancing with a button up shirt and I believe a beret maybe, I don't know but buddy was jamming!
“Later finding out the artist's name was Pachyman. I checked out the latest release, ‘The Return of.. record, and was like, damn! This is perfect house music (literally). We believe if a record is good enough to be played in the house at any time, then it can be played anywhere. Fast forward, Vonne is showing me a few new records on Bandcamp. ‘Wait, go back to the main page…HA! That's Pachyman!!’.”
“Another one of our many Miami/Tampa connects! Although the track ‘What A Drag’ seems to keep coming up in my End Of Year playlist, I wanted to share one of the latest releases. I find it kind of funny how some of Firstworld's songs are about heartache but they're just too damn groovy, you can't help but to dance. A few years back (hell, it might be close to 10 years ago!!) we had a show with Firstworld at one of our local dive bars. We may have to try and run that one back.”
“One of a few on our They Hate Change Mt. Rushmore! Truly grateful we have tracks together. LONG LIVE THE PYRAMIDS.”