Simon Pegg's Upcoming Movie Features EDM From Contra
Hector And The Search For Happiness is Simon Pegg's upcoming movie. Now, why are we talking about a movie on EDM.com? Well, the film will feature club scenes, and Contra has produced the songs for those scenes. If you're unfamiliar with Contra, we featured their track “Final Fantasy” on our House SoundCloud channel a few weeks ago. The track is inspired by "Aerith's Theme" from Final Fantasy VII. Also, it will be featured in Hector And The Search For Happiness. It is huge for dance music to feature in a major motion picture, so we caught up with Lance Lasheras, one-half of Contra, to learn how this came to fruition.
Contra collaborated with Dan Mangan, a well-known Canadian musician, in the past, and that friendship proved to be very beneficial. “Dan Mangan helped put us on the radar and showed the director our work. He loved it and called us personally to talk about the direction he was looking for,” says Lasheras.
Mangan is actually the composer of Hector And The Search For Happiness. “He [Mangan] had already composed a lot of the movie's soundtrack, including the main theme that's present in the opening credits. Using a lot of his work as a guideline we tried to import his musical style into modern EDM, “ says Lasheras. “So we had three songs to compose for the club sequence, the harmony of which is very similar to the films score. Then of course we wanted it to drop into peak hour electronic music, so it goes from being subtle to very heavy, to time directly with the sequence.”
Creating dance music for a film presents far different challenges than producing dance music for your fans. “Another big challenge was that we had to actually mesh our songs together, perfectly timed to the sequence, as if we were the DJ's in the club,” describes Lasheras. “So we were given the movie footage, and then had to blend our tracks together in the club so that when certain events happen it changes, as if there's a DJ working behind the scenes. We also had to cater the sequences where characters are talking to much more mellow and downtempo compositions. The song becomes noticeably quiet when characters are talking, like an empty rise, and then unnaturally heavy as soon as it cuts back to a dance sequence.”
Lasheras is a seasoned veteran in the dance music industry, so his professionalism was beneficial throughout this entire process. A few years ago, he spun in Tokyo with Justin Kim, the other half of Contra. They had residencies at some of the biggest clubs in Japan, including Ageha. Following his time in Tokyo, Lasheras returned to his native Canada and worked solo under the name The Slag. He co-founded Royal Fetish Recordings with Frederik Olufsen, who's The Frederik on Mau5trap Records. He even released a full album, had a North American tour, and had eight songs chart on the Beatport Top 100.
However, when Kim returned from Tokyo, Lasheras teamed up with him again and started producing under the name Contra. Lasheras says, “ Our work immediately caught the attention of Astralwerks who called us up from NY and said they're interested in an original EP. So we've been working non stop all month getting it as professional as possible. Also collabs with Alex Mind and Prototype Raptor will be on the EP.”
Contra is well aware of the current state of dance music, and they aim to break away from what mainstream house currently sounds like. Lasheras says, “We're producing commercial house music, so it's kinda festival style. But we really hate how monotonous and boring big room house has become. Bro-step or Douche-Step as you'd call it. So we're trying to bring originality back to the genre. So we have heavy influences ranging from trance to breaks to drum and bass to plain 'ol electro working together.”
It sounds like we'll be hearing a lot more from Contra in the future. Hector And The Search For Happiness does not have a release date at the moment, but the film's website says it will come out during Q2 2014. It'll be very interesting to watch the club scenes now that we have some background on how they were created.
Cover photo credit: The Independent