MEET: Brooklyn synth outfit ACES (+ exclusive playlist)

Brooklyn based synth duo Aces are creating some rather sublime, beautiful soundscapes. Their current project see’s them releasing three singles/videos over a period of six weeks. Initial release “What Do You Think They’ll Say About Me?” was released at the beginning of this week and has been quickly followed with the release of “I’m Already Gone”.

We like what they do, so we thought we’d find out abit more …

Backseat Mafia: What’s up Russ? So, how long have these songs been in the works?

Russ Flynn: Alex and I started working on the music we’ve been releasing about a year ago; Fall 2014. The majority of the work has been done at my place in Bushwick. It’s amazing, with recording technology being as compact and affordable as it is these days, how easy it is to work from anywhere while still being able to churn out really top notch sounding material.

Backseat Mafia: How did you two meet?

Russ Flynn: The two of us met, I believe, about 5 years ago through Danny Wolf, who plays drums in the ACES live outfit. Dan and I grew up together out on Long Island and Dan went to undergrad with Alex in Miami, FL. I played guitar in the band Alex had under her own name for several years before we started working on the ACES material. 

Backseat Mafia: Who came up with the band name? There are a lot of associations with the word “aces”.

Russ Flynn: Funny enough Alex’s initials are ACES; Alexandra Catherine Elizabeth Stewart. I think she had been considering using the name for something or other for a while. It felt appropriate for this project and we just ran with it.

Backseat Mafia: I like it! So what’s your role in ACES?

Russ Flynn: Thanks, we do too! Alex and I both wear several different hats. My roles are co-writer, producer and mixing engineer. I try to approach each role individually and try not to allow myself to slack in any department. We like to do as much as we can “in-house”. As I mentioned, everything is recorded at my place and I mix there as well. The only audio role we leave up to someone else is mastering; for which we turn to Joe Lambert. 

Backseat Mafia: Who influenced your sound?

Russ Flynn:  I think we try to stay open, creatively, but there’s definitely a clear sonic aesthetic we strive for, just as we do visually. We have an ACES playlist going that Alex started when she decided to diverge from what she had been doing previously. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a collection of “reference tracks” so much as it’s a source of inspiration.

Everything else aside, the playlist is comprised of music the two of us really enjoy. We’re constantly growing the collection. It’s a cross-section of where our individual tastes overlap. If I had to generalize, I’d say that most of the music is synth-driven and contemporary. Much of it is also made by other Brooklyn artists. Brooklyn, for me, is still a really inspiring place to be. I say “still” because I feel like everyday I see another article on Twitter about how Brooklyn is passée. I don’t buy it. 

Backseat Mafia:  What else do you and Alex bond over?

Russ Flynn:  Food. Definitely food. The term “foodie” kind of makes me cringe a little bit but the two of us are both really into cuisine. Alex is an excellent cook and they tell me I know what I’m doing in the kitchen too. She always impresses me when I get to experience her cooking. Come to think of it, I think Alex and I may have first spoken at one of the big dinner parties that Dan and I used have at our apartment. I would typically cook for a couple days prior to one of these parties at which we would have 50 or so people over for dinner in our tiny Bushwick apartment. 
Most recently I think Alex and I have both gotten into the Chef’s Table series on Netflix. It was that series that introduced me to Francis Mallmann whom I think is such a badass. He’s totally my kind of chef; a guy who has all the technique under his belt but whose methods could easily be misconstrued as simplistic or crude. He’s practice the hell out of his craft but I feel when it comes time to create his art he lets his intuition be his guide and he acts in a Dionysian way. That’s a concept that I try to apply to music making.


“What Do You Think They’ll Say About Me” & “I’m Already Gone” are available now – BUY HERESTREAM HERE


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