James Hancock, an electronic music producer from the United Kingdom known as RUBIX / Grace Bones and as one-half of the group Digital Analog Hotel, moved to Santa Barbara almost two months ago, delivering his own style of house music to California. “The U.K. is a melting pot of amazing music,” said Hancock in a recent interview. “[It’s] very cutting edge and I want to bring that sound to Santa Barbara.”
Before the move, Hancock was calling Hollywood his temporary home. “I came over to L.A. to work with a record label and work on pushing the house sound of the U.K.,” he explained. “After a few months of COVID, I decided to get out of the L.A. area.” He hails Santa Barbara’s atmosphere as complementary to his active lifestyle, as well as a “great place to get inspired to produce.”
Hancock quickly established a regular gig at the Backstage Kitchen & Bar. Every Friday from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a..m, Santa Barbara residents could catch Hancock at Backstage’s “House of Chic” outdoor events. The venue had started shows in compliance with requirements put forth by health officials, but the shows are now shut down due to the latest shelter-in-place order.
Outside of live performances, Hancock has his knees deep in production. His new solo album under the moniker Grace Bones is set to release in the summer of 2021.
As a member of Digital Analog Hotel, Hancock creates electronic dance music with a laid-back ambiance. His partner in that group is Dan Turner, and they released their debut album this past summer. He and Turner “crossed paths from clubbing and being involved with various studios and became friends,” explained Hancock. “We started Digital Analog Hotel because we hadn’t worked together for a while and had some ideas for a new project that was musically different to our individual output.”
Fittingly, the duo produced their debut album, Late Checkout, over the internet, collaborating from L.A. to the U.K. Late Checkout serves a charcuterie board of house sounds: penetrating U.K. garage and ‘90s house into a modern techno sound.
Hancock notes drastic effects on his musicianship under COVID-19. “Summer is a busy period for a DJ, and I would be travelling around Europe,” he said of the downside. “On a positive, I have been able to produce a lot of records and, of course, write a new album in a very short period of time.”
Listen to Digital Analog Hotel’s debut album Late Checkout on all major streaming platforms and follow the duo on Instagram @digitalanaloghotel.
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