Allied: From Obscurity
Ocean trenches, restricted areas and CamelPhat: yes, it could only be D&B.
Taking in the above topics, Allied took us into Obscurity. Something into which is totally worth venturing out of the airlock, into an enclosed, lights-off mission of your own.
First up: you’re not a duo now I’m taking it? I’m catching up. There’s one of you.
Yeah it’s just me at the moment. Ed has not been working on the music since early 2015. The last track we made together was ‘The Awakening’. It’s not to say he won’t be involved in the future, it’s just the way it’s working out currently.
The artwork strikes me that it’s in keeping with your love of industrial forms… is this the case? What inspired the look of this?
The artwork is representative of the BNKR label and its relationship to a particular visual artist. It’s a limited series with a finite run working in combination with Russian photographer Danila Tkachenko.
The series combines the signature sound curated by MethLab for this imprint in combination with the stark beauty of Danila Tkachenko’s ‘Restricted Area’ project. I was given a choice of Danila’s photos to chose from and felt this one in particular worked in union with the four tracks and my logo.
Tell us about the label this is on and the view behind the label?
BNKR is planned to be a limited run imprint from MethLab Recordings with a specific sonic and visual aesthetic in mind. The BNKR name has its origin in a live event series which had a strong audio-visual focus and the concept of wanting to convey the feeling of being inside thought provoking space.
The focus was slightly shifted after the decision to pair it with Danila’s artwork of abandoned installations and objects that seem somehow removed from time. The aim is for the audio and visual components to compliment each other. BNKR is just one of the various outlets planned from MethLab Recordings with a limited life span just long enough to express the detail of the intended vision.
‘Obscurity’ is very elegant… it’s very slick and not ‘just a banger’, it’s got a lot of style.
I loved making it and playing it out has been cool. The track is typical to my sound but the constant automation of filters, reverbs, gains etc has enhanced the progressive nature of the track.
I’m fascinated with the deep and evolving sound from genre’s such as Krautrock / Techno and am trying capture this within the blueprint of Drum & Bass.
It’s not reactive but more heads down and hypnotic.
I love the flex of these tracks, the atmosphere… what sort of things inspire you to get creative?
It’s difficult to say… I like to think that I find inspiration though experience; be it positive or negative. A new experience for me can come from travelling, films, science / technology, reading, photography, music and much more. It’s difficult to pinpoint any one given thing really.
Do you have certain sounds or sets of sounds that you fire up habitually? It sounds like you are very comfortable in the mode of production. It comes across.
Thanks – I work at Plugin Boutique so have access to lots of exciting new instruments and effects etc. I use our BigKick and Carbon Electra a lot. Other tools I am into at the moment are Output [Signal], Glitchmachines [Quadrant], JST [Clip], AudioThing [Fog Convolver], Tracktion [Bio-Tek], iZotope [Ozone 7]… And I still use the CamelPhat on everything, disappointed it’s been discontinued.
In the same way we witnessed music technology become accessible to ‘bedroom’ producers; it feels we are beginning to see a rise of ‘bedroom’ plugin developers create unique and interesting tools. It’s an exciting time for music technology.
I feel, judging by the titles, that you love science, the fabric of things, order, entropy, physics… what’s a science fact that you particularly like?
Ha ha – I have been reading about the Mariana Trench today.
The Challenger Deep is thought to be the deepest part of the ocean – nearly 7 miles down. Everest is 4.5 miles high.
Take us into ‘Godspeed’ and what inspired?
It’s hard to say exactly, around the time I had just watched a film called The Salt Of The Earth which was bleak yet beautiful and was reading ‘Being Mortal’ which again was pretty bleak but interesting.
My ‘Godspeed’ sample folder was coming together with sparse drones and atmospheres. I was thinking I would try to make the drums feel rapid and rhythmic to contrast the gathered drowsy sounds. Experimenting with much lighter snares was giving more room for the percussion to breathe and gave a different feel to my other tracks.
I wanted to keep the bass subtle so not to shift focus from the atmosphere and movement of the track. It’s one of my favourite tracks that I have made and am pleased to hear people are digging it.
Who supports your music… as in like-minded people/DJs?
I’ve never paid too much attention to who else is playing my tracks: my focus is creating them and getting them out there.
Any shouts Allied?
A massive thanks to Jef at MethLab for all the hard work which has gone into the release.