Arcatype take us into the backstreets and byroads of hometown Manchester, and in doing so, into the magic slipstream of the Nocturne ep, via Ingredients. Read on for more about classic 2 step liquid and the odd killer Virus, plus blinding random picks.
Hey, tell us about the scene in Manchester, what’s happening and what clubs?
The scene in Manchester right now is really strong. Hit & Run have recently moved their nights to a club called Hidden and are programming some wicked line-ups.
DRS has just started a night up called Summit, which will no doubt bring some more strong names to Manchester in the future and then there’s Formless & Relapse who are putting on some quality jungle & D&B nights respectively.
Sadly Soul:ution is still not running regularly, but fingers crossed it will make a triumphant return soon.
The city has such a strong lineage of amazing beats/masters, why is that? is it the DNA of the city?
Manchester has a really strong family vibe within the scene, with everyone looking out for one another, which promotes a really supportive creative environment. This, along with the city’s rich musical heritage and DIY attitude, seems to have filtered down into the D&B scene which makes it such a great place to write and promote good music.
People aren’t afraid to go out on a limb and start a night or to involve themselves in collaborative projects, taking inspiration from the city and the people who live here. There’s also no desire to stick to any stereotypes and this open-mindedness is what makes the city such a great place to thrive and be creative.
Take us into the beautiful ‘Ascension’? Do love the flow on this and the ‘film’ like instrumentation in parts, the sounds are super evocative.
‘Ascension’ is our take on a stripped back classic 2-step liquid D&B tune. The idea was to take inspiration from 60’s Jazz, 70’s fusion, ambient textures and to combine these with an evocative vocal and complementary synth lines.
We wanted the listener to feel as though they are being taken on a journey through the track by these accompanying sounds and to create an uplifting vibe.
In terms of the arrangement it’s fairly simple, as we wanted the individual elements to speak for themselves. Having said that, it still took us long time to finish!
So when did the ep take shape in general?
It’s been a long time coming but after the first EP we really didn’t want to rush anything. All three tracks had been around in their basic form for a while and we just kept bouncing the ideas between us until we felt each track had the right vibe.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say each track went through at least 4/5 variations but in the end this worked to our advantage as each track cemented itself in the EP by touching on various themes within the genre, which is what we wanted to achieve with this release.
The word ‘Nocturne’ implies night time so is that a factor here? LOVE the title tune.
There was originally a version with sampled lyrics which evoked the night time theme and track name but in the end we decided the track was stronger without them. We were really happy with the final product and the fact that it still managed to convey the nighttime, making it more suited to the dance floor.
This one was a real labour of love, helped in part by the addition of an old Virus B to the studio which was a powerhouse in terms of synthesising those dark spacey sounds.
What tune is in your head right now? Any inspirational one…
Justin: Floating Points ‘Kupier.’
An amazing 18 minute long track by the master Floating Points.
It has so many elements in it and crosses through so many genres of music.
Tommy: Calibre ‘Manchester Nights’
A proper relaxed and thoughtful track, full of gently shifting textures which drift between major and minor – this one always seems to get stuck in my head.
Karl: Stenny ‘Consumer’s Tool’.
Released on the formidable Munich based techno label, Illian Tape.
This one is a perfect example of how classic funk breaks used heavily in drum&bass have been blended with stomping 4/4 drums. Killer!
Any shouts and people you want to say hi to for any reason at all?
First and foremost, a massive shout out to Clive for making this all happen and believing in us. Props to Beau at Ten Eight Seven Mastering for doing an amazing job on mastering the EP and bringing the best out of the music.
A big shout to all those who caught us at the Ingredients takeover at Lightbox in June and last but by no means least to everyone buying and supporting our music – there’s plenty more to come!