SCAR: Caged

SCAR: Caged
30 Sep, 2015

SCAR have been wreaking havoc with a certain tune: an instant killer, a total marcher. Simplicity is key in the grand scheme of things: it’s at the heart of the SCAR mindset and now manifest in the new ep. But first it was time to quickly catch up…

SCAR. What have you been up to?

We’ve been really busy in the studio all year. we’ve been working closely with Metalheadz for a while now and it was great to do the DNB 60 for them on Friction’s Radio 1 show a few weeks ago. We got to go through the whole back catalogue. Some great memories in there!

It was really fun putting it all together as we really wanted to mix up the old and the new to showcase the sounds that we both grew up with and to mix it up with the current stuff we are feeling now.

And on the live front?

We got back from Dimensions festival a couple of weeks ago where we played on the Metalheadz stage. As always was a really good night.

We got to see Paradox do his live set which was really cool he absolutely smashed it. It’s great to see that style still going strong and the crowd going mad for the breaks!

All the DJs killed it that night. One of the best nights out we’ve had in a while.

To the ep, when did it start to evolve and with which tune?

Well we’d written ‘Caged’ earlier in the year. When Goldie and Ant heard it they went nuts! They said it had to be on Metalheadz.

It’s been a really busy year in the studio developing our sound so we had quite a few tunes ready to go. We wanted to showcase a few of the different styles that we make, so sent quite a few bits over to Ant to get some feedback. It all really started from there.

Ant and Goldie loved most of the bits we had sent over so we put together a three track single which then quickly snowballed into the five track EP you have now. It was great that they were feeling so many of the tunes and we really felt this really showcased what the SCAR project was all about.

‘Caged’: a big beast, I love it. How did it drop into our world?

Thank you. Yeah it sounds great out always gets a good reaction!

We hardly ever set out to write a specific style of tune. It just happens a lot of the time as we go along, finding new sounds and just going with the flow and vibe. As with a lot of our tunes I think we had started it with the music at the beginning, and probably had a break in mind as well.

We wanted to change things from the quite chilled beginning and make the tune a bit darker so were playing with the old school stab that comes in just before the drop.

That seemed to really work and pick things up. The rest is history really .

The icing on the cake was the cheeky little vocal sample Mike found.

I was moved by the fantastic ‘Return To Swerve’ and wondered if it had anything to do with Fabio’s night. Sure made me want to hit Charing X Rd/The End.

We were both regulars at Swerve for years, from the beginning at Velvet Rooms right through to when it was at The End. We both love the more ‘musical’ style.

We’ve both been massively influenced by the night and the way it pushed the deeper styles of dnb. When the song was almost finished Mike was saying how it really took you back to that time, and came up with the name there and then.

I really loved it and loved the idea of paying a little homage to the night that influenced us so much over the last 15 odd years!

‘Return To Swerve’ made a link, to me, to Artificial Intelligence too: Swerve regulars. It’s great to see them here with you so how did you and the guys create ‘Free Fall’?

We have been good friends with both Glenn and Zula for many years. Funnily enough it was going down to Swerve that made us become friends in the first place. We had been saying we need to get in the studio since then I reckon!

It only took about 10 years to make it happen…

Our relationship with Metalheadz really brought us together. When Glenn said he would love to get us on their LP we were really chuffed and got on it straight away. ‘Free Fall’ was the second tune we did together. All of us were really pleased how both tune came out.

We think you can really hear both our styles in the tunes which is great as sometimes its hard to get that across when working with other artists.

Where do/did you guys work together then?

It was done in both studios. AI sent us an idea then we developed it a little and sent it back over , this went on until with had the structure of the tune there.

Then we all got together and got the track finished. We all get along really well and understand where each other’s opinions are coming from so the vibe is always a good one which is just as well because having four people in the studio can be pretty nuts!

Onto ‘Your Move’, this is a phenomenal track, really would have sparked a reaction TO Headz to me, even if it wasn’t on Headz. It sounds like a ‘Headz’ tune.

We both love that old school Headz sound, and were looking to do something a little different that day in the studio, so we decided to slow things down a bit to 160bmp and just play about and do something for “US”, not worrying if other people would like it or play it and just have some fun really.

We sent it to Metalheadz along with the rest of the tunes we had been working on and we were both a bit surprised to hear that Goldie and Ant had both been finishing their sets with it!

It really was a throw back to that era. It was the music we grew up with and is great to see people still playing and enjoying it.

I love the focused, pure view of SCAR. So what would you add about how you guys think?

The whole mindset for the SCAR project is to take the old school production values and bring them up to date, not just putting in a crusty break or a mentasm, but to source new samples and breaks and to treat them in the same way.

We spend a very long time searching for breaks, and even longer processing them and layering them to bring them up to date and give them a new lease of life.

I had the honour of remastering the Headz back catalogue earlier this year and it really brought home to me how easy it is to get lost in all the technology. When we started making music you had 16 tracks and you had to make every one count.

Listening back to these early productions was a great reminder of how simpler can be better, and this is something we have tried to keep in mind with this project.

Also it was great to hear this music before people cared about what key it was in or if the arrangement made it easy for a DJ to play, something that we both feel can make this music a bit boring and stale.

We have tried to change things up a little in the arrangements and keys of our songs so its not just 16 bar and change or always in F. It’s about what sounds good!

Any shouts, SCAR?

We’d like put a shout out to Goldie, Ant TC1, Khanage, Artificial Intelligence, Fabio, LD50, Bassic Agency & DNBA and we would like to thank everybody who has been supporting this EP.

Caged ep

You can follow Damian B on Twitter, @DAMIAN___B
D&B for some time now; studied at institution of Fabio & Grooverider.