The Prototypes: Golden Era
We waited, and waited, and waited…. Finally this week The Prototypes delivered their debut album. And it’s an album with a capital A.
There’s a concept (without being too laboured or contrived), there’s a journey and there’s the right amount of tracks we’d expect from them (case in point: the massive Pop It Off and Pale Blue Dot) and evidence of them really pushing themselves in different, exciting directions (Redose, Edge Of Tomorrow)
With over two years of work invested in the album they’re probably sick of the a-word (capital A or not) by now… But we thought we’d send them a few album-related questions all the same. Read on to see how Roni Size, Nas, Guns N’ Roses and Pantera all play a role in the musical mindset of The Prototypes:
When I say ‘album’ what are the very first words that spring to your mind right at this instant?
Chris: Still feels pretty surreal it’s done and out!
Nick: Accomplished but hungry and determined for more
An album is a very personal thing, right?
Both: Yeah we’re artists, music should come from the soul/heart, this album is all about just that. When we DJ we want tracks that mash the dance up, but if we were just listening to the full album we wouldn’t want just the mash up tunes because it’s too much on the ears and everything just starts to mould into each other, we want to keep the listeners attention.
Chris: For sure, to be honest it’s been great having the freedom to release some other tempos and a less hard hitting sound because we love all sorts of music and, for myself in particular, I’ve played in bands and always loved messing around on the piano and writing string parts and ‘songs’ as opposed to club tracks, so it’s nice to get it out there!
Many artists tell me they totally switch off their usual genre when deep in album mode so they don’t get cluttered/confused by scene noise and hype…. Was that the case with your album process?
Both: Not really. Both of us have always had one common goal and that’s to smash it as hard as we can and be the best at what we love doing… Which is writing drum and bass. Sure we will experiment with other tempos and genres but our hearts bump at 174bpm and I don’t see that changing very soon. It’s not a race; quality doesn’t come from doing things quickly for us, it takes time. When we came through we used to look at what the others were doing around us and it’s just not the way forward… THE best thing you can do as an artist is to purely concentrate on where you’re at and how you can progress your sound and staying creative.
Are there any particular ingredients that ALL the best albums have?
Both: They all seem to have a consistent sound for that particular artist, and something that totally surprises you yet plays to that particular artist’s strengths. It should paint a picture of where they are artistically and creatively.
What was the first album you both bought please?
Chris: Fugees – The Score
Nick: Nas – Illmatic
Please list three albums that have seriously changed your life / perception and understanding of music…
Guns N’ Roses – Use Your Illusion 1 + 2
Chris: This was one of the earliest albums I can remember properly getting into. I had a video of Guns N’ Roses playing this live in Paris 1992, Axel Rose was obviously a nutter but Slash was the one for me… His guitar playing is so sick.
4 Hero – 2 Pages
Chris: It’s all about Page One on this album for me. Properly sick business. It’s so musical, I listened to this on repeat for way too long!
Roni Size – New Forms
Chris: This was the album when me and all my mates first got into drum and bass. We just used to listen to it all the time. We would have it on at house parties before we were old enough to get into raves and just get mashed up. Not only the songs I love; it’s all the details and sound effects flying over the top of the tunes that just takes me back to that time now when I listen to it.
Pantera – Vulgar Display Of Power
Chris: Got to get a cheeky fourth in one here… Fucking Hostile and alike just hit me with such a release of anger, a lot of influence still gets drawn from the vibe Pantera brings in their music. It’s honest and raw.
Nas – Illmatic
Nick: It just seemed to sum up everything i felt at the time…Getting to a very rebellious age as a teenager Nas just seemed to be able to talk to me and make me want to stand up and be counted..regardless of wether it was through good or bad behaviour…Everything sounded so raw”
Roni Size – In The Mode
Nick: I don’t think anyone can argue at just how far ahead of its time this album sounded above everything else available then. Roni Size managed to be able to combine the dark D&B sound of the late 90s with vocal toplines that would set the pace for the next five years or so. A true inspiration to this day.
Snoop Dogg – Doggystyle
Nick: In my honest opinion, this was the best produced hip hop/gangsta rap album of the 90s. Considering we are talking 1993, the beats were so far ahead of their time. I think producers would even struggle today to mimic half of what the legend Dr Dre did then. And that’s not even taking in to account Snoop Dogg as an MC….He just killed it around this era and sounded so fresh. This announced his arrival as a serious player in the scene and had me instantly hooked. This was the pinnacle of gangsta rap in my opinion.”