Total Science: CIA Agent Provocateurs

Total Science: CIA Agent Provocateurs
18 Feb, 2015

total science

Great news for Total Science fans… Freshly emigrated from Oxford to a brand new studio in Bristol, Quiff and Spinback are currently more inspired and motivated than ever. With a cannon of CIA projects locked and loaded for the coming months, we caught up with them ahead of their appearance at Innersoul this Friday at Plan B, London. This is what an Innersoul party looks like:

Total Science are part of a seriously solid line-up as they’ll be joining Randall, Fabio, Storm, Eveson and MsDos. Heavy, right? Cop the full event details here and read on for a full, frank and occasionally tongue-in-cheek chat with the guys. Extra special shout out to Ray Higgins.

Yes Q and Spinback – what have you been up to today?

Hiding from Ray Higgins and Paul has been flopping about on the floor (practicing yoga) all morning! Now we are both doing this interview & finishing another new beat.

You guys have been around for more than a hot minute now and 2015 looks as busy as ever – what can we expect from Total Science over the course of the year?

Yes, we have been at it a few years now. Well, as of mid 2014 we decided to cash in all our chips and move to Bristol for various reasons, but mainly to get a place/studio together where we could lock in & immerse ourselves in making music, no distractions of mortgages and soak up the vibe of the city and array of great artists that inhabit the place. To really to coin a phrase – we want to ‘go in’. Due to one reason or another since we lost our studio base in Oxford around 2008, we managed to keep producing regularly but it wasn’t like the old days when we could put 100% of our time into doing what we loved most. Anyway, back to the original question due to the above expect lots of new music as the plan is working very nicely.

We saw a video on your Facebook previewing a track with Riya, we were impressed. Please tell us more about this!

Glad you approve, we love working with Riya and this again was another enjoyable experience… If a little long due to the move. This is set for release on a new series of EPs on our CIA imprint called Classified. Walk The Same Lines is the aforementioned track and will appear on the first in the collection, V1. We’ve also just completed a track for Riya’s forthcoming album, which features Fox and GQ which should be dropping in the not too distant future.

It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about another Audio Works CD. What’s the word on this, what are you hiding from us?

Funny you should mention that as we are just about to release the first in a series of Audio Works style compilations called Select Files , which will feature classic CIA material plus exclusives and unreleased gems. That will be available on the CIA Bandcamp.

Going In Circle was released 10 years ago this year. An ultimate TS classic. Do you approach a track in terms of production method differently now compared to 10 years ago?

With us tracks just happen, ideally we will start with a well EQ’d beat and go from there, but it’s never that easy. If we haven’t got an initial plan for a track we literally play around with sounds, beats, bass and before you know it something happens we both like. Then we just roll with it. It’s much easier now we don’t use a mixing desk as we can have so many more ideas on the go at once where as pre-inside the box tune making you really had to finish each track at a time but that did also have a plus side, you had to learn fast.

The last release on your C.I.A imprint saw Philth work with Collette Warren – are there certain perimeters you look at for C.I.A releases?

Just music we both think is good, it’s that simple. With so much music around, we get sent a lot and it’s hard to check it all sometimes. Then every artist, who has a few hits getting signed and locked off, we just seek out the music that we like and enjoy listening to and if it’s available sign it to one of the labels.

What else is on the C.I.A horizon this year?

We a currently putting together a nude CIA artist calendar for 2016, but getting Spirit to pose in nothing but a firemans helmet in the current weather conditions has been hard work! Seriously tho, the Classified EP, which we mentioned earlier, is coming out next month and features tracks by Calibre, Mako, Chroma, Riya, S.P.Y and ourselves. We also have penciled in an EP from Calibre to follow and more music from Ed.it. This year we plan on moving the label up another level with the help of a new label manager after the set back of getting fucked over by Chemical Records.

You guys have killed it and made a career out of working with each other can you give any advice to any young producers working as a duo?

We’ve known each other for so long now it’s second nature working or just being around each other, we are quite opposite, which helps as we both are good at things the other may struggle with, this has become more evident now we share a house. I’m great at cleaning and washing up, but can’t cook whereas he knocks up some great food, but leaves most of it plastered all over the kitchen and leaves a trail of crumbs and muck around the place. As for the studio, I’ve created a system that gets music mixed and finished, which gives him the freerange to create knowing I’ll do the donkey work to make it all gel (Quiff) Cunt (Smithy). Advice then, if you make a few tunes that sound good and you can tolerate each other then go for it…. what’s the worst that can happen?

Any rules in the studio you must obey?

I wish there were but Smithy is a greasy, untidy dwarf Burt Reynolds with no personal hygiene who repeatedly breaks wind in my direction while laughing, so no, anything goes, apart from colouring an instrument or audio part in logic Salmon pink, that is a bridge too far. (Quiff) What can i say, i like to break the rules. I’ve not told him until now, but I rub my sweaty balls on the keyboard each evening before i go to bed (Smithy) Great! (Quiff)

You’re in the midst of playing several huge nights across the UK, one night in particular sees you with Fabio and Randall at innerSoul at Plan B. How is it playing along-side fellow veterans that are also very much still on top of their game?

It’s great to play alongside the DJs who inspired us as kids, yeah they maybe OAPs now but they can still show the kids how it’s done 😉


You’ve journeyed across the world and back again as DJs – where are your favourite places in the world to play?

Yes, it’s a blessing to have been able to see the world doing something you love, (Quiff) I’ve had so many great experiences and met loads of great people around the globe, you know who you are 😉 It would be impossible to narrow it down to a few places but I really want to go back to Japan, Australia & New Zealand soon as it seems too long since I was there. (Smithy) Favourite places to play would have to be Respect in LA, the crowd really know their music and how to have a good time to it! Womb in Tokyo is pretty special place as well!

Tell us 5 tunes are getting you excited at the moment…

Calibre – Another – CIA

Ivy Lab – 20 Questions – Critical

DLR  – The Grip ft Ant TC1 – Dispatch

FD – Butterflies ft Soukie

Total Science – Man Down – Metalheadz

Completely off topic but…Simon Cowell’s ‘Ultimate DJ’ competition. Views?


Any final shouts?

Ray Higgins

Catch Total Science, Randall, Fabio, Storm, Eveson, MsDos and many more at Plan B, Brixton, this Friday.


A self-confessed audiophile with a love for all things rhythmic across the electronic spectrum.