Blocks‘ first solo outing on Narratives is moving, haunting, alienating all at once. It IS entitled Séance after all. We shut the curtains, joined hands and began the channeling appropriately.
This ep messes with with me a bit. It’s troubled and troubling in parts.
It started off just as a night off from writing stuff with Will (Escher), just playing around with synths and things. At the time, Will & I were doing a few remixes and it felt refreshing to just fiddle about playing real synths rather than twisting up someone else’s.
As it went on it became a little project and I just took it as an opportunity to write something personal; wear my influences on my sleeve and create themes that reflected what was going on in my life. I’m glad you found it troubling, if it stirs some kind of emotion in people, then I’m happy.
I think my fave track is ‘Haven’.
I wanted to make something with live instruments and vocals but at the same time, a departure from the D&B vocal tracks around. It was also the last track I made for the ep so I knew I wanted to contrast the other tracks with something sparse.
It was liberating to limit the sounds to just three or four in the whole track and early on I knew I wanted to give a nod towards Cocteau Twins and that lo-fi expression of vocal.
Luckily Jen (Jennifer) is the most beautiful songwriter and came up with the goods very quickly. Genuinely the only difficult thing about recording her was how to make her voice sound lo fi!
And who is Jennifer? What a great voice… I can run screaming from vocal D&B sometimes. Literally. What she does is just… normal. Simple.
She’s a very talented singer/songwriter from London who just writes the most effortlessly heartwrenching music. I have no doubt people will hear more from her and far further afield than simply Drum & Bass or electronic music.
‘Seance’ and ‘Patriarch’ are really addictive, were they culled from similar sessions? They sort of stick me like when you see an old film and can’t shake its power.
I think the sessions were probably weeks if not months apart but at the time I knew how the overall sound of the EP should be, so they were written with a common goal.
Can I ask about the artwork? Who did it and what inspired it?
The artwork was by my friend Paul Ross who helped design the brand and done all of our artwork from the start. In terms of inspiration, I just wanted to have something slightly more organic and tangible for this one. We have always loved the simplicity and clean art of Narratives but with this one wanted than human element alongside flashes of colour.
It felt like it represented the music while still leaving an ambiguity for people to ponder over.
To sum up: this isn’t your typical 170bpm banger territory, where can we hear this played out and at what clubs?
Support has been great so far with the likes of Om Unit, Benji B, Doc Scott etc getting behind it. Always makes me proud to hear the label getting support in and out of the scene and on national radio.
Actually who are people you would LOVE to play with? Imagine it as a Meltdown-type question… name five dream acts to put on WITH you.
Ha ha big question. Suppose my dream show would be The Cure, Tropic of Cancer, Prince, Led Zep and… erm, us?
I have to ask my album session question. What would you have loved to have been at the recording of or at the shoot? What do you imagine?
Again, great question. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall at some of those Fleetwood Mac sessions, just to see the sparks flying.
Actually, Goldie was telling me about the session when he recorded David Bowie for Saturn Returnz. Bowie turning up chain smoking in the studio. No one had the balls to stop him smoking… ‘It’s David bloody Bowie!’