I caught up with Calyx regarding the new stuff for RAM and talked about music.
DB: When did you start work on this new stuff for RAM?
C: After our ‘Anatomy’ LP, we decided that we wanted to make a big evolution in our music and production, so rather than getting straight onto the next release, we decided to drop off the map for a bit and get creative without thinking about what to release or what anyone wanted from us. Just getting back to being purely creative and adventurous: making whatever we felt like making on any given day.
So we built up a mountain of music in loads of genres – obviously loads of D&B, but also a really diverse range of house, downtempo, hip hop, weird stuff – from abstract to commercial we covered a whole spectrum of styles: everything except dubstep basically. We decided to make our next release a multi-genre LP, but as time passed we realised that we had so many D&B tracks that we’re really proud of, and such a diverse spread of D&B – that on many levels they warranted a proper D&B LP rather than just a few D&B tracks on a multi-genre LP. So that’s what we’re releasing first.
DB: OK, so saying that, what was creatively driving you, re D&B?
C: We knew that we wanted it to be very different to ‘Anatomy’. While that album had a signature sound throughout, we really wanted this next LP to represent a broader range of D&B styles, reflecting what we love about the genre, what we like to play in our sets, what we listen to at home, but also hopefully representing the roots and past of D&B as well as pushing into new realms of where we think D&B can go.
DB: How do you bounce ideas off each other considering you guys have such unique experience both in the studio and on the road?
C: Logistically, we collaborate in two ways: sometimes we work together in the same studio, either at my studio in London or TeeBee’s studio in Bergen, Norway, but we also work on tracks separately and send project folders back and forth online. It’s a great feeling to work on a track and then send it over to the other person for them to just go in on it, sometimes building on what’s there, other times completely reinventing it.
Doing ‘solo’ work on a collaborative track enables us as individuals to go out on a tangent for a few days in a way that we wouldn’t if we were sat in the same room, and that process has definitely spawned alot of the music on this album.
DB: After so many years doing it, what keeps you on fire for D&B?
C: The hunger has never really gone away for either of us, and that’s down to the very aspects of D&B that got us into it in the first place; it’s still an incredible melting pot of musical styles and emotions.
I hate doing the whole ‘it’s all good’ thing, but D&B really IS in a great place in 2012. It often seems to go in cycles of growth and decline, but this year the genre really has been prolific from the deepest niche corners of D&B all the way to the ‘mainstream’ chart-topping tracks that have come out this year. I think a big factor in that is that alot of artists had been working on albums the last few years – a whole load of music that had been kept under wraps is being unleashed at last – including our new LP on RAM!
DB: You mention your studio: if it was fire what’s something you’d save, gear-wise?
C: If I could only grab one thing it would be my favourite guitar, my beloved Gibson ES175D.
DB: Have you got some people in D&B you are loving right now? New producers/DJs/vocalists? I know you are personally keen on vocals.
C: In general, Break, Xtrah and Hybris have all been hurting me with new tracks every single week for the past few months, all of them are ON FIRE at the moment!
DB: If you could be a fly on the wall for one major studio session in history, which one? Or ones.
C: First I narrowed it down to ten contenders, now I’ve narrowed it down to three:
1) The Jimmy Hendrix Experience recording the ‘Electric Ladyland’ LP
2) Miles Davis recording the ‘Kind Of Blue’ LP
3) Quincy Jones producing ‘Michael Jackson’s’ Thriller LP.