Wreckless ‘Face of the Deep’ interview
Wreckless has just dropped the amazing Face of the Deep ep on Peer Pressure so we caught up. Promo video at end.
DB: If something is ‘audacious’ it usually means it is exhilarating, feverish, and electric, usually in a LOUD way. But this is all those things but in a very restrained way. It has ‘quiet weight’.
W: I think that sounds like a really lovely compliment, thank you very much. Loudness is something that I think is perceived by the listener and relies on context. What I have tried to do is use contrasting musical sections to create the exciting moments, instead of more traditional drops… which I also like. Beauty meets Darkness is quite a strong theme in a lot of the Peer Pressure stuff and I think this is where the understated tones of “Quiet Weight” come from.
Finally the mastering engineer Bob Macc from Subvert Central is a genius. He has an amazing way of making things sound great but not squashed at all.
DB: Did you have an idea of what the tunes would sound like before you started them? A shape in mind?
W: This EP was an experiment, Alex Jinx challenged me to write a concept EP and I did. So for these three tracks I had strong ideas of what I wanted to do.
‘Peace’ is the first track, I tried to picture myself on a London night bus at 5am and it’s raining. During the night there has been loads of music that is fighting to get your attention and you just want some peace. Hopefully you might find it in this track especially with the beautiful guitar from Rob Cole.
At the end of ‘Peace’ I hope the listener will be “on a level”. ‘Mediation’ features a vocal that is so morphed and hidden that you can’t make out what the vocal actually says. I want this to be an opportunity for the listener to impart his or her own meaning onto the track. Then hopefully you are in a frame of mind to face the deep.
Finally the EP ends with ‘Face of the Deep (Genesis 1:2 KJV)’. The poet ‘Just Some Guy’ paints a wonderful picture in the intro of standing and facing the deep. I remember being in a deep house club and the rhythm was just relentless and felt like it was washing over me. The vibes literally got so strong that I felt like I was falling over the audio edge into the abyss.
“Below the bass line, a secret place awaits for us to hide” – Where We At Version 1
This is my audio interpretation of that feeling, hence the unrelenting rhythms and deep house styling in a D&B track. I also wanted this to be a moment where people could face their fears, face themselves and then realise in facing the deep and jumping right in you can find your secret place to hide.
DB: The textures, the sound treatments are great. Do you work with ‘ordinary’/simple sounds and then give them deluxe and very detailed treatments? It feels like that.
W: In ‘Face of the Deep’ the whole intro ambience / sound texture is made from a sample of a huge industrial fan, the reason that I bothered to do this is because I wanted to keep a strong urban theme running through the whole EP. Manipulating sounds like this creates a really great sound pallet and does a lot of the work of creating the desired imagery in the listeners mind.
DB: What is the beautiful cover art? Looks amazing.
W: This is the work of Alex Jinx who runs peer pressure. I gave him an absolutely ridiculous brief of what I wanted the artwork to represent and he managed to do it.
“What is it?” is a really good question and I would hope that you would put your own meaning onto the image, much the same as the vocal in ‘Meditation’.
It is the deep.
DB: You have guitar here too. I guess this connects to the previous question about your choice of weaponry in sound but what sort of thing do you want to put out there, what do you want to assert? It sounds simplistic but what is your take on D&B? Your style?
W: My take on D&B is really simple. I always use sounds that I like, that are exciting or create imagery in my mind. The guitar is by a great guy called Rob Cole. Most of the elements in ‘Peace’ are very sparse and the acoustic guitar part is complex and provides great contrast in the track.
DB: So with your sound, if someone took away all your gear, sounds and samples but left you
with a mic and a sampler/4 track, could you make a great piece of music?
W: It depends if Just Some Guy and Rob Cole were in the room, I could just record them and it would sound great. If I was on my own you would hear me making and drinking tea then maybe I could lay down a kind of “take me to the mardi gras” beat, a spoon and mugs for the percussion.
DB: Ding ding! Who are your fave producers of all time and of any genres? Name 5?
Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones’ work
Jamie Woon and Burial (Mirrorwriting)
Some stuff Kanye West does is amazing
Maya Jane Coles
DB: And what keeps you in love with D&B? Name 5.
W: Grooverider ‘What do you do?’
DBridge ‘True Romance’
Also having healthy competition with Necrobia, Philth, Hyroglifics, Facing Jinx, Arc Audio and Styla really helps us all push each other and stay in D&B school.