Photo - Jason Turner
Nu:Logic is the creative collaboration of Nu:Tone and Logistics, two of d&b's most enduring names. Their debut album, What I've Always Waited For, is out this week, and Kmag wanted to find out from them about the tracks on it, and the accompanying visual presentations which they have come up with.
Guys, good to be talking to you. I hate to talk about a “concept” behind the album and its accompanying video clips, but do you think there is anything binding the work together?
Our only focus with writing the album was to make the kind of music that we want to listen to and play out. Although we both have individual music tastes, there's a lot that we have in common, and we wanted to write an album that reflected that shared ground. It's quite a self-indulgent album really, in that we weren't thinking beyond whether it was something that we'd like to listen to. That was reflected in everything from the writing process, to the mixing and mastering, through to the track list and artwork. It's so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and what's fashionable at the moment, but we were really tried to cut ourselves off from all of that. It's actually a lot easier when there are two of you working on things, as we would bounce ideas off each other, rather than looking outside for influence.
How is the album different from a Nu:Tone or Logistics work?
It's probably a happy medium between the two. The workload on the album was completely split down the middle. When we've collaborated in the past, it's often been the case that we've sat down with one of Matt's (many!) unfinished tracks, and worked together to take it to a completed state. On this album, everything was started from scratch in the studio with the two of us. On reflection, it's much more satisfying way for us to work, and it means that we end up with music that contains both of our identities in a more equal balance.
Talk to us about a few of the tracks and collaborations on the collection.
The track with S.P.Y. was a really enjoyable day in the studio. He came up to Cambridge, with a very rough sketch that he'd started on the train. It was only really beats and bass, so we worked out a chord pattern that would give the intro a completely different feel to the drop. The bass he'd written was really grimy, so we wanted to give the intro a more uplifting, euphoric feel. We wanted the tune to promise one thing, and then deliver another. When we've played it out, it's had that effect perfectly. People think they're about to get a standard contemporary uplifting drop, but then when the bass actually hits, it catches the dancefloor on the wrong foot.
The album has somewhat of a ‘classic’ sound, reminiscent of the best of your combined output. Have you purposefully tried to incorporate some retro elements into the mix?
We weren't going for a retro sound exactly, but we were definitely looking to create an album that feels more classic. There are definitely elements of D&B that have fallen by the wayside, and we wanted to bring those back to the forefront. It's a fine line between bringing elements back and creating music that's a poor copy of great music from a bygone era. Hopefully what we've achieved is an album that has elements that are timeless, and isn't attempting to jump on all the contemporary bandwagons.
Talk to us a little more about the videos – what’s the overall ideas behind them and how was it working with the director?
We started off with the idea to create a short video for each track on the album – so many people experience music for the first time through youtube that we wanted there to be something of substance for them to look at while they're listening. Rather than creating full concept, high budget videos for each track, we decided to create simple scenes for each track. After brainstorming ideas for each track, we handed the project over to Nez at Red Havoc, who then took the idea and ran with it. What we've ended up with are 14 little snapshots of real life that reflect that music, albeit in a non-literal way. One of the things we're happiest about is that the videos are a million miles away from your average d&b video.
What’s your approach to working together? How does the writing process work?
We wrote the whole album in Dan's studio as he has a bit more space and Matt brought in a load of his synths and outboard gear, which meant we had a really nice setup to work with. We have almost perfectly opposite strengths and weaknesses in the studio, which means that together we can each fill in the other's shortcomings.
What are you trying to achieve with the What I’ve Always Waited For project? Why?
It's a cliché, but we really just wanted to make the kind of music that we want to hear, and still want to listen to ten years down the line. If anyone else is into it, that's a bonus!
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