It was perhaps a foregone conclusion that XXJFG would fall for a net label that had the nous to name itself Tessier-Ashpool Recordings. That they also had spot-on cyberpunk artwork and retro-futurist graphic design was already enough to seal the deal.
But all of these lovingly curated aesthetics are mere accoutrements to the sheer Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loader-strength bangingess of the awesome, hard – and, often, weirdly catchy – techno that you can download straight to your neural cortex from Tessier-Ashpool’s Bandcamp.
2ndSun, in particular, sound like the kind of noise you can imagine Darths Sidious and Vader boogying away to in the Death Star’s after-hours bar after they’ve clocked-off from a a hard day of laying waste to star systems. Cosmic bangers from the heart of the Empire.
We chatted to Olly and Ste aka 2ndSun about their creative process below. The duo also gave us a heads up on their favourite ever tracks by other artists:
“From a dancing point of view, there are no set rules – every crowd is different, and each individual has their own idea of what constitutes a good tune or not. We’re always playing music that we love first and foremost, and hopefully that comes through as passion is a big part of music, whichever side of the booth you’re on. In terms of making a track, there is no such thing as easy! No set formula will automatically guarantee what you want to achieve in your head, and sometimes translating ideas to a sequencer can be a difficult process when trying extracting the core idea. Generally though, rhythm, melody, or both are always going to be the driving factors.
“There are no pre-conceived notions when we set out to make a track, as we find sitting down with a plan always results in dead ends – we like to feel a track out as we’re going along. Recently in particular we’ve been focussing much more on different rhythms rather than traditional “4 to the floor” beats, which we needed to do to keep ourselves interested in what we are doing. We both have short attention spans when it comes to different styles of music, and we find if we dwell for too long in one particular area, it curbs our creativity too much.
“If you try to use set tactics you are ultimately just conforming to a formula anyway. Obviously we have certain mixing techniques that we use, but we don’t heavily rely on them as a staple for every track. It depends what the track needs – some sound great drenched in tape saturation, whereas others may benefit from a more spacey vibe. Ultimately we treat each track based on its own merits.
“I guess Divisive Circuit or Control, both off our Quanta EP, are our heaviest tracks. With the former, it’s got a very room 2 techno crunch going on, with a smudge of acid and a nod to Berlin. Control is much deeper, and more of a percussive drum track, but because it’s relatively stripped back, each element is more focussed and the delivery of that comes across well on a big sound system.
“We wouldn’t change anything about either of them as we’ve passed that stage – our sound is evolving all the time and tracks act as markers on that journey. You are always going to be critical from a mixing point of view when you look back at older tunes, but that’s a standard producer problem. Some of our newer, unreleased bits are probably heavier than both of these tunes – hopefully you’ll be able to hear them soon.”
You can buy 2ndSun’s Quanta from the excellent Tessier-Ashpool Recordings
Entry for [StarWars reimagined contest on CGplus]