Pola & Bryson Talk To Us About This Time Last Year
Posted by Adam on 5th August 2016
So the debut album from Pola & Bryson is set for release very soon on Soulvent Records and trust me it’s a blinder. For me this is hands down the best Drum & Bass album of the year by a long margin. I don’t really want to dissect the album in great depth but if you like your Drum & Bass deep, soulful and uplifting you won’t be disappointed; in fact Pola and Bryson have created a body of work that should have wide appeal outside the genre.
Having only appeared on the scene in recent years they have been making big waves and getting the attention of a number of major labels with releases on Hospital, Liquicity and a recent EP on Spearhead. They decided however to release the LP on their own label, Soulvent Records, which having been established over two years ago is also putting out some real quality and is fast becoming one of my favourite labels in the scene.
I caught up with the guys to chat about the LP and their journey in DnB. Be sure to check the album which is out 08/08/16…
Hi guys, I love the LP. Tell me how the project came about and what made you decide to put out an album relatively early on in your careers?
Thanks Lance, we’re glad you like it. It was about a year ago now. We had both gone part time with our jobs and suddenly had lots of time on our hands and we were churning out a lot of music. We didn’t exactly know what to do with it all to be completely honest. We were having a little chat with Liam who manages Soulvent and Chris from Blu Mar Ten outside the Silver Bullet and he just said to us (excuse our french here) “f**k it, just form them into an album, what have you got to lose?” and he was right. We figured an album was a great idea and began work the next day.
OK great, some of the highlights for me are the tracks featuring original vocals. I love the tracks with Sammie Bella, Tayah Ettienne and Blake. Did you enjoy making these us much as I enjoyed listening to them?
Of course we did! Well to some extent at least, as goes with every track that makes it through to the ‘finishing stage,’ we always enjoy creating the ideas and the overall flow of the song. Mixing down and figuring out what else said track needs in terms of texture and structure is the difficult part. But we tend to find the whole process rather enjoyable, and there’s no better feeling knowing that you’ve completed a track that you actually like!
Are there any vocalist you would like to work with in the future?
There are some amazing vocalists out there that we’d absolutely love to work with Zara Kershaw is one for sure and Lucy Kitchen, absolutely stunning. We’d really like to do something with Charlotte Haining at some point, just because she’s such a consistently good writer, plus there’s lots of new names we’re hearing like Benji Clements and Charley Pinfold.
Yeah Chrlotte has a great voice, I need to check out the other ladies. It’s clear from listening to your music that you guys have had some sort of musical training, can you tell me a bit about your backgrounds before you got into Drum & Bass?
I (Bryson) started learning piano and drums from as early as 7 years old, and have continued learning to this day.
Likewise jack has also been playing musical instruments for years and has general knowledge of music theory and so on. For both of us it has been a big part of our inspiration to write music, and there’s a lot of ‘musical stuff’ in our brains that we can’t express through just playing instruments, but we can when it comes to creating a whole body of music from scratch!
How and why did you guys decide to work as a duo?
Back in 2012 I (Pola) was living up in Hebden Bridge which is where Harry is from, up in West Yorkshire. We met through a mutual friend and began working on tracks together in my flat. After a couple of years Harry moved down to London to study in Camden and we found ourselves working together nearly every day. It just made sense to do it as a team. We work better together, the end product sounds better and we find working in a duo helps speed up the overall process. You can bounce ideas off one another and you always have that essential second opinion regarding how loud that bloody snare should be.
One track that really caught my attention was Devil, with a classic jungle style. What inspired this track?
This song actually started out as a bootleg of Nu:tone’s “Back2U” from his latest album “Future History,” for club play-outs only. We loved the reaction it got, and after some time decided to turn it in to an original track for the album. A lot of the instrumentation had to be changed and re-made of course (which we did), and from there we reconstructed the song.
Ah wicked, yeah I can hear the influence of the original in there, both wicked tracks. So what are your plans for the future, any other projects in the pipeline?
Well obviously there’s the album soon, which we’re so excited to get out there. After that there’s a couple of remixes coming, one for Technimatic if you can believe that! And then I guess it’s time to start work on either an EP or album 2….or both, who knows really.
You have been playing for Liquicity, Hospitality, and Spearhead label nights, are the gigs staring to roll in now?
Hard one to answer this; at the moment it varies, some weeks we’ll be very busy and others we won’t, but I think it’s starting to pick up momentum now, slowly but surely.
Where can people catch you guys next?
Next show we have is our album launch party in our favourite local drinking hole, the Red Lion in Leytonstone, London. So any London crew, make sure you roll down to that on the 12th August, especially as its free all night! Bcee, Loz Contreras, Villem, GLXY, what more do you want?! Oh and we’re also making our debut at Fabric in a few months so that’s very exciting for us.
So that just leaves me to say congratulations on an amazing LP and best of luck going forward. Anyone you guys want to give a shout out to?
Loads of people. All the staff and artists over at Hospital, Clinic, Spearhead and Shogun who have been showing us massive amounts of support this past year. Huge love to everyone who worked on the album with us. And of course to Liam, Joe and Tom for helping make Soulvent what it is and giving us a place to work the way we’ve always wanted to.