We Talk To Conduct About The New EP And Their Forthcoming LP
Posted by Adam on 8th July 2017
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of Conduct, aka Chris & Robin, and with a new EP just released and an album not too far off I just had to have a chat with them. check out the interview below where we discuss everything from their debut album to the forthcoming followup as well as the new Takai EP.
Alright chaps, how are you both?
Yeah we’re both really good, thanks for having us! it’s been a great year so far for Conduct. We’re really excited about what’s coming up this year!
How’s 2017 treating you so far, any highlights/hilarious stories?
Opening Room 1 for Fabriclive was the highlight of our year so far, absolutely phenomenal. It was such a surreal experience walking into such an iconic club when it’s completely empty, and seeing it fill so quickly. Chris knows it well but it was Rob’s first time setting foot inside & such a huge honour for both of us. We had a two-hour slot so we touched all bases, and it was fantastic to see people enjoy such a varied set. Aside from that, we’ve been in the studio constantly.
It’s just over a year since your debut album Borderlands was released. Did you take a break before getting back into the studio?
Robin: Nah, writing is a totally endless process for me, there’s not a day over the last year I haven’t written something. Our current album project was started before Borderlands was even released and we’ve already taken a look at Album 3 now. Got a few sketches together already and a really clear idea of how we want it to sound as a whole. I live for this shit, and we’re constantly developing new ideas.
Chris: I am always thinking of ideas for our sound, and progression. Like Robin says there’s not a day go by we are not making, talking or showing each other inspiration for Conduct… It’s our life!. BUT and this may go deep. I had a very rough few months, I had my Nan pass away just before the release day of Borderlands, which happened to be her birthday. I struggled to deal with that, especially around a time which should have been so joyous for us. Very confusing, emotionally. I found solace in making music, to distract me. Shortly after that my Granddad also passed way, which as you can imagine hit me for six. My whole life started to spiral out of control. I tried to escape my thoughts with drugs and the only thing that really grounded me was making music, mixing or writing lyrics. I’m pleased to say I’m no longer in that dark place.
Did the album writing process change or affect how you make music now?
Yes absolutely, but it was super daunting to begin with. We’ve gone from writing a slew of different singles for different labels to focusing our energy on far bigger bodies of work and that’s been a huge learning curve, but whilst writing this past year we’ve come to realise how much creativity it opens up. It’s really important to us to convey that the LP and the preceding EP’s are all part of one singular body of work. We’re so very proud of how it’s come together as a whole.
Which takes us nicely onto your new release, the Takai EP. Is this a continuation of Borderlands, something completely separate or somewhere between the 2?
For the most part, completely separate. There are nods to ‘Borderlands’, but we have been a lot more experimental this time. We tried to take you out to the desert on ‘Borderlands’, this time around we’re going all around the world. Lots of different structures and tempos, which has been great fun, and we’ve learned so much. We’ll always try and up the game each time we start a new project.
Where does your inspiration for your track names come from? Are they a foreign language or words that you’ve made up?
A lot of them are foreign languages yes. We take so much inspiration from the varying musics and scales of the world, so we thought it’s only right to honour their cultures. We’re also really interested in the more obscure languages of the world. Each track has a concept, image or particular tone which we’ve done our best to reflect in our choice of title. For example, there’s ‘Marin Perdu’ which tells the story of a lost sailor, his ship being battered by an enormous storm. There’s a track called ‘Shards’ on the LP, the title & lyrics of which both refer to Chris’ recent struggles with addiction.
The title track is closest to a traditional DnB track the EP gets whilst still managing to be very different, especially the samples and sounds used – how have you ended up much more organic and live sounding drums and samples?
Thanks very much, it’s been really important to us that the grooves and overall drum sound convey live music, rather than sounding sequenced. It’s a really fun process trying to mask the digital environment we write in, we’ve done that by using layers of live recording and re-amped samples alongside a phenomenal piece of software called Addictive Drums, which is an incredibly versatile environment for drum kits that we’ve gotten to know inside out over the last year.
Marin Perdu is probably my favourite track from the EP and is much slower than almost anything we’ve heard from you before – is there a tempo that you feel most comfortable writing at or are you happy experimenting?
Awesome, thanks again dude. We love writing at 170 but we’ve experimented a lot more this time. Marin Perdu sits down at 113, but has that early-dubstep groove so it comes across super moody. It’s sometimes so freeing to drop the tempo and mess with the groove in more detail, there’s a few other lower-tempo numbers on there too, but the lower number doesn’t necessarily mean less pace…
This EP is, of course, the build up to your next album. What can you tell us about that? Dates..? Title…?
Precisely, as we mentioned earlier these 2017 releases are all part of one body of work for Blu Mar Ten Music. The Takai EP is only a glimpse of the full project, and we’re so excited to share everything else we’ve been doing.
And we can’t tell you dates yet, but the LP itself if called ‘Oma’. It has significance in two different languages. Most would recognise it as ‘Nan/Grandma’ in German, and it’s also used in Maori, meaning to run, race, or escape. Escapism is a running theme for the LP, a basis to the sound so we thought Oma was perfect. We also used ‘Omakia’ , the passive form of ‘Oma’ for a track on the LP. Omakia means ‘to be run over’.
And what can we expected musically. Will it be similar in any way to Borderlands?
There are similarities, but as we’ve touched on previously it’s an extension in so many ways. It’s so much more polished & powerful in terms of production, whilst paying the utmost attention to song-writing too. We’ve gone into so much detail this time round to make sure each track individually tells a story or paints a picture for the listener, and to tie in the entire 20-track collection as complete concept. We’re so proud, and we hope so much this music means to other people anything close to what it means to us.
Thank you both for your time and thank you for the music. Is there anything else you want to tell us about before we let you go?
Firstly, thank you for your continued support at Ninja Ninja, and thank everyone for taking the time to listen to our music and read these words. We’ve had such an amazing response to what we do, and it’s been an incredible experience so far.
You can catch us at Noise Test in Bristol on the 28th of July, it’s an unreleased music showcase, so you’ll hear a tonne of tracks from the Oma LP.