Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Octane & DLR

Since 2010, Octane & DLR (otherwise known as Chris & Jay) have been blinding the drum & bass massive worldwide with a selection of dance floor destroyers released on top notch labels like Renegade Hardware, Run DNB, Audio Tactics and of course initially and most regularly on Dispatch Recordings.

For the last 12 months however, this intrepid duo have been slaving away in their studio, compiling their debut album Method in the Madness (out on Sept 10 2012 via Dispatch Recordings) which is now complete and ready to be unleashed.

Even though the duo are busy putting the finishing touches on the long awaited debut, the self proclaimed "boy band" from Leeds take time out to answer some questions in this exclusive interview, as they tell us about an album that was conceived through "finding sounds, recording and arguing". Read On.

1) Let's start at the very beginning, for those unaware of all things Octane & DLR, can you introduce yourselves please?

Hello, we're Chris (Octane) and J (DLR). We make up the boy band Octane & DLR!

2) How long have you been working on this project?

We both worked solo for years before hooking up. We had our first release in 2010 as Octane & DLR and we haven't looked back - actually, that's a lie. We regularly look back and think, 'why on earth!?' haha!

3) What are some of the inspirations behind this album?

This is a question that seems unanswerable to us. We've never listened to a piece of music and thought, 'I want to sound like that'. It's not something intentional, we've both just had that view on music, even before we met. I guess all we can say is that every piece of music we've ever listened to has influenced us in some way.. The album, specifically, was influenced only by a need for us to explore what we love about all music.

4) This being your debut album - was there anything you were keen to do or avoid, music wise?

We were keen to show all of our colours but also avoid alienating people and each other.. Both of us can have differing opinions on 'What's right'. I think we had around 32 or 33 tracks that were all potentially great in their own way and it took a lot of debate (arguing, pulling hair, adding laxatives to coffee etc.) for us to agree on a lot of the material. Having Ant TC1 as a mediator really helped out and kept us focused on the bigger picture.

5) Collaborations (with Schematic, Break, Gusto to name but a few) are aplenty on this debut. What's the process of approaching producers for a beat?

Being in the industry and meeting a lot of people naturally leads to collaboration I think. Sometimes just as a pastime after a gig we might write a beat with a producer that lives nearby. Most hook ups either don't get finished or even if they do, they're in the bag to DJ with and not planned for release. . The collabs on this album are with great friends of ours and they're all hugely talented in their own right. There wasn't really an approaching process for what we wanted to do, we had music we'd written or part written with other artists and these are just the tracks that made it to the final track list because we were really proud of them.

6) Were anyone else you wanted to collaborate but were unavailable? Any dream collaborators for Octane & DLR out there?

Not really, I think there's a few select artists who we feel we have built a great working relationship with that we'll continue to work with but we are locking down more towards solo projects (as Octane & DLR) again.

7) Were there any specific sounds or beats that inspired you while making this album?

We did a lot of live recording in the album. Some of the musicians and vocalists we've worked with really helped make ideas come to life. We've both got a very technical edge to our writing and when you have a musician with a completely different mindset in the studio, new, fresh sounds really build the vibe. Very similar to a good collaboration track!

8) So, what we some of the maddest moment when it came to putting this album together?

Finding sounds, recording, arguing. The whole process was unplanned. The album is like an illegitimate child!

9) 17 tracks is quite a lot for an album. How many tracks did you record for the project? Tell us more about the recording process.

We started with a lot more. I remember looking in our project folder for new ideas for new tracks and realised there were so many good, unfinished things that we should go in and try to make use of what's there. It turned out we had enough material to probably turn into an album. Some of the tracks had been there for upto a year with loads of work already put in, some just little sketches. In any case pretty much everything got rewritten and most of it ended up not making the final album but that's how the project got started. We drafted in musician friends so we could record drums, sax, vocals, guitars and a load of obscure things and the project slowly built itself.

10) What about your favourite moments from the album or recording - could you clue us in on that as well?

There was no better feeling than that of relief when the masters went off! By the end of the project we'd worked so hard on it for so long we just wanted to find the endpoint. Plus the amount of time we spent writing the album, we had very little income. It has been a really tough journey. So tough that DLR moved to London!!

11) What's next for Octane & DLR - more gigging, albums or locking yourself in a room, glad the debut album horror is over?

We've had a little rest from writing so intensely although we've got a few remixes on the go. The next step for us is releasing the album and building our performance as DJs to a more unique show. We've got gigs and festivals and possible tour plans coming up and a few special singles to come before the end of the year so things are still quite busy. Too busy to even think about a second album just yet!