It’s been an interesting couple of years for High Contrast.
After parting ways with Hospital in 2014 Lincoln Barrett has enjoyed various production projects with the likes of Underworld and Clare Maguire. He’s collaborated with Fresh and Dizzee Rascal, delivered a superlative bootleg of Adele’s comeback track Hello and developed a fine sideline of northern soul sets.
Most importantly for all of us expecting new original High Contrast material, he’s signed with heavyweight indie hitmakers 3Beat. In April he announced a new album by way of one of this summer’s soulful D&B essentials Remind Me which. We’ve now learnt this will be followed with an imminent new EP and a debut live show… Which he’s debuting at one of London’s most iconic live venues: Brixton Academy.
Special guest at Together’s annual titan-tiered Halloween bash (where Sub Focus, Sigma, Pendulum, Camo & Krooked, Dimension and 1991 will also be playing) High Contrast will be making his live debut to a crowd of nearly 5000. No big deal, then.
Debut live show at Brixton Academy?!
I’m definitely going in at the deep end. It’s an interesting, exciting prospect. I’ve been DJing for many years and I’m ready for a new performance project. I never thought I would go down the live route but I’m into a new challenge. I’m nervous, really nervous actually, but that’s a good thing. You need to try new things don’t you?
Definitely. What level of live are we talking about here?
For now it’s mainly a one man show but I’ll be playing my melodies live and I think it will expand as time goes on. I’m trying to incorporate a strong visual element into it as well which I’m taking full control of.
With your interest in film this could get very interesting. A story for every song.
That’s what I’m trying to do; bespoke visuals and narratives for each track. It’s an experiment at this stage – we’ll do this first show, see how it works, see what’s most effective and really develop it from there. This is just the first step. The genesis.
So have you finished the album?
Almost. There’ll be an EP first which will come out before the show. It’s my first ever EP. I’ve only ever released singles or albums. It’s four tracks, three of which won’t be on the album because I don’t think they fit the vibe of it. They make for a really interesting EP and let the album be the album.
Awesome. So the live show… Any MCs or vocalists?
There won’t be an MC. I feel for the live show if people come to see me live then I want it to be more of a direct experience between me and them without many other filters. I’m looking to expand it as time goes on and introduce me plaing guitar and maybe even singing at some point but we’ll see about that. There’s going to be one or two guest vocalists, we’re still rehearsing and figuring things out but it’s coming together nicely.
I’ve done tiny little vocals here and there in the past but on the new album there’s at least one track with me as the sole vocalist. On the EP there’s also a spoken word horror film style vocal which I’ll try and do live as well. Which should be fun… I hope.
You really are taking yourself out of any comfort zones here aren’t you?
Yes, I feel it’s the right time to switch things up a bit and give something new. It’s been a year or so of pretty substantial changes for me. This is a whole new chapter in my story.