Burn: The sound of Brookes Brothers & Kove tapping into a golden era of liquid D&B

Both acts have turned their hands to many styles over the years, but we all know that the fruits of a Brookes Brothers and Kove collabo was always going to be a funky one. Make that a brazenly, unapologetically feel-good funky one.

It’s where Kove began with Searching (and recently teased us with on last summer’s Le Retour), it’s where the Brookes Brothers have been kings for many years (especially on recent tracks Good Thing and Every Minute) It’s where they meet sonically. It’s where they take a great deal of inspiration from; that early-mid 2000s full-thrust, disco-tinged liquid sound was what first caught the attention of Yung Kove’s ear and was the first sound Phil and Dan Brookes tore us down with when they first emerged.

It’s where we’re at with Burn. Long-time appreciators of each other, and current label mates on Drum&BassArena, it’s Kove and Brookes Brothers’ first collaboration together, it features the iconic dulcets of soul, house and disco chanteuse Kathy Brown and it’s the latest in what’s shaping up to be fine line of liquid bangers emerging right now such as Mat Zo’s Games, Flava D’s Mesmerise, Dexcell’s Freefall and anything LSB, Lenzman, Hybrid Minds and Monrroe are cooking up right now (to name a few)

Are we about to head into a new golden age of liquid? Both Dan and Phil Brookes and James Kove are open to the idea…

How did Burn come about?

Phil: Me and Dan are both fans of Kove’s tunes and we’re both on Drum&BassArena so it was a natural match.

Kove: We’ve been talking about doing it for two years now. I think we first discussed it at the Drum&BassArena BBQ two years ago this summer.

I guess it took a while to take shape as Phil’s in Jamaica and you’re both opposite ends of London, right?

Phil: Pretty much. I can’t actually take any credit for the track. James and Dan got in the studio and whipped out this amazing tune and I just put some sprinkles on it.

Dan: No, Phil’s responsible for a whole section. He’s underplaying it…

Kove: They’re very important sprinkles! I think when Dan and I got together we were just working out what tune it was going to be. There was no point in adding another dark roller to the pile or anything like that and we wanted it to have a lot of our favourite styles and sounds we love. The original idea was what became that main synth loop. We didn’t want it to be too over complicated.

Phil: I think that’s the way to do it in D&B. The minute you overthink something you end up writing some real crap.

Ha. It’s tot that J Majik Spaced Invaderz / Love Is Not A Game vibe to it. Also lots of filtered house references…

Kove: Definitely. French house and that slight disco-y thing; taking one loop and seeing how you can chop it into different things and just having fun rather than writing crazy synth patches and that sort of thing. It’s very different to a lot of the recent stuff I’d been doing.

Dan: Once we got Kathy’s vocal over it, we started thinking more about those records J Majik did back then and it naturally moved into that position a bit.

Phil: I loved that era of D&B anyway. That early 2000s liquid vibe. That needs to come back!

I think it’s coming back. Maybe a natural reaction to the foghorn movement?

Dan: Even if it’s just a couple of tunes in a set to break up the heavier stuff. That one lovely melodic tune in the middle of a dark selection really pops out and sends shivers down your spine. They stand out don’t they?

Kove: Even among all the promos sent out every day, having something melodic is more likely to stick in people’s ears than a mad serum patch.

Dan: When me and Phil make tunes we try not to worry about crazy patches or technicalities. It’s more about the whole thing working together; there’s not one particular element that takes up too much attention, it all functions as a whole in the way it sits.

Kove: Larger than the sum of its parts.

I think this tune manages to catch all of your sounds…

Kove: Yeah I think we’ve all run the gamut of sounds over the years but this is somewhere we all meet. I have to say I was a fan of theirs for years and this was the sound that I first fell in love with, so it’s wicked to work on something together that taps as deeply into such a formative time for me. It’s a very feel good tune for me personally as an artist.

Oh nice. Did that  cause extra pressure? Knowing you’re working with artists that inspired you?

Kove: Not necessarily pressure but I’m glad we came up with something and it didn’t end up being one of those collaborations where nothing was release-worthy or really came to anything.

Phil: There was pressure for us all in the last 24 hours before we had to submit it!

Dan: All the elements were there but the way it comes together, and the whole arrangement and things, always takes a life of its own in the last throes of the production phase. So yeah, that was pressure because we were all in different studios.

Kove: And working on different DAWs. That makes life a bit more complicated.

Oh snap

Phil: Yeah we’re on Cubase and James is on Logic

Kove: They don’t play very well together.

Dan: There was a lot of stem sharing and we made sure we all had the parts we needed for the bits we were working on.

Kove: It was like working with samples, which was a different way to work and kinda tapped back into the vibe of the track.

Phil: We were just bouncing things around weren’t we? A lot of the stems are from the first session and had that rough edge to them, it was a lot of fun to work this way.

Nice. I need to know what your favourite tracks are of each other?

Dan: I already know Phil’s. Night Thought.

Phil: One of my favourite tunes full stop, to be honest. I love it. You need to make more tunes like this.

Kove: My problem was that I wrote it at too slow a tempo. It’s like 169 or 170. I need to play it more. From my end, my favourite Brookes Brothers tune is Good Burger.

Phil: Nice one! We kinda had a similar vibe with the filtered house bits on that one actually. Thanks man.

Dan: I still can’t work out mine. I really like some of the new stuff you’ve done but I need a bit more time with it to fit then into any definitive ‘favourite Kove tunes’. Melisma is a great tune though.

Yes! Okay so final question. I need to know the last thing that got you burning up…

Phil: My ACs broken in my car so I get burnt up every traffic jam right now!

Kove: I had some chicken wings after the pub the other day. They weren’t good. Never trust a chicken place that’s right next to a tube station. Ever.

Dan: I had a phaal curry. It’s hotter than a vindaloo. A few years ago I’d have been able to handle it but that was too much for me.

Feel the Burn: Out  now on Drum&BassArena

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