Chords: a man who came breezing into our lives into our lives with a distinctive funk-tinged musical rolling sound in late 2012 on Matrix’s Metro Recordings and Dimension’s Regal Recordings before being snapped up by Ram in 2013 where he dropped a consistent run of heavily supported tracks such as Amydala, High Groove and the perennially goosebumping Biting Point.
His vein of form run for two years and he was last spotted lurking for Lust with Jaguar Skills and Matti Roots in late 2014. Then, just as suddenly as he breezed in, he breezed out.
Almost three years later and he’s breezed back in. And if his remarkable new productions are anything to go by, that breeze could build up to gale forces. Love Burning and Clarion are both a little darker and more direct than his previous body of work and they hint at a new sound, direction and sense of energy to everything he’s doing.
While three years hardly necessitates the loudest triumphant comeback klaxon, it’s the fact that during this time he did completely hang up his headphones and explore other creative fields (so successfully he won awards) that makes Chords’ return so interesting. Time for catch up…
Where have you been?
I took a bit of a hiatus and went into a bunch of other things. I explored the worlds of art and film for a while. Some of it went okay, other bits went quite well, we won some awards, but I decided my love for drum & bass was too strong for me to ignore so I got back in the studio, rang Ram and here we are.
What type of art were you doing?
I did some art installations with film then did a short film and got really into that world and making sounds around film. I can’t talk about the short film too much because it’s locked by the BFI. They’ve funded it and they’re still presenting it at film festivals.
Where you’ve won awards?
Yeah, we won four in the end.
Wow. What was your role in the production?
I art directed it, did the sound, helped with the colour correction and its final look and feel.
From one creative niche to the next. Neither drum & bass or film are easy worlds to make a name in.
No they’re not. They’re both very long games. Especially film. But that’s the fun of exploring anything creative. During the time I was doing the film thing I really wanted to make music again so I started producing for other people.
Cheeky bit of ghost production?
I would say more helping people out with things like chord progressions and keys and musical elements I have because of my musical background. It was interesting to explore other genres doing that, but I knew I’d end up back in drum & bass.
Was there a point where you thought you wouldn’t?
I always wanted to come back but it’s a genre where you’re either in or out. There’s no half measures. So I knew if I was going to come back I’d best have the tracks. When I called up Ram they were super encouraging and it started me back on the path.
Let’s talk about the comeback tracks. Love Burning and Clarion. Clarion is a beast. Bit darker for you…
It’s a bit unusual for me, yeah, and a bit more aggressive than I’ve done before. That’s something I want to focus on; having much more of a mixture of styles but still keeping them consistent. I want to try and release as much different stuff as possible, basically.
Are you sitting on a lot of things?
Yeah. Hopefully if the schedule’s right there should be a release every few months and I’m building up to an album eventually…
Unless you’re whisked away into the world of film?
That’s something that I’ll always be involved in, too. Hopefully I can merge the two worlds in as many ways possible, like making my own videos and visual concepts.
Anything else we need to know about the Chords comeback?
It would be awesome if people could listen to my Ram show on Reprezent Radio. We’re Monday evenings on rotation from 7pm. It’s me with guests and exclusives and loads of cool things from Ram.
Hang on… You’re in the art installation game, the short film game, the production game. Now the broadcasting game?
I just get these little ideas I’ve got to follow up and try out. I thought it would be cool to put a show together and see how it develops. It’s how all these projects start, I never know where it will end up.