Muzzy has just dropped his most substantial EP to date, and it’s stacked with a dizzying rollcall of collaborators: Celldweller, Flite, Sullivan King, Teddy Killerz, A.M.C & Turno and vocalists Miss Trouble and MC Mota
Each artist a dream collaborator in Muzzy’s musical world, this is serious wishlist business for the rapidly accelerating UK artist. But as talent-packed as it is, the strong conceptual approach and sense of consistency he’s made his signature over the last five years are just as strong, if not stronger as he’s not only paid homage to each collaborator’s technique but also created a mini-album vibe throughout the five tracks.
We caught the Flite and Teddy Killerz tracks recently, here’s the full story behind the EP and other musicians Muzzy would love to collaborate with in the future. Like Muzzy himself, this one goes deep…
Thanks. This one feels different because it revolves around the collaborations. I wanted to put the spotlight on all the artists involved in the EP. It’s much more than just a Muzzy record. We tried to give it the cohesion and consistency you’d expect from a Muzzy EP but everyone I was lucky to work with are much more focus than I am.
It’s been your first release in over a year! I guess the collaborations took time to bring together?
Yeah it’s been a while and it did take a long time to bring together but mainly I don’t want to rush things. Everything has a theme for me and there has to be progression from the last release. So this felt like the right direction for development after something as euphoric and melodic as Spectrum.
I’m getting a Pendulum theme on tracks like New Age and In The Night
I think when you have that larger than life style of drum & bass that fuses in elements like rock or orchestral music comparisons to Pendulum will always be made. They never made straight-up drum & bass; it was always a fusion of many elements done in such a supersized way. A Pendulum theme was never the intention, though. I was writing in a such a way that I would complement each person I collaborated with. So with Celldweller I wanted to give it that large electronic sound he’s known for with all those guitars and big chuggy riffs. Another example, the Flite record, is a bassy roller with a moody tone. A lot of his tunes are produced like that – especially how he does drums and precussion. In a way it’s me diving into the other producers’ styles and techniques. It was me submitted to other artists styles and seeing if I can adapt to their style.
I think celebrating is a better term rather than submitting!
That’s a much better word actually. I wanted all these guys to be the main focus and the reason they were chosen is because they’re my favourite artists right now. To be able to work with them is a dream come true. Celldweller was one of my favourite artists long before I even considered making music. Flite and AMC & Turno are at the top of their game. Sullivan King is just making ridiculous waves on another level. And of course Teddy Killerz. We’ve done a few things together over the years so we did the halftime tune because a lot of people will assume it will be a neurofunky sound like we’ve done before so we flipped expectations a little. Obviously MC Mota and Miss Trouble both killed it on the vocals, too. It really is an EP of people I’ve most wanted to work with.
Did you write up a wishlist of collaborators or are these all friends and personal connections?
I won’t just work with anyone. I have to like the person first and have some type of relationship with them. There were other people I worked with during the making of this EP but we wanted to make sure the styles across Cascade worked in cohesion. Needless to say they’ll be out on a future release that will also have to make sense and not just seem like collection of tunes. Everything has to be a concept and I like to include Easter eggs deep in the project. Everything has to have a narrative that relates to previous records and things coming up in the future.
Yeah it’s hard to have cohesion with collaborations – you are the consistency in effect. So tell us about the Easter eggs!
Well In the Teddy Killerz collaboration there is a reference to one of my older tracks Junction Seven from F Minor Factor with some of the bass riffs. People immediately spotted that. There are other subtle references to Spectrum and the story behind End Game and F Minor Factory. But they’re not for me to decipher for you. Big Muzzy fans know what’s what!
That must be humbling when you have people who read your music that deeply – it’s a communication between the act and artists that’s more relevant now than ever
Definitely. That’s why I have my Muzzy HQ on Discord so everyone can come together and I can directly talk to people in a live chat and they can talk to each other. I don’t like writing bland dance tunes – there has to be some real substance for people and I want to encourage people to listen closely to the music and find these things. That’s how I listen to music. Like Aphex Twin, he drops all kinds of references and it becomes a treasure hunt and develops a sense of meaning or an in-joke. To have that level of detail in the music is so important for the artist and the listeners.
Especially as music is so disposable now
That’s the thing. It makes the whole experience more timeless – it’s much more than an EP that works for a certain period of time. It’s part of much more substantial body of work and gives a third dimension – it’s less likely to be lost in the wind after a month or two.
It also means people don’t mind if there’s a year between releases – because it’s worth the wait.
Yeah exactly. Although the time between Spectrum and Cascade took a long time because there were so many people involved and they all have their own schedules and profiles. It was difficult to align everything in harmony and make sure we all benefited from the release.
Quite a logistical challenge
I was going to ask you for your dream collaborators, dead or alive, but that seems a bit insulting because this is the dream collabo EP!
Yeah it is! The fact I got to work with these guys has been an honour. I love collaborating though and I would love to work with composers in the future. It’s a completely different workflow to making electronic tracks. Austin Wintory, Gareth Coker, Hans Zimmer or, if we’re talking composers who’ve now departed then Jerry Goldsmith or James Horner. The titans, basically. Their music is composed in such an incredible way and has such a sense of scale.
Scale is important for you, right?
Sure! That big clash of large sounds and genre mixing and references and motifs. The way the create sounds is inspiring too. Austin Wintory on his Journey soundtrack in one of the parts of the game you’re going up a cold freezing mountain and it’s really windy and he uses this fluttering cello by Tina Guo. She flutters her strings on her cello to make it sound like a jittering cold environment and I love that. Such thought and detail. I find it so inspiring how they create such atmospheres and drama and scale. It’s so much more than shit hot kicks and snares. We all have the technology to do that – that’s not where the artistry comes from. That comes from building an atmosphere and having that third dimension. When your tracks are multidimensional they have re-listen value. Just like replay value on games. How timeless can it be? That’s why I look up to big score composers – their work is timeless.
I wasn’t expecting such a deep answer. That’s awesome.
Working with great minds like theirs would be incredible though, right? But if we’re talking electronic producers then there aren’t many artists who I dislike. I’d love to work with so many people! KOAN Sound would be amazing. Skrillex, Diplo, Infected Mushroom, The Prodigy. These guys have also been a huge influence and inspiration for me. Especially Infected Mushroom – the whole universe they’ve created and the amount of detail and thought in each production is insane. That’s the level I’m aiming for as an artist and if I don’t, I’ll be doing myself and anyone who supports my music a disservice!