Spectrasoul’s dark jungle sounds earned them a loyal following when they broke onto the scene just under a decade ago.
In those ten or so illustrious years, Jack Stevens and David Kennet have continued to garner support and praise at a steady pace, but not solely with the sound they first became associated with. Instead, they’ve constantly adapted their style and pushed the boundary with every release, making them some of the most respected producers in the scene.
And their forthcoming album – SpectraSoul – The Mistress – will surely cement the Brighton duo’s position at the forefront of electronic music.
“It’s really hard to explain the feeling we’re experiencing right now” explains Jack, one half of the duo. “Some of the tunes have already been around for a while so we’re pretty sick of them and so relieved to finally let them go,” he explains. “It’s a bit odd really; we love what we’ve created but kind of hate it too, and almost want to see the back of it as soon as possible.”
Considering they’ve spent the best part of a year producing this album, one would forgive them for taking a bit of time out from the studio to perfect their table tennis skills (which is exactly what they did after the release of Delay No More) but instead, as Dave explains, they’re not taking time off from the studio anytime soon.
“We’ve done a few remixes that will be revealed in the next few weeks and a couple of other bits,” he says. “We have a studio that we pay for now which is something we didn’t have for the first album, so it makes sense to use it as much as possible. Our work ethic is also a lot better now than it was back then, mainly because we’re older and more experienced, so we’re going to keep this momentum going.”
We’re pretty certain you’re already hyped for SpectraSoul – The Mistress, but if you’re not, here are four reasons why you should be.
It’s not simply a progression of Delay No More
Jack: “We tried a few different angles with this album and tried to be a bit more hands-on with the production than we were with Delay No More. Whenever you finish a big project, such as an album, you need to get new ideas and actually live a little bit. When you live solely in the studio, the only ideas you get are ones from the studio, so you need to let your brain breathe and enjoy some other experiences. This is what we did after our first album and it’s enabled us to write a bit differently this time around.”
Dave: “We get bored quite easily and don’t like sticking to formulas or doing the same thing over and over again, which is why we experiment with our sound quite a bit – that’s definitely apparent on this album. We also did much less sampling on this LP, which makes for a different listening experience. Instead, we made far more of the chord progressions ourselves and used a MIDI keyboard a lot more.”
We’ve always felt the need to create a changing dynamic throughout the playlist. Peaks and troughs in an album are really key in our opinion, and that’s what we’ve aimed for.
They’ve collaborated with some immensely talented vocalists
Jack: “We’ve always worked with people who we get on with as both musicians and as human beings, so the collaboration side of things is quite important for us. We’ve never really been into collaborating with other drum & bass producers as we tend to find it’s more interesting to work with people outside of our normal realms. One of the vocalists is Tamara Blessa, who featured on Away With Me on our first album and she sounds great again on this one.”
Dave: “There are also collaborations with the likes of Joshua Idehen, who is a really talented poet, and Dan Moss, who used to be the producer of our Radio 1 shows. Overall, I think people can expect to hear some really interesting collaborations of varying genres with some really talented vocalists. There should be something on this album to satisfy everyone’s tastes.”
It’s a broad body of work that spans multiple genres, all the while remaining underpinned by the classic SpectraSoul sound
Jack: “We’ve always written a varied selection of music in the ten or so years that we’ve been working together and it’s only really with an album that we get the chance to showcase that variety. Also, in order to keep an album diverse, we’ve always felt the need to create a changing dynamic throughout the playlist. Peaks and troughs in an album are really key in our opinion, and that’s what we’ve aimed for.”
Dave: “We like to write a broad range of music and also like to listen to a broad range of music, so it’s nice trying to tie all of those influences and styles in. However, this also makes it a tougher challenge trying to make it all fit together coherently! We hope that it’s something we have achieved with both of our albums.”
The stunning artwork will eventually form one big piece of art
Jack: “These guys called Utile did the artwork and we love it. One of the guys is Fracture’s brother and they’ve also done some stuff for Joe Goddard and a few other producers. We searched for quite a while for someone who could fit the vibe we were after and luckily we randomly met these guys randomly at a barbeque. Each release from the album so far is a section of one big painting they did so it’s going to look pretty cool when it all comes together for the full album release.”