A brand new act signed to Circus: Standard&Push are a Greek duo based in London (KP) and LA (Jason) who hit hard with a melting pot sound that refuses to be categorised, pigeonholed or constrained by boundaries. Clichéd description? Listen to far-out fusion of Boa…
Part of a four track debut EP that features house, dubstep and every gnarly funky twist in between, interestingly Boa came about the when the duo almost considered calling it a day. One last crack of the collaborative whip and their game changed overnight. Well, it did when their equally interesting day jobs allowed them time.
Get to know…
London to LA: How did you end up in this trans-Atlantic situation?
KP: We met in London. I moved into some flats and Jason was living next door. We randomly bumped into each other in the corridor and started making music together around four or five years ago. Jason got a job in California but we wanted to find a way to make it work across the Atlantic.
Jason: I moved to London 13 years ago to study but also because of D&B. A few years later KP moved over. As he said, I moved to Cali almost a year ago. I came for work but I also wanted to capture the sound of California in our music.
Show-wise you cover some serious ground. A bit like Truth do.
J: We never thought about the benefits of that to begin with but we do cover much more of the world between us and the off-set in time means we’re basically working around the clock.
KP: We prefer to be together in the studio but technology has made this possible.
You started writing together four or five years ago, you say? That was a glorious time for bass music wasn’t it?
J: Very glorious! Dubstep was unavoidable and some incredible moves were being made by guys like Nero and of course the guys from Circus – Flux Pavilion, Doctor P – who all had major breakthroughs that inspired us. It’s a privilege to now say we’re working with them.
And doing so with a very different sound… There must have been other musical influences that brought you together. I can hear house, techno, D&B…
KP: Of course. There’s no way we can limit ourselves to one style – that comes naturally. I study classical music and we both love heavy metal.
J: That was the common ground for us – hard rock and metal. Anything heavy and full of energy! KP has actually played in many bands, touring the world as a rock musician.
Tell us more KP…
KP: Just drumming with some metal bands and a grunge band, touring Europe and one show in the US. I was playing festivals by the age of 18 but I got bored of it so I started playing the piano and studying classical music in London. Now I’ve ended up scoring films and trailers. That’s my day job.
Interesting. Can you say what for?
KP: Stuff like some music for Homefront: The Revolution and an Assassins Creed E3 trailer score. Lots of really interesting projects.
How about you Jason? Sounds like you might have an interesting job too…
J: I’m not a full time composer like KP is but I work in audio R&D. I spent a long time studying acoustics and sound – I did a PhD in that area and worked as a post-doctoral researcher in audio technologies and that’s what I do now. I work for a big tech company on spatial audio, 3D audio, VR and things like that. I do a lot of mixing, too. I sometimes get to work on stems from Hollywood studios and author them in spatial audio. A lot of technical stuff.
Cool! Back to the Standard&Push aspect of your career… Boa is a real stand out. That’s the track that caught Circus’s attention, right?
KP: Funny story – there was a point when we stopped writing for about a year. We were working on our jobs and just figuring things out and nothing was really happening. Then for one week we chilled before the summer holidays and decided we’d write a track for ourselves with no pressure or expectation. That was Boa… It got us a management deal, a Circus deal. All from a track that wasn’t meant to be anything.
Amazing. So for a while there wasn’t even going to be a Standard&Push?
J: We were always working on music. Especially KP. But not together in this way.
KP: We did odd things but we needed to assess where we were at. We were on a learning curve and were doing a lot of A/Bing and referencing and trying to emulate different styles to see how they worked and what we wanted to sound like. That year off helped us work out exactly what we wanted to do and not what we thought people might want us to do. We did it for ourselves.
J: We went tabula rasa on it – no grid, no rules, no tempo, no boundaries. We don’t have to respect rigid structures, we just make something that flows.
So Boa actually came about last summer – you must be sitting on a lot more music now you’ve found that technique?
KP: We’re constantly writing. We’re already looking at the next EP.
J: As soon as this EP is out we want the next one ready. We’re always thinking about the next release ahead.
KP: We’re aiming for the end of the end of year – release schedules allowing!
Wrapping up. You’ve mentioned D&B a few times. You’ve mentioned not having any rules or boundaries. Can we expect some drum & bass from you?
J: Maybe! We’re both obsessed with drum & bass. From an engineering point of view we believe it’s one of the most impressive electronic genres out there.
KP: Especially neurofunk and the aesthetics of sound design. Without trying, we’ve found that we’ve applied a lot of those textures and aesthetics to our music. It’s great to bring that into other genres.
J: The Reese is your guitar and how you use it and process it is your own personal touch. Using it in other genres opens whole new dimensions of sound and that fascinates us. I was writing drum & bass for years before Standard&Push and while we don’t have plans to turn into a D&B act we love it and you will always find elements of it in our productions. Keep listening!