Hot off the heels of their hugely successful Feel Me/Don't Explain release in January, the UK collective Atlas have joined forces with Brighton's UKG revivants DrDr for their second collaboration entitled “Fall”. For a track that utilized six different artists, the chemistry here is undeniable. Atlas’s atmospheric production techniques blend effortlessly with DrDr’s upbeat dancefloor roots, making for the most perfect seductive bounce. With Donna Cursons and Emily Harris' alluring vocals gliding over the warm chords and sophisticated garage sound, the track will have you captivated and hooked from the get go. Lucky for you, we had a chance to catch up with DrDr and Atlas as they discuss everything from the collaboration to what’s in store for the future. Check out the premiere and interview below.
Earmilk: How did this collaboration come about?
Atlas: We have known each other for a while now, since we played together in London. We were all really into each others’ music at the time and have spoken about doing something together ever since that night.
DrDr: We played with Atlas back in September as one of our first gigs and have loved them ever since. We’ve kept in touch and it has always been on the cards, but we have finally gotten around to it!
EM: What is it about your two sounds that you think work well together?
A: We both have a similar thing going at the moment, with the mixture of live and electronic elements, while both using original vocals as well. DrDr have always had a bit more of an upbeat, dancefloor side to them than we have, so I think the mixture of the two has worked well together.
DrDr: Atlas are amazing at creating atmosphere in a track. We’ve never quite been able to capture that in our music and we are really excited to put that with our kinda housey/garage sound.
EM: What was your favorite thing about working together?
A: Not having any artistic disagreements.
DrDr: Unfortunately due to the distance we haven’t able to “work” together in the same place. It’s been a bit like Postal Service, where we send the track back and forth until both parties are happy. Hopefully for the next one we can all hang out in a studio together!
EM: So this collab consisted of six people. How were you able to find a sound and style that everyone was happy with? Did you come across any roadblocks? How did you get through them?
A: Well we're in 2 threes that each individually have a style and direction. We knew what we wanted to do as soon as we sent the track over to them. We had it lying around for awhile and it wasn’t really fitting with what we were making. We knew DrDr would add something special to it, as it already had an essence of the kind of thing that they do.
DrDr: It’s been hard trying to judge what the other guys are thinking. Joe will come up with a beat that we may be really happy with, but when we send it over to Atlas they may have a completely different idea of how it should sound. It's all about being able to take a step back and doing what’s best for the songs sake.
EM: Tell us a little about yourselves. When did you get your start in music? What kinds of musical influences played a role in your sound today?
A: Me (Luke) and Rem both started in bands at school, so it was just from me playing the guitar and Rem playing the drums that set us up for playing music. I think that has had a heavy influence on what we're doing. We've never wanted to just be all about producing electronic music, or just dance music. There's too many different styles and elements that we are influenced by.
(Chris DrDr): For me, the game changer was definitely Jamie xx’s remix album of Gil Scott Heron. It changed how I perceived electronic dance music and how it didn't have to be a floor-filling club banger to inspire.
(Donna DrDr): I have always loved every element of music, but the big album for me was SBTRKT, every song was beautifully written and produced and the vocals were incredible. It influenced the genre of music I listened to and wrote.
(Joe DrDr): Burial is sexy sexy good times.
EM: How has your sound evolved over time from the first EP to the second?
A: I think we wrote those two EPs at a very similar time. So I don't think there's any direct evolution, but more of an extension of us just trying to find our sound. We wanted to try many different genres and elements, so I think if you listen to the tracks off both EP's you'll hear that each one is an experiment with a certain sound or genre.
EM: I read that you are from the same town and started producing together after school. When you got together, was there a certain sound that you were going for? How did the sound and style you have today develop?
A: We knew each other from school, and started producing together shortly after. I think we were just both really getting into the same style of electronic music like early Mount Kimbie, Burial that kind of thing. As well as people like J Dilla and the hiphop side of things. From the live side of things, we both loved Radiohead and Thom Yorke's solo stuff, and I think their mixture of live and electronic aspects throughout has always been a major influence.
EM: Where does the name Atlas; come from? How did the name DrDr come about?
A: Atlas is from the Battles song 'Atlas'
DrDr: I wish there was a more exciting origin for name DrDr, But really we had just finished our first song and were constantly looking for a name to go by and someone told a really bad Doctor Doctor joke.
EM: What are some of your favorite production techniques?
A: We're always learning so I don't think we have any tricks of the trade, but there are certain elements we usually use. We're very interested in tape saturation, and delay, I think that comes from the old dub kind of sound, that can make things sound very warm. Also just trying to use hardware when possible, guitar pedals on vocals, that kind of thing.
(Chris DrDr): Thanks to Flume and XXYYXX I’ve fallen back in love with side-chaining. Every song we currently work on has some form of side chained white noise within it.
(Joe DrDr): It’s all about lush percussion and vocal chops. I’m massively influenced by 2 step and Future Garage and that comes across in the way I produce.
EM: If you could describe Atlas’ style in three words what would they be?
A: Night Bus Music
EM: DrDr’s style in three words what would they be?
DrDr: Love Struck Bass
EM: You all are going to be performing together in August at Shacklewell Arms. What’s this set-up going to look like?
A: We're going to be trying out our new live setup, including Ableton, so we're looking forward to that. It started out as a new DJ set at Gottwood this year, and we're currently transforming it into a full live setup.
DrDr: Air traffic control? Lots of shiny lights... with guitars.
EM: What’s one other artist that you’re really feeling at the moment?
A: Got to give our friend Luvian a shout, for his great set at Gottwood.
DrDr: Maribou State are killing it at the moment. Everything they release is golden.
EM: You guys are a part of Symbol's Recordings, run by Kastle. How did you guys link up and how has being a part of the label changed your experience as artists, if at all?
A: We linked up through Soundcloud and he just asked us if we wanted to be a part of a new label he was starting. I think having that release has really helped us, as it has set off everything that has happened since. We're playing with Kastle late in the year and will hopefully be releasing another EP on Symbols around october
EM: What was it like working with Henry Krinkle and Tulpa on “Carried Away”?
A: It was a good experience, we really enjoyed the idea of having three artists with different styles who have never met collaborate on a track. We all put our individual styles onto it, and I think it came out well.
EM: If our readers were out and about in Brighton, what are some hot spots you would recommend to us? What about Leeds and Nottingham?
A: Leeds would have to be go and eat in Nation of Shopkeepers.
DrDr: As long as this summer keeps up its all about the beach! There are some great clubs along the seafront such as Life and Digital. Plus when it all gets too much you get to go play on the stones..What could be better?!
EM: DrDr: You guys do a lot of great covers. What you like most about making them?
DrDr: We enjoy putting our own twist on songs that we already love. We come from a live musical background and it seemed the natural thing to do.
EM: DrDr: You recently released your 2nd EP, No Compromise, in March. What’s changed in your lives since then?
DrDr: We’ve got a lot busier! Thinks have been kinda hectic trying to fit in rehearsals and writing out new EP thats coming out in august. But its still really good fun!
EM: DrDr – You guys are known for a ‘Future Bass’ sound, in your own words what does that mean?
DrDr: Future Bass is just modern day bass music. It takes influences from House, Garage, and Dubstep but isn't really any of them as such. We needed a genre to fit our music to and it seemed broad enough. Although, maybe its not the best name for a genre...
EM: Now that this track has been released, what’s next for you all?
A: We're going to be trying our new live setup out at a few gigs during the end of the summer, then we will be playing some shows with Kastle, and the Eton Messy boys later in the year, before we release our next EP. We're also playing with Az & Tor later on in the summer so we're looking forward to that. We should also have a few remixes coming out for free download, and will also be releasing a new track via the vibe guide's next free download series.
DrDr: We have loads happening throughout August! Our new EP Drums Never End is out on Champion Records on 11/08/13. We have an exclusive for Kissy Sell Out coming up on San City High and another collab with Dom 877. All very exciting!