Last time Will Berridge spoke to UKB, the young DJ and producer based in Leeds had just released his debut EP ‘Make a move’ on Save You Records and was preparing to promote his track ‘We Could’ [Octafiga EP] released on the Sccucci Manucci imprint.
A lot’s changed since then, with a couple of new EPs on the way this time co-produced with Held as well as new solo work, a stack of unreleased gems, and one pretty special remix tied down too. This all feels like a ticking career timebomb.
We got to chatting about the change to his music over the past year, as well as a different approach to production, and details of his latest release.
Talking about the ‘Ours’ EP, he’s obviously very excited about the release. “It’ll be a double sided 12″ with 3 tracks from Will & Held and also features a remix from Prime Numbers head honcho, boss man, big dog…Trus’me! It’s being released by Save You Records’ new vinyl-only project ‘Spinning Plates’ . It’s the first of a string of collaborative releases planned for this year.”
The process of working in collaboration with Held is relatively new one which you could say, based on previous experiences, he might not have been particularly looking forward to.
Will explained, “Rich (Held) has worked quite heavily with numerous producers under an old alias but I have previously found the process difficult. But this new project felt incredibly organic and natural so producing new pieces was never a difficult process.”
“The plan was to combine the texture, depth and weight of dub techno with a stronger grounding in ambience & musicality”
“The collab came from us both working at a sound design company called Samplephonics. We both figured it could be a good idea given we have mixed musical backgrounds yet both of us have the same admiration for texture and progressive music.”
“The production process was a combination of musical experimentation with numerous ‘jam’ sessions to find our sound. We’ve spent a large amount of time building tracks using analogue synths and random bits of outboard which eventually became integral to the final sound.”
And what is this new sound, I hear you ask…?
“The plan was to combine the texture, depth and weight of dub techno with a stronger grounding in ambience & musicality. Coming from different backgrounds has allowed the music to move in directions neither us of us had previously ventured in. “
This is definitely evident, particularly when comparing this new work with Held to his last EP ‘Make a Move’. The former having a wider range of styles, and being more upbeat in many ways. ‘Ours’ has the feel of a maturer production, darker and more complex than what has gone before, blazing a trail for future releases. His appreciation of “that dusty old Detroit sound with flabby kick drums and lazy synths” (best description I’ve heard in a while) continually influences his work. Of course, that’s not to say one EP is better than the other, but they are definitely very different creatures.
“My individual music is going deeper & dubbier still. I’m currently sitting on a lot of material waiting to find the right label”
“Yeah I’d agree this project is slightly more consistent than previous releases. Having not released a solid body of work for 14 months I guess this is the next stage in where I want to be musically.”
“My individual music is going deeper & dubbier still. I’m currently sitting on a lot of material waiting to find the right label.”
His unmastered track NaCl(aq) that appeared briefly on Soundcloud for a couple of weeks was an exciting glimpse of what’s to come. I got my ears around a couple of those productions he’s been spending time on too, and was really impressed by what I heard.
It’s doubtlessly a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ these will get picked up…
At the time of writing Trus’me was still working on the remix, so it’s hard to comment on the full EP as a piece of work, but what did stand out for me was the final track, ‘Tape’. I wanted to find out a little more about this one and how it had come about – it seemed like the process of creating this track might have been different to the 2 (Buoys & Ours).
“Tape for us re-enforces everything we’d learnt from the previous two compositions.”
“Many of the sounds that we attempted to add to the piece began to take away from the emotion and notes hence the piece was left predominantly bare. It was quite a swift process but took a lot of restraint to not just keep adding sounds for the sake of it.”
“The ability to recognise when something is or isn’t done has been crucial throughout the project”
“The project caught us both at the same point in our musical progression so the compositions were never a case of compromise for either producer. The biggest thing that we’ve both learnt is patience. Attempting to implement so many different ideas into each tracks but still trying to ensure some form of continuity has forced us to be very appreciative of each other’s work.
“The ability to recognise when something is or isn’t done has been crucial throughout the project. We’ve been implementing this ethos ever since.”
It was great to catch up with Will again this year and find out what’s been happening. The release of this latest EP and more solo and collaborative work with Held means the next 12 months will be very interesting. The tracks are also garnering support from the likes of Mounter & Ste Roberts on their recent Rinse FM show (below, 50 mins in), who labelled the track ‘Buoys’ as “something a bit special” and “one of the best records of the last 10 years”.
Hopefully next time we hook up we can bring a UKB x Will x Held collaboration of our own, fingers crossed that’s something we can deliver…