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Exploring New Options: Brackles

Brackles, Scratcha DVA and Trim are all, in their respective circles, staples of London’s underground scene. Rinse bringing the three together on new single ‘Chasing Crazy,’ then, is quite a prospect. The original is a highlight of Brackles‘ recent album – an interestingly layered, bass hybrid that translates the vocals of Cherri V into a enticing, club workout.

Together with the new vocalled version, new video, DVA‘s Soulepower remix, and additional track ‘Do It For The P’ – it makes for a tidy package. We caught up with Brackles ahead of todays (17th September) EP release to discuss the record itself, musical direction and Blunted Robots…

You are re-issuing a single from the album for your next release – what’s to come after that?
After that I’m gonna be working towards another single with Rinse, with the idea of releasing it later in the year.

What made you choose ‘Chasing Crazy’ for the Trim vocal and Scratcha DVA remix? Which other tracks from the album might have ben suitable?
‘Chasing Crazy’ is my favourite track of the album and has seemed to get the best response after the release of the CD so it was a pretty easy choice. I’m not sure how many of the other tracks would have worked as they maybe not suited to MCs.

And, why Trim and Scratcha? Are they artists you can associate your own sound with?
I rate Trim, I wouldn’t say I associate my own sound with him but he’s definitely someone who works on a weirder beat and doesn’t have to be on a straight grime tip. I definitely associate my sound with Scratcha, I rate a lot of the stuff he releases on his label and I always play his tunes in my set. He loved ‘Chasing Crazy’ and was well up for remixing it.

What do you make of the UK funky ‘scene’ currently? Which new producers we should be looking out for?
I’m not sure how much of a scene there is really, there’s a lot of good producers who came from funky but I don’t think you call it a scene as there isn’t really a night drawing it all together. I’m rating X5 Dubs, Major Notes and Pantha.

Aside from the inclusion of vocalists on the album, are there any major musical differences to your previous outputs?
Halfway through making the album I started learning music theory so I started actually understanding chord progressions, before that with a track like LHC I just drew the chords into a loop and moved them about until I thought they felt right. I was also building up some hardware as I was making it, before that I only really used NI’s massive on my tracks.

Were these concious decisions?
Not really, I hadn’t made that much before the CD so I was just exploring new options whilst making it, rather than thinking about how I could make it different from my previous output.

Do you see the album as a collection of individually different, dance tracks? Or are there themes that link and blend the tracks to make an hour-or-so long listening experience?
Yeah I just see it as a collection of individual dance tracks, I’d been writing it over a three year period and had never really intended for it to be a proper album. Rinse had just told me to write as much music as possible and then pick from that. I’m not so sure how keen I am on dance music producers making proper albums – if you’re good at making dance tracks, why change and try do something different when it comes to making a CD.

What is happening with your and Mickey Pearce’s ‘Blunted Robots’ label? Was it ever tempting to put your album out through the label? 
I think we’re putting it on the back burner for the time being, we’re kinda doing our own thing at the moment.

Stream and buy the ‘Chasing Crazy’ EP here. Catch Brackles at Rinse’s Birthday weekend (Friday 28th Manchester Warehouse Project, Saturday 29th O2 Academy Brixton). Click here for tickets.

Richard Akingbehin