A Certain Groove: Ulterior Motive

Taking control of the Hyp mix series this week with a long overdue dose of DnB, we have Metalheadz duo Ulterior Motive. Hailing from Bournemouth – the pairing of Greg Hepworth and James Davidson have built up half a decade’s worth of good will with consistently high quality releases for Subtitles initially before landing on Goldie’s scene leading imprint. Traversing the full spectrum of DnB’s many sub genres, it was only a matter of time before Greg and James delivered a full length that allowed them to explore the range of their sound. Out today, ‘The Fourth Wall’ is a collection that takes in amen assisted styles of every shape, size and tempo in triumphant fashion.

Enjoy the breathless thirty minute assault of a mix below, before scrolling down to check out what the lads had to say about the new album….

Hyp 198: Ulterior Motive by Hyponik on Mixcloud

So first of all, congratulations on the album – how does it feel to finally be releasing it into the wider the world?

It’s a mixture of excitement and relief! We’ve been planning on writing an album for a long time so the pressure on ourselves has been building. Having said that we’re really happy with how its turned out and cant wait for 6th October to see what everyone else thinks.

How long was the process behind writing the album?

The actual process of writing was about a year. This was split up into sections – for example initial ideas (100 or so), then whittling these down to around 30 and finishing these to a fairly good standard. Then deciding on a rough track list that represented what we’re about – then came the big task of finishing all of these ideas and mixdowns etc. From this point we could then select the final line up of songs.

Where did you write and what kind of equipment did you use? Anything you hadn’t tried before?

Initial ideas were written anywhere we could – laptop when out – home setups or in the studio. When we started to seriously work and develop these ideas, this was all done in our studio. The basic setup always revolves around a Mac and Logic 9 and various plugins of course including UAD.

Lots of hardware was used throughout the process but more for individual sounds and creativity. Hardware includes Novation Nova (really cheap on eBay now and has a classic sound) – Arturia Minibrute (great fun as there’s no presets) – Access Virus Ti (classic we use a lot) – EMU Proteus 2000 – Like we said though, these are all used for small sections and help provide hands on inspiration.

You’re very keen to emphasise the influence of Funk on the record and you can definitely hear that. When you talk about Funk is it more of a feeling or are there actual specific artists who inspire you?

Its definitely more of a feeling, something that’s hard to put into words. Basically its about the rhythms and a certain groove or swing that we try to get – even on a fairly straight stepping track, something needs to have that movement or funk.

In terms of DnB, what full length releases were inspirational to you when you made ‘The Fourth Wall’?

It’s less about a full length release that inspired us, more like historical movements throughout the years. For example Sideways has a lot of that older Bristol sound we love – not a particular tune but the attitude they had back then. Tape Pack was inspired by the old hardcore tunes that first introduced us to this scene.

James Sunderland is a great find for the album. How did you come across him, and when did you know he was the man for the job?

Greg luckily found him looking on YouTube whilst trying to find vocalists that had never performed to drum & bass before. As soon as we heard the first demo, we knew we needed to work with him. A few emails back & forth setting out what we wanted was all that was needed, James pretty much nailed everything first take, very impressive.

How much of a help was Goldie when you were working on this?

Goldie was always there if we needed him but we wanted to write this album for ourselves and deliver the final product as a complete album. Luckily enough this is how it worked out and he was really happy with it.

Let’s talk a little about the thinking about the title?

There’s a lot of music on the album that people wouldn’t expect to hear from us. The title ‘The Fourth Wall’ breaks away from the pre conceived idea of what people would expect to hear. Drum and bass music is written for club environments, typically in a dark studio room with no one around, so when the music is played it is itself breaking “The Fourth Wall”.

Finally lets talk about the mix you made for us – what was the idea behind it and how was it put together?

For this mix we wanted to give a little insight into the tracks we have been playing over the duration on the summer festivals and carnivals. We hope you like it, as always with our sets it’s a mixture of old and new and exclusives.

‘The Fourth Wall’ is out now on Metalheadz. Buy it here. The launch party for the album meanwhile will be at The Nest on Wednesday – get tickets for that here

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