DUETT | Interview - Making 'Connections'
Updated: Jul 16, 2020
With almost every track as inviting as a cool breeze on a hot summers day producer 'DUETT' never fails to inject some crisp sophistication onto every playlist he adorns. The gentle melodic march he takes around your eardrums with every release had me hooked from the beginning. With breathless airy tracks such as 'Travel' from his 'Borderline' Album to 'Faraway' on the well received 'Movement' released last year he has exquisitely re-written the concept of what chill-wave should really mean. I grabbed the chance to interview the man behind all things 'DUETT'...take a look...
So why the name Duett? Is it as simple as it sounds?
I always find naming tracks etc really difficult, as I have a specific aesthetic in mind that I want. When working on the first E.P, I remember wanting an artist name that would be quite ambiguous, that wouldn’t say anything about which country it was from, how many people it was. As time has passed obviously the name indicates that there are 2 people behind it - which isn't the case, so in a way the ambiguous aim worked! I think the double ’T’ was to make the word unique in searches and stuff, but I’m not 100% sure now.
What is your creative process like? On average how long does it take to lay down a track?
I would say in general the first basic ideas for tracks come pretty quickly, but then it takes me a long time finish the track, live with them, and make sure I’m 100% happy. During the making of ‘Borderline’ and ‘Cycles’ I spent a lot of time cycling along the coast in spring, and I wanted that vibe to come across in some of the tracks. Whereas ‘Movement’ was made in London, during Autumn so some tracks seem to have a more industrial feel. The link in my creative process between cycling/beach/studio is essential now.
The aesthetics created for each release or promotion you do are quite beautiful. Do you create those yourself? What are the thought processes behind the artwork?
When I was working on ‘Borderline’ I remember looking at a lot of Forces Creative artwork, and i felt like it worked perfectly with what I wanted the whole aesthetic to be, and so we worked together on that. Aside from that, the pastel colours are what inspire me, and remind me of a time when those aesthetics were common in regular things, and that then informs the music. I've linked up with Forces Creative a few times since ‘Borderline’, and the art has become a massive part of Duett.
Since your Rituals E.P way back in 2014 how do you feel your sound has developed over time?
I would say in some ways the scale of the production is probably more ambitious now than it was on that E.P. Although I do still work on tracks that wouldn’t sound out of place lined up next to it. Adding vocals, more layers, guitars and live recordings are something I like doing with tracks, but only if it feels right. I always think if you’re laying up loads of production on a track to make it sound good, it probably isn’t the best track to start with.
If you could open any show which artist/s would it be for? Why?
At the moment it would probably be Toro Y Moi. ‘Boo Boo’ is probably one of my favourite recent albums.
Who are the bands/artists that have inspired Duett over time?
Artists that have inspired the Duett sound are Peter Gabriel, Howard Jones, Johnny Hates Jazz, Chris Rea, Art Of Noise, Thompson Twins.
Duett seem to have found success with marrying both instrumental and Vocal which pleases
both sides of the divide. Tracks like 'Julienne', 'Running Scared' and your relatively recent release 'Savour' have been hugely well received. How did those collaborations with Stuart Lockwood and Hayley Roscoe happen?
I've known Stewart for a long time, through another friend. Stewart and I always shared a love of similar music, and I was told he had a great voice despite me never hearing him sing. When I made the backing track for ‘Running Scared’, I wasn’t making ‘album 2’ or anything, just working on ideas. I sent the track over to Stewart as I thought it was the kind of 80's thing he might be into. He sent me back a voice note which was pretty much the vocal as it sounds in the final track, and I couldn’t believe it. We recorded it at my studio just after that and it became a single. ‘Julienne’ was the last track on ‘Borderline’ to be recorded. Same process again, but with more time taken in the studio on the backing vocals, harmonies
and arrangement. With Hayley, I'd known her for a while too and we’d worked on some tracks, but nothing concrete. When I had the backing track for ‘Savour’, I really thought her voice would work on it, but she also did an incredible job on the writing too. With all of the artists I collaborate with they always write lyrics that mean something to them rather than ‘80's vocal’, and I think that comes across in the vibe of the tracks.
In your entire Discography which track or album are you most proud of?
Probably ‘Julienne’. It reminds me of how much I enjoyed making it with Stewart, and how much fun we have performing it.
I’ve been very lucky to see you guys play live and was super excited to catch you again at Neon Retro-fest which has since been cancelled regrettably. Do you have any gigs or tour news for your fans in 2021?
All the shows which were postponed because of Covid have either new dates, or dates TBC, so we’re looking forward to playing them and seeing everyone in late 2020/2021
What is a day off for Duett like? People can certainly relax and chill to your music for sure, how do you relax?
I like to cycle, go for coffee, go record shopping. Try and take care of my mental health as much as possible.
Is there any artist on the scene currently you’re enjoying or would like to collaborate with?
There are a lot of artists in the scene I’m into, but at the moment I’m listening to YATTE, Bart Graft, L’Avenue, Mitch Murder (Obviously)
Can you tell us a bit more about your current projects and what we can expect from you in the future?
I'm always working on new Duett tracks. Its been more difficult with lockdown, but I think we’re all trying to use those experiences to find something new. I released an album under my Alpiine name a few weeks back called ‘Windows’, which was produced almost entirely during lock-down. Definitely more music coming up.
'Movement' is now available on cassette via Bandcamp - duett.bandcamp.com/merch
Please consider supporting Duett via the following links: