Having spent the last ten months recording their adventures, Izaak Gray and Nicola Robinson return with “Silken Moon”, the first single from their forthcoming debut album, Human Call.
In typical fashion, “Silken Moon” cannily combines musical elements from a myriad of styles – most notably Afro-disco, samba and mid-tempo Chicago house – to create a humid hybrid that defies easy categorization.
There are bouncy organ riffs, undulating acid lines, clipped Afro-funk guitars, tons of tropical percussion and the chanted, carnival-friendly vocalizations of guest singer Nina Miranda.
Click play and have a listen to the ep as you read read through the Q&A’s you can pre order the Silken Moon Ep here which is to be released on Leng Records on the 16th of March…
Q1, Welcome to a Q&As with eclectics. Who is Earthboogie and how did you form?
Earthboogie is a joint collaboration between Izaak Gray & Nicola Robinson. We both have an intense passion for dancing, music and sound systems. We wanted to create music that felt colourful, uplifting and hypnotic and share that with other people.
Q2, What’s your go to piece of kit in the studio that get the creative juices flowing and why?
We really think a studio should be an inspiring and fun place, so we designed an environment around that. We like to record musicians in the studio as much as possible. From a technical perspective, the most important thing in any studio is the playback system. The better the playback system, the better you can appreciate and understand other peoples music, find inspiration for your own, and gain as much information to make decisions when writing and producing yourself.
Q3, If you could have written one song what would it have been and why?
Nicola – 40 Thieves Huffbochente. It takes you on an intergalactic mind sweep like no other (Original Mix)
Izaak – an 80s superhit. I get to write music in my own way in my studio, so what would be interesting would be to transported to a time and place when music production was very different. In the 80s there was a huge amount of time, studio kit, money and group talent poured into pop music as it was highly commercially recoupable. You could work with orchestras, horn sections, drummers, arrangers, people whose job it was just to program synthesizers. Even if I wasn’t much into the end product, I think it would be an enlightening experience for me.
Q4, If you could go back and give yourself some advice when you first started out of this journey, what would it be?
Nicola – Hmmm we wouldn’t have had it any other way!
Izaak – It would be a futile effort as we’d just stick our fingers in our ears and hum to ourselves. Nicola’s philosophical standing point is life’s a personal journey of experience, meanwhile I would just be terrified of destroying the space time continuum.
Q5, If you could have made the sound track for any film, which film would it have been?
Probably the soundtrack to the original Ghost in the Shell. Sends a shiver down the spine.
Q6, Favourite Sunday morning coffee album of the last 10 years and why? (can also be a comp if you wish)
Nicola – It’s honestly always changing! In the morning lately we’ve been listening to Brass Construction and i personally love to listen to Tinariwan or Peter Green. Mainly I like to pop on my Discover Weekly on Spotify and let it roll to capture new inspiration for the week!
Izaak – Rivea Corymbosa. I know I know, it’s a plug for our label mates, but it’s an amazing Sunday morning record.
Q7, What were the first and last records you bought and have your musical tastes changed much over the years?
Nicola- The first record I bought was dancing in outerspace at A1 records NYC by Atmosfear.
The last record I bought was Five Letters Khee Tha Tha on Discogs, god it’s so groovy!
Izaak – The first record I can properly remember buying was Future Funk by Oliverwho Factory.
The last record I bought was Mekanik Rasta by Cherif.
My taste hasn’t changed, but my faith in others to appreciate the more out there records has grown exponentially.
Q8, We have all been the victims of a fashion/hairstyle faux pas what would you say was your worst?
Nicola – haha Izaak had long hair in his teens! I died my hair pink and yellow like rhubard and custard.
Izaak – That was a faux pas?!
Q9, Do you have a particular formula to making tracks or is it much more organic than that?
Yes, it’s a layered process. We are constantly recording talented singers and session musicians in the studio. We try to have fun, and enjoy the process, and visualise the sensations of the audience listening to the music and write from there.
Q10, Is it important for you guys to make music of a certain style or are you happy to make music that fits in with other genres, is genre even important anymore?
Jeepers, that’s a really in depth question. It’s been approached by people like Dick Hebdige in entire books (check out the Subculture The Meaning of Style), but here’s our stab at it in three paragraphs.
From our perspective style and genre are musical tools, just like a sequencer or a sound system. They come with associated tribes, modes of behaviour, locations, which give a laterality to music that you can use to contrast its given playback environment, which creates drama. As a writer you don’t set that, but as a DJ you do. However, when producing you can trace a history of musical devices through styles and sounds, and create contrasts contrapuntally. There’s a lot of that on the forthcoming album.
As to fitting in with styles, we think it’s important to keep people on their toes as the attention filter of the human brain tends to filter out what you’ve heard before. Conversely repetition, tropes and the genres they make up allow for accessibility, and create familiarity which is also incredibly useful. The whole game changes depending on the kind of sound system the music is playing on and the volume it’s played at, as the high levels of sensory stimulation will bring music to the forefront of your attention.
All the above said, if you want music to ‘work’ in a given environment, you need to consider all the requirements of a playback environment, including it’s listenership, public mood, and the entire context within which the material will be delivered through and experienced. ‘The Medium is the Message’ gets truer by the minute. We’re living in a golden age of television primarily because the factors by which consume content have dramatically changed the content itself. Another great example is the experience of Shostakovich, who had an run in with Stalin over an opera that couldn’t be whistled to. Kind of like a Simon Cowell television program, but with less pervading evil. There are the existing factors of politics, media, and as well as your listeners expectations. We try to be aware of these when we write as they’re inseparable from the way music is perceived, and as music exists in perception, inseparable from the music itself. Of course the great thing about music and art is that it you to get to play and push back with all of those in a tangible, direct and very human way.