GLXY Research & Development interview

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Research & Development, the name couldn’t be any more fitting. The debut album from GLXY is the end product of years of hard graft and honing their sound and what a product it is. We caught up with the duo to discuss the new album dropping on Shogun Audio on April 17.

First of all guys a massive congratulations on Research & Development. I’ve spent all day listening to it and it is sounding great. In the current climate, it’s always nice to have something positive to report on so thanks for agreeing to the interview.
Not a problem mate – thank you for the kind words it’s always reassuring to hear positive words when you’ve been so invested in a project.

This album has been a little while coming and we’re glad it is nearly time to drop. What made you decide that now was the right time for an album?

I guess we’ve been going along nicely now for three or so years with consistent EP releases etc. and it felt like the right time to consolidate our sound into an album. If we’re honest, the GLXY you’ve heard to date has basically been a live demonstration of our learning process. Committing to an album felt like the logical next step and it was a great experience to live through and, hopefully, it gives listeners a better understanding of what we’re about. That’s a big part of the reason behind the album name.

With such consistent quality across the album it was hard to pick a favourite tune but I’m loving Falling. Have you guys got a favourite from the album or one that you are particularly proud of?
Falling is definitely a self-indulgent one, it’s such a sad tune but people seem to like it so it obviously resonates with people, which is wicked to see. I think personally our favourite cuts are the title track, R&D and Conclusions. R&D is a fun one to play out and definitely translates to the club, whereas Conclusions is a deep “listener” – Steo smashed it on that one and we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

I couldn’t help but notice Ed Friction’s voice on the intro to The LP Track, was this recorded for the album or a rip from an old radio show?
Haha yeah, that’s the boss-man himself – the other voice you hear is actually Bringa from Klax as well. We basically went out for dinner one night, got drunk and recorded this above the Shogun office in Spectrasoul’s old studio basically as a bit of a laugh – gives a human touch to the album. It’s kind of a very British version of the intro from Wu Tang Clan’s Protect Ya Neck haha.

Speaking of Ed, it’s been a few years now since you signed exclusively to Shogun Audio. How has that been and what is it like being part of the Shogun family?

So far it’s been wicked, the recent show at the Steelyard full of the young guns (which we still consider ourselves as haha) coming through was so good to see, and it truly is a family vibe between all the artists, we’re on group chat pretty much every day. Amy, Pete and the team have been putting a lot of graft in as well supporting us through the process / the campaign and it’s amazing to have their backing. Going a bit further back, Shogun has also been really good and allow us the freedom to develop our sound. Our first EP was more on the liquid side, our second a bit darker and more club-focused. I think we both felt the benefit of being “allowed” to experiment with these sounds and it definitely aided the album process.

The album features some incredibly talented vocal artist collaborations and they all seem to sit perfectly on your tracks. Are there any vocalists that you dream of working with and haven’t had the chance to yet? Any future collaborations incoming?
Yeah really pleased with the vocalists we managed to work with on this project. A couple we had in mind already, namely in Del and Steo. The tracks with Ruby and Anastasia happened really organically and we’re really pleased with how that turned out. The Ruby track felt pretty special as well as we were lucky enough to remix Submotion Orchestra a few years back which really kickstarted our career. Its cool it’s all come full circle and she’s on our debut LP.

In terms of new vocalists we’d like to work with, we don’t really have anyone particular in mind. Things seem to happen quite naturally for us normally, in that if we come across someone who’s sound we’re into we’ll try and write a track to suit the vibe. Always on the lookout for new talent and people who’ve not previously worked in the scene much.

I was having a little listen to some of your very early dubstep productions and they’re worlds apart from your current sounds. What is it about the deeper, liquid sound that first hooked you? Have you ever been drawn to the more upfront/jump-up sounds of d&b?
If you saw our Spotify playlists it’d probably go a long way to explaining how our sound ended up the way it has. For the album, we wanted to bring all of those influences and sounds together into one coherent story. It feels more expressive and more freeing than writing “club bangers” in many ways. Don’t get me wrong though we love a good banger, anyone who’s seen us DJ can attest to that. Jump-up is certainly having its time at the moment and there’s been some great stuff to come out recently so more power to those producers pushing that sound.

Finally and I have been trying to avoid the topic, let’s talk about the coronavirus. It seems like all festivals, live shows and club nights are currently on hold until this has all blown over. How is this affecting you as artists and what is the best way that fans can support their favourite artist during these hard times?
What a time we’re living in, strange to think that these events will probably be a history lesson in 30 or 40 years time, so much uncertainty at the moment. We’re actually extremely lucky to both be in full-time stable employment as well as doing this music thing, so fingers crossed we should be okay. So if anything, it provides a slight opportunity for us to write a load more music (which we sometimes struggle with).

Really feel for the artists who are relying on music as their sole source of income, so we’ll be pushing the shit out of all our mates’ releases and endeavours even more than we’d normally do. As fans and followers of these artists, the best way to support them is to engage with their posts, share if you like it and also buy their music instead of streaming wherever possible. A lot of people will be offering up great content on subscription platforms so following those will also go a long way. We’ll get through this, and when we do, we’ll be having the most mental parties on the other side. Cheers!

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Jake - Tenth Letter - Kmag writer. Resident DJ for Kmag, Circles, Good Riddims and Rompa's Reggae Shack.

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