Tik&Borrow return to the imprint they founded, an imprint which is largely responsible for the renaissance in the Yorkshire bassline sound over the past few years; In:flux Audio with their first full length album, 'Neurality'. After the success of their 'Vision EP' back in February, the duo have been busy in the studio cooking up 8 tracks of Neuro-inspired Bass and Grime bangers that pack a punch on the dancefloor. To celebrate the release of the album we caught up with the duo who brought a long a couple of bad boy tracks for you to download for free. They have also recorded an exclusive 30 minute studio mix that is packing more energy than 6 cans of Monster with Red Bull chasers. Check it out!
Tik&Borrow have had a very busy 2017, both on personal levels and as co-founders of label In:flux Audio. Most notably, they’ve released a steady stream of their own music, as well as keeping up with In:flux’s demanding release schedule and celebrating the label’s 4th Birthday. Somehow in amongst all of this, they’ve still found time to sit down and work on their debut LP, ‘Neurality’ – an 8 track release with influences spanning Drum and Bass, Dubstep, UKG and beyond. We caught up with Tik to talk about the album process, collaborations and what to expect next from both themselves as artists and the label.
You guys have been releasing music for a long time, as well as working hard behind the scenes on your label, In:Flux audio. How long has this album been in the works for?
We finished the first couple of tunes for the album in January of this year and we finished the last tune in September, so all in all it has taken 9 months to piece this all together. We’ve had a few other releases along the way this year as well on amazing labels such as Southpoint and Project AllOut Records, which has been really great for us and helped us to expand our horizons a little bit.
Did you sit down and decide to do a full length release or was it more something that ‘just happened’?
We finished the ‘Vision’ EP that went out in February towards the end of 2016, so as there was 9 months until the deadline for our next release on In:flux, we decided we really wanted to give making an album a try. We had a few tracks in the bank, so it really seemed like a logical move forward, especially with the fact our last few EPs on the label had all been really well received.
There’s obviously a huge amount of variety in the sounds on ‘Neurality’ – where did the inspiration come from?
Our sound has always encompassed a lot of different influences, but more so on this release than ever before. The biggest new influence to our sound for the album has been Grime and Dubstep, which was a welcome addition to our composition as the drum structure in those genres really went well with our Neuro-inspired synth design. Our sound has really come full circle now with the Neuro sound from Borrow’s DnB days now combining with my love of Dubstep. It was obviously meant to be!
What was the most challenging part of the album making process?
I think the longevity of the process was the most challenging part. Making sure tracks you wrote at the start in January stayed as strong as the most recent tracks written in August is always tricky, and it meant some tracks fell by the wayside along the way. It’s also important to make sure the sound across the album is consistent and tells a story, but we feel in the end we’ve put the best representation of ourselves out there in the 8 tracks.
There’s a big collaboration with Tengu featured, was it a conscious decision to not have more collaborations on the release?
We had more collabs lined up but they didn’t quite materialise in time for the album. We are however absolutely chuffed with the one we did piece together for it! The collab we had planned with Pelikann is on it’s way and will now be appearing on his ‘Presents…’ compilation in March and we’ve just lined up another load of collaborations with Sample Junkie, Hamdi, Pharaoh K, Ali McK & IYZ and Aerontonin. Will keep us busy for sure!
What’s your favourite track on ‘Neurality’ ?
I think both of us have different tracks for different reasons. The opening four tracks on the album are all solid for different reasons, but for me it has to be ‘Intake’ and Borrow it’d be ‘Wastelands’. The best part about doing the promo for this release is that everyone has come back with a different track that is their favourite.
After experiencing making an album, is it something you’d do again in the future?
It’s something we will do in the future yeah! It is a process that really helps you to develop massively as an artist and when finished is an amazing representation of yourself, something you can look upon with a good bit of pride because of the effort that goes into it.
What were your favourite studio snacks throughout the process?
For Borrow it was beer and cigarettes and for me it’s all about squash and crisps. We definitely lead very different lifestyles!
Which track took the most amount of time to wrap up and why?
The longest tracks were ‘Intake’ and ‘Wastelands’ for the very simple reason that these were tracks from 2/3 years ago that were originally Garage tracks we weren’t too happy with, but when we started on the Grime/Dubstep flex we had another punt at them and they’ve turned into absolute beasts.
What have you got lined up following the release of the album?
We’re going to take the next year to be a little more free with our production and try to write tracks one at a time rather than for a full release. We’ve got a nice little ditty called ‘Fision’ coming out on Southpoint: Introducing in January, and hope to be working more with those guys next year. We then have our beast of a collab with man like Pelikann coming out in March, and of course all our other aforementioned collabs we plan on starting in December. We also have a couple of compilation releases on In:flux lined up, a free Dubstep compilation that will be going out in the New Year and Get Fluxed Vol. IV that will be going out in June. Other than that, we’re interested in putting a few more freebies out next year so we’ll see how that works out in amongst all of this madness!
Tik&Borrow Juno Download Takeover Mix
Tik&Borrow - Juno Download Chart
Tik&Borrow have pieced together a chart that shows the underlying influences behind the album. 20 tracks that encompass Grime, Garage, Breakbeat and everything in between - this is an essential selection for any DJs crate.
Based in Portland, futuristic bass music producer Eprom teams up with 1985 music for his brand new EP entitled 'Drone Warfare'. With early support from Mixmag, this EP takes a unique approach to underground electronic music in general, focussing on the unpredictability of industrial musical elements. The title track is a rollercoaster, with incredible layers of artistic sound design coupled with subtle rhythmic elements and creepy atmospherics. Next up 'Raw Data' takes a more hip hop approach with industrial percussion running wild. It gets even cooler with 'Oskana' which brings even more twisted synthesis to the table, leading perfectly into the syncopated genius of the final track 'Full Mag'.
Bristol's own dubstep dynamo Muttley returns to the super consistent Southpoint brand for his debut solo EP with the label. Having featured on numerous releases and remixes previously for the Brighton based project, this one has been a long time coming. The title track is Muttley at his best, with emotive eastern-inspired instrumentation running riot over heavy 808 patterns. The same goes for 'Neiru' and 'Cuboid' which are both just as energetic with more explorative drum arrangements. Finally 'Yujin' rounds up the EP with a slightly quicker powerhouse like arrangement. On remix Duty, label co-founder KXVU steps forward with his colourful rework of 'Cuboid'.
With previous releases of bass heavyweights such as Southpoint, EatMyBeat and SimplyDeep, Sensei steps forward for a full solo debut onto the ever creative sounds of Jelly Bean Farm. Known for his fantastic fusion of breaksy influences and hard hitting synthesis, Sensei delivers an awesome set of 4 original creations. The subtle subby rolls of 'Tracking' and 'Signal' work in perfect harmony with the more wonky drum arrangements of 'Lurch' and the percussive passion of 'Seventeen'. On remix duty Mani Festo delivers the goods with his dubbed out rework of 'Signal'. This is a great way to round off the year for the Jelly Bean Farm family!
Rewind! It's 2015 and Die's Gutterfunk have dropped a super-sweet summer disco showdown courtesy of Gus Pirelli. Fast forward! It's late 2017 and Fracture's just turned it into a D&B blinder. Retaining all the sweet soul of the original but with added slaps, chops, waspy reese basses, booty-busting 808 shots and evocative use of the vocal, it's a perfect example of how disco is done with a turbo jungle twist. Essential.
As one of the most innovative names in electronic dance music, Zomby returns to the front lines with his brand new album 'Mercury's Rainbow'. A fitting title we believe, as Zomby proceeds to weave electronic weirdness to all corners of the spectrum, incorporating a range of classic 8bit sounds, squarewave driven bass synths and unpredictable industrialized percussion. We hear serious grime influences throughout the whole project, especially in the bubbly synth melodies and percussive patterns on 'Whirlpool' and the devil-mix like sounds of 'Solar Ashes'. As a project in its entirety, it is truly mesmerizing, showing once again why Zomby is a name that needs to be held in seriously high esteem within electronic music.
This one is a lesson in how to make electronic music as unusual and interesting as possible. Distortion is almost given the role of lead instrument here, with the entire orchestration swinging wildly around the centrally distorted bass drums and soulful vocals. If you were to write down all of the elements of this tune on paper, you would struggle to see how it would fall into place, but somehow it does with brilliant results.
What a year it's been for the guys at Local Action, a label truly dedicated to pushing the boundaries of bass music to its limits and beyond. Their final release of the year see's grimey hot shot Finn return on solo EP duties with the label for the first time in over 2 years. This release commentates Finn's creation of a grimey-disco fusion, focussing throughout on R&G inspired vocal chops, explosive chord patterns and funky rhythmic patterns. Our highlight is without doubt the beautiful 'Give Us A Hand' which was premiered earlier this year on DummyMag's SoundCloud page. Fantastic stuff once again from one of Manchester's most creative electronic musicians.
Since debuting earlier in the year, Kuzma Palkin has delivered a handful of releases that explore the murky middle ground between experimental house and techno and intriguing eletcronica. There's a similar feel to this first outing on Quartet Series, with opener "Macho Culture" offering an ear-catching blend of distorted, loose-limbed machine drums, descending analogue motifs and icy, occasionally melancholic electronic melodies. The Russian producer's love of stabbing, dirt-encrusted basslines comes to the fore on skewed deep house shuffler "Muscle Mass Increase", "Proper Sauna Chill" channels the spirit of warehouse-ready rave music whilst sounding more like dub-fuelled deep house, and "Krepkiyeye Bitepsy" sounds like Maurice Fulton's Syclops project with a jazz-flecked electro twist. Impressive stuff, all told.
The Chinese / German outfit COW return to Compost for their latest EP entitled '$hanghai Money' and what an EP it is! The self-titled art project explores the future of bass music thoroughly across the breadth of this fantastic 5 tracker. Our highlight of the whole project is without a doubt 'Level Up', which builds from layers of beautiful synthesis into an incredible crescendo of auto-tuned vocals and 808s. The EP continues with phenomenal musicality, calling layers upon layers of perfectly sculpted synthesis into play along with expert sampling and endless rhythmic adventures.