Thankfully there’s been no real secrecy behind the processes either. There’s no shroud of anonymity or any thin attempt to subvert the truth, which is why when we discovered that dBridge, Skeptical, Loxy, Resound and Kid Drama were all collaborating on tracks together, we knew we ‘d be able to just ping a few emails off and figure out the full scope of the project. Obviously, considering our relationship with them, we’re in a pretty unique place to be able to do that, and we fully appreciate that the news that all five of them were working together on material as Module Eight, might have come as a bit of a welcome surprise when it was announced which makes the fact that we get to outline and publish the overriding concept of the project ahead of the Module Eight album’s launch party this Friday, all the sweeter.
In the label’s words Module Eight is “a long player that makes statement about their tastes, about drum & bass and how it can be viewed” and having heard their collective output we’d concur that rather than a super group uniting to capitalize on the strength of combined individual statuses, the tracks feel like they were simply born out of a passion to help extend and better each other’s ideas. Individually they’re all talents, operating at the pinnacle of their chosen field and we’re not saying that the music on Module Eight isn’t supremely live and lithe, in fact we’re saying the opposite: the thirteen tracks are all the more remarkable because they were born out of an extraordinarily talented collective conscious.
Skeptical: We've all been making tunes together separately for a while now so it seemed right to get everyone together and write some music, as a group. We never intended to give ourselves a name for the tracks we'd made, but after we realised that we had pretty much an album’s worth of material it felt right to give it a name.
dBridge: I've always been a fan of collaborations (as has been evident throughout my career), so what started as an idea to make some tunes together for, I suppose, DJ purposes quickly manifested itself into what it is today. It was a natural progression.
Resound: The album is a one big collage of ideas and we made it entirely through collaborating online. We never sat down in studio together. Everyone contributed bits and pieces which then came together to form a sound of its own. It was quite interesting to see that unfold.
"It all started from that shared folder." - dBridge
Kid Drama: I can’t actually remember how we all ended up working as a collective but I remember working on some things with Skeptical and then chucking ideas into the shared folder. I think it started as material for the podcasts (Heart Drive) and then we had all this material which then formed the album idea.
Loxy: I think it was Skeptical’s idea... We were doing tunes, as well as with Resound and he was also making collaborations with dBridge and Drama so I think it stemmed from that naturally.
dBridge: It all started from that shared folder. We were all separately working on collaborationss together: Loxy and I, Skeptical and Drama etc etc. At some stage it seemed like a good idea to share the ideas with each other to see what someone else could bring to the tunes.
Resound: It's very much music that happened naturally without thinking about it too much. It is pretty much impossible to plan a whole lot when there are five people bouncing off each other’s ideas. So really there's no larger philosophy at play there. Letting music happen naturally and without forcing anything could be seen as a statement in its own right though…
Skeptical: Personally I see it more just as music that we like and want to play. Testing out the tracks over the past year or two has been fun because it's a project that not many people know of yet and you can hear influences from all over, so it's quite hard to pinpoint the producer(s)…
"it’d probably be close to impossible to get us all in the same room at the same time!" - Skeptical
Kid Drama: We pretty much just all jammed… I feel like the album’s got influences of everything in it from the Autonomic sound, dub and ‘90s inspired d&b. It was literally just a case of everyone adding their sections and layering up over and over. We were working on multiple tunes at a time.
dBridge: We all have our own styles and voices and I think that shines through in this project, I don't think it's intended to make a statement other than more people need to collaborate. It's now become easier than ever to do that.
Skeptical: One of us would draft out a track then it would be added to the pot of tracks we have in a folder we share. Each person would do their thing by layering up the track then bouncing the stems and adding to the appropriate track folder. It was then just a matter of adding the stems to the track and doing any additional mixing if needed. It was quite an easy process but sometimes it can take a little while to get going due to everyone being busy. A coordinated studio session would be good fun but it’d probably be close to impossible to get us all in the same room at the same time!
dBridge: The fact that we didn't all have to be physically in the same room to complete a project like this and were able to utilise our differing setups and the culture of sharing to form an LP is really cool. Obviously we're not the first to do this but it's something that's happening more and more - creative people in different locations being able to talk, share and create. It's nice when you can all be together but it's great that producers have this option.
Pre-order the Module Eight album here.