Catching Up
CATZ 'N DOGZ Discuss Their Basic Colour Theory Album

Known for their sense of humour just as much as the funk they bring with their dancefloor jams, production and DJ duo CATZ 'N DOGZ are rounding off their busy year by dropping their latest long player, Basic Colour Theory. It's a release that's peppered with hi-spec collaborations with the likes of Green Velvet, Tanika and Javeon who were all called upon to bring in fresh perspectives to the outfit's recording process which was equally informed by their in depth research reconnaissance viewings of iconic music documentaries with the aim to develop their pop aesthetic a step further. What they produced was something that, while light hearted in its sound, contains strong messages like all the best pop anthems do. Here, before the pair launch the record in Room One next weekend, we dropped them a line to go a bit further into the processes behind the record and what we can expect from the party at hand.

Where did the title of the album, Basic Colour Theory originate from?

We were thinking about this album for a few years and always wanted it to have several dimensions, but on the other hand one complete piece. It’s hard to explain but even though it’s a complex album we still think you can listen to it from the beginning until the end as one thing. We were kind of building a big pallet of colours for many months which were samples and vocals, many different recordings. After a few months of preparation when we thought the moment was right we started to build the tracks and then from those tracks making remixes and other versions.

So at the end all the tracks on the album are kind of remixes of none existing songs.

I heard you said that before making Basic Colour Theory you did a lot of research like watching documentaries about music – what ones did you look to exactly?

It was kind of addictive ones we discovered watching them. We started with the obvious ones like “Paris Is Burning” or “24Hour Party People” and the new ones like “Shut Up And Play The Hits” which to be honest was a big positive surprise that we didn’t except it to be so good. We also watched a few documentaries about Polish music such as “Historia Polskiego Rocka” which is pretty good. Polish music had a totally different background then than the rest of Europe as we didn’t have free market until 1990. Few good movies worth to mention “Twenty Feet From Stardom” about backup singers, “Muscle Shoals” about a really famous studio in US or the documentary about Kate Bush called “Running Up That Hill”. At the end there were two movies that I still have mixed opinions about, “Harmontown” and “Mistaken For A Stranger” really weird stories about trying to change yourself and discover a “better me”.

We watched a lot of more but I think those are the ones worth mentioning.

Why did you choose to self-release this LP seeing as the previous two had done so well on Claude Von Stroke’s Mothership label?

Well we love challenges so why not? We’ve learned a lot about running the label over the past few years and to be honest we would never do it on our own. We thought now is the right moment because we finally have the right team of people we are working with and we trust them 100%. Releasing an album on your own label I think has equally the same pluses are minuses at the end. But later you can only blame yourself for mistakes and we really love to learn new stuff.

"When we got asked who we would love to have for our album release party we knew that we didn’t want the night to be linear. Richy will bring the heat and Tom will for sure bring some emotional melodies and weird trippy sounds."

The artwork’s kind of evokes Grace Jones’ famous statuesque pose on island life? Was that intentional, can you tell me a bit about the idea process here?

It wasn’t really intentional. We gave to Jacek, the photographer and he thought about it for few days looking for a location and the final concept. We always wanted the cover to be a bit surreal and when you look at it it’s kind of funny, a bit disturbing and the position of our body looks very difficult. Like the album when you listen to it all the melodies are very childish and there are lot of quirky sounds in it, but when you listen to the lyrics some of the tracks are talking about really serious and important things for us stuff and the arrangements are very complicated. Even the biggest single in our opinion “Get it right” has a message.

While we’re on your topic what’s your favourite album artwork of all time?

On of our favorite cover of all time is Cosmo Vitelli “Party Day” It’s just a single cover but perfectly reflects our sense of humour.

You worked with a lot of big collaborators on the album – what was your favourite hook up?

Definitely the best are always collaborations when you are all sat together in the studio and suddenly a few people that you’ve never met before are in the same zone and feel the same thing. It’s kind of a natural high. Part of the record we did with our friend Envee who lives in Warsaw, every session was magical a especially the ones when we were recording live instruments. Tanika, Javon and Cloud Boat came to our studio in Berlin and those sessions were really cool as well, all of them completely different. The Cloud Boat guys for example come from a completely different scene which I think is great for creative work when people have completely different point of view on music.

There’s some songs here that really have a pop music playfulness to them, did you see the project as a chance to explore music that isn’t just related to the dance floors you play on?

Yes of course as I mentioned before, we love learning new stuff. Song writing is a completely different knowledge and when you just write club tracks all the time you will never be able to write a song (in a classical way of thinking of course) in 1 day. Really cool experience was to write the lyrics with the singers and learn how the language flows. Also putting words in a different order then it was planned was great experience while we were writing lyrics I think Kate Bush is a master in this.

You’re heading Room One as a launch party for the release – how do your guests fit into this tip?

When we got asked who we would love to have for our album release party we knew that we didn’t want the night to be linear. Richy will bring the heat and Tom will for sure bring some emotional melodies and weird trippy sounds. Every time we’ve played with Richy this year he rocked it and really wowed us. We have a feeling that Tom Demac is one of the most underrated producers nowadays when very often music sounds the same; he always has a very characteristic sound which is rare these days.
Amazing that also Craig Richards is on the bill with us because he is our favorite resident. We’ve played with him a few times already. His set back to back at DC10 with Jamie last year is legendary.

What’s up next on Pets Recordings?

We are always looking for very unpredictable music and this will probably be our goal next year to make Pets even more diverse and maybe a bit weirder even?
We would love to sign some more artists from our homeland but lately in Poland there is a lack of sounds we would like.

Ptaki are doing a remix for our album, they’ve just released an album which is amazing. On Pets we have an EP from Adam Port; also Walker & Royce just put out an EP and at the end of the year with Eats Everything. Also we are planning a album remix package with some amazing names but it’s still a secret.

Saturday 5th September

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