Cassette Electrik – Electromagnetic Preview

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ElectromagneticElectromagnetic, the first album from Cassette Electrik, is launched on 1st November 2007, at a MusicRiot sponsored gig at the Marquee Club in Central London. We got Oli and Lucy (Cassette Electrik) to tell us about each track on their album.

Friend or Foe

Oli: We have two types of writing style at the moment, one is a song that Lucy will have written on acoustic guitar and we’ll then produce. Or I present a backing track, or an idea, or a theme. So Friend or Foe was one of our early tracks, one of Lucy’s. That’s a bit of electro-pop.

Lucy: I like the chorus on that, no words, just “oohs”.

The Smartest Bomb

O: Pat, a guitarist who has played with Cassette Electrik, is an ambient laptop kind of guy, and I fancied having a go at one of his tracks. So I just lifted the chords from that and wrote the riff.

Cassette Electrik - The Smartest Bomb EPL: Pat has been credited for that, by the way! It’s an entirely different musical experience now. The words for that were mine, centering around unresolved feelings, and unrequited passions.

Chemical Thing

L: That was another original one of mine. It’s about never-changing relationships, things that carry on and spark in the same way. It’s not actually about drugs like you might think. Chemical Thing and Friend Or Foe were quite early ones, since then we have made more of an attempt to go a bit more upbeat, a bit more dancey.

O: We were still experimenting with style and sound and ways of working. A lot of this album represents the first 18 months of our working relationship, and our voyage…

Voyager

O: Which brings us neatly onto Voyager. Which is a nice little riff that I had for Lucy to do something with. The name doesn’t really have anything to do with the lyrical content… I like the name though.

LightFade

O: Lucy wrote the verse and I wrote the chorus. Her verse had an ascending pattern that was very nice, and then I contrasted that with an complex backing. I was influenced at the time as I had been to Brazil to do a program for Radio 3 about Brazilian drumming. I went to the north-east during carnival time and interviewed all the guys who are in these Maracatu bands which have been around for about a hundred years, since the time of slavery. The male voice in lightfade is a guy at a carnival singing and I think it has a nice intensity in it.

MusicRiot: Is that one of the newer tracks?

L: It’s been around a while actually, but we haven’t made it publicly available. It’s a treat to be discovered on the album.

Crash 01

L: This is like an interlude, a mid-album break. A bit of breathing space.

O: I’d say it’s a bit of a techno work-out, but techno-purists would scoff at such a thing. It’s a nod towards my hard-house roots.

8-bit

L: 8-bit is our current favourite to play live.

O – It’s named after samples that are recorded in 8-bit rather than full 16-bit CD quality. The whole first minute just sounds a bit grungy.

L – Lyrically I was inspired by the name. It’s got a good groove, it’s a bit of a pointer towards how we might develop in some ways.

Take

L: Take starts off as quite a traditional guitar riff sort of song and Oli’s enhanced the bigness of it….

O: That one took quite a while to crack actually, but it worked out good in the end.

L: We like the middle eight which rocks out!

Cassette Electrik - Oli and Lucy - keyboard and fanA Little Respect

O: This is the Erasure cover that was our first proper exploration into working together.

L: We’ve had a really good response from it, it’s a song that people will always recognise, so that’s a good place to start from. But it’s also a song that we totally changed and we’ve done our own thing with. It’s such a heartbreaking song, with those chord changes – you don’t seem to get that so much from the original.

O: Well that’s the thing because Lucy played it to me on the acoustic guitar and I was like’ bloody hell that’s a nice song’. It proves that if the core of a song is good then it doesn’t matter what format you put it in, camp pop disco or acid-techno, it should still work. I also think that cover versions should be you putting your own spin on it as an artist. That’s why crap cover versions that replicate the original are just so depressing, I don’t know what is wrong with people doing that!

Look Back

L: One of the first songs that we did together. It was actually the song that Oli and I started with that was a hard-house number, that we have gone back to, realised it was quite a good song and so we mellowed it all down a bit. It’s quite an epic one, probably the most different and “big” track on there.

O: I just presented Lucy with some chords and expected her to come up with some pop-diva house lyrics.

L:I think you can tell that a dance tune is good if you can do some version of it on an acoustic guitar, or in some sort of stripped down way and then you know it’s a good song.

VERDICT

O: We are really happy with it, it’s a good culmination of our first 18 months and it’s a good collection of songs that we are proud of.

L: It’s definitely onwards and upwards from here!