Quick-firing off the back of their recent Love & Other released remix of Grum’s “Straight To Your Heart” via the Summer of Love compilation, West-Midland based production trio When 5AM return to the burgeoning label with an essential two track EP titled Get In Love / Castlemorton we had a quick chat to the three boys, Pete, Sam and Ally to get under the skin of the most recent release.
Get In Love / Castlemorton contains the wholehearted aesthetics and harmonious sonics that the label holds close to it’s heart, whilst packing an undeniable substance that will no doubt stand up to repeat plays. The delicately crafted title track “Get In Love” features a silver-tongued xylophonic synth arrangement that’s underpropped by soothing pads, an opulent vocal performance as well as, well thought out percussion and drum provisions.
So how exactly do they fine tune this? “We primarily use logic in the creative process, we know it inside out so can get ideas down quickly which is the most important thing when writing as a trio. We move cuts over to Ableton for live arrangements and tweaking the structure“, Pete tells us, making the production so faultless on the track, there’s a lightness of touch, one wouldn’t expect from three people working on it, the arrangement is harmonious instead of competitive.
On the flip, “Castlemorton” continues on a similar vocal tip to the A-side, dramatic chord stabs, a captivating bass line and a swelling arpeggio topping, drawing for more of a rough and club-ready vibe that elegantly counterbalances this well-to-do EP. Intricately, both tracks on the package also have a respective featured video underpinning the motives and real-life connections of their association, with the “Get In Love” video featuring clips from a short film – which gained multiple film festival nominations – it illustrates the bitter-sweetness of love.
The “Castlemorton” video hits with a closer to home awareness in its footage, paying homage to a particular out door rave in Worcestershire where their older siblings had told them stories of it’s greatness. So is the Midlands where they draw most inspiration? Outside of London there are always a number of cities that are constantly throwing up underground beats, raves and producers so is this the next big thing on the underground scene? “We’ve always felt more at home in the Bristol music scene, and have travelled far and wide to support acts that inspire us. Growing up in the sticks, we never felt that the more forward thinking music would reach us unless we pursued it“, Sam says with certainty and a hint of determination.
When 5AM’s approach to writing music is never pretentious or over-complicated which certainly strikes a note whilst they carve a name for themselves with their trademark spread of sophisticated electronic grooves. Being on the road all over the country must help too when it comes to refining your sound? “We’re honing our live set with a strong visual aspect, we’re keen to try and bring something different to the table and we’re excited to showcase what we’ve been working on“. This comes from Ally, the group seem to have their path mapped out and refining strong visuals for live shows is the stuff that made Chemical Brothers such a ‘must-see’ group for so long – when done properly, it’s not to be sniffed at.
So which part of the country will get the first taste? Are they going to continue to road test and refine according to the Bristol scene, with In:Motion returning to rival Manchesters Warehouse Project this October is that the place they’re looking to kick off? Ally sheds some light on it once more, “the local Warehouse project run by Jay Newman is getting some serious momentum and we’re expecting to jump in to the festival circuit 2016“, and Sam follows his lead, “we’ve been lucky to get support from BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music and regular play from the guys at Ministry Radio. We’ve recently worked with Grum on a remix for Zero Three“.
So it seems the momentum is indeed building behind the trio, although they’re not quite ready to take on the major shows just yet. Pete drops one more hint before our time is up, “we’ve just finished a remix swap with Toolroom’s FK Panda, really looking forward to giving it some air“. And that’s it, keep your ears to the ground if you want to stay in the know, these guys are almost ready for world domination.
Interview by Akua Ofei