The 10 Best Pieces Of Music Production & DJing Advice, according to High Contrast
Sam Willis and Alessio Natalizia have done quite a bit since their last Walls Dummy Mix. They’ve released two fantastic albums, toured every which way, and even found time for other other musical side projects. Their last album, ‘Coracle’, is a stunning landscape of sound punctuated by rolling beats and incredible layering of both synthetic and organic textures.
On this mix, Willis injects the same level of thought-provoking intensity present in his music by combining tracks that complement each other sonically to create a beautifully hazy bigger picture. Ambient pioneer Roedelius’s synth simplicity contrasts nicely with Suicide’s electronic punk funk, which in turn highlights the tense grind of Shit and Shine’s industrial avant-psych. This dialogue eventually comes to a climax with the sombre tones and extra-broken beat shufflings of Carl Craig’s remix of Maurizio’s Domina and fades away to Fursaxa’s montage of continuously detuning noise. Much like Wall’s music, this mix can be enjoyed track-by-track under intense musical scrutiny, or from afar, slightly detached with your telescope turned the wrong way around allowing the kaleidoscopic imagery of its whole take over.
How’s it going?
Going great thanks! We got back to London after 3 weeks on the road a little while ago – getting used to normality!
Please tell us a bit about the mix?
It’s a mixtape of freaked out tracks that I’ve been enjoying recently.. although I’ve always been able to beatmatch, I’ve been really enjoying just doing blends, rather than mixing, somehow seems more respectful to the songs!
How did your first American tour go?
All the shows were great – particular those in Boston, Minneapolis… Also getting to know the Battles guys and tour staff who are such a lovely bunch of people.. From a tourist point of view, the coastal drive along Highway 101 was simply stunning, as was the Redwood Forest, home to the most gigantic trees you will ever see..
How was the recording process for Coracle different than before?
Speaking for myself, it’s only the second album that I’ve been involved with – the first one was a much more instinctive collection of tracks that we arranged into a satisfying order, whereas with this record, we really sat down and worked on it as a piece, and wanted to make a more full statement than with the last one..
Coming to Walls from a DJing background, do you feel like you’ve gotten to get into and explore your musician side (and Alessio his more electronic/DJ side?)
I think that that is a neat narrative for the two of us, but the reality is much more complicated as we’re both involved in all aspects of the music, but yes for sure, I’ve learned a lot from Alessio about guitar related stuff, fx pedals etc. techniques etc. and I bring to the partnership the experience of having been a DJ and perhaps a deeper knowledge of dance stuff.
What’s coming up for you guys over the next few months?
We’ve got some of our own tour dates, plus we’re going back on the road with Battles around Europe, as well as some shows with our friends and label mates The Field – all very exciting!
Motion Sickness Of Time Travel – Day Glow
Roedelius – Girlande
Lithops – Penrose Ave.
Suicide – Girl
Shit And Shine – Shit No!
Eric Copeland – Wolfman
Maurizio – Domina (Carl Craig’s Mind Mix)
Fursaxa – The Bells of Capistrano