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INTERVIEW: re:tract

Hi Matt, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey! Very well thanks! Very busy releasing my debut album but equally exciting.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Bendy”?

Bendy is the lead track off my debut album. It was actually the one track on the album I really struggled with. Most artists always have that one track they can’t get right and always go back to… This was it for me. I wrote the main track about a year ago… Synths and vox etc. I couldn’t seem to get the drum track finished, it went through so many revisions until it finally got to a stage I was happy with. I still might revisit it and do a little re-edit.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Not really, I wrote the track over a long period, which is the worst decision, as I say I really struggled in the end. I think I’d started the track coming off the back of a gig in Croatia. The pads and the chords… The sun, sea and sand are in there somewhere.

The single comes off your new album Do Not Eat This Record – what’s the story behind the title?

‘Do Not Eat This Record’ actually comes from a warning label on an old Mr Oizo record I own. It’s kind of a little homage to that era of electronic music making. Anyone that knows my music knows there’s a lot of electronic nostalgia in the production.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was a challenge definitely. It took a lot longer than I had thought. I’d never written an album before and foolishly I thought I could knock one out in 6 months. Nearly 3 years later and it’s finally released! The hardest part for me was trying to get the album to flow and make sense as a whole. I didn’t want it to just be a compilation of stuff I’d written but something you could play from start to finish. I learnt a lot producing the album, technically and process wise. Everything I’m now carrying into new music.

Who are your main influences and how have they impacted on you?

I’m a big fan of the early Bristol trip hop vibes. Massive Attack and Portishead, I have real production envy listening to those seminal albums. I feel I’ve ended up with a slight trip hop retro feel in some of the tracks because of that, especially in drum processing. Also I’m a huge Bonobo fan and I think that can be heard in some of the records as well.

Any plans to hit the road?

Nothing in place but yes. It was always the plan to release the album and then go on the hunt and start gigging. I have a full band that helps me perform the tracks as a live electronic band. It will be good to get the guys back into rehearsals and bounce off our previous shows.

What else is happening next in re:tract’s world?

Currently I’m in the studio working on the follow up EP to the album! Which is great as I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve been able to really get lost in playing with some new music. Plus I bought a new Moog Sub37 a few months ago, I’ll be making PEW PEW PEW sounds until the early hours.

Listen here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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