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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

An interview with Nedry and review of new album In A Dim Light

Nedry return with their second album, a unique blend of electro influences topped off with the inimitable vocals of Japanese singer Ayu Okakita. Beautiful.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Nedry by Abi Stevens
Nedry by Abi Stevens.

Nedry excel in a vocal electro dub step mash up genre all of their own. In A Dim Light opens languidly with the blissed out vocals of Ayu Okakita, whist behind builds the soundscape of alternating tensions that characterises this album. One of my favourite tunes comes next: the clattering beats and saws of Post Six providing a lushly chaotic backdrop to the melody. Havana Nights rattles and buzzes with sighing atmosphere, and across nearly 7 minutes Float explores the wonder of the universe. These are melodies to get lost in… sprawling with a danceable yet mellow musical intrigue. I spoke with Chris Amblin, Matt Parker and Ayu.

YouTube Preview ImagePost Six

You have been variously described as post-dubstep, dark electro-pop, leftfield and indie. You cross many genres, what do you think describes you best?
CHRIS: On record I’d like to think we carry on the tradition and attitude of early trip-hop, but with some modern twists: we really look up to bands like Portishead and Massive Attack. The post-dubstep tag has been quite handy, in that we initially aimed to blend our love of post-rock with dubstep and take that into a live setting, but since our first record, Condors, we’ve all further broadened our tastes and I think particularly in the live environment we’re a fusion of lots of flavours of dance music, with almost a rock band aesthetic. So I guess Modern-Trip-Hop works nicely!

Where do find inspiration for the rhythmic structures of your music?
CHRIS: I’m not sure if it’s such a conscious thing, but due to the fairly long winded way that we make tunes the rhythm can change from version to version. Quite often I’ll make a quite simple drum track for a song and Matt will subtly change the hi-hat pattern or where the snare falls and totally change the feel of the rhythm, then Ayu will sing on the off-beat or something or put together a very rhythmic backing vocal and by that point it’s difficult to understand where the actual rhythm has come from.

Nedry music “clouded” by claire jones art
Clouded – Nedry by Claire Jones Art.

Short songs are not your forte, why do you prefer to create long tunes?
MATT: Well we have a few songs running under 5 minutes on our new album, a couple even verging on pop song length! We like making longer songs mostly because our music is all about creating mood and a sense of atmosphere and I believe you need to build a piece of music up to create that kind of vibe. 

Nedry album sleeve
Even though you create dance music you relish the act of recreating music live on stage, what can people expect of a Nedry gig?
CHRIS: The experience of playing live is very important to us so we put a lot of time and effort into making the performance of each song interesting and exciting for us and most importantly for the audience. We’re all keen gig goers and have seen some fantastic live performances and also awful ones so we often reflect on these experiences and try to better what we do and take on board the things we like and discard the things that we don’t. It’s important to me to make the live experience different to the album and things are definitely more upbeat and energetic and if we’re lucky with the sound system the beats are more powerful and the sub bass is deep.

Nedrymakesmusic by Fort Rixon
Nedrymakesmusic by Fort Rixon.

Your vocalist Ayu Okakita hails from Japan, how did you all get together?
AYU: I met Matt and Chris through the internet (myspace), I was living in East London then and we happened to be neighbours.

Nedry promotshoot - Abney Park
How do the three of you work together? How does a song come about and who brings what to the mix?
MATT: Every song is different and approached differently although there is a lot of file sharing online that goes on, passing Ableton sessions from one to another and working over the structure of a song. Ayu brings vocals to the mix (obviously) but she also contribute to melodies, piano playing, rhythmic and mood ideas. Myself and Chris work on everything and anything in between. Our creative process is really quite convoluted and it takes a long time to make a song feel right but I guess this is because as a band based solely in the electronic realm, it can be difficult to just get into a room and make something. Saying that though, a few of the tracks on the new album were created entirely in a live environment or at least born in that environment before being given the full studio treatment.

YouTube Preview ImageFloat (edit)

Last year you played SXSW for the first time, what was the highlight and did you get a good response?
CHRIS: It was easily the craziest and most intense week of being in this band, the sheer amount of people and bands performing that week is impossible to describe. There was an amazing build up before we traveled to Austin, starting in November the previous year with our label (Monotreme) receiving the invite for us to play and then all of us working together to make it happen. So we spent a lot of the week in a bit of a haze of joy and relief and jetlag! The highlight for me was after playing our showcase gig at Latitude 30, when a small group of young Texans found us loading out in the back alley and told us that they’d been following Nedry and were over the moon to see us play in the flesh – we chatted for a while and signed a copy of our CD for them. It meant a lot to us and was the best response we could have wished for.

Nedry Photo by Sebastien Dehesdin
What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
MATT: I think we’re looking forward to seeing how people react to our album. It’s been two years since our last release and the musical landscape has shifted a lot since then.

Nedry release In A Dim Light on 12th March 2012 on Monotreme Records.


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2 Responses to “An interview with Nedry and review of new album In A Dim Light”

  1. B-Flat88 says:

    First, i would like to say nice job on the interview Amelia. This was my introduction to Nedry, and i must say i love their new album “Baby”. The album as a whole gives off a cinematic feel to it, like it could be featured as a score on a Sci-fi thriller movie. My favorite tracks were “I would rather explode”, Violaceae, Dusk til dawn, Float, and Home. Nedry did a great job, and i will be checking for a live show when ever they come to the states.

  2. Amelia says:

    Ah, so glad to hear you discovered Nedry through me! I hope you enjoy listening to some of the other music that I have blogged about too. all the best x

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