Starting over isn’t easy, especially when you’ve cultivated a fiercely loyal fanbase over the course of a long and storied career.
Feed Me, however, embraces challenges head-on.
The renowned electronic music producer’s latest full-length album, which arrived by way of his own Sotto Voce imprint, is his most cohesive yet. From the funky, triumphant intro of “Big Kitten” to the electro-infused sound of “If It Bounces,” Feed Me is a complete change of pace from what fans have come to expect from the UK beatsmith.
The record is bold and fluid, eschewing digitized production in favor of analog instruments and synths. The expanse of instruments utilized throughout the album speaks to the acute attention of detail Feed Me had while writing it.
EDM.com: Tasha Baxter is a longtime collaborator. What can you tell me about your relationship and the process of writing “Reckless?”
Feed Me: I’m an 80s child and I’ve seen a lot of 80s synthwave stuff come and go over the last few years now. Some of it has scratched the itch and some of them miss. I started to realize that I had something to say in that space. The longer I’ve done this, the more I’ve realized fidelity isn’t what I’m after. A lot of the equipment I bought to make this record was about lowering fidelity and finding ways to find new textures as a result. With ‘Reckless,’ I played the instruments on the track and played the synths. I was trying to capture a feeling about my situation. Once I got to a certain point, my friend Oscar came over to play the top guitar line and solo over it. Then, I put it on in the car and drove around at night which sounds cliche, but I wanted to write about how I felt when I was doing that anyway.
I wrote the song for Tasha. I wrote the guide vocal for her and her voice sits over it lovely. I’m actually in there too: in the refrain in the chorus, in the harmony, and in the bridge. I coached her through some of the phrasings. She found it a challenge because this is the first song she’s recorded that she hasn’t written. She has such a well-formed way of interpreting lyrics and timing. We had to really rehearse and do takes so she could get my phrasing. We had to make sure she was picking spots between drums and toms to emphasize syllables and things. It had to be specific. It was good fun and she did a great job. When I look back at the tracks we’ve worked on together it reminds me of how much of a happy experience it is to work with her.
UDO Super 6. I also used a Korg MS700. I saw one in LA years ago and wished I bought it and it’s played in my mind ever since. When lockdown hit, I went on a hunt. I managed to track a guy down who had one since the mid-80s. He bought it from a psychedelic band in London. It’s an oddball synth. I played a lot of leads and background synths live over the track on that to get a little more organic stuff moving around. It doesn’t perfectly hold a tune. It doesn’t perfectly hold anything. Some of the synths I recorded on a four-track with a particularly bad cassette to pass the sounds from magnetics to binary. It’s a sort of a game of lo-fi tennis.
EDM.com: Tell us a bit more about the instruments you used while writing the album.
Feed Me: I made a couple of decisions before writing this album. I wanted to make sure I was away from the computer as much as possible. I tried to lean towards items that I felt like I should be using. I always wanted a Red Special, so I spent a while finding the right version of that. It’s a guitar that I’ve been emulating for a long time as Feed Me but never had a direct path to. My LYRA-8 is a good example too. I’ve always benefitted creatively from trying to create eccentric situations within the project and generate results I didn’t necessarily ask for. It’s a machine after my own heart. I used a lot of modular synths. Almost all of the percussion was recorded here just to try to keep it organic. That’s always something I’ve wanted in my music.