Our annual party in Ibiza will play host to Derrick May, Matthew Dear and Motor City Drum Ensemble among others.
As anyone who's spent much time on the White Isle can attest, We Love...'s Sunday night parties are one of Ibiza's biggest weekly draws, thanks to the party's top-notch booking and Space's multi-room interior, fully equipped with ice blasters and Funktion One rigs. This year's edition of We Love... RA has almost 30 names on offer, with styles ranging from disco to Detroit techno across the venue's six dance floors. Highlights include Matthew Dear, Miss Kittin and Motor City Drum Ensemble, plus We Love... regular Steve Lawler. Bottin will drop some twisted disco, and 2020 Soundsystem will play live. After headlining last year's event, techno heavyweights Carl Craig and Derrick May will both make return appearances.
While we're naturally partial to our own event, the rest of August at We Love... is shaping up quite nicely too. Groove Armada are gearing up for their live "Black Light Spectacular," and DJs like Joris Voorn, Ewan Pearson, Danny Howells and Lee Burridge will all man the decks over the course of the month. Ahead of their own appearance on August 15th, we caught up with UK duo Retro/Grade to talk about their upcoming performance and their new album.
Have you played live in Ibiza before?
Serge Santiago: No, I'm really excited for it.
What does a Retro/Grade live set look like?
Tom Neville: I'm playing bits of melodies on the keyboard, and we're both sort of triggering and tweaking and reworking things.
Serge Santiago: It's nice because we get to structure the night as we see fit. We can make the tracks longer or shorter, and mess around with the sounds in the particular club environment that night. It gives us an opportunity to be much more open.
This is your third live set, right? When you first did it was a triumph? A disaster? Somewhere in between.
Tom Neville: It went well actually!
Serge Santiago: Yeah, it was literally just the two of us and a raw stage. We didn't even have a table to put our gear on.
Tom Neville: It wasn't even a stage, it was just a vague riser in front of the stage.
Serge Santiago: That was kind of the point. We wanted to do it completely raw to see how people would take it.
It seems like the music is quite raw too. Is that something hard for you in the studio, to strip back, to create space?
Serge Santiago: It seems to take longer to do. The more space that you have, the harder it is to get the sounds right.
Tom Neville: It's been kind of difficult to get that raw sound, but it's been nice to get away from that generic, polished sound. Some of the stuff around is a bit too nice. It's been nice to make something that's...not that nice.
"Moda," your first single, samples a pretty well-known Italo tune. I was wondering if that was something that you did purposely, or whether it was just something that sounded great to you in the studio.
Tom Neville: We weren't really aware of how knowledgeable people would be. When we first started working on the project in earnest a while ago, not many people knew what Italo was in wider dance circles. So we were just listening to a lot of stuff, and took a lot of influence from that style of lead-line. The structure to those songs worked in a completely different way than most dance music that was being produced at the moment that we started.
Tell me about the upcoming record. Are you working with any vocalists? Do you have a timeline for finishing it?
Serge Santiago: We are. But we're not working with anyone big, because I don't want it to detract from the album. We just released a single, and we'll be doing one in September as well. Then, we'll probably release the album in January or around that time.
Tom Neville: We're not that far from finishing it.
Why Deconstruction for the label?
Tom Neville: A lot of it was our A&R relationship with Mike Pickering.
Serge Santiago: He played a lot of the original records that we were influenced by. He enjoys it almost as much as us. The information and experience that he has too. And I trust him: That's key.