Modcast #135: The Presets Inspirations

This special Modcast is brought to you this week from a couple blokes you may know who wrote an album called 'Pacifica'. Coming out to rave reviews and a general warm and fuzzy feeling, the album is a musical evolution for The Presets.

See after the jump for the tracklist, more information and a blow by blow of how each track shaped 'Pacifica'.

You can buy Pacifica right now from iTunes, JB Hifi, Amazon, Get Music and any other respectable retailers. UK and Europe, the album is available for pre-order and will be hitting shelves, both physically and digitally, in the week ahead.

There's also a few deluxe editions knocking around, grab one here and you could win tickets to The Presets' headlined Parklife festival this month. Afterwards, they'll heading over for a tour of the US and Canada, dates here.

DJ Trouble - Bang and Works
JULIAN: My brother bought me a Chicago footwork compilation for my birthday and it had this track on it. I listened to it a lot whilst working on Pacifica. I love the relentless bouncy 808 beat of this stuff. The string sample is mad, and the super simple vocal ('work, work, work...') is so cool. For me it really inspired the original sketch of 'Ghosts'.

Christian Smith & John Selway - Total Departure
KIM: A few years a go this track was a staple in my DJ sets. We got the idea to use the rising Shepard Tone in 'Youth In Trouble' from this track. Its such an awesome build up track.

The Triffids - Red Pony
JULIAN: This is my favourite song from this classic Australian band. It is another big influence on 'Ghosts'. I love the melody - it's a real rollicking sing-a-long. And the strings really add to its sea shanty vibe. Great video too if you can ever find it online.

Drake - Marvins Room
KIM: While recording Drums in LA and playing Caochella 2011, we would listen to Sirus XM radio and in particular an R&B radio station called 'The Heat'. I can't really say that there is a radio station in Australia quite like it. Most of the music they play is very 808 driven and it literally feels so good to listen whilst driving and get a lovely massage by the low frequencies. I remember this song by Drake came on late one night when I was driving back to the Hotel after a recording session. I was transfixed by the minimal production and the lyrics. When i came home to Australia I was inspired to get some of that minimal R&B styling onto the record, in particular on 'Ghosts'.

Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto - Aurora
JULIAN: This track is from one of my all time favourite albums 'Insen'. Sakamoto's piano playing is stunning - so minimal and delicate. And Alva Noto's clicks and cuts and deep sub bass production compliments it very beautifully. I listened to this practically everyday whilst we toured 'Apocalypso'. The first thing I did when I got home was move my piano into my studio. I've played piano for 30 years, but crazily have never had a real piano in my studio. Production, effects, beats and sounds are such a massive part of what Kim and I do, but 'Pacifica' was the first album where most of the basic 'songwriting' (chords, melodies and lyrics) was done at a piano, rather than in front of a computer screen.

X-press 2 Ft. Rob Harvey - Kill 100 (Carl Craig Remix)
KIM: Mid 2011 I went to a warehouse party in Sydney called 'Mince Meat'. A lovely DJ from Melbourne was playing that night whose name is Kitty. The music was playing was just really hitting the spot for me, lots of 909 drum machines with a very classic techno flavour. I remember she played this Carl Craig remix, that night and her DJ set inspired me to go home and sketch up a track that was to become 'Fast Seconds', I even think the working title of the sketch was 'Mince Meat'.

Big Youth & Vivian 'Yabby U' Jackson - Yabby Youth
JULIAN: My girlfriend and I are big fans of dub music. This track is from a Yabby U compilation called Jesus Dread 1972-1977 that sits on heavy rotation at home. I love the chant at the beginning of this track. It inspired the chant chorus of our song A.O. Whilst we don't technically make dub music, the giant space and huge lo-end theory of dub is an important part of what we tried to do on 'Pacifica'. Rather than fill songs up with lots of parts, there was more of a conscious effort this time around to strip parts away, and just leave the essentials - kick, bass, vocals and reverb!

The Chemical Brothers - Another World
KIM: I really love the unashamed joy in this track, its bordering on bitter sweet but really its just hands in the air Joyfulness. For me it was a big inspiration for the sound of 'Promises'.

Gareth Liddiard - The Radicalisation of D
JULIAN: This song rocked me when I first heard it. Liddiard (who also fronts the band The Drones) is such a talented wordsmith. In this 16 minute epic he tells the story of a disaffected young boy who grows up and becomes a terrorist. It is such a profoundly moving, and all together terrifying story (the only other time I have been so scared listening to a song was when I first heard The Geto Boys as an 11 year old!) The way Liddiard takes the time to really flesh out a character over 20 or so verses is very inspiring. It is a gripping yarn. On Pacifica we have our song 'A.O' which is all about the city of Sydney. When hearing Liddiard's song I felt encouraged to really take my time with the lyrics on 'A.O', and hopefully paint a full and realistic portrait of our home town.

Dirty Three - Better Go Home Now
KIM: This Australian band can sound so wild, colonial and unhinged. Their sound was a big inspiration to me for the initial idea that was to become 'A.O'. I tried to sketch up something that was tribal and colonial at the same time, to try and evoke the feeling of a cultural collision at the time when white man first arrived on the land that was to become known as Sydney.

September 13, 2012 at 1:47pm in modcast, The Presets



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