Despite what promotional photos like the one above may lead some to believe, Clouds is in fact a production duo, one that consists of Scotland natives Calum MacLeod and Liam Robertson. Over the past two years, the pair has built a reputation as solid as the hard-edged techno productions which the two jointly craft, issuing a handful of impressive releases, and most recently delivering the harrowing Man Out of Dubs EP. With Clouds' proper debut LP, Ghost Systems Rave, on the horizon for Tiga's Turbo imprint (a label the duo has appeared on a number of times before), we asked MacLeod and Robertson to share with us five tracks that have helped inspire their sound, and the pair returned our call with a somewhat surprising collection of quality cuts.
Truncate "Transients V1"
We love pretty much everything that Truncate or Audio Injection touches. This one has such an amazing groove that just keeps building and building. It sounds very simplistic, which can be a very hard thing to achieve. We were gutted when we couldn't catch Truncate at the Sub Club in Glasgow [recently], as his music in that setting would have been a heavy scorcher.
MPIA3 "Casual Welding"
The first time we heard this was when Blawan played it at the Sub Club. One of us was even walking from the dancefloor to the bathroom and had to double back to hear what it was. The weird, jittering synth line was stuck in our heads for weeks and the acid stabs throughout are killer.
Actress "Bubble Butts and Equations"
We love the way the huge kick thunders in and out of this track, especially because the synths are so dramatically sidechained to it. When the synths are allowed to breathe, Actress deploys a wicked droning melody, and the scattered, distorted hats on top really appeal to us. It's easy getting lost in the melodic breaks and then sucked into those chubby kick drums again.
Surgeon "Patience (Part 2)"
This record came out in 1997 when we were five and six years old, and yet it still sounds so fresh. Surgeon is a huge influence on us and this tune is a personal favorite. We're really into the detuned, overdriven-sounding tom hits which bounce around the track. We've played this track out countless times and we still love watching the reaction of the dancefloor as it comes in.
Panda Bear "Tomboy"
This one has a slightly different vibe but it's a banger nonetheless. The synth in the opening seconds is fucking formidable. We saw Panda Bear play in Manchester about a year ago, and he blew us away. This track was a real highlight for both of us.