For XLR8R's annual music technology report, David Hemingway chats with the minimal house master about his collaboration with producer/remixer Anders Trentemøller.
XLR8R: How did you come to work with Anders Trentemøller?
Richard Davis: We met last year in Barcelona, where we were playing on the same bill at Loft. I'd never heard any of his music and he hadn't heard mine but we got on really well. After that he listened to a couple of my tracks on the Kitty-Yo website and asked me to do some vocals for him. I was happy to do it.
What attracted you to collaborating with Trentemøller?
As I said, at the time I met him I didn't know his music at all. In fact I only knew his name because I'd seen it in a magazine a few days before I met him. I listened to a couple of tracks from Poker Flat 12inches after meeting him that were pretty impressive. When he contacted me, asking if I would do some vocals for him, he sent three tracks\par with the mail. It was really these tracks and the fact that he's such a nice guy that attracted me to working with him. And so many ideas in every track. I was pretty sure that we'd end up with something great.
Did the collaboration change the way you work at all? What did Anders bring out of yourself (as opposed to your own recordings or work with Swayzak)?
Yes, I'd never communicated entirely by e-mail with anyone I'd worked with before. To this day, I've still only met him the one time, in Barcelona. He sent me the tracks and I sent him the vocals all by mail. I actually found not working with someone in the same room, as I'd done with Swayzak, pretty difficult. I had a bit of a creative block and for weeks I couldn't get anything together that I felt did his tracks justice. The tracks were really complex and getting my head around the melodies and structures was quite tricky. When I had the idea for the vocals for the track on the album, I wrote the lyrics in twenty minutes and finished recording in a few days. As for bring something out of myself, I suppose Anders brought me to the conclusion that I was going to have to write something pretty interesting to make what was
a great instrumental track into a great song. The music was already carrying a lot of emotion. It was really dramatic stuff and I felt it was necessary to try and get a sense of drama in the singing and the lyrics. Certainly lyrically I don't see a great deal of difference between this and, say, my own stuff. It’s still rather "melancholy" as some people call it and fairly angry. Musically I thought it was quite different to anything I'd done before - definitely slower.
Photo by David Biene