exclusive: watch the video for dusky's new wiley collaboration, sort it out sharon
From the constant evolution of Dusky comes Sort It Out Sharon, a full blown warehouse banger featuring the godfather of grime himself.
Dusky have always offered a little more than typically meets the ear. Since debut album Stick With This was picked up by Pete Tong back in 2011, the London duo - comprised of college friends Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman - have been known to talk up everything from drum and bass, hardcore, breakbeat and garage, as well as less expected influences such as soul, hip-hop, jazz - even classical (Alfie having studied at the Royal Academy of Music no less).
It's the kind of multifaceted evolution that has lead the Beatport-topping producers to upcoming album Outer. Featuring eye-catching collaborations with Pedestrian, Solomon Grey, Gary Numan and - on new single Sort It Out Sharon - the Godfather of Grime himself, it is a record that draws on influences wider than anything the pair have done before, exploring the sounds beyond their globetrotting DJ sets.
"Our vision for the collaborators was a really simple one," says Alfie. "Work with artists we respect and admire on tracks that genuinely demand that something extra to fulfil their potential - in each case here, there was something specific that we felt each particular collaborator could bring to the track in question."
With the album released this coming October, check out the stunning Ben Reed directed video for Sort It Out Sharon and read our interview with the pair below.
Hello Dusky. Your new single is called Sort It Out Sharon. Who is Sharon and what exactly does she need to sort out?
Alfie: Sharon is a purely hypothetical construct. She still needs to sort it out though...
How did you come to work with Wiley on the track?
Nick: We had the instrumental done first and, though it's primarily influenced by techno, it's got a massive influence from grime in the percussion and so on, so we got thinking about bringing the two worlds together and getting a full grime vocal over the top. Wiley was top of our list and we were over the moon he was up for it.
You've also roped in Pedestrian, Solomon Grey and Gary Numan (!)… What's the thought process when picking your collaborators? Are there any still on your wish list?
A: We approached it on a track by track basis and went for artists that we felt would compliment the tracks well. The Gary Numan track for example is very influenced by the 1980s synthpop and new wave movements that he was a real pioneer of, so it made sense to approach him. There are tons of artists on our wish list, too many too mention. We've really enjoyed the collaborative process with the singers on this album and we're definitely keen to work with more in future.
How do you explain the eclecticism behind your sound? Is it something to do with growing up in London, being exposed to lots of different things?
N: Yeah, I think the musical culture in London has had a huge influence on us. Growing up we were surrounded by such a strong radio and pirate radio culture so we were exposed to all sorts of music at a really young age. London has always had a very eclectic musical identity and there's a strong tradition of pushing musical and cultural boundaries. We like to think that bubbles over into what we try to do with our music.
What's the most unexpected thing you were exposed to when making the new record?
A: It was really interesting seeing the different creative processes of the collaborators we worked with. Everyone has their own way of working and it can be really eye-opening and inspiring seeing different people's approaches to making music.
Similarly, how does it differ from what we've heard you do before?
N: We wanted to create a body of music that worked as a cohesive whole and we also wanted something that works equally well on a dancefloor as it does for home listening. In that sense it's quite different from our recent EPs as they've all been very dancefloor focused.
Finally, the video for Sort It Out Sharon is shot in an ice factory in Thailand… Can you tell us what the most interesting thing you learnt about the ice making process is?
A: Well, pretty much everything about it. To be honest we'd never really thought about the ice making process, especially in somewhere like Thailand! It's interesting to see into a world that's right under your nose but you never really think about. It was a great shout by the director to explore the visual aspect of it as the imagery suits the track brilliantly and references Eskibeat in an interesting and subtle way.
Outer is released on 14 October via 17 Steps/Polydor Records. You can catch the band at Oval Space, London on 19 October.
Director Ben Reed
Producer Amber Millington
Production company Riff Raff Films