So the last one in our series, ‘Dream Nails’, was recorded with the master of sound, Brian Eno. It’s a song about the area Seb lives in. It also features Underworld‘s Karl Hyde and Seb singing. “The song started as an improvisation guided by Brian,” says Seb. “Seeing Brian playing the bass and keyboard in this little space and having to press the record button on my computer himself made me feel first embarrassed, but also amazed at his humbleness. For me, this kind of openness is part of what makes him such a continuously inspired creator.”
“I loved having Karl play on the track too, he plays so beautifully and sensitively. I didn’t even know he played guitar! To have both these incredible musicians give their time to make music with me in my place was really very special for me.”
Polar Bear’s Tom Herbert supplies the final remix of the series. This single, the second 6 month round up bundle and the previous 11 singles are all available on our bandcamp.
We’ve reached the penultimate single in the Takeaway series (already!) and this month Seb has recruited South African vocalist and producer Spoek Mathambo and London-based singer Jaelee Small.
Seb initially approached Jaelee to collaborate on a track but after an encounter on the Africa Express his plans changed dramatically…
Seb explains, “In September I had an amazing experience on the Africa Express train. Ninety musicians from Africa, America and Europe travelled around the country doing concerts and pop up gigs along the way. There was a carriage on the train where we could all jam and work on music we would then play in the concerts. I met Nthato [Spoek’s real name] on the train and it felt like we really connected. I loved playing with him so I asked if he’d like to do a Takeaway single with me. I played him the track I’d made with Jaelee and he asked me to send it to him. He recorded all the vocals in South Africa and I put the track together back in the studio in London, getting his thoughts along the way.”
Spoek’s recollections are similarly positive: “Seb is one of my favourite musicians I’ve had the pleasure to perform with, rich with intuition and passion. When he told me he also made hip-hop beats I was quite surprised and intrigued – curious to know how he applied his adventurous spirit to a form that has become staid and pretty redundant. I’m excited by the outcome. I think his sense of rhythm pushed me as an MC – pushed me far enough to dream of not being one, but instead as another instrument riding Seb’s magic carpet of funk.”
Remixer San Gabriel is Los Angeles psychonaut Butchy Fuego (ex-Pit er Pat member who has also worked with Boredoms, M.I.A. and Neutral Milk Hotel). Here he delivers a characteristically dayglo remix of the track that relocates it firmly on the dancefloor.
Remember, you can catch up on the previous ten singles on our bandcamp page… and keep your eyes on our twitter and facebook for very exciting news about next month’s single!
The October entry in Sebastian Rochford’s audio diary sees him collaborate with celebrated British cellist Oliver Coates. All the sounds on their brooding, cinematic track, ‘The Boat Sails To A Blind Horizon’, come from the cello or Coates’ voice, speaking about the past into the microphone.
The result is eerie and dislocated as explained by Coates, “A voyage to uncharted Scottish isles, a kind of transplanted Heart of Darkness, arose from a geometry that Seb and I agreed on. It was a form we both obeyed, almost a third person in the room. As a by-product, this strong shape changed our attitude towards the sound itself.”
Leeds-based Chris Sharkey, best known as the guitarist of trioVD and Acoustic Ladyland (of which he was a member with Seb), completes the package with a hypnotic remix that subtly draws out new aspects of the original.
You can listen and purchase October’s single, plus the previous nine, on our Bandcamp page.
September marks the three-quarter point in The Takeaway project. This month sees Seb collaborating with Babyshambles bassist and backing vocalist, Drew McConnell to produce not one single but two.
This isn’t the first time they’ve worked together, having previously worked under the Helsinki Collective banner. “Drew had mentioned he wanted to do something out of his usual sound world,” says Seb, “So it felt like a natural thing to explore this for the Takeaway.”
Breaking away from the usual single and remix format, Drew and Seb created a double header with two contrasting singles ‘Joy in the Morning’ and ‘Mostly Harmless’.
“The day passed amidst tea, cigarettes and laughter, peppered with conversations of doubt and hope,” says McConnell of the experience. “Throughout which, expertly, almost subversively, Seb extracts the stuff of two songs. I barely noticed.”
You can purchase and listen to all nine Takeaway singles on our Bandcamp page.
For the 8th instalment of our project Seb collaborates with good friend and ex-Menlo Park bandmate Chris Taylor.
“Seb and I have in some sense grown up in music together”, says Chris. “We found each other in the dingy upstairs of an East End bar and formed what would become Menlo Park together. We worked very closely for the next eight years. When I say closely, I once awoke on some low budget tour to find myself being lovingly embraced by Seb in a fashion best described, I suppose, as spooning. I debated whether to wake him up to let him know I wasn’t the girlfriend he was muttering about but I thought against it and decided that, if you can’t spoon with your drummer, what kind of band are you?”
For this months track ‘Seven Sisters’, Chris contributes piano and vocals, crediting Seb for “capturing the subtle energy and flavours” of their composition, which he regards as “dirty, messy, unkempt, mean-spirited, but loveable, badass, genre nonspecific”.
The remix this time round comes from another former Menlo-Park member, Chris’ business partner John Greswell.
You can also listen to and purchase the single over on our Bandcamp, and catch up on all of the previous Takeaways. Remember we’ve also added an exclusive 6 month bundle featuring all 12 tracks from Jan-June at a discounted price, check it out here.
Our July edition of Days And Nights At The Takeaway, which is on sale today, sees Seb collaborate with American jazz pianist Jason Moran.
The track ‘Years’ takes a slightly different approach to the previous releases of the series, with Seb layering drums over an improvisation Moran sent him.
“I was blown away by the music” Seb says, “and felt a little intimidated by it. I decided to not listen to it again until I threw myself in and improvised live drum takes and live iPad and synth figures, and took it from there.”
Moran’s ‘Improvisation’ can also be heard in its original form on the second track.
“This improvisation was taken from a solo concert in northern Italy,” says Jason. “Midway through my performance I realised, I owe Seb some music! So, this piece arose out of the many conversations Seb and I have had about sound. I thought the flurry of glissandos would pique his interest. I love the outcome.”
“I felt the original piece Jason sent was so incredible that I wanted other people to hear it,” adds Seb.
Check out our Bandcamp to stream or purchase the tracks and catch up on the rest of the series. Remember we’ve just added an exclusive 6 month bundle featuring all 12 tracks from Jan-June at a discounted price, check it out here.
Make sure you’re up-to-date with all the latest news on the project by signing up for our mailing on the right hand side.