“Intimate is a good word to describe it” – An interview with HONNE

We get cosy in a van just before their sold-out Brighton tour date.

Originally published in The Edge

In July, London-based electro-soul duo HONNE released Warm On A Cold Night, an exquisite compendium of heartfelt musings and engulfing melodies, and their sold-out tour of the nation to support it following a number of sojourns to festival stages across the world saw them take in the chilly sea breeze around The Haunt in Brighton on the first day of 2016’s darker nights. Shortly before the gig we ventured backstage with James Hatcher and Andy Clutterbuck, taking shelter in Liv Dawson‘s tour van to talk about the goings-on of their early musical inspirations, why remixing on the road still proves impractical, and their striking recent releases of a sensual ‘Good Together‘ video and ‘FHKD‘ adorned with Kill J‘s whispers. Continue reading ““Intimate is a good word to describe it” – An interview with HONNE”

Album review: HONNE – Warm On A Cold Night

A flowing and cohesive set of soulful electronica gleaming with romance, Warm On A Cold Night may bear few unique moments though its dedicated crooning through the narrative provides a perfect soundtrack for the nocturnal and wistful.

Originally published in The Edge

“Okay, it’s 3:17am… If you don’t got a lover, just close your eyes and listen to HONNE.” This instruction, courtesy of a sultry croak from a radio host at the opening of HONNE’s debut album, could not be any more apt. At this point of the evening, timed to experience the album in the sort of woozy, tender emotional state it appears to command, keeping my eyes open is enough of a chore, and the smooth organ-like instrumentation of title track ‘Warm On A Cold Night’ forms such a feathery pillow that is close to being a lullaby. “I want to take you to paradise / In a 1950s Merc,” sings Andy Clutterbuck, HONNE’s bearded half. Expecting anything other than syrupy romantic adventures from Warm On A Cold Night would have been foolish. Enamoured with the tender embrace, I go wherever he asks me. Continue reading “Album review: HONNE – Warm On A Cold Night”

Album review: Skrillex & Diplo Present Jack Ü

Originally published in The Broadie

My first encounter with Jack Ü, the pseudo-supergroup of professional noise-merchants Sonny Moore and Wesley Pentz, better known as Skrillex and Diplo, came on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Miami last March. At the Ultra Music Festival, the commercial centrepiece of the annual Winter Music Conference that draws the great and the good and the brostep to Floridian shores, the pair took to the stage for the most anticipated set of the weekend.

Within a minute, Diplo had clambered onto the desk and was commanding his sun-soaked congregation, mostly scantily clad college students squandering their spring break by flailing limbs in a sardine-like crush, to scream and clap and all sorts of things that would make the music harder to hear. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m of the opinion that a good DJ should neither be seen nor heard. Their job is to play pre-recorded music in a fluid and appreciable fashion, but Jack Ü took their babysitting duties very seriously and audibly.

And yet, Moore and Pentz moulded their hour on the main stage into the most thoroughly entertaining show of the weekend. Rapidly devouring Skrillex’s new album, Diplo’s dancehall-inspired Major Lazer discography, the talent of their respective labels OWSLA and Mad Decent, and even Toto’s ‘Africa’, the frantic set clicked perfectly. In parts, so does their collaborative album. Continue reading “Album review: Skrillex & Diplo Present Jack Ü”