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An interview with Ben Philcox from Dawn Chorus Ignites (DCI)

A while back we reviewed DCI’s EP Take Me With You with a huge amount of pleasure. We’ve now had the chance to interview Ben Philcox from the group, about their future, their tech and some of their inspirations.

HUNOW: Take Me With You is very emotive. What is the meaning behind the title of the EP and the tracks that it is comprised of?

Ben: Funny you should ask about that as Take Me With You is actually a lyric which we wrote for the song but which we decided to leave out of the final track. If you sing along to the ‘chorus’ of the song hidden in there somewhere is the melody which fits with the sentence Take Me With You… one day we may release a vocal version of the track, that might be quite fun.

As for the feel of the record, yeah, emotive is a fair comment. Its all the classic post-rock elements really, journey, escapism, emotional response, sadness, joy. These feelings all went in to the crafting of the songs in the studio environment. I guess in places we were trying to replicate what we play live, say The Hatch for example, but other songs were very much created in the studio, say for example Frozen Skies. Either way the outcome is still the same.

HUNOW: What hardware do you favour using and why?

Ben: Hardware, playing wise? Fender Jaguar for me, Fender Jazzmaster for Mat, loving the Fender Hotrod deluxe amp too… Quite a few pedals… some of which we talk about on Prima Rosa website. Studio wise, we were lucky enough to record this record on a Neve 81 desk which sounds great! The record was mixed out across this desk too by J at DBS Music and this definitely added a crunchy analogue sound to the record.

HUNOW: Is there anything on your wishlist in terms of hardware?

Ben: The list is far too long to add here! I was very close to buying a Moog Opus 3 Synth the other day so that’s probably on my wish list. Generally I guess I am personally looking to expand the bands synth collection as I think this brings a new dynamic to the music.

HUNOW: Are there any particular artists or other forms of inspiration that have heavily influenced the music of Dawn Chorus Ignites?

Ben: All the usual suspects for sure from the instrumental post-rock scene and of course the old shoegaze stuff from the late 80’s early 90’s. But also lesser known artists such as Arvo Part and Steve Reich. Their work is certainly an inspiration still now.

HUNOW: When was Dawn Chorus Ignites first started?

Ben: Erm, some time around 2007 I think? We have become a bit of a collective over the years to be honest, musically and visually. Anyone who works on the project DCI is part of the family and their input is always valued.

HUNOW: It’s now been quite a while since you released Take Me With You, have you got any further releases coming up?

Ben: We are planning the recording of the 4th instalment of DCI material now. We have a load of songs and ideas waiting to get out there so we’re really looking forward to getting back in the studio over the next few months or so. We plan to use the new studios at DBS music in Bristol for the recording as there is a lovely live room in place there which I think will sound really nice, there’s also a few unused spaces we know in Bristol which could be used to create some epic sounding drums and guitar parts… Watch out for updates on primarosa.net.

HUNOW: Have you collaborated with any other artists and are there any other artists that you hope to collaborate with if you got the chance?

Ben: We’ve done some stuff with a Bristol based label in the past, getting involved with artists like Winterlight and Luga. We are always looking for collaborations and remix ideas too and that’s going to be a big push for the next record.

Artists to work with? A good friend of mine has just completed working with Underworld for the Olympic ceremony and also worked at Abbey Road… I would love to get him to record our new project, it would be very interesting to see what new ideas he could bring.

HUNOW: Can you give any personal tricks of the trade for the readers of holdupnow? Are there any specific techniques that you would recommend?

Ben: Re-amping… One of my favourites! Feedback loops in DJ mixers, this can be a fun way to create different sounds… Oh, and set reverb to 12, that’s probably gonna keep you busy for a while.

You can read our review our Take Me With You including an artistic video here:

https://holdupnow.com/ep-review-dawn-chorus-ignites-prima-rosa-take-me-with-you/

Visit the Prima Rosa site here:

http://primarosa.net/

Or check out DCI’s Facebook page here:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dawn-Chorus-Ignites/113262002027495

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Manager and Co-Editor of @holdupmedia. I'm constantly trying to break up with my computer but never quite succeed. Feel free to get in touch with me at jack@holdupnow.com for any coverage requests, collaboration ideas or anything else you fancy.

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