D/R/U/G/S still not too familiar with Underworld


To be fair, Cal Wright (the man behind D/R/U/G/S) would only have been a nipper in Underworld’s heyday. Anyhow, I’ve been a fan of his work for a while and his You Are Everywhere EP in the autumn was ultimately uplifting synths to relieve the winter gloom. Despite that success he’d said “last year was pretty lame for me”. He’s in finer fettle for 2014, with a new album – Echorave – out this moth. There’s a free download of a track below. I thought we might catch a word and find out if his artist name was a problem.

1. How the devil are you and what’s the weather like in Manchester? Wet, I’d guess.

-I’m grand thank you, yes Manchester is as it ever was. 

2. In the past, you’ve been compared to Orbital and Underworld. Do you think it’s fair? Does it bother you or please you?

-There are far worse artists to be compared to. I guess they make sense tho’, I make dance music but not dj friendly house or techno. My sound is flavoured by those ideas but isn’t strictly a part of either. Plus, the whole ambient side of things, it makes sense.

3. You said in an early interview of Orbital “To be honest though, I’ve never heard any of their music.” Surely that’s not still true?

-Ha, no. I’ve checked out Orbital a fair bit especially. Still not too familiar with Underworld tho’.

Just for Cal, here’s Underworld and a personal fave, Ansum.

4. Who are your influences? And, who are your peers?

-Tonnes of stuff, lots of post rock from the early days, all the good ambient guys like OPN and Tim Hecker, big fan of that soundscape kind of thing, I’ve always tried to graft that sound onto a dance template. Then when I started to gravitate towards club music I’d have to say anything on Kompakt, James Holden, Gui Boratto etc. I think there’s a strong sonic link between those three ideas and I try and move somewhere in between them. Regarding current artists and where I fit in it can be difficult as my stuff can be tricky to place. Id say people like Koreless, Klangarussel, Ame etc. would be the closest touchstones, although were kind of moving away from that slightly by working with more vocalists.

5. You DJ and perform live. How do the two compare?

-It very much varies show to show, I’ve found I’ve had to be pretty adaptable which has been a blessing and a curse in ways. If I’m doing a club show with your typical house dj’s playing the same old tunes everybody knows its tricky to be placed in the middle of that and try to do something different. The two sides of performing have definitely drawn closer together as I’ve done more shows, I try and combine the two as much as possible now to keep it interesting.

7. When I first read your name was D/R/U/G/S, I assumed something electroclash or industrial and so the delicacy of your work came as a surprise. Do you think the name’s an issue?

-Ha yeah if id known it was going to take off I would have picked something more sensible! Although in saying that it looks great written down and is memorable so that’s all that really matters. I always say if radio one are happy to play the tunes in the middle of the day then it cant be causing anyone too many problems. Hopefully people realise artists names aren’t all meant to be taken literally, believe it or not The Killers aren’t all mass murderers and Joy Division weren’t Nazi officers (as far as I know anyway).

8. Your You Are Everywhere EP at the end of 2013 did rather well. Does that give you hope for 2014?

– It did really well, especially on radio we had great support. Were looking to build on that with the next couple of EP’s hopefully move onto labels with a bit more scope for getting us out there and just crack on really. There’s no great secret to it, I just want to keep putting out tunes and doing cool shows.

You Are Everywhere

Echorave is an interesting way to clear the decks. There are elements of a range of styles across the seven tracks, from tech house to minimal to that warped disco style he employs. All linked with a relaxed sensibility. But the centrepiece and my favourite track (coincidentally also his favourite) is Welcome To Planet Earth. This is a warped ambient tune that slowly builds into something epic and spectacular but never bombastic – before gradually falling back to earth. Echorave is an early teaser for more new material due in the Spring through Bad Life, including his debut LP.

Welcome To Planet Earth (free download)

From ‘Echorave‘ a collection of old, new and experimental beats. Out Jan 2014

~ by acidted on January 27, 2014.

2 Responses to “D/R/U/G/S still not too familiar with Underworld”

  1. […] D/R/U/G/S is back with a new release, Epoch EP, out tomorrow on Big Life. […]

  2. […] a long while since we had anything from D/R/U/G/S (Cal Wright). He’s got a new mini album coming and End of Intelligence is a track from it. […]

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