Muddyloop: Fun electric grooves

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One of the defining trends of the naughties has been cross-over dance acts. The ones that have the production skills and coolness to appeal to the underground, but also the flair and distinct hooks giving them mainstream popularity. Groove Armada, Mylo, to some extent the Plump DJs, and recently Calvin Harris, have all achieved this. You can add Muddyloop as 07’s likely breakout, with an awesome EP and album on the way.

Muddyloop is Blonde Peterson and Metro Williams, two dudes from London with a fascination for old school production. Actually, the truth is they think they’re the reincarnation of Prince. With a love of Soul Glow Poodle haircuts and purple velvet coats the Muddyloop boys are cooking up a synthesized blend of quirky and soulful vocals, electronic pop and futurised classic beats. In their own words, they make “hot and sweaty cosmic grooves for boys and girls from Mars and beyond”. OK, whatever guys… we get the point. Muddyloop’s sound is actually quite diverse, such as the recent rnb/hip hop (almost Beyonce-like) single ‘Body Sweat’, to the synth-pop of ‘Hairstyle’, an outrageous piece of music, and soon-to-be remix, ‘Electric Stars’.

Anyhow, what’s important is their sound is fabulous and needs to be heard. Muddyloop have an EP on the way, titled ‘The Love Rider’, which will be released on super DJ – and my personal favourite – Desyn Masiello’s Symphonic label. This will be followed shortly by a full artist album called ‘Flight Night’. ITM fans are being spoilt, with the boys kindly giving us their time for an interview, along with an exclusive DJ set. Enjoy the creative inspiration that is Muddyloop.

SD. Thanks for taking time out to speak to ITM and treat us to an exclusive ITM-FM DJ set!

METRO: Always a pleasure – we appreciate this a lot, as a small band just trying to get noticed.

BLONDE: Yeah, thanks Stuey!

SD. Tell us about your new release, ‘The Love Rider’ EP.

METRO: Well, basically the ‘Love Rider’ EP is a four track introduction to the sound of Muddyloop. It comes out on Symphonic Records in June. I guess the best description of the EP that I’ve heard is soulful electronic music with a retro feel.

BLONDE: I prefer ‘hot and sweaty electronic grooves for boys and girls from Mars & beyond’.

METRO: Yeah, but that don’t really tell anyone about the type of music on the EP.

BLONDE: Does to me.

METRO: Why do you always have to be awkward?

BLONDE: Because I’m an artist man, I told you!

SD. Muddyloop and ‘The Love Rider’ names, where did these come from?

BLONDE: The name Muddyloop came from me. It was my idea. Metro wanted to call us something corny like ‘Double Dimensions’, but I had to step in and restrain his cheesiness. He can be so damn cheesy sometimes.

METRO: Yeah alright Mr Avant Garde Artist – you’re so full of it!

BLONDE: You know it’s the truth. Anyway, I chose Muddyloop because when we first started making music all our loops were real dirty as we sampled everything from cassette tape. Then everyone would tell us that our music sounded muddy. Hence the name. I also like the fact that Muddyloop is a made-up word. So if you search for it in Google, all you get is stuff on us. Excellent!

METRO: Didn’t you want to call us Spandex Death at one stage? You freak!

BLONDE: No that was you Metro… still reminiscing on your power rock ballad days.

METRO: Anyway, we’re digressing, ‘The Love Rider’ EP name came from…

BLONDE: Me. My idea again.

METRO: The EP was originally going to be a full length album called ‘The Love Rider Series Volume 1’. It was going to be our debut album. The whole album had this whole cosmic sci-fi theme to it.

BLONDE: Yeah, all the tracks were based on short stories I’d written. Like one of the tracks was called ‘When We Fuck’ – and it was about robots falling in love; then there was this other crazy one about aliens invading the earth with their charm… basically they charmed our human women and that’s how they took over…

METRO: (interrupts) I think they get the picture. Anyway it was taking up so much of our lives that in the end we decided to just put it out as a 4 track EP and concentrate on something different.

BLONDE: It could have been the best electronic album ever.

METRO: I guess we screwed up

BLONDE: Your fault. Always your fault.

SD. Who does your vocals and what’s the selection criteria?

METRO: On the EP, just Blonde does vocals on ‘Life on Mars’. But on the new album – ‘Flight Night’ – we’ve got some really talented singers – Leon King, Stevie Starr, Joe Green and Judith Nicholas – all with their own distinct character and voice. Oh, and me and Blonde like to enter the vocal booth too, just to add our quirkiness to the mix.

BLONDE: Essential! Couldn’t make an album without my voice on it somewhere. Haha.

METRO: Basically me and Blonde write all the melodies and lyrics, although I’ve probably written most of the lyrics.

BLONDE: (interrupting) Here we go again. Look Metro, you haven’t really done that much.

METRO: How can you say that?

BLONDE: Because I write all the music and you watch and make sure I press record. That’s all you do – admit it!

METRO: Look whatever. Basically, we tend to have a soulful element to our electronic music. We just naturally lean towards that old school mix of synthy soul.

BLONDE: Synthy soul?

METRO: You know what I mean. Artists like Midnight Starr, Imagination… and Prince of course.

BLONDE: Metro used to dress like Prince… it was funny.

METRO: BLONDE!

SD. Who’s doing the remixes? Were you involved in the selection process & directing their interpretations?

METRO: There will be 2 vinyls coming out in June. One is the original Love Rider EP containing all our original versions and the other is a remix vinyl with 3 remixes on it. Symphonic managed to get some incredibly fresh remixers for the remix vinyl. A dude called Wize (www.wizemusic.fr) has reworked the track Love Rider and another dude called Phunktastique remixed Penthouse Sweet. Both remixes are already making noise on the dancefloor. Symphonic chose the remixers themselves but they always made sure we were happy with any interpretations of our music.

SD. How did you get picked up for your EP by Desyn Masiello’s Symphonic label?

METRO: Check how fate works! We went to The London Calling music conference in London last year.

BLONDE: I was dragged along…

METRO: ...and we managed to get Paul Wiseman at Symphonic to listen to a track we were trying to get signed called ‘Call Me (When You Want Me)’.

BLONDE: He thought it was crap.

METRO: Actually, he liked it, but not that much. Anyway he checked out our website…

BLONDE: www.muddyloop.com (winks)

METRO: Man, stop interrupting! So he dug the other tracks we had on the site and got back in contact with us a few weeks later saying he would like to put out our EP. We were like “Fuck Yeah! No doubt baby!”

SD. How do you describe your sound and what are your main influences?

METRO: Retro…

BLONDE: 80s…

METRO: Fun electric grooves…

BLONDE: Electronic pop music. Let me take the main influences bit of the question – things I feel are influences for me personally…

METRO: This is where he goes off on one by the way…

BLONDE: ...influences for me are things like a resonant minor chord that for some inexplicable reason can make a grown man cry.

METRO: Damn man, you can be so up your own ass sometimes! Ok? Our influences are Prince – everything about him in the 80s was sexual genius, Michael Jackson’s vocal harmonies and melodies.

BLONDE: Not the grunting noises and “shamones” though, post-Bad album.

METRO: Agreed. Other artists are Curtis Mayfield, Daft Punk, songs like Bronski Beat ‘Smalltown Boy’ and all that other cool 80s synth pop stuff, um, old school grooves and soulful stuff like Kleer, Alexander O’Neal…

BLONDE: ...classic Chicago house, hip hop, Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack…

METRO: Oh yeah, and newer artists too like Metro Area, Mirwais, Mylo, Hot Chip, Unkle Jam, Calvin Harris, Timbaland…

BLONDE: Everything we ever heard and liked basically, to cut it short.

METRO: Yes. Exactly. we make music for ourselves, first and foremost, but if anyone else likes it then that’s cool!

SD. These press shots? Smokin! You been watching a lot of porn lately or what?

BLONDE: Metro is a bit prudish actually when it comes to porn. Prefers his softcore 70s porn. Shit like ‘Emmanuelle’. He actually follows the storylines! He likes to talk dirty to his wife though.

METRO: Yeah, that’s it, tell them everything!

BLONDE: Haha. We actually took these shots in my back bedroom – we are that broke and cheap – but I think they look quite cool. A bit of Photoshop magic here and there – I’ve got the Superstar filters!

METRO: I love getting naked anyway, so it was never a problem for me!

BLONDE: Yeah, I am planning for Metro to be Muddyloop pin-up boy.

SD. Do you plan to perform your material in a live setting with a band, Groove Armada style?

METRO: Ideally that’s where I see us heading. We’ve just begun doing some live PAs but would love to develop our live set more.

BLONDE: He lies in bed dreaming of it.

METRO: Seriously though, yeah, I think a lot of our new material could work beautifully in a live setting. I am always thinking about how the set-up would be. I am imagining a live drummer on an electronic drum-set triggering our drum hits in the AKAI MPC, Blonde on keys and backing vocals, looking cool with dark eye make-up on.

BLONDE: Like it, like it!

METRO: Me on an MPC and vocals, rocking it like the grand master MC. Quirky dance routines, live guest vocalists letting rip, guitar solos all over the place, and proper extended live versions of the songs – Man! It will be so cool.

BLONDE: Yeah it would be wicked. Proper energetic. Although I suffer from acute shyness. I will have to wear some kind of mask on stage.

SD. You’ve got an artist album on the way, Flight Night. When can we expect it & what will it be like?

METRO: Autumn 2007 we hope. Blonde has just added a little Blonde to his family, so that’s slowed production down a bit, but we are still real busy finishing off the album. We have completed about half the album so far and the first single, ‘Body Sweat’, was released digitally in May 2007. We also plan to have a little ‘Flight Night’ promo EP planned for around June.

BLONDE: This album is just us really. We’ve put so much time and effort into it – I feel like all the tracks are my lovers. Like I know them all so intimately, like we have shared moments, you know?

METRO: Whatever. It’s a fun album with quirky pop songs, throwback production, cool vocals and catchy melodies.

BLONDE: It’s just a cool little album with some cool little songs on it – we hope people like it.

SD. Outside production, do you do any remixes or DJing?

METRO: We have never been approached really to do remixes, but it’s something we would definitely consider. As for DJing, we have two DJs who are part of Muddyloop’s extended family, Spina & Curious. They are a big part of Muddyloop’s DJ sets, spinning the tracks while Blonde and I trigger sounds and sequences from the MPC. They play an eclectic mixture of new and old electro funk & soul tracks.

BLONDE: I did a remix for this guy once, ages and ages ago… remember?

METRO: Oh shit! Now that you say. Didn’t you use none of the parts from the original version apart from one snare?

BLONDE: Yeah, I think so. Man! That was so terrible. But anyway, I am still waiting for Madonna to come knocking one day!

METRO: Yeah right.

BLONDE: I’m telling you, she needs us!

SD. In a different lifetime, which famous musicians’ hair would you most like to have?

BLONDE: Honestly, I love my hair man! It’s my only good feature. There’s a song about it on the ‘Flight Night’ album called ‘Hairstyle’. I did like Prince’s hair in ‘Purple Rain’ though.

METRO: I’d probably have Bryan May’s hair. Nice backcombed shaggy white man’s afro!

You can have a listen to Muddyloop’s exclusive ITM-FM mix HERE.

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