Beautifully textured and deeply absorbing, the debut EP from Lachlan Bolt aka Dressin Red is something special. With so much of electronic music aimed at clubs, coupled with the hectic pace of modern life, it can be rare to find those moments where you simply stop and listen; but ‘Head/Body’, the first release from the Glasgow-based producer on increasingly essential beat label, Astral Black, resonates with both mind and feet. “I'll go through phases of making stuff that’s a bit more chilled out or sometimes it'll be a bit more club influenced” he explains. “'Head/Body' just seemed like a good way of showing the different sides to my production. 'Head' is the sort of thing you could listen to before bed or when you're chilling, whereas 'Body' might be something you play before you go out or if you want to get a bit of groove in your life.”
It certainly has the desired effect. Listen to the first half of the release and you’ll hear delicate field recordings woven into rich tapestries – a sound which washes over you, but leaves a lasting impression. While the transition to ‘Body’ isn’t quite chalk & cheese, you do notice an instant lift in mood and a rhythm which soon takes hold. It's this ability to manipulate his sound which proves how well Lachlan has realised the 'Head/Body' concept, not only delivering a memorable experience for the listener, but also underlining the potential of one of Glasgow’s most exciting new artists.
Listen to ‘Head/Body’ in full below and read our interview in which we talk more about Dressin Red’s debut, his influences and what we can expect from him behind the decks:
SG: We pretty much spent the whole of January locked into your ‘Head/Body’ EP which has been getting a lot of love; can you tell us a little more about the concept behind it and how the different frequencies connect with the listener?
Dressin Red: Aw thank you, glad to hear it! I've basically just always found it hard to work out what type of music I want to make; sometimes I’ll go through phases of making stuff that’s a bit more chilled out or sometimes it'll be a bit more directly club influenced. ‘Head/Body’ just seemed like a good way of showing the different sides to my production. ‘Head’ is the sort of thing you could listen to before bed or when you're chilling, whereas Body might be something you play before you go out or if you want to get a bit of groove in your life. That's not to say that they are both separate from each other, there's a big crossover and I don't think of them as that different.
SG: Your music is incredibly textured and colourful, generating a quite involved experience for the listener. How do you go about recording these sounds and making them work together? Is the creative process quite spontaneous?
Dressin Red: A lot of the sounds will be things I’ve recorded on a dictaphone, my phone or like the laptop microphone. Most of the time it’s me singing, playing guitar or hitting shit in the kitchen haha. I'll sometimes sample wee bits of records; I then just put them into the sampler thing on Ableton and just play them like a piano. It's normally quite spontaneous once a sound clicks but that only comes after a lot of time sitting around and trying different samples.
SG: We’re really intrigued to know how you arrived at the point as it seems like your music is deeply organic; when and how did you get into production? Is there anyone who you’d describe as influential?
Dressin’ Red: Thank you, that’s a big compliment. I think I got into production around the year I left school when I was just working, which would be about 4 years ago. I mainly just got interested in it from hip hop, but it took me quite a while to figure out how to go about things. I feel like my production is kind of an extension of hip hop/rap production, but replacing sampled records with recordings of my own samples. There have been a lot of people who have influenced me, but in terms of things I always go back to, I'd say A Tribe Called Quest, J Dilla, Hud Mo, Shlohmo and Smashing Pumpkins.
SG: You’ll be playing alongside DJ Milktray and Jon Phonics for the Astral Black Valentine’s Day party at the Art School; what can we expect from you in a DJ set? Do you work in plenty of your own cuts?
Dressin Red: A lot of fun stuff mainly. I would say the Astral Black club mantra kind of sums up how I approach DJ’ing - "we want people to hear songs they know and love alongside music they haven’t heard before and just don’t know they love yet” - so probably some old r&b classics and some new stuff too. Maybe a few big ballads if the mood is right. Nah, I don't play much of my own stuff at the minute but that might change a bit over time if the gigs keep coming.