Article Archive

Splitloop - Breaking The Pleasure Machine

Author: Rezo
Thursday, 7 August 2008
3D's Rezo and Ghostwriter Killer speak with Irish breakbeat duo, Splitloop.

Brendan Crowe and Philip Byrne began the musical journey that would become Splitloop at a Prodigy concert, when the two were both 15.

'Things basically went from there,' Byrne says of the concert. 'I was already experimenting and making tunes at the time I met Brendan. I ended up lending him a tape and we started hanging out together, listening to music and eventually we started writing tunes. We were doing that for a couple of years but didn't really know what it was nor which direction we were going in.'

Byrne admits that in the early days he thought their music resembled the likes of The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy, but after a visit to a local record store, they realised what they were making was, in fact, breaks. Unsurprisingly. 'Our philosophy is very simple: we just take the Plump DJs approach to a tune,' Byrne says. 'Then we add something [of our own].'

Culminating all their hard work is the new album Pleasure Machine. 'I actually found myself overseas on travel, so the first copy of the record [I received] I actually had to buy myself - which is pretty sad!' Byrne says. 'But it's been a great process. I'd pretty much taken a break from producing - after you've listened to a tune a thousand times you sort of have it up to the gills. I just wanted to go clubbing around the world and fortunately, I bought my MIDI gear and my laptop along. I didn't have my job to go to so while I was travelling through Asia and Australia I was fiddling around and writing music. The album is pretty much what you'd call breaks but I started marking house and electro on it anyway; we'd both had enough of a break from music to do different stuff. I'd done material, which sounded a bit older in my view, and it ended up being the way it went anyway. Electro was what we were feeling at the time and it came together the way it did by accident - or at least certainly not on purpose. We think it's a good summary of where we are at right now.'

And their individual influences contributed to the sound of the album.

'We listen to a lot of different styles of music - not just breaks,' Crowe says, 'so influences came from all manner of different scenes; we're always trying to branch out and do interesting things that aren't just breaks. After the first album, we were actually encouraged to try and focus our attention elsewhere. If something's not working, it's not working. As Phil said, we were burnt out after the last album and when the label was cool about us doing it - and then the sound was cool, it went off without actually being a conscious effort. It's whatever works and whatever happens. It's what gives you a buzz and hopefully that's what everyone is feeling. The scene has changed with technology - today you just make a track, burn it to a CD and play it live and then tweak it. It makes it very easy to work out what the crowd likes and what they don't.'

WHO: Splitloop
WHAT: Play Ping Pong at Yu / Pleasure Machine though Against the Grain Records
WHEN: Saturday 9 August / Out now