Although it was early on, their set was one of the many highlights of the night (that I can remember anyway) and we managed to keep in touch on and off since returning to the UK. I’ve watched the duo release on the astounding Chord Marauders compilation, becoming an integral part of one of the most important collectives in bass music. They recently released their debut album, Tidal Fragments, on CM so I figured it’d be a good time to sit them down and find out what’s going on with two of the most reliably impressive producers I’ve come across.
We caught up to celebrate the 10th instalment in the FatKidOnFire Presents series and, as to be expected, Gaz and Tulip have definitely not disappointed. So here it is. This is FatKidOnFire Presents #10 – Congi…
Easy boys, how are you both? Easy Wil, very well thanks!
Very glad to hear! For the uninitiated, who, why and what are Congi? Tulip & Gaz from Nottingham. We’ve been making music together around 3 years, been friends much longer. We originally started making stuff together to push each other creatively; that’s the driving principle to our partnership.
The music you produce strikes me as the kind that is comfortable on both a sound system and an iPod. Is that deliberate? How would you describe the Congi ‘sound’? We just make whatever our mood dictates, sometimes it’s something that’s going to work on a dancefloor, other times it’s something more reflective that can be played elsewhere. There’s nothing better than seeing a good reaction to a chest rattler but sometimes there’s a different story that needs to be told.
What’s your studio set up like? What’s your most valuable production tool – the one you couldn’t do without? Like most modern set-ups, ours are both very ordinary arrangements. We both run on Cubase and Reason, have a couple mics and midi keyboards. We’re hoping to spend some Congi money on a hardware piece or two soon. I think the most valuable tool is having different sets of monitors, that allows us to have different perspectives on our mixdowns and helps to tune our ears!
You seem to have had a decent run of both gigs and releases this year. What’s your secret to success? We’ve always taken things as they come, we didn’t expect an audience when we first started making tunes so we’re always excited when we get offered any experience. There’s no secret, just make music for the right reasons. Keep it humble and keep it moving.
Of the gigs you’ve had recently, which has been your favourite and why? Recently, it’s got to be the first Chord Marauders night, which was billed as our album launch. Truth be told, it’s been a long time since we enjoyed a ‘dubstep’ night as much as that. Every DJ’s set was so varied, there was a really eclectic feel to the night. The crowd had smiles on their faces and moves to match – I think that’s one of the reasons why folks have been beating on dubstep nights because they have been seen the past couple years to be dull and slightly one dimensional, but this was far from it.
Must give many props to FKOF too, last year our highlight was definitely the gig you guys put on in Holland, the guys out there were great to spend time with and the vibes were excellent!
You’re part of the dependably brilliant Chord Marauders – and have just released your debut album through the collective. How did that relationship happen? Ourselves, Geode, B9 and Jafu had been sending each other tunes for a while and started collaborating more frequently. Geode first proposed the idea of a collective and we immediately wanted to be part of the it. I think without it necessarily being said amongst us, the feeling was our style of 140 music was being slightly kept to one side. We wanted to give ourselves a home platform that we all felt comfortable with to project our music from.
Tell us about Tidal Fragments. What was it like sitting down and writing a twelve track LP? What’s your favourite track on the album? I reckon, from start to finish, it took around 8 months. We always wanted to work towards an album so it felt great to get it done. It was nice trying to get something cohesive together, we tried to encompass a variation of styles that unified together under one sound, hopefully we got somewhere near that. My favourite is Scales, Steps & Intervals, something about B9’s keys that does it for me.
You recently had a collaboration with Occult and Segilola come out on Deep Heads. You’ve also collaborated with other CM members for the album. What are your top tips for collaborating on a tune? Everyone has something to offer and a different perspective on how to push a piece forward. Again, no real tips as such. Just keep the process pure and let things develop naturally!
There seems to be quite a lot of vocal bass music being produced these days – why do you think that is? Are there any vocalists out there you want to work with – or recommend we check out? I don’t know to be honest. Everyone grows up with vocal music so maybe that has something to do with it. It’s also nice to do something different from time to time and the voice is a great instrument to use.
Like you mentioned, Segilola has some nice stuff out at the moment. I’m a big fan of Andreya Triana, but here’s to wishing!
From Tidal Fragments to the other tunes in your back catalogue, which one would you want to be remembered for? People always mention Somnium to us but for me the thought of any of our tunes meaning something to someone is a humbling feeling.
Last but not least, have you got any final words or shoutouts? Our album Tidal Fragments is available now via Chord Marauders!
Much love to the CM family – Geode, B9, Jafu and all extended crew! Much love to Mimm, Wigflex, Rubberdub and all the Nottingham family! Lastly a big thank you to Wil and the FKOF camp for this talk and all the support over the past year or so! One love.
Click to DOWNLOAD (124MB)
- James Blake – Curbside [R&S]
- Jafu & B9 – Leffe [dub]
- K-Lone – Untitled Cut [dub]
- DJ Rum – Undercoat [2nd Drop]
- Congi & Geode – Flow One [Chord Marauders]
- Geode – Final Contact [Chord Marauders]
- Clearlight – Muddy [Subaltern]
- Facta – Watertank [dub]
- Congi & B9 – Scales, Steps & Intervals [Chord Marauders]
- Von D – ASAP [Boka]
- Jafu – Oxford 17 [Chord Marauders]
- Kahn – Miss You When I’m Drinking [A Future Without]
- Fable – King Crumble [dub]
- Mala – Miracles (Commodo remix) [Deep Medi]
- B9 – 96 [dub]
- Jafu – Chronicle [dub]
- Jack Sparrow – Loveless [Tectonic]
- Trashbat – The Principles of Evil Made Fresh [Mindstep Music]
- Congi – Somnium [Free]
- Sepia ft. Alicia Kiah – Downfall VIP [dub]
- Congi – Sour Diesel [Chord Marauders]