Having risen through the drum & bass ranks the old fashioned way, plying their craft and climbing the ladder, June Miller are now enjoying the fruits of their labour with their latest single on Ram Records launching us into 2014.
Mark McCann and Bart Van Dijk have been releasing music together as June Miller since 2010 and exclusively for Andy C's Ram Records since the latter part of 2013. As with many electronic acts, the association with such an established imprint has thrust them forward into the lime light. We sat down with the guys to find out what's been going on.
"Empathy" / "Operation Ivy" kicks 2014 off nicely following last years "Autumn To Ashes" / "Change" 12" on Ram Records. Probably more dancefloor than the last release you had for Ram. What is the story behind the tracks?
"Empathy" was really a lot of fun to write even though we had a few funny setbacks. It was the mid summer and I think we initially sat down to write something a little more soulful, so we started putting the intro together first with a pad we had made. I’m not exactly sure what happened but when we started writing the body of the tune we took a slightly different approach to the soulful intro It must, have been raining that day haha. But that’s what we really like to do; mix something more melodic with a dramatic dark twist. I think there is a fine line between the two and when married can take the listener on a real journey.
For some weird reason "Operation Ivy" was something we half wrote and never really paid much attention too after that. Andy (Andy C) hit us up a few weeks later and said he was playing it loads and he was going to use it on the Nightlife compilation mix. So we jumped right back in with that energy and finished it off. Writing music is a funny unpredictable process and sometimes it’s really nice to have opinions outside of your own bubble.
Writing for Ram, how has the criteria for your music changed and do you get additional support in writing that you have not had before?
Well if you look at our first release "Keep Ups" (http://www.beatport.com/track/keep-ups-original-mix/1083774) I guess it’s not massively different to this release apart from a few production lessons learnt along the way. So our criteria hasn’t changed but what has is the engineering side, which literally becomes more fun every year. This obviously has an impact on what and how we write. In regards to a criteria for Ram, that’s a pretty simple answer because there isn’t one haha. The guys are unbelievably supportive and will help us with whatever we need. It’s a fantastic feeling knowing you have such great people right behind you.
Both tracks display what is probably your cleanest work to date from a production stand point at least. What do you feel have been the key developments in your productions over the last 12 months?
Wow so much! It's something we both really enjoy and we invested a lot of time into progressing that side last year. It's just really fun to find different ways of using your creativity.
The last 12 months we have started using all kinds of new soft synths, plugins and processing techniques. From something as simple as a new drum tool, a new synth can give you so much energy to apply that in a tune.
What studio set up is June Miller using right now?
Pretty basis as it goes really; We run Logic and both use Adams' (P22 & AX8) and too many plugs/ synths to count. We are just in the middle of fixing up a studio space, so we are really excited about that. Bring on 2014!!!
June Miller - "Empathy" / "Operation Ivy" is out on Ram Records.