Alignment Records is launching it's new experimental offshoot Re:Alignment with Manchester duo Pattern's "Draft", we catch up with Jim Bane, one half of Pattern to find out more...
When you make a living from selling records, are resident for Soul:ution in it's home town and you're the "go to guy" for drum & bass in Manchester there is only really one logical next step... Link up with a hardware proficient producer and start making the music you love. That is the story of Pattern to date, let's find out more about the guys and their new single "Draft".
The last few years has seen Manchester's underground artists, explode onto the world stage, from Holy Other to Synkro and Indigo, and now you yourself have joined the ranks of the city's releasing artists... For those that are new to the Pattern name, please can you tell us a bit about your influences and background?
Pattern is a collaboration project between myself (Jim Bane) and Aaron (Assonance). We have been working together for a few years now. Personally my influences stem far and wide. I have been buying records for more than 15 years and love many styles of music. In no particular order; Madlib, DJ Premier, Brian Eno, Oddisee, Carl Craig, Curtis Mayfield, Luke Vibert, Erykah Badu, Kev Brown, Boards Of Canada, Kenny Larkin, Prefuse 73, Arthur Verocai, Basic Channel, Rhythm & Sound, The Cinematic Orchestra, Fela Kuti, Marc Mac. In terms of drum & bass and Jungle music; Danny Breaks, Metalheadz, Photek, Source Direct, Breakage, Scientific Wax, dBridge, Loxy, Autonomic, Esoteric, Paradox, Seba, ASC, Calibre, Soul:R, Marcus Intalex, Blocks, Escher, Narratives. My background is very much rooted in DJing and sampling. I know what I like and I know what I want to take influence from. A lot of the time I will bring a theme, in the form of a sample and Aaron will expand on this theme with other instruments and knowledge of production techniques. If things are starting to take form we will both begin setting the track in stone by sequencing. Sometimes we may even get rid of the sample we originally started or try and replay it ourselves.
"Draft" combines both the iconic sounds of drum & bass and the more elusive nuances of modern electronica. Described as our own "Low End Movements" writer Rob Eves as "Somewhere in between the bass heavy tribal and more ambient autonomic niches", what is your own perception as it's creator of where it sits in the spectrum?
Yeah, I think the Autonomic thing really grabbed both of us, I loved the rich harmonies and melodies involved. It was also exciting that people were getting on to it who had no previous relationship with drum & bass.The whole thing spread very quickly and has established a place and a time in the history books. For us, we wanted to take some inspiration from that but still give it some ruggedness. Aaron is a hardware freak so we wanted to make sure that gritty sound came across in the finished product. This tune has been made to be melodic but still to fuel the dancefloor.
We understand you work by day in the iconic Eastern Bloc record store, how does working both within the industry and in a face to face position with consumers effect how you go about your productions? Does knowing what sells effect your outlook?
I have been working at Eastern Bloc for a decade now, which is a very long time. The reaction you get from a customer when you sell them a piece of vinyl brings immense job satisfaction. Buying records is a very personal thing. You know that the customer has selected that record out of stack of other releases. It excites me to think that someone may pick up one of our releases with that much enthusiasm one day. Working here has allowed me to get a good grasp and understanding of how the industry works. I would like to start moving towards running my own label in the not too distant future, there are many people I have met locally who are producing amazing music but it never comes out on vinyl.
Not content with being behind the desk of Manchester's Eastern Bloc, you are also resident DJ for Marcus Intalex's Soul:ution club night, how did that come about? We're guessing you've been giving "Draft" some pretty heavy rotation?
The Soul:ution thing came about in May 2012. Marcus used to have my job at Eastern Bloc years ago so after much head-pecking from me, he let me come down and DJ for the first hour and half. A couple of months later I was asked to come on board as a resident and I have been playing every month since. Next month we have Calibre coming down for a 2 hour set to launch his new album, "Spill". This is massive news as he has not been down for ages, the LP sounds great so I'm sure this night is going to be one to remember. Also, this month I have been asked to play the last hour so am a little nervous but I am sure I will rise to the challenge. I think this is a first for a Soul:ution resident in the 10 years the night has been going, so no pressure….
The b side sees another Manchester act, techno floor smashers AnD. The remix is completely opposed to the original stylistically, was the remix your own suggestion or something the label put forward?
I have known AnD for many few years, they are good friends of mine. I have been round their studio a number of times in the last 5 years, we also have worked on a remix project together a few years ago which was never released. It was actually Mat Alignment who suggested it, I thought it was a great idea so emailed over some parts. Before the end of the week, the remix was in my inbox. I love what they have done with the wet channel delay and reverb off the space echo. Further distortion and hidden harmonics pop out in the mix to give the remix a completely unique texture. It would be great to hear the remix out on a huge soundsystem next time I go to a techno party.
What's up next for Pattern?
More releases hopefully. Like I said we have been working together for a good few years so we have a lot of projects we need to finish. We have moved studios 3 times in the last few years which has set us back a bit, but we are now back in the groove of it. Personally, I want to be setting up a label as mentioned before but I think a few more releases are needed first to get the name and the brand out there. I will be continuing to DJ at Soul:ution, also Outlook and Dimensions in Croatia as well as a few other UK festivals.
Pattern - "Draft"/ "Draft" (AnD Remix) is out on Re:Alignment on 13/05/13.