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Music |

Interview with Detachments

Friday 11 April 2014

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Words Darren Skene

Detachments talk new single, new EP, sci-fi films, California and Italian dark minimal wave electronic music!

I caught up with Detachments; Bastien Marshal and Eddie, who has worked with him on the new EP EndGame. We met at Vibe Bar in Brick Lane and it was pretty chilled; we sat on the sofa, we had some pints and we had a chat.

Right, let’s pick up from your debut album which you dropped in 2011 and was really critically acclaimed; Clash was talking about it, NME, Paul Lester, Steve Lamacq, Huw Stephens…Such a great reception!

Well we produced the album with James Ford and that was quite an experience. We’d also been involved with producers like Trevor Jackson before so that was great too. To actually work with the producer in the studio, like we did with James Ford, that was really enlightening and a real, intimate process.  I’d say that was when really developed our identity. Intense hours from 11am to 2am for 12 days solid; it was a really interesting process.

You’ve mentioned finding your identity, but since then it’s been a couple of years so you must have grown as a musician. What do you feel is your identity as it stands now?

Well there was a gig in Italy a couple of years ago, and I really got into the early 80s dark wave Italian vibe. I’d already taken in interest in that before but after that I was pretty much hooked. Eddie is from Sardinia so he knows a lot about it, so when we started working together, that’s how the new material developed. ‘End Game’ is a direct collaboration with Eddie.

‘EndGame’ the EP, out 30th of May yeah?

Yeah, Eddie’s contributed to that significantly so that’s how we’ve got the sound we’ve got now.

Italians really know their electronic music don’t they?!

Yeah, I mean even when I was out in L.A they were telling me that the Italians have pretty much got their finger on the zeitgeist; they’ve got the vision. The post-modern references…it’s creates quite an energy. It’s great to be involved with Eddie and be directly involved with that.

So what is it about electronic music that inspires you to create it?

I’ve grown up listening to all kinds of music and I do actually play guitar on some of the tracks but I think it goes way back. I have an Uncle that was in the acid house scene and when growing up I use to hear a lot of these bizarre records as a kid and I’ve always had a fascination with it.

I also like a lot of obscure science fiction I guess which has slightly trickled into my music and I believe my vision may be infected by that. I really like post-apocalyptic sci-fi, really dark stuff.


Well everything you’re surrounded by can come into the creative process can’t it?

Yeah definitely, whenever I write a song I’m often guided by a vision so I can stay on a particular journey and stay on that piece; give it some sort of solidity I guess.

Something to anchor yourself to. 

So let’s talk about the single ‘Promenade’, which releases on the 14th April. Filmed the vid in California yeah?

Yeah it was good! I got invited out by some DJs over there in San Francisco. There is a club called Disorder and they’re really into the electronic, minimal/cold wave European sound and they knew I had connections with that and they really loved the music we did. It was great to go out there and be received so well! Quite a privilege!

Tell me what ‘Promenade’ is about

It was actually in response to a film that I had watched set in L.A. Which is weird because then the song led me there…Some weird cosmic order stuff ha!

It was almost a stream of consciousness- the lyrical points. I’m from a seaside town in the UK so I have a strong connection with the sea and the promenade and there was a parallel with that in L.A too. Some North East coastal references, but also American culture. 

Detachments seaside-1

OK, so you’re playing 25th May at Birthdays in Dalston, what can people expect from your performance?

I think maybe quite intense. In L.A someone came up to me a told me that my persona on stage had reminded him of some sort of dictator! I thought ‘Easy!’ But I can be quite intense; I go into a zone, which is a sort of hypnotic process for me. You get on another level but I think that’s important for most performers. I try to access something that will almost propel me automatically; tap in to what I was initially trying to achieve with the songs.

Get across the identity of Detachments.

So yeah, intense. There will be times the beats are electronic but we also have a live bass so there is a rock n roll element to it too; bit of a psychedelic undercurrent too!

First time you play this set in the UK?

 Yeah, it’s a refreshed set! I played ‘Promenade’ once in France last year and got a great response but it is the first time we play ‘EndGame’

Awesome, I look forward to it! 

‘Promenade’ will be released on 14th April 2014

EP ‘End Game’ will be released 30th of May on Polvo Records

Follow Detachments for updates and watch the full interview below!


Words: Irune Rue Chamberlain

Filmed and Edited: Jack Lawson Photography