LOCAL INTERVIEW: Border Scout | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Little may be known about the highly enigmatic local electronic duo Border Scout (for now, known as DJ and ST), and with the release of their EP this month, that’s not about to change – the mysterious duo are letting the music do the talking and staying tight lipped about their evolution.

“We’ve been on the periphery of the music scene on and off, working on various projects for ages, then jacking them in for various reasons.” Says ST. “We’ve been artists and also written with others behind the scenes, but until now nothing has stuck on an artistic level.”

“We’ve been involved in loads of music projects over the years. And, of course, you flirt and fraternize with the music industry.” DJ admits. “Worlds collide. It’s not the warmest and most hospitable world to mix with.”

ST admits there may have been “more downs than ups” during their time on both major and indie labels and these periods of disillusionment ultimately led to them escaping to opposite ends of the planet. They may have disappeared to the wild and rugged terrain of an isolated Irish island or the jungle paradise of Maui, but their passion for music simply wouldn’t go away. Finding themselves drawn to eachother again, working remotely from separate studios, over the next three years the duo created what they describe as “the soundtrack to our lives”.

“It’s been a long gestation period. But we needed to get it right. These tracks start as little specks of consciousness, and then they take on a life of their own. Some of them I had bouncing around my head for weeks, maybe months before even committing anything to tape…not even a drum loop. It’s a slow process, but a way that ensures the output is the highest quality.” DJ explains.

Having drawn inspiration from their experiences while travelling, the EP has an expansive, cinematic feel to it. Hold Your Fire’s soaring synths and glitchy beats begins introspectively, with an ethereal vocal from guest singer Stoney [now Austin, Texas-based, Stoney was a trailblazer in the indie scene in Sheffield that gave rise to the Arctic Monkeys among others], which then flourishes into an epic string-laden climax. Stars Out is more sprawling, with a twinkly melody and clipped percussion setting the pace, while dramatic instrumental Game & Watch spirals from hushed birdsong and children’s laughter broken by the sudden thump of helicopter blades and an ever increasing swirl of strings and synths before it tempers back down to earth again. It’s an ambitious and perfectly realised piece of work that utterly transports the listener to a totally different headspace; one where soaring mountains are depicted by grand orchestration and wide-open vistas soundtracked by a cinematic majesty that sends your heart lurching in your chest.

The duo created their opus with the help of Cinematic Orchestra producer Allen Farmelo; who, from his Brooklyn-based studio, helped give the production the depth and richness ST and DJ needed. “It’s deeply evocative and emotionally involved music and it always paints a visual picture,” DJ says. “Getting lost on various mountains is healthy music food,” says ST. “Border Scout is an homage to the wild places.”

An album is already in the offing for Spring 2015: “The album goes deeper into the cinematic landscape; expect textural ambience, 10-minute Pink Floyd-esque journeys…” says DJ. “It’s a soundtrack to a non-existent movie,” ST agrees, “with loads of orchestration and electronica. Some called it cinematronica, which is pretty accurate.”

Border Scout release Hold Your Fire EP on 3rd November.

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