Tik&Borrow have had a very busy 2017, both on personal levels and as co-founders of label In:flux Audio. Most notably, they’ve released a steady stream of their own music, as well as keeping up with In:flux’s demanding release schedule and celebrating the label’s 4th Birthday. Somehow in amongst all of this, they’ve still found time to sit down and work on their debut LP, ‘Neurality’ – an 8 track release with influences spanning Drum and Bass, Dubstep, UKG and beyond. We caught up with Tik to talk about the album process, collaborations and what to expect next from both themselves as artists and the label.
You guys have been releasing music for a long time, as well as working hard behind the scenes on your label, In:Flux audio. How long has this album been in the works for?
We finished the first couple of tunes for the album in January of this year and we finished the last tune in September, so all in all it has taken 9 months to piece this all together. We’ve had a few other releases along the way this year as well on amazing labels such as Southpoint and Project AllOut Records, which has been really great for us and helped us to expand our horizons a little bit.
Did you sit down and decide to do a full length release or was it more something that ‘just happened’?
We finished the ‘Vision’ EP that went out in February towards the end of 2016, so as there was 9 months until the deadline for our next release on In:flux, we decided we really wanted to give making an album a try. We had a few tracks in the bank, so it really seemed like a logical move forward, especially with the fact our last few EPs on the label had all been really well received.
There’s obviously a huge amount of variety in the sounds on ‘Neurality’ – where did the inspiration come from?
Our sound has always encompassed a lot of different influences, but more so on this release than ever before. The biggest new influence to our sound for the album has been Grime and Dubstep, which was a welcome addition to our composition as the drum structure in those genres really went well with our Neuro-inspired synth design. Our sound has really come full circle now with the Neuro sound from Borrow’s DnB days now combining with my love of Dubstep. It was obviously meant to be!
Tik&Borrow have put together a Juno playlist of tracks that acted as influences during the creation of ‘Neurality’. You can check that out here.
What was the most challenging part of the process?
I think the longevity of the process was the most challenging part. Making sure tracks you wrote at the start in January stayed as strong as the most recent tracks written in August is always tricky, and it meant some tracks fell by the wayside along the way. It’s also important to make sure the sound across the album is consistent and tells a story, but we feel in the end we’ve put the best representation of ourselves out there in the 8 tracks.
There’s a big collaboration with Tengu featured, was it a conscious decision to not have more collabs on the release?
We had more collabs lined up but they didn’t quite materialise in time for the album. We are however absolutely chuffed with the one we did piece together for it! The collab we had planned with Pelikann is on it’s way and will now be appearing on his ‘Presents…’ compilation in March and we’ve just lined up another load of collaborations with Sample Junkie, Hamdi, Pharaoh K, Ali McK & IYZ and Aerontonin. Will keep us busy for sure!
What’s your favourite track on ‘Neurality’ ?
I think both of us have different tracks for different reasons. The opening four tracks on the album are all solid for different reasons, but for me it has to be ‘Intake’ and Borrow it’d be ‘Wastelands’. The best part about doing the promo for this release is that everyone has come back with a different track that is their favourite.
After experiencing making an album, is it something you’d do again in the future?
It’s something we will do in the future yeah! It is a process that really helps you to develop massively as an artist and when finished is an amazing representation of yourself, something you can look upon with a good bit of pride because of the effort that goes into it.
What were your favourite studio snacks throughout the process?
For Borrow it was beer and cigarettes and for me it’s all about squash and crisps. We definitely lead very different lifestyles!
Which track took the most amount of time to wrap up and why?
The longest tracks were ‘Intake’ and ‘Wastelands’ for the very simple reason that these were tracks from 2/3 years ago that were originally Garage tracks we weren’t too happy with, but when we started on the Grime/Dubstep flex we had another punt at them and they’ve turned into absolute beasts.
What have you got lined up following the release of the album?
We’re going to take the next year to be a little more free with our production and try to write tracks one at a time rather than for a full release. We’ve got a nice little ditty called ‘Fision’ coming out on Southpoint: Introducing in January, and hope to be working more with those guys next year. We then have our beast of a collab with man like Pelikann coming out in March, and of course all our other aforementioned collabs we plan on starting in December. We also have a couple of compilation releases on In:flux lined up, a free Dubstep compilation that will be going out in the New Year and Get Fluxed Vol. IV that will be going out in June. Other than that, we’re interested in putting a few more freebies out next year so we’ll see how that works out in amongst all of this madness!
You can stream the showreel for Tik&Borrow’s forthcoming album, ‘Neurality’, below and pre-order the release here.