Tilt were for me and many of my generation, the benchmark of quality Progressive House and Trance. Signed by Paul Oakenfold to Perfecto/Warner Music label in the early 90s, they had their first UK top 40 hit with “I Dream” in 1996. In 1998 they moved record label to Red Jerry’s brilliant Hooj Choons and more hit singles followed. “Invisible” (featuring Grace) was a top twenty hit, and “Rendezvous” and “The Seduction Of Orpheus” (a favourite of Danny Tenaglia) were massively influential tracks which moved the progressive/trance-dominated house scene into previously uncharted, darker territory. Tilt became a major force in the international dance music revolution – with their tribal drums, booming bass-lines and unforgettable melodies, they blurred the lines between house and trance and supplied millions of dance music lovers worldwide with the soundtrack to their weekend. Their new album “Resonator”, which I reviewed not so long ago is nearly ready to drop, so what better time to catch up with Nic Britton and Mick Park to discuss the making of the album, their tour dates and the future of Tilt.
Hi Guys, well, we’re just into November and the album has just been released. Whats been the standout tracks on the album for you?
Hi, thats a bit like asking, “which one is your favourite child?” It’s hard to say really as they all have their own identity musically. The last thing we wanted was an album full of the same sounding tracks. So I suppose the best answer would be “we love them all”.
Tell us about the making of one of the tracks. Where did the ideas come from and how long a process is it until completion?
A good one to talk about would be Resonator, which we co-produced with Gavin (Silinder). We had been trying to get something together with him for a while, but as he lives in Dublin it kind of hampered getting something off the ground. A lot of producers these days collaborate remotely, but whenever possible we do like to try and get people in our studio so we can bounce ideas of each other. I have to say this concept worked really well with the Namespace boys who came over one weekend and we produced ‘Ku’. Anyway we found a track we had been messing around with from the original demos, which we liked the feel of. I can’t remember why but somehow down the line it had been forgotten about so we sent it over to Gav and he came back with a revised mix, which sounded great. So we basically went back and forth a few times and came out with what is now the title track. Each of the collaborations turned out so well. It goes without saying a huge part of the popularity of Resonator falls to the success of working with producers like Namespace, Kiss magnetic, Roger Lyons, Kastis & Arnas, and Silinder!
“30 Hits of Acid” is getting a great deal of attention from all quarters of the industry. Any plans to release it as a single?
Thanks yeah we are delighted by the way it has been received. That’s another example of something which came together very quickly in the studio. We had Gez Varley (G-man & LFO) on the track so it has that cool “old skool techno” and “acid house” vibe, which DJs have loved. Its been scheduled for an early release in 2015 with remixes from King Unique and Quivver.
Which other tracks are earmarked for singles? Of course “The Hurt” featuring the amazing Sam Mollison has been out a while…
We are hoping all the tracks will get released at some point. Brent at Pro B Tech has put together a release schedule for most of the new album material.
Several of the tracks on the album have songs. Who writes them and how do you find working with vocalists generally?
It starts with a very basic backing track, which Nic puts together. Then I (Mick Park) write the song & lyrics over the melody we have come up with. It’s a very complicated process, which I won’t go into right now, however we have just made a tutorial (E.A.R – Electronic Artists Revealed), which will be released in the next few weeks. It goes into real detail on how we write and produce a TILT vocal track from start to finish. To be honest we have worked with some amazing singers and thankfully we have never had any issues with any of them. We absolutely love working with Maria (Nayler) and we have known Sam (Mollison) since the mid nineties so they are all close friends. Dominique (Grace) is an absolute pleasure to work with as well and she loves a pint or two after a recording session!
A personal favourite of mine is the downtempo track “Make You High”, and marks a change in the album. Any plans to write more like that?
We wanted to make a track on this album, which had real cinematic qualities. “Make You High” was originally written for another project we were involved with but I could always hear a female vocal on it. I was then sent a video from my nephew, which featured a girl called Natasha Cadman, who was singing an Amy Winehouse cover I think? Anyway we loved her tone and how she pronounced certain lyrics so I got in contact with her and asked if she would have a go at the song. It turned out really well and she nailed on the first take; a talented lady. That is one of the tracks we are most proud of on this album. Not bad for a song, which is over 4 years old, so yes, I’m sure we will be producing more like that again.
Tilt has always been a team of producers, how do you allocate workloads? (Does one person always do drums and percussion for example?)
No one job for anyone, if we are writing we just get in our studio and we bash it out the idea. Don’t get me wrong it’s not always that easy, but that’s music, simple.
What advice would you give to a new collaboration team trying to make a track?
Listen to each other’s ideas and try and find a common ground on which to work on. Everyone needs to move in the same direction creatively as this will make things run smoothly. And basically enjoy what you do, its what kept us going for all these years!
Lets move on to the mini tour. Which dates and where?
The Exchange – Stoke on Trent – Sat Nov 8th – Tickets £8 (inc)
XOLO Blackdog Ballroom – Manchester – Friday 5th Dec – £8 (inc)
TBC – London – December 6th/13th
More to follow in 2015.
Other than hearing the tracks from the album, what else can people expect from the shows?
A brand new live show with be-spoke visual/video effects which we have had especially made by a very talented guy called Oli who has been working with Thermalbear and the guys at Derelict.
So looking forward to the future is this last Tilt album, or can we expect more from the dynamic duo?
Well we have spent the last 18 months on Resonator so it’s kind of a break for us right now. We are always working on new projects; we have some cool things hopefully in the pipeline on the Tech front. Plus we plan to expand on our live show/performance and bring in various singers throughout the event who have worked on Resonator.
Thanks guys, really looking forward to catching a live show and we wish you every success with the new album.
Thank you Decoded!