Delphic: ‘We’re Desperate To Do Something That Hasn’t Been Heard Before’

The Manchester-based electronic trio are gearing up for the release of their second album, ‘Collections’.

When we go to meet an artist in their studio we’re not usually given directions to their flat beforehand, but when it comes to visiting Delphic, as they prepare their second album, that’s just the situation we find ourselves in; ringing the doorbell of their Manchester home.

It turns out, there’s method in the madness. As the trio make a plethora of cups of tea, we sit comfortably in the living room of Rick Boardman. Coincidentally, James Cook lives just across the hall, while Matt Cocksedge lives in the building opposite, making it extra handy when Rick has happened to run out of sugar (we’re a bit demanding, us DIY lot). The most convenient part though? Their studio is right above our heads, and suddenly, everything makes a little bit more sense.

Having released their debut album ‘Acolyte’ all the way back in January 2010, it’s fair to say that it’s taken a while for the three-piece to take the next step and release full-length number two, and we really can’t help but wonder, what took them so long?

“It’s been a while,” begins Rick, before Matt interjects: “It’s been painfully long! We released the first record in 2010 and came off tour thinking that we could just write the record and get it all finished. That was in November [of that year], but then we took about six months just finding our feet, just realising what we wanted to write.”

Ahh, writer’s block. “We never thought we’d have it,” Rick assures us, “but I think we experienced it pretty badly. We’d been touring for two years and we didn’t realise how that might affect us until we got in this room in the middle of nowhere, and were just like, ’…’.

‘We decided we were just gonna block out everyone; we were just gonna write what we wanted to write, and however long it took, it took. When it’s done, it’s done.”

“We would’ve taken three years if we could have…”
Whilst it may have taken until early last summer for the writing process to really kick in, it seems that when it finally took hold, they were unable to stop, meaning that everything was completed by Christmas. And with the writing complete, they were able to get a little more ambitious. “We went into a studio with a guy called Tim Goldsworthy in Bristol, which was great,” explains Matt, when we ask about the next step of their record’s timeline, having finished writing in the room above our heads. “We continued some of that with him in Wales and did half the record with him, before we went over to Atlanta and did half the record with a guy called Ben Allen.”

That’d be Tim Goldsworthy, co-founder of DFA Records (he “added extra depth”) and Ben Allen, whose “history is much more in the hip hop world,” in the words of James. Undoubtedly providing the album with a good mix of influences, the band also mixed the entire record with Allen, who seemed to serve another purpose outside of his production techniques. “Ben’s very quick work and makes decisions,” explains James. “That’s partly his personality and partly the situation in which we found ourselves, in terms of, ‘we’ve just got to get this done.’”

“It was his role to really do that,” adds Matt. “His way of working is completely juxtaposed to our way of working. We take so long to make a decision and he was… We’d be there with headphones on next to a mic and he’d be shouting to you, ‘Make a chorus! Make a chorus!’ We’d never worked quickly before; we’re always so calculated in the way we do things. So, he was there to monitor us and make sure we did actually get things done.”

“We would’ve taken three years if we could have…” remarks Rick.

Luckily though, whether thanks to the cut-throat technique of Allen or not, that wasn’t the case, and Delphic are finally on the home stretch, with ‘Collections’ due in late January. After such a long wait, the band have very clear ideas as to what we should expect. “It’s definitely different,” begins Rick. “We’ve always admired people who’ve moved on. It wasn’t even something that we discussed, it was just a given that we were going to try and develop into something new and exciting, which was getting to fulfil our creative needs. So, that’s one of the reasons it took a while. It’s 2012, so much ground has been tread in popular music, and we’re desperate to do something that hasn’t been heard before. So, we’re just trying to find things that haven’t been done.

“We started out making dance music when guitar was on the radio and, now you put on the radio and there’s a lot of dance music, so I think we’re slightly rebelling against it. We want to stand on our own again. We did a lot of exploring and have done something that’s truly unique. If I’m honest, we find it pretty hard to pigeonhole it and we hope that everyone else does as well.”

Delphic’s new album ‘Collections’ will be released on 28th January via Polydor Records.

Taken from the December 2012 / January 2013 issue of DIY, available now. For more details click here.