If you haven’t heard of Talk in Colour, it’s time. This London-based quintet brings together electronica and strings (cello & harp) to an effect that is sublimely ethereal yet, somehow, groovy. We were so excited when they offered us two pairs of tickets to giveaway to the upcoming launch party for their new album, Colliderscope, on May 23.
What’s your favourite place in London to see a live gig?
We’ll do a random draw from all the entries and contact the winners on Tuesday May 22 by 5pm to let you know and arrange to get the tickets into your hands.
In the meantime, we got to sit down with Talk in Colour to…well…talk about their unique music and upcoming launch, as well as some of their hedonistic favourites here in London.
Your music is a wonderful mix of electronica and folk. How did you come up with such an unusual musical combination?
I guess the combination comes from an earlier project, Shadow Orchestra, which, paradoxically, began as a laptop only affair. Basically, I wrote an album (called The Shadow Orchestra) which was me, my cello and various percussive instruments. After releasing it, I wanted to perform the tracks live, but I soon got bored of playing laptop sets (people would literally try to start conversations with me right in the middle of a set) so I began to look for a group of like-minded musicians to perform material from the album. I remember one track featured a bass clarinet and a harp, and literally the week I finished writing that track, I got an email saying, ‘Hi I’m Kat, I play harp and bass clarinet, would you be interested in working together…’ so I guess it was fate! So along with drums, guitar and, electronics and, at the time, violin and cello, we did a bunch of gigs and festivals and got a great response. After a time we began to find that the live shows were taking on a life of their own and we began to improvise and create new material, which went onto form the basis of Talk In Colour.
Colliderscope will be Talk in Colour’s first effort as a five-piece band. How has it been working together?
Great! Yeah, sometimes its been difficult in the respect that everyone’s involved in lots of other different and interesting musical projects, so it can be hard to get everyone in a room at the same time, but a lot of the tracks on the album were being played out live anyway, so most of the tracking was done one instrument at a time, with a lot of work being in done by myself and Nick in the studio later on. Having done a lot of solo work in the past, I love collaborating, and seeing what comes out in the mix of opinions and ideas. Obviously it can be challenging at times, but we all share a similar aesthetic, or at least all love the same sorts of music, so it works well.
Chris, you were the sort of catalyst for the growth of Talk in Colour – how did you first get into music and what inspires you to create these sounds?
I’ve always loved music, from as early as I can remember, from experiments with tape machines to spending hours messing around on pianos and cheap keyboards at friends houses. Also thanks to my parents, I was exposed to loads of great music, from The Velvet Underground to Holst, and everything in between; there was always music playing in the house. I guess I tend to think in terms of sounds, in terms of their textures, shape, weight and colour (which is incidentally where the name Talk In Colour comes from) and I think of put together a tune as a bit like preparing a good meal, it needs to be colourful, balanced and give you something nutritionally!
What are some of your favourite places in London to play gigs? Any other cities or venues you’ve loved?
Union Chapel is always nice to play, great acoustics, and amazing architecture! Only issue is that you can’t play anything to beat-heavy as it kind of gets lost in all the reverb, so you have to tailor you set to suit! Really enjoy Floripa, where we’re having our album launch next week, nice location, and good crowd, and also loved playing Koko, such a buzz to play such a massive venue, and always an amazing crowd.
If you had guests coming to London, where would you take them to go out, eat or generally have a great time here?
Def do a gallery trip, London has so much in the way of great exhibitions and great museums, particularly enjoyed Jeremy Deller at the Haywood Gallery recently. I love the Barbican and the Southbank, as you can pretty much bet on finding something interesting going on and they’re great places just to hang out. Also just love wondering on Hampstead Heath and swimming in the ponds. Food wise, where to even begin – So many great restaurants! But love Chisou near Oxford Circus for Sushi, Diwana on Drummond St and Rasa on Charlotte Street for southern Indian food, and Thai Rice on Portobello Road for really authentic Thai food.
To whet your appetite for what Chris and the band have in store, here’s a little preview of the song “Direct Out” from ColliderScope.