Chase & Status: Brand New Machine

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source: MTA Records

Text Victorial Dockrell

Due to make their return to Malaysian soil at Future Music Festival Asia 2014, the UK dance dons described by Pharrell as “the most exciting producers in the UK today”, and credited with bringing the sounds of the underground to the masses with their legendary live shows should need no introduction to Malaysian fans. Their long awaited third studio album Brand New Machine went straight in at the top of the UK charts (separated from the elusive number 1 spot only by a certain attention-seeking twerker). The album showcases the trademark Chase & Status fusion of heavy bass, fresh guest features, and epic drops that we all know and love. True to form, the album is a whirlwind of genre-smashing beats and boundary pushing collaborations, which easily glides from moody hip hop, through dark dancehall to anthemic drum’n’bass, all with a solid undercurrent of euphoric ‘90s rave. You won’t be disappointed. We caught up with Status, aka Will Kennard, from the dynamic duo to talk shop and standard fare chit-chat.

Our readers are a lazy bunch, sum up the album for us in 3 words?
Diverse, nostalgic, anthemic!

How has the Chase and Status sound evolved over the past 3 albums?
There was a big shift from a clubbier sound to a more “live” sound between our first album (More than Alot) and our second (No More Idols). This was heavily inspired by the formation of our band and our experiences of playing huge festivals and live shows rather than clubs. For this third album I think we have found a nice balance between live and electronic music. There’s something for everyone now.

What’s next for you guys? 
Remembering how to integrate with normal society again! We have been living in a studio for three months with no windows!

Any trips planned to Asia anytime soon?
We recently played the Bacardi NH7 Weekender in India, which was a first for us. We are about to start our UK arena tour and after that we have some dates in the USA and Europe. Next year we’re off to Australia for Future Music Festival and then we’re really excited to come back and play Future Music Festival Asia in Malaysia again in March!

You’ve always brought interesting and unexpected collaborations and your new album doesn’t disappoint with a pretty varied bunch, how do you choose who you work with? 
The “names” are almost irrelevant in deciding about a feature for us. It’s all about the uniqueness of the artist and also the relationship we have with them. The minute it becomes all about the managers and money, we tend to become less interested. Eli Ingram, Nitro, Abigail Wyles, Louis Matters and Pusha T all sound incredibly unique and were a joy to work with.

Pusha T – how did that come about?
Through a friend of a friend in the industry. We sent him across a beat and he loved it and emailed back a vocal idea. We then remixed the original beat we sent him and he loved it. A pretty nice fluid trans-Atlantic process!

What was the hardest part about making the album?
Being shut away from friends and family for so long.

What was the best part about making the album?
Without a doubt, playing new music to thousands of people around the world.

Your label MTA Records has made a name for itself for scouting some of the hottest new British talent, who are your top British ‘ones to watch’?
Moko (‘Count On Me’ and ‘Like That’) is insanely talented and charismatic as is new rapper Knytro (‘Gangsta Boogie’). I think Kove will become one of the most important electronic producers over the next 5 years.

You must’ve played pretty much every festival going, if you had to recommend one festival to our readers which would it be and why?
Glastonbury is without a doubt the most magical festival in the world. Its culture and history can never be topped!

What are you listening to at the moment?
London Grammar and the new Arctic Monkeys album.

The beat on ‘Heaven Knows’ sounds a bit James Bond-esque – which members of the C&S family would make the best bond villain and bond girl?
I would be James Bond (obviously) and Chase would be Oddjob.

Chicken or rice?

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