'Dub is about moving sounds in moving spaces': a conversation with Pinch


Written by Oscar Henson
27 Tuesday 27th January 2015

Bristol bass champion Pinch has teamed up with UK dub trailblazer Adrian Sherwood on a new collaborative album, ‘Late Night Endless’.

The record, due out next month, pairs Pinch’s dark, stripped-back minimalism with Sherwood’s unique brand of woozy analogue wizardry, bringing plainly to light the sonic ties that exist between Pinch’s output and the industrial dub stylings of the On-U Sound collective.

In the first instalment of this two part feature, we pick Pinch’s brains about the writing process, his knack for collaboration, and the influence of dub music on his musical output. In part two, we present Sherwood’s side of the story.

The new album is a collaborative effort alongside UK dub legend Adrian Sherwood. I assume you’re a long time fan? How did you feel going into a project like this?

The project just sort of organically happened - it started out as a trip over to Ramsgate (where Adrian is based now) to knock up some mash-up dubplate versions of our tracks, and soon turned into new works, 12"/EPs and then an LP! As a fan since the age of about 10 years old - courtesy of my older brother's music collection - it's been a great privilege to be working with Adrian and in many ways, quite unexpected.


I read that the two of you met after you booked Adrian for a Tectonic takeover at Fabric. At that point did you have future collaboration in mind – either for Tectonic or Pinch?

No, that came later on. After Fabric Adrian invited me to play at an On-U Sound night in Paris which is where we hatched plans to get in the studio..


What happens when you and Adrian sit down to write a track? I’d imagine that your techniques and processes might be fairly different from his. Do you each have distinct roles in the studio?

I usually start the tracks - build a rhythm, bass, sounds etc - then take the parts up to the On-U studio where it's all dissected, rebuilt, added to, instrumentation recorded, samples layered and so on. Then when we are eventually happy with that, Adrian smashes the living dub out of it and we bounce it out and try to decide if it's any good or not.


This isn’t the first time you’ve collaborated with dub royalty – the Scientist compilation on Tectonic a few years ago, for example. Obviously your music is heavily influenced by the sound, but what is your history with dub music? How has it shaped your music?

I've listened to a lot of dub, roots and mostly dub-influenced or 'post-dub' music throughout the years. Loved it. Absorbed it. Immersed myself in sound. For me dub is about moving sounds in moving spaces and I can't ever imagine getting bored of that - it's such an open concept with a lot of room to explore - and at the heart of the music I'm most interested in.


You have quite a history of interesting collaborations in general – Deleted Scenes, the Shackleton album, the Scientist compilation, the Mumdance stuff. Now this. What is it that you like about working with other artists? And do you think there’s a common thread linking the artists you end up working with?

The common thread would be that I respect everyone I've collaborated with and feel that our combined efforts generally make for results greater than the sum of the parts. It's always important to get on with whoever you collaborate with - but it's also important to be able to feel a shared sense of sonic ambition and focus on achieving it.


Your recent direction – the Cold stuff, the new Mumdance collabs, your DJ sets etc - could, on the surface of it, seem quite far removed from the Sherwood collabs that we’ve heard so far. What would you say links them sonically? And can we expect any 128 bpm techno smashers on the album?

First track on the new LP, 'Shadowrun' is a 128bpm smasher! But to answer your question - the shared sense of sonic space in the Sherwood & Pinch project perhaps owes more to a UK lineage that followed jungle, grime/dubstep moreso than say techno I suppose. Saying that, I think you can still see and hear similarities in terms of the moods evoked by these different projects - that's what ties them all together really, moods.

You’re playing live at the Marble Factory in Bristol in February. What does the show consist of? Will you be taking it on the road?

Building a studio on stage and then thrashing it to pieces. You can also catch us performing in support of Squarepusher at The Barbican on March 18th, with more dates to be announced imminently. 

Are you and Adrian still writing together? Are future collaborations on the cards?



'Late Night Endless' will be released on Tectonic and On-U Sound on 9th February 2015.

Sherwood & Pinch perform live at the Marble Factory, Bristol on 12th February 2015.

Read Part 2 - An interview with Adrian Sherwood

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