Twin brothers from the Midlands UK, Identical are soon make their debut on Constant Circles with their forthcoming track Solace, following a stellar release on Einmusik’s Fenestra Imprint. We invited them along for a chat & a guest slot on the radio show.
Hey Identical, welcome to CC 🙂 Firstly, what is your background and how did you get into music?
Thanks for having us! So, if you haven’t guessed already, we are identical twins, outside of music we’re both masters’ graduates where music was always something we did as a hobby. It all started at around the age of 15 when we got our first set of DJ decks. We were always into dance music from a young age. We originally went under the name of Kayd Sounds and would DJ at friends’ parties before stepping into clubs at the age of 17. The music we played was very different from what we play now, we were more multi-genre DJs with an emphasis on house. We then both went off to university to study law and luckily enough ended up at the same university and entered the DJ competition and won! From then we were regular residents of Keele University Students Union and played on some big events and got the opportunity to meet and play alongside some big names who we always looked up to such as Chase & Status, My Nu Leng, Sub Focus, Eli Brown and lots more. It was around this time when we started producing music, although it was more house and tech house then. After a couple of years of producing we started to develop an idea of what we like in tracks and realised it did not fit with what Kayd Sounds was. We then restarted everything and came back as Identical and with a clear vision of what we wanted to get out of our music.
Where are you based and how has your home country or town influenced your music & career?
We are based in Birmingham which has a massive music scene in Digbeth. We are big fans of the music that comes out of Birmingham, but we wouldn’t say it has had an impact on our music.
How would you describe your sound – do you think your music falls into a particular genre?
We would describe our sound as melancholic, deep and euphoric which is something we purposely try to get out of our productions. We listen to a lot of classical music which has definitely had an impact on our music. We also pay close attention to music theory to get across the mood we are trying to create in our tracks. In terms of a particular genre, at the moment we really enjoy making breakbeats and electronica so we would say our music would fall into those categories. Although, this could change in the future if we decide to mix things up.
You are making your debut on CC with your track Solace – how did you approach the project and what was the idea behind it?
The track started with a vocal sample that we found whilst digging through Splice which plays throughout the track. From there we wrote some chords that evoked a sense of longing which was the vibe that suited the vocal. We then added some strings that have a slight delay on them to give the track some natural swing. We wanted to get a euphoric feel out of the track as well, so we added a strong synth layered with a very subtle arp from Diva to fill the track out and give it some momentum. Compared to our tracks, this was a fairly simple track and came together quite quickly.
What is your production process – is each project or track different? And what are your key pieces of studio kit?
We normally start our tracks by picking a key that characterises the mood or emotion we want to get out of a track. We then get some chords down and then look to write a melody around that although this isn’t set in stone as sometimes, we’ll get some chords down then add drums and a melody later but chords are always first! One of the most time-consuming tasks for us is finding the right sounds which can take a couple of hours to days. We don’t use any special studio equipment just some Yamaha HS7s and a native instruments keyboard which does the job for us. In terms of synths, our go-to is Diva followed by Arturia V collection.
What is it like working as a duo, and as brothers – do you each have specific roles?
The majority of the time this works really well, although I would be lying if I said we always agree haha. It’s great working with your twin because we pretty much have the same musical taste and because we are very close we are quite blunt with each other when coming up with new ideas which definitely helps as we try to not get too attached to tracks that don’t make the cut.
In terms of our roles, we both try to concentrate on different areas of the production process and play to our strengths. One of us prefers the writing process and the other concentrates more on sonics, processing and arrangement, etc, although once the core idea is together it becomes more collaborative.
Which of you has the most annoying habit and what is it?
One of us has a tendency of smashing too much reverb on leads hahahaha.
What would be your dream gig and why?
The coolest would be DJing straight after Chase & Status, definitely a moment we will treasure.
What do you have coming up in terms of releases and gigs (or live streams)?
Our next release is our debut two-track EP called Senegal which comes out on March 12th on Fenestra. We are also sitting on a load of unreleased music that we are hoping to release throughout the year. Gigs wise we haven’t got much planned but hoping to get back into the swing of things after lockdown!
How did you put together your guest mix for the radio show & what have you included – any exclusives or surprises?
This is our first guest mix as Identical, so we really wanted to showcase some of our own productions alongside our favourite tracks. The mix has lots of unreleased tracks in including tracks from our debut EP, so is definitely worth a listen. We also previewed our unreleased track that is coming soon on Constant Circles!
Check out the Identical guest mix on Constant Circles Radio with Just Her: