Having kicked off a packed summer release schedule of original tracks and remixes last month with ‘Ritual‘, following on from the much-lauded ‘Brain Ticker’ last summer, Bristol-based Cousn continue to challenge and excite with their trademark low-slung analogue-heavy sound. This time around, the duo mark a return to their FAMLY Records label with the heavy-hitting ‘Are You With Us‘, a weighty, bass-led floor-filler encapsulating the kind the of music the boys would be playing at festivals like Glastonbury this summer, if such things were possible! DMCWORLD dive in…
Hey Alfie and Billy, it’s great to have you with us today! Thanks for taking the time out to talk with us!
We’re glad you’ve invited us! It’s a pleasure to be here.
First off, can you tell us where you are based at the moment and how the last few months have been for you?
We’ve been based in Bristol for the last few months, slap bang in the middle of Stokes Croft. Lockdown life has been a bit of a blessing in disguise to be honest, it’s probably the most productive we’ve been for a while and it’s given us a lot of time to really focus on our productions, music video making and gaming skills. We’re really looking forward to putting out all the new stuff we’ve made in lockdown over the next few months.
You’re set to return to your FAMLY Records imprint later this month with the heavy-hitting ‘Are You With Us’. We love the energy in this track. Tell us, what was the inspiration behind it?
The initial thinking behind ‘Are You With Us’ was to get across how we deconstruct music. Breaking and moulding it at will to fit our sound and vision and the repetitive nature of this. Then the destabilising events of this year started happening, so now in these current times it feels much more like a call to action to rally our generation to keep being creative and to not get deterred, as we’re the ones who can force change. It’s a very visceral tune and we’re well excited to get it out there.
What’s the creative process like for you guys in the studio? Do you tend to have your set roles or is it more free flowing between you both?
It’s different every time really, it just depends on the tune. In general Bill works a lot more on the synths and keys with those long fingers of his and Alf leans more over to the mad sounds and beats but there’s not really a system, it’s always very free flowing. A lot of the time we’ll also get our drummer Tom Williams to record either a layer of percussion or a full drum break on the track, so every song has that live feel and is different to the last.
It’s a shame that your summer schedule of gigs have (understandably) been disrupted, but it’s great that you still have your show on Rinse FM to keep the music flowing, and keep it flowing you do! What’s it been like for you guys over the last few months since starting up the show? How do you decide what to play?
When we started the show back in February I think we did two shows before the country went into full lockdown, so it’s been a strange time but glad we’ve had it as something to look forward to every month. We’d also always completely lose track of the date or month so it was a helpful calendar for us.
We’ll find a load of new music throughout the month and then we’ll both go through it together. If there’s a general theme we’ll go with that, but if we can’t find a consistent theme of genres we’ll find a way to fit all the different styles into one show without it sounding too disjointed, which can be challenging but fun.
The ground that you cover musically in your Rinse FM shows makes for great listening. We’d love to know which artists have been an inspiration for you both through your lives?
There’s so many to name here but some of our huge influences are The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, Massive Attack, Burial, LCD Soundsystem & Basement Jaxx.
Congratulations on the publishing deal that you recently signed with “Kobalt” and “The Other Songs”. It seems an exciting prospect! Can you tell us a bit more about that?
It’s very exciting! They’re doing some amazing stuff over there with our publishing, as well as their songwriters nights at The Other Palace and the Another Rhythm label. Then over at Kobalt we’re so excited and feel very lucky to be working with Kenny McGough and the rest of the team. The Webber’s, who run The Other Songs, have become close friends of ours over the last couple years, and the fact they’re brothers called Al & Bill and we’re cousins called Alfie & Billy, and Kobalt’s offices are on 1 Cousin Street, it felt like the perfect match.
Thanks again for chatting with us today guys. We wish you all the best with the release of “Are You With Us” and for the future with “Kobalt” and “The Other Songs”! To round off, what are you most looking forward to most as the global situation begins to hopefully ease?
We can’t wait to be safely rubbing up against random sweaty people in dark rooms again.
Cousn ‘Are You With Us’ is released 14th August on FAMLY Records