With the debut Modri single, the synth filled ‘It Takes Time’, just released on Skint Records and featuring Crazy P’s Danielle Moore, Modri aka April Tower’s Charlie Burley chatted with DMC about his exciting new project, his love of European football, and how running has helped him unwind.
What have you been up to?
Hey! I’ve actually been mega busy recently since things have started to open up again. It feels like the pace of life has gone from zero to hundred in the last few weeks! I’ve played a few outdoor DJ sets across my hometown of Nottingham and I’ve been busy delving into the depths of Bandcamp to find some exciting new music. I’ve moved house recently too, so I’ve been pretty occupied designing my new studio space and spending far too much money on furniture.
We love your debut release It Takes Time on Skint. How did Danielle Moore from Crazy P come on board?
Why thank you! The track was originally written in lockdown with a fantastic singer called Mizbee. We loved the demo as it was, but thought it would be cool to try a different vocalist on it. Skint hooked me up with Danielle and having been an admirer of her work over the years, I was really excited to have her on board. It actually took us a while to nail the song, which is partly because trying to write tunes over email during lockdown was challenging to say the least! But we had a eureka moment after a few different versions had been sent back and forth and I think at that point we were all pretty buzzing with the result.
What is the message behind It Takes Time?
The song is very much focused around the concept of hope. When we started writing the tune back in April last year, everything felt pretty grim and frankly it didn’t look like things would get better any time soon. But time is a healer and I think the current situation and easing of restrictions reflects that. “Haven’t you heard it won’t last forever, soon we will shine” really encompasses everything the song is trying to convey: Even when you feel like you’re in a rut or things aren’t going your way, you need to channel your energy into positive vibes in the hope that the tide will turn and things will change for the better.
What was the inspiration for the name, Modri?
Haha… funny one this. So I was chatting to my manager, Matt, about artist names and we both love our European football clubs, so he suggested having a look at some nicknames of obscure clubs. More or less instantly I saw that ‘Modri’ was the nickname of Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb and it just ticked all the boxes. It literally means ‘The Blues’. Fingers crossed I get to DJ out there some time!
Readers may also know you from April Towers. Is that project on hold for now?
April Towers is very much on hold for now. Will we revisit it in years to come? Who knows. Right now, all my focus is on all things Modri, but you just never know what the future holds!
What else can people expect from Modri throughout the rest of 2021 and beyond?
I’m busy working on some new tracks at the moment, which you’ll hopefully be able to hear in the not too distant future. I’ve also reworked a really cool, more dance-orientated version of ‘It Takes Time’, so I can’t wait to get that out there too and test it out on a few dancefloors.
Do you have any plans to perform live over the coming months?
Absolutely, yes! I’m desperate to get out there and start DJing again once restrictions have fully lifted and we can all enjoy that proper first rave back. I’ll be announcing any DJ sets via my social media channels, so any updates will be popping up on there in the next few months. It’s going to be incredible to see the dancefloors packed out again and people loving life once more – I think we all need that release and sense of freedom so badly. Bring it on!
Which other producers (past and present) do you look up to?
I really like producers that have a sonic identity to their productions. You know when you hear a small clip of a song and go ‘that’s so and so…’. I think that’s a real mark of a top producer. So a few people that I would pitch in that category are the likes of Jon Hopkins, Koreless, Shanti Celeste, Octo Octa, Erol Alkan. I also think fellow Skint artist ABSOLUTE. is smashing it at the moment. I love how unpredictable his releases are. I played ‘Sage comme une image’ in a set the other day and it absolutely bangs! In terms of past producers… he’s not really past, but Aphex Twin really changed the game in the 90s. As did DJ Shadow. So I have huge respect for both those guys!
What is your favourite synth track?
This is tough… really tough. It’s got to be ‘True Faith’ by New Order. To me that is just musical perfection. It gives me goosebumps every single time I hear it.
Finally, when not in the studio, how do you like to unwind?
I actually really struggle to unwind… I’m a busy body! I did start open water swimming last summer, which I found was a really good way of unwinding. I also love running. I got a bit obsessed with that during the last lockdown, because there wasn’t much else to do. I ended up doing a few half-marathons. It’s the perfect chance to listen to a mix or album without distraction!
Modri ‘It Takes Time’ ft Danielle Moore is out now on Skint Records. https://skint.lnk.to/ittakestimePR