Great Ytene have never been content to move in a straight line.
When it comes to music, the band place everything up for grabs, continually probing, questioning their methods and motives.
The band's Bella Union backed EP was a piece of beautifully abstract shoegaze, continually moving out-with the genre that inspired it.
Taking a step back, Great Ytene began drafting a full album last year but a serious computer error wiped out their work. Undeterred, the group simply drew a line under their progress, and set out in a fresh direction.
New album 'Locus' is the result, and it's set to emerge on February 17th via Faux Discx (in fact you can pre-order it HERE).
The material was eventually recorded and mixed in East London at Holy Mountain with producer and long-time collaborator Iggy B, mixed by MJ (Hookworms) at Suburban Home Studios in Leeds.
The title cut is a piece of fuzzed up yet absolutely concrete indie rock, layering effects not to soothe but to shock. A brutalist introduction, it's nonetheless wholly engaging - it feels three dimensional, a full step forward from their debut.
Check it out below, then catch a Q&A with Great Ytene after the jump.
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You lost an album’s worth of material in 2015. What was this like? Did it help free you from what had gone on before?
Losing something you spent a lot of time, money and effort into is never a fun experience, but I feel we're quite zen about it. I think we became quite precious with it and in a way working towards something and then losing everything was quite a liberating sensation. We learnt not to be too precious with how things roll out, I think we were quite excited to abandon what we'd done and explore a new direction.
How did you approach new sessions? Did you wipe the slate clean, or do you think the influence of the previous material shone through?
Well the slate was wiped clean for us! On some level it felt good to scrap everything and start again from scratch. Having lost a years worth of work we were spurred onto writing as much as we could as soon as we could, which was actually an impetus for us and helped to achieve a rawness and freshness which may not have been present before. We also all wanted to push our individual roles more so we would enjoy playing the songs and have a different impact live.
The band have been through several periods of reinvention – including a name change – what draws you towards this process of ripping it up and starting again?
Destruction is an important part of process of creation or maybe it improves the experience somehow - knowing from the beginning that things are ephemeral. Like a greek statue with its head missing or the fact that Venice is probably going to disappear or the dinosaurs for example.
‘Locus’ was produced with Iggy B, and mixed by MJ. How important were they to the direction/sound of the overall material?
Iggy has always been at our side trying to cobble together our ideas and visions, he's the man that has made everything possible! Having MJ on board to mix the record really brought the tracks to life, we have always found mixing a tough part of the process but MJ really understood the aesthetic we wanted.
The title track is a dense, barbed return. What prompted this track? Who took the lead during writing sessions?
This track is pretty reflective of the album as a whole, which is pretty dense and barbed. The song 'Locus' came out of a lengthy jam driven by bass and drums, everything else fitted in and around. The motion and sound of the song made writing the lyrics quite an instantaneous process and gave us a freedom that found its way into the lyrics of this track. The pursuit of letting go.
It’s quite a dark, intimidating return, rather appropriate for these late Autumn days. Is this a suitable lead on to the album? Is this atmosphere quite general on the new record?
It wasn't an intentional decision to set out and make a dark record, we just organically found ourselves headed in that direction. We wanted to make music that was direct and had grit and impact, more reflective of our live performances, so this led to the overall outcome having this darker and foreboding quality. We're actually pretty happy chaps in real life, promise.
Have you shaken up the live show to match this new material? What can fans expect?
Fasten safety belts and ensure your trays in the upright position...
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Catch Great Ytene live at the following shows:
1 London Victoria
9 Brighton The Prince Albert