Our next instalment of the Texture Tapes series comes courtesy of South London-based duo FYI Chris, whose eagerly anticipated debut album Earth Scum arrives on 5th March via Black Acre Records. They’ve already shared a handful of head-turning teasers from the album, including ‘Scum of the Earth’, a belter of a track which layers Thick Richard’s gnarly poetry over bruising broken beats.
The pair’s tape is an assortment of swirling jams, each track a trip down a new twisting corridor towards something weird and wonderful at the other end. Perfect listening material for floating round on a hazy Sunday afternoon.
You’ve said that ‘Scum of the Earth’ was a way of “tying in two real inspirations of ours in one song”. Tell us a bit more about those inspirations and how they’ve made their way into the track.
Watson: Matt (Thick Richard) is an uncle of mine, so he’s been showing me music and films since I was twelve or something, he originally did Scum of the earth beaned up in Corsica studio years ago, and Corsica is an inspirational/foundational place for both of us too (Coupe used to work at Corsica) so that tune is tied to people and places that have shaped us musically in some ways.
The video for ‘Scum of the Earth’ is nuts. What’s the story behind it/the story in the video itself?
It was footage of Matt in Manchester that was filmed by Danny and Jacob, which we got our good pal Dil Patel to do his thing to. After his trilogy of datamoshed videos for us on Rhythm Section, we had to get him back for one on the album. We’ve always buzzed off what he comes back with, this one is probably our favourite of the lot too.
What can we expect from the mood of the upcoming album?
Moodwise I think it’s a mixture of mild paranoia and optimistic hedonism.
How has the process of making Earth Scum compared to your approach to some of your other releases?
Largely similar really, a continuation of what we’ve always done – just over a longer time period. We’ve always really just got to four tunes and thought ok, let’s do something with those. Being asked to do an album was maybe the only way we were gonna do it. After that it was just like always, jamming with mates, and going back and forth between tunes and ideas. We did a lot more stuff with vocals than usual and got to visit a few more studios which is always nice.
You’ve mentioned how Earth Scum is an album that’s tightly connected to the people and experiences you associate with South London and the North. How have you found the process of drawing together these memories and influences from two different places?
It's more just through the people who helped work on the album that gives it that vibe more than anything, we weren’t trying to say much - geographically speaking. Some of the tunes definitely speak on stuff that applies pretty universally.
What were your ideas or plans going into the mix?
It was recorded as two parts separately due to lockdown. We both treated it like a bit of a chance to have a tea and go through some of our listening records. Bits we wouldn’t pack with us for a gig usually. It’s a bit melancholy at points but these are things we like to put on when we are chilling or cooking.
What have been your favourite recent releases?
Everything Silvestre has been releasing has been golden recently. Likewise, with the Local Action crew and sub labels. Al Wootton has been relentless. Naïve records also amazing.
Keep listening to stockport artist K.S. Eden – Passed Beyond (on Belgian label Stroom), proper magical stuff.
Have your listening habits changed since the pandemic started and clubs and venues have closed? Are there any styles you’ve been listening to more or less?
Coupe: I have been listening to a lot more albums and radio than I think I would have before. A recent fave is going through archive shows of Gary the Tall's “The Reign Set” on NTS Radio.
What’s the music scene like where you’re from?
W: Between Manchester and Stoke pretty much everyone has a mum dad, uncle or whatever who went to all-nighters, northern soul onward basically, so there were always people willing to let us put speakers in a pub, or bar and put gigs on, bands and djs a lot of the time. Some real messy ones. Good early practice.
C: Growing up around Whitby it was mostly folk and pub stuff I was exposed to live. I still listen to some of the local bands from Aldershot area when I lived near there. Bands like Shield Your Eyes and Sly and the Family Drone. Well worth checking out! There was a great venue called the West End Centre.
Your dancefloor saver?
W: Marlon D – Jesus Creates the Sound
C: Jammin’ Gerald – Pass It To The Homie
Is there a show you would love to go back in time and experience again?
Sabbath in Hyde Park maybe. We got tickets for a fiver! Couldn’t fuckin believe it.
How do you organise your music?
W: Pretty chaotically
C: Yea there isn’t really a system atm. I moved about 6 months ago and my records are a jumble. I found a few old favourites for this mix while having a look through forgotten piles of records last week.
A track you've always wanted to play out but never had the chance?
W: Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak (I probably have tbh)
C: RSD – Pretty Bright Lights
Your favourite club?
W: Sankeys, before they re-did room one, there or rye wax
C: I will forever have a very soft spot for Corsica Studios.
What’s the song you’re most looking forward to playing when clubs reopen?
W: Probably X by Scratchclart.
C: Davina – Don’t You Want It. I’ve thought about which tune I would love to hear in the club when we next get the chance. I think If I heard this on a system/dancefloor I might cry.
The soundtrack to your funeral?
W: The Gonk
And on a lighter note, the tune you'll still be listening to in 50 years?
Loefah – Horror Show
Lastly, any upcoming projects we should keen an eye out for?
We’re always working on new music. No plans but maybe soon. Radio on balamii is second Wednesday of the month 7-9GMT say hi in the chat room if u want! Thanks a lot x
Earth Scum is out 5th March via Black Acre Records and can be pre-ordered on Bandcamp.