Untold is back.
On April 9, Jack Dunning will release the first part of a projected trilogy of EPs, Change In A Dynamic Environment. Though he released a handful of club tracks – including the marvellous ‘Little Things Like That’ for Clone’s Basement Series – Dunning’s 2011 was dominated by his work on Dreadnought, a dark-hued pop collaboration with vocalist Samuel Chase. Following a well-received Dreadnought EP (Caroline), and an accompanying run of live shows, Change In A Dynamic Environment marks Dunning’s return to the serious business of being Untold, and moreover represents a significant evolutionary leap for the project, even as it reconnects with the screw-faced intensity of his earliest productions.
Change In A Dynamic Environment Pt.1 is out on April 9, and you can listen to one of its tracks, ‘Motion the Dance’, here. Below, FACT talks to Dunning to find out about his continued efforts to channel the dynamics and ambience of ’96-’98 drum-and-bass into his music, his future plans for his label, Hemlock, and more.
“All the new tracks are pretty dark…”
Would you say that the sound and mood of the tracks across the three 12″s that comprise Change In A Dynamic Environment is consistent?
“Well, all the tracks are pretty dark. I’ve been listening to lots of drum-and-bass from around ’96-’98. No-U turn releases, Source Direct and Photek. I’m interested in getting some of those atmospheres and drum programming working in a techno or house format. I suppose I’m just another dubstep producer washing up on techno’s beach in 2012 [laughs].”
Was it a pleasure to get back to making rough, rude club gear after the relatively silky pop moves of Dreadnought?
“Yeah, it’s nice to get back to some rough and ready club tracks after writing stuff with so many layers and melodies for Dreadnought. I’ve been digging a lot deeper in my DJ sets, playing mainly vinyl rips and staying clear of the digital promos with 200 remixes. Seeking out and listening to all this new material on vinyl has really inspired me to write for the dancefloor again.”
“My geeky production skills have definitely improved – it was a massive challenge to write songs with full vocals and get them to work with distorted basslines and drums. My new material has more obvious melodies running throughout, which carries through from the Dreadnought project.
20 releases on Hemlock… that’s a landmark. It sounds like Change In A Dynamic Environment is a celebration in itself, but any other plans to mark the occasion?
“Part one of my EP will be our 21st release if we’re counting the SSSSS sub-label. We kind of stitched ourselves up by putting remixes out under the same catalogue number as the original so there’s no fanfare just yet. When we get to HEK020 we’ll do something to mark it, but more on that later.”
“I’ve been digging a lot deeper in my DJ sets, playing mainly vinyl rips and staying clear of the digital promos with 200 remixes.”
Any other new releases coming up that you can tell us about?
“After the EPs are released I’m mixing a compilation of our back catalogue. We’ve put out quite a diverse bunch of tracks over the years so stitching them together is a challenge. To link the tempos and moods I’m writing some bridges and interludes, which is helping to get the mix flowing nicely. There’ll also be some exclusive material on there but the focus of the compilation will be to present the music we’ve released in a coherent, listenable format.
“Aside from that I’m continuing working with the labels I’ve released on in the last couple of years on new Untold material.”
Update: Untold will be making an appearance in London on 11 May at Found presents Trix as part of the Clone Records: Basement Series vs Royal Oak showcase, alongside Gerd, Genius of Time, Serge, Dexter and Conforce. For more information and tickets, click here.