Released on Pilot and coming complete with a deliciously trippy video made by themselves, it marks the start of a new creative relationship between the two producers and singer. A relationship you can tangibly feel on this excellent mix.
Press play and read on to find out how the cosmic odyssey came about…
Let’s start with a nice awkward question. Tell me about your relationship with psychedelics!
Sydney Bryce: I don’t mind talking about it. I’ve done shrooms and acid in the past but, like a lot of people I took them at really silly times. We went to Brixton Academy then came out and decided it would be a good idea to do shrooms in the woods afterwards and it was awful! We came out five hours later, covered in mud and my friend had broken his hand!
That was my first experience and I kept a wide birth of them for a while, then at Sun And Bass three years ago I dropped a tab and it was one of the best days of my life. It’s definitely about where you are and who you’re with when you do that.
Absolutely! pyxis how about you?
pyxis: I haven’t done anything in years but when I was about 18 we decided to go back to our old school and my friend had given me acid. So we were there tripping our faces off talking to our old headmaster. It was a stupid idea, but we thought it was hilarious. I did it a few times since then. I remember being under the duvet and thinking I was surrounded by cats and had a little chat with them.
Hahah. Brilliant. IYRE, how about you?
IYRE: I’ve been sober all my life and only drink a little socially. For me music is a natural high. I can’t imagine a better, or more fulfilling, feeling than the feeling I get from making music.
Absolutely love that. So the sample inspired the title rather than any deep personal relationship with drugs. Who was responsible for that?
pyxis: Me. I always need a theme before I start writing a tune. I thought about a psychedelic vibe, I found that sample, came up with the trippy sounds in the intro got Sasith (IYRE) involved. We then sent it to Sydney who smashed it within hours! She blew my mind.
Sydney Bryce: It was a very quick turn-around! But that gives credit to the track. It inspired me. Sometimes you get sent a track and it takes a lot of head work and thought to come up with the right topline and vibe. But this one came so naturally. I sent over the vocal and before I knew it we were being signed to Pilot.
IYRE: it was the quickest turnaround I’ve experienced. From bringing it together, getting the vocal, mastering and submitting it and getting it signed – it was a two week span.
pyxis: I know it sounds cheesy but it did kinda write itself. Sometimes you’re waiting for ages for your collaborations to come through but this was ‘yes yes yes’. Everything was in its right place.
IYRE: This was our first time working together as collaborators and has already led to more.
Amazing. What’s the secret to a good collabo?
IYRE: Well this one in particular was very easy and a pleasure because there’s a lot of mutual respect and our sounds complement each other. I’m a lot more techier and nerdier and Marisa is more about the vibes and elements required to have an emotional track. Plus we both work so fast and get things moving. It really helps when a collaborator works as fast as you.
The longer you leave something, the more you lose the vibe
Sydney Bryce: Definitely. I think workflow in a collab is the most important thing. When you’re waiting and waiting and you need to get going but you can’t because you’re waiting. So when the workflow is on your level it can take you much further.
pyxis: Also I think a good collaboration is one where you can hear both artists at work. Like you can hear IYRE’s drums or my twinkly bits. I’ve got a funny story about Conquest Of Space, though – I had those stems from Sasith for months and months. There were 150 stems and it was like, ‘How do I strip this into something I can do something of my own on?’ Then all of a sudden an idea twigged and it all came into place.
Sydney Bryce: It’s fascinating hearing the producer’s side of the process. It’s much easier for me, I just get the instrumental and I sing on it. So it’s interesting to hear how it works from your end.
pyxis: It’s different with every project, through. On other collaborations in the past I’ve been sent eight stems and you can’t even tell their tempo.
150 stems though… That’s the opposite!
IYRE: I knew it had potential when I first came up with it over four years ago, it just needed the right spark and I knew Marisa could do that.
I like this. Sounds like you set each other puzzles in a way. I love the penny dropping moment – when an idea comes together. That’s such a buzz isn’t it?
pyxis: It’s a desk-banging moment isn’t it? You get it and it’s like, ‘Ah! That’s it!’ And you know the way forward. Many collabs don’t make it that far, though.
Sydney Bryce: Yeah there’s an art in knowing when to draw the line and say, ‘This isn’t working, we’re not going to get what we want.’
pyxis: A great loop can work as a vibe but might not go that far.
I hear that a lot – a good loop doesn’t make always make a good song.
Sydney Bryce: Definitely. And I love the progression of psychedelics, the breakdown and the second drop really enhances the psychedelic side of the track in that it’s a real journey. When those ‘ooohs’ come in. It gets me every time.
IYRE: That was a penny dropping moment for the whole track coming together.
pyxis: And then we made the video, too. Which we couldn’t believe.
Sydney Bryce: It was very touch and go if we got it sorted. We left it all very late. The idea was to have a leading man taking the tab and ending up at my show. But we couldn’t find anyone wanting to do the role. So I ended up doing it.
pyxis: I’m glad you did. It makes loads more sense. The lavender field was a bit of a spanner in the works!
Sydney Bryce: Oh yeah! So near where I live there’s tonnes of it and I walk my dog near a field of it. I thought it would be perfect. But then the heatwave came… Which killed off the lavender! It was really annoying. We went to find another field of lavender but they’d harvested it. The image I had for the track was so strong, but the whole of the area was bare. Luckily we found the barley field and we worked with it. In the end, the transition from the living room to the field is just wild flowers and that’s my favourite bit.
I’m loving the DIYness of this. I’m also loving the second drop chatter. It’s good time for proper songs! The evolution of the arrangement beyond the standard DJ mix.
Sydney Bryce: Yeah I love a second drop! That was always the thing I looked forward to the most when I first got into D&B. That was lost for a bit and it just seemed like a repeat of the first but it is definitely coming back and people are being more creative.
IYRE: All of my tracks have a different second drop. It suits both of us. I’ve never had a chance to play in a club and Marisa doesn’t play in clubs so we’re making music for listeners beyond the club.
pyxis: Definitely. I also think 80s music and arrangements have a big influence on my sound. You have that space to do something different, so you should use it. Plus there’s more to this music than the club and the DJ. There’s radio and playlists and other uses.
IYRE: It keeps things interesting for the listener, the producer and the DJ.
Totally. So tell us about this mix!
pyxis: There’s a story here… I did this mix for a radio show which never aired so when IYRE asked me about this mix, I had this mix ready. Then I sent it over to him to do his bit. I’m really happy with it.
Sydney how about you?
Sydney Bryce: It’s easier than hosting live on stage because, as a singer, I’m on my toes and don’t know what’s coming next. It’s very different to being an MC as they have bars that can work in different places over the music. But when you’re hosting as a singer it’s a different approach. You’re dropped into the deep end and improvising. So I’ve been able to get into the vibe of the mix and work out what I want to do and tailor it for the mix.
Perfect. It works so well! Do you think the three of you will work together again?
Sydney Bryce: Yeah it was the best thing ever.
pyxis: I love working with Sydney. Both of you actually. The whole thing has been beautiful. You both get me and understand where I’m coming from. I’d well be up for doing this again.