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Monday 13th, August 2007
Riley & Durrant Interview 2007

After Tiësto picked up their first track ‘Candesco’ and included it in his set list for is record breaking ‘Tiësto in Concert’ event, DJ & Production outfit Riley & Durrant soon became in demand for their production skills, remixing A-lists artists including Way Out West and Armin Van Buuren. With an award winning radio show on Galaxy FM and a hectic DJ schedule at the UK’s top clubs and festivals, we catch up with Riley and Durant as they prepare to drop their debut artist album ‘Research & Development’.

t.nu: First of all, who are you and what do you do?

Andi: We are Nick Riley and Andi Durrant AKA Riley & Durrant. DJs, producers, and radio presenter extraordinaire’s!

t.nu: What were your first impressions of each other?

Andi: We met at Gatecrasher in Sheffield back in 2002 when we were Dj-ing separately on the same line up. There was a bit of DJ booth tension as Nick had just been made resident around the same time as Eddie Halliwell, and I’d got a few random guest sets. There were a few dagger-eyes pointing my way so I invited Nick onto my Galaxy show to make peace.

Nick: We became mates pretty quickly after that and decided to try making some tracks in Andi’s old flat. Six months later after writing our first track “Candesco” we moved into a proper studio!

t.nu: Who have been your biggest musical influences?

Nick: A very difficult question! I like many styles of music form classical to rock to dance and subconsciously I think influences are drawn from all of these. The only music that I don’t get influences from would be jazz or old music hall – cant get my head around it!

Andi: The Utah Saints helped me out as teenager, getting me in the studio and showing what all the buttons did.

t.nu: How did the album ‘Research & Development’ come about? What was the inspiration to make it?

Andi: We’d got bored of hearing the same sounding music and got into a bit of a rut ourselves. We had our own sound, and a formula to make tracks and remixes, and while it worked for a couple of years it stopped being a challenge or particularly exciting. We thought it would be a good experiment to start again, move our studio out of the city and start writing different music, with proper instruments and incorporating various styles.

Nick: It took over a year to make, and as the title suggests, we spent most of the time trying out new things and seeing what worked.


t.nu: What was the hardest track to make?

Nick: The new mix of Candesco took ages, as we wanted to keep all the main elements of the original but give it a different twist. I think the version on the album was the fifth or sixth version!

Andi: Actually, Hollow – the first single was probably the most difficult to make. Just trying to make acoustic instruments and electronic beats to work together was hard enough, but we also had to make it into a radio edit which we found impossible. In the end we gave it to the label who butchered it to pieces but actually made it work as a 3min radio track.


t.nu: Which is your favourite track?

Nick: Split between Magnificent Love and Experiment Number 2. Every time I hear Magnificent Love I like it more and more, the original acoustic version that Gina plays solely on the guitar is a beautiful piece of music.

Andi: I wrote “My Enemy” on my own so I’m quite proud of that.

t.nu: Have you got any DJ-related pet hates?

Andi: Liars, bullsh*tters and cheats! There’s a few DJs in the UK that bombard you with emails, e-flyers and ridiculous facts, figures and news every week, with wild claims about how big and important and popular they are…yet they still don’t actually get any bookings.

Nick: It’s better to keep your head down, do your thing and if people like it they’ll come to you.

t.nu: What gig have you got coming up that you are the most excited about?

Andi: We’ve actually just done it – we played at Amnesia in Ibiza for Cream in July, and then decided to jump in the deep end by doing a live / acoustic set with Gina from Café Mambo, which was all broadcast live on Galaxy and filmed for MTV.

t.nu: What are your thoughts on the relationship between technology and dance music? Do you still use vinyl or do you champion digital?

Nick: We hardly ever use vinyl to be honest, it’s heavy and clunky and unreliable. On the flipside we also used Ableton when it first came out years ago but looking like your checking your emails isn’t particularly exciting for a crowd. Now we try to use a mixture of stuff where the club set-up allows. We’ll try and take a keyboard down, play a mixture of CDs and live edits on the laptop to.
Andi: Plus, because of our radio shows, we get a lot of music every week, nearly all of which is emailed or sent to us as mp3. It’s totally changed how people get their music out there. We’ve had producers finishing a track on a Thursday afternoon, emailing it over, and it’s on the radio 2 hours later- it’s exciting.

t.nu: Any last pearls of wisdom?

Nick: Take everything you hear with a pinch of salt, don’t get tangled up in what other people are doing, keep your head down and concentrate on what you are good at.

Andi: And if you want to do something, just set your mind to it. We set a lot of goals for ourselves, and then make sure we’re working hard enough to pull them off.

Riley & Durrant’s debut artist album ‘Research & Development’ is out on the 13th August on New State Music.


Written by:
Lou Page

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