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LWE Podcast 81: Millie & Andrea – Little White Earbuds

LWE Podcast 81: Millie & Andrea

In the final weeks of 2008, the Modern Love stable from Northern England unleashed a brand new off-shoot called Daphne. The strictly limited first pressing from the fledgling imprint was credited to Millie & Andrea, with the music contained therein a thick stew of heavy, dub-influenced techno and dubstep. Further investigation into the mysterious female duo revealed that they were in fact none other than Miles Whittaker (of Pendle Coven and Demdike Stare) and Andy Stott. Armed to the teeth with ideas that sat outside their production day jobs, they came together to work on bass-wise tracks that incorporated elements of techno, dubstep, juke, jungle and old hardcore. Further releases included the brutal crush of “Temper Tantrum” and the old school junglist vibe of “Ever Since You Came Down,” and the pair has released solo work on Daphne under the Millie and Andrea banners, too. LWE tracked down the duo to get to the bottom of their alter-ego pseudonym, find out what their working process was like and to pry out a ridiculously weighty podcast that will seriously mess with those who can’t handle low-end frequencies.

LWE Podcast 81: Millie & Andrea (47:39)

Tracklist:

01. Millie & Andrea, “Intro” [white*]
02. Pangaea, “Memories” [white]
03. Andrea, Got To Forget [Daphne]
04. Perc, “1909″ (Millie’s Dark Room Mix) [Perc Trax]
05. Instra:mental, “Forbidden” [Apple Pips]
06. The Men From Del Bosca, “Bajo-El-Austral” [Giant Trax]
07. Chasing Voices, “Acidbathory” [Preserved Instincts]
08. Altered Natives, “Bullet Blade Knuckle Slap” (Souled Remix)
[Fresh Minute Music]
09. Andy Stott, “Drippin” [Modern Love]
10. Millie, “Untitled” [white*]
11. UNLTD / Israel Vines, “Reclaim” [Borrowed Language]
12. Drexciya, “Aqua Worm Hole” [Underground Resistance]
* denotes tracks which, as of the time of publishing, are unreleased

You’re both mainstays of the Modern Love/Boomkat camp. Can you tell us about your association with the label and why you guys almost exclusively release through them?

It’s a family thing, is the simplest explanation. We’re all good friends, we enjoy hanging out, and getting each other enthusiastic about new music. That’s easily the main reason, it’s also a lot to do with the creative freedom we have with Modern Love, that attitude from a label feeds the artist’s hunger for creating.

Miles, I understand you started out mastering records. Were you producing at the time as well or did that come later?

Miles: I’ve always produced, since I was 16 years old when I bought my first synth and drum machine. But for many years it was just an exploratory process, getting hooked on equipment and hunting new pieces down and learning to connect and use them, which kept me busy but also pretty unfocused musically. This kind of played in my favor and helped my palette expand almost accidentally, as I was taking the route of buying the techno boxes and writing techno, getting Akai samplers and writing jungle, using software for more digital/experimental music, getting an MPC for writing hip hop, etc. I love how technology can help shape the evolution of music, even if it’s deemed archaic at the time of evolution (the Roland boxes are a prime example).

How did you each get into making music?

Miles: I wanted to know how people could get those sounds out of those boxes, and have them all talking to one another. I’ve been friends with Gary from Pendle Coven for 18 years, he first introduced me to Autechre’s music which inspired us both to plug in and experiment, it’s been a slippery slope since then.

Andy: I was always into music as a kid, staying up late taping hardcore tunes off local radio shows then checking them out on my way to school. I never knew who made these tunes either. I had a keyboard back then and would learn some of the lines from the tunes and would play them back. Not long after that I got introduced to Mark Stewart (Claro Intelecto). Mark introduced me to lots of new stuff, not just tunes, but kit and what kit did what; from then on my interest in making tracks just grew.

You both release on your own but also come together to form Millie & Andrea. Tell us about the gender bending pseudonym and how it came about. Any love letters from fan boys?

No love letters yet, though people love the artwork as much as the music, which really helps. Radu Prepeleac came up with the design that suits the music and pseudonym perfectly. We thought the choice of names and artwork would distance the releases from our normal monikers, and Daphne quickly became a home for the more crossover material we were playing around with. Again it all comes down to fun, getting together. Andy & I just play with the form and see what comes out.

You even have your own offshoot label Daphne exclusively for these releases. Was making dubbed out bass-wise stuff something that just happened when you collaborated together or did you decide that’s the sort of thing you wanted to make together?

Well we’ve always been open minded about music, we’re not big genre fans, and since we’ve been meeting up and jamming there’s been a few tracks that wouldn’t fit with anything else we’d done. Hence the offshoot label was born to provide a home for these tracks.

The most recent Daphne record saw Andy playing around with juke. Is that something we’re likely to see more of?

Andy: The juke stuff at first was just a mess around on my part. I think it’s going back to the old copying hardcore tunes in my youth. I just wanted to have a play with the juke sound. I know it’s not everybody’s thing, but I had a lot of fun making it but I found it difficult at the same time. I’m pretty sure I’ll be messing around with it more but who knows? We shall see…

Andy had you produced with anyone else before?

Andy: I haven’t really. I have worked a lot with Miles for this project, but even before the Daphne label I was going over to Miles’ and Gaz’s studio for many a good bass heavy session.

How do you work together, ie. do you have similar set-ups or do you just work in one person’s studio?

We have completely different set-ups, which is much more a boon than a hindrance as there’s more different sounds and ingredients for us to throw into the equation. We’ve done a lot of sessions in Miles’ studio, as it’s geared up for other people to come along and join in, but sometimes we work remotely too depending on time and logistics.

Does working with someone else make it harder to realise tracks?

Depends on their personality, but more often than not bouncing ideas to another producer tends to create more material and defines more focus. You have to be geared up to work with other people though, as music is a very personal experience. If you’re honest and realize each other’s strengths and weaknesses then most of the hard work doesn’t become apparent, as you’re too busy having fun!

Have you played live as Millie & Andrea before or is it a DJ/producer project?

We have played a few shows as Millie & Andrea, and we’ve enjoyed them thoroughly. The last one was in London for Plex at Corsica Studios where we played mostly unreleased material with some variations on the 12″ tracks.

Tell about the mix you’ve done for us.

It’s taken us ages to do it!

What can we expect from each of you and your various projects in the next year?

Much more, there are solo releases coming from both Andy and myself in the first quarter of 2011, and maybe as M&A too, we will see.

littlewhiteearbuds  on April 11, 2011 at 7:03 AM

Please try downloading again, it’s fixed now.

Ahoyskin  on April 11, 2011 at 8:36 AM

Thanks so much for bringing this to us, LWE. One of my favorite “side projects” out there. You’ve made my Monday morning!

Matt  on April 11, 2011 at 10:09 AM

great start to the week!!!
love this mix
thank you LWE

Rob Booth  on April 11, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Instant download … You had me at ‘Modern Love’ ‘Daphne’ ‘Millie & Andrea’

Stott’s new EP for boomkat out 16th May is incredible, love the production of Dark Details .. stabs and dense percussion!! lovely

Ahoyskin  on April 11, 2011 at 4:56 PM

@Rob Booth, if that Stott EP is the same one Benji B dropped on his show a few weeks ago, then I can’t wait!

gawagai  on April 11, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Been a while since I’ve heard a mix that was this good!

deepbeetzz  on April 12, 2011 at 12:19 AM

All labels, artists and colabs mentioned here are pretty much buy on sight, and this mix would be the same if you guys hadnt so awesomely hooked it up for us, thanks heaps for this one guys.

SAM  on April 13, 2011 at 5:40 PM

No doubt this is among the best mixes featured here – and definitely the best in recent memory.

AnaGreg  on April 14, 2011 at 11:05 AM

The intro is breath-taking… Looking forward to the moment it gets released. Big up for the podcast!

Vicki Siolos  on April 14, 2011 at 3:28 PM

UNLTD / Israel Vines, “Reclaim” [Borrowed Language]

YES.

YES YES YES.

jinx  on April 14, 2011 at 6:38 PM

Oh man, what a treat! Every M&A release has been pure gold. That’s the only thing I don’t like about Demdike Stare – Millie’s all tied up. I kid, I kid. Tracklist looks stellar and the interview was ace. Can’t wait to hear more from these heavy-hitters, both solo and together. Thanks for the mix!

Joel  on April 15, 2011 at 7:31 AM

Thank you for this!!!

Spons  on April 15, 2011 at 10:02 AM

thanks ! love the music; hadnt heard of these pseudonyms so well done lwe delivering.

Sarah Vidosh  on May 6, 2011 at 1:00 PM

I am totally amazed each time I listen. Flavored with dubstep and a lill d&b (not always my favorites), this mix is unique and surprisingly loose and funky while still being technically complicated. I needed something different and this went above and beyond. Brilliant!!!

Best part EVAR!!

10. Millie, “Untitled” [white*]
11. UNLTD / Israel Vines, “Reclaim” [Borrowed Language]
12. Drexciya, “Aqua Worm Hole” [Underground Resistance]

Watermill Village  on April 2, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Man oh man oh man. This and the Ben UFO mix (especially that one’s second half) are gonna keep me busy for the foreseeable future. This whole mix is breathtaking. Not one second is anything short of amazing. Thank you, LWE!

Trackbacks

De:Bug Podcast » Millie & Andrea – LWE Podcast  on April 12, 2011 at 5:31 AM

[...] angelegt hatten, um sich mit ihren Dubstep-, Jungle- und Hardcore-Vorlieben auszutoben. Für Littlewhiteearbuds haben die beiden jetzt einen ziemlich großartigen Podcast abgeliefert. Und ein Interview gibt es [...]

LWE Podcast 81: Millie & Andrea is archived this week | Little White Earbuds  on April 1, 2012 at 10:03 PM

[...] & Andrea, incorporated elements of techno, dubstep, juke, jungle, and old hardcore. Be sure to add it to your collection before it’s archived this Friday, April 6th. » Lauren Cox | April 1st, 2012 Tags: andy [...]

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