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Saturday, 22 June 2013

Self-Composure: Bristolite Dan Berridge’s Broadway Project





There’s something about Bristol that seems to bring out the best in a band and although I’m a Manc, I sometimes find myself filling with envy for personal favourites such as Portishead and Sean Cook's The Flies.  When I first learned of Bristolite Dan Berridge’s (Broadway Project’s) likeness to another hero of mine, Nine Inch Nails founder Trent Reznor, the hook of intrigue intervened and off I went asking!

AS:  Where do you go when it all gets too much?
DB:  To my white attic room which is currently empty in a nice Zen way… or running in the woods like Forrest Gump.

AS:  Who would be your dream collaborator?
DB: Pianist Matthew Bourne or me; I often feel I could do with two mes!

AS:  What’s the last gig/concert you went to?
DB:  I went through a phase of seeing Beak> (featuring Portishead’s Geoff Barrow nonetheless) too many times; it got to the point of the band seeing me and giving me that “you again?” look!

AS:  Where do you draw your inspiration from?
DB:  I’ve never been aware of making music like that, like “I’m going to write a song about love” or whatever. I am just very much into sounds… the nuts and bolts; I like building these into deep dark arrangements. I write music for film and that often becomes inspiring, especially if it’s a good project and it looks beautiful. The best projects are when people let you go with your initial gut reaction.

AS:  Care to share any regrets, missed opportunities or things that might’ve been?
DB:  Never played live much. Did start with a band, gigs and sessions, etc. but the idea of playing the same music over and over again makes me weep.  I’m not a musician in the “performer” sense of the word, so it always seemed like the wrong thing for me to be doing. Was it though?!! We’ll never know.

AS:  Were /are you aware of your escalating popularity?
DB:  I think you asking me that question means you don’t really know who I am, which in turn answers the question!  I’m glad you asked though.

AS:  What influences your sound above all else?
DB:  Sounds. I’m really not trying to be clever, but tone or timbre is what I’m into.

AS:  Wish you were doing anything else with your time other than music?
DB:  I don’t, but I’m sure others do.

AS:  What music are you listening to of late?
DB:  Grouper, Alva Noto, James Blake, Clams Casino, Plaid, Arovane…

AS:  Which instrument does it for you most?
DB:  The Piano... old ones and very expensive ones!

AS:  What inspired the EP title ‘Better Left Unsaid’?
DB:  Something someone said.

AS:  What do you do with any ‘you’ time?
DB:  Be me.

The titles on his ‘Better Left Unsaid’ EP support my initial suspicion that Dan’s music must be closer to the sounds made throughout Trent’s subtler, latter-day career, but do they?   5 original, more emotive tracks accompany 3 remixes from Toob, Si Begg and Matthew Bourne, but each still manages to serve up a real taste of what Dan has brought to the table for the past 12 years.

Dan’s composition work has been bountiful throughout recent BBC broadcasts, but scoring alongside Brian Eno for Channel 4’s ‘Top Boy’ must’ve been a mind-blowing opportunity.  Showcasing his love of textures and electro-acoustic composition that he’s described as “Futuristic Widescreen Soul”, Dan’s innovative, pigeonhole-defying music is a real pleasure to behold.

Please visit the Broadway Project website or listen in on Dan’s SoundCloud for further enticement.