By the time you read this, Ivy Lab will be in Las Vegas sitting comfortably in their artist trailer preparing to blow domes with an array of classy bass-charged bangers. Fresh off the release of their debut album, Death Don’t Always Taste Good, the pair are buried in their work, travelling the globe making musical memories.
Always one to seize the moment, Team Bassrush caught up with the UK-based pair to learn more about the making of the album and share in the excitement of this year’s sizzling Electric Daisy Carnival.
Let’s backtrack a bit. How did the two of you link up in the first place?
Through the DNBA forum where we were both members around 10 years back. We exchanged some messages, Stray sent some demos over, and it became clear we shared a lot of the same musical ideas and inspirations.
How do you describe your sound to the uninitiated? I’ve seen your works listed as everything from hip-hop to “bass music.”
Bass-centric electronic hip-hop.
Has your vision changed any since starting up 20/20?
We are always in some sort of subtle transition if not quite a full-blown change of vision. It’s fair to say the more recent D.D.A.T.G. LP stuff is some of the least dancefloor-centric music we’ve released. We can also feel the beginnings of a lot of lyricists collabs emerging. Once we’ve regrouped after the LP cycle quietens down I suspect that might be one of our most invested-in new frontiers.
With the album now complete, do you feel a sense of relief?
Not yet, no. We’ve ended up being on road touring intensely whilst the LP lead up and release was happening and it’s meant we’ve felt quite disconnected from the reaction on the ground. Keeping up to date with moment-to-moment commentary on social media has been really tough with all the travel. I’m sure we’ve missed a lot of the public chatter sadly, but what we have seen has provided a great sense of relief that we’ve lived up to expectations for the most part. Full relief is a while off, we suspect.
What do you think fueled the completion of the album? Did you set out to make one or did the tracks just start stacking up?
This LP has been in the making for a long time. Sadly, we had some well-publicized personnel changes, which added a small delay, but the spirit and intention of the project was ready a while back.
Which track, if any, were you considering leaving off the record?
We’re 100% on all the tracks that ended up on the LP. But there is a group of tracks that I think we consider to be off-cuts that we put out as b-sides on the singles before the LP. Not because we doubted their standard, it’s more that they had an energy and feel that didn’t fit into the LP and disrupted the listening experience and flow of the full-length.
Where were most of the tunes made?
I think almost all were made on our home setups, but we polished and tweaked at our more serious studio setup at the Ten 87 complex in Tottenham, North London.
Would you say there were any key components to making this album sound cohesive, whether it be the gear you recorded it on or your vision as a team?
I think the use of ASMR samples is a pretty consistent theme across the LP. They can be super haunting and we make quote “eerie music” anyway.
Your BBC Essential Mix is such an accomplishment. What are fans gonna hear on this recording?
A mix of Ivy Lab back catalog + alt-hip-hop + bass music bangers + future R&B + throwback LA beats scene stuff.
Some might argue your sound is not suited for festivals, but of course we know you’re gonna shut it down. What do you have in store for the bassPOD?
I think the more rowdy end of the spectrum of what we play and make is going to go over well. Think tracks like “Cake,” “Chic,” “Shamrock,” our [Noisia] “Tentacles” remix. We’d love to show up and take EDC to school with a selection like the Essential Mix but we think it’s probably the wrong setting to go super selfish and throw a curveball.