Q + A with Loframes

Hailing from London, England and Antibes, France, Loframes electronic music mixes is a collaboration between British singer, songwriter and producer James Yuill and French music producer Franck Russo. James’ music has earned accolades from The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Popjustice and the BBC, while Franck’s producing credits include releases on Berlin’s Bpitch Control and his own On the Fruit music label. The pair’s new single ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ was recently released on Soundcloud, and James and Franck recently discussed their music and professional backgrounds with PATTERN.

Terri Procopio: How did you both become interested in remixes and the type of music you are producing?

James Yuill: I became interested in dance music as a result of learning how to program. I’d never really appreciated dance music until I’d sat down at a computer and started from scratch. Remixes came as a by-product of producing my own stuff.

Franck Russo: On my side, it was from my father who is an obsessive musicophile and listener. From a young age, I was listening with a musician’s ears, hearing all of its layers. As I got into electronic music, hearing the individual elements lends itself naturally to remixing.

TP: What are your backgrounds in terms of music and technology?

JY: I played the guitar in a few bands at school and only got into the technology side of things after university. I bought protools and some equipment with a friend and we just learned by doing.

FR: I had a few music lessons as a young boy, but like most people I taught myself; especially when it came to electronic music and learning how to produce it. My first professional career was in the wine business, so that has never really helped too much with music!

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TP: What type of music did you listen to as kids/teenagers and how did it influence your career?

JY: Nirvana was a huge influence on me picking up the guitar, but I’d say nothing had a greater impact on me than Nick Drake. I’d have to say programming-wise Jackson and His Computer Band had a huge influence on me.

FR: As a kid, thanks to my dad, I listened to loads of classic rock bands like Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, Queen and The Beatles. Honestly, as a teenager I was mostly listening to crap, but thankfully around this time I also got into electronic music and started spending all my money on vinyl. I have to say my life changed at that point.  

TP: How long have you been working in the music industry?

JY: Since 2007, that’s when I quit my full time job and started making music for a living.

FR: My first release was in 2004 on a small local label, and things have just become more and more exciting since then.

TP: You are from different countries. How did you meet and decide to form a partnership?

FR: We met on Twitter. Even though we’ve known each other for about 5 years, we’ve still only met in the flesh twice!

TP: How do you collaborate? What is the process?

JY: Franck normally sends me an idea and I topline it. Then I send it back. He messes around with it, then sends me the stems. I usually do a bit more additional production as I mix it.

FR: I like it when things come back from James and I’m surprised at what he has changed, improved or altered. Sometimes the changes can be radical, but after a couple of listens it makes sense. We’re very efficient working this way.

TP: Are there ever challenges/disagreements? If yes, how do you resolve them?

JY: Not really. We’re both keen to get the track sounding as good as it can, so I’m happy for Franck to deviate from the original idea, as long as it makes the song better.

FR: Exactly. I’ve learned a lot from this, trusting the other person’s judgement makes everything better.

TP: What other artists have influenced you?

JY: Jackson & His Computer Band, Presets, M83, Hot Chip, Nick Drake. The list is endless!

FR: For me, mostly Aphex Twin, Boards Of Canada, all the French Touch releases, Caribou, and Nathan Fake, just to mention a few. I also listen to everything from Hip Hop & Techno, to D&B and even classical music like Erik Satie.

TP: Who have you worked with in the music industry?

FR: As Loframes, we’re still really just getting started, but we’ve been lucky already to work with Anoraak, Bright Light Bright Light and Miami Horror on collaborations. We’ve also done a lot of remixes for people we admire this year which has been great; especially when they’ve returned the favor and done remixes for us.

TP: How many remixes have you produced and where can people find them?

JY: A lot! Individually we’ve both got quite the back catalogue, but even as Loframes we’ve already done quite a few. Our Soundcloud page is probably the best place to start looking!

FR: Same as James, I’d made a bunch of releases and remixes under different names before, but now I’m putting all my effort into Loframes.

TP: Can you discuss your new single ‘Since You’ve Gone’ and its reception?

JY: ‘Since You’ve Gone’ is our second single. The first being ‘Get Real (Can’t Touch Your Love)’. It was great to work with Anoraak on ‘Since You’ve Gone’ as I’ve been a fan of his for years. The reception has been great and we look forward to dropping another single soon!

FR: ‘Since You’ve Gone’ has had a great reception. A lot of the remixes that we’d done this year had been more straight-up club/dance music, and SYG is a bit different. It’s a bit more downtempo and introspective, so we weren’t 100% sure how it would go down, but people seem to love it, and we’ve had some great comments from other producers.

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TP: Can you also discuss your new album and remix of NZCA Lines?

JY: We’re still working on the debut album at the moment. The remix of NZCA Lines was a tricky one to be honest. Great song, but it was 163 bpm. This made it difficult to use the acapella without it sounding weird. We tried slowing it down and speeding it up, in the end we actually went for both!

TP: How have you gotten your name out internationally and in the U.S.?

JY: The US is huge, so we’re still working on getting ourselves known. We need to start DJing shows in order to get our name out there.

FR: We’ve been very active pushing ourselves online. We were fortunate that a lot of influential blogs and DJs really liked our debut last year and have continued to support us since. It can take a lot of work to really get your name out there, but with support from some well established artists playing your songs, things suddenly seem to move very fast. Remixing artists from all over the world have really helped to get the word out too, and so far every release has helped build on the last.

TP: What are your next projects?

JY: We’re just trying to write some killer tracks whilst we’re on a break from remixing!

FR: We’ve been asked for so many remixes from so many good people this year. It would have been crazy to say no, but now we need to concentrate on making a proper single. We’ve already had some good tracks written, so we just need to finish them off. We can’t wait to play them out.

TP: Where do you see the future of remixes heading?

FR: Remixes have always been a part of the music industry; especially within electronic music. For us, it’s a good way to reach new ears and make contacts. Also, it’s just really good fun to play around with some sounds and vocals that are not yours. Of course, these days it’s not unheard of for a remix to replace the original song on radio. That might be odd for artists who don’t come from a dance music background, but I don’t mind it.

TP: Where can people who are interested in your work follow you?

JY: I have a world of social media links on my website http://www.jamesyuill.com and the same is true for Loframes: http://www.loframes.com.

FR: All the classic social media indeed. For the music itself, it’s mainly Soundcloud and Spotify at the moment.

TP: What advice do you have for someone who is interested in your industry?

JY: Make a decent record then gig, gig, gig,

FR: Be constant, patient, raise the bar each time you can. We learn a new thing every day.