Document One Debut Album Walkthrough
Producers Matt King and Joe Froud, better known as Document One, have risen rapidly to become a serious force within the bass music scene. Their background as songwriters has resulted in an ultra harmonic and melodic take on club music, creating broad appeal even to those less familiar with the sound of electronic dance music. Document One’s extensive remix catalogue ranges from mainstream artists such as Moby, Professor Green, Connor Maynard, all the way to heavy metal bands such as Rob Zombie and Asking Alexandra.
The duo has received recognition and DJ support from such heavyweights as Knife Party, Excision, Modestep and Rusko. They’ve also had radio plays from Mistajam, Fabio and Grooverider, Trever Nelson, Crissy Criss, DJ Target, Skream and Benga to name a few.
Now it’s time for them to release their debut album ‘Document One’ on Shogun Audio. After receiving high praise for the tracks that have already been released you know you are in for a real treat with this album. It’s brilliantly produced and there’s a really nice mix of styles.
To go with the release the guys have broken the album down track by track for us and tell us about each one.
You can buy/stream Document One’s album here
We’ve spent close to a decade working together as Document One within UK bass music. We’ve toured over 30 countries across 4 continents, we’ve watched musicians that we admire perform and we’ve been exposed to so much culture along the way. This album is a cross-section of who we are as musicians, as people and most importantly a duo. We haven’t deviated from the tempo of DnB (between 170-180 bpm) because this genre is where the Document One project started. This is our journey encapsulated in the style of drum and bass. – Document One
Shutdown features a vocalist responsible for some of our all time favourite tracks! Takura’s topline is the centerpiece of this tune and makes it a really special track for us. It is inspired by the drum and bass we heard throughout the naughties so you’ll hear the familiar timbres of vintage digital synths such as the Korg M1as well as layers of old school breakbeats, hopefully, we captured this era of d&b, a very special period of time for the genre!
So In Love
The album immediately returns to a vibe we have experimented with a lot over the past few years and have become a little bit known for recently. This is the combination of jazz and d&b, inspired by heroes of ours such as LTJ Bukem and Roni Size among others. The track begins with a really simple line on the trumpet drenched in reverb accompanied by piano, strings, guitar and a short vocal sample. The drop is heavier than you might expect but retains the jazz feel with the use of the double bass and some chord stabs. A simple track, a lot of fun to write!
This one is something really different for us, utilising the rhythm and tempo of drum and bass and applying it to a totally different genre. We went to town with the use of classic synth emulations on this track to achieve what we feel is a pretty authentic sound of the ’80s. It’s continually debated that VST’s fail to sound as good as the original analogue synths that they emulate, however, we embrace the luxury of having access to all these amazing instruments from the past. Javeon’s vocal hit the nail on the head, he totally captured the vibe of the track and took the whole tune to another level the second he sang on it, we are so grateful for his contribution on this!
There’s less to say about this track but its place on our LP is no less important than the others. It’s a straight forward dancefloor track 100% created to be enjoyed in a club through a large system. It is a minimal track, little more than a kick and snare for the drums and a two heavily distorted synth patches calling and responding in the bass department. The aim of the game with a track like this is impact, not much thought goes into the harmony on a track like this but you get really stuck in with the synthesis!
Get To Know ft Inja
Another vocalist we feel super lucky to have worked with on this album is Inja. His work across the d&b scene as a recording artist and live MC is relentless, one of the busiest artists on the scene! The track is another throwback, this time to the jungle days, deep subs, heavy breaks and rolling rhythms. The track is a little more upbeat than your average jungle track, a reggae inspired horn section and old school ravey synth pads create the backdrop for Inja to tell his story, and in our opinion is the perfect combo. One of the most talented and positive MC’s in the scene, a pleasure to work with!
We have featured two interludes on this album, the aim being to point out some of our musical influences that are important to us, which contribute to our sound but may go unnoticed without them being highlighted in this way. This first one sets the scene of a busy jazz club at midnight. We love the work of Miles Davis, Jon Coltrane and Thelonious Monk and whilst our music doesn’t have the harmonic and melodic depth or sophistication of these musicians they have influenced the way we think about harmony, melody, improvisation and chord voicings.
This track opens with a simple but elegant piano part, rootless chords are anchored by the bass and vocals which enter the track 16 bars later. The drop takes the album in a deeper direction, the double bass taking care of the low end and arpeggiating synth filling the mid range along with the piano. A muted trumpet leads us into the breakdown where it is joined by a string quartet. Something a little more for the headphones than the dancefloor this time.
The album continues it’s soulful tangent with this next track. Writing this track started with a vocal sampled from a band based in Nashville called DeRobert & The Half-Truths. We re-harmonised the vocal with a new chord progression played on a Yamaha DX patch and programmed a drum beat. We really haven’t done much more than that, the vocal was so good we really wanted to let it speak for itself!
Another track in the same vein as 1964. It’s a club tune, designed to get people dancing. The percussion sample acts as the top line and really carries the track. The bassline is literally one note, it drones throughout the drop backing up the percussion bell loop. The track is designed to be a wall of sound and to keep people moving.
This is the type of track which starts with us writing it sat at the piano and the guitar first, and evolve it into a dance track later, applying our music production techniques. It’s not a statement track as far as this LP is concerned but it’s a track to get lost in with your headphones on. This is one of the few liquid style tracks on the album, a sound we are experimenting with a lot.
Our attempt at a real old school jungle track! Military radio transmissions and helicopters hovering overhead open the track and set the scene. A heavy reese lead appears from nowhere as if the enemy has entered the scene and leads us into a drop which takes no prisoners! Heavy subs, hard breaks and glitches create a sinister drop, we hope this reminds people of what the d&b genre owes so much to – its roots in jungle.
Interlude (Somewhere Else)
This track transports the listener to another place – Where? We aren’t sure! The track features so many elements from different cultures and parts of the world that the track has no geographical origin. We take a lot of inspiration from world music and this interlude hopefully highlights some of the instrumentation and samples in other album tracks which are from other parts of the world!
The perfect example of a track which uses instrumentation from all over the world, Kontakt by Native Instruments allows us to play so many sampled instruments on the keyboard which is a totally magical experience! To touch a keyboard and hear the sound of a kora, sitar or fula flute is an amazing experience and we capitalise on this luxury all over this track.
Very much the outro of the LP, this track features Cimone on vocals and she did an amazing job. This track is a bit of an exploration or instrumentation and orchestration for us. We really wanted to capture the feeling of a live recording and with a lot of help from samplers, we got close. We composed the string and horn arrangements, programmed the drums as well as all usual instruments like bass and piano. This tune tells a story and was a great learning curve for us.