January was a crazy cold month and it was all the better for getting to hear the soulful electro heat from new duo, Face + Heel. Hailing from Cardiff, Luke and Sinead have taken the live electro music scene on an ethereal journey I do not want to end. I am honoured that The Blog of Wonder has their first ever interview:

The Wonder– hi Luke! how are ya?

Luke Taylor– hi! I’m well thanks. how’re you?

TW– very good thanks! thanks for doing the interview!

LT– my pleasure. Sinead’s here too

Sinead–  here!

TW– hey Sinead!

S– hi!

TW– how did sinead and luke meet?

LT– I heard some of her house tracks through soundcloud and got in contact and we just got on really well…we did a remix swap, and I really enjoyed doing something a little different to my usual thing. although it was a while before we actually decided to make music together.

S– we thought we might argue a bit too much at first ha

LT- but it’s pretty harmonious

TW– haha. so Luke, what was your ‘usual thing’?

LT– ha I suppose what Sinead might refer to as “boy electro”, although I think that’s a bit unfair. I was remixing a lot of hiphop at the time and producing a couple of cardiff artists

TW– wow, that’s cool. what kind of hip hop made it onto the mix?

LT– A lot of older stuff. Dead prez, Digital underground, de la soul. Pretty much the obvious stuff, mostly for fun

TW– a true hip hop fan! nice. and what kind of music did you put out, pre-Luke, Sinead?

S– I studied classical piano, specialising in Debussy

TW– wow, that takes me back to my GCSE music days…

S– which gave a focus on soundscapes, which led to getting into minimal electronic 🙂 I was really taken by ricardo villalobos, and a lot of the detroit house, carl craig, robert hood etc.

TW– sounds like a fun journey!

S– I think classical music taught me the discipline of harmony and structure, but I suppose I’m also pulling away from that.

LT– Sineads sense of classical structure is really great for our tracks rising and falling.

TW– I love the juxtaposition in your music between the gritty and ethereal. It’s such a surprising mix, really love it

LT- That’s really great for us to hear because it’s one of the few conscious decisions we’ve made. We try to use and make sounds that although synthesized, have an earthy, real texture

TW– who came up with the name face + heel?

LT– That was me. It’s wrestling terminology…a face is like a good guy, and a heel like the bad guy…but one week a wrestler is a good guy, and the next he’s told he’s the baddy…it’s just a role, and he’s booed or cheered depending on what the story dictates. We thought it fit our personalities pretty well ha.

TW– so who’s the bad guy this week?

S– it tends to be me most weeks ; )

TW– haha I can’t believe you’ve only had 2 gigs as face + heel!

S– we had our 3rd yesterday in Cardiff

LT– Our 4th at the moment is with 2 bears!!!! we’re soooo excited!!!

TW– woah! that’ll be epic!

S– Yeah it for the electronic recycling party. We’re really happy to have been asked. We really enjoyed there set at green man last summer

TW– did you think things would take off so quickly?!

LT– I say no, but sinead says yes…ha ha in all seriousness, we’ve been really overwhelmed with how positive everyone has been towards us so far. It really gives us confidence to try and do more stuff with our sounds and to try harder.

S– We’re just working on our 2nd e.p at the moment.

LT– We recorded it in a Travelodge. Which was a suprisingly nice enviroment to record in!

TW-very rock n roll!

LT– in the next 6 weeks I think. It wasn’t very rock n’ roll really. I think because you have to pay for wifi it led to us being a little more “focused” on the task at hand ha.

TW-what were your influences for this EP? any direction you tried to go into?

S– the electronic music scene is so great at the moment that we were completely spoilt for choice as to who we took influences from; from SBTRKT to Apparrat and pantha du prince are all huge inspirations, our live set is really very influenced by Henrik Schwarz and the live stuff he does with Ableton…

LT– I think when we started we thought it was gonna be more housey, but it just kind of went in it’s direction, so now we really just go with how we feel at the time. Seeing what henrik shwarz and carl craig were doing with classical pianists was a really,really big inspiration too.

TW– is it different being a duo as opposed to playing in a band? Have either of you played in a band?

LT– I’ve played in a band before, and now the dynamic for me is much easier. It’s easier to create something that’s in your head, as there’s less of a committee. Also, we’re pretty in tune with each other, and compliment each other quite naturally.

S– I’ve only ever done solo stuff so bouncing ideas of someone else especially someone with such a great ear makes working much more productive. We seem to write at double the speed. we really do complement each other and have our own strengths, Luke is a brilliant lyricist and has done lots of song writing for artists and his bands, where as I’m better at structure and have a good ability to feel where a climax or breakdown should be, I spent a lot of time clubbing so have a feel for what people want to hear when their out dancing.

TW– sounds like great team work! so do you work on your lyrics together?

S– Luke is so good at writing that he tends to think of them, and I help with melodies etc

LT– Having been a bit of lyric obsessive for ages, especially people like leonard cohen, and Lorca, and Dylan. I really enjoy trying to strip it down to just the most direct statement. that’s a real fun thing to do with creative language…especially since a lot of dance stuff can be a bit “I wanna take you higher” type stuff, which is obviously great for the clubs, but it’s nice to have something lyrical in there that has a little bit of soul to it I think.

TW-i always love a bit of soul. now i’ve got to ask, are you guys dating???

LT– we are…but not necessarily each other 🙂

TW– haha. so no awkward recording sessions then?!

LT– They’ll always be awkward regardless of any “funny business” 🙂

TW– haha fair enough!

LT– Our first interview… it’s been really fun, thanks so much!

TW– you’re very welcome!

LT– later alligator! xx


TW– bye guys! xx

Face + Heel’s new No Stars EP is available to download from Phonica Records here. Find out more about their music and upcoming shows here.