Quiet Village

Joel Martin, aka DJ Zeus, is a former film editor and one of London’s best respected record collectors. Matt Edwards is the man behind the moniker Radio Slave and Berlin-based label Rekid. The pair met at Sir Dunstan’s College in South East London but it took a car journey to drum’n’bass club Metalheadz one Sunday night in 1995 for them to realise a shared love of pillaging car boot sales for oddball vinyl. As Quiet Village, Martin and Edwards proved themselves early on as remix wizards for The Gorillaz and The Osmonds. With their debut album Silent Movie, they take Italian soundtracks, down-tempo disco and exotic rock samples and create a series of Balearic wonders, complete with screeching seagull sound effects.

Who is your music for?

Matt Edwards: We’d love everyone to get into it. It’s the first music I’ve made that I can actually play to my parents and they appreciate it.

Joel Martin: My mum trainspotted one of the samples. I was really pleased by that.

Do you ever argue in the studio?

ME: Not really. We’ve known each other long enough that things run pretty smoothly.

JM: Actually, didn’t we recently have an argument about the tempo of music?

ME: It was a discussion. I make a lot of dance records so with the Quiet Village project I’m always saying, ‘Let’s leave out the drums.’

JM: And I want to hear some drums.

Are you competitive about your record collections?

ME: Joel digs a lot harder than I do.

JM: Not harder. I just have more time than you. I love sharing music. That’s what friends are supposed to do.

ME: We were both going to the same car boot sales back in the day but didn’t know each other. After we met through mutual friends, I’d pick Joel up every Sunday at about six in the morning and we’d go hit the booters together.

Where do you find your records now?

ME: Touring is good for finding stuff. But I always think, ‘Do I really don’t need any more records in my life?’ And suddenly I’ve got one hundred records in my hotel room.

JM: We’ve been to The Record Show in NYC for four years in a row. At one, Matt walked up and whispered, ‘I need to go and buy a flight case. There’s a guy over there who just sold me fifty Japanese super-amazing, high-end audio sound effects records for $30!’ These are now items that we’ve come back to time and time again for Quiet Village. If you want the sound of a humming bird, it’s on there.

Worst gig?

JM: San Francisco. It was peak time on a Friday night with an up-for-it club crowd. We were slightly confused as to why we were asked to play as our show was this weird audio-visual extravaganza. We got asked by the promoter to end the set early. He said, ‘I wouldn’t want to come and see this!’

If you could teach the world to sing, what would you teach them?

JM: The theme to Sesame Street. We’d like to do a mix of children’s records at some point.

Photography: Ben Rayner
Words: Ben Cobb

A full version of this article first appeared in Wonderland #15, Oct/Nov 2008