The former members of S.C.U.M have risen from the ashes as Astral Pattern, with a new, hypnotically light-as-air sound.
Rising from the ashes of post-punk, art rock group S.C.U.M, Astral Pattern’s music is a kaleidoscopic fusion of synthesizers, haunting vocals and dreamy melodies that together birth an elevating musical quality to their premier material. Comprising of former S.C.U.M members Huw, Melissa and Bradley, Astral Pattern is moving in an exciting direction after the release of their first EP ‘Light Poems’ last month. The band members spoke to Wonderland about their newest single and video ‘Faraway’, slimming down to a trio and their German electronic inspiration.
So how are things going as Astral Pattern so far?
Great! It’s been around 8 months since we started the project and it’s working out really well! Initially, the idea behind Astral Pattern was just for us 3 to write and record music that we wanted to make, inspired by the music we listen to. We never thought that we would have a release so early on in the project, especially on vinyl! We are now working towards the next one!
For your first EP, ‘Light Poems’, you drew influences from seeing Kraftwerk in Dusseldorf. What about Kraftwerk appealed to you musically?
For me the whole idea behind the music is something incredible and truly unique. Every album since Autobahn has had a theme, and I think that they have captured whatever that may be and have translated it perfectly every time. Every sound they make is beautiful; I’ve been playing synthesizers for around 8 years, and still can’t get my head around the majority of them.
Your single Faraway is pretty much the perfect thing for a warm summer day. What are the best conditions for you to write your music?
The songs on our first EP were written in several locations, mainly bedrooms and kitchens, but we soon found a studio to work out of. It’s based right on the river Thames and ever since we moved there, our music has had a certain sound. Since a lot of the music we listen to is German, we’d really like to spend a couple of months somewhere in Germany, whether it’s in a city, or the countryside.
Was it challenging at first adapting to working as a threesome after being in a band of five for 5 years?
Not at all really! As we’d already been in a band together for around 4 years we knew how each other worked musically, whether it be in a writing or rehearsal situation. Luckily Huw is really good at recording, and all of our keyboards are set up in the studio ready to go, so it doesn’t take long until we’ve got something going.
Musically S.C.U.M and Astral Pattern are very different. Why did you decide to change direction musically?
When we first set out what we wanted to do with Astral Pattern, we chose to only use synthesizers and drum machines, so there’s already a big difference between the music. Maybe it’s because the music we listen to between the 3 of us is a lot more similar compared to when there’s 5 people. We write music in such a cool environment, and with everything already plugged in, the song takes shape pretty quickly. The best thing about writing these days is that there’s no pressure, we are just writing music that we want to write, with no deadlines or weight over us. I think that really comes across with our EP, and hopefully with everything we release!
What are Astral Pattern’s plans for the rest of 2013 and 2014?
We are going to try to get the next EP out this year, but we might do some other releases between now and then. We were recently asked by our friend to write music to a brief based around water which was really fun so hopefully we’ll get to do some more things like that, maybe even a soundtrack! We really want to work on our live show to make it something really special and to get the most out of synthesizers. Hopefully pretty soon we’ll start playing abroad, and who knows, maybe we’ll move to Germany!
‘Light Poems’ EP is out now on 37 Adventures.
Words: Wil Oxford