The unusual dynamic of Brighton based production/vocalist trio DrDr definitely mark them out as something fresh and exciting within the electronic music genre. The group consists of talented producers Chris Campbell and Joe Woods, coupled with the haunting vocals of Donna Cursons. They bear an innovative sound that has been tentatively labelled ‘future garage’, but which even they struggle to pigeonhole.
Unlike many other producer partnerships, such as Disclosure and Rudimental, DrDr have chosen to make a vocalist an integral part of their setup. This enables a closer working relationship and gives their work a fluidity that is rare in a genre where vocals are often drafted in for certain songs. When asked about the nature of their dynamic, Cursons explained it simply as: ‘I have always found that working together with people for a long period of time means you get to learn their strengths and the way in which they work. There’s also something great about working with your mates and I hope the excitement that we get when writing these tracks comes across. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work well with session vocalists, but it’s all about getting that vibe from a person and putting it into the track’.
Undeniably, their method does work, as they bring iconic pop songs such as “Show Me Love” and “Cry Me a River” into a whole new, ethereal dimension. In Cursons’ own words: ‘All of our covers have been out of love for the tracks or playing around with loops and having a vocal fit. They are something that we can have fun with, we never expected the insane response we got from “Cry Me a River” and it has inspired us to play with other amazing tracks to see how we can make them different’.
Despite their covers songs’ YouTube popularity, it is their own releases which truly showcase their talent. Past tracks such as “Addicted” and “Don’t Break It” feature a hedonistic future bass sound and silky vocals with strong lyrics. These set DrDr’s songwriting apart from the mindless repetitive vocals that electronic music is often renowned for. Donna describes the inspiration for their new EP Take it Lying Down as ‘about the fight you have with yourself when you start to fall for someone. About not getting in too deep, then realising you have broken your walls for someone who’s only after one thing’. The EP is accompanied by a stellar range of remixes, each bringing something profoundly new to the original song. DrDr comment: ‘We love all the producers we chose to remix this track and wanted to show them for the sheer talent that they are’.
With a recent signing to Kissy Sell Out’s label San City High Records, it appears DrDr are destined for big things. They credit YouTube channels such as Eton Messy and SubSoul as providing a platform for their music despite the negative reputation they can acquire for failing to gain recognition for the artists. When asked, DrDr strongly disagree with this image, validly pointing out that: ‘At the end of the day they need to promote themselves or they wouldn’t still be going, but I think they promote the artist 100%. With Eton Messy starting gigs up it gives that platform for artists who may not have worked together to have this huge audience, which their promotion has provided. It’s all about word of mouth’.
This word of mouth led to Kissy Sell Out’s interest: ‘He got in touch with us after we released our first EP No Compromise, and asked us to do a cover of his track “Ready For The World”. Their excitement at working with Kissy Sell Out is clear, as his label harbours big names such as Zeds Dead. ‘We have loved Kissy for years and it has been an incredible opportunity to work with someone who has been in the business for so long and is so talented. It’s all about meeting people like him in the industry to guide you in the right direction’.
By the sound of their new EP, it’s clear that DrDr are heading in the right direction. With a collaboration with Crown Duels to be released in February, and a new single due in April, 2014 appears to hold much in store for the trio.By Holly Hunt