Heavy on the suspense and coated with tightly arranged synth melodies, London-based label Not An Animal Records have taken a characteristically open-minded approach to their latest EP release NAAR003. The northern duo Lizards, made up of Lee Forster (from Last Waltz) and James Hadfield (of the Elizabeth Collective), have joined forces once again to create an EP that transcends the generic forms of dance beats we have become accustomed to.
While quality is heavily present in ‘Tanni’, it’s the unexpected blend of captivating electro synths, distant tribal drumming and haunting strings that really throws you off and keeps you hooked. Before you can soak the track in in all its glory, it demands attention and intrigue. From the word go, they give little away, simply introducing a straight up four to the floor beat to add suspense. This is then enhanced by the eerie string section that lays down the groundwork for a magnificent conflict with the happy-go-lucky synths down the line. The otherworldly element of the focal melody, fused with an evident Japanese influence, is what really defines the track. The combination creates a distant end-of-the-earth feel, which is a theme that defines this EP.
NAAR003 is out 14th March and available to pre-order on Juno. Get better acquainted with Lizards below in a quick-fire Q&A.
Interview with Lizards
What is it about reptiles you like so much?
Our friends used to call us Lizards for one reason or another but even the studio wallpaper has a reptile skin effect…It’s the camouflage aspect!
Are we right to believe this is your debut release? What are your musical ventures that bring you up to this point?
No we’ve had a couple of releases out before this one. Glamour Catty which was out on People Get Real’s Join Our Club label and Anole, which was out on Luv Jam’s label, Legend Of Gelert, which came out at the end of January.
How did you come to be involved with Not An Animal?
Chris and Andy are both very old friends of ours from the North East. We’ve always kind of been involved in whatever each others’ current projects are whether that’s music production, DJing or putting parties on. There’s a nice little, loose collective of us and it’s all starting to gain a little momentum now.
For anyone who hasn’t heard your new EP, what can they expect?
‘Tanni’ is fairly long (over nine minutes) with a big string and bits of afro percussion. ‘International Track’ – the official press release says it sounds a bit like Cos/Mes! This was completely unintentional but we’re obviously very flattered by that. The Max Essa remix of ‘International Track’ has got an 80’s sound to it which is really nice.
Beyond the Not An Animal release, what else is on the horizon for you?
We’ve got a release coming out on Leng in this next couple of weeks plus new releases on Futureboogie and Tusk Wax and remixes for Clandestino and Konkret Cutz. We’re DJing this month at the Everything’s Connected Easter Ball and have a couple of dates out in Lithuania next week with Elizabeth Collective and Last Waltz which we’re really looking forward to.