Don’t let the tongue-in-cheek name Ross From Friends fool you. The Essex-born producer and DJ, real name Felix Clary Weatherall, is no joke. Rather, he has made a name for himself since 2018’s debut LP Family Portrait with an ear for dance-floor-focused compositions that bring forth bursts of euphoric movement as much as they delve into the nostalgic resonances of formative musical experiences. For his second studio album, Tread, Weatherall coded his own software (called Thresho) to open up his creative process. “I struggle to commit to recording, but Thresho just starts capturing what I’m doing when the audio reaches a certain threshold, and it ended up defining the whole record,” he tells Apple Music. The result is 12 tracks that take on radically open forms, from the melancholic UK garage of “The Daisy” to the ambient tape manipulations of “Morning Sun in a Dusty Room” and the beatless, eternal crescendo of “Run.” All the while, Weatherall was taking emotional inspiration from his studio’s surroundings during the coronavirus lockdowns on London’s Old Kent Road. “There’s so much history here, and I started to see the parallels between Thresho collecting these sounds and me recollecting my memories in London this past decade, absorbing different sounds,” he says. Read on for his thoughts on Tread, track by track. “The Daisy” “This track had so many different versions. I was writing it early on in March 2020 and I wanted to make something catchy, since I was really missing that feeling of being out and just having your hands in the air to something exciting. I ended up playing a very rough early version at [London venue] Printworks, which was the last gig I did before lockdown, and so I always associate the tune with that night out.” “Love Divide” “This is paired with ‘The Daisy,’ even though it was the last tune that I finished in February 2021. I had a similar feeling going into both of them of wanting to make something that's catchy after having been locked down and deprived of going out. The live show was also a big part of making this track and just picturing how it was going to come across in that setting by making a version that hammered home the big breakdown and drop.” “Revellers” “‘Revellers’ is a four-to-the-floor homage to the house music I was first getting into in 2012. I wanted to cover as many musical bases across the whole tune as possible, so that’s why it's almost seven minutes long. The drums took ages to get right, and it also took me a while to land on the melodic feel, which was twisted from an initial guitar sample. When I finished the track, I decided to rerecord the entire melodic part as one live take because I wanted it to have the energy of being performed spontaneously.” “A Brand New Start” “I wanted this track to be a turning point into a different, soul-sampled sound on the album. It's inspired by a Red Bull Music Academy interview with Madlib where he talks about how sometimes the sample is all you need. I wanted to be quite brutal with it, so I recorded a jam using a soul sample, cut out a few minutes of it, and then stuck it straight on the album. I wanted it to be completely straight as it was, rather than overdone.” “XXX Olympiad” “This is titled after the Greek name for the 2012 London Olympics, and that was the era I was trying to reference musically. I was digging for some soul samples to put over this future garage, post-dubstep rhythm, since when making this record I was thinking a lot about the last decade I’ve spent going out in London and the different sounds I’ve been drawn to.” “Grub” “‘Grub’ flows seamlessly from the last tune, but it’s meant to be this grubby mess, based completely on Thresho. I just threw hundreds of recordings into a Thresho project and then moved them all around. I didn't record anything specifically for that track, it was all just sampling these recordings in the software. It's essentially loads of mess and dirt put into a tune.” “Spatter/Splatter” “This one is a reference to trip-hop, since when I was coding Thresho I was listening to loads of it, as well as Boards of Canada. I wanted it to be a homage to that downtempo, IDM feel. Making music is ultimately a completely solitary thing to me; there's no collaboration, it's a personal thing that I keep within myself, so all the references come from that space.” “Morning Sun in a Dusty Room” “I really wanted this track to be evocative of a specific memory I have. I once woke up at a New Year's party way too early and I remember being in this dusty room and seeing all the sunlight streaming through the air. It tripped me out and I didn’t know what was going on. I wanted the track to flow musically from the last tune with similar references to reflect that strange ambience.” “Run” “I wanted to make something that is beatless but that is still quite hammering and could be played out, even though there's no real kick drum. I had these stabbing chords that build and repeat for a while and I was trying them with drums but this idea worked best. It was probably inspired by Floating Points' earlier work, where the tunes are really long and have those huge breakdowns.” “Life in a Mind” “One of my friends once bought loads of NOS [nitrous oxide] balloons and we ended up having so many of them, to the point where I shut my eyes at one point and I felt like I lived an entire life inside my mind. This track is inspired by that repetitive, ongoing experience that existed inside my head. I just felt like this tune just matched up with that memory super well. It also has similar soul samples that are referenced on ‘A Brand New Start.’” “Thresho_1.0” “This is named after the software I built, and like ‘Grub,’ it is another one where the entire thing is composed of tracks dragged from various different sessions into Thresho and then layered and structured, but nothing was recorded specifically for the track. I was just loading it up with samples and seeing where it went.” “Thresho_1.1” “This is a bit of a cheesy reference to me being a new dad. I wanted it to represent how I've lived these past 10 years running around doing stupid shit in London and now this is the next phase in my life. It's played on a music box where you stamp in the notes that you want, and I used the melody of ‘Thresho_1.0’ to wind it up. I thought it was a fitting way to close out the record.”

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