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I Love EU – Gruff Rhys ❤️ Modular

By Simon Jones of Cymru Beats

I had a nice email from Super Furry Animals front man Gruff Rhys one day in March. “I’d like to collaborate on an electronic track, but I need to do it fairly quickly, for reasons which will become clear” said Gruff.image

Having enjoyed working with Gruff before, it was an opportunity not to be missed so we met up the very next day. He arrived with a notebook and some castanets. So we set about getting his ideas into Pro Tools. After basic blocking out of the track on my Prophet 6, Gruff stepped up to our vintage Neumann and did four vocal takes. Turns out this was Gruff’s homage to Europe, encouraging us all to vote to remain in the EU.  He’s written a very readable article on the Guardian website about this which is worth checking out..

Intellijel Atlantis all in one modular synth voice provided that solid bass to the track

Determined to sneak some modular into the piece, I turned to my Intellijel Atlantis for some quick n easy bass sounds. Gruff said he wanted a “European electronic” feel and we talked about Jarre and Sebastian Tellier, among many others. My vintage Roland CR78 was pressed into service, filled out with some Jomox Modbase 09 Kick drum and Bastl noise square and skis, all sequenced by the Bastl Knit Rider.

Bastl Knit rider trigger sequencer

I then spent another day or so grappling with the arpeggiator on the Prophet 6 and mixing. The following Monday we popped over to Hafod Mastering, just outside Cardiff to see mastering guru Donal Whelan. He liked what he heard so we spent an hour tweaking before signing off.

Here’s the result, we think it’s rather good.