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Visitor: how to make music without visiting one another

Working in two separate London home-studios, the two ‘Visitors’ Kyle and Lucas ping tracks back and forth for input and development, creating segments of detailed, considered pop.  It is an attention to detail heightened by the role of producer Diamond Cut, the recipient of Visitors finished tracks for a final spit and polish. A New York based knob-twiddler – that Visitor have neither met nor spoken to – Diamond Cut’s grasp of the duos vision makes him an invaluable part of the process, for despite their somewhat NY-LON set up, there is a distinctly un-synthetic feel to the heartrending movements of Visitor. Maria Long caught up with the elusive duo over email (how else).

Notion: There’s so little information around on you guys, so some fundamental questions first, who are your main influences, and how have they shaped your aesthetic?

Visitor: We started Visitor pretty much with Stuart Price, Lifelike and Roxy Music as our mission statement.  Stuart Price and Lifelike are two perfect examples of electronic music with heart, and Roxy Music are just very cool to us.

Notion: Who are you guys, and how did you meet?

Visitor: We went to school together in Melbourne. We’ve been in and out of various bands together right up until Visitor came together last year. We moved from Australia to Italy for 6 months as a way of sacrificing all that we knew and were comfortable with for the music and then on to London a few years ago.

Notion: How do you think working in two seperate studios aids your sound?

Visitor: It’s not a deliberate decision that we made, it’s due to circumstance really.  It’s very good for keeping perspective on things.  It’s such a fundamental aspect in the way we work together, that it’s just part of what we are now. I think there’s something to be said about working within limitations and what that brings to the creative process.

Notion: Is it that your respective musical visions for Visitor are so completely alligned that you don’t need to be composing together, or is there a certain element of compromise when passing back and forth?

Visitor: We’ve been working on music together since we were 13, so the vision is completely shared. When we start something new, it normally goes back and forth between us until it evolves to represent the original idea in line with our usual sound. Of course, it may completely change half way through, but the focus is always on putting the meaning, objective and aesthetic of the song before ego or personal tastes. This way we are both focused on only making the song the best it can be, and don’t cloud it with distractions. We approach writing like a regular job, and commit to seeing through each idea to the point where it becomes either good or bad. If it’s bad we’re often more excited because we get to come up with a new idea and the process is reignited.

Notion: You chose Diamond Cut to produce, having never met him, was this a conscious decision, a level of mystery?

Visitor: To begin with, we never got the chance to meet due to the fact that we exist on opposite sides of the Earth and our schedules never properly aligned. When we first heard his stuff we really wanted him to do a remix for us. We loved his sound and it was at the point when we were really getting in to Stuart Price and Lifelike, and what started out as a pretty left field idea ended up being the beginning of Visitor.   He’s such a big part of what we’re doing now, and he understands what we’re doing so well, that it doesn’t make a difference.  Having said that, he is a bit of an enigma to us.  We’ve never actually spoken to him.  Our manager has, so his existence has been confirmed.    We’ll be getting together to finish off the record soon.

Notion: What’s it like to have been taken under the wing (no pun intended!) of ‘dance-don’ Alan Braxe and his label, Vulture Music?

Visitor: Alan Braxe and Vulture have been the coolest thing to us for quite some time.  It’s slightly crazy that we’re now part of that.  It’s the perfect starting point for what we’re doing, and we’re in the company of so many of our musical heroes.

Notion: Your debut single ‘Los Feeling’ gestures towards a certain vacancy of feeling, is this your prefered state of being when making music, and if not, what is?

Visitor: It’s always good when you find some emotion to latch on to.  It pulls the whole writing process along and gives it some sort of cohesion.  It’s not always obvious what that feeling is when we start working on something.  The process of writing for us is kind of searching for the emotion, and when we find it, we know the song is done.

Notion: And finally, musically, what’s the best thing you’ve heard recently?

Visitor: We just heard Love Emulator by Lifelike and were properly blown away.  We’re doing a remix of it for the remix EP that he will be releasing in September, which is very exciting.

In between hearing London-based duo Visitor’s debut single ‘Los Feeling’ for the first time and writing this interview up, I heard the Alan Braxe remix of the single in River Island. I think that says more than any number of immaculately considered adverb-verb combinations; it’s undeniably infectious. See for yourself.

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