Today Quantic – aka multi-instrumentalist, DJ, composer and producer Will Holland – announces his new album Dancing While Falling. Now 20 years into his career, the album is the British-born New York-based artist’s most live-sounding, euphoric and, in his own words, grown-up release to date. It will be released November 10 via Play It Again Sam.
To celebrate the announcement, Will also shares a brand new single “Unconditional” featuring Rationale. The new track follows the recently released singles “Run” featuring Andreya Triana, which was Will’s first new material of 2023 and landed straight on the playlist at BBC 6Music, and empowering disco groover “Stand Up”. On “Unconditional” he worked with vocalist Rationale. Will says, “‘Unconditional’ is a jam that I had spinning on the tape reels for several months, everyone who heard it vibed with it. In searching for the right vocalist and connecting with Rationale, the track really took new life and the final song is something I’m so proud of”.
Rationale adds, “Writing ‘Unconditional’ with Quantic has been an incredible experience. There’s something about this song that feels special and timeless. Performing along aside such talented musicians as Quantic and all the live performers on this record was a true honor and I can’t wait to let it loose into the world”
As an artist who sees each of his records as an ever-going process of trying to perfect the design, the uplifting and joyful 10-track album is his first release on a larger label. It’s also more concise and stripped down compared to his recent offerings on Tru Thoughts, including 2014’s Magnetica, a mixtape-style montage of all the different musical experiences he had while living in Colombia, and his most recent album, 2019’s Atlantic Oscillations, which comparatively chronicled the journey of how he weaved the sound of his new home of New York into his own sonic world. For the latter, he also slowly gravitated away from making sample-based beats on a laptop and instead ventured into a more symphonic set-up in terms of instrumentation.
Similarly with Dancing While Falling, Quantic wanted to use old school techniques to make something modern, with the aim of creating a record that showed the players on it – an album where their identities and charisma can be heard. Predominantly recorded at his own Brooklyn studio, Selva, Quantic’s initial idea for his new album was to experiment sonically. However, after a while, he changed direction and realised that the record needed to also relate to the human condition – not just his “singular pandemic wormhole”. The demos, then, started off as symphonic, loosely disco-era dance music – a departure from his previous Latin and Spanish instrumental releases.
Influenced by legendary artists in the scene like Bohannon and Larry Levan, Quantic wanted to make a disco-leaning album at first. “I’m really interested in Latin music and Afro Caribbean rhythms and I think there’s a really amazing point in history where the emergence of those rhythms and its combination with American soul sparked what we now know as disco,” he says. This is what excited Quantic most: “there’s an infinite amount of time and experiments that can be had with the meeting and the marrying of different rhythms. That’s the power I think disco music has, and the marriage of that with the emotional content is really cool”.
As an artist whose reputation has been forged on how he engages with local scenes and cultures around the world, the story behind Quantic’s Dancing While Falling is typically collaborative. Recording drums, bass and guitar at Selva, he started off with sketches and arranged the strings and horns. He then invited different musicians into the studio so they could play the scores, which added different textures to the songs.
Talking about each collaboration in more detail, Quantic says that, having been friends with British singer and songwriter Andreya Triana since they were teenagers growing up in Worcestershire, the pair had always wanted to work on music together but never did. However, since reconnecting 20 years ago, that chance finally arrived during the pandemic and resulted in Triana singing on four of the album’s tracks: “Run”, “Brooklyn Heat”, “Morning Light” and “Where The Flowers Grow”. He works with Rationale on “Unconditional” and Connie Constance on the track “Get In The Ride” which, having used a Eurorack synthesizer, Quantic sees as the “marriage of machines vs live musicians”.
When it came to naming the album, Quantic chose the title Dancing While Falling because of its ambiguous connotations. “It hints at dancing and falling in love, but there’s also dancing whilst falling, which is how I envisage it – when you’re in a perilous situation, but you still find happiness. There’s also something about when you’re falling, like after jumping off a rock, that feels like dancing. Because it’s freedom.”
Quantic ‘Dancing While Falling’
1. Run (feat. Andreya Triana)
2. Subway Lover
3. Stand Up
4. Unconditional (feat. Rationale)
5. Get In The Ride (feat. Connie Constance)
6. Brooklyn Heat (feat. Andreya Triana)
8. Morning Light (feat. Andreya Triana)
10. Where The Flowers Grow (feat. Andreya Triana)
Stay tuned at Electronic ConnectFM Tracks of the Month selection and Listen to Quantic’s new music first
Photo credit: Fabrice Bourgelle