Dr. Meaker are a Bristol based eight piece band, live instruments, samples, studio electronics and big voices create some heavy underground drum and bass covered in liquid deep soul. ‘Dirt & Soul’ is their debut album and it’s going to turn some heads. Already getting the crowds going at Glastonbury, Bestival, Boomtown Fair, Snowbombing, Isle Of Wight festival and Fabric this is the perfect way to prepare yourself for the Dr. Meaker Live experience, so let’s get into it…
Introducing the band:
Dr Meaker are Clive Meaker (producer, synths), Lorna King (vocals), Laurent John (vocals), Ben Wood (sax), Sam Brown (sax), Simon Alexander (trumpet), Tom Wheeler (Drums) and Mike Prince (Bass Guitar). The band are joined here by vocalists: Yolanda Brown (Route 94, DJ Fresh), Sian Evans (DJ Fresh, Kosheen), Sharlene Hector (Basement Jaxx), Mark Crown (Rudimental), Romaine Smith (Typesun) Lorna King, Celestine and Laurent John all feature.
about ‘Dirt & Soul’
‘Deep in the heart’ starts us up, a soaring strings intro with uplifting vocals that drop into kicking DnB beats, if you’ve had your fill of soulless drum and bass, this is a ray of sunshine that will breath life back into your optimism for the scene. There’s a great oldskool-newskool feel through the album which will raise the hairs on the back of many clubbing veterans necks, an example is the dancefloor ready ‘Remedy’ coming in with its subby ‘back in the day’ bass and vocals crossed with a lead that’s so fresh you know this is a recent cut. The album has many faces, and doesn’t stand still in a corner hitting the same notes, going from slow mellow groovers like ‘You and I’ to fist the pumping sing along anthem of ‘Good Fight’ it stays fresh and moves along with smooth pacing. The stand out of this debut for me is just the amount of talented vocalists featured, and all performing well written songs over the backdrop of great compositions. I think I’ve found my album for the summer. Get on it, or should I say………….Dr. Meaker will see you now
Album: ‘Dirt & Soul’
01 – Deep In My Heart (Feat. Lorna King)
02 – Right Back (Album Edit) (Feat. Sian Evans)
03 – Wanna Feel Love (Feat. Yolanda)
04 – Remedy (Feat. Romaine Smith)
05 – Fear (Feat. Celestine)
06 – Glastonbury
07 – You & I (Feat. Lorna King)
08 – Good Fight (Album Edit) (Feat. Laurent John)
09 – Is It You (Feat. Laurent John)
10 – Freaks (Album Edit) (Feat. Cappo D & Sharlene Hector)
11 – Wrong (Feat. Mark Crown & Harleighblu)
12 – Glastonburied
13 – Dirt & Soul (Feat. Laurent John & Celestine)
BM: You started off in 2004, how did the band form? did you know each other already?
The band formed through a core group who were at uni together and then friends of friends of that core. It started in a totally organic and natural way. We all live in and around Bristol.
BM: How would you answer the annoying question “what kind of band are you”
We are a band with electronic and traditional instruments. We mash the two together to create a great energy and feeling.
BM: with the new album you’ve ventured into some previously unexplored sounds, how did this come about
As musicians we are always pushing ourselves to try new things and it would get boring if we kept doing the same thing so we experimented. We were very lucky to be able to work with the Kaleidoscope Orchestra and the Hackney Community Choir. We also worked with many musicians an vocalists who really make for a great combination of sounds.
BM: the new album is called ‘Dirt & Soul’ tell us about the title and how it came about
I have been using this phrase to describe my music for years.. “Dr Meaker splice Dirt with Soul to Fire up the Sound System”.. So the title has been there all along. It just felt like the right time to really shine the light on it. It not only describes our sound but it also describes the way I see life, the human condition and the ups and downs of life itself. It’s the rough and the smooth, light and shade… In everything there are two sides. There is beauty to be found in the darkest of places. That is Dirt & Soul.
BM: Did the album come together quickly?
No not really. I usually take along time to crete and finish each song s there is a process of going back and adding new layers, scratching layers away etc until the final picture is created. Most of the tracks on this album were started no less than 2 years ago. and some were started many years ago. I chose the tracks that worked together a collection of songs. I spend the last year “finishing” the album.
BM: you have a number of great guests appearing on the album, was it easy to co ordinate the time in the studio?
Yes it was easy enough. I just get dates fixed in the diary and away we go.
BM: now that you’ve grown a dedicated fan base, how would you describe a typical Dr Meaker fan?
A typical fan connects with the music first and foremost. The music resonates with them so once they are a fan they tend to stay a fan. We are very grateful for the support we receive from our fans.
BM: Do you feel your live show changed since you started ?
It has to some extent. The energy has always been there and remains.. but we have moved through different ways of doing things and we are perhaps much tighter than we once were. I know personally, my playing has improved over the years.
BM: what would you say is the best part of playing Live
When you get lost in the moment and are just riding the euphoric feeling with the crowd and we are all in it together..on a ride..a buzz
BM: what are your plans for the upcoming months?
I have been promoting the album for the last couple months and am looking forward to making batch of new music. I have an idea of the direction i want to go in and am excited for the future. We will be touring this album all over the Summer at lots of festivals. Check out our gig dates here: http://www.drmeaker.co.uk/gigs/
BM: Tell us something no one knows about Dr Meaker?
It’s really hard to think of something that no one knows. So I guess it will have to be right in this moment. I am about to walk to kitchen and drink a glass of water. I’ll report how it went next time we speak..
Check out the album, here