Milwaukee Banks take us behind the collabs on their new album, No Time
The Australian hip-hop/electronic duo's new album features HWLS, Rromarin, Sophiegrophy and Ryland Rose.
After smashing it out of the park with their collab-heavy debut album Deep Into The Night, Australian hip-hop/electronic duo Milwaukee Banks have officially nailed it once again, blurring the lines between these two genres with their second album, the just-released No Time. Enlisting musicians such as HWLS, Rromarin, Sophiegrophy and Ryland Rose for the 11-track album, No Time follows on from Deep Into The Night in the sense that it's a fun and flavoursome record that feels more like a celebration with friends than a concentrated and obviously A&R'd album, with each of the collaborations - no matter vocal or production - feeling remarkably at home amongst Milwaukee Banks' signature, light-hearted approach to music. "It’s a record about perception. Time is something we all perceive differently, sometimes it speeds up, but at the same point in time it slows down for another person. We blink and miss something critical," says the duo on the record, unearthing some deeper themes beyond the album's general feel. "Sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough time in the day to write and sometimes time just gets away from us. This record is what we have done with our lives and time over the past two years, it is what happened and is our perception of the unfolding of events since the last record."
The album is out now through Dot Dash / Remote Control - grab it HERE - and to celebrate the occasion, we had a quick chat with the pairing about the album's collaborations, their process of collaborating, and who'd they like to collaborate with in the future. Check it all out below.
The album features Rromarin, Sophiegrophy and Ryland Rose - can you tell us about how each of those collaborations went down and what it was liking working with each of these names?
Yeah, it was great working with all three of them. With Rromarin we’ve worked with her before and she came on tour with us on the last album, so it was a really easy thing to play her some new stuff and see what she was vibing. So that one was pretty easy going, but we all know each other really well. We’d go into the studio and hear what she’d been writing and listen to drafts and work on stuff for the track together sometimes so that one was really smooth. With Sophiegrophy, it was a fair way back now, but she had released a mixtape called PURPULARITY that was going a bit under the radar, and Edo emailed it to Dyl to see what he thought of it as well. We were excited about what she was doing so Edo reached out and met up with her to hang out and see if she wanted to work on some stuff. After emailing beats and vocal drafts back 'n' forth for a few weeks we had the draft of the track down and it just needed some extra production. Sophie came into Joyluck studios when we were mixing the song to record all her vocal parts again. That was a really fun and chill afternoon. Sophie absolutely nailed her vocals that day too, she can sing like crazy, didn’t need that many takes to be honest.
Ry was a similar story really, we’ve been in touch before and kept an eye on what he was doing and stuff. When we had the beat for Caught Up Dyl had already written a hook but we both kinda felt it would be better if we had another voice on this track for the hooks. But it was hard to find someone that would fit I guess the style of what we had imagined for the track. Dyl shot the track off to Ry to get some ideas BEcause we had recently heard some of his new stuff and that r&b and singing rap vibe we thought would be a good fit for this one. We were really stoked with what he sent back as ideas for the hook, we pretty much kept all the melodies, we just had to go back n forth a bit on lyrics, because there was a bit of overlap with what he had initially sung lyrically with a hook from another song on the album. Had really similar lyrics (he hadn’t heard it so he didn’t know haha) but Ry was super chill about updating lyrics and working on it some more.
What drew you to each of these collaborators?
Partly that they all fit a sound we wanted on the tracks we were working on, but also cause when we reached out and met up and started working on stuff everyone was chill and vibing a similar thing I guess. All of these peeps were great to work with and that makes collaboration easy. I don’t think we would have kept working on a song with someone if they were being hard to work with or just not very nice in general.
HWLS also produced one of the tracks - is there a different approach you guys have to collaborating with a producer like HWLS vs. collaborating with a vocalist, like Rromarin?
Yeah, I guess it is a bit different, you don’t need to work in the same way I guess. Like with vocalists there are sounds or melodies or lyrics that you might want or have ideas about so in a way you can work with them to mould the ideas a little bit, work with people to refine and help it get to somewhere better than you could make yourself. But when the beats are coming from someone like HWLS we just said ‘hey man, send us an idea or what you’re thinking’. So it was kind of in reverse, we didn’t really guide him or ask for anything in particular. What we got was really dope so of course, Dyl wrote to it, and then it was really just a matter of arranging it, without messing with the vibe of the demo he sent. Most times a producer would send you a beat or idea, sometimes only like 1-2 mins long, so they know that the arrangement needs to be adjusted here and there to flesh it out to a full song.
What do you guys get out of collaborating with different artists?
Making something better than we could make on our own. It pushes us creatively to get a wider range of ideas and interpretations and think a bit more openly about what could make something sound great.
When you’re working on an album it can also make the process much more fun. We both really like working together but we still get like getting other people involved and it can bring a bit more excitement and life to the project when there are more people with cool ideas involved.
Looking forward - what are some collaborations you want to have in the future? And no, they don't have to be achievable, but maybe make sure the collaborator is alive hahaha.
There are a shit ton of famous and big names we could probably list, but in all honesty that isn’t super interesting to me right now and there are people locally we’d love to work with. Dyl is collaborating with people here all the time, but on this album one collaborator that we don’t talk about enough is Haxx.
Haxx (the other half of Kult Kyss) mixed this record at Joyluck Studio and I don’t think it could have gone smoother. Dude was always super pumped to be working on stuff with us, and he also always came to the sessions with fresh ideas and another angle when we asked for them. He worked on some additional production on a few tracks after telling us some ideas. But we would play each other beats in most of our sessions while mixing this record and vibe off different ideas 'n' shit. I think it would be dope to do a side project or something with him one day, I reckon that would be wild, cause he has a different sound and style but is still a great local electronic artist that doesn’t get enough props.
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