When WANARB Met: Behling & Simpson

Behling & Simpson play Way Back Here

It’s a Futureboogie love-in for Team WANARB at the moment, and, after showing our knickers to Waifs & Strays a few weeks ago, we’ve now turned our lusty attentions to Behling & Simpson. Riding high on the wave of Bristolian duos currently taking dance music by storm, the boys will be hitting up the bustling metropolis that is Stoke Newington in Hackney to play the Question Mark Bar for our friends on NTS, Way Back Here. We caught up with B&S (as they call themselves) to find out why saying “hard bop” makes them laugh, what they’d be doing if they weren’t making music and why in the event of a zombie apocalypse it would just be them and Art Department left…

Hey guys, how are you?

Behling: We’re good thanks! Busy in the studio – got a couple of remixes and new edits to be getting on with. It’s all fun!

You guys have not been around too long… As some of our readers might not be aware of you please could you each describe the other in one sentence for us?

Behling: Simpson is a genial and diplomatic master of tact and subtlety. He’s also quite a decent musician.

Simpson: Behling won the First Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence, but then lost it on a night out in Wigan. Has good hair.

Behling & Simpson sounds like a classy stereo company or two gents with tweed patches on their elbows you might bump into on a hunt. What would you two be doing as a duo if you weren’t making music?

B: Lamenting about where it all went wrong. And whose fault it was, and probably quoting lyrics by The Smiths as we stared dolefully into our pints…

S: Hang on, don’t we do that anyway? Although mostly it’s Young Jeezy lyrics. And I am so down for tweed elbow patches.

How did you come to be part of the Futureboogie family?

B: After our first B&S release on Perspectiv a couple of years back, we wrote and signed an album to a local label that promptly closed down. So we touted that around all the people we knew, one of whom was Julio Bashmore. He passed it on to Futureboogie who were about to start a label, they liked it, and the rest is history… Most of the album will probably not see the light of day; it was dense, heavy, and not really dancefloor stuff. But I guess they saw some potential!

S: There’s also the initiation ritual we, like all the producers on the label, were forced to endure. The swelling has subsided, but the emotional torment rings clear to this day.

You’ve got a new EP coming up- the track with James Fox is great. Can you tell us a bit about the rest of it?

B: Thanks! The EP is in two halves – two tracks with Foxy and two B&S ones.  It’s all below 115BPM as per usual, and it continues our obsession with doing chunky dancefloor jackers at tempos more commonly associated with the deep and the chilled out. It’s probably more representative of our club sets than the last EP, so we’re pretty excited to show people what we’re about at the minute.

S: Yeah, we feel this EP is pretty strong, so it will also be submitted as an entrant to the Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence.

What do you prefer: playing in your hometown to packed out rooms as local heroes or playing far-flung corners to a handful of ecstatic fans?

B: Ha! That’s a tricky one. Over the years we’ve played packed and empty clubs (and festivals, boats, aircraft hangers and bars) all over the world and really, as a DJ, you just want people to ‘get it’. It’s nice to be regarded as local heroes or international stars or whatever, but our ideal gig would be a 250-capacity basement, packed to the rafters with people who are just genuinely into the music and up for a laugh. Wherever that happens to be!

S: Can I just add that some of those 250 people should be girls please.

What’s your favourite record that came out the year you were born? (If you don’t mind divulging!)

B: Probably ‘Unknown Pleasures’ by Joy Division. Which, as we all know, came out in 1991.

S: ‘Zapp’ by Zapp. Which also came out in 1991.

When people such as yourself make music that crosses genres, people tend to make up really silly sounding ways to describe it. What’s your favourite made-up genre you’ve come across recently?

B: Moombahton has sired plenty of spinoffs – ‘moombahsoul’, ‘moombahcore’, ‘dreamaton’ – all very silly. ‘Chillwave’ always grinds my gears, but for sheer subgenre hilarity you’ll have to go far to beat brostep and the shortlived brostepforum.com.  It had us in stitches.

S: Not recent, but I always used to chuckle at the jazz sub genre called ‘hard bop’ – not sure why, but it just tickles me. Hard bop… Yeahhh!!!!

What has the Question Mark bar got in store with your set for Way Back Here on the 21st?

B: A bunch of sizzurpy club stompers… We’ve got several releases lined up over the next few months so we’re roadtesting a whole load of new tunes at the moment. Expect lots of unreleased stuff, more jacking drums, more hefty basslines, more r’n’b, soul and funk influences too!

S: I was going to say crying in the dark as everyone present contemplates the futility of existence, but yeah, music could work. 

And finally, what would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?

B: That’s easy. Our studio is in an old bank vault underground in Bristol. We’d just lock the door and carry on writing tunes for the eventual survivors to rave to. Even a post-apocalyptic cannibal society will still need DJ’s, right?

S: More than ever.

Behling & Simpson play Way Back Here at ? Bar in Stoke Newington on Saturday 21st April. Tune into Way Back Here’s monthly radio show on NTS Live.

Rachael Williams

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