Improvised synth tracks never came so easily
Evangeline Ling and David Wrench sip cautiously from their beakers and stare. “You know, I have never had anything this fizzy,” Evangeline says to David, as she takes another speculative gulp of orange wine, “it tastes like a bacteria drink, like Berocca or something!” Now they’ve got the giggles and there’s no turning back. The rest of our meeting moves from hushed contemplation to frenzied gesticulation as the orange wine flows.
We’re hunkered underground in Welsh sound engineer David’s East London studio, Evangeline slouched on a particularly low slung sofa as David fidgets on drinks duty. This is a pattern they’ve got used to in the short shelf-life of audiobooks – having met and hit it off at a mutual friend’s party, this small but beautifully constructed space has become home. “I was still wiring the place when Evangeline invited herself round,” says David. “I had sort of set up the speakers and built the modular synth so Evangeline started playing on that whilst I was patching. We were having a good time and she seemed keen to fiddle with it so I thought, yeah I’ll let her experiment, why not!” Prone to making each other laugh, David’s story is already tickling Fine Art student Evangeline but he continues in his hushed Welsh tone. “I came back and she had this amazing look of concentration on her face. Total focus. I see that face all the time now. Especially when you are learning a new skill. You can be like that for hours.” Evangeline’s now nodding furiously. “I am one of those people who once switched on, can’t switch off. I can’t do something half involved, it’s the same with eating or running for a bus, I have to put my whole life into it otherwise I am just gooning out.”
It turns out David was impressed with the synth work he saw. “Pretty much straight away and when we started rehearsing something clicked,” he says. “We found we can write something, press record and 3 minutes later we’ve written a song.” And what astonishing songs. audiobooks twisted synth-pop combines a little Bjork and a lot of Mark E Smith to become both otherworldly and edgy. It’s a disarming experience to hear them in full flow. A remarkable creative spark drives the band but it’s not always apparent. “We have a weird workflow that suits us, sometimes I need to carry on working so I just get on with mixing,” says David.
“And I pretty much stare at the ceiling, I have got to be honest with you,” smiles Evangeline. “We sometimes just listen to records and I will talk about music a lot. There are thousands of records around you everywhere down here. So we listen to weird records and there will be a point where we are like, OK let’s do something. A moment comes along where we are in the mood for creating. It’ll just happen really quickly; we will get going and zone out, then say, OK let’s listen back, and most of the time it’s good.”