Matt Brewer’s time making music as Frameworks has been relatively short, but long enough to create a feeling that a full album of songs was overdue. He addressed this in March with Tides, a slickly produced debut LP exploring ambient, orchestral compositions, hip hop beats and collaborations with Manchester vocalists. Cerys Matthews and Mary Anne Hobbs are among those who’ve shared the fruits of his musical labour across the airwaves, and a fidgety, uptempo remix by Throwing Snow hasn’t hurt his popularity.

The early signs on his first EPs, Vanish (2012) and Old Friend (2013), both via First Word Records, were strong, and remixing duties for The Colman Brothers (on Wah Wah 45s), as well as selected live shows – including Sounds From The Other City and a show at Mint Lounge supporting fellow ambienteer Emancipator – and numerous joint projects with MCs such as BlueRum13 and QNC have all helped to shape the groundwork ahead of Tides.

How did you get into making electronic music?

I think I just gradually fell into it. I started music from a live background in drums and then from there got into production. After playing in bands from a young age it was exciting to be the ‘decision maker’ – the guy in the driving seat, so to speak. Think a lot of drummers get into production for one reason or another. Once I started putting stuff down, the melding of live and electronic instrumentation just happened naturally, I guess, from what I was listening to at the time.

Do you play any of the samples yourself or is it all done through software?

A lot of the stuff on the Tides album is live. I like the organic feel a string quartet or a live snare gives the music. Again, coming from a live background it was something I was probably used to. I do sample also, and use virtual instruments.

My First Moth released your EP with BluRum13 a few years ago. Do you have any plans to follow this up, either with BluRum or MFM?

Yeah, I loved working with both MFM and BluRum13. Would love to do something with BluRum again – maybe something totally different from the BrickBuilders stuff. And work with MFM again? Would love to, it was a real pleasure working with Dave [Fortune, My First Moth label boss].

What else have you been up to in the meantime?

The album was released in March and has had a really positive reaction, which has been amazing. We’re looking at a second single off that right now. I’m busy working on a follow-up EP that’s coming together really nicely. It was great to finish the album and have a clean slate to start working on new stuff.

The voices of Rioghnach Connolly and JP Cooper appear on Tides and previously you’ve worked with Kathrin DeBoer and Sabira Jade. How do you choose which vocalists to work with? Do you start any collaborative songs from scratch in the rehearsal room or do you compose the music then forward to the vocalists via email?

Yeah, they’re people I’ve contacted and asked if they would like to work together. I’ve always sent them a track I’m working on, and they have written then we have recorded together. Each of the named singers have real talent and fantastic writing ability.

Are you likely to perform live with the guest vocalists and a full band or keep it to a smaller scale?

At the moment Rioghnach Connolly  is fronting the live outfit and doing a wonderful job. She’s also working on some tracks for the next EP, so you’ll be seeing more from us together pretty soon hopefully. Would love to take the live show really big, but for the time being we’re keeping it pretty stripped back.

Which other local musicians have caught your ears lately?

Over the last few weeks I’ve been introduced to Werkha, who’s recently signed to Tru Thoughts. His stuff’s great! There’s a producer called Shunya who’s doing some great stuff – he’s recently played a bit of cello and violin on a track I’m working on.

You have the show with Werkha and So Flute lined up for 18 June. Are there any other performances we can note on our calendar?

At the moment I’m working on trying to get over to the US. Just got a booker over there who’s great, so keep your eyes on that one… Hopefully in September I’ll be heading over there, all being good. Oh, and we will be playing Kendal Calling on 2 June on the Riot Jazz stage. Looking forward to that one.

Tides is available now in digital and limited vinyl formats via Frameworks’ Bandcamp page.
frameworksuk.bandcamp.com/album/tides
facebook.com/frameworksmusicuk

Ian Pennington