With an impressive musical career ranging back to the 90s, Ralph Lamb and Andrew Ross have several writing credits under their name and have played alongside the likes of Jay-Z, Beyonce and Liam Gallagher. You can also hear their instrumental arrangements on The Voice and The X Factor. In their next venture with CPM comes ‘Vice Stories’, a crafted collection of big brass hooks, flamboyant guitar riffs and narcotic drum beats.
The pair set on a mission to create an album that explores breathtaking tension builds whilst delivering the ultimate dramatic drop. ‘Vice Stories’ creates the powerful backdrop into the glitzy reality of crime noir thrillers, illustrating stories of inner strength and dangerous acts of revenge from street smart alecs with undeniable cunning wit. In celebration of the recent release of ‘Vice Stories’, we spoke to Ralph and Andrew about the journey to creating such an iconic album!
As huge film fans of crime noir, how did this influence you during the creative process?
The basis of each track was usually a musical idea and the characters or scenarios unfolded as we developed each seed. We let the music take it’s natural course and these visual ideas were a stimulus for a direction. To really get the ball rolling we’d ask ourselves, ‘How would something crazy like Shaft in outer space sound!’
There is an incredible amount of inner detail to the music, how did you build these tracks?
Top line ideas pretty much always came after we’d laid the initial bed or groove. We’d try to set the mood and tempo, and make sure we had a good feel for the energy of the track before adding the finer points. Having said that, there were times when the melody came almost instantly like with ‘Lifelike’, where we had the whole theme in place immediately after we played the descending chords.
How would you describe the sound of ‘Vice Stories’?
The sound palette is heavy drums, rock and funk grooves with cinematic brass. The formula includes those classic cinema trailer builds and drops, and of course an unremitting powerful groove section. We were aiming to provide something that reached beyond the standard ‘tribal drums and orchestra constructed on a Mac’ sound that seems to be so prevalent at the moment. Something with a much more authentic element to add to the epic sound quality!
For a taste of ‘Vice Stories’, click here to hear more!