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James Yuill's Fire and Earth

The laptop troubadour puts an elemental spin on his album by reworking tracks from electronic into acoustic and vice versa.

Having been compared to the likes of Nick Drake and Radiohead for his combinations of emotive lyrics and melodic atmospheres, James Yuill has been known for his ability to create a uniquely magical sound by fusing these typical techniques of songwriting, with more electronic upbeat elements lending him further comparisons to the infinitely complex Aphex Twin and even the Chemical Brothers. His next release on cult label Moshi Moshi, the Fire and Earth double EP entitled 'Turning Down Water For Air' includes 'This Sweet Love' (re-discoed a while back by Prins Thomas) remaining downbeat and acoustic with soft guitars and floating voices, before the second part varies between IDM-esque to pounding disco and electro.

Dazed Digital: Where do you draw inspiration from at the moment?
James Yuill: At the moment I draw inspiration from many things. I'm busy writing the next album and mainly it seems to be about the things that make people who they are. Having said that, I've just written a song about the life of a seed!

DD: How do the Earth / Fire EPs differ? Why did you decide to separate them like this?
James Yuill: Well the Earth EP is acoustic reworkings of the harder tracks on the album that contain a fair amount of programming. Where as the Fire EP is the more chilled tracks redone in a harder dance style. I decided to separate them to demonstrate that there are many possible interpretations of the same song. Plus it's an example of what I think makes me different.

DD: You've dabbled in remixing as well, what do you think you bring to other people's tracks?
James Yuill: I'd like to think I bring a pop-py production to the remix. I try and give the songs new hooks as my ultimate goal is for people to love the remix as much as the song. Which is a lot harder if the song you're remixing is pretty much perfect before you begin!

DD: Is there anyone you'd want to collaborate with?
James Yuill: I'd like to collaborate with Dntel as I'm a huge fan of The Postal Service... as I'm sure you can tell from my music!

DD: So you've been on tour recently, where's the most exciting place you've played?
James Yuill: Well I'm currently writing this in a hotel in Tokyo, Japan. So at the moment... I'd say here! But over the past year I've been to so many places it's crazy. I'd say Switzerland is one of the most beautiful places I've been to. Germany is always a blast, I love playing there.

DD: Where do you want to be in ten years?
James Yuill: I'd like to be in my country house studio either producing or writing songs.

The Fire and Earth EP is out now on Moshi Moshi.