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The London via Brighton twosome on Upset the Rhythm speak to us about their synth sounds and demos recorded on mobile phones

London/Brighton duo Peepholes - aka Katia Barrett (drums and vocals) and Nick Carlisle (on keyboards) - first formed in 2006, bonding over their influences from both underground punk and dance music. The duo now make songs brimming with soaring synth lines and wild tribal drums which they like to describe as 'weathered, like mossy buildings'. Their otherworldly and atmospheric new record 'Caligula' arrives on cult indie London label Upset The Rhythm fusing fast-paced drums and throbbing synths as heard in their track 'Picture The World In Signs'...

...your secret talent?
For the last few years in Peepholes I've been squeezing whole song arrangements out of a synth that only plays one note at a time.

... your favourite sound?
I like mechanical or electronic sounds but that sound a bit weathered, like mossy buildings. We sometimes use demos recorded on my phone as the final version of a song because of the sound of our instruments battering the tiny mic.  

I also like the 8 voice choir mellotron sound but I wouldn't use it in our music... it's one of those sounds that's difficult to disassociate from the records it has been used on and it's been on some really awful ones... too many bad connotations.

...your worst fashion secret?
We were once asked by the people who make Mary Queen of Shops to get a makeover in an episode about some clothes shop. That would have been hilarious... We politely declined.

...your favourite website?
None in particular but I use the internet a lot to watch old documentaries. I watched Cosmos by Carl Sagan this year, so good its given me permanent vertigo.

...your favourite label?
It would have to be Upset The Rhythm for obvious reasons!

...are you listening to now?
Yola Fatoush, finally after first hearing them a few months ago when we played with them and all we had was a PA about the size of a crappy hifi. I thought they sounded amazing through those speakers but yeah, I know now it wasn't how they intended to sound.

How would you describe your work?
Whatever it is it's the product of me and Kat as two very different people and there's no template we're following so who knows? If we're still going in five years I'd like to think we'll sound completely different. We aren't curators for some old genre that sounds cool again, although we're not exactly doing something completely removed or new either.

What are you most excited about next?
We're over half way through our next album which is going to be a bit more multicoloured than Caligula... I'm using old Fairlight CMI samples and there'll be chords shock horror... Also we're touring with Way Through and Gentle Friendly in February.

Images Courtesy of Peepholes