The Caulfield Beats are Lawrence Northall and Molly Dixon, a DIY duo from London. Northall and Dixon produce carefully massaged beats, based on a rich set of samples that come together into what they call “garage electronics,” not to be confused with garage music. On May 25th, the duo dropped Mexican Smoke EP, but you might already be familiar with the band through the Boiler Room debut of “90’s Love (Acid Pt. II).” Caulfield Beats are a no-nonsense band with a solid set of skills, so, naturally, it seemed like the right time to get to know Lawrence and Molly a little better.
Kateryna Topol: Let’s start with the basics – who are you and how did you two meet?
The Caulfield Beats: We’re a live electronic two-piece that merges aspects of dance music with what you’d usually expect more from a live band. Lawrence writes most of the music, and Molly creates most the visuals. We do share input in both areas though, especially live. We’ve know each other for a long time and have spent much of it collaborating ideas and aesthetic interests.
KT: How did you first get into music?
TCB: Music has always been an unquestionable feature of life for us, Lawrence has played various instruments in various styles basically all his life and Molly’s family always had a big record collection.
KT: How did you arrive at the self-described genre of garage electronic?
TCB: When we use the term, we’re referring to the DIY no-nonsense aesthetic of a garage band. Obviously that would normally involve fuzzy guitars and half broken drum kits, whereas we have live sequencing, effects and synthesis. We don’t come from a polished studio background like a lot of producers and we share that same DIY spirit in our approach.
KT: You include a lot of sound samples in your tracks, where do they come from?
TCB: Lots of different places. Wherever we find sounds we like and can record.
KT: There are very limited vocals on Mexican Smoke EP, are you at all into lyrical electronic music or are vocals just not your thing?
TCB: We listen to quite a bit of techno and deep minimal, where vocals are relatively uncommon, unless they’re demonic and have been pitch shifted. It seems that some forms of electronic music overvalue vocals though, and we like to be sparing so that sounds and samples have room to develop for themselves and communicate in their own way.
KT: There is a big move towards adding live instruments in the electronic/house music scene right now, is that something that’s on your mind as well?
TCB: Not specifically, although it isn’t out of the question. We have quite a simple set up, but control everything that comes out live in one way or another, in this sense we’re customizing our own instrument by putting gear together in inventive ways and manipulating the sounds and the song as a whole. We also feed audio signal through effects pedals and can play around with them like an instrument, so it partly depends on how strict you’d be in your definition.
KT: Who were your favorite bands/performers as teens?
TCB: Probably some punk stuff like The Stooges and The Fall and 6o’s garage bands, but also electronic stuff like Leftfield and Underworld as well as minimal like Tiefschwarz and Poker Flat records etc., nothing too untoward.
KT: Craziest party you’ve ever been to?
TCB: The “crazy” ones aren’t very easy to remember, so we’re never sure.
KT: Craziest show you’ve ever played?
TCB: Probably one of the boat rooftop gigs we’ve done in the past (which are usually under a motorway), in that they’re very surreal. In winter there’s a chimney billowing out smoke in the middle of the stage, easily mistaken for a combusting amplifier.
KT: Anything about yourself you’d like to share with our readers?
TCB: Coat? Pair of trousers? Don’t have many though, so if they could return them afterwards.
KT: What’s next for The Caulfield Beats?
TCB: We’re going to put our LP out after the Mexican Smoke EP has dropped, again with SLAF records, which we’re looking forward to. Other than that, we’ll just keep writing, gigging and releasing, as and when we can.