Interview: Consonant Please, Carol. PRDCTV.

The latest souped-up crouton to drop out of the 2-step gene pool is Oxford-based PRDCTV. Having already been personally lauded by the overlord of underground reinvention himself, These New Puritans' Jack Barnett, we've got to wait a little longer for PRDCTV's debut LP through the meticulously profound taste maker label Ninja Tune as he's got a couple of vaguely important finals looming ominously on the horizon. Taking time out from the monotonous rhythms of revision, PRDCTV talks studies over sound, the plus points of being faceless and soul-destroying ventures into the live show...

Dots: Following in the footsteps of guerrilla-focused artists plodding a similar path (Burial, Magnetic Man etc), PRDCTV as a project, as a person is veiled in a certain amount of anonymity. How deliberate was such disguising, and does it serve primarily to hone in every last drop of attention on the music itself?

PRDCTV: Yeah it's deliberate to an extent. I think ambiguity is an important thing in music, or in any art for that matter... People should be able to draw their own interpretations and conclusions when they hear or see something, it's less interesting if you're just handed everything on a plate. No one would care half as much about the Mona Lisa if they knew definitively whether she's smiling or not! So I think an element of anonymity or ambiguity not only focuses things more on the music, but hopefully also changes how people will hear it... From my perspective, the fact that Burial was this shadowy figure no one could pin down lent that bit more to the mystique and depth of his music.

Dashes: Juggling university with a budding career into the world of music may not be the most pacified of scenarios. It all proved to be too much for Foals' Yannis... Which do you consider the day job at this moment in time?

PRDCTV: Definitely the degree at the moment - I have my final exams in 3 weeks! From then on it's full focus on the music though. Ninja Tune have been really understanding and gave me the time to finish off uni when I signed with them, which was very good of them.

Dots: Probably predominantly down to the plethora of post-Libertines scruff balls rolling out of Stoke Newington, picking up an NME cover and then disappearing from whence they emerged mere months later, musical innovation seems to be changing hands currently. PRDCTV doesn't sound all that akin to too many recording artists at the minute, with tracks almost becoming carefully constructed compositions. What's the longest stretch of time you've spent on a track before being fully satisfied?

PRDCTV: Well I'm not fully satisfied with most of my songs so that would probably be about 2 years! But in terms of working solidly on a single track until its completion... one of two songs maybe took 2 or 3 months and that's the whole writing, recording and producing process. The tracks are written from the little loops and bits as I record as I go along. So yeah, it is all quite meticulous... I agree with you that innovation is moving away from the indie/alternative NME world; it's been a while since we had a band like The Strokes that did a bit of genre redefining. I think you have to look to the 2-step/dubstep artists for the big innovation at the moment; people like Joy Orbison, Pariah, SBTRKT... Floating Points is a particular favourite of mine too. Some really exciting stuff going on there. And of course old hands like Four Tet, he's still at the forefront of his genre a decade after he started.

Dashes: To what extent is what you do primarily born of self-satisfaction?

Let's just say if I'm in this for the money I'm almost certainly going to be very disappointed! I enjoy making music, so that's obviously a strong motivation in what I do... The most important thing from a personal point of view is for me to enjoy the music I'm making; I think if I ever felt I was compromising on my own tastes in order to sell more records I would pack it in. But of course it's also important to me how my music is received by other people; I'm always a bit skeptical of bands who record music and play gigs, then say "I don't care what you think, I'm doing this for myself." I get much more out of one of my songs if I know other people are enjoying it, I think that's probably a pretty universal thing.

These New Puritans' Jack Barnett has been duly noted as singing your praises as a producer following your Attack Music remix. Firstly, what impact does such a nod have on you and secondly, do you see yourself first and foremost as a producer over artist in your own right?

Yeah, that was kind of Jack, they'd never heard of me when they agreed to let me have a pop at the Attack Music remix so I'm glad it went down well with them. I've been a big admirer of These New Puritans' work since they released Beat Pyramid, I think they are one of the most forward thinking groups around at the moment; there's nothing that sounds like what they're doing, literally nothing. So it was great to get some positive feedback from them. As for seeing myself more as a producer than an artist... not so much to be honest. As I said the recording and production is an important part of my songwriting so the distinction's not that clear for me. But I do see my own songs as a bigger part of PRDCTV than the remixes, if that makes sense.

For those currently unaware of your work in audio onslaught, what's generally to be expected and were you to stumble unknowingly into a PRDCTV show, what'd you be greeted with?

Pure horror. Haha, no... I can genuinely say I really don't know, the live show is changing all the time. My first couple of gigs were with a full band which was great fun but became slightly impractical. Then it was my friend Chima on the guitar plus me standing behind a laptop and 200 loop trigger buttons, trying desperately to remember which order to press them in, which was both really soul-destroying and probably terrible to watch. At the moment, I've got most stuff played on a backing track and I play the drum parts live, with Chima layering some guitar and bass over the top. Occasionally we're joined by Ben Bearr which is great, he did vocals on a couple of my tracks. But the show is evolving all the time so it may well all change soon.

Finally, what's dawning on the horizon for PRDCTV?

I'm writing and recording my debut album for the rest of year, which will be out on Ninja Tune in early 2011 hopefully. Apart from that, I'm going to start work on another project with we'll see how it goes!

Who can tell when we'll feast on this long-awaited debut, or what'll actually be on there. Metropolis ought to be a pretty bloody sure fire bet, taking in almost trip-hop tendencies and layering synthetic melancholy all over Gold Panda-infused oriental wafts.