New Arrivals: Passive Progressive

New Arrivals: Passive Progressive

March 24th, 2009

Pure passionate, progressive pleasure. It’s all hidden in a fresh S107 release, ‘Hide Away’. It’s the brothers Briggs that brought us this lovely, warm progressive vocal track. At the eve of their breakthrough, it’s time to hook up with Harris and Elliot Briggs for a bit and see what they’re up to.

A brotherly clinch
Passive Progressive, a name that has a ring to it. But there’s more than just a name that connects these two producers. The two youngsters are brothers. Real brothers. While some families fight about who gets the largest room, Harris and Elliot prefer to concentrate on bigger stuff. How about producing a monster tune, ending up released on Armada’s S107 label?

Elliot was actually the first to stumble across the beautiful noise called EDM. Elliot: ‘When I went to a DJ Hybrid performance in 2001 I witnessed how great live EDM can be. Needless to say, I went to more shows after that. Before, I was always a fan of Paul Van Dyk and Judge Jules’ live recordings. There is always some live set playing in the background of my daily activities.’ Harris followed about 7 years later, in 2008. Harris: ‘I got really into EDM around a year ago. Before that I had just enjoyed listening and producing for fun.’

Initially starting as ‘just a fun thing to do’, the brothers joined forces in 2006 and came up with a great combination of their abilities and skills. They’ve found a balance in who does what and how to divide everything. Elliot: ‘Harris is the powerhouse in the production area. My role has been mainly to serve up ideas to inspire the production process. I started working with Harris when he decided to start producing.’ Harris: ‘When we first started in late 2006, I think we were just doing it for fun, kind of testing the waters to see if it was something we could do. Since then, I loved just learning and exploring the technical side of production on my own in my free time. Elliot still keeps my head on straight and knows what’s good, haha. I do the engineering, production and a few ideas, and Elliot has both specific and general ideas that he thinks we should move towards. Usually we don’t have a lot of time, so he will come over for a short production session so we can get our ideas down; I do all the technical stuff on my own time later.’

With a division like that and given the fact they’re brothers, it’s astonishing to see the ‘peaceful’ way they produce. Elliot: ‘Sometimes we have strong differences in opinion, but we usually end up coming to a level of agreement. We reserve our ‘agreements’ for the Passive Progressive alias since it is our joint name. We live very near each other so if we disagree about something it is hard to avoid confrontation for too long. We are both fairly reasonable at negotiating.’ Harris confirms the left-over deal, ‘I might come up with an idea I will really love, and Elliot will say ”_what’s going on here’, so I will secretly put it aside and keep it for later!’

Danderlions & Issues
The first successes, to at least one of the two brothers, came in a package called ‘Danderlions’. Harris produced this track under his Issues guise, a collaboration with Trond Borgersen. Harris:’ I never was really too confident in something until ‘Danderlions’, which I did with my Issues project. Issues has a different sound than Passive Progressive. Apart from our Dub Remix of ‘Hide Away’, we did a collaboration with Jer Martin called ‘Mojito’. Jer did a remix of OceanLab’s ‘On A Good Day’. ‘Mojito’ was played by Jody Wisternoff on his Way Out There podcast show back in December. Trond and I definitely want to do more with this team-up in the future!’

A different story – Hide Away
‘Hide Away’ is a different story though. Harris: ‘I kind of forgot about it for a few months, and then a friend asked me ‘hey, what happened to that one song y’all did’ and I finished it with that motivation.’ The guys got their inspiration for ‘Hide Away’ from several big producer names. Harris: ‘We took inspiration from different ‘mature’ artists, like Way Out West and Thievery Corporation. I love the catchy bass guitars Thievery Corporation always uses with organic yet very straightforward beats, and the atmospheres and songwriting style of Way Out West.’ Elliot:’Harris is always coming up with so many ideas and we always have a hard time picking which sounds we want use in our tunes. In ‘Hide Away’ we took inspiration from some of Way Out West’s quirky style, including many contrasting sounds and samples that take turns in exposure to the listener’s ear. This allows many ideas to be included in the production, allowing for focus to be placed on each idea rather than many sounds playing at once. I think this also adds depth to the tune. I think Way Out West does this brilliantly.’

Enough about the brilliantness of others, time to talk about what they’ve got in stores for us. The vocalist featured on ‘Hide Away’, is Rachele Warner. Harris & Elliot: ‘We were looking for something to remix one day, so we asked Michael Badal who gave us parts to his song ‘Move On’ that he worked with Rachele on. After we finished the remix, we loved her voice so we began talking and decided to collaborate with her! ‘Hide Away’ tells a story, it’s darker in the first half with her vocals and lyrics, and during the middle part, you can hear the transition into the brighter second half, where a new synth comes in and Rachele makes her exit. There’s a breakbeat section we just had to put in, inspired by a few Way Out West songs.’

So far, the support to the track reaches out from Armin van Buuren to Above & Beyond, Ferry Crosten and numerous others. Harris & Elliot: We’ve been thrilled about the early support of ‘Hide Away’ and would surely like to keep the tunes coming. We are currently working on a few ideas and when Rachele gets back this summer we will be working on more vocal tunes.’ Good news to those that love the tune.

Moving forward
Both Elliot and Harris have set up a nice plan for their future music career. But there’s a back-up first: university! Elliot: ‘Both Harris and I are university students and will most likely be for some time. Being a fulltime musician is not something we plan in the immediate future but if such a thing became a possibility I think we would definitely be interested. We both have always loved music and will somehow always be involved in it. Just for anyone who is interested, I am about to complete my seventh year studying Electrical Engineering and may be continuing for three more years.’
Harris: ‘I decided to study Architecture and I hope it works out’_ There’s always music, right?’ There’s no doubt about that.

When it comes to expectations for the future, we don’t have to worry on missing out on anything. Harris:’ We’re working with Onaflower DJ management, they keep us focused in the right direction and have some really good ideas for our future.’ Elliot: ‘In the future, you can expect more music! That’s exciting, right?’ Again, no doubt about that.

One questions remains. Why did these guys name themselves ‘Passive Progressive’?
Harris:’Elliot said it one day, I thought it sounded cool. A friend once said they thought it meant ‘moving forward without actively doing anything.’ That’s cool too.’
Passive Progressive will certainly be moving forward. With love for music, fun in making it and a big dose of passion to keep them going, actively.

Passive Progressive
Hide Away
S107 Recordings

Availabe now at ArmadaDownloads.com

More information about Passive Progressive, can be found on the Passive Progressive Myspace.