With everything that’s going on in the world, it’s quite understandable to become disillusioned by your faith. Not necessarily one of divinity and creed, but in the overall state of humanity – our belief in one another, and the confidence we have in ourselves. We hope to live our lives with at least a small sense of optimism that there’s good in everyone – but as we are constantly tested, egotism and greed cloud the vision, instilling a dog eat dog mentality to simply survive while existing.
GodsFood, the new venture of Dylan Coates and Jake Bagshaw – is a project informed by the need to reorientate themselves within this new world we’ve been subjected to. Forming out of the necessity of remaining creative, their ‘Eat Up’ mixtape is evocative and beguiling – an almost cinematic vision of discordant moods and exasperated souls, strangled by the hands of their own restlessness.
With Coates, he’s introspective, but not as unambiguous as many of his contemporaries – there’s more room for manipulation and deceit as much as there is interpretation – a conduit that allows the duo to warp the listener’s expectation at every turn through narrative as well as sound. He writhes with appetite and inclination one moment, churns with discontent the next – as he falls further into the unavoidable permanence, irrevocable totality cements itself -whether he has found fulfilment or not.
It’s erratic in nature, yet boxed in and claustrophobic, never allowing an alluring melody to settle too snugly – a teasing sample that’s never satiated – testing as much as it is fulfilling. Yet this is what makes it so substantial, the duo experimenting with desire and restraint, and in doing so find something that’s creatively more gratifying. As it folds itself amongst the low-slung come down of ‘Kansas City’, the warped and uncompromisingly spacious insomnia of ‘Spyro’, or the picturesque composure of ‘Myrtle Avenue’ and ‘Cult’ – the only feeling that remains is fragile rawness, stripped bare and left in the cold by the stark malevolence that reigns around us.
Upon the release of Eat Up today, we discuss its inception with the duo, their perception of faith in contemporary society and the freedom in throwing everything at a blank canvas.
You’ve both engaged in this project in the height of lockdown and isolation – do you feel the claustrophobic nature of that situation is embedded within the sound of the mixtape?
Our house has virtually no natural light in it, which definitley translated into the erratic feeling of the music. Barely leaving one room and never knowing if it was night or day, the vibe was constantly in flux.
There’s such a disparate array of moods and sounds on offer here – was it important for you to capture such contrast, or did it naturally occur as you explored the possibilities?
We were really just trying to touch on as many vibes as we could with the limited equipment we had at the time, and experiment with sounds that we havent before in our other musical projects. The feeling as if the audience is trying to listen to an old broken radio that is constantly flicking between stations, never getting a grasp on something particular.
Religion and belief is obviously an overarching narrative across the mixtape – what was it in particular that you wanted to embody or explore in this sense? Is it an open-minded observation of faith and credence?
The current state of the world has made us reassess how little faith we have in everything – not just in a religious sense, but in terms of everything, the faith we have in ourselves and each other. GodsFood is here to feed the masses; we are all gods and this is our meal.
What’s particularly prominent is your playful tinkering with both instrumentation and synthesised sounds – it imbues this alluring, distorted perception between reality and artificiality. In incorporating these contrasting layers do you feel you were able to embody a particular mood?
It’s was such a new experience that it was impossible to not embody the mood of isolation and collective loneliness. This project was a blank canvas so we decided to throw anything and everything we could at it. The warped synths and samples mixed with very artificial vocal effects was something we wanted to use to juxtapose the extremely personal and sometimes introspective lyrics, and also reflect that sonically within the tracklist of the tape.
There’s also a particularly cinematic mood to the mixtape – perhaps within its temperament and mood you were able to coax such a cohesive whole. I feel this makes it pertinent that this is a mixtape, rather than the traditional form of an extended play?
We chose to call this a mixtape as thats what it feels like to us – almost as if it could have been made by someone recording random songs off of a tape machine and stitching them together themselves. Other than constantly writing music during this period of time we were also indulging in as many films as we could – anything and everything from ‘House’ (Nobuhiko Obayashi) to ‘Sexy Beast’ (Jonathan Glazer), making this project seem like a soundtrack to the repetitive narrative that became life. It definitely started to become difficult to tell the difference between real life and storytelling – if there is one. GodsFood2020. More to come.
GodsFood’s mixtape, ‘Eat Up’, is out now – listen today via Wax Music. A visualiser for ‘Cult’ is also now available to view below.
Words: Ross Jones