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Today, the British-born, New York-based artist Quantic – aka multi-instrumentalist, DJ, composer and producer Will Holland – has released his new album Dancing While Falling. Being 20 years into his career, this album is his most live-sounding, euphoric and, in his own words, grown-up release to date. 

 

 

The album follows the recently released singles ‘Unconditional’ (featuring Rationale) and ‘Run’ (featuring Andreya Triana). On ‘Unconditional’, Will says, “‘Unconditional’ is a jam that I had spinning on the tape reels for several months, everyone who heard it vibed with it. In searching for the right vocalist and connecting with Rationale, the track really took new life and the final song is something I’m so proud of”.

Rationale added, “Writing ‘Unconditional’ with Quantic has been an incredible experience. There’s something about this song that feels special and timeless. Performing alongside such talented musicians as Quantic, and all the live performers on this record, was a true honour and I can’t wait to let it loose into the world”.

 

Listen to ‘Unconditional’ here:

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The uplifting and joyful album Dancing While Falling is Quantic’s first release on a larger label. It’s also more concise and stripped down compared to his previous offerings on label Tru Thoughts, that includes Magnetica, a mixtape-style montage of different musical experiences he had while living in Colombia, and his most recent album, Atlantic Oscillations, which comparatively describes the journey of weaving the sounds of New York, his new home, into his own sonic world.

 

For the latter, Quantic also slowly gravitated away from making sample-based beats on a laptop. Instead, he ventured into a more symphonic set-up in terms of instrumentation.  

With Dancing While Falling, Quantic wanted to use old school techniques to make something modern. He aimed to create a record that really showed the players on it – an album where their identities and charisma can be heard.

 

Predominantly recorded at his own Brooklyn studio, Selva, Quantic’s initial idea for his new album was to experiment sonically. However, he eventually changed direction and realised that the record also needed to relate to the human condition – not just his “singular pandemic wormhole”. The demos, then, started off as symphonic, loosely disco-era dance music – a departure from his previous Latin and Spanish instrumental releases. 

There's an infinite amount of time & experiments that can be had with the marrying of different rhythms

Will Holland (Quantic)

Influenced by legendary artists in the scene, like Bohannon and Larry Levan, Quantic wanted to make a disco-leaning album at first. I’m really interested in Latin music and Afro Caribbean rhythms and I think there’s a really amazing point in history where the emergence of those rhythms and its combination with American soul sparked what we now know as disco,” he says. This is what excited Quantic most: “there’s an infinite amount of time and experiments that can be had with the meeting and the marrying of different rhythms. That’s the power I think disco music has, and the marriage of that with the emotional content is really cool”.

 

 

As an artist whose reputation has been forged on how he engages with local scenes and cultures around the world, the story behind Quantic’s Dancing While Falling is typically collaborative. Recording drums, bass and guitar at Selva, he started off with sketches and arranged the strings and horns. He then invited different musicians into the studio so they could play the scores, which added different textures to the songs.  

Talking about each collaboration in more detail, Quantic says that he has been friends with British singer and songwriter Andreya Triana since they were teenagers, growing up in Worcestershire. The pair had always wanted to work on music together but never did. However, the opportunity finally arrived during the pandemic and resulted in Triana singing on four of the album’s tracks: ‘Run’, ‘Brooklyn Heat’, ‘Morning Light’ and ‘Where The Flowers Grow’. In addition to Triana and Rationale, he also works with Connie Constance on the track ‘Get In The Ride’ which, having used a Eurorack synthesiser, Quantic sees as the “marriage of machines vs live musicians”.

 

 

When it came to naming the album, Quantic chose the title Dancing While Falling because of its ambiguous connotations. “It hints at dancing and falling in love, but there’s also dancing whilst falling, which is how I envisage it – when you’re in a perilous situation, but you still find happiness. There’s also something about when you’re falling, like after jumping off a rock, that feels like dancing. Because it’s freedom.”

It soothes the soul and I feel like, more and more, we need that

Will Holland (Quantic)

Having built up a strong community of fans over the past decade, Quantic’s aim with this album is for it to also reach new listeners. “It would be really cool to bring in new people – because that benefits everyone; not just me, but all my contemporaries and people who are making music like me, and all the people who I have collaborated with”. With this record, Quantic feels there is a “perfect synergy with my life here in Brooklyn and what I’ve brought to the world and what the world has brought to me. It’s been founded, rather than just like a sculpture. It’s more solid and cohesive to me as a concept”. 

 

 

More than that, though, he hopes that Dancing While Falling will help people to be more in touch with themselves. Having grown up in a household of musicians, which he recalls as the best gift, Quantic believes that there is “a deeper human ability to release things by enjoying music which is outside of your brain. A river that runs in us is satisfied when you look at art that expresses something, or when you listen to music,” he suggests. “It soothes the soul and I feel like, more and more, we need that.” 

 

Listen to Dancing While Falling here:

Follow Quantic: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter 

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