Brendan Neal, formerly of Grown Folk, will make his debut as Motions on April 29th.
Neal formed Grown Folk a few years ago in Montreal with partner Drew Kim (who now goes by Druture), and the two built up a reputation making hip-hop beats for rappers like Main Attrakionz as well as crafting more house-oriented work for themselves (like their 2013 EP for Icee Hot). After a trip to London last year for a holiday and a Boiler Room session, Neal decided to obtain a work visa and stay in the UK for an extended period of time. After the dissolution of Grown Folk due to stylistic differences, Neal used his time alone to focus on the more house and techno aspect of his work, eventually resurfacing as Motions.
He's signed to LA label Body High for his first EP, and we spoke with Neal over e-mail to discuss his rebooted career. We've also got a stream of "All Gone" below.
Has your equipment/setup changed at all since you started Motions?
One of my main focuses when starting Motions was to begin to get outside the box and add some gear to my production setup. This started with purchasing a x0xb0x, an open source analog synth very similar to a 303. That's featured in one way or another on all the tracks on my Body High EP and pretty much everything else I’ve produced over the last 6 months. I’ve now added a Moog Minitaur that I’m borrowing from a friend to my setup, and hope to add something else in the next few months. The other important thing for me was to restrict myself to only a couple VSTs/plugins on my computer to work on crafting an individual and coherent sound throughout all my productions.
How has working solo changed the direction of your music?
I wouldn’t say working solo has necessarily changed the direction of my music, more so it has allowed me to really focus myself. Whether it’s the gear I’m using, the tracks I’m playing in DJ sets, or my actual productions I’ve been able to create a defined and unique identity for Motions. Over the past few years with Grown Folk we explored different production methods, tempos and genres while we matured as producers and DJs. I now feel like I have a very clear idea about the music I want to make and play and working solo is allowing me to focus on that.
How did you hook up with the Body High guys?
The relationship with Sam[o Soundboy], Jerome [LOL] and Joaquin at Body High is one that has grown really naturally over the past few years. It started a few years ago when Joaquin messaged me out of the blue on AIM because he had heard some Grown Folk tracks he really liked. Over the next couple years I met Sam and Jerome at different gigs throughout the US and Canada, and we started to talk more and trade music. Last summer I spent some time at the Body High studio in LA and spoke a lot with Sam about the music we were into and where we wanted to take our own productions. This is probably where the initial idea for a release started. We really only sat down and planned it all out a few months ago, but looking back on it, it seems like it was meant to happen.