South Brings That Beat Back

South Brings That Beat Back
As the lines continue to blur across genres of music, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that the latest signing of seminal UK trip-hop label Mo' Wax is a rock band. Fusing together elements of beats, grooves, and rock, South's debut From Here On In successfully delivers guitar music with a little more soul.
South's songs may show their roots, but with the help of Mo' Wax founder James Lavelle, they manage to keep things downright funky. However, singer Joel Cadbury cannot deny his rock roots. "Grunge hit at the time when it felt like it was our own thing — for our generation. Bands like Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr. — I love heavy rock music. It's also a great way of learning chords. You can make a lot of noise and you don't have to be very good!"

Cadbury's admiration for Lavelle and his influence on their sound is apparent — they hooked up after South earned a solid reputation as remixers. "With James it really was an open exchange of ideas. We just listened to a lot of music, talked a lot about it — James had a good idea of how the record was going. He was a good catalyst for taking it further. We really like raw beats, raw sounds, and that comes out in the record. It's just the way we record."

So what do South attribute their musical open-mindedness to? "I think being in London, its impossible not to be affected by it all. There's just so many good record stores! I can't help but pick up on a good garage record if it sounds cool. I think today there is more reason for people to be looking out for good songwriters and good sounds. There are still purists, but people now are really into listening to different types of records. Like, the Coldplay record had been communicated to loads of clubbers — something to put on and come down to. Crossovers are happening all over. South is our interpretation of it." Bass lines and rhythm aside, Cadbury still knows the value of songwriting. "There's got to be good songs — I respect people who can write good songs or communicate sounds in a certain way. The way sounds can work, the way you couple instruments, and the way a song balances sonically — that's the appeal."