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Paranoid London interview – “The 303 broke during lockdown, so we got on and did a record without it”

We grill Paranoid London about their new EP

Paranoid London have returned with a new EP, titled ‘Annihilate The World & Start All Over’, following on from their second album ‘PL’ in 2019 – and a live show filmed for Movement Detroit, widely recognised as a lockdown highlight.

After their analog bass synth – the Roland TB-303 – broke during lockdown, ‘Annihilate The World’ was recorded with the trademark acid squelch sound conspicuously absent, traversing grainy, dreamy and dubby electro and house territories.

Paranoid London – made up of Gerardo Delgado and Quinn Whalley – are known for their stylistic distorted acid techno beats and a regimented, strictly black-label release series.  Matching the overloaded heat of their sound, we caught up with PL for a brief interrogation.

Why annihilate the world?

It seemed very appropriate. We were mucking about with a sample from some old LSD experiments & it popped out & bopped us on the head.

How has the fallout from ‘PL’ been?

PL was a pain in the arse to make, as we had to move studio twice, so it was done across 3 studios. Anybody that has one will know how annoying that is. Luckily it went down amazingly well so I suppose we should probably do another.

How did your 303 break? Are these the first tracks you’ve ever made without one?

It’s very, very old. We retired it from the live set a few years ago and replaced it with a cool French version, so it it’s been studio-bound since then. One day it wouldn’t turn on and nobody has been able to fix it. It went all over the world with us & took a proper battering, so no complaints. The feelers are already out for a new one. 

I’m pretty sure Drum Machine from the last album was exactly that – just a drum machine – so it’s the the first track without the old 303.

How was lockdown for both of you – did it help or hinder the recording process?

We live quite far from each other which made making new stuff difficult. Taking a forced break was actually quite nice. Turns out I’m just as good at watching telly in my pants as I am at making sweaty music.

We heard through the grapevine that parts of the EP were inspired by the French classic novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Care to elaborate?

Er… we were actually talking about the band, not the novel.

What was it like ‘linking in’ with Paris Brightledge on the last track – are we right in saying it’s been a while since you’ve collaborated?

That was a vocal we recorded with him years ago. It’s been great to hook up again and there are plans afoot for some new stuff.

In the run-up to this EP, which other artists were you listening to and inspired by?

Not sure that either of us was listening to a lot at that time. It was a nice break.

Annihilate The World & Start All Over’ is out now