The music should ideally explain it all. Not necessarily for my job prospects, but for the notion that this stuff should transcend buzz-bin adjectives and ephemeral trends. If you’re doing it right, it’s transportive, allusive to not just other forms of art but buried emotions. Mobb Deep had it right the first time: it ought to be the real shit, shit to make you feel shit. What Havoc occasionally sacrifices in eloquence, he makes up for in blunted truths.

Silent Dust won’t have you wilding out when you bump their self-titled debut. But they will you take you to a place vaguely familiar but ultimately foreign. It’s difficult to describe their music without lapsing into generic signifiers. Sure, it’s moody and it’s cinematic, but it’s more than just eerie loops and murky drums. The RIYL signposts that come attached include, Boards of Canada and early Photek. They aren’t far off. Silent Dust is in the vein of Massive Attack, but also Nicolas Jaar. The British duo used to record D&B under the name Hobzee and Zyon Base and hints of their past are contained. There are songs called “Marlowe” and “1959.” The record could have been made in ’95 or last week and you wouldn’t know the difference. Based in Bristol and Chatham, the duo are inscrutable and that’s to our benefit.

Intrigued by their ideas and wishing to subscribe to their newsletter, I asked Silent Dust to make a mix for the Passion of the Weiss Mix Series (see previous volumes). I figured they would drop some esoteric electronic music that I hadn’t heard. This was an incorrect assumption. Instead, they laced it with vintage soul, blues, and pop. Everything from Francoise Hardy to Nancy Sinatra to O.V Wright.  The mix is below, but seeing that they seemed like refined gentleman with excellent taste, I also decided to ask the Dust a few largely absurd questions. Like half a packet of Bourbon, there ain’t nothing wrong with that. — Weiss

You guys have your roots in drum and bass and you’ve kept a similar tempo for the record. However, most casual dance music fans would probably not consider this drum and bass. At the risk of the obvious, what led you out of the more traditional D&B direction and towards writing in this current sound.

We were just bored writing within the formula we had imposed upon ourselves. We always had a large range of influences, but we’d kind of locked ourselves into a certain sound and a certain process of working. It was almost like taking a step back, a couple of deep breaths and really thinking about what we wanted to write.

What is it about the year 1959 that struck you. Was there a concrete connection to the year or just a random association?

Even if there was a concrete connection I think it’s far more fun if we leave that ambiguous.

Favorite Phillip Marlowe quote
The one about trying to be tall from The Big Sleep.

Preferred alcoholic beverage
Havana Club 7 Year.

Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammet?
Chandler.

5 Favorite Noir Films
The Third Man and The Big Sleep obviously. I’m going to say The Killers too, because that’s a great adaptation of a great Hemingway short story. I almost prefer the neo-noirs that came after the classic period though, such as Godard’s Alphaville and Made in USA. The blend of surrealism, sci-fi and noir is a great mix. I think Alphaville would be the closest to the world we tried to create for Silent Dust.

Favorite Femme Fatale
Alida Valli as Anna Schmidt in The Third Man. For the final scene alone.

Least favorite trend in contemporary music

Just boring music. There’s loads of beige MOR stuff around these days.

Favorite thing about popular music?
The 3 minute pop song. Can’t get more perfect than “Be My Baby.”

Thoughts on the Wu-Tang’s phrase: the dumb are mostly intrigued by the drum.
Can’t be bothered to answer this one, I’m playing on my djembe.

Silent Dust – “Lukewarm Coffee and Half a Packet of Bourbons”

Passion of the Weiss Mix Series: Silent Dust – Lukewarm Coffee and Half a Packet of Bourbons by passionweiss

Tracklist:

Abbey Lincoln – Brother Where Are You?
Betty Wright – Gettin’ Tired
Albert King – I Almost Lost My Mind
Nancy Sinatra – Friday’s Child
Los Zafiros – Mi Oracion
Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland – I Ain’t Gonna Be the First to Cry
Mosus Dillard & His Tex Display – By The Time I Get to Phoenix
Jennifer Lara – Our Love
Francoise Hardy – Mon Ami La Rose
O.V Wright – You’re Gonna Make Me Cry
Dorothy Ashby – Joyful Grass and Grape
The Staple Sisters – Uncloudy Day

Silent Dust – A Million Words by passionweiss

Winter Song (Original Mix) by SilentDust

In a Dream (Silent Dust Remix) by SilentDust

Silent Dust Pulse Radio Mix by SilentDust

Anneka – Shut Her Down (Silent Dust Covered in Dust Mix) by SilentDust

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