Lydia Jenkin is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Correspondents returning to Splore festival

The Correspondents will be performing at Splore.
The Correspondents will be performing at Splore.

UK-based electro-jazz-hip hop duo the Correspondents had such a brilliant time at last year's Splore festival, they're back for another round.

But where does their sound - a blend of swing, blues, jazz and electronic beats, with hip-hop and R&B influences - spring from?

Frontman Ian Bruce says it started when offsider DJ Chucks started blending old jazz and swing samples with hip-hop and him rapping.

"I don't think either of us were particularly interested in swing. Chucks is really into R&B, and I basically was just obsessed with drum'n' bass for most of my formative years. So the swing influence is quite random, I guess. I think Chucks basically invented this genre we now think of as electro-swing completely by accident.

"He just had some swing samples, and made some really cool beats that went with them. And over the last eight years, that sound has just continued to evolve and change as we've picked up new ideas.

We're not restricted by what a certain band or set of instruments can play, so it's really anything goes."

Bruce is known for his eccentric dance moves, but he's never had any formal training, and enjoys the freedom it gives him.

"I guess that thing of not being constrained by any rules or preconceptions can help sometimes. I'm basically a plagiarist - I watch someone else dance, and think, 'Oh yeah that's cool', and then you try to emulate that, and fail, but maybe come out with something else in the process. The failure sort of works because it's backed up by a shitload of enthusiasm.

"So there's all sorts in there - jive, break, hip-hop, popping, locking, I have no idea really."

And the emphasis they give to costume and stage design is an extension of Bruce's fine arts background - and a love of David Bowie.

"Bowie is definitely a massive influence, and I didn't actually realise how big an influence he was until I went to see the exhibition on him. The whole black and white constructivist aesthetic is important to me.

"Now that I'm in my 30s I'm not wearing spandex anymore. I've moved on to neoprene - like wetsuit material, which is very hot, so I'll probably need to jump straight into the water when I come off stage at Splore."

• The Correspondents perform at Splore on Friday and Saturday

What: Splore
When: Feb 19 to Feb 21
Where: Tapapakanga Regional Park
Info: splore.net

- TimeOut

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 10 Dec 2016 13:04:15 Processing Time: 475ms