Acclaimed electronica duo Man Without Country are currently embarking on an extensive headline UK tour. The tour follows the release of their new album Maximum Entropy, on Lost Balloon.
On Maximum Entropy Man Without Country – Welsh duo Ryan James and Tomas Greenhalf – combine sleek electronic minimalism with a love of classic pop music, merging the pared-back synths of Ulrich Schnauss and East India Youth with the adventurous quest to redefine pop shared with early electronic pioneers like The Human League.
The album was recorded, produced and mixed entirely by the band in their home studios in South Wales, and features a stunning cover of The Beloved’s Sweet Harmony, reimagined for a new generation of clubbers while maintaining the original’s state of bliss.
Man Without Country’s Ryan James provided the hypnotic, fragile vocal on Röyksopp’s recent single Sordid Affair, travelling to the seminal Norwegian duo’s Bergen studio to record the track, which is taken from their new album The Inevitable End. As remixers, Man Without Country have a varied CV that’s seen them remix everyone from Two Door Cinema Club and Band Of Skulls to Moby, Miike Snow and Active Child. In a package that includes Erol Alkan and Factory Floor, the band recently remixed the Interpol single My Desire.
Ryan James recently answered questions poised by Andy Howells
Who are you and how did you come together?
We are an electronic, contemporary shoegazey band called Man Without Country. We met at Glamorgan University and have been making music together ever since.
Where are you from?
I (Ryan) am from Bridgend and Tomas is from a small village near Kidwelly. We also have a live drummer, who is based just outside of Oxford.
How would you describe your music style?
It’s a combination of programmed digital and analog synthesisers mixed with live drums, drum machines, and often densely reverberated vocals. Overall it’s emotional, intense, powerful, honest, and intellectual.
What’s been your best live experience?
Supporting M83 at Paris Olympia and Brixton Academy was quite special. We’ve also had some very memorable headline shows in San Francisco, Santa Ana, Washington DC, Berlin and Prague to name just a few.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment we’re mostly just doing interviews and preparing for our tour. But our writing process never really stops. Ideas for our third album are slowly starting to take shape.
Where can people hear your music?
Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, everywhere really.
Where can we see you live?
We’re playing all over the UK throughout February and March, but more specifically we’re playing at the Norwegian Church Arts Centre in Cardiff on Feb 26th.
- For more information on Man Without Country visit their official website.
- A version of this Q&A appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on February 20, 2015.