Mind Inversion Exclusive Interview: Cage & Aviary

cage and aviary interview picture

Part man, part machine, part cockatiel, Cage & Aviary take flights of fancy whenever they can.

Cage & Aviary, one part Jamie Paton and one part Nigel of Bermondsey, are busy people. They run a record label, they DJ, they produce, they jam. Their most recent release, the stellar Television Train/Suburban 12″ out now on DFA records (the euro version), has catapulted their success to a global scale. The two came stateside to play some of their first ever American DJ gigs in Los Angeles. So as their legend grows, and as their music continues to amaze, be sure to check them out. The two were nice enough to sit down and fill out a nice e-mail correspondence for Mind Inversion as well. Enjoy! (Nigel isn’t much for the talk)

Mind Inversion: So I’m barely 19 and have a limited knowledge, yet great appreciation and love of disco and house records from days gone by. I feel like all of your tracks draw upon very historic music, and music that most mainstream listeners don’t have an ear for. Elaborate on this idea, What from the past has influenced your music?
Jamie: I guess the short answer is lots of things, but that’s not much in the way of elaboration! We both bring lots of different influences to the mix, but our tastes also blend in some areas too – we both love the whole post-punk NY art-pop stuff like Talking Heads, and the Mancunian 80s new wave punk-funkers like A Certain Ratio and early New Order. We also have much love for the whole island records thing. A lot of this stuff when listened to now doesn’t sound mainstream but at the time, when the charts were made up of less formulaic production-line music, these oddball records made it into the upper reaches of the charts, I think it was an amazing time for popular music. Aside from all of that, I guess I bring more of a disco and house thing to the mix.
Nigel: I agree

MI: What is your model for creating music? I know you guys are involved in various other projects, so is the way you guys create started separately and then fused together at a different time, or is it more of the just sit down together with a plan and create tracks?
Jamie: We just sit down and jam really, see what comes out and take it from there. Recently we’ve been getting our live DJ set thing together, and the practice sessions for that have really produced some great new material, or at least starting points for them.
Nigel: I concur

MI: Your tracks, while wide in scope and long in length, still manage to keep the listener engaged and interested. They seem to maintain a sense of strictness and balance. Is this something intentional or more of just what ends up happening?
Jamie: mmmm, well, I generally spend a long time trying to get the arrangements right, to try and keep them interesting as they unfold – I love those early 12″ extended mixes and the way they break down into drums and fx before returning to the groove, and that’s something you tend to hear in our work.
Nigel: ditto

MI: I was reading a recent interview you guys did, and the one quote from Nigel read that “Cage & Aviary” provides  a place for experimentation.” Are you guys looking to experiment with or change the sound you’ve created? or with the recent success you’ve incurred are you going to stick with what has worked so well?
Jamie: I think we’ll always want to experiment a bit, I guess there’s degrees of doing that – we always try to create interesting sounds, and play with drums and percussion to give a unique feel to a track. For me, a signature drum sound can be as strong as a brilliant melody line, especially when we always have the dancefloor in mind.
Nigel: snap

MI: You guys run your own label as well, which is great, but does that mean that more material from you guys is still a long way off?
Jamie: good question! We’re just getting back on our own material now, going through tracks in various states and culling where neccessary, so you should hear some new C&A material in the next 2 or 3 months.
Nigel: that’s total bollocks…actually, on second thoughts, I agree

MI: Along with that, does your involvement in the label mean that you will be focusing more on production of other groups rather than work as Cage & Aviary? Are you guys working on remixes at all?
Jamie: we have been, which has delayed our own stuff a bit. We’re in the middle of a self-initiated set of remixes; we cherry-picked 6 artists and remixed them in vocal and dub forms (again, a reference to those early extended mixes). Parts 1 and 2 (Bow Mods and Truck respectively) have been really well received, so although it is a labour of love, we reckon it’ll be worth it in the end, and it’s cool to get exposure for both ourselves and the artists.
Nigel: Oui

MI: So your past 12” single releases have been near impossible to get a gold of, but your most recent release on DFA hit iTunes recently and has been gaining tons of attention, are there any plans to re-release or dive back into your past works as popularity grows?
Jamie: we will be doing digital at some stage with our back catalogue and the remix set, we’re just going to wait till the time is right so it’s an event rather than just an after thought to the vinyl.
Nigel: I am so on your wavelength

MI: That’s all really, any other information you wish to share? Upcoming release dates to keep an eye on? tour? etc.
Jamie: it looks like we might be back in LA / San Fran / Tijuana in a few months for a mini-tour but that’s all to be decided for definite. Part 3 of the remix set will be out in July / August. We’re releasing a 12 by Sidwho (a very talented fela from Adelaide in Oz) next month, and that’s been getting some great reaction from DJs so look out for it.
Nigel: word


So as you can see Jamie and Nigel both share a passion for the kind of music they create. A passion that transcends different mediums, whether it’s the production, the remixes, the singles, or the DJing. Look for Cage & Aviary’s newest 12″ later this year on Tiny Sticks records. I’d like to thank Jamie and Nigel once again for their time!

MP3: Cage & Aviary – “Television Train”


One Response to “Mind Inversion Exclusive Interview: Cage & Aviary”

  1. […] by three part electro duo Clap Rules. You might recognize the Tiny Sticks name if you read my interview with Cage & Aviary earlier this week, as they are set to release a 12″ later this year on the label as well. But […]

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