Plaid on Its New Album, the Persistent Influence of Detroit Techno, and How to Not Repeat Yourself Musically After 20 Years

British electronic duo Plaid, made up of Ed Handley and Andy Turner, has been navigating the digital obliques of melodically askew, syncopated beats since 1991. This Friday, it will bring the music of its new album, Scintilli — Plaid's first non-soundtrack full-length in eight years — to Mezzanine. Fresh off a plane to Houston to promote the new record, Handley spoke with All Shook Down to discuss the state of Plaid today, the difficulties of categorizing its music, and how to make music for 20 years without repeating yourself.

When you look back at your initial influences, what part of them do you still recognize in your work?

I reckon it's still fairly easy to identify our inspirations, in that it was mainly the sort of Detroit techno sound that grabbed us, and you can hear that quite heavily in some of our tracks. There's still that content in that it's melodic dance music that stays away from the 4/4 beat, but the emphasis is still the dance and a love of bouncy twangy basslines we got from Detroit. And the first music we were really obsessed with was early hip-hop before sampling, what you'd most likely call electro now.

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