A soiree of sacred beats elevates listeners to the plane of Divine Intervention, the latest record from Monte Morgan and Harvey Miller – AKA Client Liaison. We asked the pair all about dancefloor divinity, in our Q&A.
Opener Club Called Heaven is a gorgeous tribute to the London institution in Charing Cross, which goes beyond the physical superclub into meta territory. Did either of you see Paul Oakenfold there, or do you have another special memory of the place?
We played an awesome show there in 2018 to a packed house, which was the inspiration behind the song title. We like that the song has both a light and dark side to it represented by a physical place, but is all about reaching a metaphysical state.
Strictly Business seems to take inspiration for its Middle-Eastern synth lick from Father Figure, and we heard flashes of homage to George Michael within your previous album Diplomatic Immunity too. What are your feelings about the man’s contribution to the musical universe?
George Michael is one of our all-time musical heroes, a real trailblazer who is underrated for his production work. As his career progressed though, he had an inclination towards adult contemporary ballads, which often disguised his sublime craft for funky dance tunes. The unfinished/unreleased second volume of Listen Without Prejudice, featuring Too Funky, is the album we we wish he had seen through.
There’s a very neat panpipe-type instrument you’ve used across the album – what’s it called?
We’re glad you asked. This is a favourite go-to sound of ours. If anyone else would like to use it, it’s a preset called ‘Expressive flute’ on the computer-based (VST) synth called Halion, that comes with Cubase.
What about the absolutely flat-out mad flute in single House Of Holy – who recorded that part?
You might be saddened to hear, but this is a sample layered over the top of a synth line. Unlike this flute on other tracks as mentioned above, this was a real-life audio recording. We would love to tell you that there is some fascinatingly romantic story behind where and how it was recorded, but it came from a sample pack we purchased online.
Eulogy For The Living gives us some beautiful group vocals. Who do you get to do these – is it Monte layered 100 times but doing different pitches, or is it a bunch of friends, or is it people off the street?
When writing and recording the demo we got all four of us (Harvey, Monte, Edwin and Joel) to jump on the mic and record a gang vocal on the chorus. During mixing we redid some of the vocals but we wanted to take it to the next level so we commissioned a boy’s choir from Sydney, the St Andrew’s Cathedral School Choir.
From where did you gather the spoken samples we can hear across House Of Holy, Unloaded, Divine Intervention and more? Are any self-recorded?
We got deep on YouTube and started listening through rare preacher sermons that went for hours long – sitting there in high speed-mode, trying to hear out for key words that would fit the tone of the album – and luckily we struck gold with a few.
Did the two of you discuss making a shift within your subject matter, or some of your lyrical/instrumental references to ‘Australiana’, in light of the way Australian politics has changed (or certain socio-political issues have risen to the surface of the Aussie consciousness) in the five years between Diplomatic Immunity and Divine Intervention?
After a couple of years writing and recording songs we realised we had some spiritual or pseudo-spiritual songs that stood out. We continued finishing these and decided to write a few more. There wasn’t a conscious decision to stop writing about Australia, but rather we followed our instincts, picking and writing songs that could work together thematically and display a variety of moods.
Divine Intervention by Client Liaison is out October 1 via Inertia.
Keep up with the latest Australian release dates for music.