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Don't Play By The Rules

Don't Play By The Rules

No Regular Play's deep, warm and blissy album on Wolf + Lamb

The No Regular Play guys, Greg Paulus and Nicholas DeBruyn, have been playing together for the past 20 years or so — literally, since they have known each other since they were both eight-years-old.

“When you know someone for so long, you can guarantee that the typical frustrations of travelling and working with someone just won't be a problem,” Greg tells DJ Mag. “You come to an understanding of each others' ways and personalities.”

Greg's dad is a classical composer, which got Greg into classical and jazz and improvising at an early age. “Both of our parents used to play a lot of Prince in the house, among other great records,” says Nicholas, “and when we were 12-13, we were introduced to a lot of really good hip-hop from older kids at our school, who were DJing the middle school dances.”

Greg left their home city of St. Paul, Minnesota to go to music school in New York at 18, with Nick moving there after his stint at college. They started going to electronic music parties, and eventually some Wolf + Lamb events. “We met Zev and Gadi and immediately became really close,” they explain. “We loved the style, the aesthetic and the music at the parties, we went to just about every party we could find out about.”

They started producing their own music, sent the Wolf + Lamb guys some tracks, and that was that. “A year or so later, an apartment in the Marcy opened up and it was the perfect time to move in.”

Now fully integrated into the clan, their new 'Endangered Species' album sees them really coming of age. “The general concept was for us to feel completely free and make whatever style/genre we wanted, but have it all be a cohesive statement,” Greg says. “Eventually the idea of 'Endangered Species' came about while on a boat up north, gazing up at bald eagles swooping around the lake. We tried to generally apply these animalistic survival ideas to the songs — e.g. relationships and the dangers, risks and thoughts surrounding them.”

“We listen to, and are influenced by, all sorts of styles and genres, and really wanted this to reflect in the final product,” Nick continues. “We really wanted to make this a full, coherent listening experience.”

They sure have. Warm jazzy chords, interesting, irregular percussion and a cool languid sensibility thread throughout. 'Won't Quit' is like an '80s avant-funk affair refracted through a 21st century deep tech prism, while the title track twinkles with a maroon twilight mystique. 'Kickback' is like a smokey broken beat track that Dego from 4Hero would've snapped up for Co-Op, while 'The Answer' could be a 'Bodily Functions'-era Matthew Herbert outtake. With Greg taking on Tiga-style vocal duties on most of the tracks, singing live through a delay/loop pedal and a voice doubler, live shows are the natural next step.