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Exclusive Premiere: Scottish Artist Lift Crafts Cathartic Electronic on ‘Zour’

Dan Stevenson, the guitarist for metal bands such as Frontierer and Sectioned, teams up with drummer Adam Betts for the first track off his debut record

Anurag Tagat Apr 23, 2021

Glasgow-based producer Dan Stevenson aka Lift. Photo: Calum McMillan Photography

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While he’s been so far bringing dissonant guitar work for mathcore bands like Frontierer and Sectioned, Scottish producer Dan Stevenson’s new project Lift explores atmospheric/cinematic and experimental music, inspired by artists such as Portishead, Bjork, FKA Twigs and more.

The first single from Lift, “Zour,” arrives in the form of the ambient/electronic that’s buoyed in deliberately disorienting drum work from Adam Betts (known for his work with electronic artists such as Squarepusher and Pete Tong). With vocal samples and chopped up rhythms running throughout, “Zour” is part of Lift’s upcoming record There is Beauty in Everything, which releases via Venn Records on May 14th.

Stevenson says about choosing “Zour” as the lead single, “I think it represents most of what I was trying to achieve musically across the whole record. There are moments of minimalism, confusion, textures and groove, which are the areas I wanted to be the most expressive in. That compounded with Adam Betts adding some incredible uniqueness to the track meant I felt we captured something quite special with it.”

The producer says he wrote “Zour” without a beat or even percussive elements, fully allowing Betts to add his mindbending drum work on the track. Other collaborators on There is Beauty in Everything include drummer Ian Maciak (who’s a regular behind the kit for electronic artist Machinedrum) and singer/composer Finn Le Marinel. Both Maciak and Le Marinel appear on a track called “Stutter,” which Stevenson describes as the “oddball track” on the record. “It blends elements of industrial, jungle, break beat and general obscure electronica. I can’t wait for people to hear it because it encompasses a lot of what I love about experimental music,” he says.

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Unlike Frontierer and Sectioned, Lift is a project that’s entirely helmed by Stevenson, calling it “sonically and creatively very different processes.” While there’s a new Frontierer album expected later this year (and a documentary, as Stevenson tells us), the producer’s focus is on “visual treats” with Lift all the way from now until October. “One of those is a bit of a bucket list thing but I’ll reveal that in due course. Other than that I want to see how the release does, then try get vinyl pressed off the back of that, then it’s back to the lab to start writing a follow up of sorts I guess,” Stevenson says.

Listen to “Zour” ft Adam Betts below. Stream/pre-save the track here.

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