“Looping synths, twin vocals and incendiary lyricism” – Louder Than War
“Think: lo-fi, raw and slightly unsettling noise with a warped pop pull” – The Metro
“A vital voice in subterranean London music” – Clash Magazine
Synth duo SEX CELLS are gearing up for the release of their infectious, noise-driven debut 7 track album; a disenfranchised, dystopian collection of dark dance tracks that could only have been crafted by the infamous city-dwelling couple and expands on their previous concept heavy work.
Angular and paranoid, SEX CELLS wield analogue electronics and 8-bit rhythms, creating atmospheric heavy pop that draws from early minimal wave and the animalistic energy of punk. ‘That’s Life’ veers from berserk floor-filling beats to spacious soundscapes all infused in layers of psychedelic synths and thick reverberating noise. Single ‘Deranged’, a live staple, builds on effortless grooves with haunting electronics and stylised duel vocals.
Matt Kilda and Willow Vincent formed in a rehearsal studio in Peckham in late 2015. Armed with just a drum kit and synthesiser, in an act of protest at their often less than comfortable circumstances living in London, the pair began to develop their own brand of minimal live dance music.
After an invitation to play at Trashmouth’s Record Store Day party arose, an affinity with South London stalwarts Meatraffle and Madonnatron was forged, and the band began to regularly appear on underground bills at venues such as the infamous Brixton Windmill. Following their move to a derelict office space in Whitechapel – dubbed Nighmare Hall on account of the disturbing dreams endured by the pair whilst living there – SEX CELLS independently released a set of raw, lo-fi tracks accompanied by self-made videos, which were met with enthusiasm and acclaim from the London underground.
In the summer of 2016, the band made the move to a more electronic set-up after acquiring a vintage Roland TR-626 drum machine from a friend, and, during impromptu rehearsals at a Redchurch Street shop rear frequented by the likes of Fluffer Records’ Love Buzzard, their sound developed a more industrial, techno-oriented edge. From this point onwards, SEX CELLS’ live shows began to gather pace, becoming ever more raucous and performance driven, climaxing in the winter of 2017 with their appearance at The 100 Club supporting HMLTD.
Now under the guidance and mentorship of Pete Shelley and Buzzcocks manager Raf E., the duo entered the studio in early 2018 with long-term producer of The Cure, Dave M. Allen. The result of this partnership was the double A-side ‘Are You Ready / Hell Is Where The Heart Is’, released on limited edition 7″ vinyl in June 2018 through the pair’s own imprint, Pretty Ugly Records. The release was met with acclaim from sources such as John Kennedy at Radio X, the Metro newspaper, and John Robb at Louder Than War, and gave the band an opportunity to flex their creative muscles, producing their own music videos and promotional artwork. Off of the back of this release, the pair began a run of prestigious live shows in early 2019, providing support for established acts such as International Teachers of Pop (Oslo, Hackney – Bad Vibrations) and Blanck Mass (Bloc – Bird On The Wire).
Across the summer of 2019, two more singles emerged from the SEX CELLS camp, ‘Modern Witchcraft’ and ‘Love Is The Exit’, released through Pretty Ugly Records (PIAS), which both garnered support from DJs Tom Robinson and Emily Pilbeam, alongside airplay on BBC 6Music, BBC London, and the Introducing with La show on Reprezent Radio. The release was yet again bolstered by a strong aesthetic, as the pair released their own hand-crafted music videos, including a painstaking stop-motion animation for ‘Modern Witchcraft’.
Post-summer, the band developed a yearning to return to their origins with a more live, primal way of recording, and so decamped to Eastbourne with Dave M. Allen to lay down a fresh set of tracks. The end product of that week by the sea is ‘That’s Life’, an album that unifies the SEX CELLS universe into one cohesive piece. SEX CELLS are now gearing up for 2020, and the release of their LP in March, along with an accompanying collection of remixes entitled ‘Dream Inn’ later on in the spring.