Hit the Decks! It's Edy Forey

Edinburgh-based, chilled out, jazzy soul electronic duo Edy Forey is vocalist Edy Szewy and keyboardist Guilhem Forey.

"Forey was filling in for a keyboardist around the time my first ever band was about to disband in 2017," says Szewy. "My original pianist was moving to London--him and Forey met at a Cory Henry gig. I knew nothing about leading a band and hated it--I was a permanently stoned animation student--yet Forey saw something artistic I had so we kept in touch. Overtime it turned out we had complementary musical influences and were just as alternative in our approach to life. The seeker types. Sensitive people. We started writing together in 2018."

The group refers to its music as urban jazz.

"Bob Power said that if we can’t describe our sound in two words, ees no good.," Szewy says. "So urban jazz."

The debut album is Culture Today.

"Culture Today is a real global affair because we started during the first lockdown when everything became remote," Szewy says. "So we had Bob Power mix in New York, Michael League record in Barcelona, Sharay Reed in Chicago, Seiya Osaka in Tokyo, Miho Wada in New Zealand and on and on and on. We physically went into the studio in Edinburgh once, and twice in London. The theme of Culture Today iiiisss… culture today. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We wanted to tell it like it is from a nonconformist socially-conscious perspective."

As for gear:

"Forey’s life changed when he got his Korg KRONOS," Szewy says. "He absolutely loves that chunky thing. We record in Reaper. It’s free and utterly reliable. I’ve done so many impossible things on it, cleaning the tracks that were remotely recorded, sometimes fusing multiple drum takes recorded on different mics, dozens of stems and countless automations. It never let me down. I’m a Reaperean for life. The only plugin I personally ever bought is FabFilter’s Saturn 2, the rest like Oril River, La Petite Excitee and Adon Reverb - all free. Forey bought stuff from Spectrasonics - their keyboard suite, and Trillian - for the double bass sound which we used it on the title track."

"Fun fact: track 8, Take Your Time, is a chopped and screwed WhatsApp recording of Forey jamming in my living room," she continues. "I've put my vocals on it, and then it grooved so good we couldn't ever achieve that same vibe when we re-recorded it properly. We tried and spent so much money on it - had Bob Power mix it, and Dave Fraser mix it some more - we finally kept not only the WhatsApp voice note sound, but also my own Reaper mix, and got Bob to master it. That's why it sounds so durty. Still, it's probably my favourite song on the album, and Forey's least favourite. Re: headphones. I used some fifteen dollar headphones to begin with and didn’t think nothing of it until Bob Power asked me what ones I work with. Later, we switched to Sony MDR 7506 cuz good reviews. My mic was Röde like everyone else who records in a home studio, but I’m dreaming of Telefunken because legend says it brings the most grain and detail out of ones voice. One day!"

Looking ahead, Edy Foray has plenty planned for 2024.

"We’re going to have our biggest gig to date at the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival in July," Szewy says. "Was gonna go for a small American tour, but bureaucracy made it a nightmare and we had to let it go until we have enough riches. I’m sure there’s an upcoming showcase in London, a residency somewhere in the UK, and some European showcases, but we need that album to get out there and finish all this content creation to really embrace the performing side of things. One thing for sure though. When it comes… We’ll be ready."

Edy Forey's Culture Today is out now.

Photo by Dave MacKinnon