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Off The Record Mix Series 47:
Time Is Away


Long standing NTS DJ’s and curators Jack Rollo and Elaine Tierney, commonly known as Time Is Away, step up next for the 47th edition of the Off The Record mix series. Having been recognised for their vast knowledge of folk, esoteric and eclectic sounds which is displayed in their curated compilations for labels like A Colourful Storm and Efficient Space – they have also been known to dig deep into more clubbier sounds like house, rare left-field and DIY electronics. For their mix Jack and Elaine focus more on the latter but bringing tracks that would pay homage to more melodic sounds. We had a brief chat with Time Is Away about the mix and what they have coming up.

Hey Elaine & Jack, thanks for joining us! Can you tell us about your mix and what the idea behind it was? 

Our radio show tends to focus on weirder, slower, more atmospheric music that is combined by us with speech. But it is always informed by the kind of dance music that we grew up with and still collect: dance music that makes sense in a club, in a field or in your headphones. So when you guys asked for a mix it made sense to aim for something dancey. So It’s a tribute to the kind of countercultural, sample-heavy, super-referential music we liked as teenagers. Think Saint Etienne, Coldcut, the Orb, Weatherall, Prince Paul, Dust Brothers, trippy US records on Axiom or Exist Dance etc etc.

Do you usually have a certain way to approach recording a mix?

It’s different every time. It really depends on where the mix will land. Doing something with dance music, we wanted to emphasise drama and dynamics rather than seamless flow. For us, melody, weird combinations, moments of recognition and a D.I.Y approach are more important than sound design or technical know-how.

What are your preferred methods for finding new music—do you still enjoy digging around in dusty crates, or do you prefer to buy online?

We get music however we can, online and in shops, digital and physical. The most important thing is to be able to pull a big pile of things that seem like they might be promising and giving them a listen. Turn every page, as someone said.

We are big fans of Time Is Away’s musical curation on compilations for the likes of Efficient Space & A Colourful Storm. 
How did these projects come about?

We met Moopie from A Colourful Storm in Low Company (rip) and we clicked immediately, loads of shared references and friends in common. He approached us to do a mixtape. It’s a brilliant label and we were very super excited to be asked. We made Ballads, as if it was a radio show, and didn’t think much more about it. But it seemed to strike a nerve – it was lockdown and people were connecting to music in a different way. Then, it was turned into a vinyl compilation (with a few tracklist changes due to licensing). Putting a record into the world was a huge deal for Time is Away. Compilations have always been important to us, so being able to think about sequencing and artwork, to create an object, was a dream come true. Through that Michael from Efficient Space got in touch with the offer of a follow up. We are obsessed with the Sky Compilation that DJ Sundae and Julien Dechery put out on the label, so we were super flattered that he asked. Michael is a total wizard when it comes to tracking artists down and getting the licensing right and he never questioned our choices. We had total freedom to put songs together regardless of genre, geography or era. To try to make something dreamlike and associative rather than basing our selection on rarity or obscurity.

What is your dream setting for a DJ set? 

Our favourite experiences have been playing outside in the countryside. ZDA in the Jura in 2019 was really special. But our favourite place to play in london are Spanners and Black Tower.

What do you have up your sleeve for 2024?

We are currently on artist’s residency for three months at La Becque in Switzerland which will result in a trio of tapes. We are playing for the first time in the US this September at Making time in Philadelphia. We are working on collaborative album project for Colourful Storm which should come out early next year. And we are just starting to think about another compilation for Efficient Space. Meanwhile Time is Away continues monthly on NTS, and Jack’s Friday morning Early Bird show also continues weekly.

Thank you for joining us!


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