The McCabe and Assassin 'Box Drop'

For years now Sean McCabe and Nick Moss (aka Groove Assassin) have both been flying the UK Soulful House flag with countless hits between them on labels like King Street Sounds, Mn2S, Tribe Records, and Solid Ground and have each remixed some of the biggest artists in the game. It was only a matter of time until they would come together to drop some EP heat on one of the UK’s hottest new comers ‘Room Control Records’. We catch up with Sean and Nick to find out more.

Video courtesy of Room Control

So, how did the EP come about?

Sean: The idea for doing this EP came about just before the ADE event in Amsterdam this year when both Nick and me were asked to do some tracks for the Room Control ADE sampler edition. For years we had wanted to collaborate on something together and saw this as a great opportunity to do it so we went to Room Control with the idea and came up with the first track ‘Got Me Down’ which was used on the Room Control ADE sampler.

Why did you decide to call it ‘Box Drop EP’?

Sean: The name ‘Box Drop EP’ is really just small play on words of the online FTP software ‘Dropbox’. The whole collaboration process was done through Dropbox by continuously dropping additional parts and arrangements back and forth over the net. Nick and I live quite far away from each other, so we were never actually in the same room whilst making the tracks. We know each other’s style very well so collaborating like this was quite easy.

Sean McCabe

What was the process in creating the EP?

Nick: It was really all about bouncing ideas to each other via Dropbox. I started off laying down some beat ideas, chopping up vocal hooks and quick groove ideas. With the ‘Love Fantasy’ track I had the chord stab locked down and sent a basic looped groove with beats over to Sean. Sean then worked on the musical aspect laying down keys/bass/synth/strings ideas. Sean sent them back over to me; I worked on the arrangement of the tracks, then bouncing the stems down of the full arrangements I put them back in the dropbox for Sean to work on the mixing from his end. All the way through we were bouncing quick demos off and bouncing different ideas off each other for directions of the arrangement or certain sounds the tracks needed.
It was a great way to work and we were buzzing off each other’s work. It’s always good to get a second opinion on things too so that really helped.

What setups/platforms/software/hardware do you both use?

Sean: We both have different setups software wise which is one thing that made the collaboration online a bit difficult as obviously we couldn’t just send over the project files to work off. I have always used Cubase and am now on Cubase 5 and Nick uses Ableton Live for his production, but for beats we both use the MOTU BPM software. I also use a lot of extenal sound modules and synthesisers for my sounds. For this EP I used the Roland JV1010, Emu Vintage Keys, Korg Poly61, Roland SH-09, The Moog Slim Phatty, and a Fender Rhodes MKII as it helped us to achieve a more organic sound. During the mixing process I use a mixture of Waves and Powercore Plug-ins.

Groove Assassin

What can we expect in the future from you both?

Nick: We’re both very busy with original solo projects and remix work but We’d love to do a follow up EP for Room Control with both being big fans of the label. Their output over the last year or so has been flawless and was a great pleasure for us both to have a release on the label. We’re currently working on a new vocal project with Eric Dillard so we are both very excited to crack on with that and to hear the final outcome.

‘Box Drop EP’ is out now on Room Control.

Sean McCabe

Groove Assassin