"Everything I do is instinct driven," says Neil Davidge, the producer and engineer who came to prominence in Bristol during the early 90s when bands such as Massive Attack, Portishead, and Tricky were at the top of their game.
"I don’t have a method for how I record things; it’s all about the vibe, it’s all about capturing the energy and the emotion. I make it up as I go along."
His introduction to Focusrite was also around this time, while working with the band DNA from the nearby city of Bath. "We mixed the album with an engineer called Jeremy Allen, and he came along with his box of Focusrite ISA110s. Everything would go through the Focusrites and it sounded incredible. So for me it was this big shiny mic pre in the sky: the holy grail!"
"When I started working with Massive Attack, we got the ISA430 and the Red 7, and a couple of other bits and pieces in the studio," he continues. "The thing I love about the Focusrite gear is that you can put anything into it, and it sounds great. There’s no fussing around, you just plug up and go. I don’t have to think about it, it just does the job and it does it really well."
Following 18 years with Massive Attack, where he produced the critically acclaimed albums Mezzanine, 100th Window and Heligoland, Neil decided to part ways with the band and work on other projects. His flexible approach to production thrust him into the world of film scoring and composition, where he worked on Luc Besson's Danny The Dog (later named Unleashed), Bullet Boy and Trouble The Water (which won 'Best Documentary' at Sundance 2008). More recently, he was called in to contribute to Hans Zimmer's music for the blockbuster movie Clash Of The Titans, and he composed the score to the huge video game Halo 4.
His latest project is a solo album, which will feature many different collaborators. "I always see myself as someone who works with other people, to some degree one of my talents is being able to get the best out of people. This feels like a continuation of that process."