"I think there is this entire culture where people don’t want to sort of reach beyond the obvious. All the art, tv, film that we love, it doesn’t make concessions. It demands something of the listener, it demands some knowledge - some prior knowledge rather than spoon-feeding people. A lot of music does that (spoon-feeds) and people sort of lap it up. This is like gruel – you want something more textured. People are being congratulated for mediocrity these days," says Sam Willis one half of East London based electronic duo, Walls.

From across the footpath locale where we’re seated in one of their favourite local cafes - Gossip on Broadway Market Willis speaks in bursts of excitement and animation. This is especially obvious when he’s making a passionate point; reverting to his calm demeanour when he’s satisfied he’s conveyed what he needs to. He oscillates regularly between the two positions. Seated next to him is, by comparison, his reserved though very likeable production partner and friend Italian-born Alessio Natalizia (from Banjo or Freakout notoriety.) Together, the pair has set about collaborating to make music that they enjoy. That does, as Willis intimates, demand something of its listener.

In fact when listening to both their self-titled debut release from 2010 as well as their most recent offering Coracle (released: September 2011) it is hard to pinpoint exactly the formula they are following, in order to make the fresh and layered electro based tracks that make up their catalogue.

"Basically we never really stop. We’re both always working on our music and Alessio is pretty prolific – more so than me cos he’s working on Banjo and Walls stuff and I’m kind of doing bits of Walls stuff and we collaborate and we bring it all together,”" Says Willis.

"I think there is a difference between the first and second album if we were to do a third album now it would sound exactly the same," continues Natalizia.

Speaking with them on the eve of their second single release from Coracle – 'Into Our Midst' - it’s a fine time to recap the past few months since this album launched. Spent largely on the road, both in the UK and internationally the lads have been busy touring their live show. A run of shows that provided the ideal opportunity to showcase their latest musical musings, assisting them to reach new audiences and also have paved the way for them to appear alongside friends. Amongst them – Battles, US Math Rock outfit and London-based noise ensemble, Factory Floor as well as Sweden’s The Field – label mate to Kompakt Records with Walls.

Underlying conversation is the sentiment that the two creatives are in the business of seeking out like-minded people something they’ve managed to achieve thus far.

"Playing with Factory Floor in New York, they requested us to play with them cos we were going to be there anyway. It’s kind of like playing with people who you have mutual admiration and respect for." Willis says.

Willis and Natalizia are not naïve to the state of play governing their fraternity and whilst a perceived and overriding resistance from some of the heavier weights in the industry to take risks through collaboration is apparent Walls make mention of the need to celebrate these moments of mutual respect and admiration when they happen.

"You don’t often see too many surprises which is nice for us that Battles asked for us, rather than stick with the known safe choices."

London can sometimes be … (Willis ponders) - I think the simple fact that Alessio is not from London makes a big difference.

Natlalizia: "In London people don’t really ask you whether you should do something together."

Both Willis and Natalizia consider their age and experience of the music industry has though given them the opportunity to develop their understanding and expectations of what they like to create.

Willis, cites trust in one another as key to their success, knowing the other’s strengths but also their lack of rigidity and adherence to any one style plays a part too.

"It’s our complimentary background, I’m very much more dance and say hip hop and Alessio is predominantly more so from a rock background so we both have very varied tastes but it’s not so much that we’re isolated in our areas we bleed across into each other’s sort of tastes."

Their esoteric, amniotic ambient sounds are achieving a steady ground swell for the duo, and this looks likely to continue into 2012, already an EP of album remixes, no perhaps an album (the pair seem conflicted over which it will be) scheduled for April release as well as some inklings that a film or TV project might be underway.

Whilst we’re chatting their videography Abby happens to be passing and Willis breaks to ‘talk business’ with her about milestones for the live show footage to be ready. It’s clear that the pair is very much at home in their creative landscape.

Willis’ comments regarding mediocrity ring true once again.

"I think you have to, you only have one life and great artists of any discipline want to be creative and innovative and original express something, rather than follow."



'Into our Midst' is out today, via Kompakt Records. Their release Coracle and self-titled are available via Kompakt’s album catalogue.