Australian music producer, artist & performer Plutonic Lab (Leigh Ryan) is an ARIA Nominee (as one half of group Muph & Plutonic),
UK Mercury Prize Winner, for his work with Speech Debelle & currently the international tour drummer for platinum selling/award winning group Hilltop Hoods.
His latest LP “Deep Above The Noise” won best Hip-Hop Album at the Vic Music Awards 2016 and landed Double J & 3PBS feature album positions.
Melbourne-based, award winning photographer Nicole Reed proclaims that, for her, photography is more than just a career – it’s her reason for living.
Rarely leaving the house, never mind the country, without her camera, Nicole searches for the muse of her next frame around every corner.
While her work is undoubtedly artistic, Nicole draws inspiration from editorial, documentary and portrait photography.
HOW DID YOU FIRST MEET?
LR: Nicole was briefly introduced to me by a mutual friend while I was filling in for him playing records at another friends restaurant.
Turns out Melbourne is not that big after all.. way less than 6 degrees of separation.
NR: A friend of mine, Brendan (from infamous Melbourne label – BURN) was playing some records at my favourite ramen joint – Dojo Ramen
so I went down to see him and he introduced us. Leigh was there also playing records, I didn’t know who he was at that point,
just some cool guy at the end of the table, and it was a couple of months later that we reconnected.
COMING FROM DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES WITHIN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY,
DO YOU FIND THAT MAKES IT EASIER OR HARDER TO COLLABORATE/WORK TOGETHER?
LR: I think photography definitely compliments my music, I’ve always found it really helpful to write to some kind of visual media
whether it’s moving images or stills. I also think it helps to have clearly defined roles in a creative project.
NR: I think it makes it easier. We are quite separate in what we do when we do it, and it comes together at the end.
We trust each others talents and skills and we have similar tastes. We’ve never clashed over “artistic differences”
and I actually have no idea how he does what he does so I’m continually impressed and blown away by his talent.
WHAT’S SOMING YOU LOVE THAT YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER CAN’T STAND?
LR: Cargo shorts (I don’t really love them) NR: (yes he does)
I do know he doesn’t like my collection of Air Max 95’s, his sneaker collection is a little more old school.
FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW, EXPLAIN YOUR FIELDNOTES PROJECT.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS FOR ANOTHER INSTALMENT IN THE FUTURE?
NR: Fieldnotes is a self published book/record combination that we created together after going on our first “holiday” together to Hong Kong.
It is a photographic art book containing my images from Hong Kong that has a record in the sleeve. The 10″ record has 6 tracks produced by
Leigh made from field recordings that he recorded in Hong Kong. So you get both a visual and an audio representation from our time there.
and are working with us on the next issue. We have some great additions and changes gleaned from what we learned publishing
the first issue, we’re very excited about how it’s coming together, Stay tuned!!
FAVOURITE PIECE OF WORK THAT YOUR PARTNER HAS CREATED?
LR: The photograph of the sex worker and his/her admirer taken in Shinsekai, Osaka, Japan (Third photo on the right).
It almost looks like it could have been staged, the lighting and scenario are incredible.
We had to sort of hide around a corner and act like we weren’t taking the photo so the subjects would act naturally,
but really I don’t think they even cared we were there.
NR: It would have to be his solo record that came out last year – Deep Above The Noise.
It was so cool to see the process of this, and the effort that he put into it.
The package as a whole is incredible (it does have my photos on the cover and the inside gatefold!)
HIKE IN A FOREST OR DAY AT THE BEACH?
LR: Hike in a forest, I do like the beach but weirdly I kinda prefer it in winter.
NR: A day in the forest! I love the smell and the serenity. I do however really love water, and being in the water,
but it generally comes along with a whole bunch of other people doing the same thing.
DO THE YEARS THAT YOU’VE BEEN TOGETHER MAKE IT EASIER OR HARDER TO BE APART?
LR: Harder (I do like that we both have jobs where we get to travel though).
NR: I think it makes it harder, I definitely like having time on my own, but life is just so much more enjoyable /or tolerable when he’s around.
FAVOURITE PHRASE, MOTTO OR LYRIC?
LR: “Repo Man’s got all night every night”.
NR: If you aren’t 15 minutes early, you’re late.
WHAT’S A SPECIAL TALENT YOUR PARTNER HAS THAT PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW OF?
LR: Nicole can recite weird country and western lyrics.
NR: Leigh makes an excellent coffee, and I’m pretty fussy!
WHAT’S A MOMENT YOU’VE SHARED TOGETHER THAT’S TAKEN YOUR BREATH AWAY?
LR: We embarked on an epic road trip in Japan together a couple years ago, it was filled with amazing moments,
sometimes just the simplest things like winding along the Fukui coastline without seeing another soul for miles
or coming across a family of wild monkey making their way across the road and up a cliff face in front of us.
NR: Seeing Leigh loose it when the monkeys walked across the road in front of our car was pretty breathtaking!
You can keep up to date with Nicole and Leigh’s ongoing Fieldnotes project at Fieldnotes Project or on their personal websites