Interview with Etch

Διαβάστε την πολύ ενδιαφέρουσα συνέντευξη που μας χάρισε αποκλειστικά ο Βρετανός καλλιτέχνης Etch, ενόψει της επικείμενης πρώτης εμφάνισής του στην Θεσσαλονίκη, το Σάββατο 4 Μαρτίου, μαζί με τον φίλο και συνεργάτη του, Bulu.

Interview with Etch / interviews

2 years ago
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Ο ανερχόμενος και ιδιαίτερα ταλαντούχος Άγγλος μουσικός παραγωγός και DJ, Etch, από το Brighton πρόκειται να επισκεφθεί για πρώτη φορά την Ελλάδα και την Θεσσαλονίκη, το ερχόμενο Σάββατο, 4 Μαρτίου, για μία μοναδική εμφάνιση.

Το event στο οποίο ο καλλιτέχνης θα παρουσιάσει υλικό από την μέχρι τώρα πορεία του, κι όχι μόνο, μεταφέροντάς μας έτσι σε ατμόσφαιρα κάποιου αγγλικού underground club night, θα λάβει χώρα στο Coo Basement (Βασιλέως Ηρακλείου 4, Πλατεία Χρηματιστηρίου) και αποτελεί παραγωγή της Not Now. Mαζί του θα βρίσκεται ο στενός φίλος και συνεργάτης του, Bulu από το Λονδίνο, συνιδιοκτήτης με τον Etch στο πρόσφατο εγχείρημά τους, την δισκογραφική Bun The Grid.

Αναλυτικά, όλες τις πληροφορίες για το event μπορείτε να τις διαβάσετε εδώ, όπως και τις οδηγίες για να κερδίσετε στον διαγωνισμό με τις 3 προσκλήσεις που μοιράζει ο Paranoise. Ακολουθεί η συνέντευξη, αυτήν την φορά, μόνο στην αγγλική.

 

Hi Etch! Your great Cosmic B-Boy EP has just been dropped. You should feel preety good, right?

Hi! Yeah feels good to get that out, I’ve been trying to distance myself from the whole “130” and “slow jungle” thing for a while now. It took about 2 years to fully escape that and my releases over 2017 and beyond will further prove my worth beyond those kinds of sounds. I’ll still be dropping jungle vibed tunes, but I’m not looking to get wrapped up in a clique again, it’s really suffocating creatively. Also it was great to get that release really nicely presented on Purple Vinyl and a hilarious photo poster inside taken by one of my best mates, Alida Bea.

What are you doing except from producing music? Any interests on your free time and hobbies?

Erm… Aside from music? Probably… Chilling with friends or playing video games haha!

Your sound has influences from a wide range of styles. How would you describe the vibe of your music?

This is a question that can probably change yearly. I continually collect music, I’m a music fan first and foremost and whatever new music I discover will influence what I make and mutate it in one way or another. My earlier my naive releases were pretty much 100% influenced by music of the UK Hardcore Continuum like hardcore, jungle, grime, garage; But I got quite bored of repeating those sounds over and over. They still trickle down into what I do now because (mainly) jungle and hardcore are my fave styles of music ever, but I’ve started trying to draw in other stuff I listen to and have always listened to, like Hip Hop, Post-punk, Krautrock, Library music, Industrial etc. Just older stuff from the 50’s all the way up to the 90’s, but fitting it in the framework of modern electronic music; A lot of music I’ve been working on lately isn’t really directed at the dancefloor so much.

Watch
Etch - Sounds (feat. J-One) [2013, Old School Methods EP, Keysound Recordings]

How does your label, Bun the Gird, act as an extension of our approach to thinking about music?

I guess BTG is the dancefloor aspect of my brain, while I used to reach a lot further in our sets for the radio show on Radar – it was always largely routed in making people dance, the studio would always be packed out with people loosing their minds and dancing (probably why we got kicked off haha!) – but with BTG when I make beats in that mindset, it’s always rooted in 160/80bpm stuff and very hip hop influenced, but also devoid of paying attention to quantisation which is where the term “bun the grid” came from, very influenced by the sloppy note placement idea that was kinda pioneered by early Jazz and Soul musicians then passed up the food chain to people like Madlib, Dilla, D’angelo and then even further to people like Burial of course.

It’s a very refreshing way to produce, not paying attention to the grid so much, I really spent about a year of re-programming my brain to literally break out the box and make beats the way the feel right as opposed to rigidity.

What kind of hardware and software do you use for music production?

First and foremost my go to for both beginning and finishing a tune is FL studio. I’ve been using it since it was version 3, which was like… in 2004? And it’s now on version 12 and unlike a lot of software I’ve dipped in and out of, it’s one of the few that seems to constantly IMPROVE with updates, it doesn’t just swap stuff out for new interfaces and gimmicks like say… Logic does. I’ve used Logic a bit, but I think it’s awful for creative flow, the same goes for Cubase, maybe even more so. Reason, I actually occasionally dip into to just make sounds and I sometimes use Ableton to stretch samples and stuff, because it’s really got no competition in that area. I also use Max/MSP sometimes particularly implemented into Ableton. But yeah, FL Studio is my go to.

Hardware wise i’m lacking; I don’t particularly lust after hardware, it costs too much. But I have a Native Instruments Maschine, which is great for laying down the bones of a beat and generally just messing about with sounds and jamming on. I have a Roland D-50 Synthesizer, which is the biggest pain in the arse to program, but luckily early on Mumdance gave me some pointers so I can work with it quite well now, it’s a really interesting sounding synth, lots of detroit techno-y sounds on there. I also sample a lot off vinyl too. I have the 49-key Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol midi controller, which is really cool, I have a pair of KRK’s, but I actually mainly produce on headphones anyway. As for VST’s and all that stuff, I dunno where to even begin. I use so many different ones, I also don’t wanna give away too many secrets haha.

Watch
Etch - A1 [2016, Untitled Hardcore EP, Sneaker Social Club]

What is your view of Brighton’s music scene? Are there any other artists that you like and believe that they make really good music?

Brighton is a very “indie rock” town and it always has been really since the big BOOM of 2006/2007 – there has always been great club nights, but around the end of 2010/2011 they really started to die out. There’s loads of different factors I guess, like people not having enough money to go out, people not being bothered to go out, a lack of interest towards clubbing for music in favour of clubbing to harass girls in hope of getting lucky or whatever. But aside from this, there are things in Brighton worth going to.

I’m personally hoping to help change this in helping my mate Joe Naitsri aka Moon Presence aka DJ Sports Direct aka Whatever the fuck else he calls himself haha – start a night in a new club on the seafront called Mono, which we intend to book people who are INCREDIBLY talented, but aren’t represented anywhere else in Brighton really in favour of what students think are cool.

In terms of artists, to be honest most of the people who produced music in Brighton all left haha, Dismantle left, Foamplate left. Filter Dread actually lives here currently and is churning out loads of mind bending beats, my guy Ilk too, still churning out some amazing jungle and dnb. Atlas is still here. A guy called Amduscias is making some well weird stuff. But yeah, the general ethos of youth culture in Brighton is getting fucked up and throwing up on yourself.

Please, tell us some information about your partner Bulu. Is he a best friend of yours? Do you share common passion and willing for music?

Haha yeah he’s a mate, we met briefly when I played at Outlook Festival in 2014, then we became closer at Bloc Festival in 2015 – this ended up in us doing radio together and then from radio it moved into us putting out music on vinyl, which ended up going pretty well and we continue to do so.

What releases are you really looking forward to from other artists? Do you have any favourite recent release from someone else? Who are your favoutire producers of the “undergound” Bass scene?

So much great music is about at the moment. I found 2014/2015 to be quite stagnant. Right now I’m really into “weird” shit, like I’ve never really had much of an affinity with dance music since it became this kind of… Pop music I guess.

I really like what all my old “peers” are up to like Facta, Epoch, Rabit, Acre and Gantz. I really love anything that comes out on Demdike Stare’s label DDS – including their own material, I really love Lee Gambles label UIQ too, that’s failed to disappoint me so far. Mumdance and Logos’ futurist madness is incredible, too. Blackest Ever Black never seems to disappoint either.

I think from an outsiders perspective as in outside the UK, people don’t really get what a dog eat dog world it is in the UK and particularly how fast things move – I’ve realised this from playing in numerous different countries now. So I guess, when I’m looking for music now, I look for music that really is timeless or at least feels like it’s not part of a scene or anything, it’s just an anomaly floating out there. This is another thing I hope people will see cropping up in my music over the next couple of years, despite a few deliberate throw backs for fun, because at the end of the day, it is all about having fun, particularly as a producer, it’s not like I’m making much money for it, so fuck it haha.

Watch
Etch - Pandora's Box [2016, The Cosmic B-Boy EP, Purple City Soufflé ]

What are your future plans regarding Etch’ releases and Bun the Grid?

As far as Etch goes – I’ve got a track that’s just dropped on a ltd 12″ whitelabel for Dr.Banana which is the 2nd edition of the Dr.B whitelabel series, which I featured on last year (and will most likely be featuring on in the future, too), then I’ve got a ltd 7″ on transparent vinyl with a really cool piece of art I kind of slapped up in photoshop in a really DIY way, which is coming out on Well Rounded sister label, Gully Records, it’s going to be quite a challenging record and maybe one to confuse people a little, I think I might accidentally alienate people who expect me to be “Etch from Keysound” – but that’s great, I’ve been trying to do that for like 3 years haha.

Then mid this year I’ll be dropping a 40-track long cassette tape on Soundman Chronicles, which are 40 tracks produced entirely by me, mixed into two sides of a tape. That’s a really important release for me, because it really shows all aspects of my production and I made it over a particularly difficult 3-4 month period of my life, so it contains a really personal story.

After that there will be the debut Etch LP, which is also coming on Well Rounded sister label, Gully Records. This LP was finished probably… mid 2016 and contains tracks going back to late 2013, so it’s quite a good opening LP statement, because it does really show a transformative period (hopefully without sounding dated).

I’ve also got a number of things coming out under a different alias, which I will leave up to the public to figure out. I’ll also likely be doing a follow up to my Sneaker Social Club EP – Untitled Hardcore and I’m working towards a few other things and a few remixes are gunna be dropping too.

As for BTG. BTG003 will be from Philadelphia based producer Gohda, who has been sending me beats for years now and they are so so incredible and unique and really bring together so many trans-atlantic styles with UK styles but in a really cool way. I wish we could release a whole LP from him!! BTG will also be hosting a showcase at this years Horizons Festival ft. Myself, Bulu, Tim Parker and Itoa.

What should we expect to hear at your dj set on Saturday night in Thessaloniki? Will this be your first visit in Greece generally?

This will indeed be my first visit to Greece! Looking forwards to it a lot – My DJ sets a lot like my production have really evolved over the years and continue to evolve. If you heard me DJing in 2012 or 2013 ,it would have predominantly been music from around me, 130-140 bpm, stuff grime etc., this eventually switched up and now I kind of just play what I feel, largely disregarding the smoothness of a classic “DJ mix”, I tend to draw for Hip Hop, Footwork, Jungle, DnB and all the stuff that falls in between as well as drawing for 140 bits and stuff, that just doesn’t fit in anywhere.

So yeah, I can’t really say what people should expect, which might be a bit concerning, but something I’ve learnt from DJing in different countries, people in the UK are kinda spoilt and selfish and wanna hear what they wanna hear and aren’t open to being confused or intrigued by unusual things thrown in whereas in other countries I find I can really draw a bit further and take a few more risks.

Thank you a lot for your time. Looking forward to watch you here!