Birchard recently relocated his studio from his bedroom to the basement of the Redbull Headquarters in London but, he’s back where it all began when this conversation takes place.“I moved into that studio about three months ago and I’ve been trying to be more disciplined with it,”he says.“Like go there the same time everyday rather than going in when I feel like it.” It’s a major step from making beats in his bedroom to a fully equipped studio in London and it sounds like the ideal place to be located. “It’s the kind of building where there’s a lot of other musicians around,” he says. “There’s always somebody working in the main studio, people floating around. It’s quite good for bumping in to random people or doing collaborations and stuff.” Producing music that evokes feelings of fantasy and dreamy states are Birchard’s speciality, a talent that he’s been crafting for a while now. Having DJ’d since he was a young gun, Birchard was given his first set of turntables at the age of 11 and at the mere age of 15, he was crowned the UK’s youngest ever DMC DJ Champion. In 2009, he released his first EP Polyfolk Dance on the monumental electronic music label Warp Records. Combine well received live shows, packed out small venues and two further EPs (Butter and the more recent Satin Panthers) with his deep love for all kinds of music (his father’s taste was a major influence) as well as a passion for bringing new sounds to audiences - you get really likeable, well produced tracks from a down to earth producer. Birchard has collaborated with LA producer Samiyam, Montreal producer Lunice and various artists from the record label he co-founded, LuckyMe. Right now, he’s working on his fifth instalment of the Valentine’s Slow Jam - a collection of smooth, sexy old ballads he does every February for LuckyMe. While collaborations aren’t that high up on his priority production list, he sites label mate Rustie as a major influence on his work. “[We] more kinda bounce ideas of each other but when it comes to actual music making, we usually work on our own and we exchange stuff every so often - ‘what have you been doing? What have you been working on?’ We’ll do a swap.” Although he says Rustie and himself have similar styles, their musical backgrounds have been rather different, allowing them to “meet in the middle.” Rustie has a more techno/electro background while Birchard was more involved in the hip hop and scratch fraternity, a mix that really comes through in the music. Currently based in London, Birchard grew up in Glasgow and then headed to Amsterdam in 2009 where he stayed for two years, giving him his first experience with a “proper, separate, dedicated
Hudson Mohawke studio.” From there, it was onwards and upwards for the lad who learnt to take his profession a little more seriously. “Once it becomes your job, basically then you have to kind of take it a bit more seriously, you can’t be just like sitting in your bedroom working on stuff,” he says, chuckling. And while London is the creative hub at the moment, Birchard admits he feels more at home in Amsterdam and would like to move back there. “When you’re in London, you sort of have this sense of everyone walking around miserable and depressed... where [if] you go to Amsterdam… people have a smile on their face.” When Birchard hits Australian shores shortly, he’ll be playing tracks off his most recent EP but will also be bringing a lot of new and unreleased material. He’s pumped to be playing The Bakery – a venue which caters for his slightly left of centre sound.“I prefer doing good shows if you know what I mean?,” he says in response to be asked whether he prefers performing at festivals or packing out smaller venues.“I don’t like to do shows where I’m right down the bottom of the bill - you know playing alongside some big heavy, dance, techno electro stuff because it’s a bit of a clash, it’s doesn’t really fit, but if I can get the right festival slot then I kinda prefer to do that.”
» HUDSON MOHAWKE » SATURDAY, MARCH 3 @THE BAKERY
HAPPY BIRTHDAY VILLA GET FRAT
Just in case you hadn’t heard- Frat House Fridays are taking over the Big House, aka Metro Freo, this coming Friday, February 24. It’s going to be an absolute killer student night with $5 red cup refills of your choice of vodka, Jim Beam or tap beer and $6 vodka and Mothers. The almighty Death Disco DJs will be on the decks and just announced is Block Ness Monsters who will be joining the lads to bust out some party jams. Block Ness Monsters are D Dubs and Mac Fromage. Doors open at 9pm – shorts and casual attire is encouraged.
MINXING IT UP
Recently crowned the winner of EMI’s inaugural She Can DJ competition, Sydney born house DJ, DJ Minx, aka Rachel Phillips, is coming to town to show off her skills behind the decks. She’ll be releasing her She Can DJ Presents Minx mix (a massive 78 minute big room house music mix compilation) on Friday, March 2. To celebrate the release, the young lass is heading our way to put on a party. She hits Villa on Saturday, March 17. Hit up Facebook.com/shecandj for further info.
Villa is turning three and to celebrate they’re bringing a couple of killer acts to pump up the party. Push Up anthem creators The Freestylers are coming back to town baby! After smashing it at Breakfest 2010, the duo will be joined by German gent Martin Hørger. Put it this way – he runs Stamina Club; one of Europe’s longest running monthly breakbeat night. DNGRFLD and Black & Blunt will also be smashing out beats. Tickets are $35 plus booking fee and are on sale tomorrow, Thursday, February 23, from Moshtix and the Boomtick iPhone App. The party takes off on Thursday, April 5, at Villa. Doors open 10pm.
After a six year hiatus, the legendary Trafik movement and crew that was responsible for shaping drum’n’bass in Australia return to fire up our disgustingly good drum’n’bass scene. On display will be a playlist of classic joints from the Trafik era being spun by the original Trafik lineup – Daddy Rintel, Ruffy Gee and DJ Franktik. MC JRippa, MC Tennacity and DJ Armee will also be whipping up a storm alongside Xsessiv, Mystique, Dazz K, Roller Crew, Dart, Devo, Kent and Webbz. It all goes down on Friday, April 13, at The Rosemount Hotel. Get on down from 8pm, $15 on the door.
Travis Stewart, better known as Machine Drum, or one half of bass duo Sepulcure is a dude who explores down temp glitch hop and he’s now known for his fusion of hip hop, juke, jungle and house. He presents a new fusion of dance music and he’s bringing that fusion to town for an Easter Thursday extravaganza. He’ll be joined by Montreal house producer Jacques Greene who’s remixed the likes of Katy B, Jimmy Edgar and Radiohead. Kitpop, Rok Riley, Modo, Oni Cash, Sleepyhead, Ylem and more will be supporting. It’s all happening on Thursday, April 5, at The Bakery. Tickets are $29 plus booking fee from lifeisnoise.com, Oztix, Heatseeker and nowbaking.com.au.
It’s been four years since Playaz Records head honcho DJ Hype was in Perth but now, the drum’n’bass producer is returning to town to show us how it’s done. Sigma will also be tearing the roof off when the show gets started on Saturday, March 24, at The Overflow (The Court). Tickets are on sale now for $35 plus booking fee from Planet, Mills, The DJ Factory and Moshtix.
THE WORLD WON’T WAIT
Hopefully it’ll hold out until Sam Perry, the young gentleman who’s been smashing it around town for the last year and a bit with his unique electro, foot peddling and delicious vocals, launches his single. Perry is launching The World Won’t Wait, his first single from his upcoming sophomore release due out later this year this Saturday, February 25, at Fat Shan Records.The Empty Cup and Ylem are on support duties.Tickets are $15 and doors open at 8pm. 32
X-Press – First on the street, Wednesdays
Wednesday 22nd February, 2012