Tuesday 8 November 2011
Wax Works meet TVO
The 19th November sees us return to one of our favourite spaces in Glasgow 'The Old Hairdressers', situated on Renfield Lane opposite Stereo it's a place for those who know. This time we have Glasgow's own TVO down to play some tunes, and before he melts our brains with some future music he kindly provided us with a fantastic mix and interview.
Full details for the party are on the artwork above, but I can also confirm that anyone in attendance will get a discount on the entry to CODE w/ Perc @ La Cheetah that evening.
Anyway, hope you enjoy the insight into TVO's world.
From our perspective this year seems like it has been a success in the world of TVO, with a Resident Advisor feature, a fantastic contribution to the mnmlssgs mix series, excellent gigs at the likes of Plex & BLOC and also some fantastic EPs on your label Broken20. It's strange then, that your gig at Wax Works will be your first in Glasgow for almost 2 years - why do you think that is and what is your opinion on the current scene in Glasgow?
Things were static for a while in Glasgow I guess, but there's a lot of new-ish nights coming up that seem to be booking some good artists - Mount Heart Attack, Animal Farm, yourselves, Tribute etc. - plus some of the nights that were putting on heavy stuff all night like Code are booking some really interesting guests. Techno-wise it's gone from a year ago there being a dearth of decent bookings to this period at the end of 2011 when there's FSG, Sigha, Shifted, Perc and Lucy all playing within a few months; that's some of the best artists of the year.
However from the more experimental side, the city is extremely poorly served. In London for example you can see dubstep, techno and experimental stuff all in one night in one venue; whether there's no appetite for that here or it's down to the restrictions below, I'm not sure
Glasgow, largely due to the ludicrously inflexible licensing laws and tied to a lack of multi-room club venues is really still caught up in the idea of booking only 'headliners' as the restrictions put the emphasis on spending money to get a big name for the end of the night. It means that local producers, or people who don't have a 'big' release out, or artists that straddle the middle ground between peak time and more thoughtful stuff, definitely have an uphill battle to get dates on their own turf. In addition unfortuantely I think that as media attention turns to Glasgow as being somewhere 'cool', the emphasis falls on putting night on that will appeal to the majority.
The Sub Club is regularly heralded as one of the best venues in the country, but would you agree that techno doesn't really feature on their agenda and with the demise of the Soundhaus, Glasgow doesn't really have any medium/large venues that are suitable for a techno party?
The Sub is defintiely an amazing venue to play at, but certainly doesn't feature nights that I'm that into - the exception being Highlife, who seem to be doing something quite interesting, and the occasional Animal Farm night there. I don't think that the sort of nights we're talking about are necessarily suited to the Sub though. For my money the best venue in Glasgow for that sort of night was the old Art School, provided you brought more sound in; 2 floors, a good size, chep drink etc. Hard to think of anywhere of a decent size that fulfills that now.
You were a 'Numbers' resident DJ for 7 years, what are some of your favourite memories of being involved with them?
Meeting and playing alongside my heroes, really; Surgeon, Errorsmith, DJ Pete both alone and with Vainqueur as Scion, Actress, Autechre, Monolake, Pendle Coven, Sleeparchive....the list goes on. Playing test presses of my new 12"s to 800 or so people before Moderat in the ABC was pretty good. Playing before Squarepusher. DJ Funk live, anytime he played. The last Numbers I went to was the one with Robert Hood, Levon Vincent and Jus Ed and was a good way to leave, all three were amazing.
Your label Broken20 has 4 full releases to its name with a 5th on the way in the near future, what made you decide to start up the label, how has the experience been and what advise would you give to others who want to set up a label?
I always said I wouldn't start a label, that headaches/costs/admin etc always seemed like the least fun part of it...but people kept sending me great music, and I was feeling limited in what I wanted to do. I knew that Highpoint Lowlife, who had been the home for my more experimental stuff, was going to be closing, and Stuff Records who I'd done a couple of 12"s for were merging into the Numbers label - which had a pretty different sound - so I thought I'd have a go. The response to the first release was overwhelmingly positive, and got me making connections with other artists, djs etc...so I figured I'd keep it up.
We (I run the label with Dave Production Unit, who handles press and PR, and Dave Erstlaub, who's our Art director) made a concious decision after the massive ressponse to our last release (from FSG's Isodyne) that we would ramp things up, get more releases out, do some different things with it.
It's been really rewarding but a lot of hard work. The best thing though has been discovering that lots of people will help with advice, or doing a remix, or just doing their bit to get support out...I've been nice to people in the past, mainly because I'm a nice person (ha) and that definitely comes back to help when you're asking for a magazine fetaure or radio play! In particular Richard from Stuff/Numbers and Thorsten who ran Highpoint Lowlife have been a constant source of advice and help - my advice would be to always speak to people with experience in runnign a label before making the jump yourself. Also, having something to make you stand out...our first release was quite unusual, a combined EP and album, and we've got some different formats, interesting remixers etc coming up. There are hundreds of releases each week coming out and unfortunately you need something to stand out from the crowd - an anonymous techno 12" will probably get lost in the sea of the rest of them
So far all of the releases have been digital only, what was the reasoning behind this decision and is a vinyl release something that you hope to do in the future?
rrr it's purely on the basis of me having a family to feed! I'd love to do vinyl, of course, but the cost is prohibitive. We're doing ok sales-wise on digital, and we have a couple of DVD releases and a casette sub-label coming up. A physical package is definitely important. I'd love to get our 06 release out on vinyl as it's really string with two amazing remixes - need to see if i can scrape the finances together. A few more gigs would certianly help that!
When is the next release out, where can we buy the current releases and what can we look forward to in the future from Broken20?
All our releases are available both direct from the label at http://store.broken20.com , or through Boomkat/Juno/Rubadub/Zero" as standard. Current release is the Isodyne EP, 4 tracks of dubbed out Chain Reaction sounding techno from Forward Strategy Group's Patrick backed with a remix from me...then at the end of November there's a debut EP from London's Nanorhythm, which is more in a classic electronic vibe, which comes with 2 mixes from me and a great experimental garage sounding mix from Infrasonic's Spatial.
Following that, there's a DVD/digi release of noise/drone/experimental from a guy called John Cohen, which we're really excited about - the DVDs look beautiful, i'm busy hand stamping them just now!
Next year our cassette sub-label, broken60 starts; it's helmed by Production Unit, and the first release is from 10-20 who did stuff for Highpoint Lowlife. It sounds like dancehall recorded underwater in a metal pipe, it's completely mental and lush. Finally the next two B20s are out in Jan/Feb next year - a Production Unit EP which will undoubtedly be our biggest release yet, as it has mixes from Perc and Paul from Emptyset accompanying it, and an album from a guy called Penalune from the States, which we're in the middle of trying to sort out a rework from Leyland Kirby.
As for new releases, you have 2 excellent remixes coming out on Perc Trax shortly I believe. Can we expect anymore solo material from you and will there be any further involvement with Perc?
I'm working on a new album just now, probably for B20 or B60, which is back to an experimental vibe - it's tying in with two shows we're doing as a label showcase in Brighton and London next year. Nothing planned with Perc Trax but i'd obviously love to do something else with them into the future. It's great that Ali Perc is so open-minded as to release some pretty experimental mixes of his album as well as more straight-up dancefloor ones
You recently played live at Plex in London as part of one of the best techno lineups I have seen in a long time, what was it like to be part of an event like that and can you give us some insight into the TVO live set?
Yeah it was an incredible night really; unfortunately my set time clashed with Surgeon so I only caught a bit of him, but Peverelist, Andy Stott, Perc and Neil Landstrumm were all amazing. The Plex guys shave been incredibly supportive of me and I've played a fair few times for them, and Colony (who were co-promoting the event) as well. It's a real honour to be involved in nights like that.
Live in a club it's obviously straight up dancefloor stuff; i use Ableton and an NI Maschine to rework stuff on the fly, along with an array of wee effects boxes and noise makers for adding live textures and loops. I always play that sort of set through a dj mixer rathe than a studio desk - it makes it more immediate and dynamic for reacting to a crowd and giving you hands on control over eq/kills/punching in and out - sometimes live techno suffers a bit from 'fader fatigue' as everything gets slowly brought up and down.
At Wax Works you're playing for 3 hours, do you approach your live set differently from a DJ set and what are the main differences between them? Also, do you have a preference?
I like them both, but for obvious reasons i do find playing live a lot more stressful - there's simply more that can go wrong. After playing out for a good 10+ years solo you'd think I'd get over the nerves, but unfortuantely not...Djing means you can do a lot more with the time, and obviously 3 hours is a total gift for covering a broad spectrum of stuff. An hour live set pretty much has to go in a linear route from A to B...a 3 hour dj set lets you bring in peaks and troughs.
Social Networking plays a huge part in the world of electronic music these days, as a frequent user of Twitter, how important do you think it has become for artists/labels/record shops and do you think the changes it has brought have largely been positive?
It lets you connect to other like-minded people - promoters, other artists, etc - that just wasn't possible before. I can't begin to list the benefits of being able to get bookings, promote releases, directly interact with people who're into the music, or simply to chat to other djs etc. It's transformed the way musicians/labels etc interact.
The ever increasing popularity of the digital artist has seen the arrival of large scale online piracy, where music is shared freely across the internet. Why do you think so many 'fans' are quite happy to download the majority of their music for free and what, if anything, do you think can be done to combat piracy?
Nothing. It's going to happen, it is happening. I've got half my bookings from people who openly admit that they've heard my stuff from d/ls, and so we as artists and labels need to try to get people to purchase through other means - physical packages, deluxe art, or whatever - or find other ways to make money. It's depressing but there's no point getting hung up on it - it's a fact that will never go away
Do you think services such as Spotify are any better than downloading the track illegally? As the money received from Spotify is next to nothing and the listener will never need to buy any of the music as long as they are a subscribed member.
Got to be honest and say i know next to nothing about Spotify, so lets skip this one : )
Finally, what artists are on your radar, but need to be on ours and what can we expect to hear from you on the 19th?
You'll hear a range of stuff from me, from Raster-Noton style minimal beats, through dubstep and electronics into techno. But to me, pretty much everything is techno : )
Artists: Kwaidan is a new neame, making techy bass music with a dark edge. Abdullah Rashim is a name a lot of people seem to be buzzing on - Chris from the mnmlssgs blog sent me some of his stuff and it's really good, advanced minimal gear. It's getting some buzz already, but the Ventress record on Shifted's Avian label is absolutely killer - every track is a keeper. The Container album on Spectrum Spools - usually an experimental synth label - has some lo-fi drum machine jams on it that sit great next to more conventional stuff. There's a guy called Mick Finesse from the States, who's doing a release for Perc Trax and a couple more soon I think, who's sent me some stuff - great doomy techno that has an experimental twist to it. And on the experimental side, Tengui, who's just remixed Perc, looks like a force to be reckoned with in the drone/dark ambient side.
Massive thanks to TVO for the in-depth response and the fantastic contribution to our mix series, we'll see him and you on the 19th.
Check out the mix HERE ---- Download HERE