100 Miles & Running – Glimpse Tours Australia 2011
Interview by Dean Dixon
All artists, all producers and I suppose all people have dreams of what they wish to accomplish, dreams of what they wish to achieve, which can subtly from time to time……what are yours at the moment?
Thats a very good question. My dreams are pretty simple and don’t change much. Just that my family and friends continue to stay healthy and happy and that I can continue to play music for a living. Anything else is a bonus.
On your recent “RUNNER” album on Crosstown Rebels, you had a continuous undercurrent of the cracks and pops of samples recorded directly from vinyl I believe……do you have any conscious undertones developing in your current projects?
I always try and keep the tales and imperfections I record in the mix and use them to my advantage. I don’t like highly polished music, I prefer a more raw, warmer sound that you get from analogue kit and field recordings. Everyone is different though. I think allot happens in the studio sub consciously, the way your treat a sample or or recording. All of this adds to the over all aesthetic of the track.
Can you tell us about any of those projects you’re currently working on at all?
Im working on a new alias at the moment with some releases planned for the end of the year and early next year with my good friend Alex Jones. Im really excited about this project as its a new opportunity to explore completely new territory to my glimpse guise.
Can you tell us a bit about your “Dense and Pika” Alias? How did it arise and what is its purpose?
The purpose of the new alias was to give us complete musical freedom, to start again with no expectations. Neither of us know were this may lead. It may lead to live shows eventually but we will have to wait and see.
During your last tour of Australia you spoke to us excitedly about your re-energized return of your love for playing and buying vinyl once again. Has that at all influenced your productions or the sounds you’ve chosen to utilize since then?
I have been buying and playing vinyl obsessively for 15 years but have finally got to the point were it is so un practical for me personally as an artist and performer that I have decided to play digitally. I was having endless problems in clubs with decks being broken, needles jumping, feedback ect that it got to the point that it was hugely effecting my performance. If I could turn up to every club and get a perfect set up of course I would still be playing records. But the reality of the situation is quite different. I still think that vinyl is the by far best sounding format for electronic music.
Tell us about your new live show, in which you incorporate the legendary 909! What made you want to use it live and how long have you been using it in your shows?
At the moment my live show is new material that I have been testing before release. I find it a good way to road test ideas and then go back to the studio the week after and make alterations to the mix or the sequence. I started using the 909 in my live show about a year and a half ago and it has dramatically changed my options in a live context. I have tried many different drum machines over the years but have not found a superior sounding machine to the 909. Its a simple piece of kit that does exactly what it says on the tin. I was 4 years old when my particular model was made in 1984. Despite there being hundreds of 909 sample packs out there none come close to the original. They also all sound slightly different due to the way they are made so you will never find two machines with the same attack or gate and 90% of my favourite records were written on it.
We know House and Techno are the primary domains in which you produce. Are there any other genres you delve into that we may not be aware of?
Recently I have been doing some stuff for documentaries which I have really enjoyed. I like music across the board and find it very restrictive just doing music for the dance floor.
How do you find the Electronic Dance Music “scene” in Australia compared to elsewhere around the world?
Last time I was in Australia I was blown away by the whole place. The music, the people, the food. I loved it. Dean introduced me to so many amazing records. Hopefully this time I can return the favour.
You’ve played some pretty epic gigs, can you tell us about a few particular moments that will always share a special place in your memory?
I think closing the car park at Space in Ibiza last season will always stick in my mind. I was up on a massive stage infront of 7000 people with my girl friend and manager crouching down behind me. Its something I will not forget.
HAHA had a quick chat with “Glimpse” on the lead up to his tour across Australia…
We understand that you had a spell of studies in sculpture at the infamous “St. Martins College” in London, can you tell us how you switched from this route in life towards that of electronic music, dj-ing & producing?
Whilst I was studying I was dj’ing and playing live every weekend in London. My masters was sculpture, I really don’t think there is any difference between sculpture and writing electronic music besides the medium. You are taking things away and adding them to spaces. Putting your identity into a space, whether that is done sonically or physically is not important to me.
Is there anything you do out of habit before sitting down in the studio to write?
Run with my dog in the park, Marmite on toast and a smoothie.
Seeing as you’re the head honcho of Glimpse Recordings, what are the primary challenges you’re having to overcome in today’s digital music climate? Can you outline any personal milestones that you’ve achieved since you started it?
Since I started Glimpse Recordings in 2003 the market and the way people purchase or steal music has changed a lot. Now, before a release is even out it appears on 10 or 20 illegal download sights. But at a low quality. That is what bothers me the most. If someone is going to steal my music at least have it the way it was written, not as a badly ripped 128 mp3. I would rather they wrote to me and were honest and just said ‘hi, I don’t want to pay for your music but I would like to have it, please can you send me a wav.’ People think that it is their right to have music for free now. Once it is on the internet it is in the public domain and is public property. It’s a very interesting debate.
You’ve obviously worked alone as well as with a few other producers, do you have a preference?
I work alone a lot so when I get the opportunity to work with another producer it feels very refreshing. My album that is coming in Feb is all solo work so this is were most of my solo efforts have been going lately.
You seem to be popping up on quite a few of Electronic dance music’s primary record labels, are there any other that you would specifically like to see your work released on?
I try not to think of labels to much. I’m aware that there is a lot of hype attached to certain labels at the moment but to me the label has always been the last piece of the jigsaw. I try to write the music first and let it evolve in a natural way, then think about labels that might suit it afterwards. Music has to come naturally and cant be tailor made.
Your recent touring has seen you globe-trotting to many different countries, some of which on multiple occasions, however this is your first trip to Australia….what are you looking forward to most?
I’m very excited about my trip to Australia as its uncharted territory for me. I love wild life, so I am looking forward to seeing Australia’s zoo’s and scuba diving ect..
Say someone wanted to catch you outside the studio and away from the nightclubs around the world, where would that most likely be?
Maybe in a Japanese restaurant or on Hampstead Heath with my girlfriend and dog Olek.
What are you looking forward to about the future, personally and project wise?
I’m expecting a lot of change over the next year. I’m having my first baby in January and my album is coming out in Feb, so things will be very different for me musically and emotionally. I’m also starting a new project on Glimpse Recordings called ‘Dense’ which is myself and Tom Demac. It will be a lot more concentrated than previous works on the label. Focusing on a much purer techno sound.
For all the producers and tech-heads out there, can you briefly outline your creative process when it come to your production?
For example; the programs, tools, your favorite gear, etc.. I use mainly analogue hardware and then Ableton to edit and sequence. My favorite bit of kit at the moment is probably my Super Jupiter MKS-80. Its a 1980’s vintage synth and its got an amazing warm sound. It takes a while to get your head around programming it but its worth the struggle.
Apart from that I use lots of things, if it makes a sound I will probably try and use it! Can you lay down your top five tracks of the moment for us?
Silent Servant aka John Mendez – Negative Fascinations – Sandwell District D5 – Floatation Tank EP – Delsin HollandWbeeza – Heavy Stuff – Third Ear UK Glimpse & Jay Shepheard – Lazer Bather EP – Glimpse Recordings Omar S – Still Nervous Nic – FXHE US Robert Babicz – Astor (Glimpse Remix) – Systematic Baby Ford – Tin or worms EP – Auto Reply Thomas Brinkman – Isch – CurleTim Exile – Family Galaxy – Warp Glimpse & Martin Eyerer – Southern Soul (Jay Shepheard Remix) – Buzzin Fly