Friday, 26 November 2010
INTERVIEW: Gerry Read [Dark Arx]
Described to me over a positive torrent of Old Speckled Hen at an open house several months ago, Gerry Read’s debut EP for the Dark Arx imprint sounded interesting. Given the label’s first two releases’ monochrome explorations around the verges of dub techno, the bold flashes of colour and euphoria illustrated to me through enthusiastic hand movements and extended patter definitely had me curious. Thankfully Read's Patterns EP didn’t disappoint.
Built around a budding tick loaded drum progression, which subtly builds through waves of texture and a repetitive vocal snatch, ‘Patterns’ erupts into life, centring itself around the power and impact of the sawing synthesizer. Then dropping into the track’s most melodic section, it teases and squirms through near silence before bringing just as much vitriol on the second drop. For me it was a wakeup call, a definite kind of jaw drop – reload - repeat five times kind of realisation that still happens regularly. So it’s incredibly rewarding that the flip, ‘Dreamer,’ is just as listenable. Slower, more introverted and layered to perfection, it’s the bass pulse and distorted stabs that really strike a chord on any soundsystem, with the flowery piano touches adding contrast to the harshness of the low end.
So, to keep doing Sonic Router’s thing for label relations whilst keeping my own half cut promises and simultaneously pushing new and exciting music, we proudly present the 61st Sonic Router mix from Gerry Read...
SR: Can you provide those who may not know you with a bit of background info?
Gerry Read: Hello, I’m a young DJ/producer by the name of Gerry Read. My debut EP with Dark Arx drops 22nd November 2010.
Outside of music who are you What do you do on the daily?
I’ve just got back to England from living abroad, I was doing a diploma in audio engineering there. Supposed to be finishing that off here but the college I was at was useless, I'm learning a lot more just working and experimenting on my own.
How did you first get into making music? What was it that infected you to do so?
I first started making music when I moved to Australia at the age of 15. It’s actually really hard to make friends and start a completely new life the other side of the world. I'd started school there and wasn’t doing much outside of school, despite being right next to a beach, but believe me that gets boring after a week or two.
It was really isolated where I was so there wasn’t much to do. I used to go out on my BMX by myself just listening to old school jungle mixes. I didn’t know anything about making electronic music but I was really interested to learn, and despite the immense originality of jungle, it sounded quite simple to make.
We were living out of our suitcases for about 8 weeks because all of our stuff was getting shipped. My parents bought a cheap laptop in a sale, to check there bank and what not on. Whenever no-one was on it, I'd just look up how to make tunes and I realised you could just make music, by yourself with a computer in your bedroom. So I started making jungle.
I'd always wanted to play in a band but you need about 3 more people at least to do that; 3 people with similar ideas and abilities, it’s quite hard to find that. So I ended up getting into electronic music and just took it from there.
What’s your production set up like?
Very simple. I will eventually get some really nice equipment; I know you can benefit a lot from it but I’m happy with what I use now at the moment.
How would you describe your sound?
A mixture of stuff I listen to and stuff I don’t. People have told me it’s quite house/techno sounding, but I don’t really listen to that. With a few of my tunes my inspiration is remembering when I had this sound in mind. A sound I spent ages looking for by googling loads of genres, but could never find; just a really urban raw, techno sort of rolling bass sound. So I ended up trying to make it myself, the influence is just coming from my own ideas.
What is an inspiration for you?
The whole vibe of a dancefloor; everyone moving, feeling and agreeing to that one tune. I’ve played out a few times when I lived abroad, rarely played any of my own material though. Now I can’t wait to eventually start playing again, turning what goes on in my bedroom into a moment. I’ve got a lot of tunes I’m confident with now which I'd definitely like to test the floor with.
Where do you see your sound developing?
Into something a lot more experimental, better production wise and a sound that I can call my own... still dancefloor friendly.
Are there any producers you rate that the world should know about? Any peeps not getting the props you think they deserve?
A producer called Lethem. Look him up, not sure if he’s that known but when I first heard his tunes, they gave me a very similar feeling Burial gave me, but a lot more subtle; down tempo, rolling dub. He hasn’t got anything officially released either I don’t think, he puts all his stuff up for free download!
Your Dark Arx release is imminent. What else have you got forthcoming?
I’ve got a Lorca remix forthcoming on a new London based label/clubnight 'Live Ones', and my tune ‘Seraphim’ on a Saigon compilation. Both should be out early 2011 on 12"/digital.
I've actually jumped into lining up a fair few things, some of my more experimental stuff. I’ve had a lot of labels messaging me, but I want to pace my sound but hopefully theres something with a few certain established labels I’ve been speaking to, still in the works though...
Tell us a little bit about the mix you’ve put together for us…
I'd say it’s a representation of how my sound is slowly progressing, in chronological order, with some of my favourite current producers in between. I’ve got a lot more tunes I haven’t included though. 'Climb', my first tune in the mix is about 2 years old. I dug out the only WAV of it to show Tim (Dark Arx), it had a shocking mixdown but he saw potential in it. Now it’s been mastered and sounds like a completely different tune.
Any words of wisdom, for our readers?
Anyone who’s making tunes, just experiment and see what happens..
DOWNLOAD: Gerry Read – Sonic Router Mix #61
Commix - Be True (Burial Remix)
Gerry Read – Climb
KLIC – Forwards
Martyn - Suburbia
Ramadanman – Humber
Lorca - Moments (Gerry Read Nostalgic Mix)
xxxy - Reflections
S^ - Pyramixdupup
Brackles - Get A Job
Appleblim & Peverelist - Over Here (Beat Pharmacy remix)
Gerry Read – Patterns
Joy Orbison - So Derobe
Gerry Read - Backward Step
Gerry Read – Planetarium
Dark Sky - Leave Them
Pedestrian - Hei Poa (Bubblers Edit)