Quickie: Catching Up With Spatial
Photo by Thomas Sergeant
QUICKIE: Catching Up With Spatial
Spatial may describe his induction into electronic music as the ‘usual story’, but considering the success of his Infrasonics label (home to the likes of xxxy, Jamie Grind and King Thing), you wonder whether ‘raves, decks to sampler’ might be an understatement of what was undoubtedly a time of great influence. Headlining at ReFrame this Friday before embarking on a two month tour of the U.S and Australia, the London-based producer is very much central to the developing fusion between bass music and the more traditional flavours of House & Techno.
Having set up the Infrasonics label with the intention of releasing some of his own material, he soon found that the influx of quality music being sent his way was impossible to ignore, going on to release artists who represented much more than one singular style. And it’s not just the sounds which the label promote, but the format in which they are delivered that makes Infrasonics special. Releasing his own limited 10” on the imprint back in 2008, Spatial has strived to employ a ‘cross media’ approach which makes the music he loves accessible, exciting and most importantly significant.
Check out Spatial’s recent EPs below as well as an interview ahead of this Friday’s event with ReFrame:
WRND014 by spatial
SPATIAL - NNB01 by Niche N Bump
Synth: So this Friday you'll be dropping by ReFrame in Glasgow, let's start with how you got into electronic music and how you made that progression to producing? Were you DJing first?
Spatial: Usual story: raves to decks to sampler, with a lot of saving up cash between each step (it used to cost proper money back then to get skilled up). I was pretty lucky as I grew up in the ‘burbs around London, so I had access to a lot of decent parties. We had a killer local club too called the Slammer. Big influence on the whole M25 party scene in my area.
Synth: You were responsible for establishing the Infrasonics label which is home to the likes of Hot City, xxxy and Kingthing, what inspired you to start the label and how would you define the Infrasonics sound?
Spatial: It was originally intended just for my stuff, but it kinda organically grew. I was getting sent lots of killer stuff so it was a bit of a no brainer. I had support from my distro, so I wanted to support producers/mates who I believed in, a few of which have gone on to be pretty successful.
I don’t think we have an easily categorisable sound, and in some ways it’s a bit of a vanity project - I just put out whatever I like. There’s common threads through the releases though: a strong UK rave lineage and a melting pot of cultures that rave consumed, an absorption of US & European House & Techno, less is more (certainly in the earlier releases) and sound system culture…more attributes than sonic characteristics I guess.
Synth: You still put out releases on vinyl and of course your first Infrasonics release was a limited 10". Do you still have a passion for vinyl and do you think it can maintain popularity through the digital revolution?
Spatial: I’ve talked about this quite a lot in the past so I won’t repeat it too much. All I would say is that until someone figures out a better way to validate music, vinyl will still have a strong presence. For me it’s more about that than a sonic argument. Also, I’d point out the early 10”s were hybrid releases with 2 tracks on the vinyl complemented with 2 free tracks on the web. The latter tracks tended to get overlooked which I think says a lot.
ReFrame this Friday at The Brunswick Hotel featuring Spatial
Synth: Your recent release on Well Rounded offers sounds ranging from the 2-Step of 'Bring Me' to the wonky Techno of 'You Workin?', where would you say you're at musically in 2012 and how do you feel about the term 'Bass'?
Spatial: Me and Ash from Well Rounded hit it off instantly, he’s a proper head with an equally wide taste as me, so big thanks to him for putting out that record. I’ve never put much stylistic restriction on what I do in the studio so I’m kinda happy to be working at a time where there’s an open minded audience. I’m also just enjoying myself & going with the flow. Bass might be better replaced with ‘new wave’ or something, but I couldn’t really give a monkeys! Lots of people have talked about a transitory scene right now which I acknowledge to some extent, but truly revolutionary styles are extremely rare, and then those prototypes get copied infinitely. That’s a strange artefact of dance music that I never really got.
Synth: This Friday's performance at ReFrame will be your debut Scottish appearance and it's noted in the event blurb that you like as 'dark a room as possible', what should people be expecting from your set over the course of a night?
Spatial: Not sure yet! I normally cover quite a lot of ground when I DJ and the influences for the label are quite obvious signifiers. I like to play with the vibe sitting on more abstract selections between tracks that bang hard. I normally dig out a few old bits as well, see if anyone notices! I’ve just done a podcast for Eastern Bloc - that should give you a good idea.
Synth: Finally, with the label going from strength to strength and of course your own releases doing the damage, what else are you looking forward to over the remainder of 2012?
Spatial: There’s a 12” double pack coming on Stillcold in early Nov which I’m really excited about, it has a bunch of abstract soundscapes in between the dancefloor wares. There’s another 12” on a new label, Niche n Bump (run by Robn from Wifey LDN) coming a few weeks after. That one is pretty straight up and has consequently been getting big DJ support already from some decent headz. I’ve also been working on a 12” for WNCL so that should drop early 2013.
Spatial plays ReFrame at the Brunswick Hotel this Friday. Free before 11.30, £7 After.
Spatial on Soundcloud
Spatial on Infrasonics
Spatial on Twitter
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