Throughout July and August, Glasgow’s ever dependable midweek party, iAM, have hosted some of the city’s most exciting new names. From Denis Sulta to Big Miz, it’s been a fine celebration of local talent, with Gang Fatale’s Bleaker providing one of the standout sets. “It was my first time on the decks there, although far from my first time in the Subby” he tells us. “I think I went to iAM every Tuesday in 1st year (of Uni), so it was amazing to finally play there. Having spent so many hours on that dancefloor, you get to know exactly what kind of tunes work and my set felt very natural as a result.”
Having moved to Glasgow from Edinburgh to study, Bleaker is the latest in an explosion of new producers generating a buzz. Serving up a rapid mix of juke, jack and techno, his tunes have been picked up by both DJ Haus and LuckyMe for Rinse FM, and he’s just confirmed his first release on Unknown To The Unknown. It’s still early days of course, but having been inducted into cross-border party crew, Gang Fatale, he’s got a great support team. “I’m so happy that they invited me to join last December” beams Bleaker. “I met SHEEN in Glasgow a few years ago and got to know about Gang Fatale through that. I just kept sending them tunes until they gave in and signed me up!” Making his Boiler Room debut during a Gang Fatale special earlier this year, he certainly keeps good company.
Check out Rinse FM rips of Bleaker’s music below, as well as his recent mix for Evil Streets:
SynthGlasgow: Listening through some of your tracks on Soundcloud, you seem to adopt a real melting pot of styles. Who or what have been the key influences during your journey and arriving at the Bleaker sound?
Bleaker: Most of my influences come from the internet or second-hand bins in record shops (special thanks to Underground Solushn in Edinburgh). Moving to Glasgow for Uni has been great as well - so much good music here.
SG: You utilise some sweet samples in your tracks; from vocal snippets to quirky percussive elements. What do you look for in a good sample and do you ever record your own?
Bleaker: Cheers! I like samples with a bit of character - the Casio RZ-1 drum machine for example. It sounds kind of crap but is better for it. Most non-drum machine samples tend to just be snippets cut from other tunes. I won’t go into specifics as to avoid copyright woes, but hip hop records are goldmines. I haven't tried recording my own, but it's something I might look into at some point in the future.
SG: There are more and more people giving production a go, but only a few seem to break through. What do you think is the most important aspect of getting your music noticed and what artists are you feeling at the moment?
Bleaker: The main thing is making great music. Aside from that, send music to DJs/producers you are into, but be selective; don’t just blast tunes out to everyone. Getting involved with a group of likeminded people is helpful as well.
SG: You made a blazing appearance at the Sub Club for iAM earlier this month; was that your first time on the Subby decks? And for those who didn’t catch you, what sounds and styles do you like to touch on during a set?
Bleaker: Thanks! Yeah it was my first time on the decks there, although far from my first time in the Subby. I think I went to iAM every Tuesday in 1st year (at Uni), so it was amazing to finally play there. Having spent so many hours on that dancefloor, or any dancefloor for that matter, you get to know exactly what kind of tunes work. The set felt very natural as a result.
It depends on the club/lineup for what sort of music I play. Usually though, it’s tunes with banging drums and then finishing on J-Lo or something.
SG: Gang Fatale seems to be a really cool crew to be a part of, boasting a whole pool of talent. Can you tell us a little about how you got involved and what the collective is all about?
Bleaker: I’m so happy that they invited me to join last December. I met SHEEN in Glasgow a few years ago and got to know about Gang Fatale through that. I just kept sending them tunes from then on until they gave in and signed me up! A lot of my releases so far have been tracks I wrote for Neana and Ra’s Al to play on their radio show.
It’s kind of difficult to pinpoint what we are about. We all just have similar ideas about tunes and stuff. It’s nice :)
SG: Looking forward, there are a few radio rips on your Soundcloud, so what can we expect in terms of releases over the next few months and how is the gig schedule shaping up?
Bleaker: I’ve got my debut vinyl release on UTTU coming out in the next couple of months. There’s also a new Gang Fatale compilation coming soon, featuring a couple of tunes by me. Gig-wise, I’ll be back in London a few times over the next few months, as well as playing a few times in Glasgow. Can’t wait.
Bleaker ‘Hype (Funk)’ is forthcoming on Unknown To The Unknown. Pre order here.