New night Fhloston Paradise (named after the giant space-liner in The Fifth Element) joins us this Friday for the first time, with special guest Ed Davenport. The former Londoner, now a Berliner, Ed Davenport has been quietly making waves, playing regularly at both Berghain and Panoramabar and releasing techno records on Falkplatz, NRK Music and his own imprint Counterchange. Ahead of the party we caught up with Ed to talk production, obscure geek references and more...
What one record set you on your path in music?
It may sound a bit self-centred, but I'd have to say it was my first ever piece of music signed to a real label. That was the track Yanderling, on Gumption which was signed while I was living in my wonderful mouse-infested house in Peckham, during my first year of University. It was 2005 and making music was just a hobby. After that record eventually came out in '06, my whole focus changed and I knew I wanted to keep on putting out records and doing this full time!
Your past lies in graphic design and even today you create artwork for releases- do you think for you there is a desire to produce a complete multimedia artistic package?
Yeah, actually that's what I was studying at uni and I still love to make artwork for my own releases, or some of my friend's labels. I just like to keep busy and I don't feel balanced unless I've got some new visual projects going on alongside the music. Making artwork for my labels and for other releases I'm involved with helps keep me sane and allows important listening time away from the studio. I don't know if that makes up a 'complete' media experience, but I'd like to continue developing the visual stuff too.
As a former Londoner and current Berliner who plays in pretty diverse places around the world, where currently has the most exciting upcoming music scene you've experienced?
I just got back from Beirut. I was pretty surprised by the standard of production that they put into their events, and it seemed like there was a thriving, competitive scene going on there, right in the middle of that crumbling, hectic, nervous city. That's the kind of thing that excites me about the touring aspect of this music. Another similar scene is Tel Aviv. In both cities I saw great qualities in the young people going to techno parties - intelligent, super-friendly and hard-working music activists with golden hearts!
You'll be joining us here at Dalston Superstore for Fhloston Paradise- which is a pretty great geek reference... if you ever released under an obscure-reference-alias, what name would you pick and why?
Artist Name: Leonard Hatred
Track Name: Psilence
What's due up next on your label Counterchange?
Coming next on Counterchange is a 4 track Various Artists EP entitled Co-Ops Vol.1 (COUNTER004). It features tracks from Roman Lindau, Cassegrain, Savas Pascalidis and Nubian Mindz. They are all diverse, talented artists and this record highlights their straight-up club tracks. It's also kind of a reflection of the variety of music I'm playing out at the moment. Roman's track is funky, dubby bassline techno - classic Fachwerk stuff really. Then Cassegrain's track takes things much more in a sci-fi direction, heavy on drama! After that there's be a new EP from me in the works.
You just made your Fabric debut... are there any other UK clubs you're keen to play that you've not as yet?
I'd love to get up to Glasgow for The Arches or Subclub - I remember hearing those club names on Radio 1 when I was a teenager, while Tong went through his weekend roundup... classic techno institutions!
What's one piece of equipment or hardware (computers aside) that you couldn't make music without?
I love my KORG ESX-1 - it's a sampling drum machine with powerful valve compressors. It's taken part in pretty much all of the music I made for the last 4/5 years. It's not such a sought after machine, but like any instrument, you have to learn how to use it, or in this case, push it, to get interesting sounds out!
If you had a time machine, what dancefloor anywhere/anywhen would you want to visit?
Without a doubt, The Haçienda circa 1989. Mike Pickering or Sasha on the decks. If only.
Can you talk us through your production process a bit - do you start with an idea/inspiration or is it an almost formed piece of the track in your head that you need to get down- how does it work for you?
It's always based on jamming really. I'll have sequences or parts prepared from old tracks, which I like but I don't like the drums, say. So I'll take that one element and open it up by itself. Then I'll boot up my drum machine and synth, run it through some outboard FX and mess around until I find something that works. Often my tracks go through 5 or 10 different versions until I'm happy. I'll make rough mix-downs, play them out in clubs, send them to close friends and try to figure out what's working and what isn't. I'd say about 75% of the music I make never sees public release. Also, I often get really inspired when I'm out of the studio, travelling or maybe hearing other friends play. I'll make notes or buzz words that remind of an idea, or record some badly-sung idea into my phone. Then the next time I'm in the studio I'll try to get it down. It's a slow, patchwork process but somehow it works!
Any genre- what's your most perfect track to end the night on?
I once finished an 8hr set with this - the opening track Carry On. It's totally cheesy, groovy and full of love! Just listen to the break halfway through - sleazy proto-funk gold! Actually listen to the whole album! It has the power to remind you that there's a whole world of amazing music out there outside of house and techno. That, and the fact that the best, most honest and soulful music was made in the '60s and '70s, and we'll never get close to it again!
Join Ed Davenport at Fhloston Paradise this Friday 14th March at Dalston Superstore from 9pm - 3am.