This weeks interview & mix comes from Momotone and Soosh
Introduce yourself and tell us about the part of the UK you’re from?
Memotone: My name is William Yates and I make music under the name ‘Memotone’. I live on the North Dorset/South Wiltshire boarder, in a 400 year old
cottage surrounded by woods and rolling hills. No street lights, hardly any people. I was born in this house and grew up in these woods. It is truly my home and I’m very lucky to have it. However I have lived in Brighton and I am moving to Bristol next Tuesday. But my roots are here, in the silence and the darkness, deep between the trees.
Soosh: I’m Soroosh, artist name Soosh. I was born in Iran, my family escaped there when I was 6 months old and grew up in Scotland, but I’ve been living in Brighton the past few years.
Can you tell us a bit about what you’ve been working on recently?
Memotone: Alongside the Memoosh (Memotone and Soosh collaboration) album, I have been working on a solo vocal project. I’ve only put one track online so far, even though I’ve recorded 9. I’m biding my time and waiting to unveil it along with a release. I may bleed a few more tracks into public space before then though. I have also been working on solo Memotone stuff. I had a cassette release this week via WotNot. They put together a compilation of experimental musicians, which I composed a track for. I’m really happy with it actually. I think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. The release is called ‘Life Between Screens’ and features UK artists like Wanda Group, U, Shelly Parker, BNJMN and many more. You can check it out here: http://www.wotnot.tv/life-between-screens/. Also writing new material for my Memotone album II.
Soosh: The last year i finished my collaboration album with Memotone, which is coming out on Project Mooncircle next month. More recently I’m working on solo Soosh stuff, just taking my time and hopefully put together an album in the next 6-12 months.
And can you talk us through the mix?
Memotone: The mix is a reflection of my listening habits of late. Mostly tracks that, on first listen I was like.. ‘Wait… What? ..’ Which is a reaction I strive to induce. But there are just some really good tunes in there too. And a couple of things that people may not have heard. I used it as an opportunity to play one of my friends (Doubt) tracks. He’s been producing for a number of years now but only finds the time to work on music every now and then. I think he’s an outstanding producer and certainly inspired me when I starting using a computer. And continues to do so if I’m honest. He’s never had a release himself, but I feel that’s more by his choice than that of anyone else.
Soosh: My mix is the UK only selection of the mix. I put it together on my turntables as a proper DJ mix, and it represents the kind of dance music I like to hear in a club. Varied, predominately electronic with some heavier moments laced with a more melancholy and musical side. I wanted it to represent my tastes currently and from the past few years. I think there’s so much varied British music out there i wanted to show the breath of what’s happening lately.
Nice, give us a taste of some of your favourite British artists at the moment?
Memotone: I was focusing on the latter half of the mix, which isn’t constrained to exclusively British artists, but there are still a fair few in there! Which is to the credit of the underground British music scene. I would say ‘U’ is an artist people should keep there eye on. But we operate in exciting times. There are so many good ideas being thrown around and so many people trying their hand at making music. Isn’t always pleasant for us listeners, but sometimes it really pay’s off.
Soosh: The British music i have included is a mixture of hip-hop, electronic and some more stripped techno sounds and the electronic spectrum really, it also includes an exclusive of our upcoming Soosh and Memotone track- “Pale Fire”. I love Trim’s rapping style and he gently starts us off with some verses. Currently I’m very excited by Akkord and love the varied tempos he records at- a heavy and equally sparse sound and the glitches just keep things moving beautifully. I’ve been loving everything I hear by The Cyclist as well some original distorted techno type sounds, and of coarse the Bristol connection with Vessel and Young Echo Crew. I’m really looking forward to Forrest swords next album, managed to catch him live in Sonar this year- wonderful stuff!!
Cool, tell us about some of your British DJ Heroes and influences in general?
Memotone: I don’t know if I really have any DJ hero’s. I think the best DJ set I’ve ever seen was probably N-type though. A seriously good DJ. I don’t really
go to see DJ’s any more. If I do it’s usually grime, which I love. Kahn and Neek doing a grime set, unashamed, unrelenting. I’m happy with that. I went to the DMZ 8th Birthday in London and had such a good night. That’s my sort of club night. It a tunnel somewhere, sweat dripping from the ceiling, listening to intense bass weight, noise and heavy beats. Back in the day Hatcha was a favourite of mine. Pretty much all the dubstep (2006-2008) DJ’s had me going at one point or another. It was a time that I often compare to what it must have been like growing up in the 60’s. It really felt like something new that we were part of. Like something only a few of us really hooked into and was special to that select group. Following each release as if it was going to lead us to a completely fresh place every time. I’ve not experienced that feeling again since, but I think that might be due, not only to the music that was being made at the time, but also my age (16-18).
Soosh: When i was a teenager and at uni I was heavy into jungle music, obviously i’ve moved on from there. British heroes hmmm, I think a lot of musical education came from nights like Optimo in Glasgow. Mary Anne Hobbes is a def legend for pushing so many underground sounds on mainstream radio. Four Tet as well, caught him a good few times, always fresh! Gilles Peterson would def be up there, don’t follow him so much these days but he is a def influence. I think these days I don’t really follow too many dj’s, I’m more into seeing acts live, so yeah the DJ is becoming a bit redundant to me! Having said that people like Tom Ravenscroft on BBC 6 and Nick Lumscombe on late junction always play a fine selection.
And what’s on the cards in the immediate future?
Memotone: The immediate future see’s the release of the Memoosh album via Project Mooncircle at the beginning of October, lots of work to try and earn
Money. (I do bespoke composition as an earner on the side.) I’m also producing an album for a vocalist – which I can’t say too much about at the moment but should be good – and working on my own Memotone album. Oh, and trying to find a suitable label to release my Wy project (solo vocal stuff I mentioned earlier.) Other than that I will be gigging and no doubt writing all sorts of music which I may or may not ever release because I tend to have an endless need to create. I also do a lot of drawing, so no doubt I’ll be doing that as well. Along with trying to live life like most people do.
Soosh: Looking forward to the Memoosh album coming out next month first and foremost! Hopefully playing some gigs in the coming months, and getting stuck into my new solo works, which are half finished! Music music music!!!
And finally, where is the best place in the world you have DJ’d and why?
Memotone: I don’t actually DJ myself. I exclusively play full live sets, no laptop. I guess it’s because I’m a musician first and producer second. But I really enjoyed playing in a club/cinema/studio called WORM in Rotterdam for a night called Soirée Urthonà. Rotterdam itself wasn’t entirely inspiring; having been fairly well flattened in the war it’s resulted in a lot of new buildings. But the venue, crowd and atmosphere were perfect. My hosts were beautiful people who I shall never forget. I stayed up with one of the promoters until 6 in the morning, listening through his vast music collection, drinking from his vast spirits collection and generally indulging in his company and home comforts. We ended the night with “Spem in Alium” by Thomas Tallis as the sun rose over the city. It was one of those experiences that you could spend a lifetime chasing.
Soosh: My favourite place would be Bologna, Italy late 2012. It was my first gig abroad in some converted church/theatre place. I have no idea how they let club nights happen in such magical places over there, what with planning permission etc mental really! Playing to over 500 crazy Italians totally into the music, an experience I will never forget! And they were the best hosts, was treated like family over there!