We have had the pleasure of interviewing Ollie and this has been the result.
Q. How would you present your work to someone who doesn't know you?
A. Wonky, moody, kind of playful house music
Q. How on earth did you come up with these great titles for each of the tracks on your Swamp Songs EP!?
It’s nice if a track has a name and concept early in the process. It can even help lead the ideas a little bit and stop you getting lost in endless noodling. The vocal in ‘Swamp Song’ has that sort of ‘Down to the River to Pray’ thing going on, so I had an image in my head, but the tune is definitely a bit murky to be a river song. ‘Tribal Tat’ is a big lairy tribal tattooed banger, and Darkslide is all made up of samples from Tony Hawks Pro Skater, so it had to be named after a skate trick. ‘Shucka’ to be honest was a working title, so I’m just glad it was called that and not ‘spooky breakbeat v5679’ or something.
Q. What message do you like to try and convey to the public with your music when you DJ out?
A. I’m really into the vibe that you get from artists like Gideon Jackson and a lot of the old Wiggle stuff, where there’s this sort of spooky melancholic overtone, but with big house grooves underneath, and when it’s done just right, you feel that exciting uplifting energy in your chest. Obviously it’s a lot about getting into the vibe of the party and seeing what’s going to work, but if people are up for it, that’s where we’re going.
Q. How did your connection with Analytic Records come about?
A. The guys approached me and as soon as we got chatting I could see they had a real vision and passion for running the label. They already had a bunch of my favourite producers signed up too, so it was a no brainer!
Q. What is the concept behind this release?
A. Songs to sing at the swamp.
Q. As for your studio, what is it currently made up of?
A. At the moment I’m using the Elektron Analog Rytm and Keys, a couple of cheap Korg and Yamaha groove boxes from the 90s, and a little modular setup that’s basically a bass synth.
I’ve just moved into a new studio and until everything is properly wired up, a lot of my kit isn’t out and I’ve actually really been enjoying getting back into working more in the box. I think there’s a lot of talk and pressure about hardware being the ‘right’ way to make music, but coming from a generation who grew up on computers, it's good to utilise the tools at your disposal.
If I can hear a tune in my head, I’ll open Ableton and try to get it down. If it’s creative block time, I can switch on the DX200 and button mash it til something catches my ear. Then the audio editing is where the magic happens.
Q. What is the one instrument or piece of hardware you would never get rid of, no matter what?
A. It would have to be my Vermona Retroverb. It’s a spring reverb with a filter and a bit of analog distortion built in and it just adds a really dense texture to a track when you introduce it. I probably have something playing through it in the background of every tune and my Korg M1 is permanently hooked up to it for those moody chord sounds.
Q. What was the last record store you visited? And what did you salvage from there?
A. I had a good old dig at Palace Vinyl in London the other day and it has got me very interested in Cherry Bomb and their back catalogue.
Q. Do you have hope for the future of music? How would you like the future of the music industry to be?
A. I’m feeling good for the future of music. Where the genre boundaries are starting to re-dissolve, DJing is getting a lot more interesting and I’m sure that the music getting released is only going to do the same.
The industry is broken in lots of ways but the scene is going strong, and at least in my little bubble, people are turning more towards a DIY ethos. It’s nice to feel the sense of local community; local scene, small independent venues, small independent record labels.
I would love to see a version of things where artists could make a bit of money from actually just making music. Where not every producer is a DJ, they can’t be out gigging to make their money, so it needs to be viable both ways. This is starting to right itself with things like Bandcamp, so back to the DIY thing really !
Q. Can you reveal some future projects to us?
A. I’m part of a new DJ trio/boyband with Feel-X and Andy Blake called F.A.O which is a lot of fun. We’ve been in the studio as well as gigging, so keep an eye out for that. There’s also more to come on Analytic Records and I’ve just signed a vinyl release with a brand new label out of Ipswich which I’m very excited about, some of the more out-there music I’ve made too.
Q. Lastly... What makes you happy outside of music?
A. Pesto Gnocchi!