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INTERVIEW: VINCE WATSON




With a career spanning over two decades, Vince Watson has made an indelible mark on the musical landscape, renowned for his ability to blend genres such as techno, house, and jazz into a unique and immersive sound.


Hailing from Glasgow, Vince has released over 250 tracks and collaborated with some of the most respected record labels worldwide, including Ovum, Cocoon, Tresor, and Planet E. His commitment to sonic perfection and his passion for music have earned him a special place in the hearts of his fans and the respect of his peers in the industry.


Today, we have the incredible opportunity to delve into Vince's journey, his inspirations, and his future projects. Vince, it's a true honor to have you here at Chromatic. 


How did you first get into music, and what drew you to become a DJ and producer?

My father was a folk musician, so I was on stage from age 4. Jean-Michel Jarre was my first electronic influence, though. After that, I went into hip-hop and then discovered Kraftwerk, etc. House and techno followed after. 'It Is What It Is' was the first techno track I heard



Which artists have inspired you the most musically?

Early days were JMJ, Herbie Hancock, and Larry Heard. Later, it was Mad Mike, Derrick May, and Carl Craig.



How would you define your sound?

Melancholic Outerspacial Quantum-Dimensional Beats.



In your opinion, what are some of the key ingredients that make a track timeless, and how do you strive to incorporate those elements into your own productions?

Making time-limited music can also be fun... it's just limited and serves a purpose. Creating timeless music isn't really a recipe; it comes from the heart, yes... but I guess it depends on what sounds you use to keep it subtle enough that it doesn't wear off too quickly. I honestly don't think about it when I'm making music; I just do what I feel is right. If it works, great; if it doesn't, I'll move on.


Some artists thrive in intimate, smaller venues, while others prefer larger festivals. What is your preference, and how do you adjust your set to suit the size and vibe of the venue?

If I'm playing a live house set, for example, it's gotta be intimate and close... but if I'm playing an Amorphic DJ set, it's gotta be in a warehouse. However, if I'm playing Amorphic Live, it's gonna be in a tripped-out club setting. It's all about the music, really. I love both. What I don't like are smaller venues that don't care enough about sound to have a good system—it's the only thing they should be focusing on.



What's the last song you couldn't stop listening to? We'd love to know what's been captivating your ears lately.

Of my own tracks, it's a track called 'Electro Body Rocker,' which is on my next album. I just finished it, and it's been on repeat; I can't get it out of my head... a good sign, I guess. Of other people's music, that would probably be Ochre's discography, which I am enjoying at the moment.



Collaboration is a significant aspect of the music industry. Can you share some memorable experiences from collaborating with other artists, and how do you believe collaboration enhances the creative process?

It can be a great tool nowadays, but it can also be difficult to pull off successfully. There are some very successful duos and trios out there that have found a way to do it on the production front as well as DJing together, but it's hard, especially from a distance. I have not done too many collaborations over the years... Kirk Degiorgio and Aril Brikha spring to mind, but most of my work with others has been remixing.



Two stories I can tell are, firstly, 'Fix Flash' by Orlando Voorn. I was asked to remix it, and at the time, no remixes had ever been done on it. I refused it. While I was honored, I was extremely aware of the fact that anyone remixing it would be doomed to failure, so I declined the job. I'm glad I did. Secondly, the Icon/Kao-tic Harmony remixes I did on Transmat for Derrick and Carl. I was asked and initially said no. They were two of my all-time favorite tracks. What the hell was I going to do to them without inflicting outrage on the entire Detroit Techno community? After being asked a second time, I decided that if I was going to do it, I would need to do something different than a remix; otherwise, it wasn't going to work. So I decided to recreate both tracks with my own sounds (there were no parts). It took two years on and off, but eventually, I found almost all of the sounds, though it wasn't easy. I did add some of my own elements to differentiate, so they ended up like hybrid remix/cover tracks. But the important thing was they got the blessings of Carl and Derrick, and they were released on Transmat with my head held high.


Vince, with your extensive experience in the electronic music scene, you've likely come across some emerging talents. Could you share with us any producers or artists you believe are doing exceptional work right now?

As an educator at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, I can tell you about two of my alumni who are really starting to make an impact—Myra and Vera Grace. Both of them are from the Netherlands and were my mentee students, but now they are both playing at Awakenings and starting to tour internationally. Myra is warming up for me at the 909 Festival in June, which is great.



Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or releases?

As Vince Watson, I literally just finished the next album last night—it's currently with Carl Cox for approval. I also have a big remix coming out on R&S Records soon. I recently restarted the archive releases last month, with Planet E being the latest one to grab. As Amorphic, I have completed the first LP, and that's currently with Jeff Mills for approval. Morph 03 will be coming soon too.



I have one more artist project that's launching as soon as possible. Three albums are completed; I've been working on it undercover for 3-4 years. Warp almost took it, but it was too similar to two of their other artists. So, I'm waiting to secure a label for it before I announce it. It's all about IDM/Electronica. Personally, it's the most technically crafted album I've made, and I'm just too excited for it all.


What advice would you give to aspiring DJs and producers who are looking to break into the techno scene?


Think about your legacy, find your own sound, find your own way of doing things, and break some rules along the way. You won't get far musically or emotionally by simply repeating yourself over and over. Be open to evolving... and if you're going to dance while you're DJing, at least touch the mixer. There's no need for a mask—it's been done. Be yourself and never stop believing in yourself.


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