Last week I caught up for a quick interview with Will Berridge, a producer whose music I first discovered via the Library UK music blog who’ve been championing the best in house and bass music for a year or so now.
Will’s track ‘Wednesday’ was the first of his tracks to grab my attention. It’s punchy intro and dark, rolling bass lurking in the background has been something of an underground success story, and it’s still available for free download too. But as I found out, it only portrays a solitary string in the bow of his considerable talent.
His recently released EP ‘Make a Move’ on Save You Records is a demonstration of his genre-spanning productions, from the thumping techno of the ‘Make a Move’ title track, to the bouncing old-school house vibe of ‘Stacking Options’, the 5 tracks (including the eerie remix from Hypercolour’s Ste Roberts) although markedly different, sit together very well.
I was interested to find out about his production process, particularly on this EP.
“The Make a Move EP was mainly constructed on an MPC 1000, I had one for the summer and it was super quick to get ideas down without launching Ableton.”
“I was sampling a lot of old wax, stuff like Tangerine Dream for synths and ambience and old beaten-up soul and funk for crackles and drums etc. It got me back into digging again. Its been real nice to re-connect with wax in that sense.”
You get the feeling it’s this digging about that either consciously or not, has fed into his creativity. Perhaps this attitude also helped develop the partnership with Save You, a label whose mentality seems very much in line with Will’s.
“Yeah the Save You guys are great, their ethos fits me down to the ground and it was the right time, right place for all of us I guess.”
“I was fed up of most the stuff being played out, so decided to bury myself in the studio for a while and re-connect with a lot of old techno I loved when I was younger. That’s how the EP took on its sound I guess.”
“It’s never been such an exciting time for music in the UK. However like most things in this country a lot of sub-genres are quick to get saturated and rinsed out like every other flavour of the week before it. I think that’s why I’ve enjoyed digging for wax again the past six months. There are a lot of good bits about on small labels that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise.”
The UK certainly is something of a hotbed for talent at the moment. I couldn’t agree with his last point more. While some great music is being released on top labels with plenty of hype surrounding them, I always feel like there must be so much more that gets swallowed up without much in the way recognition.
So with this and his appreciation of several styles I wanted to find out who has been standing out for him recently.
“I’m gonna recommend Edmondson. Really sound lad whose got such a diversity in his sound. His next EP is a banger! Also, it’s no new thing but Wil Maddams and the whole Remote sound is crazy, check it out if you’ve not already.”
“Finally, Mr.G! The man can do no wrong, I try to keep up with his releases as much as my bank balance will allow!”
Appreciation for Will’s work in the scene goes beyond blogs and YouTube channels though, with Hypercolour’s Ste Roberts having remixed the title track on the EP, and Shenoda dropping his own version into a recent Rinse FM set. I reckon it’s a sign of things to come, watch this space! I asked Will how the remix came to be and how he felt about it.
“Yeah man, when Rob and Adam (Save You) told me he was remixing Make a Move I was so excited. I’ve got a few of his tracks on wax and he smashes it, real unique sound with a humble attitude to match.”
“Hypercolour would have to be one of my favourite labels right now, putting out quality music because its good, regardless of genre or name.”
I came back to the point Will made previously about certain genres becoming worn out quite quickly, particularly due to the availability and ease with which music can be put out there. In this digital age, what’s it like for a young producer trying to make a name for himself, how do you make yourself heard? Is releasing top quality tracks like ‘Wednesday’ for free as opposed to holding out for them to get picked up the key?
“It’s hard to keep up with everything that’s going on around. I’ve only learnt to be patient with my tracks in the past six months or so. I never really had any plans for the track [Wednesday], I made it one afternoon for a bit of fun. I played it out the following weekend though and it went off it so I put it up!
“It’s better than it just sitting there on my hardrive. The reactions have been positive so far, and it’s brought some good exposure so yeah!”
When not crafting his own sounds, Will along with a few colleagues, have also started their own night ‘Mist’, in Leeds, that had also included some great live artwork. I’d seen some nice line ups announced, and was keen to get a steer on what can be expected from them in future.
“Like anyone else, we just wanted to create something original. We got our mates (Koff & REALGOOD) to do some live illustration for us, they smashed it.”
“We also wanna aim to have an eclectic line up each time, not really getting settled into any specific genres. DjRum really helped affirm this idea when he tore out some 90s hardcore three quarters of the way through his set. Sick guy!
“We teamed up with Less is More too and Addison Groove played for us at Wire in Leeds, great fun!
Mist sounds like something to keep an eye on if you call Yorkshire home, or even if you don’t. I have the feeling the trip would be worthwhile!
So what’s coming up in 2014? Will’s track ‘We Could’ is due out on Sccucci Manucci soon (just saw some test presses of this, so it can’t be far off), and from what’s up on Soundcloud currently, it’s not bad!
“‘We Could’, yeah! I’m excited for that one. Ive just finished a remix off for Mella Dee, that’s also coming on Scucci. Ive got a few more EPs lined up, sadly I can’t tell you the label names! I’ve just linked up with Stay Paid for bookings, hopefully that’ll see me playing out and stuff!”
It was really great getting to chat to Will, top producer and a really nice guy too. I’m always surprised with the patience artists and producers/DJs show with questions that they have perhaps had to answer on more than one occasion in the past!
Be sure to keep up with his progress on Facebook, and follow him on Soundcloud for all his latest releases. If you want to check out Will and fellow Mist residents, keep your eyes on the Mist Facebook page for announcements. UKB