What’s certainly proceeding apace for you are your DJ bookings. What are you trying to achieve with your work as a DJ under the South London Ordnance moniker?
“I really want to carry on in the same vein that I always use to play. I used to play a little bit of hip-hop, grime, garage, dancehall. I delved into techno, and then funky started coming along, it was becoming a bit more like techno, Night Slugs were getting more recognition, along those sort of lines. It was a big mish-mash of stuff, and I kind of want to do that with South London Ordnance.”
“At the same time, one has in one’s head: what is the endgame? Where do you want to play? If I want to play big rooms at big clubs in exciting cities, you have to gear your set more towards that. There’s no denying it – and lot of people are getting upset about it – but techno and house more than ever before, even in the smaller cities, that’s the main room sound. A lot of people go out, and if you are playing in Room 1, that’s what they want to hear. I still play a lot of broken beat stuff halfway through my set, but I generally tend to start with quite upfront house and techno – small ‘t’ though. [laughs]”
“Everything is shapes and textures for me, regardless of what it is, whether it’s marks on a piece of paper or stuff in the interface on Logic”
Your online persona has been quite shadowy thus far. Images of you are obscured, your tracks pop up and then disappear – is there any rationale behind that mystique? Is it inadvertent? Are you attempting to do something with it?
“As I say, I’ve done a few other projects. It’s nice not to have it connected to anything else. In the beginning, I just didn’t have any press shots. I spent a lot of time on the internet, I saw a photo I liked, and it was quite fun, undeniably. With the putting stuff up, it kept people a bit more interested. It always comes back to this idea of the endgame, what the point of everything is. If you want to get signed to a big label, you don’t want your best work stagnating on Soundcloud.”
‘Crows Nest’ (unreleased)
Image control is a means of getting yourself to an ‘endgame’, telling other people what sort of artist you want to be. In an age of oversharing, there’s a degree of artistic control in keeping things back from the web.
“Absolutely, you never want to be found giving too much away. People can make up their own opinions – it’s much more important to let people to decide about things themselves. One doesn’t necessarily want to be judged on what you look like. It pains me to say it, but you do want it to be about the music. I know that sounds awful because it’s a horrible cliché, but it’s kind of true, really.”
Honing in directly on the music, am I right in thinking you’re currently running a label project under the SLO moniker?
[Pregnant pause] “No, not under South London Ordnance, no.”
Is any label you’re running at the moment something you can discuss?
“Erm…not really. It’s just a different thing. But I’ve got a plan – I will be launching a label in January 2013 under the South London Ordnance alias which I’m really looking forward to. For the veritable goldmine of music that I’ve come into contact with. At the moment, it’s just in the planning stages. I’ve got a name!”
Are there any new releases in the works with the South London Ordnance project?
“Yes, there are! By the way, shout out 2nd Drop – it was a real pleasure to work with them on that release. Those are two of the first tunes I ever finished, so it’s nice to see them come out on a label I really respect. Next month, I have a 12” on Well Rounded which I’m really looking forward to getting out. I think people will be really interested by it because it’s very different. It’s nothing like the 2nd Drop release – I’m not going to try and describe it.”
“The month after that , I have my first full EP with a Dutch label called Audio Culture. I was recently over in Amsterdam mixing that down in the studios there, and it sounds really good. It’s five pretty much unheard tracks – a few of them have been around and about. I’ve got one more release in August with a Copenhagen based label , which I’m really excited about. I’ve just got some great remixes back for that. I don’t know which one’s coming on the EP, but there’s definitely a West Norwood Cassette Library remix, and there’s one other big room techno artist who’s done a remix – I’m probably not supposed to say yet. But it’s really, really good.”
Catch South London Ordnance along with Jimmy Edgar and more for FOUND at Hidden in London June 29. Details here.