Thursday, 16 February 2012

James McArdle @ Automatque.

After a chilled out festive period AUTOMATIQUE are back with their first party of 2012.
This is going to be a pretty special party to kick off the new year with the return of a well known local DJ making a one off appearance back at the Trades Club!
James McArdle (Construct/DividedByDirt)
Some of you will remember James from the legendary DividedByDirt nights which ran at the Trades Club from 2002 - 2006!
After twisting James's arm for a short while they have managed to get him to play a one off gig back where it all started!
But before they turn down the lights and flood the room with concentrated dissonant melodies,they caught up with james and had a chat....

1. Hi James, how's things....?

All good thank you, apart from a still nagging hangover from a long weekend in Europe. Worth it as always though.

2. You are known for the infamous DividedByDirt parties in Hebden Bridge but what have you been upto since then....?

Things were moving nicely just before we had to finish DividedByDirt. The night was getting talked about in the right places and selling out every time, I was DJing at Fabric and other great clubs. Given the circumstances in which we ended it I decided to remove myself from everything for a couple of years afterwards. If I'm honest I began to hate it for a while, I don't know why. I didn't think I'd ever get back into it at one point. I sold a lot of my records that I wish I hadn't. I moved to Manchester and continued working in PR, looking after press for Mute Records, Because, PIAS et al among others and slowly began to get back into all things 'dance' on the side. I set up Construct and got back into everything, DJing in particular. The break has done me a lot of good, things seem clearer now.

3. Tell us a little bit about Construct....

I set Construct up late 2008 I think, although I didn't really start working on it properly until the last couple of years. It was (and still is really) a small operation housing my personal tastes in electronic music. Something I could control on my own alongside other projects, a night that I could stop and start at will if necessary, choose how much output I wanted at any given time, look after all the artwork, work with artists I liked and respected.

It's essentially an agency, a (very irregular) party and a soon to be record label and mix series. I like to work with a small number of artists but work a lot more closely with them. I have no grand plans for the agency to be massive or anything like that. I think the majority of DJs and electronic artists don't need a manager as such, more someone who can look after a few things in one place, find the right labels for their productions, manage their own labels, make sure they play the right clubs..

I've been building Construct very slowly, I have a clear aim for it which I'll probably get to in the next few years.

4. I see you have Will Saul @ the next Construct party, nice booking! What other artists are doing the business for you at the moment....?

Thank you, we're looking forward to this one, I've always been a big fan of his DJing. I'm in a groove again of revisting older stuff at the moment actually. A lot of mid-90s trippy house music, ICube, Gemini et al. I tend to play more long, warm up sets so I can get away with more of that stuff. On the newer side, I really like Sam Russo's recent stuff, I'm a big fan of Ion Ludwig's, Hugo Barritt I've been playing quite a lot of recently, Steven Tang, Basic Soul Unit, Canson, Lerosa, Levon Vincent... there's a truckload of other stuff that will come to me later sorry! There's the ones that are always doing it of course.. Craig Richards, Perlon, Swayzak, Matthew Dear, Cassy, John Tejada, Carl Finlow, Motivbank, Spectral Sound, Dixon, Ata, Weatherall...

5. Whats your thoughts on all this DJ X Factor can keep it short and sweet if you like....?

I'm genuinely intriqued as to how they will do this actually. A 5minute DMC Championship type routine perhaps? If so the auditions could be very funny actually. To be honest I couldn't give a monkey's arse about these kind of things anymore, it's too easy to get angry with them. It's a completely different world from what I see as DJing. It's mainstream music for mainstream audiences and that's ok I guess.

6. What can we see from yourself and Construct in the future....?

Well after many (many) years putting it off I'm finally going to get my head down this year in a studio. Unfortunately no matter how much you enjoy it or how great you are at it, it's not enough just to be a good DJ anymore. That's just the way it is now. You have to have a load of other stuff going on too.

The Mix Series will launch next month which I'm excited about. These will be as far from Construct's current musical output as possible. The first one will be from Philip Sherburne. He's done a really great job with it. They'll be pretty irregular and likely to be compiled more from label owners, journalists, collectors and not just DJs or producers. These kind of people have incredible, vast record collections and tend not to be jaded by turning out podcasts every week.

The agency will grow a little more with probably another 1 or 2 additions this year I think. The label will also launch this year, although I've been saying that for a while. I have a few bits almost ready but need to pull my finger out and get in gear with it really. When it starts there will be a release every few months focusing on just one original piece and one remix on the flip. A small run of vinyl, nice artwork, a very simple affair really.

Thanks Antony

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