London based DJ and producer Alan Fitzpatrick is rightly feeling the fruits of his labour in 2014. After releasing upfront, killer cuts on the likes of Adam Beyer’s Drumcode label and touring rather unrelentingly around the globe, the UK producer and DJ maintains a healthy, pro-active spirit to his career after 15 years of working his way to the top of techno tree. These days, Adam is crafting his bass-heavy, signature sound and plying his technical and boundary breaking DJ sets on a regular basis. MEOKO thought it a good idea to sit down and catch up with Alan while he still has the time to do so. Read on…
Italy, Malta, Mexico, California, Germany, England, South America, Canada and many more are included in the list of places you’ve already visited. Is there a place you haven’t played yet and would like to?
I am fortunate enough to get to travel to pretty much everywhere playing music, but I still haven’t been to OZ and New Zealand. I would love to visit here one day.
You were the first to be invited, after a long time, to record an album on Drumcode. What did this mean to you?
Yeah it was a great honour and I am proud of the fact I got to do this. I listened to the album again recently and I am still really proud of it. My sound and production has changed a fair bit but it’s still sounding pretty good.
Your ascension to the top was relatively fast and now you are always in demand, for production or for studio services. Compared to when you started, how is the electronic music scene changed?
A lot I guess, but the main factor is the branding now. Labels has their own crews, their own parties and their own strong following, so i think it’s hard for new producers to break in now. Plus, with the ease of submitting demos to people and social media, it’s almost impossible to get your music heard without knowing the right people or a contact at the office of the record labels that you’re submitting to.
I mean, nowadays equipments are more affordable, technology is improved and the chance to play have increased drastically there are so many, countless event in the big cities. If on one side it is a good thing, do you think is harder now for DJs in bud to be ‘noticed’ when there is so much competition out there?
Definitely, as I mentioned previously…. It’s very hard and cut throat. However if your music is good enough and you show that you want it enough, i think anything is possible. You just have to be ambitious.
In England the rave/club culture has always been very consistent and crazier than anywhere else. If you think about the development of acid house, the birth of Ibiza as ‘re-creative getaway’ for tired English bohemians, it seems like club culture had born here. Or do you think it is just an undisguised habit that is as popular everywhere else?
Well I think a lot of dance culture as we know it was born here, but I expect people from cities all over the world will claim that they had a part to play and rightly so. We always mention the UK because we are British, and we are proud of own scene. People from Chicago, Detroit and Berlin will also have a lot to shout about as they are proud too. Pockets of people all over the world have been dancing to drum beats since the cave men!
Tell us a bit about your music. You’re a definitive techno master but you worked on many dub sessions as well. The common feature seems to be the presence of embracing deep and dark sounds. If so, what’s your attraction to them?
I just like hypnotic stuff when it comes to electronic music. But to be honest my taste is very broad. I love making really energetic club tracks and also trippier, dubby stuff. On other days I’ll make more sexy, after hour bits it just depends on my mood.
Would you say that is possible to be a ‘purist’ of only one genre or that as a concept might exist but in practice couldn’t work? Influences are always so many, plus it must be quite hard to stay within a frame and never wanting to change, to flee…
I don’t get it, I don’t think anyone is a real purist. We all have favourites and stay loyal to genres in a broad sense, but i don’t think that a real purist would be easy to find, everyone is influenced by so many things and i bet if you spied on someone calling themselves a purist, then their guilty pleasure would be revealed soon enough. You may find them listening to One Direction in the shower!
Talking about collaborations, you have shared the boards with Adam Beyer, Joseph Capriati and more. What is that you like the most about working alongside another artist? How do you think each of your collaborations has enriched you and contributes to the development of your own work?
It’s nice to work with other people and bounce Ideas, whether it’s remotely or in the studio together. I much prefer writing on my own however, but I do enjoy seeing how a joint creative process evolves. This year I have a collab coming with Gary Beck, one with Mark Broom and a ton of stuff with Reset Robot as ‘Customer’!
Would you say you are more a ‘loner’ as DJ/Producer?
Feels like it sometimes!
I have always wondered: how is it like when you get on a big stage and start playing? Do you still get a funny feeling in the stomach after many years spent playing in several clubs?
Yeah you do but you control and channel it more. Places that you play regularly it’s not so much, that’s more an intense feeling of excitement and joy. But sure, we all get nervous, you have to…. that’s your focus and your want to do well. If you don’t get butterflies now and again then your doin’ it wrong!
MEOKO featured an article about new technologies a few days ago. Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, Beatport, Spotify, Instagram, Skype. Basically all these technologies help you staying in contact with the world or compel you to, at times. It is a great way for freelance professionals to get their name out there, for producers to get their tracks out there going around and have good publicity at almost no cost. But what are the drawbacks of this ‘dependency’? Do you personally feel that you depend on all this media?
In all honesty I fucking hate the lot of it, and I love it at the same time! In this industry it’s a no brainer that you need to be active on these platforms but it’s sometimes a right ball ache. I used to know people that would email each other even though they were sat next to each other. It’s a bit worrying that with a lot of social media, the art of conversation face to face is dying. I wonder how much of the world we miss while we are typing a status for tweeting people. Sad but it’s the way of the world! You have to embrace it or become an outcast I guess! In terms of staying in touch with friends, family and colleagues in other countries it’s obviously fantastic. I can’t imagine a world without it.
As mentioned in the beginning, it seems that your specialty is country-hopping. You mustn’t enjoy English weather at all who can blame you for that. You are going to be at Sonar with Drumcode, for the label showcase, at Awakening Festival, in Ibiza….what are you most excited for?
Yeah I love travelling and the summer season! All of the gigs you mentioned will be great no doubt. I am looking forward to enjoy these times with like minded people and fans! also though I am super looking forward to some time off to January, 3 weeks in Mexico with the family ha ha, with some shows at BPM festival.
Last thing before you go: any upcoming projects you’d like to share with MEOKO readers?
I actually have something amazingly exciting coming…. but I can’t say anything yet. So I’ll just piss you all off by teasing. However, let’s chat again once it’s all revealed!