The list of creative talent coming from the shores of Ireland just goes on and on. Electronic music has always been present since technological advancements allowed it; however, it’s never been looked on as tenderly as it is now in the present day.
One of the main reasons for its surge in popularity and exposure is down to concepts such as AVA Festival. The Belfast based project attracts huge names to grace the decks of T13, while also championing, nurturing and shining a light on home-grown creative talent.
One example of said local talent is the Dublin based Quinton Campbell. Campbell rose to prominence earlier in the year by winning AVA Festival’s Emerging Producer competition with his original track ‘Movements’. This resulted in the Irishman signing to Extended Play, slotting in nicely with the close knit family that the Belfast label maintains.
Campbell’s next project, FM Patterns, is due out on Extended Play on October 31st. We caught up with the man himself to talk inspiration, creative processes and life since signing to a label.
So, Quinton, when was your first exposure to electronic music?
I remember getting some hard house tapes from older lads in my estate. I would have been about 12 or 13.
What are you earliest memories of DJ’ing?
I won a DJ competition in Bratislava when I was in my late teens and got to play a set afterwards in Subclub – this mental venue that tunnels underground into a disused military storage bunker.
How long have you been producing for?
About 6-8 years on and off. Completely fell out of the loop for a few years and was working in a web design company but made up for it this year by becoming an absolute hermit.
What was the first record you ever bought?
That’d be 12 Inch Thumpers – ‘Roll The Drums’.
Can you recall any early memories from experiencing electronic music in a club environment?
Playing at different hard house nights around Dublin in venues like The Vaults and Radiocity, when I was definitely too young to be there. I remember seeing Daft Punk at Oxygen 2006 and being absolutely blown away by the production.
Is there a specific sound that you’re drawn to that influences your own productions?
Up until a few years ago I was obsessed with that super clean, in-in-the box aesthetic, but I’m definitely favouring less polished, rougher textures now. Love the imperfections that come with using hardware and outboard gear. It’s definitely a case of character over fidelity for me.
Do you have a particular creative process that you can tell us about?
I try to make the production process as physical as possible, recording found sounds, experimenting with unusual signal flow paths, overdriving mixers. I’m also big into re-sampling. It’s usually a trial and error process when it comes to synthesis and sampling.
Are there any particular artists that you draw inspiration from?
I try to not let other artists’ work directly influence my own, but in terms of inspiration I’m very interested by Four Tet and his unusual approach to production, also love the work of minimalist composers such as Nils Frahm and Steve Reich. When it comes to modern day artists I’m a big fan of the Bicep lads and their take on house music, as well as Irish producers like Jordan and Bobby Analog, both of which are bringing serious heat as of late.
You won AVA’s Emerging Producer competition back in June. How refreshing is it to see concepts such as AVA championing local talent?
Extremely! Sarah McBriar and her team at AVA are to be commended for what they’re doing for the scene here in Ireland. They are providing a platform for emerging artists and supporting the growth and interest of electronic music in all its forms. The Emerging Producer competition was a great initiative and I was blown away with the win – the talent of all the finalists was immense with guys like Isaac Gibson and Arthur Wilson turning in serious quality.
Since winning you’ve joined the Extended Play family. How’s life been since linking up with them?
It’s been unreal, family is definitely the right word for it! Can’t put into words how helpful Timmy Stewart in particular has been to me, the man is a wealth of information who constantly strives to develop and push you as an artist. You can’t really ask for more out of a label.
You’re FM Patterns EP is out on October 31st. What kind of sound can we expect to hear from you on it?
It’s definitely diverse. I find it difficult to stick to a particular musical style and get bored with the same sounds easily so I think that’s reflected in the release. ‘Movements’ is a straight up US house groover, whereas the rest of FM Patterns EP covers touches of disco, techno and garage.
There’s a real abundance of talent coming through in Ireland right now. How far do you see this creative growth going for the island?
Ireland has always been a gold mine of musical talent and I think the amount of support everyone has for each other here is really encouraging. Promoters such as DiVision, Strictly Deep, The Night Institute and Subject are flying in major international acts on an almost weekly basis as well as championing local talent – Ireland is catching up with other EU hotspots and the only way is up at the moment. Can’t bate the ceol agus craic!
Where can we catch you playing in the next few months?
I’m just back from playing the AVA x Percolate party at Amsterdam Dance Event which was insane. Recently became resident in Pygmalion so I can be found there whacking out the disco jams! Other upcoming gigs include Strictly Deep in December as well as an EP launch party with Timmy Stewart and Jordan which will be early in the New Year. Also have a few festivals on the cards next year but can’t say anything just yet!