The veteran Scottish DJ/producer Vince Watson is set to launch his new Everysoul imprint with his sixth studio album.
Vince Watson really needs no introduction. He’s had more than a decade of releases, including five albums, on a host of big and small labels. More recently he’s put out his second Planet E EP and he’s also has taken control of his music by relaunching his Bio imprint.
Electronic Directory caught up with Vince Watson to find out about his new Everysoul label, his forthcoming album and what he’s up to at the moment.
Interview with Vince Watson by Kazuumi Ishii
Where are you at musically and mentally in 2009 ?
Musically I’m focusing now on getting the music I’ve been making for 18 months out to labels and most importantly the people who support me. I’ve not been as prolific in the last 18 months for many reasons, but I’ve been producing like crazy :-) Mentally I’m going even more nuts than usual :-) I’m relocating to Amsterdam so my studio and records are packed away at the moment, but the main thin on my mind is feeding some musicianship into the world we have become of mindless unsoulful music. There’s way to much diluting of quality thanks to digital formats allowing most people to set up a label and release music…which is fine in principle, but a lot of artists just use preset sounds from plug-ins. The end result, copycat tracks and a lot of music sounding sooo similar that it’s getting hard to really find something different or daring. Most labels now also do not take risks, instead they sit comfortable releasing the same stuff over and over again. It’s not a general rule so there is still a lot to get excited about, but man, you gotta look for it !!
I hear that you’ve decided to restart your Bio imprint after a hiatus of 4 years. What made you decide to restart the label ?
Simple answer is that I want to get all my music out there, and not relying on other labels. I’ve got so much music that people have not heard yet, some of it I play live, and I’m always getting questions, reactions about it all…so the time has come to start again. Initially it will only be digital though, moving to vinyl when I am in the right position to do it. All the previous material will be available on vinyl to order through a new webstore I am setting up for all my music. I’m really looking forward to it…and judging by the initial reaction, so are many people so the time feels right. There’s 3 releases ready to go, one featuring a Funk D’Void remix.
You’re also set to launch your new label called "Everysoul", right ? Can you tell us a little bit about the new label ? Why is the label called Everysoul ? What does that mean for you ? I know there was an album planned for FCommunications, entitled Everysoul Needs A Guide.
It’s about soul and all its guises. I think it’s really important to remind ourselves of the music’s qualities, sometimes we get lost and the quality goes down. I really respect artists like Glenn Underground, Cinematic Orchestra or soundtrack producer Cliff Martinez so that should give you an insight into where I’m going with this label…so that should give House, Jazz, Broken-beats….I’ve always had desires to have this kind of label since my Alola/Ibadan days, but I’ve never been able to until now. I’m very much looking forward to getting this music out there. I have 3 releases ready to go, including my 6th studio album.
"Spectrum" was the codename for the album, but the album is called "Every Soul Needs A Guide". Fcom do not exist anymore so the album fell through and I was very disappointed, as was Laurent as he absolutely loves the finished album. Real shame for them, really positive for me! I changed the album massively since the original idea, so its basically a whole new project.
That brings me onto the next question. You just released your second single, "My Desire", on Planet E, a fantastic epic interpretation of Carl Craig/69 "Desire". How did you come up with the idea for that remix ? Was there any particular thing you were trying to do with that ?
"Desire" was such a beautiful track (except for those portmento bits that are sore in your ears haha)… I definitely did not want to remix it. It started life as an interpretation of Carl’s track, which I was going to send him, along with a version of "Icon" to Derrick May, which isn’t finished yet ! The more I worked on it the more I started to really like it, but it wasn’t until I played the piano piece that it made me think I had something really special. I sent it to Carl, and he loved it. I’ve been using more and more organic sounding instruments in my music so it seemed nice to fit "Qualia" on the flipside, they went well together. I’m very very pleased that "My Desire" did not sound like a remix, it sounded like me, but it had influences all over it from "Desire".
Speaking of your Alola/Ibadan days, it’s now been ten years since the release of "Mystical Rhythm". What is the story behind that classic track ?
It’s called that because when I made it I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry, it’s very melancholic and gives you different moods and emotions in different parts of the track. Even back then I was trying to bridge soulful sounds into club music.
How do you explain the persistent motivation for a fusion of electronic and jazz, which isn’t really anything new ?
It’s timeless music. 99% of the new music we see and hear getting released now has a shelf life, mostly as it sounds so similar….not enough is standing out enough to be different or original enough. What I’m fusing isn’t new of course, but it has so much more scope to be energetic, expressive and above all else musical, which is what it should be all about. Listening to tracky minimal club music for hours and hours can become tedious. When I’m playing live I play as much musicality as possible.
I recently heard a live recording of your set from Shanghai. I was blown away by the intensity and the depth and of course the beauty that is in that set. You are very musical. So, guys like the Cinematic Orchestra and Carl Craig had performed live shows with live musicians. Are there plans to play in a band/group with musicians ?
Absolutely ! It’s always been a target of mines from very early on. I’m actually planning to have an orchestra recreate my music fully. I know Jeff Mills did it on Blue Potential, but to me that was art as such, I’m looking at scoring my music properly to make it sound really like the real thing. I will work with collaborators on future projects, session musicians etc, but I’m not ready for that yet. It will come though…
When you play live shows like that, who will be in charge of what in that orchestra ? You nomally play live using Ableton and a TR-909, but, will you be performing live with synthesizers ? Jeff Mills played a drum machine, with a 24ch mixer, two CD players plus a DJ mixer… No laptops involved.
NOOO !!! I don’t intend to use any electronic instruments at all whatsoever….I’m talking about an Orchestra only ! I won’t be doing anything other than writing the score for it, and directing it. I’ll leave the conducting to a professional :-) I actually have no interest I’m making my music the way Mills has, it doesn’t really work for me. The Kindred Spirits Orchestra did a version of Strings of Life during 5 Days Off…but it could have been sooo much better if they had just kept it to organic instruments instead of using drum machines. I like to think that the soundscapes in my music are perfect for scoring, taking away the percussion and working on the melodies and various parts.
Going back to the new label, tell us a little more about your studio album. How did you approach the album ? What it’s sounding like ?
The album originated as my Fcom album, but sadly Fcom went down, so I was left with an unfinished project. In the end I changed it drastically and it’s almost a new album, focusing on Lounge/Jazz/Broken-beats/Ambient and Classical pieces. There is no dancefloor music on this. It’s a very special project for me, a real challenge creatively to make this a full project, and it was a long hard struggle at times, and at other times it was exhilarating…It’s the most comprehensive collection of musical pieces I’ve ever put together and I really pushed myself further than before. I’m delighted with the mastered album and I’m really looking forward to giving this to the world in the new year.
Will you be putting out other artists’ material or just your own productions ?
I’m very much open for music from other artists. I am keeping my policy of Quality over Quantity so I’m not going to be releasing music every 2 weeks…I have so much music to release, so a lot of it will be my own also.
What else is coming up for you in the next few months ?
I’m going through a phase of remix requests for some reason…I usually do just 2 or 3 remixes a year, but I’ve done 5 in the last 6 months and have 4 in my inbox waiting to finish. Aside from relaunching Bio and launching Everysoul, I’ve also got another Planet E single in production. Finally I’ll also be following up ‘The eMotion Sequence’ on Delsin with a new album. I’m also about to finish the next shows on Red Bull Music Acadamy Radio.
Finally, what 1 thing would make your life better now ?
More promotors and club owners taking more risks with music they are hosting and not just playing safe with the current hyped up names. If I cant get that, then I’ll say a 6 month residency in Tokyo again…… :-)
The new Vince Watson single, "A Very Different World", OUT NOW
Vince Watson serves up two simply beautiful, vaguely epic deep techno tracks. Funk D’Void supplies a couple of gorgeous "A Very Different World" mixes.
- 01. A Very Different World (Original mix)
- 02. Otherworldy
- 03. A Very Different World (Funk D’Void Epic remix)
- 04. A Very Different World (Funk D’Void remix 2)
- 05. A Very Different World (Funk D’Void Radio edit)
Get "A Very Different World" here: