Danvers is a member of the Wotnotmusic family and runs a monthly show on Hoxton FM. He is also, one half of Summits and one half of Charlie Haplin edits.
We had the chance to speak with Danvers as he just released a new EP ‘Omiyage’ on Sgol Recordings.
Electronic Groove: Hi Danvers, glad to have you on EG. How would you define your musical concept?
Danvers: Glad to be here, I try to keep my output as varied as possible. It’s all loosely based around house and broken beats, and I try to bring in influences and samples from jazz, garage, techno, disco, hip hop… Anything really, as long as you can dance to it and it’s memorable.
I want my sound to go beyond any genre, that’s why I’ve never stuck religiously to making one style of music. I think it’s important to try making everything, you learn more that way, I’ve usually got 3 or 4 collaboration projects on the go at any one time and they’re all totally different from each other.
EG: Congratulations for your recent six-track EP ‘Omiyage’ on Sgol Recordings. What was the inspiration to produce the EP?
Danvers: Thanks! The inspiration for this EP is around gifts, I used a lot of gear that was loaned or donated by friends when I set up my new studio. Incredibly it all happened within a few weeks – I went from having just one synth to having four, plus a bunch of hardware effects. It seemed like a no-brainer to get an EP finished before I had to give it all back. Even the artwork was donated; the incredible photo by Mike and the design work by Dave on the sleeve
I was also keen to explore the lo-fi sound that are dominating at the moment, I’m not a die-hard lo-fi fan at all, but there is such a nice charm to it when it’s done right, ‘NJS‘ and especially ‘Move Like‘ are the two that go the furthest down that route, but all 6 of the tracks have an element of it.
EG: Where and which tools did you use on the production process?
Danvers: The EP was put together in my last studio in Hoxton. This is the first time that I’ve worked with so much hardware and it was a little daunting at first, pretty much every sound on the EP either came from a synth or was run through some outboard effects. The Juno 106 definitely takes the lead and is pretty prominent on every track, along with that I used a Korg MS20, Moog Sub Phatty (the best thing ever!) and a Roland System 1. In terms of effects, I used a Space Echo, Memory Man, Mooer Verb, Lo-fi Junky and an old 4-track tape deck mixer for tape saturation.
Since making this EP I’ve pretty much ditched MIDI altogether. Now I just work with hardware and audio. I think you can be so much more creative that way and I really enjoy the limitations of committing to the sound I’m making – I can’t go back on myself and change a preset if I want to change something on a track, I just have to find a new sound. Also with hardware you get far more happy accidents.
EG: You are part of WotNot. What is this collective about? Who else is on it?
Danvers: Wotnot is a London-based label, centered around a small collective of musicians and producers… Above all it’s a really tight group of mates who are serious music heads, they signed my first ever solo release when I moved to London (a remix of Soccer 96’s ‘Stepovers’). Since then they’ve all become good friends and supporters of my music. The wider family is pretty big, but the core guys are Charo, SRE, Alphabets Heaven, K15, Deft, SinnaGzus & Jackson Almond. I released an EP called ‘Linx’ on Wotnot at the end of 2016, and I’ve got another coming out with them soon.
The Wotnot guys have massively helped elevate me in London and I find the eclecticism of the label really inspiring; they’ve released every genre of music you can think of, but when you hear it you can always tell that it’s a Wotnot release, that’s not easy to pull off over the years.
EG: Tell us about Hoxton FM monthly show. It is you playing only or you usually bring other external guests?
Danvers: The Hoxton FM show is also with Wotnot. They rotate their artists every Sunday at 5 pm, I usually do it once a month, the range between shows is huge, moves between hip hop, jazz, beats, house, broken beat, soul, afrobeat… I usually play more club-focused house and broken beat with Jackson Almond, but I also I try to have guests as often as possible – please hit me up if you’re in London and you want to come and play on one!
EG: How was the Summer for you?
Danvers: Very busy! Over the summer I got kicked out of my old studio in Hoxton for subletting it, so after freaking out for about a month, I eventually found a new space in with the Bloc guys in Hackney Wick. I’ve set up a new studio there with Warren Xclnce and it’s about 1000x better than the last place, it’s funny how things work out in the end.
“I’ve usually got 3 or 4 collaboration projects on the go at any one time and they’re all totally different from each other”
EG: Can you mention a few of your season’s favorite tracks?
Danvers: That’s a really tough question… I think the new Jitwam single ‘WhereYouGonnaGo?’ is probably the best dance track I’ve heard this year.
On top of that, ‘Kaldi’ by Cain on High Life is huge, plus ‘Dreams’ by Jay Anderson and ‘Hanging Gardens’ by Seka on the new Banoffee Pies VA are all great too.
EG: What’s in the pipeline for Danvers?
Danvers: There’s so much happening at the moment! I’ve recently joined the new Co-Op Selectors collective so I’ll be playing shows and releasing some music with them in the new year. CoOp basically own the broken beat scene in London so it’s an honor to be part of it, and follow on from guys like Henry Wu and K15. EVM128 & IG Culture are doing an amazing thing and they’re being really supportive, I’m actually playing with IG on Worldwide FM for the first time in December.
I’m starting up a record label too, we’re hoping to have our first release out early in the new year, we’ve got some amazing artists involved, but we haven’t launched it publicly yet so that’s all I can say for now.
A huge portion of my studio time is spent on a new collab project, it’s pure 4/4 house music with tons of energy, we can’t wait to announce it and start releasing music but we’re keeping it all under wraps for now, we don’t even have a name yet.
In terms of solo releases, I’ve got EP’s lined up with Tunnyl, We Play Wax and Wotnot over the next few months, watch this space.
Danvers’ ‘Omiyage’ EP is out on Sgol Recordings. Grab your copy here.