Features
09.12.2011, Words by Charlie Jones

"Hello, Graphics!"

Graphics has got a way with drums. Back in October his Wiping The Eye release on Granholme grabbed attention with its atmospheric raw percussion and grainy beats. He has two imminent releases – one on Jesse Rose’s Made To Play label and another on London label/night GETME! out this Monday. The unassuming simplicity of the latter release’s A side bass lullaby There’s A Way Back has already been noted and now you can stream the B side Fidla. Unlike the warmth of its counterpart this one has a much eerier edge, shuttering into being with a whirling grind of mechanics and detached icy chimes. When the beat finally arrives it nestles itself neatly into place as sounds of children playing drifts through a distant window. The layers build into a memory you recognise but that is not your own, before quickly stripping right back to the bare mechanics of the beat alone. A much more cerebral affair, but fantastic nonetheless. Listen here and get to know Graphics a little better with the interview below.

Graphics – Fidla by Graphics

Name?

Alfie MacGibbon                      

How old are you?

19

Current location?

South London

Your sound?

I always find this tricky to answer. As I am influenced by so many genres the music I make is quite eclectic and after making one tune aimed for a club environment, the next would be a downtempo track which wouldn’t necessarily work for DJs. If I had to describe it though I’d say alternative electronic music with a definite dance music influence.

How do you record?

I use Logic Pro with my ancient Macbook and a midi keyboard.  I have a guitar, a piano (where I compose most of my music) and a microphone. I am currently saving up for some hardware but there isn’t enough space for that at the moment anyway so there’s no rush…

Previous experience?

I’ve been playing instruments from a young age; piano, clarinet, drums and guitar, and started messing around on Garageband (trying to copy Thom Yorke and James Holden) when I was about 15. I only started making dance music when I was about 17 and had my first release shortly after. I’ve had 12” releases on Shifting Peaks, Well Rounded and Granholme.

Heroes?

Steve Reich, Paddy Considine, Thom Yorke, James Holden, the whole Hessle Audio lot, Jonny Greenwood, Vincent Cassel and of course, Merv.

Next release?

The next release is for GETME! and is a 12’ with two tracks which will give someone an idea of more of the down tempo music I’m making.
There will also be a few remixes along side this, with a seriously
amazing one from Dam Mantle. After that it’s an EP on Jesse Rose’s label Made To Play, with two tracks Mama Grizzlies and Colour Her Hair. It’s coming out on 12” and digital with remixes from Roska, Prince Club and David Keno. 
I’ve also got a remix of Artifact forthcoming on the amazing new imprint
Deadplate on vinyl and another for Benjamin Damage on
GETME!

Next playing live?

There’s a launch party for the GETME! release with Dam Mantle and Becoming Real supporting, December 15th at the Alibi in Dalston. It’s completely free so all come down. Then I’m playing in Paris in January which I can’t wait for.

You recently posted a video of Mary Anne Hobbs playing your track That Week to 12,000 people at Sonar. How did it feel to witness a bedroom-produced track translate to such a huge audience?

It was a pretty amazing feeling, one of my career highlights so far. To have Mary Anne Hobbs supporting me is amazing enough let alone having her playing my track to that many people. She’s been playing me on her XFM show a fair bit and I feel extremely grateful + quite starstruck. So… big up MAH.

Mama Grizzlies is a superb track full of textures and samples, from the gruff lullaby male vocal and his shrill echo to the ghetto riddim female vocal. Can you shed some light on this different layers and components of this track? Do you often work with samples?

This is an odd track. It started out as a track made for the dancefloor but then turned into something more melodic/song based. I’m looking forward to this track to come out as I don’t know what type of audience it will appeal to, but guess we’ll see…. I don’t work with samples a lot to be honest, I am into synthesis and if I can, I record my own samples myself.

‘There’s A Way Back’ EP on GETME! will be out on vinyl. Do you feel a particular tie to the physicality of vinyl? If so, why? When you DJ what’s your set up and why? Any plan for a live show?

I really do feel a very strong tie to the physicality of vinyl which is odd as I was brought up in a completely digital world. However, when my first record came out on vinyl that all completely changed. It was pretty amazing to hold my music in my own hands and from now on I try and push for vinyl releases as much as possible. I never thought I’d DJ on turntables as I started on Ableton but that was so less spontaneous and fun. Amazing to chop stuff up etc, but with Ableton you can never go and ‘have a mix’ with a mate or something. It also seemed pretty stupid having my own vinyl out and not being able to play it. There is definitely a plan for a live show, however I’m going to take my time and make sure I’m not just be some guy standing in front of a laptop.

Shout outs?

The team at Bang On, Grant, Drake (my rabbit I’m currently searching for), everyone who’s supporting the music and Merv.

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