Buoyed by the whirlwind success he has enjoyed over the past six years, Alan Fitzpatrick begins 2015 at the top of his game and brimming with the confidence you would expect from a talent who is recognized globally as one of the most influential Techno artists of the moment. Having enjoyed a rapid ascent through the ranks since his emergence as the new kid on the techno block in the latter half of 2008, Fitzpatrick now holds a high status as a universally respected and in-demand producer and DJ who has succeeded in carving out a recognizable musical niche for himself within the ever-expanding genre of techno.
A seemingly unstoppable source of hit music, Fitzpatrick’s productions seem to eclipse all those around him with tracks such as ‘The Tetra’, ‘In The Beginning’, ‘Always Something For Nothing’ and ‘Skeksis’ topping charts for sustained periods and in the process drawing high praise from his peers across the techno scene for the vibrancy, originality and inventiveness that has come to characterize Alan Fitzpatrick tracks. 2014 saw the emergence of a broader sound from Fitzpatrick’s palette. Releases for James Teej’s ‘My Favorite Robot’ label and Paul Ritch’s Quartz Records or the soon to be released remix of Stevie V’s classic ‘Dirty Cash’ exposed a more soulful, deeper sound that has its roots in house more than techno.
We caught up with Alan ahead of his NYD gig at We Concur in London.
NYD is fast becoming the big day for parties here in London as opposed to NYE. With ‘We Concur’ is been held on the 1st, is this a different experience for you, or does your tour diary usually run into the post New Year’s celebrations.
Yeah, in recent years NYD seems to have as many parties as NYE. I think this makes a lot of sense with there being so much pressure on NYE to be the party of the year. People want more choice so now they have the option to do something different. You could do dinner or have a house party on NYE and then go raving on NYD or just bounce from club to club and afterparty to afterparty across the two days… ha!
This is a global trend now. I have done a few NYD parties in the past, all over Europe, but I see this happening everywhere now so there is nearly always the chance to play NYE and NYD as long as you can arrange travel plans. This year my schedule is easy because I am playing in Liverpool on NYE so I can take my time getting back to London in time for We Concur. So as well as being lots of fun it should be stress free too.
It’s a quite a diverse line-up for We Concur and perhaps not as techy as say a Drumcode night, so what can we expect to hear you playing?
I am really looking forward to this party. The line up is great and the venue is cool. Musically, I usually play across the whole range of techno so this sort of party really suits me, plus I have three hours to really have fun with the music selections, build an atmosphere, and test out some new music. I’ll also be sure to have a few drinks and celebrating the successes of 2014 and look ahead to the excitement of 2015 with friends.
You’re a regular to the London scene with a previous residency with Jaded and regular appearance to rooms 1 and 2 of Fabric. Is this your first time at the Oval?
Yes, this is my first time in this venue, but I’ve heard good things and I am looking forward to adding The Oval to the list of London venues I have played. After years of London losing venues it seems that trend is being reversed a little, which is exciting for everyone. I feel very lucky to have played in London so much. I’ve gone on the record before saying London is my favourite place to play. The crowd are always open minded and knowledgeable and I am very grateful for the support I get in London, so NYD should be a big one!
Growing up in Southampton, what were the fundamental factors or key moments that pushed you towards electronic music scene and as a result into DJ booth?
It all begun with my group of school friends. At age 14 or so we would all religiously tune in to BBC Radio 1, listening to Pete Tong and John Peel every week. Then we all got decks and would be buying records and going around to each other’s houses after school to have a mix. Once we were 16/17 we were sneaking into clubs, mainly Slinkys in Bournemouth, where we got to see DJs like Carl Cox, John Digweed or Pete Tong. This was where I got my clubbing education and really got me hooked. The rest is history…
Southampton is a town which you grew up in and of course has the infamous south west rivalry with Portsmouth in the football. But both are known too for their nightlife. What is the vibe down there like at the minute? I know they are some good parties like Det Sync currently been run.
I’m not really the best person to ask to be honest as I am never at home at the weekends to check out the parties, and when I am home, I tend to avoid going to clubs because I feel it is important to really take a break whenever I can to keep myself fresh. However, a massive new club has just opened in Southampton called Switch. It is doing really well so far and its a great space with good sound. I played the opening party alongside Seth Troxler and that was a lot of fun.
This year saw the birth of Whistle-blower records. Can you discuss what the vision for the label is; I know several of you are involved?
The label is a project co-run by me and two of my closest friends – Dave (aka Reset Robot) and Aaron (aka Rhymos). We have know each other from school and always talked, played and made music together. The label is really a way for us to continue this shared musical passion. As far as the music we make, we all write different styles of house and techno, so this combined with our long history together makes for a interesting melting pot of styles and influences. As such, you should expect some interesting curveballs with the A&R as we carry on growing the catalogue. This is what makes it such an appealing project for me – no one really knows what is going to happen next!
Whilst on the topic of labels, could you enlighten us on the future for 8 Sided Dice? I know a lot of fans out there would like to know what the future holds for it.
I took the decision to close 8 Sided Dice at the end of 2012. At that stage I felt that the label had achieved what it set out to do. I had created a platform for my own music when I was a new artist and I had used the label to help some of my friend’s music to get noticed by a wider audience once I had become more established. This happened to coincide with the 50th release that was a remix package of the very first release, so everything ended very neatly.
Then in July of this year, I had the idea to start a new label concept – ESD – which stands for Explore, Search, Discover. I am really into the idea of limited edition, vinyl only releases. Everything about releasing music has become so disposable that I wanted to do something which was a reaction to this. I wanted to release music that was totally unconcerned with commercial success and I wanted to do it in a way that was only for the underground. I didn’t want the releases to be available everywhere and I wanted to work with artists that you may not be aware of. So we only release on vinyl, each release is limited to between 300 or 500 copies and the initial press is always coloured vinyl, so the series is collectable.
The ethos is to encourage people to explore their own tastes, search out new producers and discover new music. The label only has a limited online presence – just a Soundcloud and Bandcamp page – and I do virtually zero promotion or marketing. It is a deliberately niche project and I like it that way.
When you look to the future and the evolution of your sound, where do you see it going?
This is hard for me to say. I have always written music with a lot of variety so the reality is that even I don’t know what is coming next. I just try to keep my music fresh and exciting, discover new aspects to my production style and stay passionate about my work. It is also the case that 2014 has been a very important year for me and I am now seeing more and more opportunities coming my way and more options being presented to me. So I guess we will all see what the future holds once it happens.
With an impressive back catalogue to your name, has the route of doing a live show ever appealed to you?
Yes, it has! Funnily enough, I have already started on making a live show which I will perform at a select few events in 2015. Right now I am working on constructing the audio and visual aspects of the show but I will have more to say about it in the New Year. Stay tuned!
It is been another colossal year for you both in the studio and in the booth. Can you run through some of the highlights from both which stand out for 2014?
It’s interesting how things work out sometimes. I have been fortunate enough to enjoy a steady amount of success year on year, but something really clicked in 2014 which meant that pretty much every thing connected in a big way.
My releases for Drumcode and Cocoon we all very well received but it was my remix of Trus’Me – ‘I Want You’ on Prime Numbers that had the biggest impact. That track really blew up over the summer and became a bit of an anthem in Ibiza which was a big surprise.
Similarly, with my touring, I guess you could say 2014 was the year that I graduated up a level on the DJ circuit, playing some of the more globally known venues for the first time including BPM Festival, Space Miami, Zouk Singapore, Magazzini Generali Milan, Fabrik Madrid, Pacha Buenos Aires, Kappa Festival Turin, Sankeys Ibiza and Electric Zoo Festival New York.
On the topic of producing, can you tell us you’re most three most important studio tools?
Hmm… I like to keep things simple – this is what works best for my creativity – so I would say a comfy chair, lots of coffee and Reason 8 running on the computer!
On an annual basis I can only imagine how much music you listen to. But on the back of 2014, what artist or artists are you predicting big things for this forthcoming year?
Three guys who are all making exciting music but may not be on most people’s radar are Rhymos, Auden and Cleric. Look them up and check them out!
This year the quality of music I feel has been amazing. What have been your current top 5 tracks?
Dense and Pika – Hands In The Air (Bootleg)
Maceo Plex – Solitary Daze
Reset Robot – Lost In A Duvet
Kink – Fantasia (Truncate Remix)
Yan Cook – Flame
Now looking forward and into 2015, what is in store for you?
On top of the live show I am developing, there will for sure be more releases with Drumcode, but I have also signed EP’s to Len Faki’s Figure label and Steve O’Sullivan’s Mosaic Red Series. I have been working on some remixes too for a couple of really cool labels so look out for more news on those soon.
Finally, I would to say thank you for taking the time out to chat to us here at Decoded.
My pleasure! It was fun to answer your questions.
Tickets can be bought here