As part of our support for the DJ Awards, we sat down recently with a number of the Newcomer nominees to discuss their careers, the nomination and more. Next up is Welsh born techno artist Archie Hamilton.
Archie Hamilton has firmly established himself as one of London’s most sought-after artists. His labels Moscow Records and Moss Co. garner support from the highest echelons of house and techno, as have his own releases and remixes on much-respected labels. Recent years have seen him playing regularly across Europe, Australasia and the Americas. Among the most notable of these are his regular appearances at London’s FUSE, WetYourSelf! at Fabric, tINI & The Gang and Space Ibiza as well as festivals like Sonus, OFF Sonár and Found. 2015 saw the launch of his own event brand ‘Arkityp’, hosting 5 successful events across the summer season at Ibiza’s Underground whilst during 2016 will see him take a residency at Amnesia with FUSE x HYTE.
Hi Archie, thank you for taking time out to speak with us here at Decoded. So as we come into the mid-summer how has it been for you?
It’s been amazing so far – I’ve had some really great gigs. June was really busy with Gottwood Festival, OFF Week and a tour of Mexico. Our FUSE x Hyte debut at Amnesia was really special, I had a great time opening the main room with Rossko. I’ve somehow found time to keep busy in the studio with remixes and originals and I have a lot planned for release. I’ve got so much more to look forward to in the coming months as well!
Some big dates ahead of you any in particular standing out?
FUSE are making a return to Benimussa Park next week, which was one of my favourite shows last year. Myself and Rossko are playing Richy Ahmed’s 432 party in September, and I am very excited to return to Sonus Festival in August. And of course, there is the FUSE x Hyte closing at Amnesia at the end of September.
Can you tell us more about your strong affiliation with FUSE?
I’m very proud to be part of such a fantastic group of artists that I am lucky enough to also call my friends. I also feel very proud to have grown with FUSE from Sankeys, to Space and now Amnesia. It’s been an amazing experience for me to graduate from being a raver on the dance floor at 93 Feet East to opening the main room of one of my favourite clubs in the world. As people, we all have a great bond and collaborate a lot in the studio in the UK, the products of which you will hear in all of our sets.
Staying on the Ibiza vibe and a regular DJ there, do you feel this place is losing its edge with all the recent goings on there?
If you are referring to the recent news regarding the Guardia Civil, then I think it’s too early to tell. If anything, I think it gives the club more of an edge! If you are referring to the evolution of the island in general, then it is certainly changing but nothing stays the same forever and it would be boring if it did. There are still plenty of amazing things happening on the island, you just have to know where to look.
You’re playing with Rossko in a b2b set next week as part of the Fuse showcase. What are the pros and cons of B2B sets do you feel?
Spontaneous B2B’s don’t often work well in my opinion; there aren’t many I enjoy watching! So much of it comes down to a personal connection between the two DJs, and egos can often get in the way. There are only a few people who I really connect with when playing, and Rossko is one of them so I am happy we are playing together a lot this year. We are actually working on a collaborative project together which will be announced soon…
You’ve come up the scene in London where every one is a DJ, how did your breakthrough come or when was your turning point do you feel?
Mine has been a very slow but steady climb! I don’t think that there has been one particular breakthrough moment, but there have been a few decisions and happenings along the way that I think of as milestones. I would say that leaving my full-time work and committing my life to music was probably the most important career decision that I have made.
Realising exactly what you want to do in life is not easy, but when you do you have to give it your all. Having my labels has given me an identity and an outlet for my production which has developed over the years. Joining FUSE also gave me a huge platform as a DJ, which is not easy in such a saturated city.
The FUSE brand itself has also grown a huge amount over the past few years and taken me with it. I also think my records on FUSE, NG Trax and Sukhumvit last year were very important for me, as they got a lot of love by some really great artists and I felt like the gave me a big boost.
Growing up in London who would lay claim to been a big influence for you and your style today?
I was a latecomer to London, as I grew up in the Welsh countryside. When I was a lot younger my mother used to take me to festivals and free parties like Castlemorton, Womad and Glastonbury. I began to come down to London for the carnival, then make smash and grab trips to Fabric on Friday nights as a teenager. My early 20s were spent at The Cross, The Key, Canvas and The End, so my influences then were people like Mr. C, Layo, Bushwacka!, Tom Neville, Ben Watt and guys like that.
Gentrification seems to be gazumping London’s nightlife venues every other week. Will it affect the cities clubbing scene in the long run?
It certainly will affect the scene, but this is nothing new and I don’t think it’s always a bad thing. Councils use the art scene and nightlife to make areas seem attractive for higher income bracket buyers. Once the art scene moves in, the hipsters follow, then the yuppies and finally young families. Once this happens, the art scene is priced out and they move to another area and the cycle restarts.
I happened to Soho in the 90s, Shoreditch and Hackney in the 00’s and now it’s happening in Peckham and further south. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the scene is dying, it just means that different influences change it.
It’s been a quiet years in relation to releases for you. Is this by choice or due to other influences like hectic touring schedule?
It’s been a mixture of schedule and choice! Of course I don’t find it easy to motivate myself to get into a creative state after a bit weekend of gigs and travel, and that definitely has an effect, but I still manage somehow. I have a huge amount of unreleased music that I like to keep for myself to play in my sets, but I have plans to release some of it.
Have you plans to get back into studio soon and if so what can we expect?
I have still been busy – the volume has decreased slightly but the quality and variety of styles has increased as I have been exposed to lots of different inspirations on my travels. I have releases scheduled on Moscow Records, Moss Co., Be Chosen and FUSE as well as remixes on RLZ Music, Mayak and Tied from Chicago. I also have a collaborative EP with Enzo Siragusa that is coming out on Moscow Records, as well as lots of music I have made with Rossko which will be released on our own imprint.
Staying on the theme of studios, you have your own label in Moscow Records. It’s been a bit dormant for a while, why so and what does the future hold for it?
We decided to change distributor around a year ago, but it didn’t work out as we wanted it to, so we had to put everything on hold and change again! We have effectively been on pause for a year, which has been very frustrating as we’ve got some amazing music to release, but good things come to those who wait. MOSCOW018 from myself, remixed by Ali Nasser, has just come out and we have an amazing EP from Roustam and Tolga Fidan after that. On Moss Co. we have a split EP from myself, OdD and Innominati coming soon.
For our readers out there, where can we expect to hear you play in the near future?
Benimussa Park in Ibiza on Wednesday, Studio 338 in London on Saturday!
We are always intrigued to hear the top five tracks that are doing it for you right now.
Spokenn – Gravitational Waves
Derek Carr – Cuba
iO – Open Mind
??? – XR3i
CSR – Glenmoranger
Archie it has been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today. From all of us here at Decoded magazine we wish you continued success in the future.
Thank you very much!
You can vote for Archie along with all the other nominations for Best Newcomer at the 2016 DJ Awards here.