It’s no exaggeration to say that the Origins Sound boys are on to a good thing right now. The duo, comprising of Joe Price and Ali Mehrkar, have touched on a way of working that’s endeared them to the likes of Leftwing and Kody, as well as Hector Cuoto, who will release their next EP on his own label, Roush. Indeed, the boys’ latest EP, the brilliant Detroit Cuts, is another fantastic insight into their intoxicating sound, with its unique sound palette the sort of fare that’ll go down a storm when let of its leash in the club. With all this in mind, we decided to dial up the multifaceted DJ, producers and promoters in their hometown of Bath, as they talked us through their world, how they first hooked up, early influences and more…
So how do two guys from Bath almost appear out of nowhere and end up working on labels such as Underground Audio, Morris Audio, Glasgow Underground and Chew The Fat?
We’d been producing under various different monikers for a while. Joe had been producing under one with a pretty big following, but it wasn’t until we started working together as Origins Sound that we realised we had to kick it up a notch.
Tell me a bit about how you guys met. What drew you to one another? Was it through a shared love of house music then?
Pretty much, every great partnership story always has an incredibly boring crux. Going to raves, getting fucked up. It wasn’t until we started running parties together that we truly got to know each other.
And about your early influences – were they mainly house-focused?
Early influences are probably not what you’d expect. I was classically trained as a young gun, and moved onto rock bands in my teens. Ali was an RnB DJ in his younger years, not really sure if any of that comes across in the music or not.
Talk to me a bit about your night, Origins Present. What’s the thinking behind it? What could we expect from it were we to pop in?
You walk down a precarious set of stairs to look over completely pumping crowd. The club itself is actually a rock club – we convert it into a sweatbox rave. It’s awesome, we love it.
And what’s Bath like for clubbing? Is it generally in the shadow of bigger cities?
In the shadow of bigger cities is a good way to describe it. We’re next door to Bristol which has a far richer music scene. We’re pretty much the only night of our kind here in Bath.
Do you have to think two steps ahead as a promoter in Bath then? How much of a challenge is it for you to promote gigs there?
We certainly have to consider the audience to a greater degree here as it’s so small. For every underground artist we bring in, we have to book someone a little more well known for those who aren’t perhaps as deeply embedded in the scene. It’s important to not be too self indulgent, especially in Bath. That said, the crowd at our nights are always very welcoming.
And are you till living in the city then? Or have you moved elsewhere since?
We’re both living in Bath yeah, just above the club where we run the events. We don’t wanna have to walk too far to work!
And are you two working in music full-time now then? Was it a bit of a leap of faith for you?
We DJ at some student events to make ends meet, but we’re pretty much full time as it is. For us it’s been quite a gradual thing. We’ve been fortunate enough to run various other nights around the city which has afforded us time in the day to work on OS.
Growing up, when were you first introduced to electronic music? Who made a big impression on you from the off?
Joe: For me it was actually Radiohead. The Kid A album was quite a revelation for me in terms of sound.
Ali: I knew lots of ‘electronic’ music but before then I was more into my hip hop and rnb. I used to dance a lot…
Running Origins was big for me – it was the first time I’d felt really at home in the Electronic Genre. I do quite like the new Beyonce track tho – and the Diplo & Wknd remixes.
I believe Joe is the ‘driving force’ behind the production. What’s your role Ali? How do you help one another in that essence?
I’m here to look good and party with the ladies…and I make the tea.
Your debut EP for Definition:Music just landed. Can you talk me through that one a bit?
As the titled suggests, there may be some Detroit influences in there. I think around the time we were making the EP, a lot of time was spent cataloguing those old Roland synths and drum machines. Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson were certainly influences but we didn’t really want to make something that had been heard before. I guess the main aim was to be as original as possible, while still keeping the dance floor going.
What else can we expect from Origins Sound over the next while?
We’re releasing with Leftwing and Kody’s label at the beginning of March which we’re super psyched for. Following that, we’re releasing with Hector Couto’s new label, Roush, which features probably our strongest material to date. We’re playing Love Saves the Day in Bristol this year, a festival we’ve been going to for years. Will be great to be involved in that.