Hubie Davison has just dropped one of the dance floor rippers of the holiday season with Sanctified. He tells us about his musical influences, what he’s listening to and personal highlights of the year. Davison joins Jimmy Edgar Saturday 5th December in the Opium Rooms- Don’t miss it!
Can you give us some insights into your music background?
I grew up in a musical household, so there was always music playing, and a pretty wide variety, from pop, rock, soul & blues to classical. In terms of playing or making music, aside from your standard-issue recorder lessons and a couple of years of piano lessons as a child, I didn’t really find myself passionately exploring music until I started teaching myself guitar in my early teens. Around that time I became a big blues fan; it was much later that I came across electronic music.
When did you get into electronic music and what were your formative influences?
Fairly late – around 2007 I’d say. The first electronic influence was Daft Punk, their Alive 2007 album was a pretty big deal for me. Since then there’ve been patterns of brief obsessions with various artists, not always within the electronic sphere, but including Flying Lotus, Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin, Theo Parrish, James Blake, D’Angelo…
How did the connection with Berlin label Leisure System come about?
A few years back, when I was getting a bit more confident with my own productions (I’d been tooling around with software since I’d started exploring electronic music), I started sending out demos to various labels, and Leisure System happened to come back quickly with some really positive feedback, and asked for more. Those six or so tracks became my first EP, and I made a few trips to Berlin (& elsewhere) to play their parties. They’re a good crowd!
You are back in Dublin now after a stint in London. Does where you base yourself matter as much anymore in terms of getting your name out there and connections?
Without rambling too much about the assorted benefits of connectivity & the digital age, my impression is that connections can be made pretty much anywhere in the world. While living in London, I hooked up with the Leisure System guys in Berlin, and since I moved back to Ireland, I’ve had a record released by Midland’s Regraded label in London. So it doesn’t seem to matter too much where you are, although I feel like it helps to be able to meet and foster relationships in person.
There’s a definitive New York disco buzz off Sanctified compared to previous output. Can you tell us about this change or progression in style?
It was kind of the outcome of limited resources – I was away from my studio, and only had my laptop. I’d been listening to a lot of Detroit house like Theo & Moodymann, and had ripped the audio from a bunch of soul & disco 12”s & 45s. I don’t usually work so prominently with samples, so it was sort of an experiment in just chopping & layering things. That way of working’s fun, but I still think I prefer playing with instruments & synths! I’ll probably keep doing both.
Favourite track of the year / Irish track of the year?
I’m not going to pick a favourite track from them, but the best Irish act I’ve seen this year is probably Meltybrains, whose live show is just the best mix of weirdness, mayhem and great musicianship. As for a great track that I’ve played out a lot this year? I really liked Dego & Kaidi’s latest on Eglo – I’ll pick “The Vault Descends”
What’s been your personal highlight of 2015 and dream achievement for 2016?
The set I played at Longitude earlier this year was some of the best fun I’ve ever had DJing, that’s got to be a big highlight… Seeing the video of Midland dropping Sanctified at Dekmantel was pretty special too. Next year, I’m just hoping to get more music out, I’m sitting on a lot of stuff at the moment. I’d love to get a live show together, too, so if I manage that next year I’ll be pretty pleased.