Longstanding instigators Bradberry (one half of PBR Streetgang) and Ian Blevins decided to put their enduring friendship to the test with a stint of collaborative studio time. PBR have long been on the BBB radar, in fact we almost had them down for a mix back in 2010/11, but alas schedules never quite aligned. Blevins on the other hand, for us at least, is a fresh 2016 discovery. Although he has a longstanding reputation amongst his peers, it wasnt until we came across a Bicep tweet in support of his recently released, banging, ESP Institute record ‘Hannibal’, that we were to become aware of his glowing credentials. With that in mind we didnt hesitate when given the opportunity to chat with them both and put together a little sampler of their more recent work; including the aforementioned ‘Hannibal’ and their recently released ‘Black & Red’ EP…
BBB: You’ve played festivals, parties, club nights, probably even in your mates bedroom. No doubt some of those have been truly memorable and others totally forgettable, what is it the makes you keep coming back for more?
BRADBERRY – I guess I’m kind of addicted to playing music to people. Its all I’ve ever really done since I was 16. Thats over half of my life now… yikes
BLEVINS – Playing music you love to people who want to have a good time. What’s not to like about that. That situation has, and will do doubt in the future, provide me with some of my favourite memories.
BBB: If you hadn’t become a DJ/Producer what do you think you would have done instead?
BRADBERRY – I have a degree in fashion so probably something along those lines.
BLEVINS – I’ve a degree in Internet Computing so something within that area more than likely.
BBB: You may have noticed recently that a well established and visible promoter had a bit of a dig at the current generation of clubbers, stating ”we [now] have hipsters, a subculture so spineless that it had to borrow its name from its parents. Hipsters are an uptight bunch. They like dance music, but they lack the sense of abandon that made raving so much fun”. Having both clocked up a few DJ air miles over the years what is your opinion on the current generation of ravers? Can they even be called ravers, perhaps Rave is a nostalgic term best left in the 90’s…
BRADBERRY – Ravers, Disco Queens, Club Kids, its all the same thing really, generations latch on to a particular word but its just people going out and forgetting their problems by dancing to music with other people, its been happening in one form or another well before I was born, and it will hopefully continue long after I’m gone.
BLEVINS – I’m with Bonar on this one. Each generation has and will continue to go out dance and escape for a moment.
Though the term hipsters I don’t associate just with dance music. Perhaps Sir David Attenborough can shoot his next series studying and narrating the hipsters to gain a greater insight into their world. I for one will be watching. Watching and learning.
BBB: Given that electronic music, its audience and means of creation are constantly evolving do you think it’s important as a producer to continually adapt your own sound, or should you remain true to your original sound?
BLEVINS – I think an artist should evolve or at least ‘polish’ their sound over time though I don’t think adapt is quite right as that insinuates that a ‘norm’ or ‘standard’ should be adhered too and there’s nothing more boring than listening to hours of music that sounds exactly the same. No artist who’s music stands out for me, I doubt tried to adapt to sound like the music that everyone is playing at a particular time. Each I think will be influenced heavily by many people and experiences, but the trick is finding your own sound and to craft that. Only then will the music stand out from the crowd.
That’s the idea anyhow 🙂
BRADBERRY – what he said…
BBB: As we know this record is a collaborative effort, often times, and particularly in pop, collaboration and multiple writers tends to be the norm rather than the exception. Was the collaborative process a natural fit for you both or did you find yourself squabbling over who had the fattest kick drum sample?
BLEVINS – Once the fattest kick drum argument was settled it was all fairly smooth sailing from then on.
I remember having a bit of jam away on some kit that I don’t have at mine, then we sort of cracked on, adding elements and trying different sounds and ideas. A few cups of tea, a couple of dog walks and 2 days graft later we had a couple tracks there or there abouts.
BRADBERRY – yeah its a really smooth process as we’ve known each other for years, we both have different skills in the studio and slightly different tastes so it makes for a productive combo.
BBB: And finally, what should we be looking out for from you both in 2016 and beyond?
BLEVINS – We’re gonna get back in the studio soon and start crafting another few tracks for our next EP.
As far as my solo work is concerned I’ve got a remix and EP forthcoming for ‘Not An Animal Records’ as well as working on a couple things for ESP Institute which I couldn’t be more excited about. There’s also a few more remixes on there way and a couple Al Gobi tracks that should be released too amongst a few other things.
On the gig front I’m really looking forward to getting away a bit more than last year, with trips to SE Asia, Australia, Ibiza, Mexico and Obonjan in Croatia already penciled, or the wheels are in motion at the very least. Aside from that I’ll be spending another summer in the tropical climate of North East of England, finishing off music and gigging where I can.
BRADBERRY – On the solo side of things I have and EP on 2020 Editions coming at the end of June and a single for Future Boogie in July. On the PBR Streetgang tip Tom and I have a pack summer of gigs maybe the highlight of the festivals so far are Glastonbury June 23rd/24th, Love International, Croatia 1st-6th-July, Lovebox London July 16th, Wilderness Fest 5th August. Plus on the release front we have an EP for Craig Richards brand new label ‘Ship to Shore’ in July, so plenty to look out for!
BBB: Well thanks for your time guys, not sure at 90 whether Sir David Attenborough will be too keen on studying the curious world of the hipster, but you never know! Best of luck with the EP and the year ahead. Perhaps see you at Glasto, we’ll be the ones waving from the other side of the red rope…
Jon E Cassell (Blah Blah Blah)
Bradberry & Blevins – Black & Red (Culprit) Out Now