Last updated on September 8th, 2016 at 12:48 amReading time: 12 minutes
Archie Hamilton has established himself as an important talent in the London underground scene and with releases on labels such as Pleasure Zone, Fear of Flying, Fasten Musique Concrete, Rompecorazones, FUSE and of course, on his own two labels, Moscow Records and Moss Co, we can surely say it is worth keeping an eye on him. We talked with him about his upcoming gig in Bucharest this Saturday, his two labels and about his connections with Romanian artists.
keywords: vinyl, label, online, EP
I’d never say no to… Tequila
Perhaps my greatest wish is… For all the greed, violence and madness to stop.
Good design… The pyramids.
No party is complete without… Good vibes.
I’ve found surprisingly good local cuisine in… Australia. Not that I was expecting it to be bad, but I was blown away!
The last app I’ve installed on my phone… Juxtaposer. It’s an image-editing app.
Don’t touch my… Laptop!
I often read… About space and physics.
A secret place in London… Abandoned tube stations!
3 artists I discovered recently… Noha, Afriqua, Lee Burton.
Cristina Popa: It’s wonderful to have this conversation, Archie, and to learn that you’re playing in Bucharest, Romania, on the 3rd of September. What kind of energy are you packing for this performance?
Archie Hamilton: Likewise! I’m very excited to play in Bucharest – it’s my first time playing there, so I’m not too sure yet. I will come prepared for every eventuality!
CP: Your latest release on Moscow Records is What’s in your Head EP, with a remix from Ali Nasser on the flip. The tracks give way to a contemporary and uplifting soundscape. What do you think makes certain music timeless?
Archie Hamilton: Thank you! That’s a good question – I think the aesthetic should feel as though if you didn’t know the track, you wouldn’t be able to date it. The music should to avoid trends too much and evoke emotions every time you hear it.
CP: Where do you draw your inspiration from? Do visual influences ever make it into your sounds?
Archie Hamilton: Inspiration comes from everywhere, really! A lot comes from my early years clubbing, trying to recreate what I heard and felt then. Visuals are a big part, especially colour.
When I make tracks I try to picture them in context and vice-versa; I picture a moment and try to make something for that.
CP: Listening to Direction EP, it instantly activated us. The two tracks, First Refusal and Some Kind of Arrangement, are definitely both for the mind and feet. How do you achieve a balance between the emotive narratives and the driving bass and groove in your productions?
Archie Hamilton: I always start with a bass groove designed for the feet. The melodic elements come later and I think the key to the mind lies in the arrangement.
CP: In 2009 you’ve established 2 labels, Moscow Records and Moss Co, which deliver quality electronic music, spanning genres like techno, minimal, house, acid and abstract. Why did you feel the need for two different channels and what are their objectives?
Archie Hamilton: We established Moscow Records in 2009; Moss Co. came later in 2014. In about 2010/11, the vinyl market was on its knees. Our distributor was on the verge of going under, and we could no longer afford to pay to press our records, so we had to release digitally on Moscow Records for a couple of years. After a chance meeting in France, we got a great offer to press vinyl again from a new distributor, but it meant we had to start a new label. Then, off the success of the first few releases, the opportunity came to do vinyl Moscow Records as well.
For me both labels are equally important; Moss Co. is definitely not a sub-label. I would say that you are likely to hear more experimental music on Moss Co., and Moscow Records is more club-oriented.
Archie Hamilton: It all started at Sunwaves in 2009 or 2010 I think. I went with my label partner at the time and we were mesmerised! We then booked Praslea and Dan Andrei to play our party at T Bar in London later in the year and the fascination continued from there!
CP: feeder.ro has been connecting artists with audiences for 12 years. How do you view the role of online media and news agencies as channels to promote music?
Archie Hamilton: I think they are extremely important! It’s great that news travels so fast these days. It means that great new artists can be discovered quicker, as well as new technology and ideas. The online factor means that it can often be interactive, which is great as it leads to the sharing of opinions on the articles.
Words by Cristina Popa
Photos Archie Hamilton