With the majority of the population officially heading home for Christmas this afternoon, we can't but help feel hotly anticipated for our own festive celebrations. Though we'll be without our usual Boxing Day shindig, DJ Hype and his epic Playaz clan will be out in full force on Sunday 27th December. Recruiting special guests Congo Natty and Break to help work the Martin Audio rig in Room One as well as linking Ed Rush & Optical and Black Sun Empire for a back to back set for the very first time in Room Two, the label, who celebrated their 15 year anniversary last month, have also enlisted fledgling selector Dead Man's Chest to the calvary. Hailing from Bristol, you may have already heard his octane cuts on V Recordings under the name Eveson, but as of late he's been constructing a more old school style, releasing on the likes of the Ingredients label.
Set to make his Farringdon debut at the afore mentioned show, we fired over a few questions so we could officially introduce him to the world and better frame his outlook with the perfect summation of his sound: a promo mix.
Dead Man's Chest: I just finished the Farseer EP which will conclude a three part series of EPs I've been putting out with Ingredients over the course of this year. The masters have been sent off and I'm just about to roll out the artwork. The full package will be dropping within the first quarter of 2016.
You’re playing in Room Two later this month. How do you like to execute your sets? Do you mould your sets around the vibe of the lineup you’re playing or just go with what feels right on the night?
I'm a sucker for a good journey set, something that develops seamlessly through mood, style and energy throughout with tunes that speak to each other in the mix, and I'd like to think that taste comes through in my DJing. As for tailoring my sets, yeah to a degree. I've also been a bar/club DJ for years, drawing from many genres, so I think the idea of playing music to fit an environment is always gonna be in the back of my mind when selecting for a gig. Being on the bill with Ed Rush & Black Sun Empire for instance, gives me the chance to take it a bit more balls out than usual which could be fun. I'll check the vibe when I'm there...
So take us back to the beginning, how were you first introduced to electronic music?
As a kid in the early '90s, there was a lot of exposure to rave music on Top Of The Pops, at the roller disco (skating round a darkened, lazer lit sports hall in a pair of Bauer Turbos to the sounds of The KLF was a big look for an 11 year old in '93) and on shows such as Normski's Dance Energy. The sound had me hooked instantly and within a year of first hearing The Prodigy/The Shaman/SL2 etc, I was the kid recording compilation rave tapes for mates at school and avidly collecting Fantazia/Dreamscape tape packs. Growing up in Glastonbury with the festival and various other smaller raves on my doorstep meant I got the full rave experience from an early age and that era made a huge impression on me.
And how have you got to where you are at now musically?
That early exposure to the rave scene naturally led on to a keen obsession with drum & bass and a healthy vinyl habit. Years DJing in my bedroom led to honing down on my production, and by the mid '00s I was putting records out (as Eveson) with Good Looking, Creative Source and 31 Records, culminating in an album on V Records in 2012. After the album I felt I'd taken the soulful/liquid sound I was known for to a conclusion and needed something new to get my teeth into. I legged it to the French Alps and spent a few years hidden away in the mountains DJing, snowboarding and drinking rum. Although most of my tape collection has been lost to time, I have this DJ SS tape from Dance Trance '94 that spookily seems to follow me around and never go missing. One day the tape caught my eye and the message was clear... I needed to create some beats that paid homage to the sound, vibe and aesthetic of the rave tapes of my youth. Thus, Dead Man's Chest was born and I returned to my spiritual home of Bristol, reborn a rave jungle pirate.
Can you tell us a little bit about your studio process? What software/hardware do you use?
Macbook Pro, Ableton, Push Controller and a pair of Adam's A7s up until now. I've had to be very mobile over the years so kept my production mostly in the box as a result. Now I'm planning to get some roots in, I've been picking up some analogue gear which I'll be starting to implement over the coming year. I've always tried to recreate that analogue warmth in my beats so I figure it'd make sense to start doing it for real. As for the process, it's basically just throwing a load of samples into the arrangement page until I start to catch a vibe and refine things. I keep things pretty raw eq wise, but use a few tricks over the group channels and overall mix to get that old school crustyness.
What else is going on with you at the moment? What other aspirations have you laid for yourself for 2016?
The Dreamscapes, Nautilus and forthcoming Farseer EPs were written as a collection, and with the addition of a few new, early and unheard Dead Man's Chest bits, I'm wanting to release the trilogy as a mixed cassette tape. Seeing as the entire concept is based around my old tapes, making one for myself seems like a natural conclusion to this chapter. Other than that, more singles as Dead Man's Chest, and seeing as 2017 will mark 10 years of putting out records, I may try and use 2016 to work on a second Eveson album, the Dead Man's Chest stuff has given me new ideas and aesthetics I feel I could work back into that side of my production.
Finally, can you tell us a little bit about the mix you’re just delivered to us?
It's my own take on the journey mix I described above. I've been writing beats and DJing at a slower tempo than your standard d&b set, taking it way back to sub 160bpm, allowing me to throw some oldschool hardcore into the mix alongside early and contemporary jungle/bass music. Chopped breaks just sound cool as fuck at that speed.
01 - Dead Man's Chest - Unnatural Mystic
02 - Machinedrum - Gunshotta
03 - Source Direct - Black Rose
04 - Threshold - Sweat Rice
05 - Basic Influence - Still Waters (Run Deep Mix)
06 - Sully - Flock
07 - LTJ Bukem - Atlantis (I Need You)
>> The Prodigy - We Eat Rhythm
08 - Dead Man's Chest - Revenant
09 - Sully - Crystal Cuts
10 - Dead Man's Chest - Liquid 94
11 - Omni Trio - Renegade Snares (Foul Play remix)
12 - Acen - Trip II The Moon, Part 2 (The Dark Side)
13 - Nasty Habits - Dark Angel
14 - DJ Red Alert & Mike Slammer - Ruffer
15 - Bay B Kane & Peshay - Quarter To Doom (Rhythm)
16 - Dead Man's Chest - Warehouse
17 - Dead Man's Chest - Foundation Empire