Winter recently arrived in the UK, which is excellent news for fans of fog, big coats and moaning (ie, me). A collective melancholia has descended and it seems to be affecting our electronic music. It's all sober and sad. Maybe it's natural that producers in a post-bangaz world are turning inwards. One such guy is Fantastic Mr Fox, whose new Sketches EP on Black Acre is full of music for seasonally affected dancefloors. He made us an exclusive mix and I bombarded him with rubbish genre names.
Fantastic Mr Fox - FADER mix
1. Blue Daisy - Signs (Dream Catchers)
2. Deadboy - Heartbreaker
3. Florence & the Machine -You've Got the Love ( The XX remix)
4. Brandy - Fantastic Mr Fox Refix
5. Airhead - White Room
6. Fantastic Mr Fox - Sketches (Sbtrkt Remix)
7. LV- Don't Judge (Fantastic Mr Fox Remix)
8. Erykah Badu - Pariah Bootleg
Download: Fantastic Mr Fox FADER mix
So how does it feel to have George Clooney play you in a movie?
Haha, George did a decent job- really enjoyed the film actually. It was a lot a different from the book, but I think that's why it worked so well - if you haven't seen it watch out for the bit with a wolf near the end. The name comes from a story tape of the Roald Dahl story I found during a search round my house looking for ideas for what to use to name a music MySpace I'd just set up a few years ago.
You're part of a new wave of producers like Mount Kimbie, Pariah, Darkstar, Airhead and Joy Orbison all making really wistful, melancholy electronic music. I've been thinking this sound needs a name. I've come up with "Achebeat." You know, like breakbeat. Or "Plead Garage." And, uh... "Shrugstep?" What do you think?
Yeah I really like all the producers you've mentioned and I'd agree there are certain similarities in some of our music. I think the fact that the internet has made it so easy to instantaneously access so many different genres has massively sped up the development of all this hybrid music that's coming out now. There's not much stuff I listen to at the moment that I could easily label with a genre. I've always loved music that can be emotive and make you nod your head at the same time- songs like "Idioteque" by Radiohead or "Straight Off The D.I.C" by Cannibal Ox. When I put songs together the beat and the melody are usually the most important aspects, I also try and make the songs stay interesting all the way through, so there's plenty of little edits and stuff you might not notice on the first listen.
You're a student, how do you find time to make music when you're drunk every day?
Luckily the course I do (History & Sociology) isn't too many hours so I tend to spend more time making music than doing work. I'm at the University of Manchester - so loads of really good places to go out to, there's good music nights to go to most of the week. Hit n Run, which Rich Reason co-runs, is probably the pick of them all. It's on a Monday night but can sometimes get up to like 800 people there when bigger acts play.
Who is Rich Reason?
Rich is someone I made friends with from going to Hit n Run all the time - he runs the night along with another DJ called Al Sonar, so gradually I got to know him through that. He's probably the most booked DJ in Manchester - so any good nights I'd go to - he'd be DJing there. So I started giving him some music and it progressed from there. Also Rich Reason is indeed his real name, in case you were wondering.
Tell us about your Sketches EP.
The Sketches EP was all put together on my bedroom PC a few months ago. I wanted to try and make something that could work just as well on a dancefloor as on a bus journey. Sadly not many funny stories go down when its just me sat at my pc for hours on end deciding if I've used the right hi-hat. I'm slowly putting together new tunes for my next release, but it might take me a while, in the mean time I've done a remix for Desto, a Brandy bootleg (which is in the mix) and a couple of other things that should be out in the new year. Gig-wise, I've learned how to use Ableton recently so should start playing out a bit more once I've done my exams in January.