Launch of Tracking Imprints: Huntleys + Palmers
EDHID presents its new ‘Tracking imprints’ series that will introduce to you our favourite, established or up-and-coming labels worldwide. Our first guests are Huntleys + Palmers head honcho Andrew Thomson and Mehmet Aslan who released recently his debut EP Mechanical Turk on the eclectic UK imprint. Enjoy!
Huntleys + Palmers Audio Club started as a party in December 2007 and you celebrate this year your 7yrs anniversary on 19th of December with Talaboman, Auntie Flo and Esa. What makes a party memorable from a musical perspective?
Great music, good people. It’s that simple. For me, a good warm up is always memorable, someone who knows how to set an atmosphere for what is to come, playing the latest bangers records to a full room is the easy part. Over the years, most of the small and intimate parties stand out in my mind. Likewise with anyone who enhances their performance with added vocals – such as the Cómeme guys, James Pants, etc. – that’s always really fun.
You started the label to add a lasting component to Huntleys + Palmers. Could you imagine launching a limited series that stands out with individual covers as many other labels like Hippie Dance, Giegling etc. did?
As it happens, one of the next things on our Highlife imprint will be the ‘Highlife: World Series’ project with pretty specific limitations and dedicated artwork.
Huntleys + Palmers takes a scout role with an international network of musical rough diamonds hailing from North and South America, South Africa, the Middle East, Caribbean, India and Europe. Did it become more difficult to scout at a post-Myspace era?
I’m not sure if anyone can complain about the finding music in the post-Myspace era. I don’t have any label experience of what it was like prior to Myspace, etc. but I’m sure it was a lot more difficult. Now Soundcloud, WeTransfer and the rest have made it much more easier to communicate and send ideas across the world in a matter of minutes / hours. The harder part is navigating through a ton of music, which is often average at best. This has so far been helped via personal connections and shared musical interests.
Kompakt describes your Huntleys + Palmers Chapter 1 four-track EP as a release with ‘No B-Sides’. As your imprint’s output increased significantly over the last year, could you imagine to release soon a Huntleys + Palmers CD compilation?
Yes! Definitely. The first will be a Highlife compilation next year which will compile all the previous (vinyl only) releases and present them to the digital world. As for H+P, there will be something when the time is right.
Hi Mehmet! Andrew described your style as ‘Talabot meets Barnt via Istanbul’. What about your influences from Chicago and Detroit?
I cannot deny them. The first records I’ve brought were Chicago or Detroit Techno records, like so many other people of course, nothing special. But I sensed something very personal in Detroit Techno and my experiments with Turkish music are the core of that. Detroit Techno is very emotional and sentimental music, so is most of the Turkish music or Turkish people. I think there is a connection. I don’t know where I will head with my further fusions, but there is a lot to explore.
You play regularly at Wilde Renate in Berlin. Compared to your DJing experiences in in your native Basel, do you think it is better or worse to play in a city that doesn’t really know the concept of a ‘last record of the night’ at 5 AM?
Probably neither of them is better or worse. Every party has an end, should have an end. So it can start again. The difference is more the length of the sets which makes it interesting. People tend to forget that Berlin is probably the only place in the world with such a way of nightlife. Kids come to Berghain from all over the world and when they go back to their small city they think everywhere has to be like this. Playing in Basel is also not comparable to me like anywhere else, it’s my home where most of my friends live.
Do you play any instruments? Do you prefer to collaborate in the studio or rather to cut your own way through?
No, I don’t play any instruments. I admire people who can play an instrument greatly but its nothing for me. I think its much more interesting for me to do collaborations with musicians and producers. There is so much you can learn and more random things can happen. I also like to make music on my own, but I try to do more and more collaborations.
After releasing some edits on Ata’s For Discos Only imprint and Huntleys + Palmers sub label Highlife, Mechanical Turk is your first EP with original material. What inspired you for the three-track EP?
“New Africanism” is one of my older tracks, and the title is quite strange for me. It was kind of a project title and stayed like this. You can hear my preference for Detroit-ish strings and melody lines. And the programming is very naive, I like it because of that. Hidden is bit more straight forward, and there are these kind of Kraftwerk-ish melodies and this very cheap vocal snippet. In all of the tracks you can hear my preference for weird sounding percussions. Clean is shit, it has to be dirty and strange. Mechanical Turk is a rework of the Romanian band called Karpov Not Kasparov which they very kindly gave permission to release. The original was slow and very short, I rearranged it and built it on with kick drums and percussions. It conveys a very core element of ‘Turkish’ music for me. It’s sad and cheerful in the same time. Shout out to Karpov not Kasparov who did a very special and unique track here, my duty was solely to polish it and give it the light it deserved.
What is your message to Istanbul’s dancers?
Andrew: To quote the Age of Love, ‘come on. dance with me’.
Mehmet: I don’t know! It’s the first time I play my edits to a mainly Turkish crowd which will be kind of strange for me… I’m very curious!
What can we expect next from both of you?
Andrew: Having found a firmer footing with the label this year, 2015 will see more of the same. Building and developing several artists from this year, a compilation, the Auntie Flo album, parties and the rest.
Mehmet: More music, what else (smiling).
Andrew Thomson and Mehmet Aslan will play EDHID pres. Huntleys + Palmers at MiniMüzikhol on the 22nd of November.
Mehmet Aslan Soundcloud
Huntleys + Palmers Soundcloud