PBDY is the alias of Paul Preston, an LA-based DJ, producer, and founder of TAR, a rising label and artist collective including names like DJ Earl, Kai Whiston, Jimi Nxir, and Deantoni Parks. Discovering a love for music in his early years in Phoenix, Preston began his first musical experiments after purchasing an MPC and some turntables, and no sooner was he DJing around town as much as possible. "I was all over Phoenix doing that shit," he explains, laughing, in a previous interview. The next step was a move to Los Angeles, inspired by Flying Lotus, who, too, was just starting his career, and suggested via Myspace that Preston take the jump. By July 2011, Preston was settled on the West Coast, keen to immerse himself in LA's beat scene "I had no-one out here, but it felt like home right away," he recalls.
Fast forward 12 months and production began to take hold—as Preston looked to compile some special material for his DJ sets. Together with Jeremiah Jae, Preston began blending his own "weird hip-hop beats" with Jeremiah's raps, the results of which have arrived via various mixtapes and a 2016 album on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder under the alias JP Moregun. He returned to the label earlier this year with a DJ set of the Brainfeeder 2017 ∞ 2018 which features a collection of Brainfeeder tracks and rarities as well as a glimpse of what's to come in 2018. Preston's solo material remains a work in progress—although it has surfaced only to be deleted soon thereafter. He is now working on his debut solo record. As a DJ, he's supported both Thundercat and Flying Lotus on world tours.
PBDY's submission for the XLR8R podcast series plays out like a soundtrack to a futuristic film, weaving together a 60-minute narrative that flows through hyperactive, bass-heavy beats, smooth house, and film score ambience with understated style.
How was 2017 for you?
My 2017 was absolutely amazing. It was bar none the best year of my life. I managed to do three tours throughout the year. A European run with Jeremiah Jae as JP Moregun, then back to back tours with Thundercat and Flying Lotus. It really felt like a year that I found myself in the real world and also musically. Shit was intense in the best way imaginable. Also released a very close to me EP called Blender with UK vocalist Buchanan and moved my monthly radio show The Monolith to NTS Radio.
What have you been up to recently?
Recently, I've been keeping insanely busy. Since tour(s) ended in November I've been a pure hermit just in complete creation mode. Right now, I'm just making a ton of music, starting to shoot some of my short films I've been working on and writing for the past years and compiling/curating a book I'm putting together with loads of friends and family involved. Also watching mad amounts of animé and playing Dragonball Fighter Z, of course.
Where does the name PBDY come from?
The name PBDY (pronounced "Peabody") was a really simple name idea. I just came to a place when I was younger that I needed to go by something I guess (people asking how to look me up). It's a reference from Peabody & Sherman which is from the old adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.
Talk to me about the early years in Los Angeles, after your move. How did you get involved with Brainfeeder?
So I've been living in Los Angeles about seven years now. I became involved with Brainfeeder after Flylo and I bonded during the Myspace days, hahaha! When I was still living in Phoenix we started chatting about music, video games, and mostly film. It became only natural that I moved to LA and become more included in the squad. Once I moved here, I began playing locally and gathering some respect in the already deep scene. I played Low End Theory a bunch, Boiler Room a few times, as well as a handful of Brainfeeder showcases which included SXSW, Coachella, Tokyo, other Brainfeeder parties all over. I sorta became the Brainfeeder DJ. I'm honored to be considered that. That's the type of stuff I always dreamed of in Phoenix.
You’ve released solo material but deleted it quickly afterwards. Can we expect PBDY solo productions anytime soon?
Ha! Yes, for those of you lucky enough to hear some of those sounds before I deleted, I appreciate your ears! For the longest time I just was like super anxious about releasing my own music, never thought it was good enough or finished etc...but now I've never been more excited to share what I'm working on. Happy to say there will be a solo PBDY record/mixtape this year, finally. Blessed to be putting something together for Brainfeeder.
You’ve toured with Thundercat and Flying Lotus. What’s it been like?
Touring with the boys was fucking amazing! Life changing times for me. I did the US Thundercat fall tour back to back with the Flying Lotus fall tour. I think I ended up playing like 50 shows in two months or so. Rolling with those guys is the best. It's like travelling with your best friends. We just play mad video games, throw down as hard as possible every night at the show and give as much to the crowd as possible. I think I bruise my ribs every time I tour with them from just laughing nonstop (or stage diving). I truly am blessed to roll with those guys. Thankful as fuck.
Talk to me about the focus of TAR. When did it start and what do you look for in the artists and sounds you push?
TAR began about five years ago. It started as just a idea for a magazine that would include music but I got way more into collecting the music than the art. I really just love having a home for artists of all sorts and being able to help and encourage/inspire some of the younger breed that are just honing in on their skills. I look for artists who sound like something I've never heard or sound like something more people need to hear. A lot of people are pushing so many boundaries right now and I love to help break those walls down with them.
What’s coming up on the release front?
Got LOADS of stuff upcoming on TAR this year. Pretty much stacked up until fall already. New releases from BEAN, Nick León, Norfik, MICHELANGEL0 & Cralias to just name a handful. Also, a few compilations scattered throughout the year as well.
When and where was the mix recorded?
This mix was recorded in my humble little bedroom studio with the door open to the LA view. It was made in two one-take parts in the span of two days.
On what equipment did you record the mix?
I recorded this mix with my MPD26 in Ableton Live (no warping included) on some M-Audio speakers.
Was there a particular idea you were looking to convey?
As with all my mixes, I love to tell stories. I try to make my mixes feel cinematic and big. I want each little section to sound like scenes from a film. I also truly love taking the listener from point A to point B. The journey aspect is huge to me. It's very important to spark emotion upon the listener. Put them in situational thoughts of sound to evoke their own journeys.
How did you choose the tracks you included?
Some of these tracks I picked may sound familiar for those who have seen me on tour recently with Flylo/Thundercat, as I specifically selected some tracks I was rinsing on tour for people who couldn't be there. I also just picked a bunch of music I've been currently listening and jamming to, some new/upcoming TAR tracks, Brainfeeder fam, and a bunch of movie scores.
What’s in store for 2018?
2018 will be the year I put out the most content to date. I feel truly excited about this year and showing everyone what I've been too shy to so show off so far. I plan on touring more this year, putting out new music, finishing my first film, and dropping the book i'm curating called "PLEASE HELP ME!" Thankful to have new ears and eyes to spoil.
01. Mac Qualye "2.0_5-infiniteloop0finsanity.vox”
02. Clark "Catastrophe Anthem”
03. DJ Animebby “Aaliyah”
04. DJ Tre “Gettin’ Happy!”
05. Nick León “Obsidian”
06. DJ Mastercard “Dream On”
07. Eat Paint “Sound A”
08. DJ Party God “She’s The Best”
09. Tzusing “Shame”
10. TEENANGEL "MALADEZA FT. JLZ”
11. DJ Mabooku “Future”
12. DJ Lycox "Dor Do Koto”
13. DJ Doraemon “Woodblock”
14. Bubas Produçoes “Relaxado"
15. Grasps_ “CLIQUES”
16. Dominowe “Club Killer”
17. Malcom "Phthalo Blue II”
18. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch “That’s Why We Believe”
19. BEAN “Forever”
20. DJ Windows XP “Maybe It Was Me”
21. Holodec “Smobbin”
22. LSDXOXO “DEATH GRIP (FT. BBYMUTHA)”
23. quest?onmarc “Subliminal Shade”
24. Ross From Friends “Would You Still Be Here”
25. WWWINGS “EXODUS (Ft. Jeremiah Jae)”
26. Adam Taylor “Chased”
27. Kai Whiston “TAKE YA BREATHE”
28. Little Snake “If u don’t knoh”
29. S280F & Echavox “nlt"
30. Sega Bodega “Requiem (Ft. Shygirl)”
31. Young Sizzle “Keepin’ It Real”
32. Gunna “Car Sick (Ft. NAV)
33. Ryuichi Sakamoto “Discovering River”
34. Ryuichi Sakamoto & Alva Noto “Carrying Glass”
35. Mike Levy (Gesaffelstein) “Something Has Changed"
36. oklou & Casey MQ “LURK”
37. Thundercat “DUI”