Podcast 517: Davy - XLR8R

Podcast 517: Davy

Two hours of deep and trippy magic from the rising Belgian DJ.
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Davy made a name for himself as DJ and founder of Down Under at Fuse in Brussels, the first underground party of its kind in one of Europe's best-loved clubs. Today he continues to lead the way with his Futurepast project, which he started in 2016 with Pjay of Kontrast. Forming a solid partnership with a shared vision, the two have successfully curated quality parties with international DJs in perfect settings including Klub Goud, Fuse’s Room 2, and even crossing continents to Montevideo, Uruguay when No Way Back celebrated its anniversary with a Futurepast showcase. 2017 saw the party evolve into a label too, with Davy debuting the first vinyl release The Long Now. Combining his forward-thinking approach to techno and a taste for ambient experiments, Davy offered four tracks of obscure electronic music that paved the way for all the label’s endeavors.

Although Davy’s roots lie in his birthplace Belgium, he holds strong ties in London, Berlin, and other dance music capitals around Europe. In 2008 he moved to the UK capital and gained a residency at Cartulis Music, usually appearing behind the decks in the early morning and continuing for hours on end, taking music lovers on his cosmic trips of rare techno, groovy electro, and deeper shades of house. He continues to regularly play for the party even though he has since moved to Berlin, where he can be found continuously curating his record collection. In the past year, he has notched up gigs at respected parties such as Yay and Veniceberg in Italy, Ghost Club in Paris, and Reset in Closer, Kiev. His ability to engage with dancers at various venues, from super clubs and warehouses to intimate private parties, shows his experience and versatility as a DJ, while his elegantly curated sets at home have a truly unique sound of their own.

His mix for this week's podcast is a perfect embodiment of these skills. It's clear from the start that each track has been included for a reason and that Davy has taken great care in choosing his records. The narrative unfolds slowly and intelligently, creating a cerebral experience that touches on various sub-genres while maintaining a strong sense of flow throughout. It's a piece of work that can be enjoyed in many different situations.

What have you been up to lately?

I just got back a few weeks ago from a short tour of South America. Pjay (my partner in Futurepast) and I were invited by No Way Back and MER recordings to go and showcase our sound in Montevideo (Uruguay). It was really enjoyable over there and I had the chance to see the country a bit and meet some very nice people. Since then, I played for the Art Of Dark after-party in London. I also had my Futurepast party at Fuse in Brussels where we invited DJ Koolt for the first time, who is doing a European tour at the moment. I played with him last weekend in London too, for the 8th anniversary of Cartulis Day. I’ve been their resident for about four years now. Nicolas Lutz, and the other residents Unai Trotti and Raphael Carrau were also playing. It was a great night.

How has 2017 been for you? What have your highlights been?

Besides the gigs, I spent most of my time in the studio finishing my first EP, The Long Now. I also started up the Futurepast label, and my EP will be the first release on the label. I really enjoyed the whole process: like the selection of tracks, some were recorded in Berlin, some in London a few years ago. For the mixdown I went to Brussels where I spent a week with David Morley in his studio. He was a key figure for R&S Records back in the '90s but he is also still active mostly doing ambient music. (I have included a few of his tracks in the mix). The mastering was done by Simon Davey from the Exchange in Exmouth, UK. The artwork is by Ina Freienstein and we worked with a photograph that I took on the island of Menorca last summer. We both thought it suited the title of the EP. It was great to get involved in every stage of the process; it was nice working together with very passionate and competent people, a really exceptional experience overall. The EP will be in stores soon.

When and where was the mix recorded?

At my home in Berlin, last winter.

Could you tell us about the idea behind it? Was there a clear concept in mind?

I wanted to create a palette of sounds that really represent me, going from ambient, over to downtempo, towards techno. I wanted it to be a mix for home listening (no peak-time club tracks!) with the dark, hypnotic vibe that I’m really into. But I still tried to bring a wide variety within this direction of sound.

How did you choose the tracks that you included?

I really took my time for this mix. I went through my whole collection, the selection itself took a few months, putting records on the side day by day that I thought would have potential to be on the mix in the styles mentioned above.

How does the mix compare to your club mixes?

I like to experiment and push boundaries; I find you can do that more with a podcast than in the club as you don’t necessarily have to make the people dance. I tried to create a perfect journey from start to finish through the selected tracks and make something that people can enjoy listening to at home or wherever they find it suitable for.

What’s on the horizon for 2018?

I have a few gigs coming up soon that I’m preparing for. I must also say I’m really looking forward to spending more hours in the studio as I’ve really been enjoying it lately. And last but not least, I’m excited about the upcoming releases on Cartulis Day, the label I run with Unai Trotti from London as well as and seeing the Futurepast label grow.