Under The Influence: Debian Blak
We’ve been getting quite a few dollied up morsels of wank thrown to us in recent months; admittedly in the form of some pretty rousingly verbose press releases, but morsels of wank nontheless. It’s not that we don’t like long words and snazzy press shots, they make for a worthy distraction, it’s just nice to get something laced with a little bit of sincerity and appropriateness in a while as opposed to Shola Ama’s comeback tour dates.
As such it was nice when Debian Blak AKA Rowan Perkins got in contact, the Leeds based producer who managed to win us over with a few humble words and a soundcloud. Venturing down the same conceptual avenues as artists like Cooly G and Untold in capturing the spirit of the electronic golden age as a whole rather then select portions. It makes for an assemblage of post-genre more is less vocal sampling and anomalous clicks and clacks – always indebted to the groove. Here’s his Under The Influence.
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This might seem like an obvious one, but I wouldn’t be me without music. Music has opened my eyes and ears to people from all around the world. It’s also helped me relate to people I would otherwise never have a connection with. It’s been like my very own Cilla Black! It’s helped me through some pretty rough stages of my childhood too, and I am forever indebted to music for that. Some particular artists that have had a heavy influence on me have been Nitin Sawhney, 1 Giant Leap, Massive Attack, and more recently artists such as Múm, Flying Lotus and Bon Iver. Though this is a long road if I start naming influential artists…
I do a bit of music production and live music teaching and workshops. My first project was when I was 19 – I co-ran a workshop working with inmates in a young offenders institute. I really loved this type of work so I got myself involved in some other projects and it’s lead me to meet some incredibly inspiring people. I’ve recently just finished a week-long project in a young offenders and it’s amazing the impact a week’s workshop can have on you. Due to the type of people I’ve worked with I couldn’t start naming them, but most of the guys that have particularly left a mark on me know who they are as I try to keep some sort of contact with them.
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I really love to meet new people and learn from others. I’m interested in other cultures a lot and I like learning how other people view life, or see the world. I spent a lot of time in South Africa, and I hung out with guys that were from a completely other world to me. Music was one of the main things that really brought us together too. Like anyone, I go through my anti-social phases though! But I think it’s fascinating learning from others, especially when it comes down to music. I was lucky enough to be selected for the AKG Scholarship Of Sound in Berlin last year, where 10 finalists from across Europe got together for a week to do a series of workshops, master classes and mentoring sessions. It was amazing meeting other producers from across Europe and talking music and production for an intense week. And some of the mentors such as Pole and Jon Berry (Kompakt Records) were really fascinating to talk to.
Since a young teen I’ve surfed as much as I can. I don’t live particularly close to the sea (at all!), but I get myself to the coast to surf for at least a few weeks a year. I’ve also travelled to places such as South Africa and Australia with the main purpose of surfing. I remember one time in South Africa it was 6am and I was on my own surfing and watching the sunrise when around 50 dolphins came by and swam right through me, literally close enough to touch. I get totally inspired from being in the sea. It’s a territory that is alien to ‘Man’, so it’s very humbling to have the opportunity to engage with a completely natural occurrence that’s out of our usual comfort zone. I get really inspired after I’ve surfed and find myself writing a lot of music. I wrote TISW after a monster surf actually