Brixton’s PhOtOmachine gives us a taste of his ‘machine soul’ sound, through hedonistic house, soulful techno and dance-ready machine-grooves in the latest Clash DJ mix.
One of the most quietly impressive producers of the moment, PhOtOmachine (Dean Bryce) has proved time and again that he’s brimming over with knowledge and ideas when it comes to both making and selecting tunes, so don’t expect to hear any painfully obvious choices in his mix, just plenty of high quality, underground tracks. As the man himself says, “This ain’t Top of the Pops”. Wise words.
Here’s what Dean had to say when Clash had a chat with him.
You’ve named this your ‘Tears on the Dancefloor’ mix. What’s the concept behind it?
I’m really into music that moves the soul as well as the feet. This is obviously an up-tempo club mixtape, but it’s also musically pretty touching. It’s a solitary listening experience or one that you can jam to with a few mates. Prince is the master of making danceable sad tunes.
Do you try and use rarer tracks in your mixes to give people something they may not have heard before?
These are just the records that I’ve been playing recently, so lots of stuff on L.I.E.S and a few classics alongside one of my newer traxxx. I wasn’t trying to be deliberately obscure. Just like fashion, there’s a tendency to play what everyone else plays, but that’s just lazy. There’s a wealth of undiscovered music out there, old and new. Sometimes I find it had to play to younger audiences because all they want to hear is the obvious stuff, but this ain’t Top of the Pops – it’s a nightclub.
Give us a bit of musical background on yourself – how and when you started producing tracks…
I started years ago with borrowed equipment and a cracked copy of Cubase. It was really bad. Then I spent some years thinking about doing it again and bought some stuff which produced sounds which I liked and starting messing around. I was always around Saxon Studio as a kid, so I’d seen how reggae records were made from an early age.
Would you describe your own musical style in any particular way, or do you prefer not to talk in terms of genres?
I’d say it’s machine soul. As far as genres are concerned it’s 100% electronic music, but that moves from around the spectrum. I wouldn’t say it’s purely house, techno or whatever. A lot of the time my music is a genre that I like put under a microscope. So the ‘On U’ EP on 2020 Vision was a look at how classic electro and house could be twisted for today’s dancefloors.
Would you say that classic US house/techno sounds and DJs have influenced you?
Yeah... I’m a big fan of Model 500. Those melodies that Juan Atkins came up with were so infectious. I like Ron Hardy’s edits too, and of course I really dig Actress who’s put his spin on the Techno sound. But overall influence comes from everywhere really. Not only music. I sometimes write music about people and certain situations.
What tracks/artists have been pushing your buttons recently?
John Heckle and October. I can’t believe I slept on those guys for so long. Also, most of the stuff coming out on L.I.E.S is incredible.
What have you got lined up in the coming months and beyond?
I’m currently in New York, but when I get back I’ll be dropping a freebie release called ‘Sex Haze & Raves’. It’s a woozy listening experience inspired by late-night club sessions, fantasies and comedowns. There’s talk of a 7” coming out Christmas week with two of the cuts. I’m also working on a vocal project with a singer called Bobby Pleasure which is sounding tight. It’s a bit different to the PhOtOmachine material but does share the same mechanical groove.
DOWNLOAD PHOTOMACHINE'S DJ MIX HERE
(right click and 'Save As...')
1. Lil Louis & The World - Blackout
2. October - Planet of Minds
3. Arttu featuring Jerry The Cat - Nuclear Funk (Dexter Remix)
4. Moire [Unknown]
5. Jordan Fields - Box Beater
6. Bad News - Real Bad News
7. Delroy Edwards - Love Goes On and On
8. Federico Molinari - Acid Eloy (Original Mix)
9. Two Dogs In A House - Gone Stray
10. PhOtOmachine - Sett UR Love
Check out the previous episodes of our Dj Mix Series on iTunes HERE