Novel rhythms from a vital London artist.
In a genre typically defined by weight, Dwayne Parris makes music with an exquisite sense of lightness. His records for Hemlock, Idle Hands and The Trilogy Tapes have all been defined by a shadowy negative space that throws their lilting rhythms and silky sub-bass into stark relief. His sound is a product of his biography: a London native who's also lived in Bristol, he followed grime since it was born, and later fell for dubstep, becoming a regular at Plastic People's FWD>> nights. In 2013, Youngsta took him on as an assistant helping him to run Tempa, which released his first 12-inch, a split with Wen, a year later. Since then, his style has gotten deeper and deeper with each release, culminating in the utterly singular 2 Vultures EP from last year.
As a DJ, Parris pursues many of the same qualities he does as a producer: haunting atmospheres, dub-inspired rhythms, elegantly spare compositions. On RA.628, he presents the full spectrum of his sound, charting a course from pure ambience to soaring club cuts, giving special attention to new records from his peers.
What have you been up to recently?
Trying to find a good balance between work / gigs / life / music production. Life's gotten busier so I'm just trying to make sure that I'm not spreading myself too thin. I moved back to London at the beginning of the year after living in Bristol for the majority of last year so just settling back into the big city life. Also slowly getting back into the swing of finishing some tracks and starting some new ones.
How and where was the mix recorded?
The mix was recorded at Rinse's studios in the pre-record room using two CDJ-2000s running through Serato.
Could you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
When I was originally putting the mix together I tried to plan the whole thing and I found that I was happy with the first 15 minutes but struggled to find a direction I was happy with past that point. After a couple of attempts I decided to keep the first 15 and just freestyle the rest which produced the version I was happiest with. It was the take which felt the most natural to put together.
In terms of the tracklisting, it's a snapshot of music I'm interested in, from club use to home listening. Whenever I put a mix together I want it to have a flow that can dip through different sounds / vibes / spaces without creating too much of a dramatic shift but without you consciously noticing that you may have gone from ambient to dance floor, which I felt like I achieved. Another important thing was to try and keep the selection fresh with some favourites in between.
Tell us about the sound you've been developing for the last few years. What sort of mood and impact are you trying to create?
Over my small solo catalogue it's been nice to have the freedom to write and do what I want with the labels I've worked with (Idle Hands, Ancient Monarchy, Hemlock and TTT). I'm interested in finding the little spaces in music and doing something a little bit different, which can be hard considering the rich history of dance / electronic music. I try to creatively step away from the sound / aesthetic of each past record I write and try something new.
In terms of impact, I'm trying to create the most with very little. I like being able to get lost in the sounds I use; with such a minimal palette it means that they can shine through. The mood is normally based on the sounds I choose, so once something catches my ear I'll end up building everything around that to accommodate it. I like my music to have a human feel so that also plays a big part in the mood / impact.
Are there any new artists you're particularly feeling at the moment?
Yes! There's always new people being creative and it's always amazing to see how they progress and develop. Here are a couple of artists people should be keeping an eye on and would count as new (one or less solo 12-inches out).
Chekov: Really loved the record on Peach Discs. For a producer with so little out his sound is very developed and singular.
Peach: Wicked DJ and "Silky" has been one of my highlight tunes of this year. I'm looking forward to hearing more of what she's been working on in the near future.
What are you up to next?
Putting some finishing touches to my next record coming out on my spiritual home of Idle Hands in the autumn, with two tracks and a KMOS (Kassem Mosse) Remix. It's nice to return to the label as Chris [Farrell] put out my first solo 12-inch and he's also been very supportive of everything I do. I've finished some remixes recently and I've got a record coming out with Kowton on Rubadub. It's both of us taking the parts of the same tune and doing two different versions.
Other than that, more gigs / petitioning to make mulled wine an all-year drink and hopefully learning how to make an elderflower cordial over the summer.