Bristol Spotlight: Twin Picks

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Twin Picks is made up of Chris Yeoward and Jonty Green, who have been DJing together in Bristol for a few years now, since meeting in the first week of uni. Turning their sights to production more recently, the pair have been working separately on different projects, while meeting regularly to play out in Bristol. Having run their own night in the city – a Sunday party called Lucid which was held in smaller venues around Stokes Croft – the pair had the chance to gain some skill behind the decks, coupling this with their experience on dancefloors around the UK, and to fine-tune a sense of the music they really love.

The mix that Twin Picks have recorded for us is probably our favourite of 2015 so far and encapsulates what the guys are currently playing in their sets. Play it to get you in the mood, or whilst putting your feet up by the fire. Continue reading for our interview with the Twin Picks guys.

TRACKLIST

Yves Simon – Raconte Toi
Johnny Adams – Feel The Beat
Session Victim – Bison
Inkswel – She Likes Techno
Mr Scruff & Kaidi Tatham – Fresh Noodle
Trus’Me – Can We Pretend
Rahaan – Make Me Hot
Kenny Dixon Jr – Watching U
Daniel Wang – Get Up, Get Up
Derrick Carter – Long Ass Zite Groove Den…It’s Alright
Be – GYB3
Morgan Geist – Sleaze
Leon Haywood – Don’t Push It, Don’t Force It
Felix Dickinson & Horse Meat Disco – I Like It When You
The Persuader – Central Bron
Âme – Sarari
Snacks – Purdie
The Nuclear Family – Give Yourself To Me
Floating Points – King Bromeliad
Larry Heard – Burning
Rob Nordell – Raw Bitch
Ludwig & Azier – A1

So where are you guys from and how did you meet?

C: I’m from Swindon and Jonty is from Derbyshire. We met in freshers week at Bristol Uni, and bonded over house music to be honest. We ended up going to Motion in that first week, shunning the others to see Craig Richards and Simian Mobile Disco.

J: A week later, we went to the Fabric birthday together in London. Chris had to leave to get back to a bar shift in Bristol, but I stayed on with his friends.

What made you both choose to go to Bristol?

J: Coming from Derby, there’s never been that much in the way of music and places to go, so going down to Bristol was awesome.

Did you choose Bristol for its music?

C: I definitely did. I knew Bristol had a really good scene. I stumbled into an early Just Jack party while on my gap year. I was out in Bristol one night and ended up checking out Motion. Argy was playing.

How did you guys record this mix?

C: We used to mix a lot in Bristol as we lived together, but once we left, I moved to London and Jonty is back home in Derby, so it was harder to find a time.

J: For this mix, we just found a time to have a few beers and get some records together. It took a couple of takes; I’d love to say we got up at 9am and recorded it on vinyl all in one go, but we didn’t do that.

C: We recorded the mix around our Simple Things booking and put it together in line with what we might play there.

What kind of sets have you guys had so far? How did you start out?

C: Well honestly, we’ve mostly had warm-up slots, playing slower sort of stuff. Sometimes out of choice, but also because starting out, that’s what you’re given.

J: Our first was at Blue Mountain supporting Scuba. But then we really pushed to start our own night called Lucid.

Ah yes, let’s chat about Lucid…

C: Lucid was our attempt to get Bristol dancing on a Sunday.

J: We tried to coincide them with big Motion nights on Saturdays.

C: But the idea that every time, people would still want to be partying at 4pm on a Sunday didn’t quite work. Through it, though, we got to meet the Pardon My French guys and some others in the Bristol scene, which was great.

J: I think we’ve had some awesome times DJing in Bristol. In fact, I’d say we’ve played in most of the venues we’d want to, just maybe not at the optimal time!

Do you enjoy playing those warm-up slots?

C: I really love it. It’s great to be able to set the mood of the party, and sort of have more free reign over the direction of the party.

In terms of DJing, who are your biggest influences?

J: I’d put Moodymann up there I think. Prosumer for tune selection.

C: Craig Richards has always done it for me.

When did you both start producing? I know you’re each doing quite different things.

C: I started fiddling around when I was seventeen or so on a bootleg copy of Reason. I got Ableton when I came to uni.

J: I had a go in second year. We both went in together to buy Ableton Live 9, which was a big step in terms of investing a fair amount of money into getting a proper version that would work for a long time. That was a turning point.

What are you guys doing production-wise these days?

J: Well we don’t live together any more so we haven’t done anything collaboratively in a while.

C: We never really had a studio while at uni, but I’m now working from my laptop with headphones whereas Jonty has a bit more of a permanent setup. We’d like to get some more stuff done together.

What is your studio setup?

J: I’ve just got a couple of synthesisers, a lot of software bits and pieces, and some great studio monitors. I was given a Roland Juno for Christmas which sounds amazing to use. It’s currently broken, so I’m limited to what notes I can actually play!

Does the sort of stuff you make individually feed into what you play as a pair?

J: I don’t really think it does at all at the moment. Maybe that’s because the sets that we’ve played recently don’t necessarily allow for it.

C: We’ve both got quite wide-ranging tastes, so we usually play a real variety of stuff, but then it’s just finding a place that the stuff that we make fits into. This range works well when playing out as we change it up quite a lot.

What’s in the pipeline for you guys at the moment?

J: We’re getting some good gigs through Bristol’s Apex at the moment

C: But at the moment we’re focusing on production really.

Who’s inspiring your productions?

J: For me, I’ve been loving the latest Banoffee Pies release from Bristol, especially in terms of percussion.

C: My latest track I made immediately after listening to Raresh’s Fabric Mix and lifted a couple of the ideas in terms of the bass line and other elements.

J: I don’t think you should be afraid to lift other people’s ideas if you’re doing something original with them. Most of the time, even if it seems like you’re copying an idea, it’ll come out completely differently in the end anyway.

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