Stamp Mix #8: Utrecht

Label: Unsigned
Genre: Soulful House
Based: Brighton, UK
Sounds Like: Bondax, James Welsh, Monitor 66
Links: Facebook, Soundcloud, Twitter

How would you describe your music? 

Somewhere between straight up House, and the darker side of Soul and R&B/Pop. There’s definitely a big shuffle and swing to the music too, so I’d say there’s bouncier Garage there too. Ideally I’d just love to create music that’s played in both clubs and cars.

What the thinking behind your name? 

It’s one of those things that will become more skewed and distant from the truth the longer I go on, but from what I can remember: I was watching Liverpool play Utrecht in the Europa League and, although they didn’t play particularly attractive football, I really liked them. Around the same time, I was also listening to stuff from the Utrecht-based label 030303 Recordings. And then when I wrote it down the letters seemed to compliment each other aesthetically. I guess it was a series of happy coincidences that led me to use the name Utrecht.

What’s your musical background? Is Utrecht your first project?

I’d been in a few bands in my early teenage years, but it was at 16 that I learnt to DJ and started to produce House music, as part of a two-piece. The music we made was very much of its time: Electro influenced; very French, very Ed Banger. But from this we managed to DJ at some great places around London like Fabric and Matter. Eventually I fell out of love with the whole thing, went solo and tried to write Pop music. Three years later, I’m trying to marry the two together.

Tell us a bit about APC. You sent us the track last week and before we’d had time to put it up, it had got a lot of love on the radio and blogosphere. Not bad for a first effort. Were you surprised it was so well received. 

It’s crazy how well it’s doing – I didn’t expect it at all. I’d had some songs up on my Soundcloud for a month or so, but they were not as melody-driven as APC, so I wasn’t really sure how well it would go down. I’m definitely pleased with what’s become of it.

How did you get exposed to producing? Any major influences?

I’d always been aware of the huge guys like Timbaland and Darkchild, from spending hours as a kid watching music TV. But in terms of Dance music, it was Daft Punk and Justice that really made me start making it. I wouldn’t say either of them particularly influence the Utrecht stuff, but they definitely started me off on the right track. Now I find myself turning back to those producers I’d watch on TV – like the Neptunes and Timbaland – and seeing how I can adapt their techniques and melodies for a modern, distinctly British context.

We’re part-based in Brighton and from our perspective, the music scene there is pretty tight, with everything so close and much easier to stay on top of, compared to London. What’s the scene like from a music-making POV? 

Yeah I’d have to agree with that. There’s a lot of great club nights going on, and an abundance of talented producers all moving in a , largely, similar direction.

Favourite Brighton club/club night?

AKAAKA Roar continually put on great nights around Brighton with great lineups. Minimal Kids as well, although I’m not sure if they’re still putting nights on.

About the mix…

I hadn’t planned on it being that way, but there’s a lot of garage in there! It’s just a mixture of things that I’m listening to at the moment, with a couple of older tracks that are just massive regardless of era.

Plans for this summer/further in the future? Where do you want to be (musically-speaking) this time next year?

This summer, I’m just going to write as much music as I can before university starts again down at Sussex. A year down the line? More of the same, with hopefully some releases under my belt, and the opportunity to DJ around the country and work with great musicians.

Comments are closed.