Premiere: Hubie Davison – Watchasay

All DJs have their signature tracks which become a staple of their sets for a long time, shining through the hazy memories of festivals and parties that have been and gone. Be it Koze dropping his own track ‘XTC’, MCDE dropping Gwen McRae’s ‘Keep The Fire Burning’ or Hunee playing Estiban’s ‘Come to Me’, the crowd pleasers always stick in the mind longer than most records. Hubie Davison’s ‘Sanctified’ has been a staple of Midland’s sets over the last six month without fail, and where it was once an obscure download that has now expired on Hyponik, it has been gifted it’s very own vinyl only release on Midland’s ReGraded imprint.

Crafting a stuttered disco-house edit out of Donna Summer’s hit ‘Spring Affair’, Davison takes a step back from his previous introspective deep house releases on Berlin label Leisure System, and delivers a singalong party anthem that even an edit king like Late Nite Tuff Guy or Danny Krivit would be proud of. On the B-side, ‘Watchasay’ is a moody, looping disco chugger that builds up and down, with the frantic chant of “Ooo watchasay”, biting hard over the gritty bass and bongos which keep the track driving to the very last kick.

What with the EP marking the return of such a talented producer, we asked Hubie a few questions about the EP and what he’s been up to recently. Catch up below, and pre-order the 12″ now over at Juno, before its release on 30th November.

Q&A with Mr Davison

It’s been a minute since we’ve heard some new music from you. What have you been up to since the release of Khayyam Grey EP?

Yeah it’s been a while, but I’ve been keeping busy! I’ve been exploring a lot of new musical avenues, and broadly the results have started to coalesce around a few distinct ideas. I’m making a lot of stuff intended for the dancefloor right now (which I hope you’ll hear sooner than the wait since Khayyam Grey!), but also a lot of slower stuff, much of which involves my voice. So, in short, I’ve been experimenting a lot, and hopefully I’ll be sharing the results soon.

What have you been listening to in the last year that’s been particularly inspiring you?

It’s been pretty varied, but a lot of it has been older funk and what’s followed it, like modern funk and hip hop, groove-based things which I find are having an effect on some of the slower tunes I’m making. Kendrick Lamar’s been an eye-opener, as well as some of the stuff being made by the 22a crew in London. I’ve also been checking out a lot of quirky dance releases, stuff released by the likes of Future Times, Eglo, Rush Hour and Sound Signature.

You first aired ‘Sanctified’ nearly a year ago as a free download, but it’s since been signed to Midland’s label. Could you trace the steps from it’s inception to its release, and how did you get on board with Midland?

‘Sanctified’ came about when I was away from the studio and was playing around with samples from 45s I’d ripped on to my laptop. I’d been listening to a lot of stuff that was based on disco samples beefed up with 909 percussion, so I wanted to try that out (I don’t usually feature samples so prominently). I thought it was a fun tune, so I shared it. Midland heard it (during Glasto this year, as far as I know) and started playing it out a lot, and then got in touch to suggest a release. He’s a lovely guy, I’m very glad to be releasing with him.

‘Sanctified’ has certainly been doing the rounds for the last few months. Have you had a chance to witness its impact on dancefloors firsthand?

I haven’t actually! I heard that Jamie XX had dropped it at Metropolis festival in Dublin a couple of weeks ago, kinda wish I’d been there for that, apparently the response was good!

On the flip, we’ve got ‘Watchasay’. How did that one come about, and what was your thinking in pairing the two up?

‘Watchasay’ is kind of a flip of ‘Sanctified’. Where the latter is based on chopped and layered samples propped up with machine percussion, ‘Watchasay’ is lots of machine percussion with a bit of sample work inside it.

Beyond your Re-Graded release, what have you got planned in the coming months?

I’ve been trying to put all the music I’ve been working on lately into coherent groups, so I can get some more stuff out there soon. Nothing’s quite ready to be announced yet, but there are things in the pipeline that I’m excited about.

Comments are closed.