LHF ‘FOR THE THRONE’
ROISIN MURPHY ‘HAIRLESS TOYS’
BENJAMIN DAMAGE ‘OBSIDIAN’
THE REVENGE IS SWEET!
Glaswegian DJ/producer Graeme Clark has triumphed in the Best Album category, beating Roisin Murphy’s Mercury-nominated long-player with his disco-tinged opus…
“Wow! Massive thanks to those who voted for the album, I never even considered winning it to be honest,” Scottish producer Graeme Clark says warmly. Better known to fans as disco king The Revenge, the much-loved Glaswegian DJ is visibly over the moon — he’s just found out he’s nabbed this year’s Best Of British award for album of the year.
“I was really just thrilled that it landed in the nominations,” he gushes when we break the news to him. “Dance music is in a very good place right now!”
It’s been a great year for Scottish artists at this year’s Best Of British — The Revenge is in good company alongside acts like Jasper James and Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, who’ve also snapped up awards.
“It’s just absolutely buzzing right now, the Scottish contingent provide constant inspiration,” Clark gushes when we ask him who’s impressed in 2016. “Craig Smith, OOFT, Deep Space Orchestra, Harri & Domenic, Mash, Optimo, Jasper James, Jackmaster, Hammer, the list goes on.”
It’s no wonder that Clark is so excited about his win — he took a big risk when he dropped his LP ‘Love That Will Not Die’ earlier this year. “Getting the album out in itself was an achievement,” he explains.
“With the help of a couple of my friends, Julie Morgan and Paul McGlashan, I decided to release and distribute it myself, so it was quite a journey from start to finish.”
The reaction to the LP has been stratospheric, something Clark is now set to back up by crafting a new live show including most of the album’s tracks. “It’s been hard work but really inspiring — seeing tracks from the album manipulated in a different way through the performance,” he tells DJ Mag.
Live performance seems like a natural progression for the Scottish disco deviant, who’s been crafting workable edits and refixes for his DJ sets for over a decade. He’s made some of the finest modern disco dubs and re-edits on the block, remixing the likes of Gwen McRae, Joey Negro and Sister Sledge.
“It’s a real luxury to go into the studio and potter around and see where the music takes you,” he says. “I am pretty selfish when it comes to the edits… A few have found their way out into the wider world but I keep the vast majority for my own crate.”
Most disco fans would chop off their right arm for a chance to peak inside Clark’s said crate, but it’s his hardware set-up that’s also set tongues wagging this year. “Going live” was Clark’s biggest challenge in 2016, as he’s moved away from DJing and more towards crafting live analogue sets on the fly.
“It’s a whole different ball-game and requires a different mindset,” Clark says of the switch. “You are reacting to lots of small changes in the moment on different pieces of hardware and software. Generally, I use the same DJ mixer for live and DJing (E&S DJR400) which was an important decision for me as I need to feel comfortable straight away.”
Kit-wise, Clark’s kept it slick and (mostly) analogue with his live set-up — something that matches his mutant disco aesthetic. “I’m still using the Moog Voyager, Dave Smith Tetra, Moog Analog Delay, Vermona Filters and Roland TR8 for the live stuff primarily,” he says.
“There’s a real buzz to playing live and although my studio was very much performance-based when I started many years ago, it slowly mutated into something that felt too much like data-input.”
Clark will also be applying his hardware expertise to several other projects next year, including his own imprint Roar Groove, as well as some new dub versions of the tracks from ‘A Love That Will Not Die’.
Then there’s the new 6th Borough Project album — his house project with fellow DJ Craig Smith — coming in May, plus a mini-album for Jesse Rennix in July. “I’m going to need a lot of coffee!” he jokes. Amen to that!