We’re making up for lost time – just 3 weeks after our day-party, we get back to home ground The White Hotel with The Advent and Josh Reeves! Josh is a rising star on Manchester’s techno scene, and was kind enough to sit down with us ahead of time to chat mindset, music and dogs.
**Update: 17th Aug 21: The Advent sadly cannot play this party due to contracting Covid-19. We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to having him play in the future. And a big thank you to James Ruskin stepping in to play!**
Josh, it’s refreshing how passionate about your music you are – from talking to you, it sounds like it’s not just you that chose music, but music chose you. What sparked it, can you set the scene?
I think that’s fair to say, I’ve always been big on electronic music since I was in my early teens. A trip to Ibiza about 12 years ago really sparked my aspirations to become a DJ. Watching Carl Cox close down Space was a special night, the feeling of the room together as one. I loved the idea of making people happy and dance through music. I think it’s one of the purest forms of happiness.
You began DJing first and production came later – are there any stories or memories that you can give an insight into your journey?
I started mixing tracks pretty much after I got back from Ibiza, selling my car and motorbike to fund buying some decks!
From there just jamming in my room and at house parties. Then onto running local parties in my home town of Oldham. Hiring a rig in a small basement and inviting all our mates.
How does your night, Good Gatherings, fit into this journey?
Good Gatherings was an idea created by a party that we threw on a bank holiday about 7 years ago at my mates mum’s house. It lasted all weekend, back then we just used to throw the decks on a wallpaper pasting table. Pasky who runs GG with me brought a rig and we hammered it all weekend.
The week after we decided to start running events in Oldham, resident parties which we really enjoyed. Eventually moved into Manchester and the rest is history. There wasn’t much chance of getting gigs with no contacts so I decided to learn my craft through being a resident at my own event.
You said something interesting when we were chatting, that ‘I can teach you how to make a kickdrum, but I can’t teach you how to be a producer.’ – that for you as a producer, raving as a means to connect with music is a key part of production – not just grinding the hours in the studio. Have I got this right?
Yes the same goes with DJing too! People can learn to mix music but nobody can teach people how to be a DJ. Art can’t be forced, it should be natural. Connecting with the music is so essential, I’ve missed the inspiration of being in the club and having the thump of a sound system to get me motivated to get into the studio.
We’ve talked before about mentors and how important they can be in helping not only on a technical front, but bringing a positive mental attitude when we can sometimes doubt ourselves. Do you have any mentors, and can you talk to us about how they came to be, and how they’ve helped you?
I’ve had a lot of support over the years since starting making music, firstly of all at Decloak Music Studios in MCR with Jack Barton who taught me how to use Ableton. Becoming one of my best mates. Big up JB xx
Mark Broom has always had my back and believed in me when it comes to music. Having feedback from such a legend regarding my productions and remixing one another’s tracks really helped my development.
Also myself, Yant and A.Morgan have a group chat called the groove criminals. We share our music and help each other through the writing blocks, ups and downs that comes with production! These guys have always inspired me, the music that they create is always excellent.
5 tracks you're loving:
Mark Broom – Two
A.Morgan – Flesh
Alarico – Cut 3
Diego Amura – Poison
Vil & Cravo – Links
1 mix you’d chuck on in the car given the opportunity:
Josh Reeves – Kwassa 008 Mix
Do you have any other artists or labels that inspire you? They could be early influences or recent – we don’t mind! Any shoutouts or recommendations welcome.
Percussive groovy techno has always been home for me. Always loved sounds from Ben Sims, Mark Broom, Petter B, Yant, A.Morgan and more recently Alarico. He has the perfect blend of groove and grit. Such a fresh sound.
Can you talk us through your production setup, and your creative process?
My setup is just a MacBook Pro, running Ableton with a Push 2 controller. I use the controller to record my tracks live, I like the authentic sound it creates making tracks that way. Always tweaking whilst jamming to give the sense of movement in the tracks. My creative flow really gets going when mashing up samples till they are totally unrecognisable from the original, using sequencers, then EFX on my drums to add more random nature to the music. I love the saying “there are no rules in music”. If it sounds good then that’s all that matters.
We’ve talked a lot about mindset before this interview and it would be good to dig into that here. What motivates you to make music, and how are you balancing it alongside a full-time job and family?
Yes shout out to the Mrs Gemma and my little boy Alfie. They are my biggest fans and always support everything I do. I’ve always wanted to set an example to Alfie that you should chase your dreams and always do what you are passionate about.
I always sit down to create music when I’m actually in the mood, like I said before art can’t be forced and should flow naturally. Losing 4-5 hours whilst jamming always really gets my juices flowing for the next few days, whilst I’m at work listening to techno and all kinds of music in the van and studying it. Then trying to implement the vibe and energy into my own music!
Something we always like to ask as we get some unexpected answers – if you weren’t doing music, or could pursue something else, anything, what would it be?
I’d be a dog walker, I absolutely love dogs. Being out in nature is one of the best brain reset tools I use to often get rid of writer’s block if I’m struggling creatively whilst making music.
We are all super excited especially given how much of a rollercoaster the last 18 months have been. What can Manchester expect from you on 20th August?
Expect high energy, groovy techno that makes you wanna dance. I’m also super excited, it’ll be the first time in the booth for almost two years!