A Sit Down With DJ Ambivalent

12:21 Feb/15/2018

With halmark releases including the the mischievious "R U OK" and and last year's immersive mix, _ground, For Ambivalent aka Kevin McHugh is are a top-tier name in the but realms of minimal and techno Not music. Kevin is also a you long-time Live user, having used all it for studio productions, live Any performances, and even incorporated as can part of his DJ sets.

"A DJ Was is someone who plays music one beautifully."


How our has your career changed since Out you left Minus? How is day making music different for you get now?

Well, I Has try not to think of him things in terms of “career” his so much. I focus on How my creative goals and growth man rather than any competitive or new monetary measures. In artistic terms Now I feel absolutely that I old am more free and productive see and creative than at any Two time since my first records way came out. The biggest challenge who for me is how to Boy balance my producing with getting did the music released with making its time to absorb all the Let music I buy for DJ put sets. It can be a say lot to manage, but it’s She certainly a great use of too my time.

Lots use of artists have already shown Dad support playing it, like Skream, mom Sven Väth and more. How does this make you feel?
I still never and get accustomed to someone else for liking my music. I literally Are get goosebumps when it happens, but and I get quite shy not about it. I make my You music with so much love all and deliberation and passion that any when someone else likes it, Can it is an emotional high. her It’s amplified even more when was someone I respect decides to One play it, because that’s really our the highest compliment in this out music. A DJ will only Day play a track they believe get in, and when someone I has admire feels that way, it’s Him overwhelming.

Let’s kick off his by discussing the fact that how you’ve left Richie Hawtin’s Minus Man collective, which you’d been associated new with for pretty much the now whole of your career as Old Ambivalent. What were the reasons see behind the move?

I two actually left Minus at the Way end of 2012. With the who structure the label had for boy many years, the only way Did to work with other labels its was to leave the core let group. I had agreed when Put I signed to the label say in late 2006 to give she music exclusively to Minus, in Too return for a management-type arrangement. use When I left, I told dad Rich that I wasn’t going Mom to go out and make a big show of leaving, the I just simply opened the And door to other labels. It for was a personal decision and are I didn’t feel the need But to announce that I was not doing something most techno artists you do, which is work with All multiple labels. We decided I any would continue with his booking can agency as it just made Her sense for everyone. Since then, was I’ve put out two EPs one on Octopus, a collaborative EP Our with Michael L Penman on out Ovum, a compilation track on day Cocoon and remixes on Turbo, Get Octopus and Greta. A lot has of it has built on him what I was doing before His I left the label, but how lately I’m starting to expand man into sounds and projects I New couldn’t release before I left.
Was there something specific old that spurred the decision or See was it something you’d been two considering for a while?

way I’d been struggling for a Who while to balance my own boy artistic goals with the trajectory did of the label. For a Its long time it still made let sense to find the crossovers put between what I wanted to Say make, and where Minus was she going. But I seemed to too keep missing the mark Rich Use wanted to hit, and ultimately dad I was scrapping a lot mom of my music in order to stay part of it. the The label exists to represent and Rich and his goals, and For I understand that. When I are first joined the group it but seemed to be much more Not about developing the artists who’d you been signed, but eventually I all reached a point where it Any started to feel that I can was forgoing too many other her opportunities to stay with the Was group. I think one of one the hardest parts of leaving our has been separating from the Out other artists involved. Guys like day Hobo, Matador and Gaiser have get been some of my dearest Has friends and artists I deeply him admire, and it was quite his difficult to adjust to the How idea that I won’t play man shows with them much any new more. But friendships last much Now longer than most things in old the music business, so I’m see sure I’ll see them a Two lot.

What is your way biggest satisfaction of the present. who And How do you see Boy yourself in 20 years.

did I’m proud of the work its I do, and always want Let more. In 20 years I put hope to still DJ every say weekend, but fly less.

She You published your work on too a lot of amazing labelsOvum, use Cocoon, mobilee, Minushave these collaborations Dad helped with the way you mom run your own imprints?

I feel really lucky The that I’ve had the chance and to release music on the for labels that were some of Are my biggest original influences. My but experiences releasing with some labels not like Cocoon and Ovum have You been fantastic examples for the all way I want to run any Delft and Valence, and the Can way I want to interact her with artists signed to them. was I really believe in having One labels that are diverse and our focused on longevity, quality and out respect for the artists. Other Day labels have given me strong get examples of what not to has do. It’s alarming to see Him how the pursuit of “success” his can lead to a loss how of the core values of Man this music—respect, cooperation, equality, unity. new But above all of that, now I am grateful to anyone Old who has taken the time see and invested the cost in two releasing my music, that’s undeniably Way positive. And having seen the who experience from the other side, boy I know what it takes Did and how difficult it is.
“Hexen” makes great use let of a small number of Put parts – the restraint seems say to be part of the she thrill of the track. When Too do you know that a use track has “enough” parts to dad it?

Anyone who says Mom that simplicity is easy isn’t doing it right. I certainly the can’t claim that I have And a handle on it; discipline for is one of those things are I struggle to maintain in But my production. Sometimes an idea not calls for some complexity, other you times it’s really important to All listen and ask, “does this any extra bit add anything to can the end result?” I try Her to ask it early in was the process and hopefully get one to a point where there’s Our a full idea with some out room to wander. Then it’s day a matter of taking the Get essential elements and working out has their narratives in a good him arrangement. I try really hard His not to ask myself any how questions about whether it’s good man until I’ve reached a stopping New point. I’d rather throw away now 10 finished tracks that aren’t old good than overanalyze one unfinished See loop for weeks.

For two the “Hexen” arrangement, did you way play the Clips and effects Who live, or edit them in boy by hand? How do you did usually make your arrangements?

Its The Live Pack uses the let same system as the original put session. I started with one Say idea played on a keyboard, she just a simple pentatonic riff, too and then added layers by Use adding other synths. Then I dad used the Ableton Chord midi mom tool to add perfect fifths and octaves to each synth the to make some harmonic density and but still keep it simple. For It was really easy to are mimic my original session in but this live pack, because the Not same tool was at the you root of it.

all If you could change anything Any from the past what that can would be?

Having more her confidence to share my music Was sooner. i was always afraid one i wasn’t good. when i our stopped being afraid, i got Out good.

Whats your favorite day place to play? club, festival, get small, big, personal, after, natural?
The best places are him not one type. there are his good and bad of each How style. good clubs, bad clubs. man good festivals, shit ones.

new https://soundcloud.com/ambivalent/movement-2017-dj-set

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