The US city of Chicago is revered the world over for producing a stream of incredible underground musical talent. Now add m50 to that list. With a string of productions under his Area alias for some of the world’s most respected underground labels, including Echospace, Steadfast, Mathematics and Matrix – and with a new album “Where I Am Now” dropping on Francois Kevorkian’s Wave Music imprint, not to mention his radio show on WNUR (89.3 MHz FM) in Chicago, his own label Kimochi Sound and DJ’ing as far afield as Berlin, Tokyo and Taiwan, his time is most certainly upon us to expose his talent.
We caught up with m50 ahead of his rare London performance at Techliks on Saturday 7th April at Ginglik, Shepherds Bush to find out more about his debut album “Where I Am Now”, the current Chicago underground scene and his reasoning behind separating his identity as ‘Area’ for production and ‘M50’ for DJing. His mix is a warped fusion of house, techno and acid, featuring tracks from Monolake, Area, Move D & Benjamin Brunn, AFX, DJ Koze, Audion and Alva Noto.
You have an album “Where I Am Now” about to drop on Francois Kevorkian’s Wave Music label. How did you hook up with Francois originally?
The album has been long awaited. How long did it take you to produce it?
Long awaited? It is my first album, so it took many years.
How would you describe the sound of Area to someone not familiar with it?
Music for sexy soulful robot conquistadors.
You produce as Area and DJ under the moniker M50. What led you to the decision to separate these two identities?
When I started producing tracks again after a break, I decided it would be okay to release them under a specific project name.
You have released tracks on Brendon Moeller’s Steadfast label, and recorded with him as Lightness. How did that hook up come about?
I think we might’ve spoken before, but we reconnected through Soundcloud. We had been going back and forth with some remixes, he remixed Cellicos for me and I remixed his Ostgut track Dirt, and so it wasn’t such a leap to collaborate further.
How is the scene in Chicago right now?
Gradually warming up, but unpredictable.
You also spend a lot of time in Berlin. What attracts you to Berlin in particular?
I can bike everywhere and there is excellent falafel. Although my bike was stolen, so maybe just falafel.
You’re coming to London to play at Ginglik in Shepherds Bush on Saturday April 7th. Is this your first time playing in the UK?
Second time, but I’m very much looking forward to it.
What sort of sounds can we expect from your DJ set on the night?
I am not sure what to expect yet? Generally, something between house and techno and bass music.
Where else are you playing to support the album over the next few months?
As I write this, I have dates confirmed in Chicago, New York, and Berlin and a couple more beyond that are still in the works.
Can you tell us more about the ethos behind your Kimochi Sound label?
To put out beautiful music in a meaningful way
Where does the name Kimochi Sound come from?
Finally, what plans do you have for the rest of 2012?
Put out a couple more Kimochi Sound records, hopefully get the next 12″ out on Wave Music, and more touring.
1. Apparat ‘Error404’ [Shitkatapult]
2. The Analogue Cops ‘CRC*09’ [Restoration]
3. Steve Poindexter ‘Maniac (Lost Meaning Version by Area)’ [Mathematics]
4. Monolake ‘Alaska (Substance Remix II)’ [Imbalance]
5. Blue Arsed Fly ‘In The Bag (Russ Gabriel Mix)’ [Ferox]
6. Area ‘Tangled In’ [Steadfast]
7. Move D & Benjamin Brunn ‘Honey’ [Smallville]
8. Fabrice Lig ‘The Track’ [Versatile]
9. AFX ‘(CAT 00897-A1)’ [Rephlex]
10. DJ Koze ‘Dr Fuck (The Drunken Preacher)’ [Circus Company]
11. Audion ‘Just A Man (Ellen Allien Version)’ [Spectral Sound]
12. Tomas Svensson ‘Aeolian’ [Vidab]
13. Alva Noto ‘Tek Part 1’ [Raster Noton]