Cast your mind back and you’ll remember we were rather partial to Graham Bertie’s appearance on Spectral Sound. The ‘Reflections‘ EP was the bringing together of a multitude of inspirations into four heady tracks. If a picture speaks a thousand words, an inspirations mix goes beyond even that. So when presented with the chance to bring a Nautiluss mix onto Inverted Audio, the concept was not one that was hard to resist.
Bouncing from chunky house into free spirited electronica and through prime acid house, you can start to see the various threads that made up the collection of ‘Reflections’ tracks in what Graham is appreciating right now. It was recorded with a bag of records, a pair of Technics 1200’s and a Pioneer DJM 900 at Ronnie Falcon’s house; a friend of Graham’s, so it is about as authentic and as personal as you could ever want.
Keeping with tradition, we also took the opportunity to pick the brains of Graham, touching on recent thoughts, the Canadian scene and what the future holds. Fire up the Soundcloud stream and carry on through our interview below.
Interview by Simon Whight Photography by May Truong
"Some records are so rare that you would likely never see them in ANY record store. Discogs has made it possible to at least know that those records exist."
I saw you post recently that you’d found a prime piece of vinyl $1.29 on Discogs, what did you find?
Do you find that Discogs has removed the magic of uncovering hidden gems like this somewhat, with crowd sourced knowledge and exploitative sellers bumping prices to astronomical levels?
While I find those Discogs people to be rather repugnant, there will always be gems to uncover that the average Discogs resellers will not give a damn about.
And truth be told, I started collecting records when all we had were record shops and it had it’s own subset of issues. Such as if you wanted a record and it never magically showed up there, then you simply couldn’t even hear it. Some records are so rare that you would likely never see them in ANY record store. Discogs have made it possible to at least know that those records exist.
Doing some digging into your history, I read that you spent a lot of your early days heavily invested in the Toronto scene before moving into more of a studio focus. What prompted this switch?
I believe you are mistaking Toronto for Montreal, which is where I spent my formative years. While I have been DJing for years, I only started to make proper full-length songs in or around 2004-2005. I just really enjoyed going home after work and creating things and wanted to put things out into the world. I still feel that way most days.
"Toronto is filled with amazing DJs, that because they don't release music of their own, are relatively unknown outside of the city but are always playing great shit."
My experience of the Canadian scene pretty much extends to an ancient Deep Dish Global Underground mix. What does Toronto have to offer?
Some great established artists such as Basic Soul Unit, Bruce Trail, Roberto S, Graze, Egyptrixx, Kevin McPhee and Gingy; there’s a new crop of people emerging such as E-Saggila, Ebony, Joel Lee, Maxwell Church, Bulkhead, Pop District, Sergio Levels, Edna King and Jesse Futerman as well as some legends like Nick Holder and David Foster.
Toronto is filled with amazing DJs that because they don’t release music of their own, are relatively unknown outside of the city but are always playing great shit. People like Andrew Ross and Pooyan come to mind but there are countless others that provide the steady pulse of this city.
Tell us a bit about TRP Radio and your show on it.
My show is called The Borderland State but it’s without a home as TRP is currently on hold as the founders decide whether to re launch it or not.
I really miss doing my show as it gave me a bit of a routine when it came to checking out new releases and or reissues. That said, I might relaunch it independently depending on what happens with the station.
Your release output is quite considered, do you like to keep quite a tight control on what you have going on in the studio versus what you decide to release?
I hit a low point where I was writing quite a bit but didn’t really believe in myself as much as I should of and so the music sort of reflected that.
Last year, I finally made changes in my life and things got a lot better including the creative front. I had the most prolific period of writing in my life and things are just starting to see the light of day.
I actually want to think LESS about what kind of music I choose to make on any given day because I believe overthinking has been detrimental to me in the past.
"I actually want to think less about what kind of music I choose to make on any given day because I believe overthinking has been detrimental to me in the past."
I noted you’re an Overwatch player, are you an avid gamer?
I recently got back into gaming after a long hiatus. I used to work at a game company and that combined with many years of non-stop playing, I got burnt out.
The break has been nice and Overwatch totally got me back on the multi-player thing for the first time in forever but I can’t really commit to playing games all that much as I usually have to focus on my music whenever I have free time.
The Ghostly artists once combined to provide the soundtrack to Hohokum and the label itself was host to C418’s Minecraft soundtrack. If you had the chance to score any game, what would it be?
The upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake. I do have a song on an awesome VR game called Technolust [comes in around 6:26 on the video below].
The US elections are just a short time away, are you peering over the border wondering what you might end up next to?
One thing is for certain – we are living in interesting times. I’d just like them to waive the visas that are currently making it pretty much impossible for me to play down there right now but they seem to be in the process of making it even more difficult as we speak.
What of the future, do you have any more plans for releases or are you looking to hit the road?
Right now I am working on my first ever full-length and a couple more collaborative 12″ releases will come out in 2017.
As I mentioned earlier, I can’t play in the US until my visa situation is sorted out but I’m looking forward to playing in Europe again.
Anyone in Europe interested in hooking up with Graham for appearances should hit up Backroom.
- Read: From Agnes to Hohokum: The Symbiotic Relationship of Gaming & Electronic Music – Michna & Ben Benjamin
1. Leif – Painted Cakes Do Not Satisfy Hunger [UntilMyHeartStops]
2. Mr. Fingers – Nodyahed [Alleviated]
3. Call Super – Fluenka’s Shelf [Nous]
4. Skee Mask – Shred 08 [Ilian Tape]
5. X – B1 [RHD X]
6. Recloose – Electric Sunshine (Andres Remix) [Rush Hour]
7. Murat Tepeli – P.S.A [Potion]
8. Steven Julien – Kingdom [Apron]
9. The Maghreban – Wonder Woman [Versatile]
10. Nautiluss – Alphaville [Spectral Sound]
11. Traumprinz – Intrinity [Traumprinz]
12. Pepe Bradock – Lifting Weights [Acid Test]
13. Gesloten Cirkel – Chasing Away The Night [Murder Capital]
14. Aardvarck – Thanxxx Joch [Voyage Direct]
15. Martyn – EF40 [Dolly]
16. Dario Zenker – There Is Hope [Ilian Tape]
17. Lee Gamble – Motor System (Extension) [PAN]
18. Bruce – Steals [Hessle Audio]
19. Mono Junk – With You [Forbidden Planet]