INTERVIEW #035 / JOSEPH McGEECHAN [PROSTHETIC PRESSINGS]
“music is a subjective subject and you can't please everyone” A little chat we had with Joseph McGeechan (Prosthetic pressings/UK) alongside the mix he did for Paradox.
Hi Joseph, we are very pleased to host you in our project.
Hi thanks for asking me to make a mix for the show and the interview.
You started you career on 2008 as one half of BCR boys, founding your own imprint Backwater community recordings. Back then you were living in Glasgow. How did this BCR project see the light and what was the Scottish techno scene looking like at that period?
At this time Colin and myself were making music, and we started the label with the intention to release what we were making on that platform, but eventually it switched to us releasing other up and coming artists that were sending us music. At this time in Scotland many artists emerged from the scene, it was an exciting time for the scene there.
When and what have motivated your move to Berlin?
I remember the first time I came to play in Tresor in 2011, it was the first time I had ever experienced playing outside the UK. It was a gig that ultimately showed me, there was something else outside what I knew. Then we came back to play Berlin a few more times at Berghain and Tresor again. Part of coming to Berlin was also to see many artists I did not get to see in Glasgow, and what influence that would have on my approach to making music.
One of the previous artists we’ve hosted in the project, Monya, has released a nice album on your new label Berlin consumer records. Do you see this label as a Backwater Community continuation, and what’s the meaning behind its name?
The label was a kinda of continuation of the previous one, and because it was vinyl I choose to make a slightly varied name, with the same initials. Instead of having Backwater 055 and the vinyl was number 001. So to avoid confusion it was a small restart but with the same letters.
What are the main challenges that you’ve faced as label owner? Are they the same back in late 2000’s and nowadays?
Being a label owner always has some risks, the biggest challenge I would say is getting the right support, and finding music that had the sound we wanted for the label. I would say back in the late 2000's there was a lot of digital labels emerging. Many of which are still going strong, and even putting out vinyls. Over all it was a good time to take a risk on releasing music, as long as there was no compromise on the quality. And also music is a subjective subject and you can't please everyone. With BCR it was just about releasing good quality techno from lesser known guys that fitted on the label.
Can we expect new releases on BCR in the future?
Both BCR label's are closed.
Is it really easier to get a good reward of one’s artistic work in Berlin, given the high amount of artists based there?
For me I played many gigs here in Berlin, so it was a natural decision for me to come here. Once I was here I had a better opportunity to network, and meet likeminded artists. But I would not say it’s easy. You always have to work as hard as you can and give your best, sometimes things do not always go your way, but with hard work you can create opportunity.
What’s the best place you like to hang out/party at in Berlin?
Mostly I am in Tresor, but there is also other really cool parties like Liber Null at Arena Club Griessmuehle is also a nice club. But in Berlin you can go to many parties in one weekend if you like.
Let’s talk about your iFormat project. What kind of sound did you want to explore through this alias? And is it still alive?
iFormat is still going, and there is a release coming at some point on Local Sound Network and Decoy, for me iFormat was about exploring a tougher side of techno. When im making iFormat I do not think, this track has to fit there or something like that, it’s very much more a spontaneous process when making the tracks. And usually the track title is the explanation to what inspired the track.
How would you describe your current musical universe?
For now I have been working a lot on live sets, and making some EP's to send out to labels. Also exploring a lot of stuff inside Ableton with controllers, trying to maximize how to play live.
You’re one of the New faces hosts at Tresor, a wednsday party dedicated in showcasing new talents mainly in the Techno genre. How did the connection with the Tresor began for you?
My connection with Tresor began in May 2011, when they booked us for the Nachtstrom Schallplatten label night. After this the club let me play there on a regular basis, with the BCR label nights, and also as a DJ in there also. Late last year they asked if I would be interested in doing the New Faces, something I was happy to do to try and help the club find possible future DJ's. It’s great that Tresor also has this ethic of doing this, and giving something back to the future generations of techno.
How far do you think Techno or its industrial format are activism medias?
If you mean by this in terms of something having a meaning, or a concept that points towards activism, every person that makes music for me, has something to say. But we all say it in different ways. Whether it is influeced by day to day events or just having a feeling to say something.
Do you have any connexions with the french Techno scene ?
With regards to the French techno scene I am good friends with Zadig, I got to know Sylvain over the last few years going to see him when he is djing here.
How did you build this mix for paradox project?
Mainly I will find a mix of promos and tracks I like, I will take a different approach from my DJ sets in clubs, and select some more broken style techno.
Do you think that the electronic music world is as open-minded as one can imagine?
For me personally, I have met a lot of artists, who are all doing their own thing, this is bringing together a good mix of styles. Electronic music always has the potential to evolve, and in a way some people adopt the mentality of making their own rules, this is what adds to the individualism of the genre for me.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
In the future I have a vinyl release out on PatSeq, which is a remix of the classic Armando – Downfall on Trax Records, this is a vinyl only release sometime soon in the next few months. I have the iFormat releases on Local Sound Network and Decoy. I also have releases coming on some bigger labels also, but these EP's are unfinished. Also I will be working on a project with Russian artist Alexey Volkov, who has released on Planete Rouge, Jealous God and Semantica, and another project called Violencia. We also recent started the Agency Adapted Booking, we are still young, but the agency is growing well.