Progressive, pioneering newcomer, Hubie Davison had almost slipped under our radar. If it wasn’t for the epic title track ‘I Won’t be there’ taken from his debut EP we would have overlooked this talent destined to make an impact in 2014. Some comparisons can be drawn from Mount Kimbie’s work here, although where Mount Kimbie have experimented with beat-less soundscape, Hubie has kept us in check within the confines of trudging house shuffles. It’s almost as if Hubie is trying to make sense of some foggy sentimental memories, revisiting sounds that vaguely reminded him of people or places.
Taking in to account the varied guise of current electronic music Hubie’s celestial take on house is an effective combination. Hubie Davison’s Debut EP ‘I Won’t Be There’ was released on berlin-based record label Leisure System in November last year. We had a brief chat with him about his production, future releases and who he’s listening to at the moment.
Your debut EP was a breath of fresh air. To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
I’m not sure I’ve settled on anything particularly firm yet, but… I’d say it’s warm, low-key, slightly lo-fi electronic music, rooted in house. Textures, melodies and beats. A buddy of mine heard the EP and called it ‘Space House’, which I felt was pretty snappy.
There are definitely some esoteric influences going on. Where are you drawing your influences from- are there any artists you really like at the moment and why?
Recently I’ve been into The Marx Trukker (great new EP on Greta Cottage), U (ManMakeMusic), Throwing Snow/Vellico, each for their refreshingly individual take on common tropes, and a real sense of personality. Akkord’s LP, for precision and ingenuity; Oneohtrix Point Never, for unflinching dedication to weirdness. And Actress. I’ve been going back through all of his stuff, and I think pretty much all of the above (maybe not precision, but he seems to have a sort of studious flippancy about precision) applies there.
You seem to appreciate artists for their technical ability then. What are some of the key pieces of gear you use to write your tracks?
To write ’em? Well, for ‘I Won’t Be There’ on Leisure System, the tracks were really just made ‘in the box’, so mostly the gear was Ableton Live and a MIDI keyboard. I used a lot of found sounds, recorded on a little Zoom H2, and if I remember correctly, the piano chords on the title track were recorded on an iPhone… That said, I had the opportunity to put the tracks through a nice analog desk later, and to use a couple of compressors and a Space Echo. I’m slowly getting into hardware now.
Sounds like you’re working toward an immersive live show. What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
That’d have to be Panorama Bar in Berlin for Leisure System’s 5 year birthday… It’s such an amazing venue, and the gig was fantastic. (Even if the room emptied out a bit when Jon Hopkins went on down in Berghain…)
Although Hubie has already started playing at Berlin-based Leisure System club nights he looks to break on to the British electronic scene this year. It’s a difficult task for the newcomer as the bass arena gets more and more crowded. People seem to have more time for analog based live acts and it also means that his low-end sound is accessible to remixers. This could see Hubie make some leeway on his career this year. What are your plans for this year in relation to this? Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects, sets, or collaborations in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
I’m looking to get some sets in and around London. In regards to releases some tracks from my debut for Leisure System, ‘I Won’t Be There’, are set to go on 12″ with a couple of remixes – keep an eye out!
We’re fully backing Hubie this year as his sound is a look in the right direction. Make sure you follow his progression and hopefully we’ll be closer to bringing more live analog sets to clubs. You can download the title track ‘I Won’t be there’ taken from his debut EP courtesy of DJBroadcast below…