GET TO KNOW: Bluford Duck
What age did you start DJing?
I got my first set of belt drive turntables when I was 12, I think I got a set of Technics when I was 14 or 15. I won't say how long ago it was, sufficed to say it was a fair while :)
How long have you been using the name Bluford Duck?
Bluford Duck launched around 2 years ago, it's been so much fun so far, can't wait to see what happens in the next two!
What inspired you to get into this business and how did you achieve it?
I started DJing when I was really young well before it was 'cool' to be a DJ, I was into early house and rave and just wanted a way to get closer to the music. As far as achieving it, I'd say production's really the only viable route to getting into the scene these days. I can only think of a handful of people who have made their way onto the circuit in the last ten years through DJ talent alone. But the best piece of advice I can give is to eat, sleep, breathe and love what you do, the rest will find a way.
How did you learn to produce and DJ?
DJing; I had to teach myself from scratch, there were no tutorial videos or DJ schools back then, I just had to wing it. Took a while…
Production was similar, I didn't go on any courses or anything like that. Just got some kit and messed around with it 'til it made some noises that I liked, not much has changed on that front.
What was your breakthrough moment?
I guess signing tracks to the scene's top labels such as Jeudi and Noir so early on would qualify, it's been a dream come true. None of which would've been possible without my manager, Kal. A fortuitous message from him on Soundcloud has probably been the biggest game changer for me.
Where have you found the best audience so far?
It's early doors in terms of touring the Bluford Duck show but my favourite show so far has most definitely been The Undergound @ Gorilla in Manchester alongside Doctor Dru and Larse. I'm a HUGE fan of both and the crowd were great.
Which DJ's have influence your style of producing?
I draw influence from all over the shop, I like to incorporate elements of the early 90's rave scene I grew up on along with 80's synth elements, super tight techy drums and percussion and a big phat analog bass. You'll find most of these elements in everything I do to some degree.
Which 3 DJ's do you listen to most?
It's quite tough to pin down to just 3, I listen to music pretty constantly but to give a quick example…
At the club: Carl Cox
At home: Todd Terje
In the car: The Magician
Special mention to Shur-I-Kan too, absolutely love his sets.
Whats your favourite song of all time?
Either Massive Attack - 'Unfinished Sympathy' or Sebastian Tellier's 'La Ritournelle'
What would be your dream venue to play at?
1. Womb, Tokyo
2. Fabric, London
3. Berghain, Berlin
Do you listen to other genres off the house scene?
Yeah, I listen to all sorts. My Spotify playlist goes from pro rock to 90's hip hop to movie sound tracks to northern soul.
What was the first record you bought?
Edge.1 - Compnded
Best live moment so far in your career?
Playing my track 'Shoulder to cry on' out for the first time, the reaction was amazing. That's what does it for me, spend days in the lab on a track and seeing a big reaction when you play it out, feels good.
What has been your personal favourite track you've released?
'Shoulder to cry on' so far but I'm excited about the stuff that's due out on Sleazy Deep and Stayfly and the stuff I'm working on at the mo.
Taking into account the rapid rise in popularity of house music over the course of this year, what do you think about the house scene currently?
I think it's more a rise in popularity with the scene rather than the music; it's always been the same with house; there'll be a sub-genre or scene that develops and gets massively popular and crosses into the mainstream and the underground will peel away and the cycle starts over.
What advice would you give up and coming producers?
Wait until you're 100% happy with what you're making before floating it around labels etc. Put it next to the biggest tracks of the same genre and if doesn't stand up then back to the drawing board. There are so many people making music etc that you sometimes only get one chance to impress, you need to make it count. It's so tempting to stick stuff up on Soundcloud and fire it off to a few labels for feedback.
Once you're happy with your music then make sure everything else is in place IE Facebook, Twitter, website, branding, press pics. Have everything in place and make it easy for labels to see what you're about.
Are there any up and coming producers you tip to make it big time?
Christoph, Alci, Cucumbers, Chi Thanh, Origin Sounds to name a few…
How do you rate 90's house music today?
There's such a huge 90's influence at the moment that some of the stuff you can't tell if it was made yesterday or 20 years ago. I was listening to some old vinyl and some stuff stands the test of time and some stuff really doesn't. Oddly enough, the stuff that has stood the test of time is mostly by producers that are still around today. The Strictly Rhythm and King St back catalogue all still sounds tight.
What track would you play to rescue a dance floor?
I've got a few 'secret weapons' that never leave my box for such situations, not necessarily huge tracks just tracks that always have the power to kick things up a notch. Unfortunately they wouldn't be secret weapons if I told everyone what they are, every DJ needs to find their own arsenal.
Where do you dream of being in 5 years time?
All I've ever wanted is a busy tour schedule and to be able to spend my days making music, not too much to ask, is it?