Saturday, 19 September 2009

Interview with Dom Hoare (Echaskech) - Noize Makes Enemies

“When you’re an electronic music artist these days, it pretty much means you bring out a laptop and not a lot more. And it’s not that exciting to watch someone check their emails [Try telling that to Little Boots!-Sub-Ed]. But we’re not at all like that when we play live”
It’s half six on a uncharacteristically sunny September evening in London and one half of Echaskech, Dom Hoare, dives right into explaining what sets the Electronica duo apart from in their peers in such a saturated niche.

“We wanted to be a visual thing as much as a music based thing. We’re far more organic in kind of the live aspect, we end of meshing all kinds of things and making all sorts of noises out of all sorts of boxes. So it’s fun to watch anyway, even if Mark’s [visual artist, Mark van der Vor] not there, which he isn’t always- fpr example if you’re at a festival you cant really get projections working so then it’ll be just the two of us.”

Mark van der Vor is the newest sort of honorary member to the London duo, providing a visual experience to work alongside the beats produced by Dom and Andy Gillham, who’s musical journey started over a decade ago:

“Me and Andy are old school mates, we used to go to the same school. We both studied music there and we also sort of grew a love of electronic, or dance, music I guess. In the late 90s we used to go down to Metal Heads quite a lot , down in Shoreditch, which was sort of drum and bass night and an excellent venue on a Sunday night. We kind of formed a group then, which was drum and bass.

“We had a sort of moderate success there, kind of left it and had a hiatus until about 4 years ago, we re-formed as Echaskech and decided to do it as more of an audio visual thing. We got Mark V on board and sort of mashed it all together one night. It was totally random; we went down to Brick Lane and played a gig there. We met for the first time that night and sort of said; ‘Lets just pretty much jam’ at a live performance and it came off really, really well so we’ve stuck with it since then really.”

Two albums in and the band seem to have stumbled across a formula that works. Something undoubtedly spurred on by the effortlessly likeable nature of the band, as Dom talks of their future plans, there is sense that Echaskech have a more advanced sentiment with their music, less so chasing the bright lights of stardom and more like the fame is something that found them in the most natural and organic way:

“When our first album came out, our launch party was one of the best gigs we’ve ever played just cause everybody’s there in good spirits and celebrating your music and you know, it’s not too judgemental so the pressure is off a bit. Although the album’s already out, we’ve got a delayed album launch at the end of October (28th) which will be at the Queen of Hoxton. It will be open to everyone, it’s kind of first come, first served for that night. But we’re already really looking forward to that.

“Also, every month we curate a night at the Haywood Galleries called ‘Concrete’, In fact, this Saturday it’s going to all be a bit of a jump up rave experience [laughs]. We have all sorts of acts that play there from basically, folktronica to the sort of thing this weekend, which is AGT Rave Crew, who have been described as the ‘Chas n Dave of Rave’ and they’re exactly that. They just mash any kind of bass noise to brakes and it sounds fantastic. And every month from there until Christmas we’ve got some fantastic acts booked, some real beauties. We’re doing a special Christmas gig too”

The end product of Dom and Andy’s clear vision and knowledge of the industry means their output spills out influences with tracks like ‘Every Touch’ sounding almost Postal Service meets Sigur Ros meets DJ Shadow. Something truly diverse.

Any band that can stir up such heightened emotions amidst beats that cause legs to dance like they wouldn’t get another chance to, but minds to pause and get lost in the beauty of the band’s Mogwai-esque style, clearly have more talent than most of us could wish for.

Far from your average electro music, forget stereotypes of the genre. Forget Justice, Simian Mobile Disco or even those bloody awful remixes, Echaskech produce something different, something awe-inspiring and something truly unique.

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