LWE Podcast 44: Ed Davenport

Ed Davenport is not a producer whose tracks neatly melt into the background. His claps crunch too hard, his vocals are often bewildering, and many of his tunes take sudden left turns which are hard to ignore. The UK born, Berlin based producer has made a career of standing apart from his peers, crafting uncommon house music for liebe*detail, Gumption Recordings, District Of Corruption and Vidab while remixing everyone from Len Faki and Mark Henning to Guy J. And having released his first record at age 21, Davenport still has many years in front of him to further confound audiences and let his ear-catching timbres and rhythms unfurl themselves across dance floors around the world. We grabbed the young producer for a chat about his unusual sounds, working with a broad assortment of labels, and his favorite time of day to spin. Davenport also contributed LWE’s 44th exclusive podcast, a diverse slate which offers an aural roadmap to the tunes that have inspired his conspicuous sound.

LWE Podcast 44: Ed Davenport (76:23)

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Tracklist:

01. Paper, “Feel” [States Rights Records]
02. Benge, “Baud” [Expanding Records]
03. Rhythm & Sound, “Smile” (w/Savage) [Rhythm & Sound]
04. DJ Swap, “The Walk” [Smallville Records]
05. Ed Davenport, “Linienwork” [Autoreply Music]
06. Bovill, “Low Pressure” [Meanwhile]
07. Darragh Casey, “Xuri” (KW’s Under Irish Water Remix) [Antiqua Recordings]
08. Moby, “Heaven” [Instinct/Equator Records]
09. D-Malice, “Visions” [Its Funky]
10. Lowtec, “Running Elephant” [Polyfon]
11. Gowentgone, “Health Hazard” [Vidab]
12. David Alvorado, “My Plea” [Peacefrog]
13. Slam, “Positive Education” (Josh Wink Deep Version)
[Soma Quality Recordings]
14. Prosumer & Murat Tepeli ft. Elif Biçer, “Turn Around” (Cassysmoothmix) [Ostgut Ton]
15. Two Armadillos, “Nostalgia” (tobias. Remix) [Buzzin’ Fly Records]
16. Roach Motel, “Afro Sleeze” (Downtown mix) [Junior Boy’s Own]
17. Roberto Bosco, “Dub Piano” [Be As One]
18. Eamonn Doyle, “Red Shift” [D1 Recordings]
19. Vincenzo, “At Throb” [Raw Elements]
20. Efdemin, “Acid Bells (Martyn’s Bittersweet Mix) [Curle Recordsings]
21. Move D & Benjamin Brunn, “Radar” [Smallville Records]

How did you get hooked up with liebe*detail for your first release?

Ed Davenport: Actually my very first release was with Gumption Recordings, a label set up by 2 friends of mine, who were also co-running the Lo-Fi Stereo label at the time and based near Frankfurt. I sent them some demo tracks a great working relationship arose where they gave me detailed feedback on my productions, with the view to release a record. Eventually we came up with a two track release. It was 2005 when the tracks were made and ’06 by the time they were put out. I was living in London then and was excited to be releasing my first record! The record did quite well and the B-side track “Yanderling” was probably the stronger track which got noticed. Not long after that the guys at liebe*detail got in touch and so I sent them some more material — the first track they signed was “Swantalk.” This also kicked off a strong bond with the liebe*detail owners and the Hamburg scene they are deeply involved with, and complimented the work I had already done with Gumption nicely.

In status conscious techno circles, remixing Guy J on Bedrock doesn’t have the cachet of, say, a remix featured on an Ostgut Ton mix CD (and you’ve had both). What is your philosophy for who you will and will not release for? Are you open to anything?

First of all I was really happy and excited to do a remix for Bedrock. I have respect for the label and I used to love some of the earlier records in their catalogue in particular. It’s a very professional label releasing good music; maybe it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think its cool that they were interested in bringing in sounds from a different part of the scene. That’s needed more these days! The remix I did for Guy J was kind of a tribute to the type of dark, evolving dance music I was into around the turn of the millennium, with tough, acidic elements and freaky spacial effects. I tried to incorporate these elements into my remix, and also tried to give this vibe a more current sounding finish. Regarding the cachet of certain labels, I’m happy to be able to work with professional labels and artists in all realms, and if I see potential for a remix then I’ll usually be game. I’m a fairly young artist, and I’m still working on my musical identity. Remixes on diverse platforms allow me the space to try things out and experiment, and they’re also a nice marker in my development, like a reminder of where I was at the time it came out.

Are there any labels you’re hoping to record for one day?

I always used to want to put something out on Cadenza. And even though the label has rather dramatically changed its approach nowadays compared to their earlier sound, I still think the label holds a certain special charm. Also I’d love to put some music out on my own platform one day. But I’m realistic and don’t want to rush into anything? So I think that day may be a long way off!

No matter what you’ve done, there’s always been at least a hint of “weirdness” to your tunes, whether it’s the timbres or the trajectory of your tracks. What’s on your mind when you take aural left turns?

Many reasons I think; I suppose its quite often a conscious effort to try to make my productions stand out, and its also often the outcome of my way of working. I normally start tracks with atmosphere and underlying, textural elements that sit under everything else. Sometimes these can be rather strange, leftfield or for want of a better expression “non-commercial.” Then on top of this I tend to use fairly classic drum and synth elements, to give energy and fullness in sound. I suppose its a result of my interest and long-term passion for wonky, weird and experimental music, alongside more straightforward pumping house and techno; I love them both. There is a side of me that doesn’t want to conform to the norm. I feel its too easy to produce a dry, clean track with drums and synths and the odd vocal snippet or two, even if it does put people’s hands in the air! I like productions with more of a raw, thick sound, not over EQ’ed or scrutinized, but rather more organic and flowing. I like to discover things bubbling away under the mix, modulating and tweaking; for me it gives the music longevity, depth and character.

Similarly, a lot of your stuff is a bit disorienting or feels like the listener has taken an overwhelming wrong turn somewhere. What about this vibe is so striking to you?

Well I would hope the wrong turn is not for the worse?! That said I do like the crazy, messed up vibe some records can create in a club. I’m a fan of long musical passages and long tracks in general. Even better if said track takes you down a weird, wonderful and hypnotic path then delivers you on the other side of the break wondering what just happened, but you’re dancing your ass off!

You’ve appeared alongside a diverse cast of artists on record, but to my eyes you’ve not done much collaboration. Is that something you plan to do in the future? Are there any dream collaborations you have in mind?

Some of my first collaborations are about to surface, with an EP on WE ARE alongside Agaric and Beaner, two fellow producers based in Berlin. The project is called The 3 Good Doctors. Watch out for more on that soon! I’d love to sit in the studio with a lot of other producers, just to see how they work — you can learn a lot that way. I’d be pretty fascinated to see the studio set up of some of the longer serving producers who must have some interesting gear and working methods, like Tobias Freund, Josh Wink or Mr G, to name just a few.

Are you planning more releases under your Szenario moniker?

No plans at the moment. This was a project I also worked on while I was living in London, and was really a darker, more trippy techno sound that I feel doesn’t represent me so well these days. I still like the name though. Maybe I’ll work on some more material.

What’s your favorite time or slot to play during a club night and why?

I really enjoy playing late! If I’m playing locally and don’t have to travel onwards the next day, the later the better — providing there is still an atmosphere and an audience. Things get looser and more relaxed as the night goes on. It’s so much fun to close a party, or try to push it on longer.

Tell us about your LWE podcast: how did it come together, and what is the theme?

The mix is about sources of inspiration, new and old. I wanted to record a mix where the tracks sat well together, but also travelled around the spectrum quite a bit (as I normally do when I DJ), without it turning into a full on club set. There are some of my favorite records in there, and some newer gems that I wanted to include too, but wouldn’t normally get the chance to play them in clubs. It’s more of a slower, hypnotic set that I hope is good to listen to at home.

How have a few of the artists featured on it specifically influenced you?

Rhythm & Sound: I distinctly remember listening to the album traveling through London and becoming so engrossed in the sound that I had it on repeat for days during otherwise dull bus journeys. This particular track (“Smile”) always stood out to me and spoke deeply, not only because of Savage’s vocal but through the dense soundstream that pours into your ears, especially when you listen to it on headphones.

David Alvarado: I picked up Mayasongs while I was visiting the States a long time ago and it’s pretty much been in my record bag ever since. I love the heavy, tribal grooves and dubbed atmospheres Alvarado creates, and there’s just the right amount of deepness and sensuality, done in his own special way.

Cassy: Cassy’s productions are pretty unique and special sounding. Particularly in the construction, I love the reduced elements, the drums and her simple, flowing arrangements. This remix I included in the mix is of course well known but I can never get enough of it. The way the various vocal lines drift in and out, and the melancholic, hypnotic darkroom vibe — amazing!

What’s coming up from you in 2010?

I have a new release scheduled for British label NRK. I’ve always been a fan of the label and I’m really excited to be putting an EP out with them. Watch out for more news on that. I kicked off the year working on a nice collection of remixes, for artists like Subroomassociation (Berlin’s Oliver Deutschmann and Thomas Svenson), Maya Jane Coles on London label Dogmatik, and some more to be announced. I’m also just about to perform live at Panorama Bar as part of a Vidab label night. That’s on March 6th. If you’re in town come down and say hello!

LWE Podcast 44: Ed Davenport (76:23)

dropless  on February 22, 2010 at 10:27 AM

I think there is one track between
17. Roberto Bosco, “Dub Piano” [Be As One]
18. Vincenzo, “At Throb” [Raw Elements]

What is this ED? ID please!

DJ_Dom  on February 24, 2010 at 10:50 AM

what track is playing at 29:00

Ed Davenport  on February 24, 2010 at 11:36 AM

@dropless – Well spotted! Need to check the record for the exact spelling and track title. will come back to you on this one. Apologies for missing it on the tracklist.

@DJ Dom – the track at 29:00 is Lowtec, “Running Elephant” [Polyfon]

Thanks for listening

DJ_Dom  on February 24, 2010 at 1:28 PM

thanks

great mix

one of the best

smith  on February 25, 2010 at 8:56 AM

What track is playing between
17. Roberto Bosco, “Dub Piano” [Be As One]
and
18. Vincenzo, “At Throb” [Raw Elements]

Ed Davenport  on March 1, 2010 at 5:22 PM

The missing track is Eamonn Doyle, “Red Shift” [D1 Recordings]

dropless  on March 4, 2010 at 1:32 PM

Thanks,Ed! Great set, awesome choice!

Paul  on March 4, 2010 at 1:56 PM

love it…best so far

Greg Swindle  on March 7, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Is Move D & Benjamin Brunn’s “Radar” sweeping over “Acid Bells” at the end? Regardless, nice touches throughout; I’ve had this on repeat. Get set!

Ed Davenport  on March 11, 2010 at 6:11 PM

@ Greg – Yes… yet another element that I forgot to tracklist!

Thanks for your comments!

Alex  on March 26, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Fantastic mix. I will have to listen to it on a better system. The laptop just does not do it justice.

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Ed Davenport – LWE Podcast 44 « The Hipodrome Of Music  on February 22, 2010 at 11:12 AM

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