South African Terrence Pearce is a truly multifaceted DJ, producer and party starter. We’re more than sure that you came across his name in the catalogs of such prominent labels as Church, Futureboogie, Wolf Music, Fina, Kolour and a bunch more. From this spring onwards you can find his name on a new Finnish/Estonian label Coymix Ltd which was established by Steffan from Gestalt Records and Timo from Echocentric Records.
Bolting Bits were lucky enough to premiere one of the tracks from this release about a month ago and today we’re having Terrence as Biodive in our “Mixed By” series. We asked him a few questions about the new Biodive project, how it came to be and what message does it broadcast. Also we threw in a few more about the flow of deep house and deep time in South Africa. We hope you guys will enjoy reading it whilst listening to the mix!
Hey Terrence! Thanks for being in our “Mixed By” series!How are things in South Africa at the moment? And how did you cope with one of the most strict quarantines on the planet?
Hey and thanks for inviting me. Yeah, it’s been pretty tough here with Covid-19, our lockdown was very strict, no sale of alcohol and cigarettes and no exercising allowed unless it was at one’s own home. Strict curfews with no leaving your home unless for groceries or medicine, but the most brutal thing by far was the strain it put on breadwinners, the poor and the homeless. We’re slowly returning to normal thankfully, but nowhere near over.
Is your latest vinyl EP for Coymix Ltd the outcome of this lockdown or is this something you had made already and it was just waiting for a release?
The Coymix release is a product of the last couple years of production, my output was pretty much nothing during lockdown as I had a daughter in January this year. So these are tracks I’ve been sitting on for a little while but just tweaked them here and there. Mainly it was stuff I just really wanted to put out.
How did this friendship with Steffan (Gestalt records) and Timo (Echocentric records), founders of Coymix Ltd label, came about? Did you guys know each other from before?
I had sent Steffan music before for Gestalt, but for different reasons we couldn’t make the release work. Then we recently reconnected again and he introduced me to Timo and we got chatting about forming a new label. I really enjoyed working together with them on this, it’s been a breeze and I can’t wait to hear what they do next.
Since we premiered one of the tracks from your newest release, I think it’s fair to say that we like it a lot here at BB. Sounds like a proper exploration of proto-house, acid house or just a real good flashback from the early 90’s. It’s also a bit different from what you used to produce a few years back. Would you say it’s some sort of evolution in the way you make music or is it more like a gesture of appreciation to the era when house music was taking its first steps which, by the way, still manages to inspire a lot of people to this very day?
I’ve had lots of different projects over the years as I love all types of music, but with Biodive I wanted to explore some new ideas I had that didn’t quite fit my previous projects. I’m sure in the future I will start another alias with another sound, it keeps me interested and excited.
How was your Biodive project born? Was there some shift in your creative process that resulted in this new name and project? Is this direction that we’re hearing in your newest EP something you will explore in the future?
I have a love for cinematic sound design, and film soundtracks in general, big emotive soundscapes and a love for the psychedelic chill out room music, I really wanted to make something that had no specific structure but with lots of focus on atmosphere rather than just straight up 4/4 House or Techno. So I’ve been playing with the idea of starting a new project for years and it manifested in Biodive, I hope to turn it into a live show as well if I ever get the chance.
What is the main message from Biodive to the deep divers of the vast expanse of turquoise water known as The Housific Ocean? :)
Just to start feeling music a bit more than just the standard deconstructed club music or the repetitive rhodes chords of standard deep house. Don’t get me wrong -- there is great stuff in both those genres but I wanted to explore something else, let’s say I tried to make a film score into a club track.
House, deep house and obviously afro house have a very special place in South Africa. Why do you think that is? How was the scene doing before the pandemic hit?
Yeah, it’s massive here! We have a very specific sound that’s popular. It’s characterized by a slower tempo deep house sound, but we also have exciting original sounds from SA, amaPiano, Gqom, as well as the classic sounds of bubblegum and kwaito from a bygone era. There’s constant development in music here and SA is definitely an exciting music hub.
Any new local names in the field that you would like to mention, so that our listeners and readers could broaden their horizons?
Paz Shina, Super Black Tapes (Fred Buddah, T Siza) Fernando Damon, Slow Motion City, Deano, Luis 93, Rose Bonica, Jumping Back slash, Aryu Jassika, Xee & Codekid, Ray Bennett, Faretrade, Deep Aztec, Structure, Big Space -- I’m going to forget so many, but there’s loads. Go search for them and follow them on soundcloud.
You’re (or at least have been) running your own two nights in Cape Town. What are these evenings about and where are they taking place? Maybe there are things that make them truly special?
I run 2 events: Private Life and NTSC. Private Life is kinda house and disco, and NTSC more sort of house and techno thing, but those are broad descriptions as we play pretty much everything. I think it’s just events run with passion without the focus being on financial gain.
Are there any other interesting venues that sport good music in Cape Town, Johannesburg or other towns in SA that are worth mentioning and checking?
Club Culture has existed in SA before, but it’s pretty thin currently, there are a few decent clubs, but you’re most likely to find true south african sounds in the taxi’s and taverns of SA.
When the world will re-open again and when we all can travel freely, what is the place that you would like to return the most? It could be gig-wise or just for leisure/pleasure.
Tbh I’d just love to DJ again, anywhere is fine, I’ll do the opening of a new McDonalds if need be.
Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains (North-Eastern part of SA) are famous for having one of the best preserved rocks on the planet dating back to 3,6 billion years when primordial, archaic lifeforms were evolving and hence the place is called “Genesis of Life”. Also one of the (if not the oldest) cave drawings of symbolic art was found in SA (Blombos cave, 300 km east from Cape Town) and it dates back to 73 000 B.C. It’s the first abstract drawing on Earth and scientists call it “prime indicator of modern cognition”.
Do you get this feeling that land, culture and art itself is incredibly old in South Africa and that anatomically modern humans were trying to leave their imprints in SA for eons? :)
I’ll do my tour guide bit here. South Africa is an incredible place with so much to see and so much to do. We’ve had a troubled past and are still dealing with a lot of issues, but we’re an amazing place everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.
And to finish things off, describe the mix you made for us. What people can expect from it? Any standout names in the mix you would like to mention?
It’s just stuff I’m loving and features a few local mates as well. x
Interview by Ramunas.