Eamon Harkin, 1/2 of Mister Saturday Night Records and Nowadays in Brooklyn, is a stalwart of NYC nightlife. Ahead of the release on his new EP for Fixed Rhythms, he’s put together a whopper mix that takes aim at a return to the dancefloor. Similar to his forthcoming EP, the mix is full of tunes that manifest sentimentality, collective joy, and healing. To quote the label, “If you do find yourself on a reopened dance floor, you may end up shedding a joyful tear.” Let’s have a good cry together.
Additionally, as is customary for the Bolting Bits ‘Mixed By’ series, Eamon’s been kind enough to answer a few of our questions.
Tell us about the mix. What’s influenced the sound? What’s the story behind these records.
The mix was made during a moment of euphoria and optimism about a return to dancefloors. Infection rates are plummeting and vaccination rates in the city are rising so I don’t think it’s long before we’ll dance again, at least outside. So the mix points to the collective joy and healing that we’re all yearning for right now and I hope is within grasp. Sonically it covers a range of old and new uptempo music that I’m enjoying at the moment and I’d say it’s more sentimental than a typical mix from me, which I think reflects the mood right now for a lot of people.
Where have you been at creatively this year both in music and in your personal life?
It’s been a total emotional roller coaster. At times I’ve had to switch off and really focus on getting through the days, at other times I’ve felt a fervent need to be productive. So it’s been a little manic and exhausting. I’ve engaged much less in discovering and listening to new music than I would normally, and focused more on writing and producing my own music and developing my creative process.
How has this drastic change in lifestyle affected your process as a musician?
I have found the process of making music to be something that’s given me respite from anxiety and stress and because I’ve had more free time than I usually do I’ve been able to settle into a few prolonged periods of time to work on music in a deeper and more experimental way.
You’re a co-owner of one of the finest clubs in NYC. What has the pandemic taught you about community, and how is Nowadays coming back better off after this experience?
The loss of community was felt very strongly by myself and everyone involved at Nowadays. It was a very isolating time. It’s also refocused the value of community as a whole in our lives and as we start to rebuild and come back we’re thinking deeply about social justice and equity and the role we can play in our own community. As such we’re making changes to how we hire staff and book DJs to ensure the make up of Nowadays reflects as closely as possible the make up of the city it operates within and respects the multi-faceting history of dance music and electronic music.
What excites you about the rest of this year and next year? Is there anything specific you’re hoping to accomplish or bring into your life?
I look forward to opening Nowadays back up fully with the changes to our hiring and booking practices that I mentioned. I look forward to a place like Nowadays being a place for people to come back together, reconnect and heal from the trauma of this pandemic. Personally I’m very much looking forward to getting back in the booth again and DJing as I’ve missed it very much. I’ve also got some more music coming out soon that I’m excited about. I’ve also been working on our label and there’s a few releases coming up I’m really excited about.
What artists are inspiring you right now?
I’ve been listening to interviews with Laurie Anderson from over the years and I find her view on the world and creativity fascinating. I’ve been revisiting the history of UK dance music and have a new found respect for the work of Dennis Bovell. I’ve been reading Bell Hooks and I’m feeling inspired about her writings on Love and I’ve been really enjoying the teachings of La Meme Young via his Patreon.
What’s next for you as a producer and DJ?
My Fixed Rhythms EP pre-orders are on sale right now on their Bandcamp. I then have an EP coming out on Mister Saturday Night probably towards the end of summer/fall time. I’ve been working on a bunch of other stuff so I’m hoping to squeeze in another release before the year is out. As a DJ I don’t really have too much desire to travel right now. I just want to focus on reconnecting to dancefloors in New York and the Mister Sunday crowd. I think it’s going to be a special time so I’m happy to stay around the city and be a part of it.
Interview by Ryan C.