Times & Tunes come to us today from one of the more prolific artists to come out of Northern Ireland. Andrew Morrison – better known as The Cyclist, but also Buz Ludzha and more recently, Indopan and The Motorist – has been at the forefront of the lo-fi scuzzed electronic scene for the better part of the last decade or so. Gracing us with massive EPs, killer mixes, and one-off singles for the steppers, Andrew has found a home in nearly every pocket of the dance world.
Ahead of his hotly-tipped set this weekend at MUTEK in Montreal, the multi-hyphenate producer/label owner has taken some time to chat with us about his proliferation of output as well as preview a bit of what he’s got planned for both the weekend and the year to come.
Thanks so much for joining us for Times & Tunes! How has the year been treating you personally so far?
Yeah really well, though it’s been a very busy one, organizing gigs here in Liverpool, releasing that indopan album and the overload release as well as playing in a band. I started a new job working in a Europe-wide pediatric research consortium as well so I’ve had my time very full. Strangely I find I produce more music when I have less time, the momentum keeps me inspired to create more and move forward.
Over the years it seems that fans of yours can check for output from you amidst an array of projects; can you share a bit about the creation of these different facets and how you like to refract through them?
Refraction is a good analogy, as I see it the source and inspirations as the same I still to thoroughly enjoy the same types of music that I loved when I was 16 starting out producing, so it’s been more of exploring new facets of production as I’ve learned and experimented more of the years. As I’ve been DJing a lot more lately I’ve come to appreciate producing the format of the dance track, whereas when I started out I felt I was rebelling against it with my mangled sound and out of time rhythms.
Your most recent LP comes from you under your Indopan alias — what informed you on the making and release of this psychedelic effort?
Actually it was the purchase of a Wurlitzer 206a that inspired a new approach, just jamming on it day after day and tinkering with the electronics inspired me to make something a bit more delicate. The way each note has its own reed and is very slightly off tune means when played softly it evokes such a deep yet loose feeling and inspired me to go a little more subtle than my usual approach.
Aside from your solo work, you’ve also run and curated a few labels at this point: Tape Throb being the former alongside the recently launched Overload Liverpool. Do you find your roles as artist and label owner ever conflict with one another, or are they mainly complimentary?
For sure there is a bit of a crossover and some conflicting moments. Crossover in that it’s sometimes an opportunity for me to put something out that maybe another label wouldn’t pick up, but conflicting when I’m trying to focus on my own projects but need to put the time into promoting and releasing someone else’s. It’s like balancing spinning plates most of the time, especially on top of my full time job.
Through the labels you have released seminal works from talented artists across the globe like Baltra and AL-90. Do these relationships strike up naturally, or rather, what is the process like of working with others to help push their creative ventures in the world?
With the tape throb records it was more of an international online thing, just reaching out to artists across the world whose music evoked a certain vivid emotion in me. The artists were always super collaborative and friendly so it was actually a pretty straightforward process artistically, I just followed their lead. On the Overload Liverpool side it’s been more of a locally focussed thing, with us putting on more events here, I see it expanding beyond the city, but more something budding from the ground up, with me trying to give more of a helping hand.
With MUTEK right around the corner, it sounds like you have something special lined up for attendees. How will this upcoming performance differ from what many might be expecting, say a traditional DJ set or computer-based approach?
Well it’s an updated all-hardware setup, including semi-modular synths, a rhodes electric piano, a whole raft of new effects units and it’s a set spanning 10 years of my music, including newer tracks that I’ve never played live before, unreleased pieces and improvisations. It’s very much focussed on being both cerebral yet very danceable and visceral. So I’m hoping I can bring the crowd to a special place within and outside themselves in the closing hours of the Satosphere.
We’re also tremendously grateful that you took some time to pull a playlist together for Bolting Bits to showcase some of your favorite work to listen to or find inspiration from; can you highlight a couple selections for us?
Alias – Civil Defense (Dub): I’ll be playing a couple of more intimate gigs for the first time in Chicago just before coming to Montreal and I think this tune is an often overlooked moment in the evolution of electronic music and particularly house, that tipping point where weird electro and minimal disco transmuted into house and techno.
Metrist – Levan Liver Lever Love: It’s hard to put this price of music into words, but it feels right at forefront of Techno and Electric, the sound coming from Bristol’s Timedance is so mind expanding on so many fronts, but this track has a uplifting element that for md transcends a lot of other similar style of forward thinking techno and rhythmic noise.
Appreciate all your time for us…as we wrap here I’d love to poke around about any upcoming releases that you may have in the works either from yourself or through your label?
I’m currently working on more tracks in the Indopan (think sleeker house) and The Motorist (my tongue-in-cheek UK Garage alias) in works. On the label end I have a 5 track compilation 12″ pegged for early 2024 that’ll include a number electro techno and psych-jazz numbers from artists based on or closely associated with Liverpool, so very excited to get that out there!
Catch The Cyclist on Sunday, August 27, 2023 2:45 am_3:45 am
Interview by Dan.