This weekend saw your label, Visionquest, take over Fabric in London on 23rd July. You performed alongside Subb-An in Room 1. What did you most look forward to about this event and why?
Just to be back there and experience the sound and the people that I love in London was great. I couldn’t wait to see Judy, Andy and Rami from Fabric as well as a few good friends still living in the city. We have been lucky enough to be able to do these Visionquest parties once a year for about four years now and it’s always fun. The crowd sticks around till normally about 7.30 or 8 so you can pull out some fun tracks at the end.
Speaking of events, you’re set to play at Space Ibiza’s new Monday night techno fiesta ONYX this week. What is your favourite thing about performing in Ibiza and at Space?
Everyone is up for it. In most cases the party atmosphere is right where it’s supposed to be and that helps for a great party, day or night. I’ve been playing at Space for a while now. It’s a venue that’s always been loyal to me spread over a few parties/promoters throughout my years on the Island, so I appreciate that and I’m happy to be there once more before we bid farewell.
What do you think makes ONYX so different to any other techno night on the island? What does it bring new to the table that the others don’t have?
It leans towards underground techno without splashing the pot with the same big names that are playing everywhere else in abundance on the island. The people who set up the line-up didn’t scan the RA top 100 and cherry pick from that list. I appreciate that a different path was taken and we get a chance to be involved with the night.
Switching gears Ryan, you have recently been working on a forthcoming album with your partner-in-crime, Cesar Merveille, which is almost complete. What is the story behind this concept and what are you trying to achieve with it?
We’re trying to expand on what we did on the first album and flip it a bit in order to translate the album into a live performance in 2017. On the first album, we recorded a few live musicians and sampled a lot of acoustic drums and other elements from jazz and classical to achieve our sound. This album, we have done way more live recordings and are using a lot of modular equipment and hardware to get to our end result. On the last album, we sort of pieced it together track by track.
On this album, we have close to 25 tracks/ideas from which to choose or alter when it comes to the final track list. The tracks that aren’t on the album will then come out on other labels or be used specifically for the live set for a time being.
We have found this more gratifying and also more productive. The whole process has been an effort to combine live jazz or classical musicians with electronics. We’re not the first to be doing this of course, but I feel we’ve definitely found our style and mood that we’d like to present to the public in unique settings. Although most of the music is ambient/non dance floor so to speak, we feel we have enough of the right ideas where we can present something that works in multiple settings, now we just have to wrap up a few last things and then move on to practising our live set with a few musicians. That will be the difficult part and the ultimate sort of test. The material is there, we just have to be able to recreate it in a special way.
Do you have a track off of the album that is an early personal favourite and if so why?
I have a lot of favourites; I couldn’t pick one at this time.
Which record required the most production work and what kind of thought process and creative influences went into formulating it?
Definitely, the current album has required the most work but I feel the least amount of thought. We just sat down and started to jam taking influences of musical tastes we have in common. I’ve known Cesar close to 10 years and we spent a lot of time together so we know each other pretty well and don’t need to sit and discuss a direction or plan in most cases. If something was good, we would make some long recordings and then move on. If not, we would simply be like, “Eh, five minute break and then we start again.” If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it.
The next release on Visionquest comes from Italian producer Tuccillo with his “Full Time” EP set to release on Vinyl on Friday 22nd July and digitally on Friday 5th August. Can you tell us a little more about this release and your relationship with Tucillo?
Tuccillo has been working closely with Shaun for the past few years and this EP is the third time he’s appeared on the label. We’ve all been playing his music for quite some time without knowing him, so him and Shaun coming together has been a real treat. We consider him part of the family and are thankful he’s wanting to release his music with us.
Of course, Visionquest recently celebrated their fifth anniversary this summer. When you originally started up the label, what was your vision for Visionquest? What did you do to celebrate half-a- decade in the business?
We started in February 2011 and the idea was just to be ourselves and release music we thought was special from people we thought were special. Simple. Some people have loved it and the first five years have been great. We’ve had a few celebrations with promoters we are close with and that’s how we want to keep it. We consider them friends before anything else, so those are the people we want to be around to celebrate.