Harvey McKay

Machine Make Noise: Harvey McKay
The debut of Soma Racords' latest newcomer Harvey McKay, "Machine Make Noise" may be the best techno album of this year.

Glasgow is the magic land for techno music. Soma Records of course is the engine and there are a lot of talented people doing real good music around that area. Soma also is the pot for new talents and youngsters to show how good and talented they are. But only a few are accepted to the Soma rooster and Harvey McKay is the brightest star among Glaswegian contemporary newcomers.

His sound is easily recognizable and very saturated. His productions sound like he has been doing this job for 15 years. Despite his very young age, he fastly has build a reputation for himself and his forthcoming album "Machine Make Noise" believe me will lead a storm in the techno arena. Already in my list for this year's best techno albums. I will also keep an eye and ear on him for his future releases on Soma. Here you go with the latest Glaswegian techno warrior Harvey McKay and his noise making machines.

You Glaswegians Is it the water or air that makes you go techno there or is it the scene and vibe?

Ha ha! Yeah must be something like that, the music scene is a bit of an institution up here. I think it has a lot to do with the Arches night club, and the nights like Pressure, Slam’s night.

 The Arches has a very distinctive sound, the acoustics lead to a very thumping and clubby sound. I really think that really reflects the music and sound that comes out of Glasgow.

So you like "Machines Make Noise". Since when? How did you first get in touch with electronic music and then started producing?
About 5 years ago. I took me a while, it was more playing about with it, a lot of hours, but not seriously . Then about 3 years ago I nearly got a track signed to a big label, and I thought hang on. But unfortunately that fell through, as my hard drive blew up and I lost the track! So I bought myself a monster Mac tower unit, and locked myself in a room for a year solid. And a year later Soma signed me up.

What were your inspirations at that time and now which labels and producers do you admire?
Going to see Slam at the Arches at the age of about 19 / 20, and thinking! I would not mind DJing in here.

 And labels like Soma, Kompakt so many more. As for producers, my mate Gary Beck is on fire right now, and I am not saying that cause he is a mate. Everything he touches turns to gold. Also really into Hermanez stuff, Mark Broom, Mark Henning, Guy Gerber. Though a lot of the tunes I play out are by relatively unknown artist to be honest. There is just so much talent out there just now.

What about the 'wonky bass' in your tracks, do you like dubstep? Are you influenced by other genres or kinds of music?
Don’t mind Dubstep, but not really got into as of yet, though I have heard some wicked dubstep tracks. As for influences, I am generally influenced by all the music I hear. Though when making music, it just seems to pop into my head and I get it down.

Do you have a favourite track in your debut? (For example mine is "Analog Freek")
Yes I do love the "Analog Freek", that track was literally the first hour I spent on my new moog when I bought it. So it was new gear time and really enjoyed getting that one down. But as for a fav, for me its "Laconic"! I really don’t get fed up hearing that one.

How long did it take you to conclude the LP?
About 6 months to write the tracks, but then about another 3 months editing all the tracks to really make the album flow and have a bit of a concept feel. I really spent as much effort and time putting it all together as an album, as I did writing the tracks.

How do you usually finish up a track, also do you master by yourself?
Sometimes depends on how the label works. I mastered this album.

How is it to be in the Soma rooster?
It's a nightmare! They are all a nightmare to deal with especially with that Dave Clark and Chris Lamb lol…

 No I kid , Its great there are all really nice, down-to-earth Glasgow boys. And I see them more as mates now. I get on with everybody. And it’s great to part of that techno institution I have been supporting as a clubber for so long. And also great to be part of such a respected label like Soma.

Do you both play live and DJ?
Yes I do both. I prefer to DJ, it's just great fun to spin some vinyl in a big club. But the live thing is great too, it also has a lot to offer in a different ways, and I have been having a lot of fun with it lately.

What is your tech rider?
1210s Technics decks

Pioneer DJM 800 mixer
Traktor scratch with the vinyl

Korg Nano pad
Mac laptop

Mac laptop
Korg Micro Kontrol

Korg Nano pad

Would you like to play here in Istanbul? What do you know about here?
Yeah! I have got to see quite a bit of the world recently, and that been really nice playing all these places. I have never been to İstanbul and would love to come over. So any promoter fancy getting me over, get in touch.

What do you think about hard techno seeming to strike back? Do you think it will make it?
I fell its more a cool old techno sound, a bit more of a rough grimy sound. It is a lot slower that the older banging techno, therefore it has slightly different techniques of progression and building up. And that’s what separates it for me from the older banging techno. I find when things come back in; they never tend to come back the same. They always see to have a twist.

What are your future plans and are there any forthcoming remix or release projects that you already started working on?
Yes quite a few!! Got a remix coming out on Material Series, Mark Broom, and Mihilas Safras’ label. And also the Disturb The Bird EP out 16th on November, the album out on the 7th of December, and the Nightwalker EP coming out on Soma in January. And also string of EPs signed up for the summer, so there s a lot going on which is great.

Interview: Christopher Çolak
06 November 2009


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