For this week’s podcast it is our pleasure to bring you the musings of the talented Irishman that is Gavin Francis. Having earned a reputation as a dedicated dj and clever producer the Dublin is someone we have been striving to lock down for a special When We Dip mix. The budding talent relocated to Berlin recently where he has stepped up his efforts in the studio and polished his notable sound. The mix is a blend of the deep organic sounds with techy drums giving it a uniqueness which we 100% approve of. It also features once of Gavin’s own productions, a sublime remix of the Nina Simone classic ‘Strange Fruit’ which is sure to cause a stir this summer and beyond.
We caught up with Gavin recently to discuss all things Berlin and find out how things are progressing for him.
1) New name, new home, new departure. It’s been a big few months. Talk us through the switch to a new moniker in Gavin Francis and of course the big decision to move to Berlin. How has everything been going? Why Berlin, apart from some of the more obvious reasons?
Well my middle name is Francis, taken after my late Grandad. His name was Francis Gavin. Iv always wanted to change my name to something different for anything associated with music. So once It came into my head to change my second name to Francis it really appealed to me. I think it’s a nice change. Everything in Berlin has been going pretty well, it’s been an amazing summer so far. Full of meeting new people, spending time with a lot of friends and working on some new music. Berlin really has so much to offer, it’s a creative hub full of inspiration everywhere you look. It’s hard not to fall in love with the city. Once we came here in February for a weekend we all knew straight away that we needed to live here for a few months and see what we can take from it.
2) How have you adjusted so far, has it been easy to build a community for yourself? Are you in touch with any other irish producers over there?
It took me a few weeks to adjust to the city living over here, especially because we were struggling to find an apartment for the first 2 weeks. But once we found a nice place to live then we could relax and really start to explore Berlin and what it has to offer. At the moment I’m living with 3 of my friends, Mitzi, Conor Hanson & Breen. All of whom have been working on some amazing tracks over the last few months. Also Iv been in touch with the Dublin duo Terrierz, they’re making some beautiful deep electronic music at the moment and they have a new EP just about to be released on the Irish label called Major Problems.
3) Has the nightlife impacted on you? We imagine its not hard to stumble across some pretty inspirational moments on a regular basis in a city that seems to breathe dance music.
The nightlife over here has definitely had an impact on my music at the moment. Seeing artists play 4-10 hour sets every weekend really shows how high the standard of DJ’ing is over here. It’s a huge inspiration. I saw Rodhad play a 10.5 hour set a few weeks ago in Berghain.. that was crazy.
4) Your productions have certainly taken a step up in recent months. What’s your setup over there, is it a full time occupation now?
Thanks I appreciate that. Yeah it has been full time for the last few months, usually I work on music everyday that I can for 4-8 hours. I think thats important, if you really want to keep progressing and see an improvement in your productions to then you need to be working full time making music. My setup at the moment is simple enough, I’m using Logic as my DAW. Then I have a Maschine MKII, a Korg Volca Keys & Bass and a midi keyboard. I’m planning on investing in more analog gear once I return back to dublin.
5) Last month we were treated to the subtle groover that was Sansula My Love, what was the thinking behind the track and what was the reaction like to it?
Well I got the Sansula as a gift for my birthday this year. I always loved the sound that it makes from the first time I heard it being played. It has such a nice dreamy tone. So once I had it, I just set up my recording equipment at my home studio and I basically jammed over a click track a few times. Then once I chose which melodies I was happy to use I just built a groove around that. Iv gotten some pretty nice feedback from it so I’m happy with how it was received.
6) A little treat for our readers comes in the form of your new remix of Nina Simone which is part of your podcast. How do you go about remixing a legend like that and a difficult song in Strange Fruit (we love the track by the way!).
Thanks, glad you like it. I really love the original track by Nina, It’s so beautiful and powerful. My first thought was actually just to sample the piano, but once I was getting into it I decided to keep some of the vocals in because they worked pretty nicely. I just wanted to make something with a deep & techy vibe with some nice melodies. I’m happy with the result & feedback iv been getting of people.
7) Talk us through the mix you’ve sent us, we were impressed by the consistency and track selection, how do you go about putting together your mixes?
For this podcast the track selection is definitely influenced from the music that has been inspiring me while living in Berlin.. I wanted to capture what musical inspirations & sounds that took hold of me this summer. Hopefully I did it some justice!
8) Are the artists included in the mix some of those you are looking up to? Are you still in touch with anyone from your time in Ibiza?
Some artists in the mix like Efdemin & Makam would be people who I have been listening to a lot of. But apart from that it’s mostly just made up of tracks & sounds that I’m really into at the moment. I have been in touch with a few friends on Ibiza this year.. It seems just as crazy as ever. But unfortunately I won’t be able to make a visit there this summer. Maybe next year!
9) A parting question, what does the future hold? Will we see you strutting your stuff in Berghain anytime soon ?
Who knows what the future holds! At the moment I’m just focusing on the present and getting my music to where I want it be.. Then we will see what the future has in store!