Dylan Barnes (Mutiny)- Bashing Bearded London Hipsters (interview)
“There is no club scene in London. Not of any note anyway.”
Ever since they burst onto London’s underground house scene in 1996 with tracks like Secrets and Bliss, Mutiny (aka Rob Davy and Dylan Barnes) have remained respected and revered players both worldwide and in the UK.
16 years on they remain at the cutting edge of club culture musically, with new tracks Blim and Blam (on the Big Bud EP) both superbly crafted examples of the jacking house tearing up the world’s finest dance-floors, though as Dylan makes clear, he’s less than impressed with their hometown’s current club scene.
“And do not talk to me about (much hyped East London club/ artist quarter) Shoreditch,” he continues, “And what the fuck is going on with 23 year olds and those fucking stupid beards!!”
“I mean come on . . . Do women really go for that??? It’s beyond me!!” he laughs. “Sorry about being blunt about it but that just sums the club scene up in London at the moment. “
Chatting to Skrufff in 2004, he was equally blunt about Brixton, revealing they were moving out after becoming disillusioned with violence and crime in the South London neighbourhood.
“I’ve had enough to be honest. I’ve had enough of coming into the office in the morning and finding needles all over the front doorstep,” he said at the time, “Brixton’s got this big layer of trendiness on the surface but it’s only the surface”. (http://bit.ly/1hRUacP )
So ten years on,has it got worse in 2013? Or has gentrification made Brixton safer?
“Brixton is a worse place for me than it was years ago. Not because it’s any more violent because it isn’t. Or because it’s not as safe but it is safer,” he says.
“The real reason is because Brixton has lost its soul,” he suggests.
“The money that has come in has, as it has everywhere else, pushed poor people further out of London and left all the shit there. There are still drugs on the street and there is still poverty. But the free parties and the reggae and the general mood of “let’s go out in Brixton” has kind of demised. We may try and bring some of that back with a party soon. On the other hand Rob doesn’t care!!,” he laughs.
What both of them DO care about passionately remains their music, and in particular their upcoming new albums ‘Hot Sake’ Volumes 1 and 2., both of which features a wildly eclectic bunch of super-talented guest singers.
“We have collaborated with so many great singers: Neil Arthur (Blancmange), Lorraine Cato (Incognito), Steve Smith (Dirty Vegas), Earth (Gus Gus), Amber Jolene, Amrit and Amy,Tom Gray and Andrea Wilde amongst others,” he reveals.
“Hot Sake is coming as two separate volumes. Volume one will be out in Jan 2014 and Volume 2 probably at the end of March.”
Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): Both Blim and Blam are seriously jacking dancefloor tracks; how much are the rest of the album tracks in a similar vein?
Mutiny (Dylan Barnes): “Well, it’s difficult to put genres on all music we do. We love doing the jackin’ club stuff because it is our roots. But everyone grows as a writer and a producer and if you don’t try and embrace new ideas then it would get boring. Our music is basically a reflection of us and all the things around us that we experience on a daily basis in our lives.
It sounds really deep when put like that but it’s really not. The most important thing to remember is music should reflect feeling and it’s as simple as that.
As far as all the music on this next album is concerned it’s no different to the way we have always gone about making music. We love working with other people and we love making exciting music that makes us feel good. The hope is other people get something similar out of it.”
Skrufff: Dance music has never been focused on albums and even in rock and pop the format appears to be collapsing- why make one at all in 2013?
Mutiny (Dylan Barnes): “Because we grew up with albums. Albums were and still are to us the pinnacle of making music. Singles or downloads as they are now so-called; these things were meant to lead to an album. It’s a nice circular event that gives you something substantial at the end of that journey.
A lot of the music we write isn’t a stand alone thing. It becomes better as a part of a bigger thing- do you know what I mean? A lot of our music just wouldn’t work as singles and having an album at the end of the journey kind of allows us to actually make some of the music we do.”
Skrufff: Nowadays Beatport is deluged with 10,000 plus identikit tracks a week- How do you manage to make you music stand out from the rest?
Mutiny (Dylan Barnes): “We use everything and anything around us and in our locker to get to where to where we wanna’ get to. I’m a guitarist and we both play a bit of percussion. Bass, Keys, Harmonica, singers, musicians; the list goes on. One of the great advantages of the digital age is actually being able to do more live recording without so many obstacles to get there. The trouble is it also enables too many people to cut corners and make music by joining the dots.
And as far as what we use technically, it’s Digital side consists of Logic 9 Apogee converters, Avalon pre amps, Urei 1176, mac 8 cores etc etc pretty much the same as everybody else. But it’s what you do with it that counts.
We hope that our music stands out from the rest in a good way, but we don’t set out with that particular goal in mind. We just love making music.”
Skrufff: 17 years since you started Mutiny; a VERY long time for most partnerships; what makes you keep it going?
Mutiny (Dylan Barnes): “MONEY!!!! No I’m only joking. It’s as simple as the fact we stil get on and we enjoy making music together. It really isn’t any more complicated than that.”
Skrufff: I was scrolling through your Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/MUTINY-UK ) and a recent comment caught my attention; ‘Just remembering that time in Ibiza – funny how things come back. A week of anecdotes at the wooka villa. The blow up doll incident for one Steve Mac:’, what’s the blow-up doll incident about exactly?
Mutiny (Dylan Barnes): “Oh . . . Well let’s just say it was a mad weekend in Ibiza. Which consisted of Yousef, Steve Mac, Rob and Me, Wooly, Darby, Paul Harris, MYNC amongst others. And all I can say is a villa got wrecked, there was a tomato sauce drive-by and an incident in a pool with the whole contents of the villa beneath the surface and a blow-up doll with a broom!! That’s as much as the lads’ code will allow us to say.”
Skrufff: What’s been the toughest period you’ve encountered?
Mutiny (Dylan Barnes): “The changeover to the digital age. It wasn’t a hardship but was a little difficult because everything changed. But as always, good things arise again eventually.”
Skrufff: Anything else to add?
Mutiny (Dylan Barnes): “The first single is a track called ‘Feels So’ – A Big Funk Disco record with a Rare Groove B side in ‘We Want To’. Another 5 singles will be released before and during the releases of the album volumes.
All our back catalogue and old albums are now available on Beatport and other download sites. We are being distributed by Mn2S and our new Website with shop page etc will be on line before the end of the month http://www.sunflower.co.uk . Also check out the mutiny website www.mutinyuk.com
Any other questions regarding all things sunflower and Mutiny please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.