FR / EN
In the occasion of the second Session of Konnect parties on May 7th 2013, We got the chance to meet the McMash Clan, newly signed on Circus Records, who came to Toulouse to drop their multi-genre DJ Set. We met Chris and Kumar right after their show.
Hello The McMash Clan! Welcome in Toulouse for the Konnect session 2. Would you give a short introduction of yourselves for our readers?
Chris: Okay, well, I’m Chris from The McMash Clan, and it’s awesome to be here in Toulouse!
Kumar: I’m Kumar, also from the McMash Clan, it’s been an incredible party, and it’s really nice to be there.
Chris: Yeah, Sick party, Amazing party!
This is the first time to play in INOX, how did it go? A general impression for this first night in Toulouse?
Kumar: We’ve been very impressed with this party. Everyone we’ve met is lovely, like the people organizing (Kosen Prod). Plus the size and the scale is very big, it’s epic.
Chris: How many people were here?
About three or four thousand.
Chris: It’s impressive. And the diversity of the music is great. The line-up is incredible.
Kumar: In England there are not a huge number of parties this size, especially not ones that take place during the week. This is big. In England, you will normally find arenas this size at festivals during the summer, but a party in a nightclub of this size is impressive. especially on a Tuesday!
Let’s focus on the Clan now, you signed on Circus Records where you released the Swing Break EP, how did you get in touch with this label?
Chris: It’s quite a random story. We were playing at Glade Music Festival, a big electronic music festival in the UK. We intro’d our set with Swing Break, the lead song from the EP which we’d literally just made. And as a matter of chance, Flux Pavilion’s housemate hopped into the room when we were playing it. He’s a well know producer on the electro-swing scene named Odjbox. He was a bit wasted, having a lot of fun, and was like “wow, that’s really cool”. So he came to see us afterwards, saying that he wanted to give the track to Josh Flux Pavilion as he reckoned he would like it. So we sent it to him afterwards and he passed it on to Josh who got in contact saying he really liked it and wanted to sign it.
This is a huge label, we’re happy for you! Going on about Swing Break, we can say that the tracks are very different, regarding their styles. You have Rain, then Shere Khan…. very various sources for your inspirations. Can you explain the EP conception?
Kumar: We started DJing together a long time ago, when we were quite young. As we started discovering and getting into a lot of different types of music we started to collect a lot of vinyl from different genres and putting them into the sets that we did…
We were inspired by many types of music and many different DJs – and so naturally started to mash up those different sounds in our DJ sets. When we started producing and making music, our own music kind of followed the same path of crossing genre boundaries and mixing up styles. And that’s what you see in the EP.
Chris: The Swing Break EP was inspired by a few recent discoveries. We had just got into Swing and were playing bits of Electro-Swing in our sets, especially artists such a Parov Stelar, Caravan Palace and of course Odjbox. We realised there was a real link between a lot of dance music and swing – the fact that the beats have this swung groove which gives the music it’s funk and makes you want to move.
The big influence on Rain was house and techno, but combining that sound with more glitchy / filthy edits that you’d hear in bass music.
And then there’s Shere Khan. We’ve all been to India in the last few years and discovered a lot of Bollywood music. We’ve been really inspired by the emotion that comes across in those songs – so we tried to fuse it with bass music. So yeah, loads of influences from our past experiences. We were really inspired and moved by many different styles of music, and then shoehorned those influences into our own dance music.
This release has been hugely playlisted by Culprate for example, and artist that you know well. We’re quite big fans of him, so could you talk about him? Any projects, any collaborations with Culprate in sight?
Chris: We’ve known him for a long time. We’ve seen him develop so much… Obviously now he’s at the very top level of music production.
Kumar: I think we feel very privileged to be friends with Culprate. I personally think that his production level is as the same as Aphex Twin! He’s so next level. Sometimes we just get together, sit with him, asking questions and…
Chris: Yeah. He has very much influenced our sound. The way he makes his noises, the way he does his mix downs, and the way he just puts the tunes together. We very much use that as a benchmark, as a level to aim for.
If we’re in the studio and working on a mixdown or edit we sometimes ask ourselves “What would Culprate do?” because he’s on that kind of level! For example, the edits in Rain were influenced by some stuff that he has done. So yeah, he’s a massive influence, and it’s incredible to see the support and the following that he’s building up.
Kumar: I think hopefully we will do some collaboration together in the future. There’s no immediate plan, but we’ve spoken about it.
Chris: There will be something, I hope. We’re very busy, and he’s very, very busy. But we have spoken about it, so maybe we will hopefully do something together in the future.
Did entering at circus records introduce you to a new status? With maybe more gigs, remix requests, a bigger influence in electronic music?
Kumar: Yeah definitely. The guys of Circus records are really lovely, a safe set of people and really professional. Many labels seem to be ran from home, but Circus has got an office in central London, and a proper team that works for them: it’s a proper company. They are very ambitious, really pushing their sound and business model. They work with major labels, and amazing artists. It’s a label that feels like a kind of family. They really do a lot for their artists.
Chris: It was a big thing, as you said it really has done some good stuff for us in terms of people knowing about us and our music. We’re going to continue to work with them, we’ve just finished a new EP that we have just given to Circus. There are 2 tracks: Jericho ft Million Dan (140bpm) and Dr Pill (130bpm)
So you have an EP on the way! Do you have any international shows, coming out in the next few months?
Chris: Yep – we’ll be playing in Germany, Norway and Scotland and a lot of UK shows lined up. This is our 2nd time in France this year. We’ve got some other projects which are happening at the moment because we’re working with amazing vocalists, but these are projects we can’t really talk about at the moment. Can we?
Kumar: No… (laughs)
Chris: But there’s loads of exciting stuff coming!
You’re posting Live mixing videos, edited by the 3 of you. Is that important for you to have a serious live set to offer?
Chris: Yeah really important. We started as a live act. The production came out from the back of it. Whilst we’d always been very inspired by a small selection of DJs and live acts, we felt that a lot of artists didn’t put so much effort and care into creating a real musical journey and different performance for the audience. That’s where the concept for our live set came from – we always want to create something special for the shows we perform at.
That’s a really important part of our performance. The Clan started off as DJs first, then moved into production. We really put as much as we can in the live shows. Now we’re trying to balance the two, really.
Kumar: We use Traktor Scratch alongside NI Maschine and 2 mixers to control 4 decks. Our sets are a lot more like live sets rather than DJ sets – a really intensive multi genre mash up. Lots of double drops, chopping, reedits and a touch of scratching.
Alright! Could you list a current top 3 tracks or artists that you would like to promote?
Chris: Definitely Culprate, he’s fucking amazing. Have you got a heard on his new EP?
There is this featuring with Torqux…
Chris: …All of that stuff they’ve done together is absolutely incredible. A few other people I’ve been really feeling are Mefjus, Koan Sound, Joe Ford, Billain and Kursa. Got to give a special mention to Torqux and Odjbox too. In terms of more general stuff that we use for melodic inspiration I’d say M83 – first discovered their music on the snowboard movie Art of Flight and was blown away by the sheer epic scale of the tracks.
Kumar: I would say Munchi. He does some really hard but grooving stuff. He’s done some recent remixes of Current Value and Limewax tracks, slow remixes of really hard d’n’b tunes. He’s really sick. And on a deeper tip I’d say John Hopkins is really doing it for me currently.
There’s one track in our set, made by UK hardcore producers, Gammer & Whizzkid. That new tune they created, I’ve never heard anything like it. It sounds like a mixture between Drum’n’ Bass and Dutch house, and it makes everyone go crazy. It’s called Jump.
Chris: We only play a very small amount of Hardcore, maybe teasing the odd little bit with some d’n’b and using it more as a tool. Most of the time we won’t actually let the track drop on its own – we’ll use the builds, fill and edits and double drop / chop / reedit them with a rolling d’n’b tune.There’s now a new generation of UK hardcore producers coming through, very influenced by bass music. So it’s still at the hardcore tempo (similar to d’n’b), but with crazy modern bass sounds, synths and edits that you would hear in Electro, Dubstep and Drum’n’Bass.
Well, thank you very much for this interview. It was great to meet you, we’re big fans! Would you like to say a final word to the audience from Toulouse?
Kumar: Easy guys, it’s been a pleasure, an incredible party; we’re looking forward to coming back again and smashing it again for you!
Special thanks to Kosen Prod and the McMash Clan for this awesome interview!
THE MCMASH CLAN