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Josh Baker on sampling, Manchester’s scene and his party series ‘You&Me’

We sat down with the UK based producer Josh Baker ahead of his ‘Swift Eviction’ EP on Meta

Listen to his premiere track ‘Swift Eviction’

https://soundcloud.com/changeunder/cupremiere-josh-baker-swift-eviction-meta

1. Can you begin by telling me how you first got into producing electronic music, how old were you and what were you interested in?

I got into producing music when I was 17, shortly after visiting the Manchester clubs for the first time. Sankeys was a place where I really fell in love with electronic music spending every weekend in here, seeing the likes of Doc Martin, A Guy Called Gerald and Dubfire. It was from being in the rave so much my passion for house music really ignited, which is what led me to producing. At first I was making music on Logic but soon after I switched to Ableton which is when my journey really began.

2. Your new four track EP ‘Swift Eviction’ is being released on META, and Ben Rau himself labelled you as ‘one to watch in 2019’, you must feel like you have a lot of energy going into next year?

Yes this year has been a real positive after playing some amazing gigs and I am sure 2019 is going to be even better. I have spent a lot of time in the studio over the last couple of years and I am really happy with where my sound is at and 2019 will see a lot of the hard work come to the surface. I respect Ben a lot as a person and for his music, so for him to label me as one to watch for 2019, makes me happy!

3. Could you give me an idea on how you went about creating this EP, could you walk me through the concepts and processes that inspired each track?

So the EP has been in the pipeline for some time. It was last summer when I took a trip to Berlin to see Ben and spend some time in the studio Ben decided to sign the B2 track ‘Buuky’ after I showed to him. The original idea for this track was too make something more ‘wobbly’ and ‘weird’, which i think I succeeded in. The broken beat rhythm and glitchy vocals gives this track a dark tone. Next up we had ‘Everything Together’ which we added to the EP, for this track I wanted to make something more loopy and playable on bigger stages. Then A2 we had ‘Box Of Beats’ which is a more stripped back but driving groove. For this track I wanted to get that bouncy arpeggiated bass as the focus of the track with big build ups. Finally the lead track ‘Swift Eviction’ I made this summer. I actually started this track off with the vocal sample first and wanted to keep the groove quite raw. A lot of the drums in this are sampled from old records and the leads are from my korg minilogue. Its definitely one you’ll remember. 

4. What has the response been like from the tracks on Swift Eviction while playing them out in the clubs?

Really amazing. I first road tested it at The Hills Have Vibes Festival and couldn’t believe the energy it created in the tent. I had a lot of people asking for the track afterwards, which made it feel like a stand out moment within the set. The video of this is actually over on my artist page. It has been supported by from some of the biggest in the game so I am really thrilled. 

5. Sampling features heavily in your music, without giving too much away where do you source your samples and vocals?

Like I previously mentioned, just from old records I will take bits here and there. Also for vocals I have a massive pack of acapellas and vocal snippits which always come in handy or I go on Youtube. There is no secret really…

6. The event brand you curated ‘You&Me’ is one of Manchester’s strongest underground parties, could you talk a little bit about its birth?

So You&Me started back in 2015 after a summer in Ibiza. It was after this point I really knew I wanted to take my DJing to the next level and spread my vision. Me and my good friends Kurt, Dan and Dash all decided the time was right to create a new brand. We started off at a small 150 capacity club called Koh Tao in fallowfield, since then we have gone on to welcome the likes of Dyed Soundorom, Shonky, Subb-an, Enzo Siragusa, Spokenn and Archie Hamilton to name a few.

So You&Me started back in 2015 after a summer in Ibiza. We had a villa for the summer and I probably spent half of my time out there behind the decks round the pool keeping any after party going on for hours. During this time we had a lot of parties as you would expect and this really was when me and the boys realised we had a shared passion for the same music, so decided once we got back to Manchester we would put our heads together and start our own party. Between me, Kurt, Dash & Dan we came up with the name and started our party in a small 150 capacity venue on the outskirts of Manchester. Since then we have around 20 parties under our belt and have welcomed some great artists as guests such as; Ben Rau, Dyed Soundorom, Shonky, Spokenn, Subb-an, Enzo Siragusa, Archie Hamilton, Francesco Del Garda, Luca Cazal, & more. Even though I have played a lot of good gigs over these past couple of years, nothing compares to playing at You&Me, the feeling it gives me playing to my own crowd at my own party can’t be beaten! 

7. Who do you suggest we look out for emerging in the Manchester scene? 

Manchester seems to be really thriving right now with a lot of young, upcoming producers. You definitely need to look out for all of the You&Me residents; Dan Mourino, Jacob Samuel, Seba&Emile, Matt Wide. They all have some amazing music under their belt which will be reaching the surface in 2019 no doubt. 

8. Anything else on the horizon for you release/gig wise that you’d like to share with us?

Next year already has some amazing gigs scheduled in all around the world, but we cannot give away too much just yet. Release wise I will be releasing EPs on PIV, Tamango and also the launch of the You&Me label is on the horizon. Following this I also have a second META EP close to completion and a couple of remixes amongst it all. 

I already have some very nice gigs scheduled for next year around the globe, which I’m majorly excited about but can’t give away too much just yet haha. 

Music wise I will be releasing EPs on PIV, Tamango and also the launch of the You&Me label is on the horizon, which is something that we have been planning for some time, and really can’t wait to share our music with people. Following this I also have a second META EP close to completion and a couple of remixes amongst it all. 

Josh Baker’s ‘Swift Eviction’ EP is out on Meta 25th November 2018.

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