#033 – Counterpoint
For guest mix #033, we’ve come full circle in many ways. We can’t even remember when it was, 2011 maybe? but our second ever guest mix was a drum and bass mix provided by Edd Campbell-Rowntree, aka 10 Below. In the present day, we’re delighted to welcome him back to the fold for the debut mix and interview under his brand new techno alias Counterpoint. In the years following that first mix, Edd has diversified and transformed his style, gaining inspiration from the softly squelching, subterranean techno of Berlin and Eastern Europe, and it is an influence that beams through his mix like a lighthouse beacon on a dark night. In our interview we chat origins, directions, and futures, before he takes us beyond the event horizon of his new musical vision with a mix that can only be described as stunning. Enjoy!
I’ve been well, lads. Thank you for having me back!
Slightly mental is a fitting description for me also. There seems to be a lot of time between now and then! That was 5 years ago!
That’s right, From September I’ll be down at King’s College studying Music. The word ‘Music’ is pretty broad, but the course is concerned mainly with classical music and learning about techniques of composition and analysis, as well as a few other things. It’s an interest I’ve had for a long time, which is basically why I’ve decided to do it!
I’d say my tastes have changed dramatically. Obviously the mix I’ve created has no drum and bass to be found, which is a real contrast to anything I’ve done previously, but I’ve always listened to many different genres of music and still enjoy doing so.
Like most people now, I learnt a lot of what I know about techno through the internet. I think when I went to my first techno party, I found the atmosphere so different to that of a drum and bass party that it felt like I was at my first ever club night. Without sounding cheesy, every time I have been to fabric I have left feeling very inspired musically which has also pushed me to start making some music.
To be honest, I just lost interest in it, which is a shame. It’s still an incredible genre of music with many extremely talented DJ’s and producers to be found. Everything on Critical music is always excellent, especially anything from Ivy Lab. Although, I think the recent end to Renegade Hardware is a real blow to the scene.
I have been producing, although only a few people have heard what I’ve been doing. I’m just taking my time with everything and not rushing it. My process is changing constantly, as I’m still finding what works best for me. I usually start with drums and continually layer from a large selection of samples, then bring in some synths (mainly Absynth), but it really is arbitrary. However, 4am is peak inspiration time!
I really don’t think it is necessary at all. There are too many examples of incredible producers who have little or no classical background. As for myself, it’s helped with theoretical and harmonic elements of a track, but it really does nothing for a mixdown! Besides, I think a lot of dance music works on a totally different basis to that of classical music. It would be nice to see more people actively interested in classical music, but conservatism behind the scene puts many people off, which I understand, but I still think it’s a shame!
I like a lot of techno coming from Bucharest, Romania, from producers like Barac and Dubtil. It has a very natural sound to it which I really like. Anything on Berghain, Ostgut, Mosaic, Shushitech is great. Stroboscopic Artefacts is a label run by Lucy in Berlin, which I think is a must listen for everyone, especially anything from Xhin. Opal Tapes also release some really interesting music. Edmondson in South London has been making some fantastic music as of recent also. Outside of dance music, anything by Tim Hecker is absolutely incredible.
I took a year out after school to attempt to learn a second language, as it’s skill I’ve always found very fascinating. Obviously I chose German and spent some time studying at language schools in Vienna and Berlin. It has been very special to visit these places and get a real insight into the culture as well as meeting some amazing people along the way!
Yes! I think it’s a great idea, but you can start using it in conversations first! The German word ‘Unterirdisch’ (underground) may also work!
The questions we ask everyone…
An old pressing of The Richard D. James album.
Tough question. Burial – Archangel.
Heaven: prawn toast.
Hell: goats cheese.
Start drinking coffee.
Too much love for Crash, he’d own it!
Such a hard question, which I don’t have a definite answer to, but I can only hope to be doing something music related. However, I can be certain that I will have finished my degree and possibly be living in another country!
I find the sound of the whole language pretty cool, so it would be hard to pick a single word based on the way it sounds, but there are some words in German which we have no words for in English, like ‘Fremdschämen’, which means to feel shame/embaressment for someone else’s wrongdoing. Also ‘Weltschmerz’, which describes that specific feeling of melancholy you feel when the world is just too much for you. German!
It’s always a pleasure guys, thank you again for the opportunity. I hope you enjoy the mix! Just a few shouts to all my friends and the people I’ve met while travelling who’ve given me support, Dirk Gently, The Practitioner, Mudfoot Blaps, Turbulence crew and everyone else who I’ve forgotten. Thank you!