After his killer record on our ITX series, Etch delivers number 61 of our podcast series. His approach to DJing is as far flung as his inspirations for production, seamlessly moving up and down different styles creating an exciting and varied amalgamation of sounds. Enjoy!
Hello Zak how are you and what have you been up to recently?
Yo! thanks for having me guyz – I’m as ok as ok can be given current circumstances in the UK I guess. I think the ‚what have you been up to‘ question during lockdown has become comically similar to everyone haha. I’ve just been working at my day job then making music basically consistently since this all started. It’s given me quite a nice excuse to stay in learning new things production-wise and discovering new music which I can’t complain about too much – but i do really really miss clubs and djing.
You live in Brighton. How would you describe the situation there at the moment?
I dunno Brighton is a bit of a weird one for me; I’m kinda stealing this quote from one of my friends but it was a wonderful place to grow up and come of age in but its not that fun to live in… It’s dance/electronic music scene feels like its been in constant disintegration since the early 2010’s, let alone how things are this moment with COVID shutting everything down. Not to say there weren’t always good nights here and there but… Yeah. – I’m a bit of a pessimist by nature, but theres a glimmer of optimism that I hope after all this is over there will be some sort of fire that ignites in Brighton and the rave scene will go back to its former glory.
2020 was a pretty crazy year. How did you cope with it and would you like to share anything you discovered during this time that helped you like music, books, movies, food, thoughts or whatever?
2020 was insane. & I can’t believe things are almost getting more insane again especially in the UK, the news everyday im just like „really… this is happening…“. But 2020 as a whole it’s like; on a personal level so much happened, I lost my nan, I lost my girlfriend, I lost one of my best friends to a drug overdose and thats just my personal problems which were then put under a magnifying glass by the COVID situation; strangely enough one of the main things that kept me on track, because I have the tendency to fall off track, was having a regular day job to keep me in a routine, which sounds very mundane but you kind of need that structure. Musically it was a great year for me, working with yourselves, Seagrave, Sneaker Social Club, EC2A etc… – I got so much done and I discovered so many things musically especially, I’ve loved going down rabbit holes of music or art and cinema movements since I had access to the internet; so more free time and time spent at home really brought out the teenager in me again which creatively speaking was great. But yeah 2020 has taught me to appreciate alot of things I used to take for granted and its also strengthened my work ethic I think, I’ve started to invest more in music aswell, buying equipment and really learning software to the core etc…
What annoys you or has pissed you off lately?
The police. Hashtags. The royal family. Compa. Someone hacking my PSN account. Trying to complete Resident Evil 0 on hard mode.
What excites you besides music?
I’m very VERY easily excitable; I’m kind of like a quiet person trapped in a loud persons body – so it doesn’t take a lot to set me off; I get really passionately invested in things that probably have very little interest to other people. I love films, I kinda got off track with film and cinema for a while because I was so focussed on music but I’ve been catching up and been in tears, laughter, fear and shock regularly because of some great films I’ve been watching. & of course I’m the biggest nerd on the planet and video games just keep on keepin‘ on. I’m a 100% type gamer, I play a game, then I play it again until it can be played no more – but even outside of those 2 core things (plus music) – I really love seeing people who are as passionately invested in things as I am, so if I’m talking to someone about something typically I’d not care about in the slightest but I can see they have this huge passion for it, it wins me over, I love it, I love seeing peoples weird little quirks and things that really get them going.
Anything coming up you want to share with us? Any shout-outs or final statements?
Man… So many things coming up musically speaking. Where I just never stop, things never stop getting released, even though i’m relatively unconfident in sending music out to people, I hold a lot back, then it will take me to the point of getting drunk and being like „fuck it“ and sending like 50 tunes in one go to people. But yeah so I have music with Sneaker Social Club, Hypercolour, an amazing label called T3mpo who have released music from my heroes such as Source Direct, DJ Krust and DJ Trace and I have a sort of… conceptual hip hop/beats record coming out on Purple City which is a follow up to my psychedelic beat excursions on the label back in 2016 (Cosmic B-Boy) – so yeah it’s never not all systems go with me. I just can’t wait to hear tracks and play tracks in clubs and at events again. Shout out to all my mates for constantly putting up with my neverending fuckry (it will end one day) – the Zenker Brothers, Jamie & Jo Russell, Tim Seagrave, Parris and just everyone who’s played and supported my tracks over the past couple of years, it means the world to me and always does, I’ve always believed in legacy over hits, so it’s nice when people study my body of work and discover stuff from the past and re-contextualise it.