This week we turn our behind the booth sites to half of experimental electronic outfit FUR, Bryce Isbell.
Isbell has only been DJing for a couple of years, but is hardly an amateur. Over the past two years, alongside creative partner Gray St. Germain Gideon, Isbell has had a couple weekly DJ nights, and played opening sets for national acts such as Black Mouth Super Rainbow, Neon Indian, and Hercules and Love Affairs' Jessica 6.
As for his style, Isbell fuses together an eclectic selection of sources and sounds, "Our sounds are largely visual and atmospheric with a sort of ever changing quality that is mostly indefinable".
Make sure to check out Bryce's Q&A after the jump. Having just gotten back from touring, Isbell wasn't able to get his exclusive mix into us. Instead have a listen to this previously released mix, which had a hand from Gray St. Germain Gideon and features an unreleased demo by FUR ("Hai") and the B-side off FUR's recently released Polybreak 7-inch.
How long have you been DJing?
How did you get your start DJing?
My roommate at the time, Gray St. Germain Gideon (previously of Ghosthustler), now a full-time member in FUR, taught me how to DJ using Ableton Live. Our other roommate, a vinyl DJ, Ops Esponja, taught me some of the aesthetic of vinyl and CD DJing as well.
What was your first gig like?
It's hard to say what our first gig was exactly, Gray and myself have had a weekly DJ night at both Rubber Gloves and Haileys. We did a DJ set for the Black Moth Super Rainbow show around that time, one with Neon Indian at Rubber Gloves for NX35, and technically I played our first live PA with Jessica 6 at Hailey's. So I'm not totally sure when exactly our first DJ set/live show was....
Who/what are some of your biggest influences musical or otherwise?
Beethoven, Boards of Canada, and Jean-Luc Godard (just to mention a few).
Which DJs do you follow? Do you have a favorite?
Not really, I don't really listen to a lot of DJs. I'm a big fan of Shlomo's mixes, the Fabric Live mixes, specifically Akufen's contribution, and some of the Low End theory stuff coming out of LA.
What's your favorite genre of music, both to play and to listen to?
I can't say really, I like blending genres; Hip Hop, IDM, Ambient, Microhouse, Disco, etc.
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How do you decide what songs you're going to play?
It's mostly pending on the gig, if it's chill, we'll play more of a lounge style DJ set, if it's a club, we obviously aim to keep a higher level of energy throughout. We try hard to avoid playing the same songs at different shows and we try to keep a steady rotation of unique tracks.
How much preparation goes into putting a set together?
It varies per show or mix. We may put an hour into preparing for a live DJ set, a month on a live show, and a week on an radio mix, etc.
What are your main objectives when it comes to playing music? Are you looking to entertain the crowd, educate them, or something different altogether?
Again, this is something that varies pending on the show. But as a rule, we try to stay away from songs that people are familiar with.
What can someone expect when they come to see/hear you play?
Trippy ear-to-mind stimulations.
What kind of equipment do you use?
We have a low-key setup that consists of a mixer, two laptops, and occasionally live synths, drums, etc.
Requests. Love em or hate em?
It's like, "hey man, can you play something I like? Like Justin Timberlake/Madonna mash-up featuring Brittney Spears?" My answer, "no." That goes for most requests....
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If you could play a gig anywhere, with any other DJ/music act, whom would you play with and where would it be?
We (Gray and I) would love to get into the LA beat scene and play some shows out there, I've also acquired some friends in Paris, France who are doing well in the DJ racket out there. That being said, we'd love to do a European tour consisting of live shows and DJ sets throughout.
What sets you apart from other DJs in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth?
I feel like we don't settle for what's "hip" in the scene and spend a huge part of our time trying to dig through the endless archive of music on the internet and provide our listeners with the most unique and fresh experience possible. And 9 times out of 10, that's what happens, and people almost always love hearing new things that they're into, especially when they didn't realize they were ever into it in the first place. Re-imagining "hip", I suppose.
When/where will you be playing next?
It's looking like we'll be playing an unofficial showcase in New York at CMJ with Baths, Millionyoung, and Sunglasses, among other artists. That's sometime in October, we're still working out the details though.
What can Dallas expect to see from you in 2010?
FUR will be releasing a split EP with new Planet Mu signees, a Dublin duo called, Solar Bears. You'll also be seeing several official remixes including a remix of the Fol Chen's track, "The Holograms." You'll be seeing a cassette release through Way Slow Tapes at some point in 2010, and our full-length toward the end of the year or the beginning of 2011. In short, lots of new music and shows.