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In Conversation: Artwork

In Conversation: Artwork

As Artwork prepares for the winter season of events and festivals which sees him appearing at the likes of Warehouse Project on Halloween as well as visiting the Alps for Rise Festival in December, we caught up with the man himself and talked Ibiza, turning DJ booths into living rooms and more.

Hi Arthur, how you doing?
Im just dandy thanks…

You have been doing a few parties at Pikes in Ibiza and also in Dalston this summer called Art’s House. Can you tell us a bit about them and whom you’ve had over to play?
Well it started when we were sitting around talking rubbish at some after party, talking about how Twitter had become mostly DJs telling people to come to a party they were playing at so I decided to turn it on its head and take a party to someone's house. I asked people if they wanted this and we picked someone,  took a full club to their kitchen, decks, sound system, lasers, smoke machines,TEED, Skream, Route94 and some beers and whatnot. It was pretty on top as it was a Wednesday in a very residential area but we got away with it till around 12 I think. Then The Nest asked us if we wanted to do it there, so we did four twelve hour parties that started on a roof garden, then went onto The Nest at night, we had PBR Streetgang, Simeon Mobile Disco, TEED, Jasper James, Dan Daxon, Skream, Waifs and Strays, anyone that was around at the time really. All the guests are un announced as I wanted it to be about going to a good party and knowing you were going to have a good time, rather than just looking at a list of names and maybe going to see one person you like, not that there is anything wrong with that way of doing it, I just wanted a different vibe.

And how did the idea come about to turn the DJ booth into a living room at The Nest?
It was to try and make it feel a little more like a house party and not just a normal club, it turned out to be so much work that I swore at least once every minute that I would never do anything like this again, but I think it was worth it. I think the first 20 minutes of the night are the most important, the first 10 people through the door see this surreal front room that we are in and they are like “what the fuck is this” and it creates a buzz, the next 50 or 100 walk and feel that and it spreads and sets the night up so well. I think some clubs have forgotten how important that first hour is.

artwork living room  
There have been quite a lot of special gigs over the summer, from all night long sets to XOYO’s 3rd Birthday. Were there any standout moments for you at any of these?
To be honest they are all a bit of a blur. We did blow up 400 balloons with laughing gas to give out and had 99 red balloons ready to play but they all deflated in an hour which was a very sorry sight, should have paid more attention in science I guess. But, long sets are my passion now, although I have done a lot of festival shows recently and you have an hour and it freaks you out a bit. You have to think so much more about an hour set than you do a six hour set and you would think it would be the other way round.

XOYO and The Nest seem to have been particularly resonant throughout your career. Do you hold a hold a special place in your heart for them?
Yes absolutely, I played a couple of times at XOYO then Andy Peyton, one of the only promoters I know that stands and watches every DJ for at least half their set and is constantly running around telling lighting engineers to add more smoke or change the mood to match a change in the music, watched me play and asked me to play all night upstairs. It was him that put me in The Nest for Arts house. I owe him a lot as he really put his money where his mouth is and took a risk doing those parties, what he’s done with making Jasper James Resident at Phonox on Saturday nights, it's a bold move, and its paid off. To be honest I’m only saying this because I get shit loads of free drinks when I go to any of these clubs.


A new track of yours Let Go Of My Acid has been getting some serious big ups recently, with Jackmaster using it in his Essential Mix and it being named one of the highlights at Seth Troxler’s Acid Future. Do you have plans to release this?
Yes I do, but you have to remember I’m old. Yeah I know, I know, you are saying I can’t be over 30 but I am, and it seems that some producers will finish a track and its out for sale three days later. When I started out you would hear someone play a record and it would take 2 months to find out what it was, and you would have to wait to see that DJ to hear it, and you had that excitement when you heard it coming in, then the hunt would be on to find it. That’s why I have left it a year or so with only a handful of people with it. The other reason is I’m a lazy f**ker and haven’t done a B side.

As you’re musical taste has evolved throughout Magnetic Man and as a solo artist, would you say you still try to incorporate influences from the styles you’ve left behind in what you play and make or do you try and look forward rather that back?
Im constantly stealing things I’ve done in the past as I’ve made a lot of different styles of music. I remember taking garage vocals and putting them in techno records for the grain stuff and taking techno sounds and putting them in Artwork records like red. Also other people can’t have a go at me for stealing off them as I am fair and only steal from myself. Will that stand up in court?

Do you still make dubstep tunes at all in your studio?
No, I’m too busy doing this B side…

How do you see your style developing even further into the future?
I have no Idea, I’ve never had a plan, it's kind of worked out so far.

On 31st October you are playing at Bugged Out’s Halloween stint at The Warehouse Project alongside the likes of Carl Craig, Tiga and Skream. What can we expect from you here?
The B side of Let Go Of My Acid world exclusive ….TAH DAHHH!  Seriously though, Warehouse (Project) is my favourite place to play. Ive been playing music to people for 20 years and when that place goes off there is nothing like it on earth, the crowd are super clued up on their music as well, what better place to be? It would be so bad if it goes down like a lead balloon now. Right, I better get on with finishing it.

Will you be in fancy dress?
F**king right!

Interview by Josh Plews
Images courtesy of The Rest Is Noise, XOYO and The Warehouse Project 
In Conversation: Artwork

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