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Interview: William Arcane

Like a lot of Londoners, William Arcane hails from the countryside but has thrust himself upon the thick smog that is our capital city, and that transition can be felt in his experimental creations. His infectious, synth driven sound was first showcased in his debut EP Permanence but developed into a more club orientated production on his second release “Reflected”, which received significant support, including that of Jamie xx, who spun the track in numerous mixes. 

However Arcane’s style has once again taken a shift for his latest EP ‘Reckless’. The producer has scrapped modern ways and focused solely on using analogue synths, and re-sampled acoustic sounds something that has been a longtime ambition for the electronic craftsmen.

Signed to the ever on point tastemakers Pictures music, who were behind some of the first releases by Dark Sky, Koreless and Lapalux, the resulting EP rounds up a culmination of Kid A-era Radiohead, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Nils Frahm influences, and highlights the versatility of Arcane’s production skills. We caught up with the him, to discuss the shifting style, live shows and when we can expect a debut full length.

When we last spoke I remember you talking about switching from computers and using a lot of analog hardware – how’s that gone?

Yeah it’s been really something I’ve always wanted to do as most of the records that I really love are made with analogue synthesisers. It just has this rich sound that my ears are drawn to and that really inspires me. It’s something you just cannot replicate with a computer!

You also said that you make a hell of a lot music – was it hard to pick the four tracks for your upcoming release Reckless?

It wasn’t too difficult actually, as I just went for the ones that I liked the most out of what I have been working on lately. I have folders of songs that are titled really silly things like ‘big melody maybe add drums’ so I think the hardest part was remembering what titles matched to what songs! I save naming until right at the end.

Where would you say that your sound is at right now?

It’s at a place I’m really enjoying and experimenting with right now. I think it’s moved in more definitive direction, not intentionally; I’ve just stuck to the mentality of making sounds that I like and enjoying myself.

What was inspiring you during the making of the EP?

London always inspires me. I think it makes my music a little colder than if I lived somewhere more rural. I wasn’t really listening to other electronic stuff at the time as i didn’t want it to influence my own music too much so i was mostly drawing influence from just going to the studio and using what i had to make music and having fun with it.

How long have you been working on it?

I wrote that release in about a month or two I think.

You played a few dates earlier on in the year – how was that?

Yeah I always enjoy the live stuff, it’s just a different ball game to what I usually do. Going from sitting for hour’s alone making noises in a dark room to singing and performing in front of an audience can be quite an abrupt change, but once you get going you really enjoy it and it’s always a good energy in the room, apart from the nerves beforehand!

What else have you got going on at the minute?

I’ve been focusing mostly on writing my own music but I have also been doing some co writing and production for other artists. I recently did a track with Nalepa from the band The Acid called ‘Feel’ which was really cool to do as Steve is a really nice guy and we had a great time making some music together.

As we approach 2015 can we expect a full LP release?

I have started album writing, need to find the right time and place for it though!

And lastly – describe what William Arcane is.

The Echoes of yesterday’s troubles.

Reckless is out now through Pictures music.



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