Tuesday, 6 May 2008
Pic: Derek Djons
2562 Is My Number
When Toots and The Maytals sung about the number 54-46 on their 1960s hit ‘54-46 That's My Number’, it was an all too common tale of oppression and police brutality in Jamaica. Fast-forward to 2008, The Hague, Holland, and Dave Huisman aka 2562 is a man very much carving out his own image of identity and freedom through his music. As his barcode-esque nom de plume, 2562, (pronounced twenty-five sixty-two) 28-year-old Huisman crafts swirling, crackling tech-infused dubstep, and his forthcoming debut album for the Tectonic imprint, Aerial, is a pregnant, swollen beast full of electronic warmth, filtered and phased pads and plenty of textured attention to detail. Indeed with Aerial, Huisman has succeeded in pushing dubstep right to the margins, working in the grey, cracked areas between techno, broken beats and hip hop.
Whilst his previous production incarnations as the broken beat inspired Dogdaze and more techno focused A Made Up Sound have clearly honed his skills, it has been Huisman’s two 12" releases on Pinch's Tectonic label which has garnered support across the musical map. The likes of Kode 9, Pole, T++, Laurent Garnier, Akufen and Gilles Peterson are known to rotate 2562 beats and his long player can only help launch this burgeoning talent onto higher planes. ATM caught up with the Dutch fusionist to talk influences, 80s R&B and making the album.
What is the story behind your name 2562? Is it your postcode or a lucky number?
“Yes, it's my zipcode in The Hague.”
What was your relationship with music like when you were growing up? Who were your major influences?
“I've been into dance music for as long as I can remember, I can't explain why. My friends or family weren't, it's always been my own fixation really. As a kid I used to check out the club charts, listen to house and techno and hear local underground radio from a nearby
town on the weekends. Later came buying records in Amsterdam, reading music magazines, discovering jungle and other kinds of music. It never stopped; I'm always on the hunt for new sounds. My musical influences are too many to mention. I let myself be influenced
by anything I hear; even crap can have its one interesting moment or a sound I can sample. I'd say Detroit techno, Basic Channel and '98-'02 broken beat are the main inspirations though.”
How did you start making music? When were the seeds sown?
“I had been thinking of making music for years, but I used to be put off by the thought of learning how to use gear and software. I'm a bit left-handed technically; I didn't even own a PC until I was well into my twenties. Then I forced myself onto a MIDI-course, basically forgot everything I learned there, bought a computer and an analogue synth and taught myself to produce music. That was five years ago.”
When ‘Channel Two’ and ‘Kameleon’ came out on Tectonic there was massive interest and almost frenzied consumption of the tracks. Your richly textured records stood out from the dubstep pack and even made a sizeable impact on the techno world. What was the inspiration behind these twelves?
“I usually get my inspiration from other music. No doubt from life itself as well, but that happens on a less conscious level. Late 2005, I was really excited when I discovered tracks such as ‘28grams’ or ‘Mood Dub’ because they represented a whole new kind of music to me. I hesitated for a while before getting involved with this 'dubstep' thing ’cos I didn't want to jump someone else's train, but I figured if I bring my own musical background and preferences into play, I would come up with different music anyway.
“That's what I usually do; absorb and process elements from all kinds of music I love and fuse them into something I feel comfortable calling my own. ‘Channel Two’ has some broken beat elements to it. ‘Circulate’ started life as a techno track which I stripped and
reworked. And ‘Kameleon’ was supposed to be a beatless piece, until I started playing with a few bongo hits and got carried away.”
And how did it end up in Pinch's hands and on the Tectonic label?
“I sent him a couple of tracks late 2006; ‘Channel Two’ was his fav off the first CD and we took it from there. He's been the best support I could have, I'm very happy with being on the label as it avoids tried and tested formulas. It's not about shifting units, every release is
How did the idea for an album come about?
“Pinch asked if I'd be interested in doing an album early on, but there was no pressure as his and Cyrus's albums were still to come. I just kept making tracks without consciously working on an album until after last summer. From then on I started compiling and writing music that I felt was still needed in order to make it work as an album. Obviously an album should be something you can listen to from start to finish, not just any collection of good tracks. I wanted it to be rhythmically varied and have a good flow with ups and downs, tied together by a certain sound as the common factor. You can expect it to drop late spring as a 2x LP/CD, preceded by a 12" with two exclusive tracks. I'm really looking forward to the release.”
Is the extended canvas of the long player giving you a chance to expand your sound and play with fresh ideas?
“Not necessarily, although there are a few tracks I wouldn't have made if it wasn't for the album. But I tried to come with a new idea with every track, otherwise I'd lose the fun. For the same reason I don't often work with the same sounds twice. It's time consuming because I'm sampling and tweaking my ass off, but I find it much more rewarding in the end.”
Did you have a local broken beats/ techno scene?
“I haven't been part of a scene really, but I went out to various techno, D&B and broken beat nights in Rotterdam over the years. Also in Amsterdam the crew around Rush Hour Records puts on really good events in Paradiso with quality house and techno, broken beat, hip hop, funk, disco and what not all mixed up.”
What is your secret musical love, which you never tell anyone because you are a little bit embarrassed of it?
When you say you like 80s R&B - are you talking about Bobby Brown and Cameo or more boogie style tunes ala Leroy Burgess?
“I actually had in mind classics such as (SOS Band) ‘Just Be Good To Me’ and ‘Saturday Love’, but indeed Leroy Burgess productions such as ‘Weekend’ is a good example as well. Although the latter is not really a guilty pleasure, just good music.”
You have a rich palette of sounds within your production, so what other artists are you feeling at the moment?
“Shed, Quantec, Convextion, Andy Stott and Flying Lotus to name just a few contemporary favourites. Within dubstep I really dig the work of guys like Martyn, Kode9, Burial, Peverelist, Pinch, Mala, Headhunter and Untold among others.”
‘Aerial’ is out on Tectonic in June ’08. For more info check: www.myspace.com/2562dub
This interview is also published in ATM Magazine and on www.3barfire.com