The influences of Croydon and Dubstep, finding his sound early and gigging with Jauz; an interview with PVC [Interview]


Purple Velvet Curtains, or PVC as he’s known, has been involved in the UK Underground scene for years, crafting an incredibly unique sound that sets him apart from anyone else and makes his productions instantly recognisable. Ahead of the release of his next EP, due out on Southpoint at the end of this month, we caught up with him to talk about his musical roots, Dubstep, and his favourite moments as a DJ.

We first started hearing your music on Marcus Nasty’s show years back, and it immediately stood out from what everyone else was doing – why do you think your sound design was so different from so early?

I guess at the time there really wasn’t many people pushing that kind of 130 Jackin’ House vibe with Bassline; it was either Jackin’ at 130 or Bassline at 140 so big shouts to Marcus for putting tunes like that and myself on the map. I just don’t think there was enough people experimenting, I was young at the time so I really didn’t  think much of it and I almost thought I was the only one using Reason as well. People used to look at me funny when I told them I was strictly Reason and in a sense that kind of made me think I could use things others couldn’t.

What was it that first made you want to get in to making music?

I always had a big passion for mixing music – I had a set of decks by the time I was 13/14 – and wanted my own music to add into mixes ever since. I actually organised a few ‘raves’ (using that word lightly) when I was about the same age just because there was no way for me to play in a proper club. I started making music for fun; growing up in Croydon I kinda took a lot of Dubstep and Garage influences from people around me (Digital Mystiks, Benga + Skream, Monsters etc.) but being in that younger generation it was a lot of watching and learning whenever I could get a chance or whenever I was lucky enough.

With originally being from Croydon, how did the emergence of dubstep have an affect on you?

As mentioned before I was really young at the time compared to the guys that were really coming up. Although I spent my fair few weekends down at Big Apple and even after it shut down it was always a case of kinda soaking it all in and the spending hours each night trying to recreate what I heard that day. With everything my sound evolved to the point I was making strictly 2-step and bass house for a while but couldn’t ever stray from that Dubstep influence which I still think I use in my music now.

Now you’re in Brighton, how does the scene compare with that from the Capital?

Very different. Not in a bad way at all but when I first moved down to Brighton it was an underground music hub that put on events with artists that were fully on the come up – just as a quick example I remember seeing Preditah with 5 people in the rave the first year I landed and it blew my mind. Now seeing him sell out tours is incredible and just shows how ahead of its time Brighton was. I honestly am slowly starting to see that happen again but for a few years there was a big transition in what people wanted down here. I feel London has always been quite consistent and it’s a big enough place that you don’t even have to be looking for a decent rave to find one.

The track that really put you on our radar (and a lot of other people’s) was your bootleg of Ten Walls’ ‘Walking With Rhinos’; how do you think you’ve changed and developed as an artist since releasing that?

Life kicked in big time after I released ‘Walking with Rhinos’ and I’ve taken a few breaks in between then and now. Honestly,  I’ve only started to feel in the last year that I’ve developed into a person I feel comfortable with so I guess my sound develops and changes with me. As an artist I feel like I’m improving and developing daily; I’ve had some great opportunities to work with some crazy people in the last year and learning every step of the way has been an eye opener. With so much more to come it’s exciting to think where the music could go!

You’ve played all over the country and internationally but for those who haven’t had the pleasure of witnessing a PVC set, what can ravers normally expect to hear from you?

Energy, energy, energy.  I love a good party so I like to show that throughout my set! I’m playing a lot of unreleased stuff at the moment from myself and plenty of my pals that seems to turn any place upside down, although I love to throw in a few classics too. I tend to go through the whole spectrum of bass music from UK Bass to Garage to Bassline with some random bits chucked in between. All-round a lot of fun and good vibes.

What’s been your favourite set so far and why?

My favourite set so far would have to be Cross Club in Prague. It was a crazy experience and the club was incredible, topped off by having a restaurant inside the rave which is probably my favourite combo ever. Was with some really nice hosts and the city is just a beautiful place. An honourable mention would have to be a hometown show supporting Jauz at XOYO – to meet the man himself was enough but to play to a sold out show with so many old faces in attendance was special.

With your next release coming out on Southpoint, tell us a bit about your relationship with them and how you put the EP together?

Southpoint have always been my bros from since I moved down here and they started up. It’s been a long time coming for me to be jumping on the label for a release but I feel it’s definitely come at the right time! Everyone on the label I have plenty of time for including my hometown pal Duke who jumped on the release for me with some mad vocals and Bushbaby who has done a killer remix of ‘Trash’ as well. It was very fun putting the whole thing together and I hope it shows.

What’s the general process for a PVC studio session?

The general studio session really depends on who I’m with or the mood I’m in. Typically it starts with a cup of tea with Mary, and then follows with something stronger if the mood takes me… I’ve got so many ideas and voices in my head and a lot don’t really suit this project (PVC) so I write a lot of music that constantly gets me working with other people which is so much fun and obviously very beneficial but I tend to bounce off people a bit and go with the flow. I try and take influences from as many different places as possible and cram them into the PVC side of things which makes things new and relevant. A Deliveroo is essential and so is having just enough utensils around me so I don’t have to move.

Finally, what have you got lined up after the release of the ‘Trash’ EP?

There’s a lot going on this year, some crazy collabs and a lot more vocal work for some special people that I’m fully excited about! I have two singles coming out in the summer and a few bass heavy EPs swinging about in between. I’m also hoping to get PVC out a bit more during the summer so expect some last minute bookings and appearances from myself causing a bit of mischief with my pals.

Also, I’d just like to thank you guys for having me on here, the Southpoint boys for helping me out with this EP and to Duke & Bushbaby for their involvement in making this happen, the love is real!

PVC’s next EP, ‘Trash’, is due for release on Southpoint, 27/04/18. You can hear a couple of tracks from it below

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