Interview with Polymath

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Be still thy collective beating heart and be prepared for what we thought might never happen: Local DJs at Rockness. I caught up with one of the important local names who is going to make sure that Invernessian electronic music gets taken notice of amongst the obvious giants of the dance scene.

Polymath has been making and mixing music for a while now and seems to be on the verge of a serious breakthrough. Darling of Kissy Sell Out and described by Glasgow’s Synth blog as a ‘techno titan’ can Polymath keep up this hyperbolic moniker and bring the hype to Rockness?

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Speculation aside, sit up and take notice of this guy. If you want heaving electro blended up with glitchy techno and some smooth jamz, Polymath is what has been missing. Far from spreading himself thin, it’s the kind of music that might just define your summer. So be lucky and catch some of those free downloads and read on to see what he’s really all about.

(MD) So you’re playing Rockness this year, you must be seriously chuffed, especially considering the speculation over whether local dj’s would be playing at all. What are your expectations for your set and the festival as a whole?

(P) Yeah i’m chuffed to bits, have been wanting to play Rockness since going to the very first one back in 2006 and it’s great that someone’s finally taken notice that there are good djs in Inverness and its’ only right letting local acts in on a local festival. My expectations for my set, not really quite sure yet but I am pumped up for it and I think it will be an amazing experience to play Rockness. As far as the whole festival goes I’m very excited to see Modeselektor,Dj Shadow, The Chemical brothers, Black Strobe, Boys Noize, Fake Blood and various others. But of course whether I make it to see all these acts will probably be a different story…

(MD) And what can the crowds expect from you? You have such a varying styles and tastes. Will you be going for the bassy electro/techno or more will you play more house?

(P) There will be a lot of bass/techno stuff in there definitely but there will be a lot of other styles there too. I never practice my sets and never plan them which I think as a dj makes it more exciting rather than knowing my set start to finish. I prefer to feed off the crowd and sometimes might drop a few curveballs in there which can really makes sets more memorable. Oh and of course I have a lot of new productions finished that won’t be released for quite a while so there will be lots of new material in my set.

(MD) The inclusion of local DJs into the lineup is clearly a step forward for Inverness and the artists themselves – do you see this talent being properly recognised in the future?

(P) I hope so, as I said before there is a lot of talent in this town and its really great that myself and the other acts have been included but there is so much more here and I hope next year they have a dedicated tent for homegrown acts as there is a lot of talent breaking through in this town.

(MD) How do you think Inverness fits in with the dance music scene Scotland-wide especially with the competition being so great and diverse in Glasgow?

(P) To be honest it’s not the best, but it is getting better and I think most of that is down to Cake being open. Inverness has always needed a club that focuses on underground dance music and Cake is the answer. There’s a lot of negative people who look at it as another Blue/Motion but it’s completely different from what those clubs were. Cake in the end of the day is all about the music and giving people in Inverness a place they can go every weekend to hear some amazing electronic music the other night clubs in Inverness would never play. There has been some amazing nights there I’ve dj-ed at and gone to as a punter and there’s always been a nice warm friendly atmosphere and a great crowd, plus the soundsytem they’ve got is king . I think the next big night there is Gary Beck (Soma) on the first Saturday of July which I know is going to be a big night and I highly recommend it.

(MD) For those who haven’t heard your music (yet), how would you describe it?

(P) Modern electronic acid bassy techno with a housey element and maybe some funk too, probably the best way I can sum it up. I always struggle to describe my music, perhaps because I’m influenced by so many different styles.

(MD) Who influences you the most?

(P) I’ve got so many influences but stand-out ones would be Zombie Nation, Mr Oizo, Dave Clarke, Green Velvet, (Early) Prodigy, Daft punk, Tiga, Sebastian, Vitalic, Das Glow, Soulwax. These are just a few. I reckon I could spend days writing a list of my influences which span a lot of different genres of music but these are just some of the ones I like the best and are the most relevant to my interests.

(MD) You have some pretty interesting samples – where do you find them and what do you look for in a good sample?

(P) I like to listen to a lot of old obscure stuff also things like film soundtracks is where I’ve found a lot of stuff that’s worked, I don’t really think i can put my finger on what i look for in a sample, sometimes i try a lot of random stuff which a lot of the times never works but now and again i get lucky with something. I have actually recently moved away from using samples this year and pretty much all my new tracks/remixes are my own recorded sounds from a lot of great VST instruments i use, im not gonna knock using samples on the head completely because its one of the most enjoyable ways to make tracks and im sure i will have a lot more sample based music in the future.

(MD) You joined MuckMe DJ agency, what has this led to so far and what do you hope will come from this in the future?

(P) Muck is a really exciting project started by a bearded visonary called Paul Mcqueen (PMcQ). It’s only in it’s early days just now but so far it’s allowed me to play Snafu in Aberdeen with Clouds and I did a support slot for Kissy sellout at Club520 in Glasgow, one of my favourite gigs. Just now there is only myself and another act called ‘Botnek’ who are from Canada and are about to explode on the scene and hopefully soon we can get them over to Scotland and do some parties in this country and maybe across Europe too. As I said its still at its early days but it’s very exciting to be involved with and I’m sure for the rest of this year and next year there will be some really great stuff happening. Keep your eyes peeled.

(MD) Do you think you will continue to be based in Inverness or is the rest of the world calling? Do you have your eyes on any labels or collaborations in the future?

(P) Just now I am happy in my hometown but if was to move anywhere to further my career it would easily be Glasgow but in the end of the day Inverness is where I am from and I’m really happy there is a good scene growing here now that I am part of. As far as labels go, I have 2 EPs coming on 2 different and very exciting labels that are ran by some really cool people I am very much looking forward to working with. Can’t really say much more than that at this time but it is big.

(MD) Finally, how is the new EP going?

(P) The new EP is called ‘Curve’ and will be released on Glasgow label ‘3rd Abstract Records’ around the end of July. It features 3 original tracks and a remix from a very talented upcoming producer from Inverness called Planisfear. I have just finished mastering it myself and there should be some previews of the tracks included on my soundcloud page very soon.



Megan Donald

A notefrom the editor

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Chris Lemon
Chris Lemon
A lifelong passion for music matched with a geeky fascination for social media and websites resulted in the creation of Inverness Gigs back in 2010. The aim of the site is to help promote, support and generally raise awareness of the local music scene.In fairness fifteen years of being a psychiatric nurse never prepared me for the experiences that we have had over the last few years and the evolution of Inverness Gigs has certainly been a steep learning curve.I currently write (less and less), edit and co-ordinate most of the Inverness Gigs activities.Occasionally seen on Twitter, and  LinkedIn, if you want get in touch you can contact me via our Facebook page.