City veteran making his mark on global scene
Lanarkshire Live speaks to Animal Farm DJ Quail on his rising global status, working for Soma, his Inverse debut and setting up home in East Kilbride.
We hear you are now a fully fledged East Kilbridian and about to become a new dad. Is this the reason for setting up home in the town? Pretty much, yeah. We’d been on the hunt for a while and lots of places had popped up in the area we now live and we were lucky to get something fairly quick.
It turned out to be a fairly painless process in the end so quite happy with that. My wife has family in the area too so that is handy with the impending arrival.
And you’re now just along the road from the Arts Centre, where you’ll be headlining Inverse for the first time. Are you looking forward to the gig?
Yeah, definitely. It’ll be handy to actually be able to walk home in five minutes rather than the long wait/ journey in taxis.
The guys seem to be on to a good thing with Inverse so I’m pleased to be asked to play at something that obviously means a lot to the guys behind it. How did the booking come about and what can we expect from your set? It was actually a mutual friend of myself and promoter John Bishop, Dave Clarke (Soma/Slam Events), who suggested we get in contact with each other as I was moving up to East Kilbride and John was promoting parties up there.
I’m not massively familiar with the area or the folk there so thought it would be a great opportunity to meet people up there who love techno as well.
I guess I’ll just do my usual thing but I hear the crowd are pretty in-theknow so I’ll have to be on top form. You’re set to make your debut in Berlin at the Suicide Club later this month. Do you feel this milestone cements your status as a more established artist? It’s certainly helped make me feel that the hard work and effort is paying off and that I’m considered worthy of being asked to play over in Berlin for sure.
I feel I’m still finding myself in terms of my production work, which has been a little slow of late, but with a new studio being put together I’m certainly progressing in the right way. What other stand-out events/festivals have you got coming up over the next few months, both on your own and with Animal Farm? As well as the usual Animal Farm/Headstrong at Sub Club and The Art School there’s some really exciting things coming up over the next couple of months.
I’m taking a trip over to Malta for the first time in May to play for the Scale Factor event and then the following week Animal Farm play at the Riverside Festival, where we open the Soma25 stage on the Saturday. We’ve played the Riverside (including previous incarnations of The Electric Frog) a couple of times now and it’s great to see this really taking off. The line-up this year is huge and it’s amazing to be a part of it.
I’m also playing at The Club, Paisley, which is new incarnation of the legendary Club69. Always a great vibe in there. You’re now working with the Soma team. What similarities are there with working at Soma, running Animal Farm and tell us about about the experience you have gained working at one of the biggest underground labels in the world? All the skills I need to run Animal Farm Records I’ve learned at Soma. It’s been invaluable. Glenn, Dave and the Slam guys are a real inspiration for not just me but loads of aspiring label owners I think.
They’ve never compromised on quality and it really shines through on Soma and their ethos has what’s kept them going for 25 years now. It’s a fantastic place to work. It’s really chilled and there’s a real creative atmosphere flowing all the time. With such a small team we have fun but always get the job done Returning guests for AF include Ben Klock as well as newer underground acts like Blue Hour. What do you look for when you book someone to play at an AF party? The guests we have are always on the cutting edge of the scene. We’ve always looked to the bigger names and the emerging ones as well and tried to strike that balance of the artists everyone knows and the ones who are more for the heads.
Being DJs ourselves, we’re always hunting for the new talent so we’ve been lucky to pick out some of the newer guys just before they’ve went big time.
Rødhåd and Kobosil are two of the most recent ones who debuted in Scotland through us up to three years ago and are now really making their mark on the techno world. What’s your process for finding talent and what kind of musical style do you look for on an AF release? It’s got to be techno. I mean, there’s varying strengths but, as we play fairly tough, we do tend to pick out the more edgier material. We are looking at some more atmospheric releases but we’re really focusing on the dance floor It’s a great thing. I think it will only benefit the scene as a whole if people feel they’ll have a platform to showcase themselves locally and be able to get involved with at different levels. The closure of the Arches was a real blow to the dance community in Glasgow but, as ever, the city and its clubbers have rallied behind something they’re passionate about and haven’t let the spirit die. Places like the Sub Club, SWG3 and The Art School, promoters and punters alike, keep the fire burning bright.
In demand And now in East Kilbride Your track‘Blunt’features on the Soma compilation album. Can you tell us about that and how you feel about appearing on such a legendary label with so many other talented Scottish artists such as Gary Beck? Inverse has brought the underground sound of Glasgow’s Sub Club and the Arches closer to home for Lanarkshire fans of house and techno. Do you think this emerging local scene is a good thing, especially following the closure of the Arches?