A mid-week treat arrives in the form of SSFB Mix Series #22, a delightful mix brought to us by Fergus Clark, one of the founding members of Glaswegian collective 12th Isle. The man of the hour gives us the skinny on what’s cooking in his life.
Hi Fergus, what’s good?
Hi! Settling back into routine after being away the past month. Shortly after seeing you guys at the festival in June, I was down in London to do Farr before heading straight over to Vancouver to start a North American tour. It was really quite beautiful to see that side of the world for the first time and be able to connect with so many people through music. Massive gratitude to everyone who made it possible and everyone I got to play with! Lootman and Deep Blue / Pender Street Steppers in Vancouver, Yohei, Daniel, Raf Reza and the Invisible City Crew in Toronto, the extended Temple family in Montreal and Nathan & Naoko, Palto Flats, Commend, Extra Water and the Nowadays / Mister Saturday Night guys in New York. Way more names to mention but I’ll keep it brief… Now I’m finally back home and in the process of moving and applying for masters degree.
You are one of the founders of 12th Isle – a record label, party starter and DJ collective. Can you tell us more about how this came together?
Yes, there are four of us running the record label and a couple of us actively DJing. Originally we got together when I was working at a radio station. I interviewed Stewart & Al when they applied for a show. Guess we hit it off and shared a lot of the same interests and we began to play out together and started up a regular night with our friend King Heroin. Recently we’ve been hosting less parties and tend to DJ more for other people, concentrating on expanding the label. Right now I would say that feels more important and more rewarding.
What do you do in your spare time if not working on music?
Most of my time is spent looking for or listening to music. To make ends meet I’ve been working in a record shop and doing occasional shifts at the Rubadub warehouse which has been nice. Glasgow is a place that can afford you a fair bit of spare time if that’s what you’re looking for. My time has also been split between reading and researching academic interests as well as swimming, going to the gym and playing shows in other cities. I think that most of my life consciously revolves around music.
Have you always been into music or was this something that came into play at a later stage?
All my life! It has been the constant thing that has helped shape my world view and my relationships. It helps me make sense of my surroundings. Though there was probably some sort of musical explosion in my late teenage years when it really became a driving force in dictating the path I’d follow regarding education and work.
Any future releases with 12th Isle you’re working on that we need to keep an eye on?
We just got the masters back for an LP that we’ve been working on since we began the label, so needless to say that’s a pretty special one for us. It’s an 8-track album by a group called Pataphysical; they performed at the night we hosted at Cafe Oto and I believe they also played at a Hessle Audio birthday party last year. This will be their first release and we’re super grateful for their patience. There’s one track called Purlo Flute which I’ve been playing nonstop. You can hear a few forthcoming label tracks in the mix – in fact the first three tracks are all due out late this year or very early next year. The opening piece is by Dmytro Nikolaienko, a friend of mine in Kiev who runs the always interesting Muscut label. It will be the A1 on a various-artists 12″ we are releasing that also features music from Robert Bergman, Luar Domatrix, Grim Lusk etc. Second in the mix is a recording by Tarotplane, whose album for 12th Isle is just about to be mastered, and the long downtempo jam with all the crazy field recordings and cut up film samples is the Grim Lusk track which you’ll find on the v/a.
Also coming soon on the label we have an LP from our good friend Best Available Technology, a new school digi-dub EP from local friend Lo Kindre and various other bits which I’ll need to keep quiet for now. 2019 will be a busy year though!
Incredible mix! Can you tell us some more about the music in it?
Aside from the 12th Isle related music I’ve included some bits and pieces that are close to my heart. First, I must mention the previously unreleased Robert Rental track, taken from a cassette tape that his widow had held on to for all these years. Growing up in Scotland his music has meant a lot to me since I was a teenager and I couldn’t believe it when I first heard the cuts from the tape. There are also some eccentric but hopefully danceable tracks from Boyd Jarvis and Hieroglyphic Being as well as a crazy old electronic jazz thing by Notorische Reflexe. My friends Lo Kindre and MR TC made a record for Neubau recently which I’ve been playing out loads, so I also put that in the mix. Alongside newer electronic bits there are some acoustic and electro-acoustic recordings from Lori Vambe and Origami Arktika and a seriously lengthy avant-garde chamber music type composition which I found on an old Greek CD from the 90s. The wave track at the end of the mix is by international man of mystery Dennis Curley who released some insanely rare records under the name Cerebral Hemorrhage. I hope somebody can properly re-release his music one day.
Any last words?
Thanks for asking for the mix and for showing an interest in what we do!
Thank you Fergus! The pleasure is ours.
Photo credits: Ewan McQuillan