Interview with producer and hardware beat kingpin Davey Harms
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  • Post published:20/05/2021
  • Post last modified:20/05/2021

Providence-based producer and hardware beat kingpin Davey Harms has dropped a brand new album “World War”, released on the 21st of February.

“World War” offers one of his most coherent and precisely dialled-in programs to date, as his production tactics expand to include a wider arsenal of percussion tones and dynamic narrative arcs within the space of any single track.

See our exclusive interview with him below:

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

Creating art is the easiest and cheapest way for me to get myself into a state of pure flow/concentration/ touch the eye of God. 

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

Always the sound, once I’m done with a track I rarely have any idea of how it’s been made / recollection of the decisions used to make it.  A side product of this sort of a fluid process is my idea of what the finished tracks mean ends up being alien/revealing to myself. By working through to the end I exorcise the concept from the deliberate portions of my mind.   

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Nope.

What’s on your current playlist?

Lots of Dub and African music, been obsessed with this track ‘Plant Up’ by Prince Far I. 

 Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, Amara Toure, Tal National, King Sunny Ade, Horace Andy, Sly and Robby, Duppy Gun productions, and I’ve been listening to this band The Armed a lot, which is like a mix between post-hardcore and Andrew WK / Dan Deacon.  I’ve also been listening to ‘Deja Vu’ by Crosby Stills Nash and Young on a daily basis.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

Most shows I play I’m on the floor, a good one will get really chaotic where you feel like you’ve created a perfect mind-meld with the audience, no stray thoughts can get in the way of the music, a great one you’re struggling to keep the gear on the table.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

I tend to try and get rid of any melodies that I come across when building a track that works without some extra work from the listener.  Anything that’s obviously melodic gets broken down until you can still hear where it catches are but with most of the obvious draping gone.  Ideally, no notes anywhere. 

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

The first time a system of sounds clicked for me was a really memorable moment, felt like touching the eye of God.  Before that, I had been working really hard for a few years but with really really limited success, but after that moment I think I realized that I wouldn’t want to be far from that feeling for the rest of my life.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

A drink

Any emerging artists on your radar?

Check out SUDS, Berlin supergroup consisting of Wilted Woman and Christophe de Babalon.  Moth Cock is also a must check out. 

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Having a clear mind, it can be hard to make meaningful work if you’ve had to deal with a lot of outside bullshit. 

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

Right now I’m using an Elektron Rytm and Analog Four for everything.  Sample production leans heavily on using an Aerophone AE-10 for manipulation before getting entered into the Rytm.

Any side projects you’re working on?

I just had a kid, AKA the ultimate side project, which has been keeping me very busy.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

When I first started making music, I was building tracks using exclusively feedback loops as the sound source.  Using the ‘correct’ tools (sequencer, drum machine, synth, etc), then nicer versions of the correct gear while still keeping myself happy that it’s out there has been a fun challenge.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

I’d like to play some shows across the pond, other than that just working on new music for whatever the next release will be.

Follow Davey Harms online 

Soundcloud | Spotify | Bandcamp | Twitter

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