K / D Keep It Deep have some newness, in the form of podcast 20 from E.Wan (Untitled, KMAH Radio, Fractal Club, K / U) who is a London based dj, producer & promoter. Ewan is one of the people that keep the community moving and also operates with style and grace. Super talented slowly making his mark and being measured and patient with it. From his co-run Untitled show with Chris G & also Aky on the radio side of the project. Ewan is also resident for Fractal club in Scotland bringing big hitters up north including Steffi, Virginia, Harry McCanna, DJ Tree, Saoirse & Nick Hoppner to name a few. Ewan has given us an honest account to his story, his passion and also reaching a dream this year playing at Fabric London. Enjoy the rock solid 90 minute journey through all things deep and based around nuances, details and groove. Check E.Wan on Facebook here.
K / D: We met mutually through Rupes (Make Me) who booked us to play Kaleidoscope many years ago. I want to rewind and go back to your early years growing up how was family life?
E.WAN: Family life was fun. I have two sisters and I’m the middle child, which I blame most of my problems on, haha. Our parents took us on lots of great holidays around Scotland and the rest of the UK when we were young so I count myself lucky to have lots of good memories. I remember spending a lot of time outdoors.
K / D: What music can you remember from this time?
I’m very lucky that my parents have great taste in music. My Dad has a Blues band and my mum just loves music, so music was always playing at home. My parents would take us on camping holidays to Jersey every summer and on the long drive from Edinburgh to the south coast there was always music playing in the car. I remember the music they played in the car on these long trips. This influenced me without me even knowing it. I remember listening to David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, The Average White Band, Paul Weller, Squeeze, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, The Beatles & Eric Clapton on these journeys. We recently celebrated my mums 60th birthday and had a big party in their house, everyone went to bed but me, my sisters and my mum were up until 5am dancing and singing along to a lot of these artists.
K / D: As a teenager what interested you?
E.WAN: I’ve always been into music, but as well as that I loved drawing, playing football and I spent a lot of time with friends when I should have been studying!
K / D: Can you remember the first album you purchased?
E.WAN; I honestly can’t remember the first one I bought myself but I’m sure it was something absolutely terrible like the Ghostbusters soundtrack. The first ‘proper’ album I owned was Led Zeppelin – IV. I asked for something awful for Xmas one year on CD and my Dad refused to buy it and got me a few decent albums instead. The one I remember best was Led Zeppelin but I also remember having Michael Jackson’s album Thriller on cassette too.
K / D: Talk us through your first clubbing experience?
E.WAN: My first proper clubbing experience was at Creamfields in Liverpool when I was 17 years old. I went with a group of friends who were mainly into trance and hard house at that time. I liked house music more and remember sneaking off on my own to the Subliminal tent. I had been buying Mixmag & DJ mag for a year or two before that, so had read about a lot of artists and listened to the free CD’s that came with the mags. I guess that was what introduced me to electronic music and definitely inspired me dig for new and interesting sounds. About a month after Creamfields I bought my first set of belt drive turntables and some records. I’ve spent nearly every weekend in clubs since and I’ve never stopped buying records.
K / D: Can you remember the first time you went record shopping?
E.WAN: I remember going into one of the record shops in Edinburgh and telling the girl behind the counter I had just bought decks and needed some records to practice mixing. I told her what parties I had been going to, that I liked house music and I ran through a list of names I knew. I remember coming away with a good mixture of stuff. A couple that stick out are “Eddie Amador – House Music” on Yoshitoshi and “Mr Fingers – “Can you feel it”.
K / D: When and why did you move to London?
E.WAN: I moved to London over 7 years ago. I had been travelling all over the UK & Europe going to clubs and festivals for a number of years. I did a few seasons in Ibiza in my late teens/early 20’s, and had been going to Sonar every year since 2006 and had been to London a few times. I loved the clubs like fabric, Plastic People, Cable, Public Life etc. I just love how diverse London is. To me London is one of the most influential cities for music on the planet. It was after a trip to fabric’s 10th birthday that really gave me a kick up the arse to move to London and stop just thinking about it. At this time I hated my job and I had run a few parties in Edinburgh and had played most of the big parties and clubs. I just felt like I needed a change and I had had a taste of what London’s nightlife. There was a lot of great daytime parties on Sundays like Secretsundaze, Kubicle @ Public life, Fuse @ 93 Feet East which really appealed to me, I’ve never been one to just go home after a club and I just loved the thought of clubs being open much later and especially liked the thought that there was always something happening no matter what time. Coming from Edinburgh I was used to clubs closing at 3am so it was very new and exciting for me. Though I must say in the last 5 years Edinburgh’s scene has improved massively and has some really great clubs and parties, but at the time I moved I wanted more. I managed to secure a job with RA and then I was off.
K / D: You have lived here for a few years how would you describe the scene?
E.WAN: The scene has changed a lot since I moved. There are lots of great things happening here. There is so much choice which puts pressure on promoters to put on bigger and better events and there are still really good underground things happening if you look for them. Of course there has been a lot of club closures and negative stuff happening in our culture in recent years, but this is just something we need to deal with it. There is a lot of positive stuff happening which everyone should focus on more. Look at fabric reopening, the Lion & Lamb, plus larger scale things like the Printworks. These are all amazing venues that are run by people who have dedicated their lives to music and will always find ways to keep us dancing no matter what obstacles come in our way. I think now having the night czar London is a great thing for our nightlife. Things can only get better from now on.
K / D: Where do you rave, hang out, dj, and buy records?
E.WAN: I love fabric and still try to go as much as possible, especially when Ricardo Villalobos plays. I think in the last 8 years I’ve only missed him there twice. For me fabric is the best club in the world run by the best people, the Lion & Lamb is another favourite of mine and Pickle Factory. I use Juno, Redeye and Discogs A LOT for buying records but I also buy a lot of stuff at Phonica as I think its got a really good selection of quality releases. I work close by to Phonica so I do spend a lot of time in here.
K / D: What do you do for a day job and how do you juggle this and music on the side?
E.WAN: I work behind the bar in a steak restaurant in Mayfair. I also do playlists for restaurants and bars on a freelance basis. It’s flexible enough to allow me to focus on my own music. I’ve finally found a balance and a routine that works for me. I dedicate at least two full days to making music every week and I spend some time searching for new music every day and still spend way too much money on records.
K / D: Can you explain about your show on KMAH radio?
E.WAN: We’ve been doing a show on KMAH Radio since it started 2 years ago. My good friend Thomas Aky was offered a slot on a Friday 6-8pm and asked Chris G & I if we wanted to do it with him and we jumped at the chance. It’s a great opportunity for us to regularly play music to a wider audience and play stuff we wouldn’t necessarily play in a club. We all buy a lot of records so it’s pretty sweet getting to play most of them of them on the show. It keeps us looking for fresh new and old music. Chris and I leave a lot of the chat to Thomas Aky as he’s great at it and Chris and I play more music.
K / D: You hold down a residency at H&G and Fractal can you share your experience of this thus far?
E.WAN: We’ve been doing Untitled at H&G for a few years now and it’s always a nice party. We enjoy doing intimate parties with DJ’s we like and respect. With the venue being very small there is always a wicked atmosphere. We started this party so that we could have the freedom to play whatever we wanted. I’ve been friends with Chris for almost 20 years and we’ve always had very similar tastes in music. We ran parties together in Edinburgh and often played b2b sets as well as some marathon b2b sets at after parties, so it felt natural to do something together once he moved to London. We tend to book up and coming London based DJ’s that we like, who don’t necessarily get to play peak time slots very often, as well as some bigger guests. Highlights for me so far would have be when we managed to persuade Soundstream and Iron Curtis to play in that tiny room at the Horse & Groom, that was an insanely good party. Other highlights include Tommy Vicari Jnr and friends Harry McCanna, Truly Madly, Chris Seddon, Frazer Campbell and Anthony Campbell who have all played for us a couple of times over the years. Fractal club is slightly different, this party is run by our good friend Stewart Clason, who has been planning on doing something pretty big in Edinburgh for a while and asked Chris and myself to be residents. It’s been great and we’ve played alongside some of our favourite DJ’s including Prosumer, Virginia, Nick Hoppner, Dinky and DJ Tree. We did a Fractal Club & Untitled party last month and brought our buddy Harry McCanna from Undersound with us, which was a lot of fun. I kicked of their podcast series last year too, which has had some pretty great mixes so far.
K / D: You just played your first Fabric set for WY how did it go?
E.WAN: Fabric was everything I thought it would be plus some more. I’ve been going there as a punter for years and spent so many hours in there listening to my favourite DJ’s so it was such a surreal experience to be playing there. We closed room 1 too, which was an amazing experience. I was over the moon when Jacob and Peter asked us to play and I can’t thank them enough for giving us a chance to play in my favourite room on this planet. We really hope to be back there very soon 😉
K / D: What does the future hold?
E.WAN: This year I’m really focusing on getting some music finished and hopefully released. I’ve made a conscious effort to spend most of my free time working on music. I feel like my productions have improved a lot the last 6 months. I have a few podcasts I need to work on the next few months. We will to carry on doing our Untitled parties and will continue to collaborate with other parties in various different venues, as well as doing our regular thing at H&G. We’ll continue with our Untitled Show on KMAH. We have some great guest mixes coming up in the next few months and look forward to letting you all hear them. Fractal Club has some really exciting things happening this year too that I’m very excited about.