Fresh from his excellent second album Country City Country (read our review here), we caught up with Eddie C for a quick chin-wag about the Canadian’s early crate-digging habits, his modest recording equipment and Berlin’s multifarious music scene.
Hi Eddie, what was it that first introduced you to music?
I was an avid late night listener on the weekends when I was a kid growing up near Toronto. My favourite show was Deadly Headly’s All Night Dance Party on CFNY in Toronto from about 87-91. I still have all my old tapes. I started buying records around the same time.. heard about the shops in adverts on the radio. It was incredibly exciting to find the records.
And what kind of music did the show play?
Everything… radio in the 80s was amazing. All styles of music: hip hop, industrial, acid house… etc. I remember particularly loving anything with drum breaks and scratching especially. I loved the early Coldcut records, Richie Rich, Steinski, Public Enemy, Cash Money, Bomb The Bass… that sort of music.
So hip hop was a big influence. Would you say that’s where your love of sampling comes from?
Of course! I was really into hip hop, but I was also really into dance music from an early age. But the sampling – that definitely came from hip hop. That’s how I later learned how to really dig. First for samples that you would recognize that someone else had used and then for oddities for yourself. Sampling with dance music is a recent endeavour for me!
And there’s a bit of a hip hop feel to your records, upbeat and playful…
Thanks! Yes, certainly hip hop production methodology is a huge inspiration.
Which brings me on to my next question. You recently moved to Berlin. How does your often warm and breezy disco go down in a city associated with the darker shades of techno and house?
I’ve always loved techno. I grew up not too far from Detroit and used to go to parties there with my friends. There were actually really great parties in Ontario too. Seeing it here is amazing too, however I would have loved to have seen Tresor in the early 90s or something. Berlin is full of all kinds of music. It’s of course famous for techno – and it’s what a lot of people are visiting for. Believe me there are some educated diggers here as well. And such great record shops!
So have you found all sorts of parties in your time there?
Yes, it’s really very inspiring! They do like the bass drum though… haha!
Not a fan?
Oh, I’m a fan of the bass drum. Always will be… but it must be used correctly!
I’m also super surprised about small scenes in Poland, Ukraine, Russia. Amazing!
Turning to your second album Country City Country, it sounds like this album is almost autobiographical – sketching a map across your various sounds…
I have lots of unreleased music – much of it hip hop inspired. Originally I wanted to do maybe a 100 press 45 series or something… maybe later. The album is a rough spectrum of the general type of music I’ve been making for the last decade or so.
And who is Mike Roma? I loved the two tracks he featured on.
Great dude, a highly skilled banjo/guitar player. He currently plays with the Electric Timber Co. We knew each other from Banff. We both moved to Victoria about the same time and recorded a few jam sessions at my place there. “Every Life Under The Invisible Hands” I wrote here in Berlin and samples a bit of his guitar work. “Jam on Dallas Rd” is quite close to the actual session from around 2005.
Can you tell us about the equipment used to record CCC? It sounds raw, but authentically raw as opposed to some of the current ‘retro’ house floating about at the moment.
Authentically raw machinery and instruments! I’m pretty cheap. I still use the same $30 microphone. I bought a rainstick once at a hippy yard sale on Saltspring Island. I have a vibraslap and a Boss PC-2. The rest I’ll leave to your imagination!
What are your thoughts on all this retro music around at the moment. Last year, it seemed particularly trendy to sample 1990s stuff. Is it a good thing?
It’s great because if you have the records from then you don’t really have to buy much new music right now. The old stuff still sounds better anyway. Having said that, there is some killer music being made now, but like any time in history you just have to be selective.
Are there any new, up-and-coming producers you’re particularly excited about at the moment?
Crabskull in Winnipeg. Ptaki and Zambon from Poland. Vakula and Pavel Plastikk from Ukraine. Not new but Daniele Baldelli is making some insanely wonderful music lately. Being Borings and Kent from Tokyo. Really enjoying Bird Scarer, L.I.E.S. and Weatherall. Too obvious? There are so many!
Do you have a favourite Eddie C track that you’re most proud of?
‘Space Cadet’ is good. ‘Iceline’ and ‘Aesthetics’ are probably the most ‘me’. But I’ll change my mind tomorrow.
And finally, what do you have in the pipeline production-wise?
Working on a B-Boy album with Hrdvsion that will never come out… haha! Lots of great new stuff this year set up for my 7″ project Red Motorbike. There are a couple of remix 12″s for my album coming out in the next couple of months featuring Marvin & Guy, Tornado Wallace, Rune Lindbaek, Young Marco and KZA.
I have another EP on Crue-L with a fantastic Backwoods remix coming soon. I did some remix work myself for them on Tomoki Kanda’s forthcoming EP. As well as other remixes for Noodleman from Toronto and Volta Cab in Moscow.
Thanks for your time Eddie, much appreciated.
Thank you for the support!