Gig Alert: High Contrast at Rhythm and Alps

High Contract Press Pic

High Contrast is set to take this year’s Rhythm and Alps to the next level

A highlight of Rhythm and Alps 2013 is bound to be Hospital Records’ High Contrast. The enigmatic Welshman will bequeath the Alpine Arena with his royally radical DnB from one in the morning on December 30. JOEL WESTCOT caught up with Lincoln Barrett to talk music, movies and that crazy thing called love. For the guy who lists Wendy CarlosA Clockwork Orange soundtrack and the score for Bladerunner as defining influences, we’ve also developed a bit of a crush. Read ON to discover what makes this dj badass tick. And if you’re one of the lucky crew who’ve scored a pass to R&A, make sure High Contrast is an artist you Do Not Miss.

Where do you call home?

I still live in my little hometown in South Wales. I find most big cities too claustrophobic.

Have you ever lived elsewhere?

I lived in LA earlier this year for a while, which I liked a lot as it’s very spaced out (in both senses).

Where is the most interesting place you have visited?

My favourite place to visit is Tokyo. I’m fascinated by Japanese culture in general but especially their films and comics and find the people to be the nicest in the world.

Highlight gigs of 2013?

The Guvernment, Toronto. Brixton Academy, London. National Palace of Culture, Sofia, Bulgaria.

You’ve done some amazing remixes over the years, from Adele to Kayne West; all of which have been dance floor gold. Any particular favourites?

It’s funny how well some remixes are received and how much they do for my profile. Usually they are done very fast, without the chance for much forethought, because labels always need them by yesterday. But maybe that speed is what gives them a dynamic feel. Recently I loved remixing the new single for Foxes, called Let Go For Tonight. I think she’s a brilliant singer and lyricist.

On a similar and not so silent note you seem to have done a lot of remixes but not so many collabs. Any particular reason for this?

As my school report said when I was little kid: top grades but doesn’t mix well with others.

You composed some incredible stuff for the London Olympics. How did that come about?

Thank you, that was a great experience. I owe my involvement to Underworld who were the musical directors and who hired me based on our previous collaborations. They are great people to work with and continue to be huge inspirations to me.

Most will know High Contrast as a Drum n Bass producer. Do you turn your hand to any other genres?

I’ve only ever dabbled with styles outside of DnB a couple of times over the years but I think I’m gonna start branching out more now as I’m really getting into just writing songs, independent of genre specifics. However DnB will always be in my DNA so I’m sure I will continue making it too.

What attracted to you to DnB in the beginning?

Something just clicked. I guess you never really know why you fall in love.

What’s the first DnB tune you remember hearing and knowing the name of?

Arabian Nights by J Majik. A very influential tune on me.

If you could work with an artist from the dead who would it be?

I probably listen to Bach more than anything else but I’m not sure what he would make of drum n bass.

Your music often has cinematic undertones. How are music and cinema linked for you?

They are very connected in my mind. I try to make music that suggests a film or a filmic moment in your head. I think music should be more like films and films more like music.

Have you made many videos for your tracks?

Yes. I love making music videos and have done so for quite a few of my tunes. I’ve just finished the vid for my next single and am hoping it will be out early next year.

When can we expect another album?

I have a new album in the works at the moment that I’m aiming to release mid 2014. It’s more upbeat than my previous album, which I think I made when I was going through a bit of dark patch.

What can we expect from the next single?

The new single is a jungle style track with pianos and a female vocal, perhaps related to If We Ever.

Do you have any messages for New Zealand?

It’s always a blast to play here. The crowds are so enthusiastic; I can’t wait to get on the decks.

ONmag says… Check out Hospitality Presents: High Contrast at Rhythm and Alps!

Artist bio: Signed on the strength of his mini-disc demos, the Welsh wonder has smashed his way through the D+B scene and has become one of its iconic and much respected heroes. After a string of critically acclaimed releases and riding high on the wave of success following “Tough Guys Don’t Dance”, it was straight into 2008 with huge remixes. As a result, High Contrast has swiftly become the remixer of choice for many labels. 2010 saw High Contrast studio-bound with rave legends Underworld. 2012 was a golden year for High Contrast: he was asked to write the music for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics. This once in a lifetime opportunity culminated in the release of High Contrast’s “The Road Goes On Forever” digital-only EP.

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