London based producer, DJ and radio host Fold knows how to swing a groove. Rob Glasson to friends and family, the music maker reveals his broad-reaching tastes best through his weekly radio show on NTS radio, whilst proving his own production skills through quality releases on outputs like ManMakeMusic and, more recently, Will Saul’s coveted Aus Music. But the best way to get to know Glasson’s style is surely to bust a move on his dancefloors - a particularly juicy opportunity coming up this May in Brighton as he stands side to side with Joy Orbison behind the decks. We had a quick catch up with Fold on his influences, inspirations and the fragile state of London clubbing.
A back-to-back between yourself and Joy Orbison is on the way at Patterns, a very compatible combination! Does a back-to-back with the right person make a set easier? And if all is going smoothly, in what ways can you push each other forward?
“I think it does yeah, I've been lucky in that all my B2Bs have been with people I know really well, personally and / or through music.”
“Playing with Pete is always fun, we're close friends and have been sharing music with each other for years so it means we have a good understanding of one and other’s approach to DJing. Pete for me is one of the best technical and forward thinking DJs around so I think that will always push me to develop myself and draw for those deeper or forgotten cuts when we play together.”
What sort of sounds or experiences do you explore as ‘Fold’ that you weren’t able to as ‘Homepark’?
“I would say it's complete freedom of expression as opposed to a common, shared vision. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. The freedom allows me to explore different approaches to mixing, genres covered and playing records that don't fit the aesthetic we usually go for as a collective.”
“You’re London based - and although dance music is as mainstream as it’s been in a couple of decades, clubs in London are closing by the minute. Has the recent loss of some of London’s most iconic rave venues affected the development of your own career, and / or your personal nightlife experience?
“In regards to myself it's hard to say really, but there's definitely an imbalance in the strength of the scene and the overall quality of the nightclubbing experience in London. Clubs in Berlin and Amsterdam have especially opened my eyes to what we should be experiencing over here.”
“I think the powers that be need to recognise club culture has helped shape this city in a positive way and should nurture, rather than restrict the creative elements that are making it one of the most culturally vibrant and desirable places to live.”
We may not have the weather, but UK clubbing has its own unique draw cards… what do you love about raving in the home country?
“We definitely have an amazing music festival culture in this country. There's something really fun about listening to live music outdoors, weather permitting. I find the humanist and hedonistic atmosphere at festivals is always something to look forward to, in contrast to daily life it's almost utopian.”
You can hear your DnB roots nicely in the drums of ‘Dreamscape’ - are there other elements of that scene you’ve taken through to your house music?
“Drum and bass & UK garage were my introduction to dance music - I can't avoid having that seep through into my creative process so I tend to embrace it. We're all a product of our environment to some extent and you could say Dreamscape is like a pitched down homage to mid 90s jungle.”
“I would say the low end of a track is something I'm always conscious of when writing a beat, probably stemming from the sounds used in the old DnB records I bought when first started collecting records and really getting into club music.”
You’ve a lot of playful track titles - Cheeky Nando’s, Upstairs for Thinking…, Netflix and Chill - are these random bits of fun, or are there always stories connected to the tracks?
“Haha yeah pretty much. I've had a mixed reaction to some of those. ‘Upstairs for thinking downstairs for dancing’ is something my dad says a lot, so it was a tribute to him really.”
“There might be an element of rebellion about me owning the names of my tracks, but ultimately they're just private jokes that hold a unique meaning to me or my friends. I'm pretty easy going so it doesn't really bother me if people think the titles aren't serious enough for their purpose.”
By Jordan Rahlia