The tradition of “Kindness of Bearer” letters originated at the Quaker boarding school in Pennsylvania that I attended. “KOB’s,” as they are fondly known, are special messages written on pieces of paper and then folded into small square packages for delivery. The messages are entrusted to a designated courier who takes the note to the intended recipient(s).
For a long time I thought that this concept would be a cool and fitting representation of the relationship between musician, record label (or any musical outlet), and the general public. The tradition is a culture of meaningful communication and exchange, and that’s what I think artists and labels should try to achieve with their listener base.
(Photo by Simon Benjamin)
How did you first hook-up with Soul Clap and can you tell us about your relationship with them?
In my final year of University I was trying to figure out what to do with all the music I had made. At that point, I had already been producing for a while and I took the bold step of sending Soul Clap an email. I wasn’t really expecting a response, but within a couple of days Eli responded saying that he liked the music I had sent, and he asked me to send him more material.
My relationship with the Soul Clap boys is good. I am a young, developing artist, and – as they have been in the game for a while – I have a lot I can learn from them. I really appreciate their advice and mentorship.
Buy the EP https://davidmarston.lnk.to/kindnessofbearer
Each of the four tracks EP reflects different styles and influences. How important is that to you, and do you feel Dance music can be too restrictive these days?
I appreciate and enjoy listening to many different genres of music. I like to produce music that combines and merges my various influences. Sometimes this process is deliberate, but a lot of the time it just occurs naturally.
In regard to the tracks that appear on the EP, the music inevitably reflects an array of sonic influences, because I worked with several different artists and each person brings his or her own artistic sensibilities and idiosyncrasies to the table.
I sometimes find that Dance music can be restrictive, especially when you have to think about making money and about people’s expectations for the music that you make. There can be pressure to conform, to sound a certain way. But each artist has agency, and one can choose whether or not to give into the pressure and how to negotiate one’s own relationship with the status quo.
David Marston & Anna Spackman – Sun
Directed by Simon Benjamin.
How do you feel about the importance of songs in Dance Music compared with the past?
I think songs from any genre or period can be important and influential.
Can you describe where the inspiration came from, and talk us through how you produced one of the tracks from the EP?
The inspiration for the EP came from the collaborations I had been working on with friends. The songs sound quite different from one another, but the commonality between all of them lies in the fact that they are, in my opinion, compelling products of team work.
The story behind “Sometimes It’s Hard” is somewhat interesting. This track actually started out as a fairly typical 120 bpm house track. My friend Brigitte Zozula sent me some vocals that she had recorded on her phone and I started to build instrumentation around her recording. Eventually, I got stuck and found it difficult to elaborate on the ideas I had laid down. I think I hit a bit of a creative barrier by working in the framework of the “Club banger”. The breakthrough came when I slowed the track down to 92 bpm. Soon enough ideas started to flow again. From a psychological standpoint, I think I felt that I had more space and time to be creative in order to finish the song.
Do politics and music mix? What are your feeling on the upcoming American Election?
I think so. Music, like all other art forms, is an expression of ideas. These ideas can relate or pertain to any human construct, including politics. I think music is a powerful and important medium through which people can communicate and engage in political dialogue. I have a great deal of admiration for artists who encourage critical thinking and who push to promote positive social change, even if doing so could be damaging to their careers or to their reputations.
I really hope that Bernie Sanders will become the next President of the United States. In my opinion, he’s the best candidate for the role, as he seems to genuinely care about ordinary, working class people. I think it is extremely encouraging that his progressive message has resonated greatly with so many people.
What is your favorite musical instrument, and do you own one?
What are your plans for 2016?
I’m going to be doing a few gigs around the time of the release of my EP in late March/early April. I’m also going to be doing a bunch of shows with my label mate, Nick Monaco. I’m playing guitar and doing some programming for his new live set, which we have been developing together over the past month. I am looking forward to 2016 as it should be very exciting year!