Glimpse: “There’s no going back now”
Glimpse is a house and techno producer who has been involved with the music for well over a decade now, maintaining a fruitful and productive career – meandering between styles, dipping into live performance, DJing and forming creative partnerships with numerous artists, including the late Martin Dawson. More recently he has been working on the Dense & Pika techno project with his friend, and fellow musician, Alex Jones. I caught up with him a few days ago to speak about his career… The full version of this interview can be found at marcusbarnes.com.
Have you got many solo projects on the go at the moment?
Most of my time is taken up by Dense & Pika, but I do have a new Glimpse EP ready to go with Aus which I’m excited about. It should be out around April/May next year. The last one, ‘True South’, went down well so I’m keen to maintain that relationship. I’ve been getting a few remixes done and I’m still touring a bit in between dense & pika commitments.
How are you managing to juggle the two?
dense & pika is by far the more dominant of the two projects. I’ve had the Glimpse name since 2001, so 12 years. It can be a lonely job traveling on your own. Alex and I are very good mates and we enjoy working with each other, we also share the same musical vision so it’s just a natural progression. The Glimpse stuff probably got a lot ‘housier’ than I would have liked. I’m much happier nowadays and more confident in the music I’m making.
Twelve years is a long time, especially in dance music. Have you ever had any moments where you needed to take a break?
Yeah definitely. After I did my album in 2010 I felt lost for a year or so where I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was labeled as sounding a certain way, so all my bookings were in the same types of club – then I decided to change everything; my sound, the way I worked, the labels I worked with etc… Working with Hotflush with dense & pika has been a great experience. Such an awesome bunch of people. Easily the most enjoyable experience I’ve ever had working with a label. I suppose it was a bit like pressing the reset button … right now, I’m the most inspired and the most into the music I’ve ever been. I just want to be in the studio all the time making music I’m completely obsessed with it all again.
It really amazes me how informed some of the younger producers are. Most of my mates have been listening to Jeff Mills and Surgeon and stuff since they were 17 now we are all in our 30s, but these guys are 19, 20 years old so they’ve got different influences, different reference points in their past that they want to touch upon and this has been great for the genre. They’ve managed to tap into techno in a different way. When you’ve got people coming in from a different angle you get this really interesting cross-pollination.
How does having a family impact on your career?
It can be difficult. But like all things it’s about finding a balance. I’ve kind of got to the point of no return. At 33, if I went into a job interview now and they said, ‘What have you been doing for the last 12 years?’ and I say, ‘I’ve been writing techno’, you may as well say you’ve been in prison. It’s not going to help you at all. What do you do? I’ve got to the point where I make all my income doing this, I love it and I’ve got to make it work with family life. My wife’s incredible about it, she’s really understanding. I really do owe a huge amount to her.
How about being a dad as well?
There are two sides to it because I do get to take my daughter to school every morning, but I don’t see her so much on the weekends. There are definitely harsh sides to it but a lot of people pull it off. Plus, when I’m 40 and it all goes belly up and no one wants to book me I’ll be hanging round the house constantly and they’ll probably wish I was on tour. That’s definitely gonna happen.
I wanted to ask you about Martin Dawson, because it’s been around a year since he passed. What effect did he have on you and your career?
He was one of my best mates. He was an incredible producer, so talented. He was an incredible guy. Without sounding clichéd, I’d never met anyone like him. He could turn his hand to any genre of music, he was incredibly talented and I never heard him say a bad word about anyone the whole time I knew him. An incredible human being.
How did you meet?
It’s a cool story actually, I was moving to Berlin and the guy I was moving there with suddenly called me up and said he couldn’t afford the rent. I was left completely stranded with a flat for two and no flat mate. So I was going to have to somehow pay for it all myself. Anyway, the following weekend I had a gig in Belarus with DJ.T and Martin. I’d never met Martin before that night. We just got on straight away and had a wicked night together. Then I bumped into him the weekend after at a mutual friend’s house and said, ‘Do you want to move to Berlin?’ and he said, ‘Yeah’, after meeting twice. That led to us writing music together and being really close friends. I eventually came back but he stayed in Berlin. He was that kind of person, if it felt right he’d go for it – he never had any negativity coming out of him. You won’t meet a single person in the world that’s got anything bad to say about him, ever. I feel extremely honoured to have worked and been friends with him.
Read the full interview here
Glimpse plays in the Aus room at the Hydra’s New Year’s Day party, 1st January 2014. More information here.dense & pika, Glimpse
Recent Posts on Arts
- Jordan Peak: The Rogue element
- Friday Book Design Blog: 3:AM Press
- Children’s Book Blog: Discovering stories in East London
- Friday Book Design Blog: Leaving The Sea, by Ben Marcus
- Children’s Book Blog – books for April: The Day the Crayons Quit, The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig and Grasshopper Jungle
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter