October is a producer from Bristol, but refreshingly out of kilter with a lot of the sounds currently emanating from the city. In a three year period that has seen it rise up as one of the strongholds for the increasing popularity of 4/4 house music, the austere and predominately techno orientated nature of his sound stands out as something quite alternative.
Founder of Caravan records and now his current active imprint Tanstaafl, he shares the label’s time between Berlin and the UK with the label’s sound and a number of labels on which he’s released music (Skudge, Perspectiv) fitting in quite nicely with the German capital’s musical ethos. His commitment to vinyl, coupled with a sound that traverses the techno spectrum and is more rooted in acid than anything minimal or overtly Berghain sounding, makes him as authentic a producer as one is likely to find in operation a the moment. Bandwagon jumping is quite clearly not his order of the day.
This makes his New Years appearance at the Eastern Electrics party at the Coronet all the more exciting, his techno sound weighing in against some of the biggest house names of the year in Joy Orbision, Eats Everything and Miguel Campbell. For October, a number of releases in the new year should see an already cemented name of underground electronic quality go up a league. We had a word in anticipation of the Eastern Electrics NYE event.
You have ties to Bristol though it’s quite safe to say that your sound is free from Bristol cliché. Do you feel you stand out in the crowd in the current Bristol scene at all?
Kind of yeah. Bristol never had the strong community it has now when I was into techno, so I’ve always had to look outside of the city for inspiration. I was always after that Detroit, NYC, Chicago vibe in my music and wanted to combine that with dub.
Crack hasn’t seen a DJ for a while quite as apt at switching between very techy textures and house music? How would you pinpoint the October sound?
Wow, thanks! I don’t really know how to pinpoint my sound but here goes. I like rawness and music that doesn’t try too hard. It has to be natural and not forced. There’s too much going on in modern music at the moment. Drums are very important to me and I like the acid vibe but that doesn’t mean it needs a squelchy 303 over all of it. I guess it has to be timeless and not pander to whatever the “zeitgeist” is saying.
With a monster of a party to look forward to on NYE at Eastern Electrics, what can we expect from an October in full NYE flow?
I have no idea. I tend to wing my sets and not to think about it too much. I am my own worst enemy and if I start to think about it, I will fuck it it up. You’ll just have to wait and see – but I’m kinda feeling it will be pretty techno.
You’ve recently set up Tanstaafl records, which operates between Berlin and Bristol. Do you find yourself being booked in Berlin or drawn to Berlin because of the nature of your sound.
I’ve always felt drawn to Berlin but that goes for anyone into house and techno as it’s our Mecca. I do play there, but mostly for our own Tresor parties or About//Blank. I’m only just starting to get bookings from other promoters in Berlin. Not many people actually know who I am there… yet.
You’ve worked closely with Will Saul on an EP and you two have forged a very close working relationship of late. Do you have anything else lined-up with Will and what can we expect from you in the immediate future?
We have a 2nd EP due in February backed with a Fred P mix and TANSTAAFL 003 will be out in early January now because the pressing plant messed up. My 2nd Skudge EP will also drop in the new year, as will an EP on Voodoo Down Records of Brooklyn, NYC. That’s backed with a sublime mix from Joey Anderson. I will also be debuting my computerless live show in 2013.
Why are you called October? Are you a fan of the autumnal?
I was born in October and it’s a cool looking word. I’m a fan of the dark and moody, but absolutely hate autumn and winter… Give me sun and surf any day…
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October plays Eastern Electrics New Years Eve Party at The Coronet on December 31st
Words: Thomas Frost