The Update: Craig Richards
Introducing The Update – a new monthly feature where we check in with our favourite artists to talk side-projects, new endeavours and works-in-progress.
Following the success of his inaugural Houghton Festival, the London DJ talks future plans and stepping away from his fabric residency.
Hi Craig. How are you? I gather you’ve been on the road.
I have. It was a really inspiring trip but it was a tall order to be honest. After Houghton I went straight to Suma Beach in Istanbul, and then on to LA and Burning Man, and then on to DC10 in Ibiza. I don’t normally travel as much as that. I’ve never wanted to do too much touring in case DJing starts to feel like a job. I like to have time off to just listen to records.
Rumour has it you’re putting more time into your creative side.
I’ve been doing more painting in the last couple of years. Painting’s a bit like making music in the studio – it doesn’t work if you’re tired. You have to put at least two or three days down before the vibe starts to happen. The fact that I’ve been painting has taught me that I need to be careful with my diary.
Have you got any specific plans for your artwork?
Well, I made a book with paintings and drawings of every artist that played at Houghton. Some caricatures, some more realistic, and some more abstract. I’ll have a show when I’m ready, maybe late this year or early next year. I’ve always painted since I went to art school in the late 80s.
Why was this year the right time to do Houghton?
Last year when fabric closed, it became a calling for me to do the festival. It certainly wasn’t something I’d been thinking about before.
The club closure must have been quite a shock given your status as resident since 1999.
It made me go out and play at different venues in London and around the country. I’ve learned my craft by a very lengthy apprenticeship at fabric, but the closure made me realise it’s important to be able to transpose that to other venues big or small. I’m enjoying playing there more by playing there less, and next year I’m going to start a specific night, but I won’t have a weekly residency any more.
Does it feel a little strange or uncertain to be changing up your relationship with the place after so long?
No, it feels really natural. It’s a bit like a relationship where you’re more in love when you see each other every so often. Perhaps.
Are you also making more time for music production now?
Definitely. I have a nice studio and some equipment but I’m not completely self-sufficient, so it’s nice to collaborate with friends. I’ve been making some faster 140 bpm kind of electro at the moment.
That seems to be a bit outside the style most people would know you for.
I’ve always played electro records, just slowed down, but making it at 140 in the studio is exciting because you’re working at a much faster tempo. As to what speed I end up playing it at when I’m out, who knows? I always need a bit of time to let tracks kick around before I know I’m happy to put them out though. Nobody should hold their breath, but when it’s ready it’ll come out!