Boca 45

It’s been a tough year, but perhaps Donuts 2020 is a small light at the end of the tunnel – what are your highlights from the new LP and what can people look forward to hearing?

The 2020 Donuts project has quite honestly been one of the few things that has kept me sane and focussed if I’m perfectly honest. Obviously there have been positives like spending more time at home with my family but doing 45s every other month from Feb then leading to the LP in Nov has given me structure. I haven’t DJ’d since March – it’s the longest period of my life that I’ve not DJ’d for and who knows when it will come back? I have remained as focussed as possible though. In fact on the LP there are two new cuts and one of which is called “Strawberry Hill” which I probably spent more time on than any other track I think I’ve ever done. Throughout lockdown I’d go into the studio everyday and record a small section, perhaps quarter seconds at a time. It’s like a proper patch work quilt of sounds and moods which comes at the end of the record. Perhaps subconsciously I was trying to put my feelings down onto wax? The whole LP is kind of a part 2 to last year’s Forty Five LP – so if you dug that, you’ll (hopefully) dig this offering too.

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There are so many great collabs on there, how do you decide who to work with and who would you say has smashed it on this record?

I’m not just saying this but all of the guests smashed it, I simply couldn’t single one out. In my experience collaborations only tend to work and make sense when there’s a mutual respect which I think was clearly the case here. There were a few guests I worked with for the first time on the 2020 LP such as Craig G, Hannah Williams and Ash The Author but, once I jumped on the phone and discussed what I was after they all totally got the vibe and were perfect fits I feel. There’s a coherent feel throughout, it’s immediate good time Boca vibes.  

In the studio, talk us through the production, are you playing individual instruments or is it a lot of collaborating and sample work? What would you say is the secret to mashing up vintage and new hip-hop sounds?

I wouldn’t class myself as a multi-instrumentalist / gear head, but I (badly) play lots of instruments. What I can’t play, I get some trusted musicians to embellish my ramblings such as friends Billy Fuller who plays mean bass guitar or Sean Snook who plays excellent electric guitar. I’ve not used too many samples this time around and the ones which I have used I’ve pre cleared, so I won’t get bitten on the bum further down the line so to speak. I use quite a few drum machines and old school 80s samplers and sequence it through Pro Tools in a very primitive way. I try to use Pro Tools a bit like old school engineers used tape machines. Trying to not get too much into the computer in the box styles with tons of plug ins. I’m keen on the imperfections in music, what I like to call the “push and pull,” so I try to keep a lot of the wonky shonky stuff in the mix. 

Can we expect any live streams / online mixes from you to showcase the new release?

Yes ! I’ve actually recorded 3 mixes which will all drop around the week of release of the 2020 Donuts LP.

They are for…

45 Live Radio via Dublab Radio & Mixcloud 

The Low End Theory – hosted by Shan & OB from Australia 

The Found Mag – playing my fave LP Cuts 

Which other artists from Bristol would you recommend people listen to right now?

The new Quakers LP forthcoming on Stones Throw was made by two good friends of mine in Bristol, along with another mate of mine Katalyst who is over in Australia. It’s the second Quaker album – the first one came out 10 years ago! But this one was deffo worth the wait. My other recommendation isn’t really in the Boca world, it’s more of an indie type vibe – they’re called “Pet Shimmers” they have two albums on streaming sites which are both well worth checking out if you have open ears.

Finally,  what does 2021 hold for Boca 45?

I’ve been pretty flat out on Boca material having released two albums in two years, so I’m not entirely sure I’ll do another full album next year. Perhaps a 45 or two though? I’ve also complied an official compilation  which is connected to an art show which will happen in Bristol in June 2021. I’m also working on a couple of (side) projects away from Boca 45 which are slightly different sounds.. I always tend to keep myself busy. 

Boca 45 ‘Donuts 2020’ LP is out now

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