Fresh off the back of two hugely successful releases on his recently formed imprint Swoon Recordings already this summer (‘Wicked Eyes’ and ‘Is That You’), Ryan Murgatroyd now returns with a mesmerising new single titled ‘Find Me Another’, released on Get Physical Music as two different edits, both featuring Mikhaela Faye. Get Physical’s leading South African house star Murgatroyd featured on the label’s latest ‘Words Don’t Come Easy’ compilation, as well as having remixed and produced plenty of originals including ‘Kanna’, ‘iKalimba’ and ‘Something Said’ to name a few. He is a producer with an extensive discography that spans over a decade and a DJ that always brings spiritual and musical vibes that shine bright. We caught up with him to find out more…
Hey Ryan, thanks so much for taking the time to sit down with us there at DMC World. How are you?
I’m honestly fantastic, thanks for having me guys!
Where in the world are you currently?
Right now I’m in Johannesburg, South Africa, where we have the label studios and offices, and where my main studio is located. Im between Cape Town and here a lot, and then in Berlin for a bit each season, trying to claw my way into the crammed scene there.
For those of our readers that may not know you, please can you give yourself a quick intro?
Well, I’ve been immersed in electronic music for about 20 years. Back in 2007 I was making music on labels like Toolroom records, and even Cr2 records, and then I sort off went off the international map and focused on my South African projects for a while. .In 2013 I decided it was time to start making music that would go beyond my own borders, and signed a track called ‘Bantwanas Piano’ to Defected. From there onto get physical music, and then about 3 years ago I really got serious, remixing for Super Flu, Lane 8 and putting out music on Bessemyer, All day I dream, Get Physical and other great labels. Then I figured the next step was to start Swoon and really ramp up the production of the original material – I want to build a catalogue of some seriously life changing electronic music with the new label.
How did you first get into electronic music
The same way every one else does, I imagine, off my tits in a dark warehouse. Hahaha. I knew straight away I was gonna devote my life to this strange new cultural phenomenon. I had Sl1200s by the time I was 14 years old, and of course in Johannesburg, people weren’t exactly standing to queues to experience electronic music at that time. But slowly it built a small scene of DJs and producers. I got involved in what I guess you would call ‘urban’ electronic music, which means it was the style of house that was typically enjoyed more by people of colour. And I resonated deeply with that sound. I always wanted a way to use those elements in a way that wasn’t contrived or try-hard, and also completely unique, and that is the influence for tracks like ‘ikalimba’ and ‘bantwanas piano’.
Massive congratulations on the launch of your new label Swoon Recordings earlier this Summer. Can you tell us a bit about the label and why you set it up?
Thank you! It all comes down to being able to do whatever I want creatively, no compromises. But also to be honest Im kinda bored with what everyone else is doing. A lot of electronic music fits into a little box and we wanted to bring a fresh energy in with a grand vision for a label that can release a wide range of different subtypes of music but all with a common underlying emotion – with some kind of killer hook, memorable motif, none of it cheesy but all of it very emotive, pushing the right buttons, making people FEEL something from electronic music again, not just fist bumping like a techno zombie.
What’s the plan for the label moving forwards? Any goals for the next few years?
We’re placing a huge focus on finding new sonic palettes and escaping the generic. Every release has a distinct theme. From the sound design to the artwork, each piece is a complete work of audio-visual art and it’s vital to experience each work as a complete whole. Right now, we’re just putting out a heck of a lot of music. Wicked eyes has been well supported by Solomon, Tale of Us, Adriatique and some other serious players, but instead of doing the same kinda thing with Swoon 002, we pulled a 180 and went with ‘Is that you?’ As our second release. Just when people think they spot a trend, wait for Swoon 003/ and then 004, each one if completely unique sonic territory but by about the 5th release I think the audience will really get where our heads are at.
Your latest single ‘Is That You’ has just been released on Swoon. Can you talk to us about that record?
The thing is, I’ve always felt a bit limited within that typical 4/4 house and techno music. . I always wanted to make something more , ummm, intense and lean towards the harmonic and cinematic, even take a bit of influence from Nils Frahm and that kinda neo classical music, but without losing that subversive edge that dance music has. And then i started this piece as a downtempo listening track, but amazingly as it developed, it seemed to be very versatile and ALSO work on the dance floor. So its a 5 minute really thoughtful electronica track , with a poppy element in the melodies, and then it kicks down into a really cool bassline that ALWAYS gets hands in the air, whenever i play it. I used to open my sets with it, and that worked really well, but lately I’ve been closing with it instead and that works an absolute charm!Please insert video here:
We hear you’re really into championing new talent. Are there any up and coming artists we should be keeping our ears peeled for?
LEEU, Bruce LOKO, Kususa are acts I’m digging at the moment.
If you were to pick one project or moment you were most proud of over the course of you career, what would it be?
Well I’ve been lucky to have some insane support from Tale of us and Solomun on the first track on the Label, Wicked eyes. Watching them destroy floors with the record, the first one on my own label, it was a great moment. Playing Black Coffee’s first season at Hi Ibiza, as the only South African resident other than him, was a good one too.
Top 5 favourite records right now?
Well look man I have to biased here, so excuse me. But I make the exact records I like to play.
Ryan Murgatroyd – Is That You? (Swoon recordings)
Super Flu – Acumulee (Diynamic)
Ryan Murgatroyd – Find me another (Get Physical) (20 Sept)
Ryan Murgaroyd – Wicked eyes (Swoon recordings)
BAILE, Felicia Douglass – Without (Tim Green Remix) (Elements)
What does the rest of 2019 look like for you in terms of new music and touring?
Yeah look I’m not taking any prisoners this next few months. First off Is That You? Is out right now on all stores. Secondly, Get Physical music have just released a very cool deep house track I did with Mikhaela Faye, which is everything I like in a club record, with sultry vocals and a killer bassline. I’m in Berlin at the end of September for the 17 years of Get Physical Party with Blondish, Sailor and I, MANDY and Cioz. & then 4 October we have a very nifty club record out on Swoon, satirically named ‘Tonald Drump’ , which is all about big synths and massive drops for late night club action, basically the complete antithesis of ‘Is that you?’ but still with my sonic signature in it…
Any final words for our DMC World readers?
Please stream my records because its 2019 and my dog is on a grain-free paleo diet to cure his autoimmune disease, and that shit is expensive! Thanks for having me!