Tuesday, 11 March 2008

The boy with the Thorn on his side

Other than Ben Watt, this is the man Tracey Thorn spends a lot of time with. In the studio that is. Ewan Pearson, aka amongst other pseudonyms, Dirtbox, produced Tracey's Out of the Woods album and has just been recording new stuff with her. He's one of those musicians with lots of slashes in his job title: musician/remixer/DJ/producer. I've dipped in and out of his music over the years, sometimes without knowing it was the same person behind it. But La Thorn has helped tie up all those loose ends.

For a start, I didn't realise he was behind a dance act called Maas from about ten years ago - I always thought they were some faceless Dutch act or something. Another Saturday Night (listen/buy here at iTunes) is a gorgeous tune which seems very of its time listening back now. It was always popping up in a mate's set. He got everyone into it at many a sweaty house party. The Chicane-like album Latitude is worth a listen too.

As a remix whore, sometimes there are mixes that are quite obviously for the moolah, but looking at Ewan's vare long list here, the biggest names sit easy in his canon, like he's chosen HIS kind of music: Depeche Mode's Enjoy the Silence, Pet Shop Boys' Psychological, a couple of Goldfrapp and even Franz Ferdinand. With American folksy musician, Cortney Tidwell (great name) he's brought out the Icelandic in her. The remix (download below) for the beautiful Don't Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up is how Bjork needs to sound now.

As Ewan says: “The only thing that matters is doing stuff that you care about and you can be proud of. Ultimately, if it got to the point where I was either playing records or making records that I hated, I’d stop. I’d rather be a postman.”

Over on HisSpace here is the new single Telescope by Partial Arts, his current nom de plume as an ongoing project with Al Usher. It's such a lush sound, like velvet on the ears and quietly funky. Another example below, the previous single, Trauermusik, is equally as gorgeous.

It's interesting to find out how long it's taken for him to get where he is now: “I initially just wanted to produce and I didn’t ever imagine that I’d be an artist particularly, the whole reason I started was just to learn how to do it. Some people are trained musically or they are in bands, with me I’d just had this idea from childhood that I had to work out how to produce music. And it’s only recently that I have actually realised I’m now doing exactly what I hoped I would be doing, seventeen years ago. I’ve produced eight tracks of Rapture and half of the new Tracey Thorn album and more stuff to come this year [2007]. It’s taken a while, but it’s been great.”

Train (Ewan Pearson 6/8 Vocal) - Goldfrapp (zShare)

Shiver (Ewan's Bari Girl Remix) - Silver City

Trauermusik - Partial Arts (zShare)

Don't Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up (Ewan Pearson Remix) - Cortney Tidwell (zShare)

Go here
for an in depth interview from last year on Higher Frequency, where he talks about worrying that his stuff is rubbish and then finding out Neil Tennant has exactly the same feelings.


Adem With An E said...

Have you heard that remix of "Shiver" in a club before? REALLY euphoric dance floor moment and one of my favourite remixes of all time.

Phil said...

You're so right, Adem. Gorgeous!