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Dead Man’s Chest: Inside Nautilus

Dead Man’s Chest: Inside Nautilus

Dead Man’s Chest certainly draws you in… is it a nostalgic wormhole back to a different time? Or is it just totally, completely contemporary? One thing’s for sure… when the door clanks behind you on Nautilus, you’re somewhere utterly different. Eveson took us through the various histories of this and he gave us a nice hoovertastic moment too.

How would you sum up DMC in five words?

Dusty early nineties mixtape nostalgia

Can you take us through ‘Liquid 94’ in terms of when it came about and what inspired?

I was writing the music at the start of the year and needed a lead track for my follow up to the Dreamscapes EP that was released at the end of 2014. Where Dreamscapes had a more sombre and ethereal vibe overall, with the Nautilus EP, I wanted to touch on the more drifty, uplifting nature of early Goodlooking-style tunes and work it into a kind of subdued, underwater aesthetic… along with the token switch ups to ‘darkside rinseout’ so common in early 90s hardcore rave.

So basically the overall EP has a loose aquatic theme which is tied together with the artwork. Whether this theme is realised by listeners or not isn’t so much the point, it just helps me having something in mind when writing/compiling a collection of music.

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If you close your eyes and think of the tune, what do you see?

A hazy vision of halcyon days lost to time and etched in memory.

Is it just a title or does the ’94’ have some relevance?

As this project is inspired by nostalgia and the music I listened to as a kid, for this ep I thought it’d be fun to go in on my oldschool tape collection and taking small snapshots of some of the landmark tunes I listened to as a kid, flipping, twisting and recontextualising them to create original compositions which drop hints at the music that pulled me into and sculpted this life of mine.

‘Liquid 94’ is an homage to Liquid’s lesser known track ‘Liquid Is Liquid’, which – although originally released in 92 – I first discovered in 1994 on a compilation called Rave Generation 2. This and the original Rave Generation tapes were my bridge between discovering The Prodigy and immersing myself in the world of Fantazia/Dreamscape/Dancetrance tape packs which led to my love of Jungle/D&B further down the line.

Tell us about ‘The Future’…

‘The Future’ is an example of the duality of those early 90s pioneering rave tunes that flipped one moment to the next between blissed out musicality and gully rawness, which is something I miss in dance music these days where the mood tends to be more streamlined throughout.

After writing the tune I had to let it sit with me for a while before I decided the sections worked together or they were too disparate but I came round to the vibe in the end and it works for me now.

I like to drop little easter eggs for the oldschool ravers into the arrangements and was looking for a way to sign the EP off… I’ve been putting a little more effort into my outros with the Dead Man’s Chest stuff, looking to create entire pieces of music that are interesting throughout and not just DJ style rollouts.

So I found a video of Fantazia at Castle Donington in 1992 which finishes with the MC winding things down in the early hours stating ‘join us in the future’. I’d already named the tune and the sample was in key so it slotted straight in as an outro.

I was pretty happy with that find.

Who inspires you? In terms of art, music, DJing, you name it. Living or dead.

These days, rather than be inspired by any person in particular, my inspiration is drawn from years of experience, memories and fascination with different styles and eras of music, art and culture, so I’d say what really inspires me is more of a collaborative effort of the experiences i’ve collected over time.

Although constantly being amazed and impressed by the work artists are creating today, looking to the past also brings back the emotional and soulful attachment I had to those places in time and I find that really exciting to work with.

So what’s a memory of your time in the music for you.

Post-festival gig, wandering through sunny fields looking for a lake, all trippy and spangled and being started on by a rowdy bull that was extra aggy down to all the newly born calves in the field I decided to take a stroll through. I charged the bastard and it legged it.

What’s your favourite object in your studio?

My chair. My first years working in whatever I could find to perch on gave me serious back troubles, which I suffered from far more than years of skating, bmx and snowboarding combined, I bit the bullet and invested in a big comfy reclining leather beast which sorted me out hugely.

If you spend hours at the computer, get a decent chair.

What tune is in your head right now?

Youtube’s taken a wander as I’ve been writing my responses and ended up at Ellis Dee at Fantazia NYE 1991. He just dropped Isotonik ‘Different Strokes’, big tune.

What’s next from you? And what about Eveson work per se?

Another Dead Man’s Chest EP to drop after this one which will complete a three part series.

The original concept was a collection of tunes intended to work as an album, and once the series is complete, I’d like to compile everything into a mixtape format that brings it all together as ultimately the whole project was started in order to recreate the vibe of my 20+ year old mixtapes, possibly with some remixes to boot.

I’ve been asked to write another Eveson album also, people that have been following me for a while will have seen my output slow drastically after the release of my 2012 album The Last Summer of Love.

After spending so much time working on an album with an overall concept, I found it really difficult to slip back into the mode of churning out singles and I now find working on projects under an overall concept far more satisfying.

The Dead Man’s Chest alias has really stirred the creative juices in terms of drawing heavily on nostalgia so in regard to a second ‘Eveson’ album, the idea of creating something that draws on my love of moody mid to late 90s trip-hop and rugged D&B flavours is quite enticing. And sounds like an enjoyable blueprint to work with.

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You can follow Damian B on Twitter, @DAMIAN___B
D&B for some time now; studied at institution of Fabio & Grooverider.