With the second part of his collaborative project with Phantasy Sound’s James Welsh dropping in mid-April, UK producer Alexander Church introduces himself.
Who are you?
My name is Alexander Church.
Where are you from?
I am from Bradford, West Yorkshire.
What do you sound like?
I sound quite varied to be honest.
Why should we listen to you?
That is not something for me to decide, only you can decide that.
What have you released so far? What else have you got coming out in the near future?
I have released quite a lot of music that is quite contrasting in style. My productions tend to be made based on how I am feeling at that time. I can internalise a lot of things in life, so music is a good way to release this.
Which of your tracks sums you up? Why?
I made a track in 2004 called Lost Identity. I think this sums me up in a lot of ways. I used to struggle a lot with self-identity however recently I have overcome this through academic studies in psychology and counselling.
How did you get into DJing/producing to begin with?
I used to listen to rave tapes at school around 1996; I found music was something I could connect with and I became hooked. My Dad bought me some belt-drive turntables and I saved every week for vinyl. Whilst all my friends were out socialising, I was at home practising and building up my vinyl collection. Every vinyl I had was catalogued in order and I immersed myself into the labels and artwork of them all. I was fascinated with why the artist had picked the artwork and tried to connect the music the image on the sleeve. Producing was a natural development to my me being a DJ and I then started to collect and build up collections of synths and equipment. These days producing is my thing and my escapism and I do not DJ anymore.
What are three things on your studio shopping list?
I would like to rephrase this question to what three things should I get rid of?
I am very lucky that I have collected lots of studio equipment and I have so much of it. Currently I am immersed in learning the Waldorf Kyra, the ASM Hydra synth and the Modor NF1 Synth. I am really enjoying them and getting some great results. Interestingly enough I have been a bit of an analogue snob previously to trying these, I love my OB-6 my Buchla Music Easel and all my other synths however, I am starting to question does it really make any difference to how my music sounds or the end quality? I don’t think so in my humble opinion.
What or who is your biggest influence and why?
I have lots of influences from different times and I must say Anthony Child (Surgeon) is a great influence along with Luke Mcmillan (the DJ Producer) and Sasha. All of these artists have been there since I started in 1996 and are still going today. I always follow them and support them wherever I can. Anthony Child did a live performance using a Buchla Easel in Glasgow a few years ago. It was in an arts space and It was amazing, so inspiring that artists that were once known for the dancefloor start to expand and offer people different experiences in accessing their music.
Who or what have you sacrificed for your art?
I sometimes sacrifice time with those I love for my music. I can lose hours in the studio making music and it does sometimes become isolating. I try managing this as best as I can, however, it is not easy.
What’s been your favourite place to play so far?
When I was younger I enjoyed playing in Ibiza as the venues I played at were not large so I could play a really mellow vibe that was fitting to the experience. From a club perspective, I played a live set under my Dronelock Pseudonym a few years ago at Corsica Studios in London. It was a great experience however it took a lot of time and effort setting up the equipment. I much prefer making music than performing.
Where can we hear your music?
I release on vinyl & digital and my label is www.configofself.com
What one song would feature on the soundtrack to your life?
So much great inspiring music out there, I could not put my finger on one song that would represent the soundtrack to my life.
What motivates you?
I think Death motivates me to be honest. I want to achieve as much as I can in life.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
I am currently on the journey to become a psychoanalytical psychotherapist.
Complete this sentence: At heart I’m just an…
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve received?
Drink plenty of water.
Where will you be in five years’ time?
Doing what I am doing now. Making music that I enjoy and supporting people with emotional health-related issues.
Alexander Church Exploring Fear & Sadness Part 2 (with James Welsh remixes) is released on Configurations of Self on 10th April 2020