Manchester Based Techno DJ/Producer Kerouac has recently reached dizzy heights with the release of his debut EP hitting 7th in Beatport’s Techno, Tech House and Deep House charts, as well as 20th throughout all of Beatport’s Releases. It’s safe to say the still relatively under the radar artist has been striking big. We’ve caught up with Kerouac to find out more about the man behind the music.
Originally from Preston U.K, Kerouac AKA Tim Shaw moved to the buzzing and musically rich city of Manchester a few years ago, where he’s been honing his production skills ever since. As an artist producing music within genres so heavily defined by electronically engineered sound, his musical back ground is diverse. Tim explained to us how he originally got into music and how this long standing passion drove him towards producing.
“Music’s been a massive part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’m grade 8 drums, and also play the piano and guitar to a high level, I used to always be in bands when I was younger but for the last few years it’s all kind of been channelled into djing and producing.”
With most up and coming producers nowadays claiming their influence is drawn from the likes of big headline dance acts, with the odd throw back artist such as Prince or Rick James, Tim describes a more organic draw towards the music that influences him.
“Influences for me come from absolutely everywhere. My mum and dad had a massive impression on me musically. They were in Manchester in the 70s and were really into the punk scene and later the new romantic post punk stuff like the smiths and joy division. I grew up listening to all that, as well as the more electronic stuff like Depeche mode and New Order…
I loved indie music growing up, and still do. I’ve always been a bit of a lover of melancholic shit; basically music with a lot of emotion always resonates with me!”
Tim’s tracks are dark and moody compositions, with prevalent melodies and minor keys that create a strong atmosphere around his sound; the ability to create this is something so easily missed within electronic music.
He was picked up by the Italian label Flymusik, a label Tim felt he would fit in well with after rejecting offers from others he thought he wasn’t as suited to. Tim explained how he liked other releases they had bought to the table and that the concept of being involved with a smaller up and coming label made him feel appreciated.
Having signed his original EP as well as a pre signed album set to be released next year; things are looking set for a promising progression within the world of music for Kerouac. As well as this Tim has bedded a few routes closer to home, with a well-known Manchester label planning releases for the New Year.
Since stepping out into the world of Djing Kerouac has performed alongside the likes of Yousef, Flashmob, Detroit Swindle, Hosh, Chesus, Jonny Cade and Squarehead, holding his own amongst some of the biggest names in the industry at venues throughout the U.K.
“ I’ve played loads in Manchester at a number of different venues…held a residency in Newcastle, have played in Liverpool and Leeds, and lots in my home town of Preston and neighbouring Lancaster… I’ve got some interesting future gigs lined up in Europe, as well as one at Hidden in Manchester which is absolutely taking off. What a good club…”
We asked Tim how he felt about doing so well from his debut release and here’s what he had to say….
“To be honest I was so buzzing to even have a record out… I never even thought about if it would do well or not… Then all of a sudden I noticed ‘Ancoats’ creeping up in the Beatport charts… At first it got into the top 100 deep house, techno, and tech house charts and I had to pinch myself… I couldn’t believe it when it got into the top 10, when it ended up 7th in the deep house chart; needless to say I was very happy. I’ve still got a long long way to go with it all obviously, but it was nice to have a good start. I just wanna say thanks to everyone who bought it.”
Get ‘Ancoats’ here: https://pro.beatport.com/release/ancoats/1588075
We went on to ask about his remix of (God’s Song) a track we recently pitched as Frontline’s track of the week. Tim explained how he had contacted the label as he loved the vocals on the track, however the label unfortunately declined as they we’re not looking for remixes at the time, in a spirit that can only be admired by ourselves Tim did it anyway, then choose to give it away for free on his soundcloud.
“God Song is a great record. I love the vocals and really wanted to do a big vocal track so decided to remix it. I asked the label if I could make a remix but they said they weren’t getting any done yet, so I did it anyway! This obviously means it can’t be released so I’ve given it away on my soundcloud. I liked making it though; it’s nice and rhythmic but still has the classic Kerouac moody melodies and tones!”
With some collaboration’s on the cards we’re looking forward to seeing what’s next for Kerouac, especially when considering the bar he’s already set himself. Tim explained how he plans to try a new direction working with a friend that raps. Their aims to merge running vocals through a more tech orientated sound represent Tim’s desire to broaden the parameters of his genre, whilst also challenging its conventions.
Looking forward to the New Year with numerous exciting shows lined up, we asked Tim how he goes into his sets when playing live.
“In terms of my DJ sets, i don’t enormously plan… I’m a huge listener of music and buy so much of it. Before a set I’ll have an idea of what I want to play but really just feed off the crowd and really try to set a mood. If I’m doing a long set of 4 or more hours I’ll keep it very deep and less intense for the first hour and slowly build to a crescendo of more hard techy stuff before levelling off again. The most important thing for me is to just be brave and play what I want to, not what I feel I should. I love obscure music and try to really keep my sets interesting in terms of dynamics and tones. I try to cut between genres and moods, and although it’s horrendously clichéd, I want the crowd to go on a bit of a journey with me.”
It’s safe to say Kerouac has proved himself as a talented producer from the offset, gaining such a great reception for his debut release; however the artist shows no signs of becoming complacent as he looks towards what’s next. We would strongly recommend checking out his music, as well as reminding yourselves to watch this space.
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