ADSR Mix 018: Brandon McGrath

Aug. 5. 2016

ADSR Mix 018 by Brandon McGrath based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

This week we sit down with Victoria born, Portland raised techno DJ: Brandon McGrath.  Having recently relocated to Vancouver, Brandon has wasted no time making a local impact, being involved with a string of quality events through DJing, promoting and organizing.  Read on as we talk about the pacific northwest, his favourite artists, and some upcoming events.  And be sure to listen to the hour long minimal techno journey he’s kindly left for us below.

Hey Brandon wats up?
Not much, just got home from work. Pretty chill day of bike riding and delivering things.

Talk to us a bit about your time in Portland.  How was the scene and how did it shape your sound.
I can’t really speak for Portland’s techno scene to be honest. I was underage while living there and there’s really nothing to make it to if that’s the case. Although, I do think that not being able to participate in Portland’s scene played a pretty big influence in my “sound”. Since most of my exposure to techno was really just through the internet, at home, I found I was most drawn to stuff that was geared less towards the dancefloor and more towards the mental trip.

Speaking of your sound, how would you describe that?
I don’t know exactly, a mix of ambient, deep and dub techno maybe.

ADSR Mix 018 by Brandon McGrath based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

What attracts you to the more minimal, stripped down style of techno?
Its less about the groove and more about the atmosphere. I’ve found with the more minimal and atmospheric stuff that the mix can sound a little bland when the tracks play out on their own, but can create some pretty cool soundscapes when layering 2 or 3 tracks on top of each other for several minutes at a time. Long blends and subtle progression. I especially love the range of 90-115bpm, there’s a lot of room for intricate rhythm between the beats. Definitely not stuff you’d dance hard to, but it’s nice on the ears.

What PNW (Pacific Northwest) artists are you digging at the moment?
A lot of the secondnature peeps in Seattle. I’ve been really loving Archivists releases on Blankstairs and Truth or Consequences. Also wndfrm. I’m feeling pretty honored to be  playing on the same bill as him this Saturday. There’s a lot of great artists in the PNW. Coast2c in Portland played a pretty banging set before White Visitation last weekend while I was in town, and my friend Ben Glas in Portland produces some pretty wonky experimental stuff that I’ve been into for a while as well. Would love to see him play up here sometime..

And you are playing alongside some talented artists this weekend for Cascadian Architextures 2.  What do you have in store for that event?
Looks like i’ll be slotted right between wndfrm and Datataste. Apparently Datataste has something a little heavier in store for us. I’ll be bridging that gap by starting out on the floatier and mellow side before priming Datataste for liftoff.

Take us through the mix you have for us.  
I kind of went in reverse for this one, I usually start out on the lighter/mellower side of things but this one starts out a little darker, broodier before lightening up towards the end. I also recorded this a few months ago while i was off work for a few weeks due to a bad bike accident. I was in a weird mood at that time.

Parting words?
It’s going to be a good weekend.

Cascadian Architextures v2 with DJ set by Brandon McGrath.