Host Spotlight: All Trades

Host Spotlight: an opportunity to shine a light on our wonderful radio hosts and wider community, be it a new music release, a brand new music residency or simply to champion them as an individual. This week, we’re delighted to sit down with All Trades, host of Altered Voltage where he chatted about his inspirations for his live set and his aspirations for the future!

Hey All Trades! It has been a pleasure to have your show Altered Voltage on the station! How would you describe your show to someone who hasn’t heard it before.

A real mixed bag of everything aggressive. The show is 2 hours long and normally runs from about 90 to 200bpm in that time! Bridging gaps between Electro, Dubstep, Acid, Jungle, Techno and Gabber, all with a penchant for barmy sound design.

Not only are you an incredibly talented producer with some great releases this year on PLUSH and Interlock, you also perform an amazing live set alongside! How did you first get into producing music and performing your music live? 

Thanks so much! I had a really affirming moment last week when I found out that Aphex Twin had played one of my tracks to about 20 thousand people on the last show of his world tour at Forwards Festival in Bristol. Crazy to think such an influential artist is onto my music and rates it enough to play out, I was going mental when I found out haha. 

I started to dabble in production around late 2018, and by that time I’d already been out and heard a lot of electronic music, so I knew what it took to make a good track. My head was bursting with ideas, I just had to learn how to use the software to turn my ideas into audio. The more I progressed with my production, the more I felt that the laptop keyboard & trackpad was limiting my creativity. I needed to be able to turn a knob and hear the sound change in real time. This led me to build up a collection of hardware, which eventually turned into long jam sessions using my synths, drum machine, and now my eurorack modular rig, figuring out how to transition between different tracks and build a body of music that can flow from one mood to the next.

As an artist, inspiration can come from anywhere and anyone, who have you seen live recently who has inspired you to write music and how did you draw inspiration from them? 

If we are talking live sets – KiNK is the boss. I saw him do a 3 hour live set in Panorama Bar which was absolutely flawless, and more recently on the main stage at Fusion Festival. Each time I’ve seen him do a set he manages to keep it fresh and exciting, stacks of undeniable grooves and it always hits hard on the dancefloor.

DJ Stingray 313 is the wickedest DJ around, I got to see him nail it for the umpteenth time recently, his selections and the way he plays tracks has a big impact on my sound design and arrangements. 

Looking to the future, what would be your dream venue or club to play at and why?

FOLD in London is always a dream to play at, top crew, top sound, top crowd at what I consider is the UK’s best party – UNFOLD. But for somewhere I’ve never played before, I would love to do more european festivals in 2024. Prieste5s & I performed our From The Depths live set at Fusion Festival in Germany this summer and it was an incredible experience. I had crippling FOMO of all my mates that went to Draaimolen this year – the stage design is wicked, and my reports confirm that the sound is on point, so that would be on the dream gig list for sure. That being said, stick me in a dark room with a fat rig to rip some sound out of and I’m pretty content.

Having been deeply involved within this city’s underground music scene, what aspects of Liverpool’s music community makes you proud to be a part of it? 

I have been in Liverpool for longer than most other people in the music scene – almost 10 years now, as many of the people in the scene are here while they are studying and then move on, so I have seen a few ‘generations’ of DJs/crews/parties/venues come and go now. I must say that the PLUSH parties that Ollie & Nathan have been curating over the past 2 years have caught a feeling that few parties can, let alone maintain over such a period. I get the same vibe at those parties as I did at the Meine Nacht parties around 2016-2018, yeah you might have a banging rave at one of the many parties in town now, but PLUSH seems to capture a real spirit – indescribable yet tangible. Being a resident for PLUSH has allowed myself to develop my live set, and I have witnessed many other artists have the space to express themselves and grow, something that can only be achieved with such an accepting environment as PLUSH. 

What was the last record/tune you bought that sticks in your mind and why?

I didn’t buy it recently but I did discover it recently, an Alex K donk remix of Pump It Up, it is as absolutely ridiculous as it sounds. I was digging through an old job lot of records that my dad bought about 10 years ago and was creased when I put it on the turntable. I was digging through the records for an all vinyl house music set b2b with Lemyn, for the recent PLUSH live stream. Naturally I had to ruin the lovely house music vibes with the obnoxious track, it does absolutely fucking bang though. I will most definitely be giving it a spin at the next PLUSH 30th September.

Do you have any exciting upcoming projects that you can share with us?

I’m currently finishing my next EP and plan on having it out before the end of the year on my label Interlock, we have a stack of music to release over the next 6 months, including an EP from Maxquerade, who I run the label with. The next step for my live set is to incorporate audio reactive visuals, using my modular rig to generate and modulate the visuals in real time using a program called TouchDesigner. I’ll be making some upgrades to my setup soon and will be running a full audiovisual live set at some point next year. 

Aside from that, on 10th November Prieste5s and I will be bringing the From The Depths live set back to Eastern Bloc in Manchester. We will be giving a workshop on how the live set works, and doing a performance afterwards. AbuQadim Haqq, the visual artist behind Drexciya & Underground Resistance, who also created the artwork for our EP, will be flying over from Detroit to be in attendance as part of his 30 year anniversary of techno art tour. Brighter Sound, the music development charity who commissioned the original project have put the event together, the night is set to be really special, a celebration of the past 2 years of work that everyone involved with From The Depths has put so much time into. A very large bigup to Brighter Sound each & every time.