maven46 meets: Ashley Beedle

Sit down with acid-house genius, Ashely Beedle, as he dishes about his experiences in music, production, Body & Soul and all the sounds in-between

Words by Angie Jachniw
June 20th, 2018

 

DJ, producer, and remix-master Ashley Beedle is no stranger to the good groove. A headliner at this year’s Body & Soul, Beedle’s eager to conquer the stage and deliver vibrant new beats so native to his reggae-meets-electronic reputation. An inaugural member of The Black Science Orchestra and X-Press 2, the DJ’s unique sound transcends beyond age, race or location and makes him one of the timeless, pioneering names in the acid-house scene since its induction in the 1980’s…

On being a musical influence…

When I made my first record 26 years ago with Rob Mello, John Howard and Danny Arno as The Black Science Orchestra, I had no illusions of being a musical role model to anyone. But over the years, other producers and remixers have cited my work as being a major influence and for that reason, I am always humbled. It’s an honour to be in that position for so long in one’s career.

On X-Press 2’s international success…

I can only speak for myself – not at first. Because of the lack of social media, you weren’t as aware of a track’s popularity until you physically travelled to the US and saw the reaction to the record in a club. There were no Boiler Room videos, no blogs, no vlogs, no Twitter, no camera phones, no Facebook…imagine that! It was only later that I realised the impact that we’d had on the American House scene.

On hearing his song on the radio for the first time…

It was probably Pete Tong on Radio 1 with Black Science Orchestra ‘Where Were You’. I would imagine I was pretty ecstatic as it was a REALLY big deal to be on Radio 1 and the listenership to Pete’s show was through the roof. Once you’d been played on his show, it catapulted that track and the artist(s) to a whole new level.

On the creative process behind marrying acid-house and reggae music…

The production process never changes for me. Each time I go in the studio with my team, the track that we’re working on is handled in the same way. I listen to the construction/arrangement, check out the middle eight/bridge, see how the vocals sit, where the chorus and verses come and then start to think about remixing the stems/parts/components of the composition. And then the rest is easy…..

On the genres that just don’t mesh with the electronic sound…

 Thrash and death metal vs folk – not a lot of room to maneuver.

On emerging from the shadows of hiss early musical aliases…

I used to like hiding behind nom de plumes – I think I was influenced by George Clinton’s antics. But as you mature musically, you become more comfortable in your own skin. I’ve come out of the shadows, baby! 

On the evolution of production and various musical nostalgias…

I was discussing this with my partner, Jo the other day. The equipment that we worked on during the first Black Science Orchestra sessions would be like driving a 1920’s Ford Model T on a grid full of Ferraris at a Formula One race today. Samples took hours to produce where they only take seconds now. So, present-day technology has revolutionized the way I work as a producer – a vast improvement. Do I wish that certain practices had stayed the same? Maybe the ability to splice a tape on a Studer mixing block with a chinagraph pencil, a razor blade and some editing tape…that’s a lost art – but that’s just musical nostalgia.

 On the most anticipated acts at Body and Soul 2018…

Without a doubt, the man who has created the soundtrack to Body & Soul, Glenn Davis, who just had his ‘Body & Soul’ EP out on F*CLR Records. I’ve never seen him DJ and this will be a great opportunity to catch his set. Plus, Bon Voyage – expect the unexpected – FIERCE!

On music transcending geography…

Music knows no boundaries. With the most recent of my remixes – Ashley Beedle’s North Street Remix of Blazer’s ‘Groove Sequence’, there has been a huge uptake in South Africa which is brilliant – a global house arena that’s blowing up at the moment.

Follow:

Twitter: @theashleybeedle

FB: www.facebook.com/ashleybeedle/

Ashley Beedle will be performing on the ABSOLUT stage at Body and Soul 2018.

Body and Soul 2018 will take place in the grounds of Ballinlough Castle in Westmeath between June 22nd and 24th. Final weekend tickets and both limited Saturday and Sunday tickets are still available for purchase via the website.