Patrick Topping remembers the first time he sent a demo to Hot Creations chief Jamie Jones. Turns out that Jamie fancied it, played the shit out of the record, became an open outlet for more music, and eventually began officially signing Patrick's stuff to the label.
In the years since, Jamie's support for the UK native has figuratively strapped a rocket to the young lad's career and sent him soaring towards dance music prominence. Not only is Patrick now the most released artist on the boundless Hot Creations—with Ibiza's undisputed song of the 2014 summer, "Forget", to his credit—but he's had the opportunity to see his stock as a DJ rise with it. Now a resident at the international Paradise extravaganza, Patrick has also been out on the road himself, bringing his arsenal of devastating production pieces along for the ride. Believe us when we say that nothing sounds quite like him.
It's been a quite a trip for the former bedroom producer who made his bones running techno nights in his hometown, and he's taken the opportunity to chat with THUMP about it.
THUMP: Right now I believe dance music is in a 'DJ fixation', where there is a lot more emphasis on what a performer is playing instead of what a producer is making. Do you see yourself as a producer first and foremost?
Patrick: I would say I now class myself as much a DJ as I do a producer. I understand more people initially knew me for my productions, but I would love to get to a point where people recognize me equally for my DJing. I think it is starting to get more like that. Then again, the producer status is something I'm very proud of.
Last summer in Ibiza, I referred to you as the 'sound of Paradise'. How important is your current association with the event series?
With DC-10 opening up both rooms so often and elevating the atmosphere each week, I felt that last year was the one Paradise that really came into its own. Playing for Paradise is really important to me, it's such an honour to be a resident. The party is gaining such a reputation all over the world, so it can only be seen as a good thing to have this association with such a respected brand.
Going back to your style of production, it utilizes everything from melodic keys, trippy FX, intricate percussions and high energy build ups to stomping bass, infectious top-lines, glitchy rhythms and old school synths. And then there are your breaks and driving build-ups between them. True dance-floor bombs. What influenced and inspired this sound?
I would say it's my years spent in clubs. My sound is very much aimed at the dance-floor. After all, my favourite clubbing experiences and musical memories have all played a part in shaping what I make today. Most of the music that has struck a chord with me over the years has been the exciting and dramatic standout tracks you hear in sets. The ones that you talk about with your friends for ages after. It's those kind of moments I want to try to recreate in my work. I don't really make warm-up tunes or 'tracky' DJ tools. I'd rather try to make something that someone is hopefully going to remember. Something I could send to my friends and make them say, "What the fuck is this?" [laughs].
So on that note, I am hoping you can give me some intel on some of your best tunes. The real monsters…
"Boxed Off": A couple of my close friends joke around saying it's the best track I've made and it was unlucky to be released along with "Forget"!
"Forget": As soon as I sent it to Jamie, he replied saying it was my biggest track yet.
"Get Beasty": Maybe the track I'm most proud of production wise, to reach #1 on Beatport's Tech House chart too was crazy.
"Look Around": Originally it had more open hi-hats, but Jamie asked me to try some less pumping ones. We ended up going with his advice of closed 909s.
"In My": Another one that slightly changed after feedback from Jamie! He's been an incredible source of feedback.
"Schwicked": The title is actually Geordie, which refers to Newcastle slang… well, in some circles. It's our representation for the word 'wicked', as in… good!
"Strights Up": I was really happy to have this one included in that EP, as it was a bit different to other tracks. I think that was one of the main reasons Jamie included it too. He said it showed diversity. I was really buzzing to see this crop up in an Adam Beyer set too.
Those are all Hot Creations tracks, but you have also released on a wide range of other labels, from Defected, Toolroom, Avotre, Cajual, Moon Harbour to plenty others. How do these diversify your portfolio?
Most of my original productions have been on Hot Creations, so it's been cool to do remixes for other imprints to help spread my sound out further. But overall, I'm more than happy to have the majority of my releases with Hot Creations. It's my favourite and I would say that even if it weren't my home.
You are still very involved in the local music scene with Motion back in Newcastle. The bigger you get and more international gigs you book, does keeping a presence at home become more important than ever?
Kind of, yeah, because now that I'm away from the place so much, it's really nice to come and play in front of all my friends who I don't see as often. So that's one of the reason I'm continuing Motion. It's an opportunity to get our crew together. It has also been going on years before I even released any music or started playing outside the city. I've put a lot of time into it, which I like doing anyway. Plus there is a new side to it now that I enjoy too, which is being able to bring artists I've met on the road to my home city.
Do you feel any responsibility to help grow the scene or cultivate the talent pool there?
There are so many great parties in Newcastle at the moment anyway. So I don't think it necessarily needs Motion to nurture the scene, but it does add something different I feel.
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