West Wales to Awesome Tapes from Africa.
I’m originally from Cardigan, a small seaside town in West Wales but I’m currently based in Bristol. Growing up I never really had much musical influence from my parents, neither really encouraged me to pick up any instruments but I can remember my dad playing stuff from White Snake to 90’s club classics. Whereas my mam played a lot of Kate Bush and Clannad, so it was all pretty varied. I started DJing for fun in school, heading up a few nights amongst friends in the local area. Then when I started university at Bristol, I began to discover new music that pushed me to keep exploring and that’s where I’m at today. I remember going to see Awesome Tapes from Africa, which made me think a lot more about musical context. That has now become central in the way I find and choose tracks to play, I love nerding out on the artist’s background and the when and why it was made.
The alias Devvul is not as exciting as Satan himself, it derived from my grandmother calling me it growing up and my poorly formed phonetic spelling as I was taught in Welsh at school.
On the airwaves in Amsterdam.
Living in such an isolated part of the UK meant that my only means to the outside world was through the internet, so when it came to escaping it all, music was a great gateway. I explored a lot of music from Africa, Brazil and all over the world but only recently looked closer to home. For about a year and a half I’ve been primarily focused on getting hold of Welsh language music from the likes of Ty Gwydr, Llwybr Llaethog and Eirin Peryglus. In doing so, I’ve made some great friends and it’s reminded me of the sense of community I felt growing up which is ultimately what inspired me to start Djing outside of my home. Freedom of Groovement has been huge for me in that sense, my good friend Thomas (who heads the show/event) has been amazingly supportive and has introduced me and other listeners of his show to a huge amount of music from all over. The music I play is influenced a lot by mood, but also by the weather. I’ve even started up my own series on Radio Tempo Não Pára in Amsterdam called WeatherFM.
It’s great to know who’s playing the tunes you love.
The mix is a culmination of sounds I’ve been listening to more recently, jumping between bhangra, tribal house, dub and some more ambient inspired moments amongst others. If I could I’d play every subgenre under the sun, but my primary focus when it comes to picking tracks is context. I very rarely play anything beyond 1996, and if I do is more often light edits of original music. If a release has some mysterious back story then I’ll pick it up, but I try to focus on tracks that are between genres with an interesting sound or language.
I’m really digging downtempo style stuff right now, so stuff like ragga and trip-hop are my main spots of digging for the moment. Producers and selectors like Smiling C, Yucca Mü and Dar Disku are always cooking up surprises. Vish from Dar Disku is a good friend too so we’re always sending each other stuff. I speak with them all fairly frequently, so it’s great to know who’s playing the tunes you love.
Closing the gap between the new and the established.
Dance Discover was started initially as a small Instagram feed with some of Aumar’s favourite ID’s. I eventually managed to get on board with him about 2 ½ years ago, and since then we’ve really grown as a platform in terms of involvement. Our main aim from the beginning was to close the gap between budding artists and those who are already well established. So we can have a mix entry from a bedroom DJ one week to a mix from the likes of Marcellus Pittman the next which keeps things diverse. I focus mostly on new projects, so events and more recently filming have been my main involvements. Aumar’s got a great network in Amsterdam and we talk daily about new ways of strengthening the community. Guest mixes and premieres are mostly done via submissions, however, we do try and scout for individuals who we feel would be suited to our audience and attempt to establish better connections between other platforms.
Freedom to Obscurity.
I’ve been playing a lot for Freedom of Groovement with Thomas which had been great until the virus. But since then I’ve been attempting to brainstorm ideas whilst being stuck inside, so I’m hoping to soon release a new blog and mixtape series called ‘Chasing Obscurity’ whereby we find interesting music with interesting backstories. I was also hoping to head to KALA Festival this year, however, that’s now been changed to a week-long record digging trip around Europe. The last 12 months have been a whirlwind of excitement, from running a charity set in my hometown to the highlight of Tilly’s set at Noods Radio’s 4th birthday. I’m hoping to take this time inside as a time to reflect and plan the next project, whilst also doing some online digging.