SR0034: THE NOISE NARRATIVE
Alongside working as a digital strategist for Orbital, Carl Craig & The Hydra (McCartney) training to be a psychiatrist (Mackereth), Will McCartney & Will Mackereth DJ under The Noise Narrative and for SR0034 they bring a mix full of ambient, chuggers, Detroit-style electro, garage and some ravier elements.
Tell us about the two of you?
McCartney: I’m originally from Shropshire. As a kid, my parents played a mix of genres: The Smiths, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Blondie, Beautiful South, Depeche Mode. As a teenager, I listened to lots of Odd Future, James Blake & Arcade Fire. I started DJing at uni -- I bought a cheap controller just to use at house parties. Over the years my taste has moved on to more dance-oriented music, as well as global rock/guitar music more recently.
Mackereth: I’m also from Shropshire. Growing up, I listened to a lot of rock -- Pink Floyd, The Who, Nirvana, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, etc. I’ve always had an interest in music outside the UK and discovering new sounds -- my taste changes depending on what I’m listening to at the time. I’ve always been a music enthusiast and picked up the decks over the last couple of years.
What do you do besides DJing?
McCartney: Before COVID, I worked as a digital strategist for a number of musicians including Orbital, Carl Craig & The Hydra. Since being furloughed, I have been lucky to have lots of free time; I’ve been doing freelance music writing and building the website & brand for The Noise Narrative.
Mackereth: The majority of my time is taken up with studies -- I’ve just completed a degree from King’s College and will graduate from Lancaster medical school next year. I hope to become a psychiatrist; music and mixing is a happy escape from the professional environment! Besides that, get me outside or to the pub.
What started your DJ career? How did The Noise Narrative start?
McCartney: I wouldn’t say my DJ career has started at all, I’ve always just done it for fun or simply to motivate myself to discover more music. The Noise Narrative started a year ago in my tiny bedroom in a Hackney flat: I bought a microphone from Facebook Marketplace for £20 and started recording a weekly mix/podcast and putting it on Mixcloud. In the last 3 months, The Noise Narrative has evolved into an underground music platform, and I’ll be launching it in the coming weeks! Writers and DJs make yourselves known!
Mackereth: Likewise, I wouldn’t call it a career. It’s mostly been done in my room and small house parties. I’ve been helping out with The Noise Narrative, heading up the Ear To The Ground section of the site, which aims to dive into underground movements around the world in order to shed light on how different musicians are using their output to respond to the societies that surround them.
What defines your sound? What inspires you?
McCartney: Although I’ve only been listening to music seriously for a few years, my sound has changed massively depending on where I’ve lived. At university in Nottingham, I played a lot of bassline and grime -- I loved the local rap scene with people like Mez and Snowy. My love for dance/chuggers started at Lukas Wigflex’s parties in Nottingham, which always had great lineups. When I lived in Amsterdam, I listened to a lot of disco & soul -- going to ADE helped me discover new artists. London has been the most musically formative place for me -- working in music has exposed me to lots of new sounds.
Mackereth: Growing up in Shropshire and then Lancaster, there was no music scene around me. So, I ended up searching for music from here, there and everywhere on my own. I’m always looking for anything that stands out, regardless of genre. I wouldn’t say I particularly feel a part of any scene, however, it’s been nice to explore UK history through UKG and rave culture. I really like the sound and the stories surrounding their beginnings.
What music or producers are really exciting you right now?
McCartney: I’m really enjoying some of the sounds coming out of Melbourne at the moment -- labels like Analogue Attic are making great stuff. Scotland’s Craigie Knowes is another label killing it right now, and I’ve also recently found this Berlin collective called Peace On Earth -- they’re putting out some tasty chug. Outside of dance, I’m really digging post-rockers like God Speed You Black Emperor and Do Make Say Think, as well as some of the underground hip-hop in the US -- MAVI, Medhane, MIKE are all doing bits.
Mackereth: I’ve been listening to a lot of psychedelia recently, exploring Kikagaku Moyo’s GuruGuru Brain label, which gives a platform to undiscovered bands from across Asia. There’s some really great stuff! Also, there’s a stream of heavy garage-rock psychedelia coming out of Scandinavia, bands like Mythic Sunship. I’ve also been going back to a lot of classic Detroit techno, house and electro, and have recently delved into Tunisia’s take on these genres, particularly HearThug’s Are You Alien imprint.
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