Interview: Waskerley Way | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Waskerley Way AKA Michael Bridgewater has already crafted some fascinating music so far, drawing on hip-hop influences it’s all lead to something very original. We caught up with him for a chat ahead of his new EP release Nexialism, which is set to be his most striking release to date.

How’s the start of 2016 been for you?

It has been champion; a very busy one so far in terms of personal bits and bats, but I have still been able to put some time aside to work on Waskerley Way stuff. I tend to get a bit restless if I go too long without making a new batch of jams.

Can you tell us a bit about this EP?

It’s called Nexialism and it’s coming out on tape via the Nijinsky’s Asylum label. I don’t like to draw up a specification in advance for myself to realise when it comes to composition, but I wanted this one to be written around the broad theme of ‘survival’; that is, of both people in danger and threatened cultures, through resistance and strategies of evolution. Sounds-wise I wanted to make tracks that would be compatible with the way my live shows seem to be going – everything’s getting more propulsive and noisy, so there’s a lot of mangled ‘found sounds’ layered over heavier drum beats and figures composed using emulations of sound chips from old games consoles, namely the Commodore 64, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive and Super Nintendo. It’s more than a technostalgia thing for me (although admittedly it is partially that); these sound chips are capable of some crazy things so they’re a lot of fun to mess about with.

How has your sound developed since you started?

Waskerley Way was a decidedly lo-fi thing early on, which reflected the limited gear I had at home and the fuzzy experimental pop stuff that was floating about at the time. My early releases didn’t have much in the way of dynamic or textural development, which wasn’t necessarily a deficiency, but I got a bit bored of that sort of thing eventually. Whilst my more recent tracks do feature little melodic fragments, mostly in the vocals, I’m really not interested in having a melody serve as the main focus of a track. I feel like more pertinent musical information can be found in listening to what happens when certain sounds are layered against each other, even if they don’t sound like they should go together!

Who or what inspires you?

Anyone making music who does it because it’s just what they do, without any careerist aspirations, enjoying music’s capacity as a means of communication that transcends language. We do really well for music up here, and we’ve got some great labels and promoters like Box Records, Good Food, Lugubrious Audio, Nijinsky’s Asylum, and Endless Window helping things along.

Where would you like to take Waskerley Way?

Into space. When NASA launched the Voyager in 1977 they put a record on board featuring stuff like Mozart, Stravinsky, and some Chuck Berry as well, like a sort of time capsule of Earth music. Presumably in case aliens end up capturing it and want to know what out craic is. They should send a Waskerley Way tape into space so that any potentially hostile worlds would know not to fuck with us.

What’s the rest of 2016 got in store for you?

I’ve got a couple of shows coming up, including the launch of Nexialism at the Cumberland Arms on Friday 15 April, and I’ll probably end up making another tape before the end of the year. I’ve already got a couple of ideas flying around for it. I’m starting a PhD too, so in a few years I’ll be Dr. Wask, all being well. Maybe then NASA will take me seriously, we’ll see.

Waskerley Way releases new EP Nexialism on Friday 15th April and plays Endless Window at The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle the same night.

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