Interview with Ollie Macfarlane & Night Tracks 009: Guest Mix

Ollie first came to my attention when I stumbled across a remix of Jamie xx – Far Nearer he’d made (that appeared on Soundcloud about 8 months before the original finally got a release). He’s had his tracks released on prominent “future garage” labels like L2S, Dual Signal and Get Flavor, and his productions vary from the dark dancefloor tip on “Every Time” to the haunting vibes on “Torment”. Ollie has been kind enough to answer a few questions with us, and provide us with Night Tracks’ first guest mix.

NT: So, as an introduction, can you tell us a little about yourself?
OM: My name is Ollie Macfarlane, I'm a 20 year old producer living in Bristol, UK. I've been producing for 6 years, albeit as an amateur for most of that time. I have commercial releases on two labels - L2S Recordings and Get Flavor Records, with another two in the pipeline.

NT: A lot of your tracks on Soundcloud are tagged as “Bristol Garage”. Can you elaborate on this theme a little further?
OM: Bristol Garage as a term to describe my music really came about from a dislike of the term "Future Garage", which a lot of people seem to be banding around at the moment. I just felt it didn't really work as a genre description, and my stuff has a bit of a different sound to a lot of things out there. The music I produce isn't really pure Garage, it includes heavy elements of Trance and House, and so I decided to call it something else entirely, and Bristol Garage just came to mind... it wasn't really a conscious decision!

NT: Did being in Bristol, with its massive history in electronic music, push you towards producing, or was it something you would’ve done anyway?
OM: Bristol has influenced me a lot, I moved here from the countryside, which is nice, but there's not a great deal of musical inspiration for me. I love the sound of the city, and most music I listen to captures that. Bristol is a unique place, which can sometimes have the feel of a huge city, but other times feel like a small community. The musical history and present music culture I think really got me going, I live just off Stokes Croft, one of the most culturally diverse and musical parts of the city, and it's evident even when you walk down the street. A lot of amazing artists have come out of Bristol, such as Massive Attack, Goldie, Stanton Warriors and Roni Size, as well as more recent musicians such as Phaeleh and Danny Byrd (Bath, but it's close... haha). While not all of them are of similar style to me, I can safely say all of them have influenced me in some way.

NT: As someone of a similar age to myself, I imagine you were too young to be properly involved with Garage the first time it came around. How did you end up producing and mixing garage?
OM: I wasn't involved in the first incarnation of Garage at all, i did listen to it a bit, but mostly what was on Radio 1 at the time. In the early 2000s i was mostly into Trance, I've always loved the melodies and emotion that goes with it. I used to produce Progressive House, with a bit of French House and Breakbeat in it, I guess the shuffle of the French House mixed with the broken beats and the progressive melodies to create my own version of Garage.
NT: Yeah, I was about 9 or 10 when the commercial garage stuff was big in the charts, still mourn for some GARAGE HITS double cassette I bought from Asda at the time, used to love tracks like that Dreem Team & Neneh Cherry track, MJ Cole - Sincere, etc. There were some good tracks that still get regular play, and the nostalgia was enough to make me go and see DJ Luck & MC Neat at a friend's Fresher Week at Worcester Uni haha.

NT: I’ve noticed that you’ve remixed some very big tracks, like Midnight Request Line, Moth, Fostercare, etc. remixes and they're very well done. I guess you’re not somebody who subscribes to the idea that certain tracks are “untouchable”?
OM: I'm a firm believer that a track shouldn't be remixed unless the remixer believes they can bring something truly different to a track. For me, I guess some stuff is untouchable. I don't think I could bring anything to Pink Floyd or The Who for example, which is why I really hate all those Youtube videos with "*insert famous song here*- DUBSTEP REMIX!!!1!", it's just really paying no respect. The remixes you mentioned all have something that I added from the original - Midnight Request Line adds emotion and vocals, Moth kind of makes it a bit more listener-friendly, and Fostercare I tried to reinvent into a House tune. I'm certainly not saying they're better in any way to the originals, but when it comes down to it, I just love remixing stuff!
NT: I completely agree with you on the "DUBSTEP REMIX!!!" issue. I just know to stay away from it. Has anybody that has ever produced a good dubstep remix of a non-dubstep track called it "DUBSTEP REMIX"? 

NT: Can you explain your selection for the mix?
OM: The mix I've done for the blog is effectively a collection of tunes that I like to listen to at about 4am when walking back from a house party or club night. That time of night, walking through an industrial area alone really fits with these kinds of tracks, some are classics I've been listening to for years, some are recent acquisitions, but all of them conjure up that feeling for me.

NT: Finally, if I had to push you to pick your three favourite “Night Tracks”, what would they be?
OM: My three favourite Night Tracks? It's hard to not choose all Burial haha! He's a bit of an idol for me!
It would have to be:
1. Burial - In Mcdonalds
2. Synkro - Everbody Knows
3. Jamie Woon - Spirits

Thanks for your time. You can listen to Ollie’s guest mix below:

Night Tracks 009 - Ollie Macfarlane Guest Mix by Garethom on Mixcloud


Sorrow & Rooflight - U Let Me Down
Asa - Leave The Light On
Rameses B - Deeper
Submerse - Downcast
Synkro - Don't Know
Crypt - Why
Sorrow - E=mc2
Burial - Shell Of Light
Late - Losing You
Ollie Macfarlane - Shinigami
The Streets - It's Too Late
Ollie Macfarlane - Torment
Jamie Woon - Wayfaring Stranger (Burial Remix)
Stumbleine - Aliceband