Turning Points: Archie Hamilton
Those familiar with the London electronic music scene will have all but certainly noticed the exponential rise in popularity of the Rhythmatic warehouse parties. Omnipresent at the helm has been resident Archie Hamilton who has of late begun to forge quite a name for himself. From the humble beginnings of warm-up sets at university nightclubs his career has progressively developed, thanks to sheer determination and steely perseverance. Having recently played at tINI and the Gang in Ibiza and making an appearance at the ADE Memoria party, Archie’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. On the cusp of a new era for his career, we wanted to get the lowdown on Archie’s story and inspirations.
Despite an upbringing that took in some culturally hostile geographical locations from a dance music viewpoint, Archie was well served with regard to electronic music exposure with both parents proving instrumental in that respect. Years spent listening to house and techno, taking inspiration from electronic luminaries whilst all the while learning new skills, he has been very much the architect of his own success through hard graft. With his Moscow Records’ sister label Moss Co. soon to hit the press and regular appearances throughout Europe, Archie’s now at a point in his career that requires his undivided attention. Recent events, including his tracks being played by some of the most in demand artists, have led him to revaluate his position as a musician. Consequently we are likely to see a substantial step-up from Archie Hamilton in the coming months as he wholly devotes himself to electronic music. It was a pleasure gaining this frank and introspective exclusive insight into the musician’s life.
Archie, we’ve been keeping a close eye on your progression as an artist and DJ. Where did you spend your formative years that moulded you into the musician you are today?
I suppose I’m a bit of a wanderer really. I was born in London, my family all live in South Wales, which is where I grew up, with a bit of my childhood spent in Gloucestershire. I moved to London when I was eighteen and I’ve lived here since then.
Not a huge electronic scene then where you grew up…
Not at all. The earliest electronic music I can remember was from my mum who was into acid house and clubbing, and that’s what was played in the car. At the time you hate it; it’s your mum’s music and you think it’s rubbish. When I was at school it was all about bands like Oasis, and I don’t really know what the turning point was. The first electronic music I was into was garage, breaks and drum’n’bass. Weirdly, I got into house in Australia of all places. After I finished school I went travelling and spent six months there, and my dad had said to me “go to Melbourne and meet this friend of mine, Fetisha”. A friend and I drove fourteen hours from Sydney to Melbourne, and we got to the address and there were three or four really beautiful naked women sunbathing on the front lawn of this house. It turned out that they were a group of lesbian fetishists and they ran a dungeon. They took us out to all these house clubs, and at that point I realised that I really loved the genre. Following that I moved to London, and began going clubbing with friends to places like The Key, The Cross, Canvas and fabric. There was one particular track, “Blackwater” by Octave One, I don’t know who played it but it was right at the end of the night in Room 1 and I remember thinking to myself, “this is it – I can’t imagine being happy doing anything else”.
Can you remember your first pair of decks?
My mum funnily enough got me my first decks when I was fourteen. It was one of those things where she asked what I wanted for my birthday. I’ve never really been into presents and she said “why don’t I get you a set of decks and you can give it a go”. They were purple Numark, belt drive, and I began just playing the records that we had in the house, and collecting as time went on. When I went to university, I bought some direct drive decks from a friend, and one summer I decided not to go home. I stayed in my room for 3 months and learnt to mix. I also had a basic software sequencer, and began to play around on that. When term started again I had mix CDs to give to promoters, and started playing in the clubs there, doing warm-ups, which was good experience. When I left university, I went to Point Blank Music College to do an ‘Introduction to Production’ course. My tutor was Chad Jackson, who wrote the 90’s hit “Hear The Dummer (Get Wicked)”, and that was a great learning experience. It was around that time that I met Alex Harris, with whom I started Moscow Records.