Hello Techno-Addicts! This post will be a very special post, and it will be the start of a new series called the “EMAI” series (Electronic Music Artists Insight) in honor of all of my favorite Electronic Music Artists of all time. I wanted to start a new series to take the time to express my unrelenting gratitude and appreciation for the work that these electronic music artists have put out for the past couple of decades. All things Techno that they’ve ever been involved in, from their music releases to their interviews, has fortified my lifelong passion for electronic music. In my other blog post, “STORYTIME: HOW I DISCOVERED ELECTRONIC MUSIC *TOUCHING STORY*“, I gave you an in-depth synopsis on my upbringing with electronic music starting from childhood, but haven’t yet provided an in-depth synopsis on all of the electronic music artists who have helped shaped my future as a child. Electronic music artists of whom I have converted many over to the music; from friends to family to strangers. In this EMA “Electronic Music Artist” series, I’m going to go into the history of how I discovered all of these electronic music artists, the positive impacts that they’ve bestowed on my psyche, and how they have contributed to my lifelong passion for Electronic Music.
Vince Watson – The Body and Soul of Electronic Music
In an interview with Roland UK, Vince Watson states “I’ve recorded 200 releases, 50 remixes and seven albums. Click To TweetTruly astute and uniformly intelligent at his craft. For almost 20 years, his music has taken me on a plethora of journeys into the deepest voyages of sound. In an interview with Roland UK, Vince Watson states “I’ve recorded 200 releases, 50 remixes and seven albums.” The top number one attribute that I respect about Vince Watson is his continuous originality that tirelessly goes without fail since the very beginning of his first release. Something that many electronic music artists today have unfortunately fallen victim of that many of us are well aware of. This man has put out nothing but top-notch quality releases in the realm of electronic music for a very long time now. And can program a keyboard to do things you would have never imagined a keyboard could actually do. Do a google search for “Vince Watson Studio” and you’ll find a mirage of photos of him in his studio with all of his glorious hardware gear. You can tell he’s a major gearhead, to say the least. A gearhead who still appreciates the use of old-school vintage synthesizers and analog equipment to a high degree. Especially his love for Roland gear. Here’s a super awesome in-depth interview with AttackMagazine where Vince Watson gives a thorough tour of his studio, picking out a few key pieces of gear from his extensive setup.
How I Discovered Vince Watson
Anyone who was remotely a fan of Detroit Techno in general back in the old days, for sure has heard of Vince Watson’s Mystical Rhythm EP. This EP was a breakthrough in the Detroit Techno scene at the tail-end of the 90’s into the early 2000’s and I first heard it through my uncle as a kid. There was an 80% chance that you’d find this 12″ Vinyl masterpiece in the Vinyl Record collection of most DJ’s who spun vinyl techno records. It is such a timeless, nostalgic piece for me that associates with the reason as to why I call Vince Watson the Body and Soul of electronic music. The pulsating bassline, the lush melodic lead, the carefully laid out hi-hats, and atmospheric pad textures. In fact, this EP was widely acclaimed worldwide and became a massive success. Like all Electronic Music Artists, there’s always that one piece of work that puts you on the map. This was the one for the great Vince Watson. I swear I’ll be in my 90’s bobbing my head and gyrating out to this track hopefully without accidentally bursting my colostomy bag.
My Two Favorite Vince Watson Aliases:
Ever since then, with me it’s been an ever-so increasing religious stalking for any intel of his next releases. I have listened to every single, remix, EP and album the man has ever put out to the public. I forgot to mention, that Vince Watson has a wide range of styles when it comes to his productions, which pertains to the fact that he has numerous monikers that he producers under. This gives him the ability to explore and experiment using various alter egos instead of having a variety of styles under his own name to avoid jumble. My personal favorite monikers of his are Nico Awtsventin and Sphere.
Nico Awtsventin has a very nostalgic, old-school 4 to the floor harder fashion and grace that is bound to throw your mind into a time machine back to the late 90’s. It’s more pattern based in arrangement, melded with heavier kicks and percussion and crafted with hypnotizing melodies layering over the top. Every time I listen to his tunes under this alias, it makes me wish that I had the chance to experience the techno rave scene in the 90’s as a twenty-something-year-old. Vince Watson has done a great job with releasing music under his Nico Awtsventin alias that still sounds so fresh and modern even decades later. In my opinion, it still even sounds better than a lot of the music released today within that sub-genre. Although there’s a lot of good music out there in modern times which cannot be argued, It’s just something about the late 90’s techno that remains untouchable. And although I didn’t get the chance to experience that rave lifestyle, I’m at least happy that I was born into the world during the greatest decade for electronic music.
So Sphere, unlike his other alias Nico Awtsventin, was a bit short-lived. That is to say, that Vince Watson only had a total of 3 EP’s and 11 tacks. But that’s ok though because the music under Sphere is so perfected that it seems to be enough. I’m not sure if this was his original intent from the beginning, or if it was just a project that he unintentionally abandoned over time. All in all, Sphere had those harder grooves but with a more emotional/ambient touch. Sphere reminded me a lot of the music that emerged from UnderGround Resistance. Sphere was the underground, arch nemesis of the legendary “Mad” Mike Banks“. Although the chances of this happening are quite slim, one of my many dreams in life is for Vince Watson to make another EP under his Sphere alias. A sort of- rebirth, which would mean a release after a full 20-year hiatus of releasing Sphere material. One could only hope and dream for now! D:
The ‘Jazzier’ and ‘Classical Side’ of Vince Watson
Just when you thought Vince Watson’s ace was limited to everything that I had already mention in this article so far, prepare to be further impressed. This man has an affinity for nu-jazz and classical music and maketh such. In the 15 Questions With Vince Watson, it was stated that “Watson already has his mind set for more, including working with a classical orchestra and writing a Hollywood soundtrack.” So right then and there, it is proof positive that he is a virtuoso with a range of musical styles that allows him to dive into different creative aspects of the music making process. He’s already put out a very successful album called, “Every Soul Needs A Guide” which many have claimed is his best work to date. “Solitude” would have to be my personal favorite track in his Jazz/Classical arsenal.
Vince Watson live Performances
Vince Watson is an electronic music artist who faithfully indulges in a lot of hardware gear in his live setups, which makes for an actual “live performance” rather than a DJ set being done on Turntables or CDJ decks. This is what makes it special and unique in his live approach and setting. You’ll either see him banging away on keyboards, turning knobs on a synth, or programming a drum machine live. To me, that is an extraordinary display of true talent and superior aptitude for various musical equipment. One of my ALL-TIME favorite sets by Vince Watson is when he did a 6-minute closing set at the 909 Festival in Amsterdam back in 2012. THIS SET WAS MIND-BLOWING! The full lineup included: Derrick May, Carl Craig, Josh Wink, Funk D’Void, Gregor Tresher, Dusty Kid, and Sandrien.
My Personal All Time Tracks by Vince Watson (Top 3 Picks)
If you were to sit here and ask me, “what are your top 3 favorite tracks by Vince Watson?” like with any of my favorite electronic music artists; it would be a prolonged pondering. But I would have an answer for you! As I had mentioned before, I have listened to every single release that Vince Watson has put out so to deduce it down to only three tracks is quite the task. But in my honest opinion, after hundreds of listens, these three tracks stood out the most for me in his music catalog.
#3: Vince Watson- Pure Innersense
“Pure Innersense” is one of those tracks that you could listen to over 20+ times in a day, and then repeat the process all over again the next day. I’ve listened to it easily over a hundred times. It’s a top quality track that packs a hard punch and it just has such a nice velocity and flow in terms of the arrangement and selected elements. This is a track I often find myself playing on loud volume while driving as it sounds excellent in a good car stereo sound system. It’s pure genius.
#2: Vince Watson- Friction
“Friction” is a track that takes you to a faraway place and it has this really mysterious, haunting melody combined with that sub- bassline that I can never get enough of. This is definitely one of Vince Watson’s more darker, sinister tracks and I f*cking love it because of the contrast of this individual track; as it rests within his darker releases like a sleeping giant. This track sticks out like a sore thumb on its own in terms of uniqueness. As the track breaks down @ 3:24 and the kick rolls off and that haunting melody emerges in the forefront once again, only to bring the kick back in with the full-blown chorus @ 3:53 …F*CK IT’S JUST GENIUS!!!
#1: Vince Watson- Signals
Ah…..yes. “Signals”. This for me takes the #1 spot for my top favorite production by Vince Watson across the board. There is something very powerful and captivating about this track that feeds the far depths of my soul. It communicates with me in a special way that no other track in his catalog has done so. “Signals” I feel, is a track that he poured a lot of emotion into hence the title of the track. Every time I listen to this, for the duration of the track I progressively experience a flurry of memories that fill my mind, mixed with emotions. I can’t explain the emotions, but that is the power of music and what it can do to you.
The track starts off with what seems to be a simple loop with an airy vibe to it. And around 20 seconds you start to hear these sentimental, ambient pads that slowly intensifies and lifts you up to take you on a journey with a slew of 909 hi-hats passing you along the way. As the track ends, the journey comes to an end and it safely returns you to right where you started.
Well Techno-Addicts, I hope you all enjoyed the very first edition of the “Electronic Music Artists” series. As I said before, this will be the first of many. But I hope that throughout this post, I was able to welcome you to the works and arts of the legendary Vince Watson. And why he is crowned as one of my top most influential electronic music artists of all time. I just wanted to outline my ever-growing love and appreciation for his music as an electronic music empath. Be sure to follow him on Instagram @vincewatson_official and also www.vincewatson.com. And be on the lookout for the next artists I’ll be covering! Thanks for reading!