EAT TO THE BEAT: The bass-injected house of Bristolian Dan Pearce is becoming massive. And he’s just getting started…
Dan Pearce, the man who in 2007 became Eats Everything, simply cannot believe his luck.
“I'm absolutely astounded, flabbergasted. Every word you can think of for amazement, I am that, still,” he says. “Things have gone absolutely, ridiculously, stupidly mental. I mean, I did the Essential Mix the other week! I've been trying to get where I am since I was 19. I had to stop, go and get jobs, but all I ever wanted to do was this. So for me to be 31-years-old and doing this...” He trails off, all wistful.
It's fair to say that this has been a whirlwind year for the West Country producer. A year which, with the handing over of one demo CD, saw him climb the ranks at breakneck speed. He's even big in Kazakhstan. (“They opened a restaurant for me, and served me the Kazakh national dish. It wasn't even on the menu!”) Indeed, Pearce is a breath of fresh air among the jaded, arrogant, ungrateful globe-trotting producers and DJs who have been fortunate enough to make it big, now charge the earth, but shall remain nameless.
But back to the beginning. It was on Christmas Day in 1992 that a feverishly excited 12-year-old Pearce ran downstairs to find that Santa had left him a pair of JB Systems Disco 2000 turntables and a Kam Made2Fade mixer. Seemingly, being brought up in rural Gloucestershire, there wasn't much else to do but start DJing while still a child. It was a good head start, and by 16 he was off raving. It was in the world of Ellis Dee, Easygroove and DJ Dougal that he submersed himself. He still listens to Ellis Dee's ‘Dreamscape 11’ mix twice a month, and the rave sound still permeates his tracks today. But it was after friends started going to Lakota in Bristol, and on hearing the sounds of Murk, Rhythm Masters and Todd Terry, that his focus shifted. And he's never looked back.
Production began a few years later, and he crafted breakbeats for Cut La Roc's label for a time. Then, oddly, it was buying a new pair of speakers that moved his sound on, letting him grasp that bottom-heavy sound that had eluded him, but that he knew he wanted to make.
Then, when Dirtybird's Claude VonStroke hit Bristol last year for a DJ gig, off went Pearce clutching a demo of tracks he'd made almost a year previously. It was, he thought, the ideal home for his new bass-loaded house music, but he missed VonStroke by a whisker. Instead, quite fortuitously, he collared fellow Dirtybird J Phlip who was playing upstairs. After being deeply impressed, she passed his ghostly rave anthem ‘Entrance Song’ to Pets Recordings man Wojtek from Catz ‘N Dogz, who quickly snapped it up (VonStroke would hear them later, and find that he had, for the time being, missed the boat).
It's at this point where things started going 'stupidly mental'. Soon, VonStroke was trying to prize tracks off him, and succeeded, with his ‘Eats Everything EP’ and the old school breakbeat monster ‘Tric Trac’, produced with Anabatic boss Worthy. “To get on Dirtybird was an absolute beauty,” he says. “That was my dream. It was where I'd wanted to be for three years.”
Before he knew it, he was getting personal calls from Pete Tong, a big supporter of his tracks from day one, something he says still feels a bit weird.
“I can't believe I get phone calls from him,” he says, a bit star-struck. “When I see his name come up on my phone, it's still really, really weird. Then you hear his voice down the phone, and it's the voice you've been listening to for 20 years. Doing the Essential Mix, I was nearly vomiting before I started. Through fear. I've never felt anything like it.”
Since then, he's played his first gig at Fabric, he's getting to remix one of his favourite tracks ever (Roy Davis Jr's ‘About Love’ for Classic), and he's about to head out to tour the US and Canada, stopping in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and ending up in Miami.
“There's just so much going on, I'm kind of losing track,” he says. “It's amazing. I can't quite believe it.”
Well, he'd better start, because we've a feeling things are going to get hectic…
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