Alan Fitzpatrick has been a producer and provider of sweaty, warehouse-ready techno for the last decade. From the conception of his label, We Are The Brave, to notable releases on Drumcode, 17 Steps and Hotflush Recordings – Alan has earnt his place at the top of the table as a well respected and much loved figure in the electronic scene worldwide. His brand new System Addict EP is his newest release out Friday 27th July 2018 on UTTU. EARMILK had the opportunity to catch up with Alan about his We Are The Brave Radio podcast and the year ahead, and premiere the all-consuming title track "System Addict" which you can listen to below.
Firstly – let’s start with 2018 on a whole, it's been a busy 6 months in the lead up to Summer. What have you been up to and what have been your highlights thus far?
2018 has been really good for me so far. As ever, time is flying by at a crazy rate, but it certainly does feels like this year has already been massively significant for me and particularly my We Are The Brave label; with the artist roster, release schedule, and our events all developing really nicely, and the identity of the brand beginning to take a more clearly defined shape. We ended 2017 with a really strong run of releases like Gary Beck’s Just One More EP and the “El Jefe” collaboration I did with Sasha, which I felt we needed to firmly establish the label. This year has really been about introducing a group of artist who will I hope eventually form the core of our musical output. We’ve got established guys like Skream, Reset Robot, Harvey McKay, Linus Quick, and Ronnie Spiteri releasing really strong tracks as well as some very exciting brand new talent such as Leonardo and A.S.H. coming through. And we are getting strong support from key tastemakers like Carl Cox, Adam Beyer and John Digweed, plus loads of media support from the big players like Mixmag and Radio 1, who recently featured We Are The Brave as one of their “Label Mates.” All this increased visibility and awareness has in turn meant we’ve had the confidence to expand what we are doing with our events by hosting parties at high profile venues such as Fabric in London, SWG3 in Glasgow, Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh, and Shine in Belfast , and of course the Alan Fitzpatrick Day show in Dublin. That was incredibly special for me to do an event of that size with 5,000 people and being able to invite guest like Green Velvet and Eats Everything. Those kind of moves tell you that the work you are doing is having a genuine impact. Which is exactly what I wanted to achieve now We Are The Brave is a couple of years old.
It's been a decade since you broke onto the scene as a DJ and producer and your next project is We Are The Brave Radio – when was the idea conceived? What are you hoping to ultimately deliver to the listeners and can you tell us about any of the upcoming guests you are featuring?
The radio show is another example of how we’ve been able to expand the scale of what we are doing with We Are The Brave now things are more established. I’ve personally always been a big fan of radio as a medium and I think it’s widely recognised that there is few better ways of exposing music on a global scale than a radio show. It gives you a voice that is always out there spreading the word about what we are all about. This was the fundamental motivation behind starting the show and the timing felt right to start the weekly shows in March, off the back of the hype around the labels releases and parties like Alan Fitzpatrick’s Day. It’s important to me that I provide that sort of highly visible platform for the artist who release on We Are The Brave, which is why so far all the guests who have appeared on the show are from the label roster. But this will evolve over time as the profile of the show grows and I get to invite some talent who I really respect to contribute guest mixes. The radio show also gives me the opportunity to publicly push all the music I love, some of which, like the experimental or housier side of the music I am into, that I rarely get to play at my gigs. So having a weekly radio show has ticked a lot of boxes and satisfied a few ambitions that I want to focus on now. As you mentioned, I am ten years deep into this now so it felt right to move things on a stage and keep things fresh.
The next We Are The Brave release comes from Skream, someone you have a close working relationship with – can you tell us a bit about how this release came to fruition and how you selected the tracks?
Right from the point that I started We Are The Brave I had a list in my mind of producers and writers that I really wanted to work with and Skream was up at the top of that list. I’ve always been a big fan of his music. The geezer is a pioneer and his influence on the scene over the last decade or so can't be underestimated. I’ve a massive amount of respect for his music and he is such a talented DJ, as well as being a real professional and real fun to be around. The story behind his “Poison” track is a good one actually. I woke up one morning to an email from Oli saying he had just written this track I’ll really like. He was absolutely right about that and we immediately started vibing about it being released on We Are The Brave and that I would do a remix. That’s what working with Skream is like. Whether it be music stuff or playing back to back sets. He brings a really positive vibe that makes magic happen.
What other releases can we look forward to this year on the label?
Well, we’ve got a Ronnie Spiteri EP flying up the charts right now. Then there is the Skream release. After which will come a killer EP by Harvey McKay, a new really cool Reset Robot release, a wicked Linus Quick EP that just gets better and better every time I listen to it. New Avision material, a sick release from KlangKuenstler, a debut for Rudosa who is an exciting new talent, and a second release from Leonardo which shows off the crazily varied range of music he writes with ambient soundscapes to wigged out minimal house to lush melodic anthems to chugging dub techno. An EP from A.S.H of proper face-melting peaktime techno with big moments and loads of personality, a first ever release by unknwn which is wicked – very distinctive sounding techno with an epic vocal – oh and hopefully some new music from me too! Hahaha…
Back to 2018 and your busy schedule, bar the radio show, what’s up and coming for the rest of year (especially Summer and your Paradise dates) and what venues/shows/festivals are you looking forward to playing most?
We are well and truly into the crazy summer season now so its all big festivals like Parklife, Hideout, Tomorrowland, Eastern Electrics, Straf Werk, Be My Lake and Creamfields plus loads of Ibiza shows over the coming months, which is obviously really exciting. Ibiza is going to be particularly enjoyable this year as with my monthly residency at DC10 with Jamie Jones and his Paradise crew, plus a run of shows at Amnesia including a couple of Elrow dates and some shows for Do Not Sleep. I’d say those are my two favourite venues in Ibiza so it’s very cool to be playing them so much over the season. Looking further ahead I’m really looking forward to doing another of our We Are The Brave House Party tours, as well as hosting label showcases in places like Glasgow and Belfast where I always love playing.
To round up, EARMILK's favourite question to ask, can you tell us three tracks you expect to be banging out in your upcoming gigs?
1. A.S.H – "Vortex"
2. Ronnie Spiteri – "Talking To Nature"
3. Alan Fitzpatrick – "ElevenEleven"
You can listen to Alan Fitzpatrick's WATB Radio & full System Addict EP via Soundcloud.