Photo: Levy & Copeland (Inland/Ed Davenport)
For a second time since March 20th, the music platform Bandcamp today waives its fees in order to support independent artists during the on-going COIVD-19 pandemic and the economic recession coming along with it. Ed Davenport alias Inland has been particularly productive in recent months and has even outdone himself while in lockdown: his contribution to our Groove podcast is full of previously unreleased material, out today as a brand new Inland LP Potential Current and available exclusively through Bandcamp on his own Counterchange label. You can pick it up here and listen to his mix – which also includes some edits and bootlegs – down below.
As a full-time DJ, producer and label owner you like many others from the scene are significantly affected by the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. How are you doing?
I’m doing okay so far, thanks! In Germany we are incredibly lucky to have such a solid financial situation, with all the grants and a health care system that hasn’t been stretched too much. I feel for my friends and family back in the United Kingdom who have it much worse right now. Of course it remains to be seen what the full outcome and effects this pandemic will be, especially in the music world, but there are a lot of short-term up-sides too – more quality time with your loved ones, less work-related stress, more time to think and to be creative, more time to take care of your health, mental and physical! The list goes on. On a musical level, the extra time has allowed me to finish off a bulk of music that I’ve been wanting to complete on for a long time.
With Stream State, you have released a mix in February that was accompanied by four 12″s this year through your own Counterchange – the first official one on the label. What was your motivation to put it together?
I set my self a big task with that one! But it was so fun, I learnt so much and I’m really happy with the outcome. I wanted to make a kind of stepping stone with the label, to allow it to grow significantly and open things up to bigger projects. I also always wanted to do an official DJ mix, and once I started reaching out to my network for music, it became clear that a mix of all new original tracks could make sense.
The track list sees old heroes rub shoulders with newcomers. What was important to you when putting the mix and compilation together?
Of course it’s always a goal to have some heavy-weight producers involved in a project like this, but these days so much quality and original ideas come from younger, less experienced artists. Stream State was all about this. To group all the artists together and enable newcomers or rising talents to sit on a piece of vinyl next to some really celebrated acts… It’s a great way to build an extended family or roster of artists for the label. Going through the track selection, I worked closely with a lot of the producers, workshopping the tracks, testing things out in clubs, trying alternate mixes, and really trying to ensure the final result was as high quality as possible. I really loved this process, and I feel like it improved my ears in the studio too, so there were a lot of benefits.
And what was the idea behind your contribution to our Groove podcast?
In short it’s a mix of all new Inland productions, edits and bootlegs. I produced and mastered it all myself at my Berlin studio and then mixed it live in one take – no edits, honest! – at Studio dB up in Wedding where they have an incredible set up for recording mixes at club volume. As I mentioned earlier, pre-pandemic I had a lot of tracks “in storage” that I wanted to get out there, but as they piled up it became more and more daunting to finally get stuck in and finish them off. Some of them I had played a lot in my sets, but for some reason – mostly insecurity – I never committed them to a release. Others had a good idea musically, but until now I couldn’t get to a level with the mixdowns where I was happy enough to let them go. So over the past six weeks I went to the studio as much as possible and made it my goal to methodically finish off all this music. The result will be released as the new full Inland LP Potential Current, released exclusively on the Counterchange Bandcamp today, and then later on other formats and platforms. The cover art is by a super talented new German artist, Lucas Buschfeld. It makes no sense to to invest a lot of money in pressing vinyl and running PR campaigns right now – it’s a risky endeavour at the best of times, so it’s super refreshing to be able to get something out like this, and have closure on all this music. I also wanted to get the edits and bootlegs out there for the public too, so there will be a link available soon to download these for free. These are all special tools that I made for playing in my DJ sets, and until now only gave to a handful of friends and other DJs.
Counterchange was founded in 2013 and while about half of the releases came from yourself, you also brought many other producers on board. What’s been the concept of Counterchange in the past seven years?
The label represents what I like to play out as a DJ, and reflects my love for a wide spectrum of styles within the ever-growing world of techno. So, thus far the focus has been pretty club-friendly stuff, but I’m gearing up to release some more experimental output this year, too. I really like to work closely with my tight circle of friends and help them develop new music. When something feels right we put it out, without a lot of fanfare ideally – it’s an ongoing process which is intrinsic to our work.
You have stopped releasing solo records under your given name and now pretty much exclusively go by Inland. What was the difference between the music that you were producing under one name or the other, and what led to you only using Inland?
Since moving to Berlin in 2008, I slowly gravitated toward to playing faster, tougher Techno as a DJ. My productions followed suit and I felt I’d really found a sound. The early releases under my real name were a bit all over the place and, while I was happy with them at the time, I felt it was time for a new start with Inland. The first Inland records came out in 2012, and now as time has passed I am comfortable with the idea that there can be these two separate artists, with quite different sounds. I have a lot of music that fits into my mindset of “Ed”, or rather “Definitely not Inland”, so I will be preparing some new releases in that direction too. Think down-tempo, house-mode, sweeter and more melodic – less rules. It’s a cycle which keeps on revolving!
Your first Inland album was An Invitation to Disappear, a collaboration with the Swiss artist Julian Charrière for Ostgut Ton’s A-TON sublabel. Your music soundtracked an ambitious experimental movie about agriculture under globalised late capitalism. How did you approach writing the music for a project like that?
It was such a fun project to work on! Julian gave me carte blanche with the score, the only major stipulations being that it should be super trippy, electronic and have a ravey peak at its core. I worked with some field recordings and source material from the film site, but apart from that it was pretty much just me letting loose in the studio and trying to create an original soundtrack.
It’s not the last time that you worked closely with a visual artist: the year after, you produced music for Mischa Leinkauf’s Fiktion einer Nicht-Einreise, a video installation focusing on the artist crossing borders underwater. How did this collaboration come about?
Mischa approached me to help with the soundtrack for an earlier work, 4. Halbzeit which was displayed at the Gorki Theater in Berlin, 2017. The installation called for really bassy, physical sound, and Mischa had an instinct that I could help him. That was a challenging job, working with an intense and headache-inducing mix of audio from Ultra football fans and political protests, but I really learnt a lot, so once again there was a silver lining there! We quickly became friends and I was excited to work with him again on Fiktion… last year.
Last but not least: What are your plans as a producer and label owner?
Without listing too many specific projects, I just want to keep going. Times like these help me to see that even more clearly. I really love this music – I truly believe that it can help people and bring joyful enlightening experiences. I feel like the longer I keep working and learning, and we all keep on developing it, it gets more and more exciting and rewarding. Thanks for having me on this series!
Stream: Inland – Groove Podcast 253
01. Inland – Polytude
02. Inland – Chromofon
03. Inland – Substrate
04. Mountain 2 High – Down In My Heart
05. Inland – Elastomer
06. Inland – Plucky
07. Inland – Fundament
08. Purveyors Of Fine Funk – This Is a Track (Inland Edit)
09. Inland – Trench
10. Inland – Priority One
11. Inland – Porto
12. Inland – Liberty Bell
13. Inland – This Message Has No Body
14. Inland – Anemone
15. Pete Namlook & Richie Hawtin – Silent Intelligence (Part II) (Inland Edit)
16. Moby – Lean On Me (Inland Edit)
17. Inland – Old Gravel Path Leading To Idyllic Hidden Vista
18. Inland – Cherry Cloud