LABELS: Minus, Sci+Tec, Terminal M, Elevate
In the space of just four years, English techno act WHYT NOYZ has risen from an unknown name to a staple of some of the world’s biggest electronic music labels.
Now a solo project of David Sidley, WHYT NOYZ was formed in 2010 by two best friends to formulate their take on sleek, hard-grooving techno – having been raised on a shared diet of electronic and black music. Hip-hop, funk and soul all played formative roles before he discovered house music thanks to the likes of Joey Negro and Masters At Work and began playing in local clubs. His passion for techno soon followed. “As I got more into the electronics of sound and this symbiotic relationship between man and machine, I began to dig deeper” he recalls. The powerful rhythmic components of the WHYT NOYZ sound also give a nod to his background as a drummer – something he has been doing since the age of 6. He began producing in 2007.
Fusing the groove of post-minimal techno with live percussive elements, deft rap samples and high-impact effects, WHYT NOYZ’s is a resolutely contemporary sound – but one that still gives subtle nods to his past. “As my creative mind has developed, so has the sound” he says of his blend of digital and analog. “It has evolved into something more considered and memorable. A sound that has a stronghold in something peak-time and driving but with melodic elements to help captivate the mind.”
Catching Richie Hawtin’s ear with early production Volcano made for the perfect start to WHYT NOYZ’s career, with the track signed to his MINUS12 imprint and featured on the label boss’ Mixmag ‘New Horizons’ compilation. This huge seal of approval set Sidley on a fast track into the upper echelons of the techno scene, with Dubfire signing the Homewerk EP to his SCI+TEC Digital imprint after they met in Ibiza. The release landed in Beatport’s Top 40 Techno Chart, and led to a follow-up (They EP).
Releases and remixes for Sian’s Octopus Black Label, Kaiserdisco’s KD Music and Monika Kruse’s Terminal M all followed, plus an appearance on Pan-Pot’s Sonne Mond Sterne compilation, cementing his reputation and vindicating Hawtin’s early belief in the WHYT NOYZ sound. Impressed by the success of Volcano, he signed the act up for a full release: Back To The Future EP. The Minus boss gave all four tracks heavy rotation during the 2013 season of his Space Ibiza night ENTER. He continues to play digital bonus track Meh Meh to this day. The EP hit Beatport’s Techno Chart Top 5, and received support from Pete Tong on Radio 1 – notably during his Glastonbury Essential Mix.
The ongoing success of the partnership with Minus led to another five-track EP in 2014 (It Grows, supported by the likes of Adam Beyer) and a string of tour dates supporting Hawtin across the world. WHYT NOYZ played alongside him at the hallowed Ten Days Off in Belgium, between him and Disclosure at Kappa FuturFestival in Italy and in front of a home crowd at the legendary fabric in London. His sets continue to garner rave reviews, with bookings at Berlin’s Suicide Circus, Paris’ Le Tunnel (“1200 people going totally nuts, sweat dripping off the roof”) and in Glasgow, Toulouse, Montpellier, Amsterdam and Bonn to name a few.
With a debut album Shapes in the works, it looks very much like WHYT NOYZ’s rapid ascent will continue and place him amongst the big leagues of electronic music. “My goal is simply to continue producing and play music” he says. “As my sound constantly develops, I feel energised to keep pushing to see where it goes. It is a drug for sure.”
Hello mate! How Are You? What do you have scheduled for today?
Yo! I am good thanks, been travelling quite a bit recently so I’m glad to have some down time with my daughter and fiancè and get in the studio this week! “Perspective reset” I call it.
Please tell us a bit about your latest releases!
My last full EP was The Gods Clap EP on Elevate late last year. I am currently working on a very special EP that should be aired in the coming months. To bridge the gap I’ve done a remix that came out last week for my good friend Metodi Hristov on his label, Set About. Also a remix coming out on Reinier’s Filth On Acid which in due early July. One’s a groovy roller, the other is a melodic banger!
Which release was the one who gave you the most attention so far?
I’d say it was probably the ‘It Grows’ EP that came out on Minus a few years ago. All of the tracks on that EP I was so happy with. They still all hold their own today and I will still play some of them in my sets, when the time is right.
Tell us a bit about your upcoming releases! Is there anything special planned?
For sure, I am just boiling down a bunch of possible tracks into a 4 track EP that should be coming out in the coming months.
As you are touring a lot, please tell us something about your experience. What is your favourite city or country and why?
I just came back from Brussels playing Fuse with Richie for PLAYdifferently. I love that club, the people have so much energy! Also I had the chance to play Florida135 in Fraga for it’s 74th anniversary – unbelievable!
What were your TOP 5 gigs so far?
1. Suma Beach, Istanbul. I was only supposed to play a 2 hr set and it turned into 6+ hrs where everyone went on this journey – I know it sounds like hippy bullshit – but this was the most special for me. I knew no one there but by the end of it I knew everyone.
2. Opening Space’s main room in Ibiza for ENTER.
3. Playing Fabric’s main room for a Minus night before Richie Hawtin
4. Kappa Futurfesival, Torino, Itlay. 18’000 people going crazy. It was too much to take in at the time but looking back it was an unforgettable experience.
5. Le Tunnel in Paris. A long, hot, sweaty tunnel full of relentless techno!
What are your top 5 tracks that are really working the dance floor in your sets at the moment?
You will have to come along and see for yourself!
Thank you for your time and this interesting interview!
Interview by Lars