HARVEY McKAY is one of Scotland’s finest techno exports from the last decade and he continues to go from strength to strength with his new album, Anatomy Of A Drum Machine.
The long player is Harvey’s most accomplished work yet with him going back to basics in lockdown creating the sounds entirely from raw analogue synths from the ground up.
The album is also a very personal piece of work and is dedicated to his close friend David Balmer who is suffering from Motor Neurone disease. All proceeds from the album are going to help David at this very difficult time for him and his family.
You can catch Harvey McKay when Sven Väth’s Cocoon touches down at Studio 338 in London on June 11th. Click on the image below for more details.
We caught up with Harvey for a chat and he’s also compiled a playlist of music for us including tracks from the LP. Read our chat below and then check out his playlist following and read what he had to say about the music he has selected for us which includes tracks from his album Anatomy Of A Drum Machine.
Congratulations on your new album Anatomy Of A Drum Machine. For me it’s among your finest work so far which is saying something considering how long you have been releasing music?
Thanks Mark. Yea a long time man, I had my first release on my pal John Virtue’s label back in say 2006/7, he ran a cracking night in Glasgow called Inner City Acid and a label called Artificial Silence. After that I got spotted by Slam’s Soma Records and got signed up for a few EPs and an album which was a really big deal as they are such a big label. They really plucked me from obscurity, previously finding huge artists like Daft Punk before they later moved over to Virgin. I will always be thankful to them believing in me and giving my my start way back then.
You have dedicated the album to your friend David Balmer who is suffering with Motor Neurone disease. Can you tell us a bit more about David and your hopes for how the album may help raise awareness of this awful disease?
Yea Davey was one of my best friend s growing up, we were joined at the hip in our teens, I pretty much lived at is house and I love and know his whole family, they are great people. He was tragically diagnosed with ALS the worst kind of Motor Neurones.
Davey is super ill now. He found out back end of 2019 and people tend to have a life expectancy of a year or so after diagnosis. But he is fighting in a way that blows me away in the hope of the treatments that are being researched at the moment and that might come along in time. I don’t know if I would have the strength to do what he’s doing. He is incredible. I am so proud of him and decided to dedicate the album to him to let him know how much I care. Any profits that come from the album will go to him. Hopefully it’s also a way I can help to spread his story and show some love for my brother.
It feels like you have really stretched yourself with your sound here (in the best way!) Can you tell us about how you approached the making of the album?
Thanks Mark, I have spent a lot of time going back to basics and learning everything from scratch. Learning to make every noise from raw analog synthesis, raw sound waves from the ground up. It’s been a long but amazing process, great fun and to be honest really creatively liberating. I always knew my way about the machines obviously, but this was a back to the drawing board moment for me, no pre-sets no loops, just starting fresh.
You choose to release the album on the Kneaded Pains label. Why did you decide Dense & Pika’s label was a the right home for this one?
They’re great lads and simply freedom mate. It was like, ‘we love what you do, so do what you want’. That was so liberating for me. They are so easy to work with and have been really a big part in helping me find creative freedom and so helping me becoming a better producer and musician.
It was great seeing you in Edinburgh last month as we watched Sven Väth insieme at Terminal V. You have a bunch of EPs forthcoming and Sven dropped one of them, Black Spider on the night. Can you tell us about all the music forthcoming?
Yea I am back on Cocoon after my debut on the label 10 anni fa. And it was perfect timing seeing him again at Terminal V as I have a new Cocoon record being released in June. Sven is someone I highly respect and he is such a lovely guy whenever we hang out. It’s super exciting to back with the Cocoon team and it’s such a big record I have coming, so really chuffed to be back! And looking forward to playing for them again on June 11th in London at Studio 338.
Also I see you have your first EP on Pan-Pot’s Second State label out today?
Yea I had my first aperance on Second State in December with my track Dragons Dynamite. So after that we started putting an EP together. I would say at this stage it’s my favourite EP I have done to date. I’m really happy to be working with the guys and really happy with the first EP we have, some of my best production I think.
How is your summer looking? Must be great to be getting back out there after the last couple of years?
Definitely, the pandemic with no music was hell with no shows. But I am all over the place by the looks of it this summer. To be honest the break made me realise how amazing it is to find yourself one day in Australia and the next in Argentina, all over the globe all on the back of music. It’s incredible really and I really feel it’s what am here to do with my life
Thanks for the music Harvey and looking forward to hearing your mix for The Night Bazaar which is coming soon and digging through your playlist selection which follows here.
HARVEY McKAY PLAYLIST
Harvey McKay – Elfs Playground
Probably my favourite track taken from my new Second State EP, one of the best tracks I think I have ever done.
Ryan McKay – Trip Work
I know it seems like Iam cheating cause its my brother. But I have played this track in just about every set since he made it. Its so different, he really goes about things in an unusual way, people don’t know what hit them when I play it
The Tuss – Oslo
One of Aphex’s alias. I can’t stop playing this track. The drums are a sensation.
Harvey McKay – Purple
One from my album, I would say it’s one of the more leftfield tracks. I have a bit of a soft spot for it and I find I go back to it the most on the album.
Harvey McKay – First Strike From Mars
This was my first Cocoon release 10 anni fa. I recently started digging it out again cause I have the new Cocoon EP coming up. It still holds up to fair.
Mark Broom – Recessive
Mark’s on fire at the moment, easily my favourite techno producer just now. This track is killer and has an old school rave vibe without being super rave stab obvious.
Hybrasil – Stellar Vision (Gene Richards JR HardJack Remix)
This is the energy I am all about in my sets. Such a classic techno energy in this one, superb song.
Harvey McKay – Glasgow Kiss
One of the 4/4s off the Album. Never lets me down this one, no matter what the energy with the crowd.
Confidential Recipe – 1212
Love this vibe, reminds me of the old school stuff listen to in the early 90’s before it went mental and turned into hardcore, it has a very specific feel to it.
Ben Sims – Love Hurt (Gary Beck Remix)
Golden oldie this one. First time I heard it didn’t even know it was my pal Gary’s remix. It was just a WTF is this momen! It has such an amazing party disco vibe to it. I have been throwing this in my sets a lot recently again.