Translated by Heo Min
DJ Bowlcut, formerly known as J Fitz has been very busy recently. Just at the end of last year Bowlcut became the Korean DJ Freestyle champion in Chile for the Thre3style DJ competition hosted by Red Bull. A few months later he flew out to Hong Kong with online radio outfit Seoul Community Radio whom were partnered with ALTN8 festival to play a series of shows over the two days. After that and up to now he has been busy with a string of releases and playing many shows around Seoul.
Just recently, here at Phrames Co. we have started our YouTube channel dedicated to lo-fi electronic music and are honoured to have one of Bowlcut's tracks to kick things off. We spoke with him about the track and lo-fi music and you can check out the video at the bottom of the page.
First of all let's talk equipment, what did you use to produce this tune?
I like using external hardware such as drum machines and play them often but most of the tracks on the Colmena EP were made solely using my Macbook Air. Especially the first track of Colmena which was created right after I got back to my Airbnb place from Colemena night club in Santiago, Chile for the world final of the Redbull Thre3style competition. I wanted to reflect my impression of the club in to the track.
The other two tracks were also done on the laptop but I used Ableton Push for the interface. Adding to that, I used some of the sound packs from a Dutch musician called Legowelt.
What have been some of your favourite releases to date?
Besides the Colmena EP, my favorite amongst my "released tracks” is RZ-1 Clash.
For those who love rough sound of Chicago house from back in the day, the RZ-1 (drum machine sound) created by Casio is perfect. I had a lot of fun playing with the sound, mixing it into Lil’ Louis’ Original Video Clash. Taking advantage of being a DJ myself, I can play the track as often as I want which is another plus.
Paris Brightledge & Marlon Hoffstadt’s Forgive You (DJ Bowlcut Gets Boring Bootleg Remix) is also one of my favorites.
I got the original vinyl release from the British DJ Haus. He occasionally sends me promotional vinyl releases and this was one of them. I did the remix by adding ‘Winona’ of DJ Boring to the acapella from the original track.
I think I like to see what I can do with original tracks and somehow give them a twist in my own way.
The lo-fi scene is making huge movements with vinyl releases and now on to tape cassette which is a big part of its recent success, what do you enjoy most about this scene and which artists would you like to collaborate with in the future?
I have always been a huge enthusiast of vinyl release and I love how it found its way up to be a big hit again. Vinyl releases are incredibly attractive in the aspect that I can physically own tracks and this helps a lot when I’m building my library. Well, you can obviously list up using Mp3 as well, but for me, digital libraries don’t do the justice. It’s as if I woke up to a blurry morning after a long dream.
So even before vinyl returned to popularity, I’ve been collecting a lot of it. Now that it is enjoyed by so many other people I feel like that has flourished within the music scenes I am into (also for the people who I work with).
And for the artists I want to work with, at the moment, I can't really pick a name. It’s because I have been making tracks for ‘myself’ rather than making it for ‘someone else’.
What is the music scene like in Seoul and what do you hope for its future?
Recently, I watched ‘Roadwave’ again which was done by DeadHype last year. Realising changes that have happened in a year truly puts me in awe. The music scenes are changing like a living organism and I believe that’s a good thing. But as it is growing rapidly, I hope for more people to really understand and find our underground music fascinating. Of course, it would have to be carried out by great endeavour of underground musicians like myself.
Also, most of music scenes are happening around Seoul, especially centered in Itaewon. For lo-fi music to build its ground, meaningful movements should be born in other areas of Korea as well and they have to continue in a steady and stable flow.
Any special shows or releases scheduled for the near future that people can keep an eye out for?
I’m currently preparing a new album which will be released through a label abroad. It will, of course, be released in vinyl form and I will talk about details later in time. There will be other collaborations coming. Hazed & Confucius is planning to throw more events and parties, so keep your eye out for them!
DJ Bowlcut Social Links
The video below is a part of our new YouTube channel. For a chance to be featured on the channel message us here.