With releases on the 'Well Rounded', 'Pattern' and 'Shifting Peaks' imprints, Leeds-based Hackman is hotly tipped to make serious inroads into the scene over the coming years. With his productions earning support from the likes of Martyn, Brackles and Doc Daneeka, it was 2010 release 'Always' that really propelled him into the spotlight. Now in his final year at Leeds College of Music, I caught up with him on everything from 'GarageBand' to playing in Denmark:
"I've had a few releases in the last year or so on 'Well Rounded', 'Pattern' and 'Shifting Peaks' and a joint thing with Gravious that was put out on 'Davey Jones'. Gigs wise, I've done Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Nottingham, Brighton - most of the big UK cities really. Ah and I've been abroad too - I played Poland and Denmark last year and I've just got back from a gig in Hamburg! Besides all that, I'm actually still finishing off my last year at Leeds College of Music which is taking up most of my time at the moment. On a more long term scale, I've been putting a lot of thought and work into an 11-track album that I'm hoping to get finished in the not too distant future - I've been working on that for nearly 6 months already! More label work is definitely on the agenda too and more bookings would be nice!"
Beginning solely as a deejay, it wasn't too long before Hackman discovered first 'GarageBand' and subsequently 'Logic':
"I got into deejaying first - I used to love Drum 'N Bass so I was very much into that for almost two years or so I'd say. From there, it was a case of finding 'GarageBand' and some other really basic software on a laptop I had - I started pissing around, not taking things very seriously and just getting to terms with how everything worked but my dad came back with a copy of Logic one day and that was a different story. I managed to get it on my laptop and it just opened me up to producing - everything's a lot freer because it's obviously a better program and it was around that time that I was first hearing Dubstep, so naturally I fell into producing Dubstep. My first release was actually called 'Loophole', a little Dubstep EP that got put out on 'Studio Rockers' back in 2009. I got bored of making it before long though and I started hearing lots of new Funky stuff that I liked and it seemed only right to start making more melodic stuff. I started to buy a few vinyls and just fell into it really and it's all come together in the music I'm writing at the moment."
With a whole host of influences, perhaps unsurprisingly, Hackman finds it hard to describe his own sound:
"It's just House really at the moment I guess but it's got its Funk and Dubstep elements too - I guess I could say it's a very melodic, very colourful sound (laughs). I tend to use quite a lot of vocal edits in what I'm making too, which kinda makes it sound a bit like Garage - ah, I'll just stick to colourful!"
With the Internet now playing a key role in identifying up-and-coming talent, it was posting on 'Dubstepforum' that first got Hackman on the scene's radar:
"Most of the label stuff came about through me posting stuff up on the 'House' section on Dubstepforum - that was definitely the case with regards to 'Well Rounded' anyway. The 'Pattern' release was down to a mix and short interview I did for Blackdown last year - people on 'Ramp' got to hear about me off the back of that. I can't forget Myspace either - a lot of early remixes and things came about through messages on there and Soundcloud."
As a deejay, Hackman has played all over the UK but it's the shows abroad that seem to hold the most appeal:
"I like the darker, less crazy-fancy-lights sorta clubs to be honest! I actually prefer playing smaller rooms because you're much more in tune with your audience. All the foreign shows I've done so far have been really good because it's just exciting traveling abroad! Having said that, I've played to a lot of good crowds in the UK - Leeds is a wicked city to deejay in especially. It's all good to be honest - as long as the crowd's feeling what you're playing then you're in for a good night. Unfortunately I'm all CDs now though - I bought the last two 'Doldrums' releases because they were vinyl-only but I never really mix vinyl when I'm deejaying. I'll mess about with a few vinyl bits at home sometimes but it's too expensive to keep an up to date collection."
With a growing reputation, support in all the right places and a healthy back-catalogue, Hackman shows all the signs of exceeding justifiably high expectations over the coming weeks and months:
"I definitely want to be putting more EPS out, hopefully on some big labels - I'm actually in talks with a few at the moment which is good. I'm also doing quite a few collaborations but it'd be nice to hook up with some people on big projects. I love deejaying so maintaining a steady flow of gigs and playing in as many different places as I can is always gonna be a priority - I guess it's just a case of me carrying on what I'm doing! Having said that, I did try and launch my own digital label a while back that never really got going - it'd be fun to try that again one day, although not until I've established myself. I love all the music about at the minute though - guys like Julio Bashmore and XXXY are making some wicked stuff and it reminds me what a good time this is to be releasing."
MIX FOR HUSH HOUSE: http://hush-house.blogspot.com/2010/12/exclusive-mix-013.html