Wrap Up And Watch Out: Scratcha Dva
A few weeks ago, we brought you an 11-track 'Ugly Bass' mix from newly-installed Hyperdub DJ, Scratcha DVA. The Wrap Up's James Walsh caught up with the man who owned Rinse FM's morning airwaves for six years to speak about his new role at the independent label, his forthcoming album release, 'Pretty Ugly', and more...
The Wrap Up: Hi Scratcha! Good to speak to you. How have things been going since you left your 'Breakfast Show' on Rinse for all things Hyperdub?
Scratcha DVA: Hi! It's been going really good. What we couldn't do in the mornings, I'm now able to do – which is great. I can play what I want and spin some weird and wonderful stuff. It's more directed to what I'm doing musically, and that's ultimately got to be a good thing.
TWU: And how has the feedback been from your first few shows?
Scratcha DVA: It's been cool. It's not a serious vibe at all in the studio, we have a laugh and joke and we'll Skype other artists and DJs while we're live on air. We had an exclusive on a new Burial tune and were catching jokes either side of it, and a few people emailed and tweeted in saying that we shouldn’t be laughing when playing a Burial track, but I don't really care about all that. I just do what I do. Hyperdub like my style, it's what they wanted me for, so I'm bringing it.
TWU: Cool. You did an exclusive mix for us the other week as a taster for your new album. Tell us a bit more about 'Pretty Ugly'...
Scratcha DVA: ‘Pretty Ugly’ is a vocal-heavy album which will be coming out on Hyperdub on March 19. I didn't go into the studio and think about it, I just did my thing and it came out. I don't care if people don't like the speed that it's at, or other aspects of it, I don't think too much like that. It's an album that has come from the heart. Next time, it might be something completely different that I come out with, but I love it and if other people feel it too, then great. It's like having a baby; you don't push it back in if it comes out with curly ginger hair (laughs).
TWU: As a vocal-heavy album, can you tell us a bit about the featured artists on it?
Scratcha DVA: I've always worked with singers, and it was cool to work with all of the guys that appear on 'Pretty Ugly'. I've got Muhsinah, who has worked with Flying Lotus, and Vikter Duplaix, who has been on releases by Erykah Badu and Eric Benet, on there. Vocals are also given by Zaki Ibrahim, a singer from Canada who lives in South Africa, Natalie Maddix, Cornelia, Fatima and A.L. I appreciate everything that each artist has brought to the album. They've all got their own unique style and they all sound great on the tracks.
TWU: And how would you describe the album's overall sound?
Scratcha DVA: The sound is in the title. It's exactly that! There are really pretty bits and there are really ugly bits, even in one tune. It's very schizophrenic!
TWU: Finally, what else is in store for Scratcha DVA for the rest of 2012?
Scratcha DVA: In April, I'm playing at a festival in Turkey, and then I’m playing at the Sonar Festival in Barcelona. I'm looking to clock up a few more, but those are the big two. I'm also playing at Fabric a couple of times this year. I also want to get hold of one or two artists and help make their albums. There's also going to be an EP, which drops shortly after the album, and that'll be me giving something from the dancefloor side of things. I've also signed a few artists to my own label, DVA Music, so watch out for GuGu, Josh Ryan and Shy One!
Scratcha DVA's new album, 'Pretty Ugly', is out on March 19.
Stay up to date with Scratcha DVA on Twitter - www.twitter.com/ScratchaDVA
Words: James Walsh (@JW_DittoMusic)
Photograph: James Mould
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)