For someone with such an established track record, Durkin has little interest in looking back.
But, for the uninitiated, a quick recap: over the last five years, the Cambridge-based producer/DJ has had a hand in (or on) records from the cutting edge of hip hop, dance and electronic music. From collaborations with Black EL and Ghostdad (as Banana Seat) to his own solo instrumental and remix work, plus residencies at Good Life, the W Hotel and ZuZu, Durkin has plenty on his playlist.
“I think I’m really lucky,” he says on the phone, ahead of a busy week which includes the fourth installment of his #DREAMCLUB party this Saturday at Good Life, followed by his first show with Black EL in nearly two years next Wednesday. “I’m lucky because I play at good places; even if I’m getting booked for Friday or Saturday night, I’m only playing places that give me the creative license to take risks and play what I want to play.”
While also preparing the follow-up to last year’s workworkwork EP, Durkin is excited to reunite with Black EL on stage. Following the release of their second EP The Collage in 2012, the pair took a hiatus from live shows to rework their slick, breezy hip hop sound into something more dynamic and experimental. The result was last year’s L_ST, which, despite being ostensibly a Black EL solo record, was crafted under Durkin’s guidance as executive producer.
“I had never been in that role before,” he says of working on L_ST, of which he worked on production (with co-producer Victor Radz), mixing and mastering. “We wanted to change the mood up. If you can inject ideas from other producers but keep things consistent by having the oversight of an executive producer, it makes for a really interesting album. I really like pulling all that stuff together.”
He continues: “The difference between old and new show is I’m doing a lot less DJ trick stuff, but instead, we’re running this effects rig on Black EL’s voice. That’s what I’ll be managing during the set. So we can do live Auto Tune and other effects, and we can take this very studio oriented record and make it live.”