Ashworth – The ‘Monday Is Ok’ Ransom Note Mix
Come on now, look sharp! Monday may be getting you down but we're once more bringing you the perfect antidote to the beginning-of-the-week blues. This week your aural treat comes in the form of a smashing mix from Ashworth that will consume your troublesome times and spread joy and happiness into your life as if you'd just been presented with a puppy or kitten (your choice) to stroke for an hour. So wrap your ears around this mix, read on and know that Monday is OK;
Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Joe Ashworth. I make music, DJ and do a bit of sound design and mix engineering.
Why should we be listening to your music?
Right now, because I'm about to release an album that I'm very proud of, but in general because I feel like I can make music that connects with at least a few people.
Who is making the music that you're hoping to rival?
I don't know about rivals, I'm inspired and excited by my mates who make music, even if I'm not always into the actual tracks they make. Thinking of other music producers as competition seems a bit weird to me.
How are you making yourself stand out from the crowd?
It's something that I've always wanted to work on slowly but surely, by making consistently good, interesting and emotional music and playing good sets in good clubs. I try not to be overly influenced by trends but also not to make my own life difficult by rejecting them, I guess you could call it playing the long game.
Do you read books still? If so, what?
I recently read Murukami's 'Kafka on the Shore', I loved it, very bizarre and moving at the same time. I'm looking forward to reading more Murukami.
What would be your ideal date?
Some kind of activity, like windsurfing or mountain biking or something like that.
What do you smell like?
Sweat, I just played tennis.
How do you take your tea?
A splash of milk, strong, no sugar.
How would you introduce yourself to a member of the royal family?
I have no idea! If I had something menacing in mind, I think I'd bottle it when it came to the crunch and be polite.
If your sound were a fine wine, what would the label say about it?
Oaky, with very chewy tannins.
When did music last make you shed a tear?
I came close listening to the latest Alva Noto album.
Who inspired you to get into music? Who inspires you now?
Initially, it would have been the Chemical Brothers, or Leftfield, now it's Ricardo Villalobos, Levon Vincent, anyone sticking to their guns and doing it well without compromise.
What's on the way from you in the next few months?
My album Grain which comes out on 6th July, along with a European club tour.
How far would you go to get your music heard?
I'm a pretty passive guy, I work hard on the music, and feel strongly about it, but in terms of people hearing it, I just trust that it will get out there eventually if it's good enough.
Onto the mix…
Where was the mix recorded?
I recorded one in my studio, then got rid of it because I felt like it was just music I liked, but not close enough to me or my music. I wanted to make something dreamy, drifty, with scattered beats, and a lot of weird, interesting sounds, so I pulled the tracks together late at night at home. It's nothing like my club sets really, but there are definitely ties to my album.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
I think that slightly delirious state where you can't sleep so give up and get out of bed at 5am when the sun's coming up.
What should we be wearing?
A kimono dressing gown of some sort? Definitely something homely and comfortable.
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
For a club mix, at fabric – just hitting record at the start of the set and forgetting about it – capturing the club as genuinely as possible. The mix I recorded for you guys was a different kind of mix though, much more ambient and less clubby.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Probably the Anna Caragnano & Donato Dozzy track, second on, it's bonkers. So cool what they did with her voice.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
Probably Ricardo Villalobos's fabric mix.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Craig Richards maybe, he's so good at playing back to back – he's a dance music encyclopaedia and he really gets how to keep the tempo steady and not turn it into a competitive pissing contest.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
The same answer to both questions – 2 x Technics 1210 – I've had them for 12 years, only needed two services since I got them! I have a pioneer DJM mixer.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
I find the first track very hard to get right, I'd say it's more important as sometimes it can take at least half an hour to recover from playing the wrong first track. Play a bad final track and it's someone else's problem!
What were the first and last records you bought?
First – Sash! – Encore Une Fois, most recent, I bought a load from the record shop. I'm listening to the latest Dorisburg EP right now so I'll say that.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
If it was an animal what would it be?
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
I always mess up mixing Jordan GCZ records, they sound like the beats are regular, and then suddenly shift or speed up but you don't notice until you're in the mix. The structures are usually pretty wonky too.
Upcoming in the world of Ashworth?
I mentioned before, but the focus is really on my album, Grain coming out on the 6th of July, and Cork EP (3 tracks from the album), coming out on 12".
Anything else we need to discuss?
I'm throwing a launch party at The Waiting Room, a little venue in Stoke Newington on the 10th July.
Ashworth's album Grain is out on 6th July via Needwant.