A man of many pseudonyms, John Graham, better known as Quivver, is a highly acclaimed British producer, songwriter, singer, and instrumentalist. With a career that extends back 30 years now, Graham is also known under the names Skanna, Stoneproof, and Space Manoeuvres. He and his frequent collaborator Dave Seaman have been staples of the British house music scene for decades now, to the point where they have been instrumental in helping define the local culture of the genre itself. As Quivver, he has been releasing music since the mid-1990s and has returned with a new single titled “Rockets & Rainbows.”
Released just last month via DJ extraordinaire Steve Bug’s Poker Flat Recordings, Graham and Seaman again prove why they are held in such high regard on this new outing. It is well-composed, cohesive, blissful electronic music that’s firmly meant for the dancefloor. The track features singer Brianna Price, while masterful South African DJ Floyd Lavine has offered another take on the song with his very own remix.
For our latest Geared Up, we spoke with Graham, aka Quivver, about the wide array of gear that he uses, the first piece that he ever bought, and what he feels is overrated gear.
What is your current gear setup like?
Quivver: “I use Pro Tools HDX. The only outboard I currently use is an SSL pre-amp and an Avalon pre-amp, a Virus T-I polar, and an old Nord lead. I stopped using a lot of outboard stuff when I moved to LA in 2007 and got used to working without it.”
What’s one piece of gear that helps you create your signature sound?
“As far as outboard gear goes, and this is going back to the ’90s, The Roland JD 990 was the first synth I really got into programming. I spent hours, weeks programming that thing, so much so that I bought another. I used multiple sounds from them on all of my Quivver and Skanna tracks back in the day.”
Did you use the 990s on “Rockets & Rainbows”?
“No, I don’t use the 990s anymore. I mainly use soft synths now, I keep talking about getting more of my hardware stuff back in the studio, but haven’t got around to it yet.
“My go-to synths now are Serum, Ana 2, Omnisphere, and Massive, and I use Battery for most of my drum sounds. I’ve created loads of libraries for Battery which I’m constantly updating.”
What was the first piece of studio gear you bought?
“The first ever piece of studio equipment I bought was an Ensoniq eps 16 sampler, which had a built-in sequencer. The first Skanna white label I released came straight out of that sampler, no other synths involved, no mixer… sounded like shit by today’s standards of course, but it was the early ’90s so there was a lot of ‘rough around the edges’ kind of stuff out there at the time and I was just happy to have something pressed onto vinyl.”
What was the first piece of gear that made you feel like you’d arrived?
“My first decent mixing desk, a Mackie 32 channel. Again this was in the mid-’90s. I didn’t have a lot of money when I started so I’d buy a new bit of kit after every release. That desk made my little DIY set-up suddenly look like the proper studios I’d seen famous artists and producers sitting at in magazines… Definitely a game changer for me at the time.”
Is there a piece of gear that other people rave about that you don’t like?
“As far as overrated gear goes, one of mine is more DJ based… I’ve never liked Allen & Heath DJ mixers and a lot of people bang on about how great they are, or how they sound better than other mixers or whatever. Bollocks! The faders are way too sensitive and the filters cause massive changes in levels when you activate them. Or at least they did the last time I used one, which I’ll admit has probably been at least ten years. I’ve avoided them since then….”
Have you ever had any of your gear stolen?
“Nothing too major, I had some headphones stolen from my suitcase after a South America tour once. They were new Pioneer DJ headphones and I’d put them in my case at the last minute because my hand luggage was too full, then the case didn’t make it back to the UK for about six weeks. I actually thought I’d lost the whole thing, then when it did eventually turn up the headphones were gone… Fucker! I’ve always found a space in my hand luggage for anything like that since…”
Now for some fun, do you have a good “Gear Goes Wrong” story?
“As far as gear malfunctions, there are a few, but the only one that has any element of fun attached to it wasn’t exactly a malfunction, but when a keyboard fell off the stage during a live gig at Home in London, probably 20 years ago now. It was a Tilt show in front of about 1,500 people and it was Mick Wilson’s brand new, bright yellow, Waldorf Q synth. A beautiful bit of kit.
“Anyway, Mick was to my right and one second he was bouncing around behind his new keyboard, the next, all I could see was the end of his Waldorf Q and a bright red trainer sticking up from between a gap in the stage where he’d bounced too far back, fell in the gap, and kicked the whole setup on top of himself. I just remember the first thing to reappear was the bottle of vodka that he had next to him which had somehow fallen in on him as well. Thankfully, nothing was broken and he managed to quickly clamber out and get plugged back in to finish the set… Funny as fuck though!”
Chali 2na & DJ Shub Join Forces for Debut Canadian Tour
Chali 2na, will hit the road with none other than the Godfather of PowWow Step and JUNO Award winner, DJ Shub.
For the first time, one of the most iconic voices in hip-hop, the verbal Herman Munster, Chali 2na, will hit the road with the Godfather of PowWow Step and JUNO Award winner, DJ Shub. Together, they’ll embark on their first-ever Canadian tour, performing in nine cities across three provinces, marking a historic collaboration between the artists.
On the decks, DJ Shub will provide a dynamic backdrop for Chali’s unmistakable baritone voice as he delivers an electrifying performance of his solo hits and beloved Jurassic 5 classics. Individually, these two artists boast incredible resumes – having performed at some of the most iconic venues and festivals across North America (Coachella, Outside Lands, Osheaga). Now, the two of them are teaming up to deliver one of this summer’s most sought-after events.
DJ Shub, a two-time DMC World DJ champion and Red Bull Thre3style champion, expressed his excitement about the tour:
“For me, backing up Chali 2na on tour is mind-blowing considering I’ve been a long-time fan. Magic happens when legends join forces.”
Fans have been dreaming of this collaboration since 2017, when the two artists first performed together at a workshop at the Winnipeg Folk Festival – offering a glimpse of what could be. Now, the wait is finally over, as they embark on a tour that promises to mesmerize audiences and provide a captivating blend of old-school hip-hop and DJ prowess.
Tickets for this must-see tour go on sale on February 22. Fans are encouraged to act quickly to secure their spot at what promises to be an unforgettable series of performances.
Chali 2na & DJ Shub Tour Dates:
May 2 – Calgary, AB – Modern Love
May 3 – Edmonton, AB – The Starlite Room
May 4 – Saskatoon, SK – Capitol Music Club
May 5 – Winnipeg, MB – The Park Theatre
May 6 – Banff, AB – Melissa’s MisSteak
May 8 – Fernie, BC – The Northern
May 9 – Golden, BC – Rockwater Grill & Bar
May 10 – Vernon, BC – Status Nightclub
May 11 – Kelowna, BC – Red Bird Brewing
Lovataraxx Release “Tilda Vaast” from Upcoming ‘Sophomore’ Record
French synth group Lovataraxx has released the music video for their new single “Tilda Vaast” from their new album ‘Sophomore.’
“Tilda Vaast” is the first single off Sophomore, the new album by French cold wave and minimal synth duo Lovataraxx, to be released on April 5th, 2024, via German label Cold Transmission.
Julien Hoes states:
“The song was created a couple of years ago, while I was thinking about my grandmother, after her death. My grandmother, Mathilde, was deeply romantic, she was all the time reading soapy Harlequin romances. Sometimes, when she was very old, she didn’t remember that she already read one of those novels so she started over. Sometimes she also pretended that she was reading, in order to be left alone, because she didn’t want to talk. And I noticed, ‘Gran, you’re holding your book upside down! What are you thinking about?
“And we were all laughing, but she never told us what was on her mind. Mathilde left Algeria before she was 40 years old, and settled with the whole family in a grey and industrial town. I guess it was really hard at the beginning. But I feel like, in her thoughts, year after year, she was still over there, a young and free lady walking on the seaside.
“When she was looking at me, I had the impression that her eyes were deep and vast like the Mediterranean Sea. I proposed once or two times to go all together back in Algeria, but she wouldn’t go. She spent her old age locked away indoors. Whereas, when she was young, she was always outside. Once, after her death, I grabbed a couple of pictures of her, back to the time when she was living abroad, by the sea. And I realized that I hardly knew anything about that person in the pictures. So I gathered a couple of elements in my mind, and this is the story of Tilda Vaast.”
The single is accompanied by a music video directed and produced by Ramataupia featuring actress Ayris Taban.
After their critically acclaimed album Hébéphrénie which was released in 2020, Sophomore is a new step on the band’s trajectory, influenced by synthetic music, 1980s or 1990s horror, and SF movie soundtracks. A resolutely fairy, modern and personal record that can be pre-ordered now.
OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival Returns with Powerhouse 2024 Lineup
OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival dropped an unbelievably impressive lineup for their 2024 edition this week.
The OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival dropped an unbelievably impressive lineup for their 2024 edition this week. The 17th edition of the festival will take place from August 2nd to 4th, at Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Saint-Hélène, close to downtown Montréal. Headliners include SZA, Green Day, and Noah Kahan setting the tone for a diverse exhibition that is sure to appeal to the masses.
Representation is present for all genres at this year’s fest. Rock is covered by old-school legends Rancid, LA rockers The Linda Lindas, ’90s indie favourites Sleater-Kinney, and grunge icons The Smashing Pumpkins. R&B will be backed by hip-hop pioneer T-Pain, as well as Tyla, Ayra Starr, and Michaël Brun. Pop is represented by Mean Girls powerhouse Reneé Rapp, Euphoria star Dominic Fike, and alt-pop phenom Melanie Martinez. Indie will be covered by Irish musician Hozier and this generation’s Elvis, Stephen Sanchez. EDM will be showcased with sets by world-class producers like Martin Garrix and Labrinth.
If you’re someone who enjoys all types of music, this year’s OSHEAGA is a can’t-miss event. The lineup easily competes for the best of 2024. Tickets are on sale 2/21 for 3-day passes and 2/23 for single-day passes. Prices are as follows:
GENERAL ADMISSION TICKET / SINGLE-DAY: starting at $165 CAD
GENERAL ADMISSION TICKET / 3-DAY: starting at $395 CAD
CASINO DE MONTRÉAL GOLD TICKET / SINGLE-DAY: starting at $320 CAD
CASINO DE MONTRÉAL GOLD TICKET / 3 DAYS: starting at $745 CAD
PLATINUM TICKET / SINGLE-DAY: starting at $685 CAD
PLATINUM TICKET / 3 DAYS: starting at $1,620 CAD
Get your tickets while they last!
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