There are a lot of Mix-Masters out there, but few of the eclectic and international breadth of London’s Brand New Wayo. By harnessing the power of the Internet, Quip crossed the Atlantic to learn about the ingredients of this exciting new group from the cook, Tom Morgan.
Scott Wilson: Where are you based out of?
Tom Morgan: Right now we’re in London, but that’s temporary. We’re disciples of George Clinton: from Sirius the Planet Dogstar.
SW:Who are all the member as associated people with Brand New Wayo?
TM: I’d say that officially we’re a crew of 5 but Brand New Wayo as a collective has extended family who will be contributing irregularly as we go on. Anyone who comes to party with us, or listens and enjoys our mixes is associated with us too and part of what we’re about.
SW: Where did you learn your DJ skills and how to make mixes?
TM: Ben was first on the decks, back when we were 15 or so. He was the trailblazer, he paved the way and we followed, learnt to mix on Tectonic Plates, DMZ and old Good Looking vinyl. Will’s always been a producer and Sam has spent the majority of his time in London affiliated with independent labels. I worked for Gilles Peterson at Brownswood for the last couple of years and was exposed to so much good music. Seeing him play and going to his radio show really opened my ears to an emphasis on selection and blending tracks that may not be the same BPM or genre but fit well.
But beyond those formative places it’s just instinct between us. We’re all good mates and know each other’s styles so we can kind off predict where we’re going when we play out.
SW: There is an educational aspect to each volume, in accordance with it’s theme, was that part of your intention when forming Brand New Wayo?
TM: It’s interesting you mention there being an educational aspect. Initially, that hadn’t been the intention. I think it would seem a little conceited to think we were teaching people anything. After all, there’s no such thing as the ‘right music’, as it’s purely subjective.
SW: To follow up with that, what is the back-story of the crew, how did you and Sam start BNW?
TM: Me and Sam met last year through a friend. Sam came to live with me and Will (also part of BNW) and I remember he jumped on the decks in the flat and we had a mix for the first time and I was like ‘shit, this guy KNOWS his hip-hop’. My foundation’s are hip hop too, and I thought we could get something going. We both work in music too and figured with our shared love and knowledge we could get this going.
So we started putting mixes out fortnightly, with an open minded ‘anything goes’ approach, but with an ear to the soulful spectrum. Hopefully, we’ve got a sound that people can identify, whether it be boogie or beats, techno or garage.
The rest of the crew are all music heads through and through. We go way back. Will I’ve known since I was one year old, and John and Ben I’ve known since age 12. We’re all 26 now. It’s a family affair.
SW: At my work I have a phrase when I take over the Spotify queue: “Shut up I’m taking you all on a musical journey” Does that urge ever posses you? Before BNW did you guys take over the Ipod mix at parties a lot?
TM: Haha! Yeah, most definitely. For years we’d rock up at house parties as a crew and make a beeline for the sound system. We’d either take our decks in a taxi and set up shop, or just hijack the stereo with our iPods and beef over who had the next tune. There was, and still is an air of oneupmanship.
Together we’ve been called the music dictators (and variations on that theme). We’d call it quality control, others probably call us snobs. Fuck it though, we just wanna get people dancing! And play stuff that’s beyond the mainstream. There’s so much good music out there that you wouldn’t find unless you looked…
SW: When you perform live, what are some of the things you do differently than with the studio recordings?
TM: When we play out we bring more of a party vibe than you’ll hear in the Volumes. The Volumes give us more scope to explore the musical horizon, which is why you’ll hear a Gil Scott-Heron a cappella over an Oneohtrix Point Never soundscape, for example.
When we’re DJing it’s only ever three of us at one time, and we play back to back to back. We just wanna get people moving and rarely stick to one genre for more than three or four tracks. For the longer sets of 3 or more hours then we really get a chance to go in and cover the many bases that we love. So any promoters reading this, book us for the long ones!
SW: What are some of the events you have coming up in the next few month? Are there any you’re especially excited for?
TM: We’re playing Meadows in the Mountains in Bulgaria, which we’re really looking forward to. Have heard great things about it, so we’re buzzing to get there. We’re also playing Gottwood Festival which is gonna be a lot of fun.
After Meadows we’re playing Gilles’ stage at James Lavelle’s “Meltdown” which is truly an honour. It’s got an incredible line up and we’re sharing the bill with Goldie, Chassol, Grandmaster Flash, and DJ Shadow to name a few so we’re in good company!
We’re also gonna be starting our residency with Fourth, a new party at Peckham Pelican in South London. And we’re playing Fruit Palace in Brixton and Portobello Flyover on May 30th and June 6th.
SW: Where are you hoping to go and what are you hoping to do with Brand New Wayo in the future?
TM: We’ve got plans. Watch this space [smiles]
Brand New Wayo are playing 2 three-hour sets at the Meadows In The Mountains festival June 13-15, 2014.