New Mix & Music Chat - Will and Mark
by Herb Essntls
A year ago
This Friday, we’re welcoming Mark Gilbert and Will Overill as our Musical Hosts. Coming to us from Norway (Mark,) and the UK (Will,) the gents from Eccentrics Disco bring us their “Eccentrics Mix” in the attitude of “an eclectic club mix,” as Will defined. We spoke with them about the DJ-enigma, their three 12’s, and what the NYC music scene represents.
What mood are you setting through this mix?WO: I wanted the first hour to be what you would hear if you came to the start of one of our nights, no mixing, all styles, setting the mood for Mark to play whatever.
MG: I just wanted to follow Will’s selections with something more akin to an eclectic club mix.
WO: It would have been more fun to do B2B as we usually do. There’s always a different element if you vibe off someone when you are playing, following on, taking turns.
What are some of the featured tracks that define the mix?WO: The first track “Freeway” is me recalling the cab rides over to Manhattan from JFK, fresh off the plane... on a Friday night flight from London; to spend some time with Tim, hanging out in NYC, playing records etc.
MG: All the difficult ones to ID :-) Let's face it we are all OCD.
You’re from England but how has the New York music scene influenced your relationship to music, digging and DJing?MG: From understanding its role in shaping black music over the years and its incredible contribution to people of all colours and creeds coming together. The early 80’s melting pot of sounds did so much for that. New York by way of demographics and social political circumstances created its own vibe that still resonates to this day.
WO: Seeing different records in New York was ace. A1 and Academy had such varied selections, getting stocked up on disco classics in the first few trips alongside Jazz and Brasil too felt special.
Let’s talk about the imagery you’ve used in the past to promote Eccentric Disco parties on Facebook. Neoclassical paintings of commoners, religious imagery, knights and scribes. How does this theme express the party?
MG: Eccentricity is regarded as quite British so we were looking for something that reflected that, Will found the perfect visual representations for it in a series of childrens’ books that were popular in the 1970s.
WO: I like the out of context nature of how we use the pictures, people like them and Sanky found the drummer boy which we have used as the centre picture for our releases. I also like Phil South’s NOM flyers and not taking it all too seriously.
(Editor’s note: Tim & Sanky were previous Musical Hosts. Find their Mix and an in depth interview here)
You’ve hosted at The Gowlett, a proper London disco boozer, for many years. Not the typical dance club, tell us about how this community and party came to be?
MG: There was a DJHistory.com meet up there and we finally got to meet some of the people that frequented that particular space on the information superhighway, Jonathan Henfrey who ran the place back then was also keyed into the goings on and Peckham was fast on its way to being the next cool place to hang out so it just made sense, plus the area just had this good feel about it especially at the Gowlett which really was a incubator of no busllhsit attitudes, open mindedness etc.
WO: We were able to bring our own sound as well as play what the hell we liked. This was before the audiophile avalanche, but having a rotary and crossover through decent monitors was worth the effort. That was important to us both and certain records can sound amazing in that space. We even took the Cornwalls one time, which effectively hid Bill Brewster!
At this party you’ve also hosted a range of notable names. How is hosting a party different when you’re welcoming guests Djs on a Friday night?
MG: We were lucky in that people wanted to play there as it has this very grass roots reputation that I think most of our guests immediately could recognize. We had a ton of amazing guests and are humbled they came to our little spot on the balearic beach of life. Would have loved to have hosted Harvey and Idjuts, but those guys are a bit out of our budget.
WO: I’d like to play again with my bro Tim, Sanky too, friends like Rich; plus it would be cool to hear what Charles Bals and Danny Wang would play. Most of the fun is hanging out and banter, like when Zaf comes over!
Collaborations and DJ-pairs is an active conversation among this musical program, how did you both start Dj-ing together?
MG: Will put on a record then I did, instant love.
WO: Aww. Still got it.
Can we talk about the DJ enigma? There is virtually no interviews and limited information to both of your names. Mark, you carry the pseudonym, Hugh Mane. It seems like many DJs and music curators keep a low profile, do you think it’s by choice or because it’s an undiscovered treasure trove?
MG: There’s a ton of collectors that know what they're doing on the digging side of things and some incredible Dj’s out there. To be known nowadays means playing some weird social credit games on technology platforms, which for most people is just a PITA and distracts from the tasks at hand. Bookers are very trend based and not necessarily doing things based on merit. Snark Snark. There’s a seriously hardcore bunch of collectors in Norway too, that most haven’t heard of outside of Scandinavia so that was an eye opener when I came here.
Under Eccentric Disco, you’ve released three 12’s - what criteria do you use for selecting which tracks to edit? Can we anticipate any upcoming music? Mark as you’re now based in Norway now, how has this impacted your collaboration?WO: We saved our DJ money and were going to take our partners out to dinner, but then decided to put out a 12” instead! I guess because we are free from any expectations over selections and some don’t work out at all, that it is a very easy process...eventually! We both still buy records and turn each other on to new things, that is an important part of what goes on. Mark is very good at challenging me to consider whether it is an ‘eccentrics edit’ or not, which still makes sense to both of us somehow.
MG: We like to push the boundaries of what is termed Balearic, It frustrates me when you see labels stick to a trope “acoustic guitars and thumb pianos anyone?” because hey, that makes it easier to market music as a product. I personally didn’t want our label to sound like that. We are still throwing around ideas for ECC004 and it’s nearly there. Re; the distance, It’s a pain we can’t always be in the same room, pre-Covid I was back and forth fairly often so we would just have a famous shed session at Will’s and whittle things down that way.