New Mix & Therapeutic Music Chat with DJ Duckcomb
by Herb Essntls
A year ago
Today we have the privilege to introduce you to Patrick Billard, or DJ Duckcomb as he is more formally known as. He has put together a brilliant mix that crosses over several genresy but still holds together as one journey.
Listen to it here or on our SoundCloud page. Where you might be able to find a pretty swell discount code if you look hard enough...
We sat down for a chat with Patrick about Music, relaxation and life.
Thank you so much for hosting this week, Patrick!
You are very welcome! I enjoyed putting this mix together and am excited to share it.
What would be a good contextual fit for listening to your mix? Dancing? Cleaning your house? Working..? Or just relaxing?
I’ve actually done all of these things while listening to this mix so i’d say all of the above! But it’s mostly a pretty introspective, downtempo/balearic mix so maybe not so much dancing but that’s pretty subjective i suppose. I would say it’s a great walking mix, there’s even a tune called “Walking” on the mix, and one called “Introspect”.
What are the standout records from the mix you knew you just had to include?
The main one that springs to mind is the second to last track “Mystery of Mine” by an obscure 1980s British artist Mr. Amir. This is one I took a chance on digging here at Amoeba in Hollywood and I’ve become somewhat obsessed with this record. It’s a really unique sound that incorporates elements of reggae and new wave atmospheric synth work and it’s so special, it’s a shame he’s not more well known. Besides that some faves are the slack-key guitar disco anthem “Love Toys” by Snake, Marisa Monte “Volte Para O Seu Lar”, Leonard Washington “Walking” and “Tankou Melodi” by Emeline Michel. The Emeline record has been another obsession and tracked down 3 copies and so far each one has a condition issue so the hunt for a perfect one continues! And of course Starship Orchestra “New York”, an ode to NYC and such a jam!
Many of the mixes we’ve featured in this series cross genres across the board, and your mix is certainly no exception! What’s the common theme within these disparate threads?
Oftentimes when I make a mix I can take a theme and really hammer it home and I’ve certainly done that with some recent mixes made during this time of uncertainty and quarantine. But this one i just went more with vibe than theme so i guess the theme is emotions revolving around the end of summer and changing of the seasons and hope for the future. I do enjoy navigating between genres when making a mix, it can be quite tricky to do it cohesively, hopefully I pulled it off here!
Now that so much is moving to the digital sphere, do you think that the physical digging will be less and less important, or do you think it might go the other way… are the physical crates where the real gold is the only place to be found?
I’m certainly biased being a lifelong digging in the crates kind of guy. It’s also part of my income stream as I sell records online. So for me, digging in the real world is where I find most of my gold but it was certainly interesting during the beginning of shutdown when that wasn’t an option. It was a time for me to process records I had found in recent years and of course do more online buying. I think taking chances on records online is as rewarding as being out in the field but for me there’s nothing more fulfilling than going out and looking for records, whether i find them or not. I dream about it constantly! I think the only way to find records that aren’t already well known is by digging in the field. It certainly helps when record stores have a listening station but of course those are a thing of the past so for now you just have to go on instinct. For me, acquiring music digitally isn’t terribly fulfilling or exciting but of course for DJing it’s not the format that matters and it’s very cool that you can have all this music at your fingertips digitally in an instant and it’s so affordable whereas records are getting more and more pricey it seems.
Throughout our series of interviews, the therapeutic effects of music has been coming through more and more. How do you think music (digging and listening) is helping you from a “wellness” aspect in your life?
It’s probably my only form of therapy and it really does accomplish that. It’s also an addiction and a rush when you find something special so i think it can be a quite healthy hobby, especially for me as i tend to buy records to make money that offsets my personal purchases. The music itself is of course the ultimate therapy and I tend to gravitate towards emotive and moving music for my mixes. I put on my favorite records that I want to hear for myself and share with others and hope it’s therapeutic for them as well.
You’ve been transparent about your career move from DJing to audio publishing, which included a move across the country, from NY - LA. Has this move changed your relationship with music?
Well I’ve always been an audio engineer and in NYC I was working in music studios. Once I had a kid and moved out to LA, I ended up finding a job in the audiobook industry and it was a better fit for me as a dad rather than working the late nights and crazy hours of recording music. I’ve been able to find a new network of musical friends and collaborators out here and have been able to find different kinds of records so it’s been great. But of course, I really miss my New York friends, record stores and the nightlife there which is incomparable, there’s really nothing like it!
Sharegroove, a dance party hosted alongside a previous Musical Host, Steve Shakewell, was not only important to your start as DJ in Brooklyn but also to Brooklyn’s music scene. How did Sharegroove start? Where did you meet Steve and how did this party come to being? What are some Sharegroove anthems, or your favourite moments?
Sharegroove was certainly a highlight of my time in New York and Steve is my best friend but also a perfect musical partner and foil. We really compliment each other so well and it was great to be reunited last fall for an epic party at Black Flamingo. We met in the early 00s at a long defunct bar in South Williamsburg and I was DJing every Friday night at Beauty Bar at the time so I invited him to guest with me and we hit it off and it just grew from there. We have had so many highlights, often on diggin trips together, some pretty crazy stories digging in Brooklyn and Staten Island that are hilarious. Favorite gigs would be the Black Flamingo run, Cedar Room, hosting Chicago legends like Zernell, Rahaan, Bruce Ivory, Jamie 326, also this Gowanus loft party we used to do where we had Robotique from Philly tear it up until sunrise. As far as anthems go, Steve would be better to answer that but some of my faves are Evelyn Smith “Lost in Love”, Ashford and Simpson “One More Try”, Shadow “Together”, B.B. Seaton “Dancing In the Moonlight”, I could go on and on!
What can we anticipate from your record label Pleasure Love in the near future? Also, being a design centric brand we can’t help to wonder where the aesthetics for Pleasure Love comes from or are inspired by…?
Well Pleasure of Love is a label run by my best bud and production partner Dino Soccio. He released a record I did with Daniel T last year of edits and production and since then me and him have been doing some remixes and edits. I have a release coming out this fall on Mister T records out of France featuring an amazing remix I did with Dino and we have some other things in the works that I’m really excited about.
We recently started a Pleasure of Love youtube channel with our other friend Raghav Mani where we are trying to upload special records not yet on youtube and are going to have friends contribute as well. It’s surprisingly tricky finding things not yet on youtube but it’s a fun challenge!
As far as the origin and aesthetics of Pleasure of Love I’d have to have Dino answer that one, perhaps he can when he does a mix for Herb Essentials!