On the radar: Debutant
The DIY ethos isn't just about buying bathroom fittings from B&Q. It's also being taken to heart by some of Scotland's most interesting new artists.
Play: Thirst >>>
Cynics might say that it boils down to the fact that a record label isn't willing to do the dirty work for them, but in truth, a new wave of bands who aren't just chasing a record deal are injecting a shot of vitality into Scottish music.
No-one appreciates this more than Phillip Quirie, an Aberdonian who goes by the stage name Debutant. "I'm very interested in musicians and bands who take things into their own hands and don't just wait for things to 'happen' for them," he says. "The whole DIY ethos is something I am hugely influenced by and relate to. I just go out there and get on with it. I've been very fortunate to meet and befriend a handful of like-minded fellow musicians during my time on the road so far, and these people are some of my biggest friends and influences."
Debutant started out as a bedroom recording project for Phillip in late 2007, and since then he has been generating much admiration in his home town and beyond for what he calls his "shimmering, atmospheric one-man dream-pop soundscapes."
Influenced by a leftfield range of artists that includes Eluvium, Slowdive and Mogwai, Debutant is the latest exponent of the loop pedal, which Phillip uses to stunning effect to create glacial, transcendent post-rock that almost seems to slow your pulse and raise hairs on your neck. Like recent UtR-featured act The Japanese War Effort, the loop effect can reap rich rewards for a solo act like Debutant.
"It's often been said to me that it's impressive how 'big' one man can sound with just a guitar in his hands and a microphone at his mouth," Phillip says. "But I owe a lot of that to my trusted loop-pedal. I think one of the main things that sets apart the Debutant stuff is that it underlines the fact that music doesn't necessarily have to be complex, difficult or technical in order to sound good. For me, listening to music can be a very emotional experience and so long as my music conveys that to other people, then it need not be technical or complex – merely simple and effective."
Phillip is planning to relocate to Edinburgh in the summer, and he has mixed feelings about the music scene in Aberdeen. "Like all scenes, it has more than it's fair share of average, poor or irrelevant bands and artists, but there are also some extremely talented musicians in the city who receive embarrassingly little coverage from the national media," he says. "However, on the flip side of this, it could be argued that the scene in Aberdeen doesn't really merit any attention from the media because the scene itself is a bit stale - there is a severe lack of cohesion and support amongst many of the bands.
He continues: "Bands and musicians don't generally seem to attend gigs by other local musicians on a regular basis, so friendships are difficult to strike up and maintain. In fact, if anything, I always feel like there is a sense of competition amongst some of the local bands and it's often quite upsetting - people get so wrapped up in their own musical output that they fail to support or recognise others'."
In Edinburgh Phillip may find a more receptive DIY scene for his music. Conscious of the fact that more people are starting to take notice, he's also planning to record an EP over the summer and is plotting a UK tour in October. Record labels? Who needs 'em?
Watch Debutant live at the following dates:
16 Jun @ The Tunnels, Aberdeen (with Viking Moses, Golden Ghost)
6 Jul @ The 13th Note, Glasgow (We Sink Ships exhibition launch)
29 Aug @ Botanic Gardens, Dundee (n_ilk Festival)
16 Oct @ Market Bar, Inverness (with Esperi)
Check the MySpace for further tour details
Under the Radar: showcasing the best new music in Scotland
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West