Debukas – Set yourself on fire

Debukas - Set yourself on fire

Whilst trawling through my iTunes I often discover music that is a mystery to me. Where is it from? Is it new? Is it old? How, exactly did it get there? These musical lucky dips take place with an alarming regularity that makes me feel both guilty and happy, and this is how I discovered the I am Machinery EP by Debukas. Neon pop with a black beating heart and chromium edges that is two parts retro to three parts future, the four track EP is heady stuff indeed and al the more surprising for being released on Leeds’ bastion of electronic club music 20:20 Vision.

So after a quick trawl on the internet turned up zero information about the man (except a couple of guest vocals, a video of him covering Nitzer Ebb’s ‘Join the Chant’ and the fact he lives in Glasgow and is called John Clark) I decided to send off some questions to find out some more.

Use the embedded Soundcloud player below and grab an exclusive download of one of the EP’s highlights – ‘Set Myself on Fire’

Hello Debukas – you seem to have arrived fully formed in the musical universe. What were you up to prior to the release of the I am Machinery EP?

I’ve been playing and recording music for a bit of a long time, and have been influenced by records since I was as young as I can remember. When me and my older brother were very young, our mother used to buy us bargain bucket 7’’s from Woolworths. Stuff like Gary Numan, Thomson Twins and Ultravox that had been out a few years previously. Prior to Debukas I was doing things ranging from noisy guitar bands to fast-paced Detroit-ish electro, even some disco. The Debukas sound has come together over the last couple of years, and the last thing I put out before this EP was a remix of Wild Beasts – “Hooting & Howling”

What’s up with Glasgow? – it seems to be the epicenter of interesting electronic music

Absolutely. For one, there are some real quality club nights past and present, most notably for me Optimo, Club 69, Monox, Numbers. There is also one of the best music shops around in Rubadub, which for years has stocked a grand selection of underground music. It’s no wonder really that so many interesting artists have been spawned through record buying and clubbing in Glasgow. It’s dark and diverse, but also a party city.

I like your Nitzer ebb cover video – what’s your favourite Nitzer Ebb moment?

‘Join In The Chant’ is probably my favourite tune, but one I keep going back to is “The Way You Live” from the first EP. The rhythm is loose but still very mechanical. It’s like some kind of tribal factory dance.

Can you tell me some more about the meaning behind the lyrics of "Set myself on fire"?

For me it describes the feeling of a huge rush of positivity, from music or whatever. It’s not about self-harm anyway. I can imaging Prince saying it during a serious funk session.

Can we expect an album in the near future?

Yes, probably near the start of 2012. I think there will be at least one more single before the album. I have at least 40 tracks to choose from, so there’s no shortage of material.

Are you planning world domination or a steady journey on your own musical path?

A steady journey to world domination sounds good to me. I’m looking forward to exploring more sonic possibilities with the Debukas sound. At the moment there’s plenty scope for experimentation, and no ties to a particular genre, so I’m planning to have fun with it.

What colour best describes your music?


If Debukas is black, what is white?

Something rank like Mumford and Sons.

Anything you’d like to plug – from you or someone else?

Most of the recent Numbers catalog has been immaculate. The new Jamie XX record is great.

Debukas – Set Myself On Fire by Electronic Beats

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