iDJ meets Canada's fastest-rising deep house producer
It would be fair to say that Patrick Holland is a rather busy man these days. Thanks to the success of his releases under the now familiar Project Pablo alias, he's finding himself heavily in-demand.
"I'm rarely home these days," he says down the phone from his Montreal studio. "Tomorrow I'm off to Miami, and at the weekend I'm in Mexico and that's just for a quick weekend one-off. So far this year I've been on tour in Australia and then Europe for a month. I'm just doing North American dates at the moment, but I'll be back to Europe in the beginning of May for two months."
To make matters worse, when iDJ calls he's midway through moving his studio set-up across town. "My friend who runs a label has just bought another building, so I'm setting up shop at a studio there," he says. "One of the benefits of me moving into this studio is that my friend Francis, who makes music as well, has got loads of gear, so that's a big asset to the studio."
The Canadian DJ/producer has been one of the success stories of the last few years, delivering a string of ear-pleasing releases on such admirable underground imprints as 1080p, Church, Let's Play House, Spring Theory and, most recently, Ninja Tune's Technicolour offshoot. From humble origins in Vancouver's now legendary 'DIY' house scene - famed for the dusty, near-horizontal feel of its producers' dreamy output - Holland has become a go-to man for melodious, emotion-rich electronic music. The latter, it seems, is a by-product of his chosen working method.
"If I were to go and make something right now, it would be entirely mood-based, I guess," he muses. "How I'm feeling at that moment is usually how I approach it, or I try and counter-act the way I feel. It's a therapeutic thing for me: like, if I'm feeling tired I'll try and make something super-energetic to wake me up and get me feeling more excited about what I'm doing that day. That's usually the way I go about it."
Holland's latest EP for Technicolour, There's Always More At The Store, is one of his strongest releases to date. Packed full of rich, colourful and spacey house and techno tracks in his trademark style - plus a delicious ambient number he says offers a glimpse into the sound of an album he plans to release later in the year - the EP is notable for using musical influences from his formative years.
"I've been trying to push that, definitely," he enthuses. "The track that we announced the EP with, Less And Less, was definitely a bit more of me going back to the way I used to make music - I started making bass music - but combining that with what I've learned over the last seven years."
Interestingly, some veteran listeners may hear a few nods not only to West Coast dub-house, but also the far-sighted, sub-heavy futurism of early British bleep techno. "A lot of late 90s British techno and tech-house is what I've been hooked on recently. It's been fun It's been fun toying with that and getting out of the deep house pigeonhole."
Words: Matt Anniss
There's Always More At The Store is out on Technicolour on 6 April