Terminal V Podcast 011 || Ewan McVicar
Ayr born and bred Ewan McVicar is currently riding high on the wave that he has created off the back of his debut EP for Patrick Topping’s Trick imprint. Ewan promptly followed this up with his ‘Love Trip’ EP for respected house label Nervous and his bombastic remix of Mura’s ‘Check It’. For the uninitiated, this is exactly where Ewan’s sound sits, half way between nu skool and the old school but always ensure that that energy levels are peaking.
The beaming smile radiating from behind the decks is just as infectious as the grooves that fire out the speakers during his DJ sets. The early support from Patrick Topping speaks volumes of the talent that Ewan is currently unveiling there was no way we weren’t going to ask him to step up for our podcast series. Strap yourself in for a ride through all shades of house from Scottish star Ewan McVicar.
How’s it going down in Shrewsbury? What’s flicking your switches in the studio?
Yeah good, missing Scotland! Today I have been listening to some Mongolian throat music if that classes as flicking my switches.
Talking about the studio where did you learn your craft?
I learned my craft from my friend Roose. He is a sound engineer, DJ and all-round Jedi from Ayr, he was the man that gave me my first mixer to start DJing and also introduced me to Ableton. I was at uni doing teaching at the time when Roose first exposed me to production, after that I just sweated it out on YouTube and locked myself in my room.
It has been a pretty unorthodox way to learn music but I think because I haven’t gone to any courses or lessons it has given me a bit of a unique approach to music.
The nightlife in smaller Scottish towns and cities tend to get a bit of a bad rap, tell us about the Ayr club scene and what they could expect from your parties when they ran?
Well Ayr’s scene is pretty pish too haha!
But when I ran TEN what could be expected was a custom high quality sound system, small intimate venues, a safe family atmosphere and everyone there is there for the same cause (gid music). The feeling at a TEN is something I’d love for all these new people I have met in the music industry to experience, you have to go to feel how special it is.
Also, I never booked any DJs. I only ever put the residents on at the nights and we sold out every single event, which shows you how good the music was.
When was the point that things started to click for you track wise?
It was way more of a gradual incline there wasn’t so much a stand out ‘OMG I’ve finally done it!’ moment.
For example, I started producing in 2015 and the first thing I made was a remix of Chris Brown – With You with a bass guitar preset on Ableton, it was fucking awful. I sometimes go back and listen to it when I forget how far I have come.
What’s the catalyst to the tracks you are currently working on? Is there a natural progression from ‘Street Rave’ or a twist in your sound coming?
I wanted to go down a more underground route with my ‘Shall Not Fade’ EP before returning back to Trick. So, people can understand more where I am at.
I try not to think about genres I more think about the energy of my tracks and what kind of energy I can feel off them. As long as they are bangers I’m not really bothered about genre labelling.
Releasing on Nervous Records so early in your career is pretty huge too, how did the release come about and how do you find balancing the proper house direction with Nervous with the more nu skool vibes of Trick?
Aye its class, so buzzing with releasing with a legendary label so early on in my career.
I had actually made contact with Andy (the A&R at Nervous) regarding ‘Street Rave’ and he got back to me after Patrick had already said he would take it so we had started talking way back in summer 2019. As Nervous’ catalogue of records is so strong I knew it would be a great fit for my music and I had a few acapellas that they owned so that’s how ‘Love Trip’ was born.
Again, I don’t really think too much into balancing this kind of stuff, if the music is banging then that’s all that matters to me.
Patrick Topping has clearly been a huge influence on you, who else has helped shape your sound as a DJ and as a producer?
Dixon Avenue Basement Jams (both DJs and label tracks), Jackmaster, Big Miz, and Todd Terry.
Cutting your teeth on massive stages isn’t easy, what keeps you on the right track?
Belief in my own abilities really. Once I get up there I always feel at home behind the decks and believing in myself is what keeps me from becoming a nervous wreck.
Right, you have just taken care of our newest podcast. What is happening in the mix? Any new belters we should be watching out for?
With this mix I envisioned being at Terminal V with my pals and what we’d like to hear. It’s a sort of darker mix from me with sprinkles of groove fluxing from underground house to minimal to techno to acid.
A stand out track from the mix is Tsuin – ‘She Don’t Want You’
This is the second last track in the mix and has come out on the first ever record label I got signed to Metro Jaxx as my Granary 12 moniker.
More importantly, is there any new material from you in the mix?
Ayeeeee is there.
‘Amnocairn’ is the lead track on my 5 track EP coming out on 12” on Shall Not Fade next month, I managed to squeeze that in towards the end of the mix
‘Tell Me Something Good’ is the lead track on my next Trick EP which I finish off the mix with
Having experienced Terminal V as a raver we hear and now poised to take to the stage for both Halloween and the Terminal V x Trick event, how does that feel? Anything special planned once you get up on that stage?
It feels fucking class honestly.
I always held Terminal V in such high regard especially from the line ups you guys have put on. I was always dying to see Sam Paganini in Scotland and when you booked him that was the first time I really thought “these guys know exactly what they are doing”.
So then to be thought of for the line ups with some of the biggest names and idols, a dream come true honestly.
Yeah, I have tonnes of exclusives as you can imagine from lockdown, I have loads of new stuff I cannot wait to show people. One I’m really looking forward to playing is my track called ‘El Bombo’, I think it will really fit with the TV setting.
Also, I might have an exclusive track that a vocalist join me on stage too, but that is a maybe still.
Interview by Stu Todd