The Elevator Coach

Hybrasil Discusses live performance, music production & working his way up in the music industry

Welcome Will thanks for being with us and for your time.
Thank you!! I really enjoyed the live stream we did together, it’s always nice to collaborate on live projects. 

How goes this quarantine for you? Have you spent a lot of time in the studio?

At the start of quarantine I did what I normally do in times of crisis, I buried myself in studio work. At the beginning, I made a decision to take a step back from writing music to concentrate on learning my machines on a much deeper level. Part of that process was creating a series of improvised live sets driven by my Roland TR-909, Elektron Octatrack Sampler, Roland SH09 synth, and Korg Electribe ESX-1 drum machine. There was no laptop in the equation, just some samplers, synths, and drum machines.  
Focusing on live recording has been really helpful and interesting. I have recorded a lot of material, my plan is to go through that over the coming months and maybe release some of those tracks on the Hybrasil label as part of a series. 

I have been recording and sampling every instrument in my studio and running them through the Hybrasil signal chain. This has been a really interesting process, time-consuming but interesting. When you take the time to explore every nuance of an instrument you learn new things about it. I will make all of these samples available on the HBL Studios website in the coming months

I have also been doing some studio work for other artists, I’ve done quite a lot of mixing over the past 3 months. I have also put a lot of time into the Elevator Program ( which is an online platform for learning the art of making electronic music. 

An extended career being in all the positions that in this industry may be, dj, producer, promoter, radio…. can we say that you’ve got it all?

Promoting shows, DJing, broadcasting, and teaching music production all taught me a lot about the industry and each of these roles played an important part in my journey as an artist.  

When I started out in radio, this gave me an outlet for my DJing and kept me actively buying music every week. After a few years I started running parties which were heavily influenced by the music on my show. By 2012 I was running larger events (Apocalypse Now), booking DJs such as Jeff Mills, The Advent, Alan Fitzpatrick, Matador, Cari Lekebusch and writing music for each show. This is how I first started performing live. 

For the final Apocalypse show I pressed four tracks onto a dubplate that were only to be played that night, it was created for that moment in time and the only people to ever hear those tracks were those who were at that party. I really enjoyed creating music for a time and space and it is something I still do. 

For me the peak of all of this was the Jeff Mills Orchestra show at Dublin’s Bord Gais Theatre in 2016. It was Jeff’s first Orchestra performance in Ireland and I had written a live show titled ‘Spaces’ which I performed live on the night. It was an incredible experience. 

It was from that point onwards that I began to turn my focus back towards my studio work. I launched my Hybrasil label, I moved to Berlin in 2018, I began working with Radio Slave and SRVD as a studio and live technician, I wrote my debut album and generally just immersed myself in Berlin life. 

With all that experience, it’s hard for you to find new things that motivate you?

To be honest I'm more motivated than ever. Most days I wake up at 6:30 am. I am always trying to improve my skills. Music is a highly advanced language, the more you learn, the more articulate you become and the better you become at communicating your ideas. The artistic journey is endless and there is no limit to how good you can get if you really commit to learning your craft. 

In 2016 you presented to the world your live project in the Sven Vath’s tour. It must have been an incredible moment, right?

Yeah, the first Hybrasil live show was on the Dublin leg of Sven’s World Tour in 2016. It was an amazing night. I had been working as a sound engineer, DJ and producer for more than 10 years and the Hybrasil live project was something that I had been developing for over a year at that point. In 2015, Richie Hawtin was playing tracks such as Sentinel and Rubot II years before they were actually released. That night was when the Hybrasil journey began, surrounded by friends and a lot of amazing people.

We know that in 2019 you became part of the Rekids family with Afra EP and your debut album Embers, are there any plans to release another this year or in the future?

My next Rekids release, ‘We Don’t Flip’ is out on July 24th. In January I took some time out to write a follow up to my album. This was a really enjoyable process as I really gave myself time to explore new soundscapes and instruments. When I had finished these tracks I shared them with Radio Slave and he was playing them on the road until lockdown began in March. The four tracks on this EP are from his DJ sets around that time. 

This release is also my first audiovisual collaboration with Tom Hodgkinson of Shop, a Bristol-based design studio. They have worked with the likes of Stormzy, Drumcode and Block 9 Icon. Tom created videos for all four tracks, centered around an incredible brutalist structure, digitally reconstructed from coded archaeological data, potentially the building blocks of a future audiovisual live show. 

What can we expect from Hybrasil in the future?

There will be another vinyl only release on the Hybrasil label, I think it will arrive on by late September/early October. I have a lot of music I want to release over the coming year. I’m recording more live sets and broadcasting from my HBL Studio on my Facebook page and the Hybrasil Music Youtube Channel 

Thank you very much again for your time and we wish the best for the future.

And to you, thanks again.