After the release of his debut album ‘Silent City’ in 2016, a series of great reviews in the likes of the Independent and Clash Magazine, rising Brighton-based composer and producer Black Square (AKA Andrew Beaton) presents his second album ‘Beggars Opera’ on 17th April via Blind Colour, along with a video directed and produced by Friend London, best known for their award-winning work for Childish Gambino, Charlie XCX and Christine & The Queens.
Listen to ‘Beggars Opera’ on Spotify!
With guest vocal appearances from Laville (Acid Jazz Records), Se.V.eN, Hezen, Louise Welby and Graziella, ‘Beggars Opera’ is a modern masterpiece touching on many intertwining elements of electronic, soul and ambient music.
Supporting remixes come from legendary dubstep, garage and electronica don Phaeleh (Undertow/Afterglo/Disfigured Dubz), with a more dancefloor-friendly re-work from Throwing Snow (Houndstooth/A Future Without).
- Tell us about that first track that put you on the map in the electronic scene and the journey since. How did you get started?
I used to play in bands when I was a teenager then in my early 20s I switched to production. I used to release DnB as Beaton then moved onto the Black Square project which is freer in terms of genre and more reflective of my changing interests in music. Now I split my time between being a freelance composer and artist.
- Tell us about your latest project ‘Beggars Opera’ album?
It’s the second album and a continuation of my love of free expression, working in whatever style I feel like and collaborating with different vocalists and musicians.
- What single night out has been the most memorable for you as a DJ and producer?
There have been too many to name just one. But club nights, Plastic People used to be a great venue for people who love music. Otherwise some of the large festivals where I’ve seen Massive Attack, Daft Punk, Faithless and Radiohead. Just seeing music at that level one that scale really blows you away.
- Tell us something we wouldn’t normally find out about you.
I’ve got a degree in Zoology.
- Give us the name of one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you listen to it?
Trans Fatty Acid – Lamb (Kruder and Dorfmeister remix)
- Dream collaboration and why?
Probably Thom Yorke, just to have his vocals on something
- If you could play any festival, which would it be?
- How do you get a track started? Tell us a bit about your production process. How long does it take you to complete a track on average and do you ever get writer’s block?
Generally it starts with me experimenting with a beat then seeing where it takes me. Usually it comes off the back of hearing a new track which has given me inspiration to go in a particular direction. Then I just let it take me where it wants to go. The good ideas write themselves to a certain degree so if you get the initial moment of creation right the rest of the track is more straight forward. Of course sometimes you really have to push through a moment where something isn’t working and be willing to discard something which you really like if it doesn’t work in the context of that track. When that happens make sure you save the presets or drum loops so you build up a library of personal sounds which you can use in future projects. Sometime the ideas don’t flow as easily, then it’s worth just stopping that particular idea and working on something else for a while. Give your self a break while still keeping the creative mind active.
- Latest track / EP? What are you working on currently? Tell us more!
I’m 5 or 6 tracks into a new album. Hopefully it won’t take 4 years to get the next one completed and out.
- The relationship between the audience and the DJ is crucial, and yet it seems to be a fragile one – how do you see the balance between giving the crowd what they want and treating them to something new?
I think it depends on what your aims are. If your a DJ who wants to supply a party that’s great, play stuff the crowd will like and be sensitive to their reaction. If they’ve come to see you as an artist then they would want you to push them in a new direction and you should put your faith in each other that you know what you’re doing and they will like it, or at least find it interesting.
Check Out Chris Isaak – Wicked Game (Black Square & Laville – Live Cover Version)
Black Square – ‘Beggars Opera’ is OUT NOW! via Blind Colour. Get it HERE!