An interview with Alex Bryson

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Alex Bryson, who DJs as A.C.B. Image: George Flickinger.

The Saint sat down for a Boots meal deal with Alex Bryson (A.C.B) ahead of his set at the 600th Finale Ball. We heard about how he became a DJ, the favourite gigs that he’s played, what he looks for in music, and the events he is looking forward to here in St Andrews.

The Saint: What is your favourite gig that you’ve been to?

Alex Bryson: I’d have to say that it has to be Felix the House Cat in Ibiza this summer. I was doing my dissertation research in Ibiza and decided to take a night off. That night was just the perfect combination of a quality sound system, great company, enough room to cut some serious shapes, and great music.

TS: What has been your favourite event in St Andrews thus far?

AB: It’s hard to choose from the big events, but if I had to I would say Raisin; it can’t be beaten. It’s like Christmas.

TS: What is your favourite gig that you’ve DJ-ed?

AB: In terms of my enjoyment it often depends on how the crowd reacts to my set. But if I had to pick: I would have to say either Starfields or Bongo Ball this year. The speakers were great at both. I was deaf after both events. Although, I feel like I have an affinity with Welly Ball seeing that it was my first big event at St Andrews and I’ve DJ-ed it every year since.

TS: So, how did you begin DJ-ing?

AB: In first year I took it upon myself

to play some terrible house music on the most budget of DJ software before our pre-games to go out. Then I decided to take a basic DJ course at SubBass DJ Academy in London and then it all went from there really.

TS: How did you end up getting gigs in St Andrews?

AB: My first gig was the Saturday of Freshers’ Week in second year in the main bar of the Union. I was terrified and anxious – very, very nervous about it. I then decided to shamelessly promote myself and email each and every ball community until I got a lucky break.

TS: How has your music taste changed since then?

AB: I would say if anything, my music taste has progressed as the universal house music scene has progressed over the last few years. I never used to be a fan of deep and tech house, but these days I seem to be listening more to that than the kind of music that I actually play during my sets. The most popular EDM tunes these days I find almost hard to listen to in everyday situations.

TS: So you don’t listen to what you play at your gigs?

AB: The tunes I do play, I am a fan of, but I’m not in love with, for the most part. I’ve been really wanting an opportunity to play a set with my favourite house tunes.

TS: Has your music taste changed to accommodate St Andrews or is it of your own personal volition?

AB: If anything, my music taste has changed against the trend in St Andrews. So I would say my music taste has changed based on my own volition.

TS: What events are you looking most forward to this year?

AB: Without sounding biased, I would have to say FS coming up in February. It’s without a doubt my biggest gig of the year, if not ever. I feel like for the first time in St Andrews I have the opportunity to play my favourite tunes in an artistic context. Thinking about how nervous I was at my first gig in the Union, come 15 February I’ll be bricking it.

TS: What are your plans come June?

AB: I’m in the process of putting together a portfolio to submit to the London College of Music to do a Masters in electronic music composition. That’s if everything goes to plan – if not, I’ve not got a scooby.

TS: Who’s your favourite artist right now?

AB: Tough one. But I would have to go with Deniz Koyu. His breakthrough tune, ‘Tung’, really offered something different during a stale time in house music and he’s continued as he begun.

TS: What BPM does your heart run at?

AB: [Grinning] It flutters between 125 and 128. But a part of me will always be in 128.

TS: We’ve talked a lot about house music. What else do you listen to? What is your favourite non-dance tune?

AB: Either ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ by Bob Dylan or ‘Where Is My Mind’ by The Pixies.

TS: Thanks for your time. We hope you enjoyed your meal deal.

AB: Cheers!

6 COMMENTS

  1. “during a stale time in house music”……? Sorry Alex but you haven’t got a clue. The Beatport Deep House/EDM top 100 is very stale I’m sure, but House has been very much alive and well for a good few years now. You simply don’t know where to look.

  2. “The speakers were great at both. I was deaf after both events.”
    High SPL doesn’t mean an event went well. It means you need to take better care of your hearing, especially if you want to make a career of it.

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