In America, specifically NYC, Bill Patrick is a man of many accolades… Since his days as a DJ in legendary clubs such as The Limelight, Vinyl & Arc, he has charmed our hearts and moved our bodies. Not to mention being co- founder of the famed Robots parties and amusing us weekly as Robot Radio’s alluring and witty host. Within the world of electronic music everyone has a tale about our friend Bill Patrick. Some funny, some sad, some tragic, most shady, but at the end of each story or any encounter with this demi god you’re left wanting more. In 2008, this mythical creature, who by chance was reborn a man, relocated to Berlin. Why? Few know. Some say it was in search of gold, some suggest it was out of self-loathing, those in his inner circle say it was to be closer to them. He says it was to challenge the European state of mind and how sexually active they, as a people, can become. In any event all legend and lore were left behind. So where has that left this man, this nu-romantic? I’ll tell you, striving to be more. It doesn’t matter that the only places he now plays are mega festivals like Sunwaves in Romania, Outline Festival in Moscow or highly respected clubs like Closer Kiev, Robert Johnson and Concrete in Paris. After a much talked about 31 hour set at Sunwaves Festival in 2016, Bill and his partner in crime, tINI, have teamed up as Rolls “N” Do and now find themselves thrust into a whirlwind high profile gigs. Currently touring the globe and vocally enlightening the Universe, Bill still finds time to update his Instagram page and send out extremely well written tweets. But he wants to step out of his box and come to you, to educate the minds of the world with his deep, psychedelic take on contemporary dance music.
I get what you’re saying about how hard it is to pick just one track, their albums all are just full of incredible songs that function and touch you in different ways. Is this a random pick for real though? Could you say that maybe this album was your favourite of theirs?
This is definitely one of my favorite songs of theirs. As for album, I would say it’s this and In Rainbows. The latter came out at a time where I was so locked in, musically. Kid A came out when I was still discovering sounds and learning what I liked. When In Rainbows was released I was really much more educated and had a better appreciation for music. From start to finish, that album is a masterpiece.
Can you tell us about this track – like how much were you looking over to the UK for influence and in the records you were playing?
I was heavily influenced by the UK sound when I started DJing. Seeing Sasha and Digweed every month at Twilo was huge for me. Those Global Underground CD’s, the Northern Exposures, all of it had such a big impact. But I think more than that, the Wiggle stuff really helped shape my sound. Terry Francis, Eddie Richards, Nathan Coles, Grant Dell and of course Steve O’Sullivan and everything on Mosaic and Bluetrain.
I saw you posted this on your Facebook page saying about how Sasha inspired you to become a DJ yourself – what exactly about what he does impressed you so much?
Well it was during the late ’90s and early ’00s where I would religiously go see him at Twilo. He had this confidence behind the decks that was just mesmerizing. There was no swagger or showing off, no crazy dancing or hands up giving heart signs, etc. Digweed too, the both of them. That’s very much how I go about DJing today. But you would watch him and he just had a way of controlling a crowd. Taking you along for the ride and knowing when to drop certain records. His programming was impeccable; there was a proper art to the way he put together a set.
This particular track of his is a perfect example of the type of feeling and moments he would create. Working the crowd and patiently getting to a point in the night where this would come on and you would just absolutely lose your mind. That breakdown, the melodies, combined with the Twilo sound system, the lighting, the smoke, I get chills just thinking about it because I’m thrust right back into that moment every time I hear this. It just perfectly encapsulates a time in clubbing that changed my life.
Ricardo destroying minds with his first full length… This came out at a very important time for me. 2003 was a year that I was cutting my teeth in NY as a DJ and really started to make a name for myself. This album helped do that. I was a resident at Vinyl/Arc in Tribeca and playing stuff like this on the main floor, warming up for big techno and progressive guys was something that helped me carve my own sound. I remember opening up for Jeff Mills one time and as you can imagine I was shitting my pants. He came in the booth and stood behind me for around 30 minutes past his set time. I didn’t know what to do, I was so self conscious and over thinking everything. I asked him if he wanted to go on and he was like “I like what you’re playing, keep going.” Um, HELLO, WHAT?! So cool but also so not cool. That’s a shit load of pressure on such a young kid. I played a bunch of songs off this album and walked away from that gig with a new found confidence. So thank you Jeff Mills; and thank you Ricardo.
Is this record a good reflection of the early music you were playing out as a DJ then? just how important were these residencies for you?
Yeah, I mean, I went through many styles during those early years but this was definitely a record that changed things. For many people, obviously. I can’t say enough about how important that residency at Vinyl/Arc was for me. It gave me a chance to play alongside so many great DJ’s that helped get me to other amazing clubs throughout the world, such as fabric. It also gave me the confidence to play my sound, which up until that point was mostly at afterhours and smaller venues, in bigger clubs and proper systems.
One time, when I was in high school, my friend Lance Doucet and I took the ferry to Staten Island to check out the new Wu Tang store that had just opened up. It was in a pretty rough part of Staten Island. We were white and we loved Wu Tang – which is pretty much their entire fanbase now. Not saying we were pioneers but it was a big deal, at that time, for us to go all the way to the dodgy part of Staten Island. Fan boys. Anyways, we went to the store thinking all of the Wu Tang Clan would be working there for some stupid fucking reason. Like they had nothing better to do than work at the store and sell their shitty clothing to white kids like us. Suffice to say, none of them were there. I bought a beanie and Lance bought a shirt. I think we got some stickers too. We didn’t meet anyone from the Wu Tang Clan that day but I listened to this song on the train back to our houses in Long Island. I knew all the words and for that one day in February, I felt like an honorary member of the Wu.
I used to be heavy into punk and NY hardcore music. I would go to shows at Coney Island High and CBGB’s in the East Village. I would dance in mosh pits, I would scream lyrics full of angst, I would get on stage and crowd surf. I was a hardcore kid and I loved it. It was a great time to be in New York. The ’90s in the West Village and Lower Manhattan was filled with record shops, great bars, clubs and creative people doing interesting things with their lives (or so I thought). Quicksand was a very influential band for me. They blurred the line of hardcore, punk and emo and incorporated a more melodic side that eventually took me into my full blown emo stage. Walter Schreifels (the lead singer) was someone I really admired. He was in amazing bands like Youth of Today, Gorilla Biscuits and CIV and I met him one day at the Warped Tour Festival in NY and lost my mind. I think I made him uncomfortable with my awkwardness. Whatever, I was like 17, who cares…
Sounds like it was a pretty great place to be if you wanted to get involved with music growing up…
Yeah it was probably the best place to be. New York City was so inspiring back then. I was really lucky to be a part of it and take it all in. Along with the punk and hardcore there was of course amazing hip hop, dance, jazz everything. I couldn’t have asked for a better education in music.
This album is kinda predictable but I grew up in the ’90s and if you weren’t listening to Nirvana then you were probably listening to Sugar Ray or Sisqo and you were not someone I was interested in being friends with. I used to put this song on in my bedroom, get totally amped up and jump around in anticipation for the weekend and kissing girls. Again, it was the ’90s, I was in High School and this is what you did. Kurt Cobain was a hero of mine. I had a picture of him on the dashboard of my car. At the time, I never experienced real loss or tragedy so when he died it felt like one of my family members or friends had passed away. This album defined a generation. I used to think to myself that it would be perfect to put on if I was playing sports and I needed to get psyched up before a big game. But I wasn’t a jock. I was more interested in bands and making out with girls. That still continues to this day.
Unlike the obvious choices of Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk or New Order, the band that thrust me into electronic music was Erasure. I did enjoy Depeche Mode’s Violator but The Innocents was a more influential album for me. This was a cover of an old Ike and Tina Turner song and the top line was kinda sampled (ripped off) by Prince in ‘If I Was Your Girlfriend.’ Controversy!! (That’s also the name of a Prince album that I loved.)
It is refreshing, actually and such a jump from Nirvana! How did you then move into buying more house oriented records and actually DJing yourself?
There were a lot of raves going on back then in Long Island and the city. I would go to the Caffeine parties which were legendary. There was a great record store near my home called Special Sauce that carried a lot of house and techno. They had a lot of imports too, which was not easy to find outside of the city. It was just a natural progression into DJing. Decks were bought and I guess the rest is history.
If you hate hipsters who wear tight jeans, have sculpted moustaches, drink coffee every second while smoking Parliments, wear ironic tshirts and pretty much ruined the world, then you should thank Sunny Day Real Estate. They pretty much started the emo/indie sound and I loved them. I was coming out of my teenage angst phase and started to explore what feelings were all about and how they worked. This included and focused mainly on heartbreak. I was great at getting my heart broken. I was like the Drake of my generation. And this song was the soundtrack to many of those shattered hearts.
This fucking song. Here’s a story. So it’s my Junior Prom and me and a bunch of friends were driving out to the Hamptons for the after party. We decided to take mushrooms and make it interesting. Well, the drive to the Hamptons was a good 45 minutes and my shrooms started to kick in while I was in the back seat of the car listening to this song. It’s pretty intense and it just builds into this completely epic moment. I loved Pink Floyd and this song, but at this moment I definitely would have preferred Sisqo. I couldn’t tell my friends to change the music cause I would look like a loser so I just dealt with it and tried to talk myself out of the impending freak out that was about to go down. At 2 minutes and 50 seconds shit gets official and then the voice comes in with: “one of these days I’m going to cut you into little pieces.” Lights out. Game over.
Catch Bas Ibellini at Sil.u’et festival on January 11 at Joshua District Tabanan.
check out the event here