WHARFWHIT Makes Awkward, Double-Jointed Bubblegum Electro-Pop and You Need to Listen to Him Now
We spoke to the Kero Kero Bonito man about D.I.Y. raves, bad promoters, and the joys of £2.50 doubles.
Whether it's people being treated like shit by disgruntled security staff or scroungy promoters changing venues last minute and leaving punters squashed up in a mildew-rotted warehouse somewhere in fucking Mile End, the state of our the UK's nightlife is a mess right now. With the obvious out of the way, "Elbows" by WHARFWHIT is the closest thing we've found that links the growing frustrations of eager performers P.O.V of getting screwed out of a decent gig.
WHARFWHIT is the musical brainchild of Kero Kero Bonito man Jamie Bulled, making playful beats that have a natural flair to them. Yeah I have no idea what I'm saying either but you know it kind of makes sense. And, hey, isn't that the whole pointing of music journalism? No? oh, right. Sorry.
Anyway, WHARFWHIT is currently on tour with KKB in the United States of America, but we thought we'd reach out over the ocean to catch up with one of the more exciting artists trying to make a living in a city where art's currently viewed with the kind of suspicion usually reserved for, well, anyone who's not really that into the idea of everywhere being one massive branch of Itsu.
THUMP: So to get straight into it, what was the thinking behind WHARFWHIT?
WHARFWHIT" It's a nice big umbrella for projects, andthe name sounds utopian and stupid. I have also spent the last few years living amongst the wharves in Bermondsey and Limehouse in London. WHARFWHIT is the start of a fluxual and warping journey. It will keep moving. I am a jack-of-all-trades, and master of none as they say.
"Elbows" features quite a weird and fun range of sounds and samples especially at the start. How did you come about putting all of it together?
It was an instrumental made in a phase where I was really into silly and awkward body sounds then one night I added the bassline. It was a semi-epiphany. The vocals were done in two takes, so we're talking 15 minutes of studio time. The same phase also brought about the Kero Kero Bonito track "Lipslap".
From what I can tell, "Elbows" tells the story of a night gone wrong from a performer's perspective. Calling upon your past experience, what's the worst experience you've had before a gig?
A band I was in when I was 16 had to play up against the open windows of a venue to the crowd on the street outside because the owner freaked out and made the event 21+ a few minutes before we were due to go on.The whole crowd were escorted out. It sounds ridiculous but completely true.
With all the hoohah surrounding London's decaying nightlife and the mistreatment of punters and performers alike, how do you feel "Elbows" translates the mistreatment of artists?
I wrote the song from the perspective of my 18 year old self putting on shows and venue owners making it incredibly hard for kids to put on raves etc. You know, e-mailing me saying its £1,500 to put on a show for 100 people at the back of a pub, changing it from all ages to 21+ on the night, turning the soundsystem off half way through a set. The list goes on. Very important spaces are closing, the amazing people who are running these spaces don't deserve the treatment from the council/government that they are getting but what's interesting is that there are also other owners out there giving these amazing people a bad name!! It's these said "owners" who just have no idea how to run venues, ask any 18 year old kid putting on D.I.Y. raves and they will tell you the same. I must add, BIG love to Bunker, Deptford for their open arms and minds and their £2.50 doubles!
If, somehow, you weren't allowed to call the track "Elbows", what other part of your body would you have used to name the track?
What can we expect from WHARFWHIT in the future?
An EP of amateur epic pop called EVIDENTLY on Double Denim Records early next year. Garage rollers, Rinse.FM 2002-esque E3 instrumentals and free ballads.
Any words of advice for the youth of today?
Come to my studio!
Finally, where did your elbows go?
Catch WHARFWHIT playing alongside LOOM and PiG at Bunker Club, Deptford on Saturday, November 12th. More info here.