On The Rise: Avernian

Throughout his early years, Avernian grew up in a household containing a melting pot of cultures, with his mother being German and his step-dad being Peruvian, the young artist saw Cumbia, Afro-Peruvian and even Guaracha as contacts in his life. Upon moving to Germany in his late teens to study, Avernian discovered his love for electronic music — resonating mainly with UK sounds. Within his output, the DJ and producer pays homage to all of his early influences with an overall sounds that cannot be pigeon holed or defined by one particular genre.

Now living in Manchester, Avernian runs his very own record label and party series called Lurch — regularly inviting friends and artists to play. In terms of releases, the young artist recently readied Maadi — a full length project dropping on Ahadadream and Sam Interface’s More Time Records. Wanting to showcase every influence within his music, from Cumbia, Dancehall UK Funky, Techno and Shabby, the album delivers some of the most forward thinking music in the UK right now. We caught up with Avernian to see what he’s all about.

“Each place I’ve lived has influenced me in some way or another. Whether that’s through the sound in those countries or cities, the clubs or the people.”

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got into music?

My name is Joshua, I’m 30 years old and I’m a German-American currently living in Manchester. Music had always been a big part of my life from a young age. The sounds playing through my household on a daily basis ranged from Disco, Southern Rock, House, Afro-Peruvian, Cumbia and more. Drumlines are a particular thing that exist in the states which I had the pleasure of seeing on a regular basis. Watching percussion bands battle eachother was like a movie scene to me as a kid. When I moved to Berlin, I started hearing sounds that resonated with the things I heard through-out my childhood. I remember going to Hardwax and just staying there for ages, sifting through so much stuff. Bought some records and then watched a few YouTube videos on mixing and begged my friend to use his decks. The rest is history.

To someone who’s just discovered you, how would you describe your sound and direction?

Oh god, I never know how to answer this question because I really wouldn’t even know how to describe it myself. There’s obvious techno elements but they’re peppered with elements from UK Funky, Cumbia and Kuduro. I’d say in the simplest way of explaining it, it’s percussive techno.

What/ who were your influences growing up?

I was obsessed with studying drummers growing up. I wanted to be a drummer. The likes of Phil Rudd, Alex Van Halen, Mick Fleetwood and Mitch Mitchell were heavy influences on me. Probably what kickstarted my love for percussion.

You’ve now lived in a plethora of different countries including America, Germany and now England. How has each country impacted you and your music?

Each place I’ve lived has influenced me in some way or another. Whether that’s through the sound in those countries or cities, the clubs or the people. Being raised in America exposed me to a lot of old Rock music and the Southern US culture which gave me a love of drums. Living in Germany exposed me to a lot of techno and various electronic sub-genres and niche scenes. England is similar in that aspect, I find that different cities have different sounds which resonate with the people of that city. I love that. I can go to a different city and there’s collectives or groups of people pushing their sound and being passionate about it. Clubs play a major part in the impact a place leaves on me as well. I’ll use The White Hotel as an example. I hold some very fond memories of The White Hotel in my heart. The atmosphere, the people, the daring DJ’s who take risks and blend in ways you rarely hear elsewhere. All of these things open my mind up more and more and I take that with me within my music.

Set to release your debut album Maadi, can you tell us more about the project?

Maadi is a piece of work that has been worked on over the last two years. Some of these tracks were made at the very beginning of 2020 when COVID first hit. Throughout lockdown, I found myself speaking more and more to Loris, Tomas Urquieta and Oldyungmayn and it felt natural to collaborate. These artists are incredibly talented and just all-around lovely people with a passion for music so I wanted to include them on the album. Each track has different influences in them and they’re tied to memories of mine which make them more special to me. Essentially it’s a showcase of the last two years of my production leading up to where I am now.

If you had to pick one favourite track from the record, which would it be and why?

Oof, that’s a hard question. Each track has it’s own specific place which represents a point in time to me. I honestly don’t know if I can pick one. Maybe “Ruka” or “Small Arms”. “Ruka” reminds me of a very sunny day where I had my monitors on full blast and I was on my balcony just listening to it over and over and over while drinking a glass of wine. I remember getting up to speed it up to 130 and thinking ‘I cannot wait to hear this out’.

Now based in Manchester, what’s the scene like there at the moment and why did you choose this city?

To be honest, I haven’t really gone out much since lockdown ended. But the scene here has some lovely people pushing their sound and doing it in an organic way. I think The White Hotel is probably the best club I’ve ever been to. I think lots of DJ’s would agree with me. I actually moved to Manchester for work, it just seemed like a cool place to move to. I was living in Leeds beforehand and wanted to stay in the North at the time, so it wasn’t that heavy of a move.

Where do you see yourself this time next year? And do you have any ambitions in the coming years you can tell us about?

Refining my sound further. I find that as time goes on, my vision gets clearer and clearer on my output. I’ve started my own label and party Lurch, which will be my primary focus from now on where I’ll be releasing my own music as well as other artists too. There’s a few releases lined up already from myself and some incredible artists, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

Quickfire Question:“FIRST”…

First club you ever attended?

Sektor Evolution.

First vinyl you bought?

I think it was an Elvis Presley vinyl.

First night you played as a DJ?

It was a night at Sektor Evolution supporting Marcel Dettmann.

First piece of studio equipment you owned?

909.

First song that pops into your head right now?

Tim Buckley – Song To The Siren.

First time you were star-struck?

Meeting DJ Stingray. Had no idea what to say. Just kind of mumbled hello.

First artist you fell in love with?

Stevie Nicks.

First thing you’d buy if you became a billionaire?

A studio that could be used by underprivileged people to pursue their dreams in creative fields for free.

First CD you bought?

More than likely a CD from Al Green.

First song to be played at afters?

Mz Bratt – Selecta.

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