With 2018 well underway at this point, we’re cruising through the Truancy Volumes and who better to take over the wheel than notorious speed devotee Finn McCorry? First surfacing with the punchy, charming R’n’G of “Keep Calling” on Local Action Records, Finn’s gone on to release three charismatic EPs on the label, had a remix package done and even dropped a cassette – his Accelerated Club mix. Fueled by ghetto house, Baltimore and Jersey influences, Finn created 2 B Real last year as a vehicle for tracks such as “Late at Night” and the irresistible “Lightwork” featuring Manchester MC Fox. During the final sprint of 2017, he delivered “Sometimes The Going Gets a Little Tough”, an undeniable, almost messianic house pumper with a vocal loop descending direct from the heavens. Dedicated to “everyone who tries their very best”, the tune made an unexpected jump from Manchester’s Soup Kitchen basement to the USBs of Annie Mac, Diplo and more.
Finn was DJing long before he began producing, regularly behind the decks for the Chow Down parties. He has a penchant for fast music, as made evident through his residency on NTS Radio (as well as his recent show with Truants’ Michelle.) If a monthly slot wasn’t enough, he has his own B2B series and somewhere between all that he manages to run NTS Manchester on the weekends. His Truancy Volume features a fitting assortment of his current obsessions along with new cuts from his peers. Press play, keep it moving and peep the interview, tracklist and download link below.
Hiya! How’s it going? “Hello! Going well thanks, glad the weekend is here. How about you?”
I’m good – long week and similarly glad. Got the Friday feeling from the new Drake video, have you seen it? I love a good music video. “I haven’t even heard about the new Drake video yet, when did it come out?”
Like two hours ago. How do you find keeping up with the pace of music, culture, society these days? Is it important to you to be in tune? “I used to try really hard, but I’m bad at it nowadays. I don’t think it’s that important really. it’s good to know what’s going on, but it’s almost quite liberating moving at your own pace.
“You tweeted something really interesting about DJing being vital in an age of too much information yesterday I think?”
Yeah, I was quoting an idea from Uproot, the book by Jace Clayton AKA DJ /rupture. I thought it quite striking, his idea that DJing was a mechanism of processing all this information. It resonated with how I’ve felt about DJing, do you feel the same? “Yeah that really resonated with me too, made me think about how I take music in and how important it is to hand someone else the aux sometimes.”
How do you best do that in a world that is constantly telling you what you should be engaging with? “Being a contrarian probably. I think clubs serve that function brilliantly though, total loss of control over your environment for a night.”
I should congratulate you on the success of “Sometimes…”, which recently hit a million plays on Spotify. It’s been played by the likes of Annie Mac too, almost becoming a crossover hit of sorts. When it was unveiled in the winter, it felt like the sort of boost everyone needed. Did you see it going as far as it has? “Thank you!
“No, not at all, but then me and Tom Lea put it together quite quickly. We sort of pushed to get it out in December because it felt right, I’m really glad we did though.
“I felt like it was a bit of a statement record but I didn’t really know how it would be received. I knew people would like the cover.
“I didn’t see any of the Diplo, Annie Mac stuff coming at all though.”
I guess you’re no stranger to moving fast – a prevalent theme in your work. It’s funny, I played a “vs” set with someone around the time it dropped and there was this unspoken rule that the winner of the “vs” would be whoever played it. I’m sure there’ve been many a night with the tune as the highlight.
The cover was amazing too. You bring humour into what you do a lot, is that something you see as important? Or is it just something that comes naturally to you? “Aha, I think I see it as important actually. Most of my favourite dance music has a sense of humour, whether that’s ghetto house, UK garage, grime or the like. Not so much making you laugh out loud, but definitely a bit cheeky. Lol that sounds like I’m talking about tech house.”
Speaking of your influences and the styles you’ve mentioned, we’re some four years or so from the days of “Keep Calling” at Boxed and that. How have things changed over this time with regards to your craft? “I think in terms of DJing and the stuff I listen to, probably less than it would appear. But the stuff I feel comfortable making has changed a lot. “Keep Calling” was the second track I ever finished, so I was still learning the ropes while Boxed was in its heyday.
“I was DJing for years before I started producing, so that’s been a constant I guess.”
You’ve been super busy! Playing Chow Down, a monthly NTS slot, dropping mixes on cassette, starting your label 2 B Real and co-facilitating NTS Manchester every weekend. How do you keep on top of it all? Would you say these things scratch the same creative itch as production and DJing gigs generally? “I’m in a good place at the moment where I can support myself part time – but when I was in work full time I didn’t keep on top of stuff really, it all got on top of me. Found it really hard to write music for a while, and ended up going a bit quiet in terms of releases. That’s sort of what birthed the idea for the last EP.
“I’d say they satisfy the same creative itch, yeah. Running NTS Manchester is basically a great excuse to sit and listen to Manchester’s best DJs for 5 hours+ every sunday. I do sort of hate getting up for it, and I hate getting cold there, and I hate getting hungry there, I do really love it.”
What would you say have been some highlights from your time handling NTS MCR? “Ah, the Christmas party just gone was brilliant, Tom Boogizm played an amazing set there. Was great to see so many of the hosts all in the studio together. There’s a nice little community round the station at the moment, at least I’ve found.”
Music brings people together, as it’s done in your B2B mixes! It’s a real standout series – what is it that drives you to do it? How do you go about deciding whether to DJ with someone, even just generally? “Ah I get so much out of it. I learnt to DJ with other people, in bedrooms mostly, and it’s a love letter to that really. I really liked the one I did with India Jordan, she taught me to play on technics in her room at university, so we recorded that one in her bedroom in Dalston.
“It’s a growing list of my favourite DJs really, I’ve got a rough idea of who I’d like to do one with but I try and do them one at a time so I can get some records together for each one.
“We were aiming for one a month originally, but I actually like doing it one every 2 or 3 months, feels like a more natural pace.”
Can you tell us about the direction you’re taking your Truancy Volume? “Following on from what we were saying earlier, about information overload and DJing, I recorded an hour of my favourite dancefloor zoners at the moment, without spending too much time overthinking it.
“There’s a lot of old school house and hardcore records in there, and some new material from me, Anz, Slackk and Sharda – which is already the record of the year. Shout out Eclair Fifi too, she played that Gene Hunt record in our B2B and I’ve been playing it since.
“There’s also a bit off the Gerry Read EP I’m putting out on 2 B REAL next month – definitely watch out for that!”
What else does the future have in store for you? “New single soon! Hopefully some exciting new B2Bs and collaborations too. I’m just looking forward to another great British summer really!”
It’s what the people want! Lastly, listening to your tunes, following your Twitter, etc., you’ve always seemed a little mischievous to me. Legal letters from certain unnamed R&B legends aside, what’s the most trouble you’ve ever got yourself in? “Ah that is impossible to say. I feel like I’ve gotten myself in huge trouble most weeks and it never seems to come to anything.”
Dream Frequency – Dreamscape 1
Jazmina – Goodtime (Choco’s Washington Heights Vocal Remix)
DJ Seduction – Bleep Bleep Mash Mash
DMS – Love Overdose (The Haps Mix)
Break The Limits – Nectarine
Purveyors Of Fine Funk – Your Body Keeps Me Satisfied
UBQ Project – Oh Oh Oh!!!
DJ Skip – Shake Yo Body
Blapps Posse – It Can Only Get Better 92
FTP UP – LOUDER THAN A MOTHERFUCKER
Gene Hunt – Tazz
SL2 – The Noise (Remix)
Anz – La Flare
Sharda – Chin Up
Gerry Read – Pinky
Finn – How Long Can I Go On
Serious Danger – Battle Plate 1
The Fabulous Baker Boys – Oh Boy
DMS – Love Overdose (Remix)
Swiftee – Motown Dreams
Slackk – Lone Birds Fly