Host Spotlight: Fourclef

Host Spotlight: an opportunity to shine a light on our wonderful radio hosts and wider community, be it a new music release, a brand new music residency or simply to champion them as an individual. This week, we turn in-house to catch up with seriously talented music producer and DJ, Alex Gray aka Fourclef! We find out about the origins of Fourclef, his new radio residency 'Etherealism' and his exciting plans to infuse live electronic music with radio...

Hey Fourclef! From producing your own music to producing radio shows here at Melodic, how did you first get into music?

This story starts about 13 years ago when a little Fourclef started playing double bass. From then on, I started playing in many different orchestras and jazz bands, learning from many amazing teachers along the way. Eventually I worked my way up to playing in the Royal Albert Hall and many concert halls around China! From then on, I was adamant I wanted to play bass guitar in cool rock bands so of course I bought a cheap bass, started my first band and from then on I was obsessed with music.

You’ve just launched a new radio residency ‘Etherealism’. Can you tell us more about the ideas behind it?

The idea behind ETHEREALISM comes from fusing two of my favourite genres, classical music and electronic music. I love the ways in which classical music creates a sense of ‘otherworldliness’ with ambience and contrast, as well as how electronic music mimics this in a modern context. This show includes mostly electronic ambient, breaks and club tracks, but also delves into other genres following along these lines such as spiritual jazz, shoegaze and classical music.

Can you tell us more about how ‘Fourclef’ the music producer was born?

So, I first downloaded Logic Pro during GCSE study leave because I got bored of revising and made beats in my room instead :) after casually playing about with Logic for a couple of years, I finally bought a proper interface and became more serious about producing throughout uni (because I didn’t want to revise again). One of the biggest steps for me as a producer was producing and writing for Azura Kings where we wrote and produced loads of tracks over the space of 3 years. Eventually, I started writing my own more electronic focussed tracks and released my first EP at the start of 2022 under the alias of Fourclef.

How would you describe your sound to someone who may not have listened to you before?

‘Layers and layers of juicy ambient electronica soaked in reverb, with crispy breakbeats and ethereal vocals capable of sending you off to space.’

Can you tell us more about your plans to infuse live electronic music with radio?

ETHEREALISM also includes interludes of live electronic synth improvisation and I hope to be inviting guests down to elevate these improvisations with poetry, spoken word, instruments and samples. I'm aiming to eventually move towards doing a 100% live radio show with these guests!

Also dipping your toe into the DJ world, what do you enjoy most about DJing? Who would be your dream artist to play alongside?

The thing I most enjoy about DJing is playing for all my pals at afters tbh :) I do also really enjoy the challenge of finding new and exciting music, exploring many genres to create into a mix. I reckon my dream artist to play alongside would defo be Jacques Greene as he has a great combination of DJ and live sets!

What was the last record you bought?

A ghetto Breakbeat version of 'All Day And All The Night' by The Kinks.

What do you have planned for 2023?

I have loads of exciting stuff planned for 2023, including a little 3-track EP releasing at the start of the year, as well as a couple of single tracks which include some amazing poetry and spoken word pieces. I am also planning on inviting more guests onto my radio show ETHEREALISM and even potentially begin curating a live set based upon the show - potentially ETHEREALISM LIVE??!?!?!

Be sure to join Fourclef for the next episode of 'Etherealism' on Saturday 10th December, 17:00 - 18:00. In the meantime, check out his latest release 'Drinking Rum From The Saxophone River' below!