Bedroom producer-turned-house revival figurehead Julio Bashmore certainly possesses the ability to wrongfoot audiences. Born Matthew Walker, the shy ginger-haired pasty kid gave himself a new moniker to make clubs think they were instead booking a tall dark handsome Latino man, while his constant switching to various labels renowned for their tech house has only added to the confusion.
The 25-year-old might be fond of the odd curveball – recent track “Duccy” saw him suffer an online backlash due to its unusually rudimentary production – but thanks to a number of bona-fide classics and a relentless touring schedule, he’s also quickly become established as one of the leading artists of the burgeoning house scene.
Born in Bristol, an area synonymous with bass music, Walker first began making music at age 13 after becoming inspired by his older brother’s collection of U.S. and French house imports. Following a brief stint as the lead guitarist in a synth-pop band and a two-year music studies course, he adopted the guise of Julio Bashmore and began honing his anthemic blend of the old Detroit sound and “dirty sweaty house music,” releasing his self-titled debut EP through the San Francisco label Dirtybird in 2009, and a follow-up, Everybody Needs A Theme Tune, in 2010.
Bashmore’s reputation skyrocketed in 2012 thanks to club hit “Au Seve,” a simplistic but hypnotic wave of hissing hi-hats, soulful vocal loops and a bassline constructed from a tuned-down xylophone, which not only became a regular of Tiesto and Diplo’s DJ sets, but also helped to spearhead the current house revolution. His appeal has only been furthered with collaborations with Hyetal on the 80s boogie-funk side project Velour, Quiet Storm chanteuse Jessie Ware on her Mercury Prize-nominated debut Devotion (“Running,” “110%”), and the UK’s biggest station, Radio 1, on his weekly In New DJs We Trust show—not to mention the set-up of his own Broadwalk Records label.
Recent tasters such as the thunderous “Peppermint” and the shadowy deep house of “Simple Love” suggest that Julio Bashmore learned his lesson from the whole “Duccy” debacle, and that five years on from his first release, his forthcoming as-yet-untitled debut will more than justify the wait.