When questioned about the contents of Brujo’s Bowl, Saxon Higgs — the Welsh producer behind the BB moniker — offers: “an eclectic meandering of tribal beats and rhythms with phat basslines which should move you with no effort”.
Which is what you can expect to be doing when Brujo’s Bowl arrives in town later this month for Manifest.
The Saxon Higgs story... you were in a number of bands as a teenager before hearing electronic music. What was that time like for you?
Hehe! To be honest, during my teens I think I may have been very lost. My bands consisted of distorted electric guitars, long hair, headbanging mentally, black nails and roaring down into mic, resulting in the singer losing his voice once a week after we had our band practice. I’ve learnt to forget my old tastes in music, but I also love to laugh about it. I went through many phases, reggae and dreadlocks. Ska and punk.
First hearing electronic music ... can you recall that time and how the music you were soaking up was so different from what you’d heard previously?
My friend runs a small techno festival in Wales called Free Rotation. Some of my oldest companions and I went and helped out with the set-up for a free ticket when I was about 15. Quite a few of my parent's old festival friends went to this event and helped out. Nice family do. So I was surrounded by the influences of the elders and their music. This was where I saw 2562, the true sound of dubstep in my opinion. This was when producers who were fusing 2step garage and dub together, were finally building their own roots in the electronic music scene. When the wah wah, and wobble wobble of the bass was fresh.
The origins of the ‘Brujo’s Bowl’ project ... is there a distinct moment where you knew the music you were making would be filed under Brujo’s Bowl?
As I started getting in to psy music, I also became very interested in psychedelics (you don't say?). I started reading about the different religions and cultures which used various entheogens for healing purposes. One series of books was 'The Teachings Of Don Juan' by Carlos Castaneda, which he wrote during his apprenticeship with a Yaqui Indian known as Don Juan Matus. Don Juan was a shaman from northern Mexico. But in the books, shaman was referred to as Brujo, which is the Spanish term for a person who practices in witchcraft, and in some places it means healer or shaman. So where do these shaman make their ayahuasca, peyote and psilocybe cubensis tea? In a bowl would be the stereotypical place. So I used this as a kind of metaphor for the way I produce my music. I mix all the sounds into a healthy sized bowl. What then comes out, I hope will alter perceptions of the world.
The current sound your peddling ... is it a mixture of a number of genres?
I don't like sticking to one genre of music. It bores me. Music should take the listener on a journey. And a live set should take them on an even bigger journey. I've always choreographed my sets to journey through the genres. Starting with a bit of techno, in to zenonesque and dub. And finally peaking into some psybreaks. And of course with my chill sets there is usually no genre definition or set BPM.
You’re headed out to Oz with a date at Manifest ... you must be looking forward to the trip?
Aye, very excited. It’s going to be an honour to visit the homeland of the Zenon tribe. I can tell that we are all going to get on splendidly. And yes, days are getting shorter here, very weird to think that the Oz summer is starting soon.
Playing an outdoor, rural festival like Manifest ... what do you most look forward to?
Just the essential vibes of the scene in Australia. The people and how they are. I'm also looking forward to the food. I'm a big fan of food and the different cultural dishes I find when I'm travelling. And of course, I'm looking forward to having a jolly good boogie.
Brujo’s Bowl plays Manifest, at Bestbrook Mountain Resort, Sep 28-30.