It is with great pleasure to bring you Only For Robots 16, thanks to Hal Floyd. I first found out about his music via a good friend of Don’t Trust Humans, Debbie. You will read in his bio that they have a history through music. This mix is a true treat, and is full of mostly Hal’s work, along with a few other artists. He is without a doubt someone to watch. His productions are influenced by multiple genres of EDM, yet he puts his own stamp on them. This mix works in many ways. Enjoy.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Hal took a long and winding route to finally find his calling in electronic music.
“I remember listening to Massive Attack ad nauseam in my junior and senior years of high school. It was so dark, brooding and unique at the time, I just couldn’t get enough.”
However, it wasn’t really until Hal moved to Toronto at the age of 18 that electronic music became his main musical focus.
“I’d scour the internet for mixes searching for anything electronic, this was before bitorrent and streaming audio. You’d basically find random stuff and just hope it was good. Discovering the BBC essential mixes was a game changer. In 2004 I really started to get into grime which transitioned into a love for all things dubstep. I was still naive to the sheer scope of electronic music and hadn’t even dabbled in techno or house.”
In 2005, Hal moved back to Vancouver and continued expanding his electronic music repertoire. A great deal of his exposure to electronic music from this point onward’s must be credited to inspiration from his good friend and fellow dj/producer, Debbie.
“Debbie got into the electronic scene pretty hard around this time and, in typical Debbie fashion, quickly became a source of knowledge and inspiration of epic proportions. Debbie is a maniacal genius I’m grateful to have as a friend.”
In his final year of university Hal installed a trial version of Virtual DJ and began mixing for the first time.
“The idea that anyone with a few hundred dollars could DJ blew me away. I had always held DJs in a sort of demigod esteem because I didn’t really understand what DJ’ing entailed. When I started messing with Virtual DJ, I realized any monkey could DJ to an extent. I stopped being impressed with DJs just because they were DJs and started to really listen to their track selections. It was one of those eye opening moments where I realized that with some practice I could be just as good as those club DJs.”
Right around this time Hal discovered Ableton, becoming a DJ temporarily took a backseat.
“I had absolutely no idea what I was doing for the first few months. I’d read for hours and hours and hours about how to use Ableton, but it’s such a complex program, it really just takes a lot of practice to become even remotely comfortable with the software. But it doesn’t matter because the whole process is so much fun!”
In 2010 Hal moved to South Korea. Here he met Brucie Russell and BB Gibbs of bettermagicmusic and was given the opportunity to hone his skills as a DJ and producer.
“Korea was fantastic. I met incredible, like minded people, had a lot of time to continue my journey with Ableton, and formed a DJ group with Debbie and another good friend. The first time I got paid money to DJ was a pretty amazing feeling.”
Unfortunately the electronic music scene in South Korea was not quite in step with Hal and Debbie.
“We’d spend days and days carefully crafting sets that we hoped would please the crowd while also introducing some essential or new tracks. Debbie is always at the forefront of the music scene, I know whatever he plays in a set is going to be something I either love or will soon love. The clientele at the big clubs didn’t usually agree with this feeling. It honestly felt like they would have been happy having the same 5 electro songs put on repeat for the entire night.”
Hal and Debbie realized to be successful DJs in South Korea they’d have to sacrifice their musical integrity. This was not an option.
“With the help of Brucie Russell and BB Gibbs we were given access to a few small venues pretty much at our whim. It was a real blast setting up for a night and playing sets of all the music we loved. Sure, it was wasn’t as thrilling as playing to a couple hundred people, but much more rewarding. The best time I ever had was playing with BB Gibbs at a trendy small club in Seoul for NYE 2012. We were given pretty free range as long as things had a deep house flavor. I snuck in a few of my own tracks and the crowd reaction was phenomenal!”
Now, Hal has moved to Sydney to pursue a career in medicine.
“I’m supposed to be focused on my studies, but the truth of the matter is, music is, and always will be, my passion.”