Back in the late '90s, David Silverman had it all going on.
“I'd just moved to London, and I wanted to get busy,” he tells DJ Mag. “I was working in music PR, doing a few regular nights here and there, DJing, producing. That's how you can kick-start things by becoming active in a scene, whether it's art, music, property surveying...”
His Propaganda night and label made waves in the capital, and his productions showed sufficient promise for him to be able to ink a deal with leftfield Brighton-based beats label Tru Thoughts by 2003. But then he gave it all up to start his own PR company – Outpost Media. Why? Doesn't he regret it? “Music production as a career is very insecure,” he says. “I've worked with so many artists over the years, and for many it's a short career unless they can provide themselves with other forms of income like DJing, promoting, bespoke work for ads and so on. You have to do it for the love of doing it, and anything else is a bonus.
“When the opportunity arose to start Outpost, I quit producing literally overnight,” he continues. “In hindsight, I'd got the music production thing out of my system and I had found a new challenge in the PR company — so the answer is no, I don't regret it at all.
David has built up Outpost into one of the most respected PR companies in electronic music over the past decade. In the first few years he did the press for most of the Ninja Tune artists such as Mr Scruff, the Big Chill festival and assorted leftfield and hip-hop acts. It's a roster that has continued to reflect his tastes. “My music tastes are varied, and Outpost works with lots of different genres of music but we always promote music we like and that we believe in, so naturally we are attracted to these styles of music,” he says.
Just recently, or rather over the past five years, David has got back into producing again, and has now amassed enough material for an album — 'Thieves & Millionaires', out next month on 3 Bar Fire. Stuffed full of downtempo cinematic electronic visions, the closest reference to his sound is Bonobo, who David admits is a big influence. So 'Corsica' is a late-night jazzual shuffler, 'Cos You're Beautiful' recalls the evocative trip-hop of Aim, the floaty 'Strike' is pivoted around a lulling Hammond organ, and Bonobo or Cinematic Orchestra would be proud of the saxy, twinkling 'Innerspace'. Lead single 'Analog X', meanwhile, is all sweeping cinematic strings with a slightly edgy feel. Diesler's remix turns it into more of a jaunty electro-funk piece.
“If you're going to create music, you need to go for it and dedicate yourself to it — no half measures,” David reckons. “It's a struggle holding down a full-time job and being serious about a band or producing — it can be done, but that's the exception rather than the rule. It's one or the other. My advice to others is to not get too attached to the dream of 'making it'. There's always plenty of other things in music — and in life — that you can do if Plan A doesn't work out.
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