Tony Cummings quizzed Dave Pilcher about the groundbreaking music of NAIVE MACHINE and EIKON
London's keyboard-playing producer may be known to his mum as Dave Pilcher but to the ever-growing EDM community he is Naive Machine (whose music he describes as "80s computer game-influenced experimental electronic dance music") as well as being half, with singer Dave Hendra, of electronic worship duo Eikon. Cross Rhythms was able to tear Dave away from his computer long enough to fill in some details about his prolific music making. We began by asking him to give us some personal background.
"I was actually born to British parents in Tulsa, Oklahoma USA but moved back to near Brighton, UK when I was one year old, which is where I grew up. Since I was very young I wanted to play instruments and was always more interested in writing my own stuff rather than playing other's music and got into production really early when I was around 12. I then went on to Music Tech college and university. I became a Christian about five years ago on a kind of Alpha Course type thing at St Mary's, Bryanston Square in London (where I still go now). I was taken there by my girlfriend (now wife!) and haven't looked back since then, encountering the Spirit and generally being freed from a load of stuff!"
It was Britain's flourishing hip-hop underground which took Dave's production skills to Joe Public. He explained, "I ended up producing for a lot of hip-hop artists under the name Naive - and then started releasing the electronic experimental side of that as Naive Machine - 'naïve' came around from me generally being a bit naive at times and machine - well cos I started using lots more synths! (and then liked the name combo!). This then developed and I had some cool releases (such as 2010's 'Basket Bass Beat Tape', 2013's 'Ace Of Spades Game Sountrack' and 2014's 'Outside Looking In'). It's really hard to say what my favourite Naive Machine tracks are as there's loads out there and they're all quite varied! If pushed I think I'd go for 'Afrika', 'Living On The Edge' and 'Calling Me'. Anyway, my stuff has been well received and I've had the chance to play some awesome gigs such as for BBC6 Music!"
Dave explained how the meeting with another Dave led to the formation of the groundbreaking electronic worship duo Eikon. "I met Dave Hendra at St Mary's, where he was really into dance music too and wanted to try some stuff out. So whilst studying a post grad in Theology we formed Eikon to gel our musical ideas together. Our original intention was for the tracks to be listened to for more personal worship, but then we started leading a few worship sessions at church and have expanded our songs out a bit so some can be more corporately used. We are even playing a couple of Christian festivals this summer such as KingsStock."
The Eikon EPs, 2013's 'The Only Thing That Matters' and 2014's 'My Fortress' were enthusiastically received with Cross Rhythms' review of the latter stating "Eikon are clearly an inventive duo bringing something fresh and invigorating to UK churchgoers." The sales of 2015's 'Human EP' went to Tearfund's Nepal Earthquake Appeal and the following year after Eikon's well received remix of Darren and Jessie Clarke's "I Love Your Presence" the two groups decided to produce an EP together, 'G.D.W.T.' Eikon's international collaborations continued this year when they worked with Russian-based producer Movediz on a single, "Thirst".
Dave's production work is continuing to expand. He said, "I do my music part time at the moment, being self-employed I can very my hours around what I do. However recently I've been getting a lot of custom composition requests from some ad agencies I'm signed up on and increasingly music has been a full time thing which is great! I'm splitting my music time between writing music pitches for adverts and TV, producing some artists, mixing tracks for other people, finishing off our Eikon stuff and doing sound engineering. The dream is for more of this!"
One thing the computer maestro is particularly emphatic about is the influence his Christian faith has on his music. "My faith totally influences everything I do. Through my music I try to reflect a more positive nature now, so it carries a good message or feeling - this doesn't always mean joyous but aims to be emotively effective and help others engage with something good, whether that is explicitly God or not."The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.