01 — Curator Story

Kevin McCrorie

Specialist in: Soul, Old School Dance Music, 80's Electronica and Kosmische

Kevin is based in Glasgow and has worked at Open Ear for over four years, following a decade in music retail at independent retailer Fopp and over two decades of experience as a DJ.

"I have a kind of encyclopaedic knowledge of most genres but would say that my greatest areas of knowledge lie in soul, jazz, old school dance music, 80's electronica and kosmische."

02 - An interview with Kevin

Let’s start from the beginning - please introduce yourself and give us a background to your life in music...

Hi I am Kevin, I deal with sales within Open Ear Music and I am based in the Glasgow office. I've been an music fan and collector since I can remember and been DJing for over 25 years. Having worked in music retail for a decade I have amassed an enormous collection of music.

Do you remember what music inspired you at an early age? And perhaps a few tracks that inspired you to start a career in music?

Being a child of the 80s my earliest influences were the electronic pop of bands like Depeche Mode, The Cure, Human League, etc. before falling for dance culture at the end of the decade. Moving forward, I also embraced the re-issue culture of the 1990's where I explored the back catalogue of most music genres in a strange prelude to the Spotify generation.

Is there one area of music you specialise in i.e. genre or scene that you are particularly close to?

I do have a kind of encyclopaedic knowledge of most genres but would say that my greatest areas of knowledge lie in soul, jazz, old school dance music, 80's electronica and kosmische.

What are your favourite places, sources, sites, radio shows or people to discover new music?

The days of discovering new music via record shops, so nowadays, I find everything from blog sites of well respected tastemakers/diggers to Bandcamp articles to discover new music.

Describe your approach to playlist curation for any of the businesses you work with

I have dealt with an array of clients across many fields but a recent client which I am particularly proud of is the Old Course Golf Club in St Andrews. The definitive 'home of golf', they were looking for a way to introduce music as a stepping stone to bringing a younger demographic to their industry. The key to this is balancing music that can appeal to a younger crowd whilst also being acceptable to their traditional audience. With such a heavy concentration of tourists we felt it was important to give a universal style of music whilst also highlighting the modern Scottish folk music scene to give tourists a different understanding of Scottish music beyond the normal tourist trail. Gauging the energy required for all music in this setting is also challenging where it can't be too downtempo and mournful yet also can't be too energetic for a relaxed area like a traditional golf club. With further roll outs within their estate planned, our music programming has proven a success.