Tibi Dabo Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Max. Let’s start with your new single: La Dorada for Rebellion. Tell us about where the inspiration came from for the production and about what the title means for you?

Thank you. La Dorada means “the golden one” in Spanish, it’s the name of a fish, the sea bream, and it’s also the name of the home where I spent most of my childhood, near Barcelona. The track was made in London, while I was living and studying there. It was quite a hectic period for me, the city made it feel even more frenetic. I was meeting a lot of new people, doing lots of new things, so once this track started to exist, I felt it would be nice to join both worlds, where I come from, and what was going on at the time. I had a similar approach with the name Tibi Dabo. There’s a hill in Barcelona, my hometown, called Tibidabo (notice the slight difference), keeping this name for wherever the journey took me felt like a nice idea.

photo by @merlegrain

Buy: Tibi Dabo – La Dorada – Rebellion https://lnk.to/RBL056

La Dorada has a particularly distinctive flavour. Can you talk us through how you produced it, including any favourite pieces of software/ hardware you like to use?

I’m a big fan of happy accidents when working on musical compositions or productions. La Dorada is a good example, it was one of those tracks that came very naturally, I almost feel like it was given to me in a way because the workflow was so natural and spontaneous. I think one of its key points is that it’s quite simple when it comes to layers, as I think it relies on all of its elements. I wanted it to feel quite clean at the start, so I could progressively make it feel more dirty and gritty. A key element of the track is the gliding bass line, which is a heavily processed sound from the Prophet 08 (actually I hadn’t used it for bass yet). One piece of software i really enjoy using is Echoboy, it helps a lot when it comes to adding analog touch to something that might lack warmth, it’s also great with saturation and general space distribution in the mix. It can even make you coffee if you ask nicely.

I love hardware because it’s hands on, it helps me so much creatively when I’m jamming out to a new idea. It also makes you not think about burning out your CPU as much, which was a great feeling for me as I used to fill my projects with very heavy soft synths and that hurt the processor too much, to the point where the creative flow slowed down or even stopped as I had to focus on the technical side.

I’m still figuring out my ideal setup, which I doubt will ever get to a “final form”, some of my favorite toys are of course the Prophet for its versatility and the Elektron Analog Rytm (although its workflow is quite a thing, one’s got to get used to it)

Buy link – https://lnk.to/RBL056

Do you think that it has become harder to hear originality in Dance Music? Or do you think the opposite is the case?

I think we’re definitely at a point in time where it’s harder to filter out the good stuff as it’s easier than ever to put music out there. That doesn’t necessarily mean there is less interesting music.

I think it can get a bit overwhelming though.

Big tracks can’t develop the way they did in the past. The same thing happens with any kind of news, it’s just not “news” for long anymore.

There’s such an enormous variety nowadays. One can go in any direction, therefore you can become very specialized.

I remember having a chat with a friend, we were saying something like the scene feels like a huge and very refined tapestry, where its patterns are hard to distinguish, one has to examine it for a long time to recognize its structure and see the individual colours it has to offer.

Who are your main influences from inside and outside of electronic music: any favourite artists, writers, vocalists etc?

I try to avoid comparing myself to other musicians/producers as it almost always makes me feel bad about what I’m doing. But I’d be lying if I said there’s no inspiration in what I do (obviously). A big influence in my music I think is listening to records that might not have much to do with the styles I work in.

I still feel like I’m in a “baby mode” for plenty of aspects in my life. By that I mean that I’m still absorbing things like a sponge. I’m constantly listening to music and wondering how the artist behind that particular song might have achieved a sound, an arrangement or a particular chord progression. This makes me aware of a constant evolution going on in my “creative process”, I doubt I’ll get stuck in a particular style, there’s just too much to try out.

What does DJ’ing mean for you? What ideas and emotions do you like to translate to the people you play for?

There’s so many ways of approaching a DJ set. Something that i really enjoy when listening to someone DJ is spontaneity and a factor of surprise. I really like it when there’re risky moments that can switch the mood in sometimes a very positive way. But overall I’m very into playing long and slowly evolving sets, with an ideal outcome of making the listener forget where he/she is at that given moment. As cliché as it might sound I don’t think that happens too often. I think carefully selecting each track so there’s a continuous energy is a crucial part of this style, merging tracks so there isn’t a clear notion of where the previous track ends and the next one begins is a big part of what i try to achieve on a DJ set. That’s why extended sets are my favourites, the ones where one can really get lost in.

The flip-side to the release is: No Mantra which feels more musical via its rich, piano chords and captivating vocals. Do you think that music is missing out not having as many great songs around, or is rhythm more important and potent in itself?

Rhythm and dance music have an unquestionable link. Some tracks can immediately be recognized because of its incredible groove. But the musical part is what can really make a track memorable. I like melodies that touch you emotionally, and this is quite a delicate subject, because it can be relatively easy to create something that has an obvious emotional impact if you follow certain rules, but I feel it’s really hard to touch an audience in a subtle and elegant way, where the melodic side of the track is suggested instead of imposed. That’s when a record can have a very powerful message and at the same time be very emotional but not in a cheesy way.

I’m definitely still learning how to achieve this.

And finally. Can you share with us your forthcoming plans for moving into the future?

Right now I just got back from working on a new live music project with some close friends. I’m really looking forward to locking myself in my new studio in Berlin, will try to finish some new ideas I have been collecting during the summer, some of them aren’t much more than voice notes and others are almost done. I want to experiment more and dig deeper, there’s so much one can do it can be overwhelming, so I’m trying as hard as I can to limit myself. There’ll be new music ready soon that’s for sure.

Tibi Dabo – La Dorado. Is out now on Rebellion.

Buy https://lnk.to/RBL056

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https://www.instagram.com/tibi_dabo_

https://twitter.com/tibidabosound

 

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Made By Pete Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, James. There’s a great picture of you holding a copy of your latest release: So Long (Crosstown Rebels) outside of Phonica Records. How did it feel to have in your hands your first release on vinyl and why for you has the format remained such a potent force?

Hi. Thanks for having me. That was a very special moment for me. Not necessarily because it’s a ‘vinyl’, I’m not a purist in any way and I embrace all formats. It was more the fact that when I started DJing as teenager, I went to record stores to buy music. The guys making those records were heroes to me and inspired me to start making music. To walk into a shop like Phonica and buy my own record bought all those memories back and that was a really nice feeling.

Pete Tong recently premiered the Solomun remix of ‘So Long’. Can you tell us about how the choices for the remixers where made: Solomun and Audiojack?

That was all down to Damian Lazarus. He’s an A&R guru! From FFRR to City Rockers, and now celebrating a landmark 15 years of Crosstown Rebels, he has created such an iconic brand through his musical vision. When I first sent him the original for ‘So Long’, he was very excited by it. That prompted him to invite the likes of Solomun and Audiojack to add their take and the EP took it’s form.

 

And what is it about Pete Tong which has made him such an influential voice on radio for the past three decades?

Well if there was a definitive answer to that then there would be hundred’s of ‘Pete Tong’s’. Who knows? It probably has something to do with the fact that he’s been able to pioneer underground music on a commercial stage, giving a platform to young up and coming artists as well as showcasing the industries most accomplished acts. I think that’s where the longevity comes from.

Can you talk us through how you created So Long. Where the initial ideas came from and how you then produced them as music, your decision on creating a song rather than an instrumental, plus working with Jem Cooke again who delivers such a smouldering vocal.

The initial idea was a to create a track that would work in a club but also translate to something you could add to a playlist and listen to in the car or at work. The track went through many versions. When I sent it to Jem it sounded completely different. Some of the elements were there but it was a different track. When she sent it back to me I loved what she had done but realized the track needed to change to really combine with the vocals. I had another few days on it and the lead pad that comes in from the start pushed forward into the mix, setting the tone for the arrangement. It’s always a pleasure to work with Jem. She’s a pro, and she’s from Twickenham where I grew up.

Who are your main influences both within and outside of electronic music? Any particular artists, painters, writers etc that you like to refer to for inspiration?

I don’t have one in particular. I’m influenced by all sorts of sounds and music. Sometimes it’s house, sometimes it’s rock, hip-hop or electronica. I try to keep my ears open all the time for inspiration. It really can come from anywhere. Then I take those inspirations and try to interpret them in my own way.

How have sounds evolved for you in Dance Music since you started producing. Do you think it is important for the music to keep moving forward rather than revisit the past too much for inspiration?

Music is always changing. It has to otherwise it gets boring. I’m not a huge fan of remixes of classics from years gone by. I think a classic is a classic because it emerged at the right time in the right place. It’s very rare to find a remix that delivers the same emotions as the original, probably because that original conjures up memories of good times. On the other hand, having a good knowledge of what has shaped the scene before you is vital. I like to hear sounds being recycled and reinvented in a new way. If you can combine that with your own unique sound then that, for me, is very exciting.

You have a busy touring schedule as a DJ too. How have you found time on the road? Have you read The Secret DJ?

No I haven’t read that yet but I have been meaning to. I have traveled and toured as a DJ to places like Ibiza, Australia and Asia as well as around the UK, but not to the extent that I would like. Hopefully with continued dedication and a bit of luck that will come, but managing to fit everything else in is hard. You have to be dedicated and also have a good balance between work life and downtime with family and friends.

Can you talk us through your studio set-up? And tell us about any particular favourite piece of software/ hardware you like best?

My studio set up is quite simple. I’m not a huge tech-head. I like to mix organic natural sounds with analogue synthetic elements and I have found Omnisphere to be perfect for that. I like to use U-he Diva as my main synth. I think it’s better to master one or 2 instruments at a time than to fill your hard drive with hundreds of plug-ins that you don’t know how to use. I’m a big fan of the Fabfilter pro bundle. I’m getting great results using their EQ and compressor on my group busses to add an extra punch during the mixing process. Last year I upgrade my monitors to EVE SC207’s and they are really fun to work on whilst staying transparent. I haven’t ventured into the world of hardware much but I have just bought the Moog Sub 37 and can’t wait to get stuck into it.

And finally. What are your plans for the remainder of the year?

To keep making music as much as I can. I have signed an EP to Audiojack’s label Gruuv Records which I have been a fan of for years. The lead track featureds my good friend Penny Foster who I have worked with many times before. I’m working on a collaboration with Habischman, who’s music I really respect. I also have another EP for Crosstown Rebels on the go which is a work in progress but we’re getting there. ☺

Buy: So Long http://classic.beatport.com/release/so-long/2335420

https://twitter.com/_madebypete

https://www.facebook.com/madebypeteofficial

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Luuk van Dijk Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Luuk. You recently celebrated your 22nd birthday at Shelter in Amsterdam. How did it all go? And can you tell us about your connection to the City and to the Club?

Thank you for having me. Well, that was quite a night haha, for me it was such an important night, because I made my debut at the club in December ‘17 with Denis Sulta and I couldn’t believe they offered me to program a night in their massive club at my birthday. For me it’s one of the best clubs on Dutch territory, wicked sound system and party vibes all night long. I invited one of my all-time faves Subb-An B2B Adam Shelton so that was already one of the best gifts I could ever ask for my birthday. Julian Alexander for the warm up, Ash & Adam on peak and me on the closing duties, dancing till the early morning with all my friends and the best crowd. Moving to Amsterdam was a good move, I’ve met the most kind people, got to see the best dj’s play and all that just within 20 mins cycling tops. That’s why this city is so amazing, nightlife=Amsterdam.

You played WOMB in Japan back in May. How do you approach DJ’ing in a different part of the world? Do you believe music is a universal language, or do certain countries (or even cities) have particular nuances?

That was one epic night, I could play everything I wanted and people went nuts. Just what you want and need as a DJ. In Holland you can notice that every city likes something else. For example in Utrecht people dig the more underground groovy house sound a lot and in Rotterdam the crowd loves a bit more techy vibes. In Amsterdam it just depends on the night and club. That’s what I love about DJ’ing, every set is different and 80% of the time you don’t know what to expect. When I’m playing an all-nighter you will hear me playing groovy minimalistic vibes for the first couple of hours, then it’s just House & Tech House, then I could get a little bit more melodic and if I feel like, you could hear me playing techno for the last 1 or 2 hours. I think it’s really important every city, country is different. It keeps DJ’s fresh and sharp.

Your sets encompass a diverse range of sounds. Which artists have been the most important influence to your style? Are there any musicians or artists outside of the world of electronic music which have also informed you?

I’m into a lot of different music, mainly electronic music of course but if I’m listening to music myself you can find me hearing a lot of Hiphop, Disco, Jazz, Funk you name it. The most important thing for me that the music has soul in it or if it makes me just ‘jack my body’ I’m more than okay with it haha. DJ’s who I look up to the most are Jamie Jones, Kerri Chandler, Apollonia and The Martinez Brothers. Musicians who I inspire me are Kendrick Lamar, Biggie Smalls, Billy Cobham and Jamiroquai. As long as it’s good music I’ll love it.

How would you say that your generation of DJ’s and the Clubbers you play to have differed from the previous? Are things the same but different, or have they evolved into something else?

I think this question isn’t relevant to me because I’m just 22 years old and only 5/6 years in the scene now, of course I’ve seen footage about raves from back in the days but I never experienced those in real life. I guess with music it’s just a cycle, every 15 years or so the sound changes back to its roots. I always look back to tracks from 10/20 years ago, I just absolutely love the oldskool sound.

You run your own night PUUR, in Hiversum. Tell us about the philosophy behind the night?

2 years ago a very good friend of mine came to me with the idea to throw parties in my hometown Hilversum. We wanted to give something back to the dance scene in Hilversum because there was no underground scene at all. The concept was a full on experience, theme based. So one edition you were at a supermarket, the next time you were in a car garage. I headlined and I invited local talents and sometimes bigger artists. After doing 12 editions in 3 different cities we thought it was a wrap, we decided to throw one more party and we’ve put all our last money in it, it was one hell of a emotional night but damn it was epic haha. Now it’s just time for something new 😉

Do you ever think watching DJ’s on the internet will ever replace Clubbing?

Never really thought about this to be honest, but I’m sure it will never replace the real deal. Of course it happens a lot now, you see livestreams everywhere and it’s a great way promoting your event or just for fun. Also it’s a cool way to educate kids with good music (depends on which stream of course haha) and see dj’s play although they can’t go to clubs because of their age. But nothing compares to a good dj bringing energy to an ill-lighted club with a massive sound system.

And finally. Please share with us your future plans for yourself both as a Producer and DJ?

Things are going next level now and this summer is looking so good! Playing festivals like Awakenings, Welcome To The Future, Mysteryland, STRAF_WERK and a lot of the top 20 festivals in Holland. Also there’s a lot of new music coming out, which I’m really happy about.

Luuk van Dijk’s Parallax EP (featuring a remix by DJ Skull) is out 20th July via Hot Creations. You can listen/pre-order the EP here

For more information on Luuk, be sure to check out his Facebook, Soundcloud and Resident Advisor pages

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Solarc Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Carlos. Let’s start with the alias, Solarc. Can you tell us the meaning behind the name?

Hello, thanks for the invite and for the interview!
About my alias Solarc it comes from a crazy idea I think, actually its an anagram of my name (which is Carlos) besides a secret meaning that I can’t tell you haha.

Your new single for Crosstown Rebels sub-label Rebellion: Dark Wings sounds smoky and hot. Can you talk us through how you produced the track, from where the initial idea came from to any particular pieces of favourite software/ hardware you like to use?

Well actually I never know what will come out from my studio. I try to set up all my ideas but sometimes I get lost in the middle and finish in another way, but this time I can say that I have been focused to produce something deep, dark and modern. I used to work on Studio One but nowadays I am more on Ableton and use hardware like Moog Voyager or Supernova also the access Virus, which for me is an amazing synthesizer.

Buy Dark Wings https://lnk.to/RBL054

Tell us about your relationship with the label and how getting the track signed happened?

I think we have developed a great relationship, I have worked with many labels and I can say that Crosstown Rebels works in a different way and they support the artist in a very special way. I feel really honoured to be part of this family and to get my music signed with them.

How has your Central America / North America tour been going? Any standout moments you would care to share?

Well the tour was great, I went to Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico besides Panama where I am staying part time nowadays. I can say the parties were amazing in every single country, specially in Guatemala, the energy and the crowd there was so special. Unfortunately we’ve experienced a very sad moment in Guatemala Antigua City as I was there when the “Volcan de Fuego” erupted some days ago. It was crazy, I was DJing in the city at an after hour right in front the Volcano that morning and it was magical and beautiful, then a couple of hours later we had to evacuate the city. Unbelievable.

Outside of the world of electronic music who are your biggest influences? Have any artists, authors, poets etc inspired you in relation to creating music?

Of course, I like every single expression of art, I’m a big fan of DaVinci, Salvador Dali, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Michael Murphy to name a few.

You have had music released on a number of major labels including: Toolroom and VIVA Music. How would you describe your journey to that status? And do you think that music is in a good place at the moment regarding how artists can support themselves in today’s climate?

Well it’s difficult, I think the industry goes so fast nowadays and it’s not easy to be on top of the wave full time. It’s not only about music I’m afraid, now you need to take care on your social media and profile, and need to get exposure in different ways. There are lots of tools but for me at the end is your music that matters, you know, that’s why is good to earn attention from big labels that’s the most important thing for me.

You have said that Club Vertigo is one of your favourite clubs in the world. Why?

Well I’ve got a nice connection with the club, starting with the sound system design which is Gary Stewart Audio, and where it’s located. I always enjoy when I play there.

And finally. Can you tell us about any forthcoming plans?

Well I’ve got some important releases coming out after this one on Rebellion, as you said VIVA Music, Toolroom and I am working on some new stuff for Crosstown Rebels and Hot Creations too. Also I am working on my Sample Tools Album and VA mixed Album that will be released before 2019, and hopefully ill keep touring taking my music worldwide.

https://www.facebook.com/SolarcMusic

https://twitter.com/solarcmusic

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Andrea Ferlin Q&A

Hello and welcome along to Magazine Sixty, Andrea. Let’s begin with your brilliant new release for SLEEP IS COMMERCIAL – Flux E.P. which comprises of two productions. Can you talk us through how you produced the epic 11:49 minutes of Th. From where the initial idea came from to how that was then realised in musical terms?

Nice to meet you as well. Thanks for the nice words on the release.
The initial idea started building the groove using elements from a real drum kit and reprogramming the sounds of the drum kit with a sequencer. On top, using other two drum machines, and a bunch of synthethizers. When I make music, most of the time I start with an idea and then this idea develops itself naturally in a track. It something very natural that I cannot really explain.

You recently played at the labels night at Warehouse in Palma de Mallorca as you do at many others across the world? Tell us about how you feel your music connects with people? And do you think music translates borders, or do different locations require different approaches?

I have the chance to travel the world and play the music I love, I really feel lucky to be able to do this. Music connects people with one another and me with them as well. Music is a universal language and even tough I still think that different locations requires different approaches. The music we play does not fit any type of dance floor. There is music that works perfectly in a dance floor like Berlin’s Club Der Visionaere but doesn’t work in the same way in another place. The audience is different and I try to adapt myself to this.

What makes SLEEP IS COMMERCIAL such special label for you? And how would you say the philosophy behind it is unique in today’s digital age?

We founded SLEEP IS COMMERCIAL in 2009 with Francesco Assenza and it became a special project for us since then. We managed to create a label that embodies exactly what our taste in music is. We have a great group of friends and artists that are part of the label and we support each other. We exchange music, ideas, build new projects together. We are very lucky to have this.
We are found of vinyl only releases. We had a digital series that we stopped as we wanted to focus our production on vinyl releases. I do not know if our philosophy is unique but we are for sure a bunch of crazy music freaks and we try to make the most out of it.

Outside of the world of electronic music which artists, writers or musicians have most influenced what you do?

I am a big jazz fan as I grew up listening Miles Davis or Thelonious Monk among many others. This kind of music deeply inspired me by its groove. I particularly like free jazz because of its very complex and sometimes abstract rhythmics. I also listened to many psychedelic Rock from the Sixties. The writer that most influenced me is Robert A. Heinlein. He is a science-fiction writer, a genre that I particularly enjoy to read. Many sounds that I then use in my tracks remind me the science fiction movies I use to watch when I was a kid.

What makes certain music timeless?

In my point of view, one of the elements that make a track timeless is its vocal part. This vocal part could also be a synthesizer riff for example.
When I think about it, there are so many iconic tracks to me. Tracks maybe 60 years old that are still modern in a way. Tracks that pass from generations to generations. This I think happen when the tracks have this magical thing that no one really can explain. When the music touches you in a special way for any particular reason. I do not think that there can be a proper explanation to what makes certain music timeless, it is very subjective like in all art forms.

Do you have a favourite instrument (or software/ hardware)? Do you own one?

Yes I have some favorites pieces of gear. One is the Eventide H3000. It is for me an irreplaceable effect processor. I use it in all of my productions. I use all the Elektron machines. Starting from the Machine Drum to the Analog Four and the Octatrak. I love to use them because they are very powerful machines, very easy to use and I have a lot of fun using them.

How would you place the importance of song and words in the context of today’s electronic landscape?

Most of the music I do is without any vocal parts in a classical way. I use vocal parts that I transform into instruments. I use the voice for their sounds but not for the words they say. Sometimes only I use vocals to send a message but it is very rare. I think that in today’s electronic music scene the use of words is still the same, each producer use it in its way, some more than others and some not at all.

And finally. Can you share your plans for the remainder of 2018 and beyond?

2018 has been a great year for me so far. I have a lot of records and remixes coming: my new Atoll record and my new Proboscide record will both come out in June. Some months ago I started a project with some friends in Beirut, No Longer Humans and we have a two tracks EP coming out this summer with a remix of Aleandro (another project I have with Alessio Mereu). There is a track of mine in a new triple vinyl Sleep Is Commercial Various Artists that will be released in Autumn. I also did a remix together with Francesco Assenza as Dunkle Dummies for a Wareika track called ‘Shamania’ that will be released in a double vinyl for our Sleep Is Commercial Ltd series. Another remix will come from Ricardo Villalobos together with Thomas Melchior.
Regarding gigs, I will be taking on my residency at Club der Visionaere in Berlin and I look forward to play this summer in old and new locations such as Waha Festival in Romania or in Egypt.

Andrea Ferlin’s Flux EP is out July on Sleep is Commercial

www.sleepiscommercial.com

https://www.facebook.com/andrea.ferlin

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Daisybelle Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Daisybelle. Let’s begin with your new single with Rob Savage for Love Story Recordings: Always On. How did the connection with the label come about?

Well, I am a big fan of Carly’s work so I have been following her label. But we are also friends so she is someone that I always like to get an opinion from on most things.

And can you talk us though how you co-produced the single? Plus tell us about the Acid and classic House influences which are in there too?

Well this single is a collaboration with Rob Savage who is a really talented producer. It started off as an experiment as we’d never worked together before, but it just kind of flowed easily and we liked everything the other did to be honest. There was nothing either one of us of didn’t like.
The acid part of it comes from a love of acid house and was actually inspired by a collective of DJ’s I play with often who love acid in all its forms 😊and the classic house you’re hearing in there definitely has Rob’s stamp. He’s so good at creating and maintaining a unique groove, I really loved working with him.

Buy https://www.beatport.com/track/always-on-original-mix/10563314

Your music contains a funky sense of musicality. I was also wondering about your influences in terms of outside of electronic Dance music?

Oh thank you, that’s really nice to hear because that was definitely the aim. Well, I actually love many different genres outside of dance music so I do try to bring some of those elements into my music and my DJ sets. I love anything that has soul to be honest, from reggae, funk, ska, jazz, cumbia, rumba, bossanova to salsa. I just love music that makes me feel something, anything. I am also a huge fan of Professor Longhair who’s New Orleans R&B makes me so damn happy. My parents were both musicians when I was growing up, and they were very eclectic too so a lot of my influences come from them as well. I find myself often asking my mother to remind me of artists she used to listen to so I can dig around for new old stuff.

Tell us about the choice of Joss Moog as remixer? PS his version is excellent.

Joss Moog simply has the mightest touch! Everything he touches…turns to gold! His stuff is just so funky and addictive! Plus everyone was super excited to have Joss do the remix as well so it was a unanimous decision. And he delivered!

Where can people get to here you play this summer?

This summer: well I will have my new monthly show on Bloop, my next gig which I can’t wait for is F.U.M.P (For Underground Music People) this May bank holiday! It’s a mini festival in a field in Essex which features a small collective of DJ’s and a group of regulars who never miss an event and who are the most devout crowd to play for. It’s been growing a lot recently which is nice to see.
I also have a couple of dates at Es Paradis in Ibiza in Jul & Aug for Brandon Bloc’s new night, and I am beyond excited to be playing for Melon Bomb again at Pikes in Ibiza this August. Then I come back to London to play for Mutiny which is a super fun boat party which will also be a real treat! Yey!

How did you find your recent experience of broadcasting on bloop? What still makes radio an exciting medium for you in today’s digital world?

My first show was a good experience, its such a great platform still. To have a designated time each month where you have complete freedom to play whatever you want to share with your listeners is priceless! You can also connect with people from anywhere in the world.

And finally. Tell us about how you would like the remainder of 2018 to shape up?

So far 2018 has been good to me, so now all I can hope for is that people enjoy the new single when it comes out and I would like to finish a few more projects I have going on. And also for lots and lots of people to want to book me to play in amazing exotic countries ha ha.

https://www.facebook.com/daisybelle.f

https://www.lovestoryrecordings.com

 

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Gel Abril Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Gel. Let’s start with the launch of your new label Closed Circuits. How and why did you decide to start your own imprint?

Hello hello Greg and thank you for having me. well it’s been on my agenda for a long time to have a good home for my music and likeminded artists I like , when the right opportunity accrued I just went for it .

(Photo by Moses Pini Siluk)

The excellent debut release is from Oskar Szafraniec featuring Very Addictive. How did you get introduced to Oskar and how did it feel to have such a spine-tingling vocal to announce the arrival of the label with?

It’s quite a story actually cause I know him by Facebook and from time to time he sent me music, then the label starting rolling and he sent me like 20 tracks or so as demos and first time I heard borderline I had this crazy goose bumps you get rarely from music, then immediately I signed him and since then we become really good friends and making a lot of music together, he is a genuine human and super talented artist. I am very happy to have him on my label!

You also provide a remix of Borderline. Can you talk us through how you produced it, from the initial ideas to the final arrangement including any particular pieces of software/ hardware you like to use?

I like my music very straight and groovy , that’s why I always start with the main groove , a strong hypnotic loop it’s all what needed to hook you into the rhythm , my creative process is always changing and I’m not always using a specific hardware or software , I just like to go with the flow and try new things.

https://www.beatport.com/release/borderline/2273777

In this context can you tell us about what importance you place on vocals/ songs in Dance Music as opposed to rhythm and instrumentation?

My music in a way is always been groove based but vocals when they touch you they can destroyed dance floors in the best way. For example an intense techno or more rhythmic kind of set when there is a lot tension in the music and groove and after 45 min or 1 hour of that sort of set, you drop that special vocal track, you give the people fresh breath of air and smiles all around. The vocal for me at least has to be unique and not cheesy, borderline is the great example of it for me melancholic yet very touching.

And can you tell us about the striking Artwork you have chosen for the label?

Yes off course the art work been done by my longtime friend Daniel Zaken from Tel Aviv , he is in a way the king of art for night life in tel aviv over 20 years , making flyers to the best parties and venues throughout Israel. We talked about ideas and I gave him some references I liked. I really wanted something colorful and positive and he execute in the best way there is, really happy from the art work, the new ones are also stunning 

Outside of House/ Techno who gives you the most inspiration, in terms of writers, musicians, artists etc?

Well I am big fan off Depeche Mode , Martin Gore is I guess one of the most talented artist in the world to me , Kraftwerk , Radio Head , I also love bands from the 60 s like father and The Mothers and stuff like that the music there is real and flowing .

As a DJ who plays all over the world what impact would you say Club Culture has had culturally/ politically beyond its entertainment value?

In the end of the day we are there for the love of music in the most profound way. I think music can bring people together from all sort of countries including countries with conflicts, if only music will replace the politics we would all be in a better world.

What are your feelings about nostalgia in music?

Well I am a dj 27 years, I started off very young at tender age of 13, I enjoy from time to time checking my old records that gives you overview of how the music changed over the years and personal moments I had with some of the records I played, some euphoric moments it’s nice to remember  there is some amazing stuff I have in my collection.
Also it was much simpler back then the only things you needed to do is to dj and make music, today is a bit different  I do believe to become a better artist you should know your history about dance music and in the same time also be innovative and open to new things all the time, there is some great music coming out this days.

And finally. What plans do you have for Closed Circuits moving forward? And what advice would you suggest to people thinking about submitting their music to the label?

I have the next 3 releases sorted stuff by myself, collaboration with Oskar and ep by Stephan Bazbaz a talented producer from Tel Aviv, some great music in there which I very satisfied with.
Advice I would give to people want to submitting a demo is try to be unique and not obvious, always groovy and with that something extra you don’t hear regularly that for sure will catch my ears 

http://www.gelabril.com

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Kath McDermott Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Kath. Let’s start by asking about your current involvement with BBC 6 Music. How you got there and why?

I’ve enjoyed being involved in radio over the years first on community radio and then Dave Kendrick and I had a show on Kiss 102 called the Galaxy of Love which I absolutely loved doing, we had a scream. I started working on BBC radio about 5 years ago and always really wanted to work for 6 Music as I’m a listener myself and think it is a fantastic network for music lovers. When I started working on 6 Music I felt at home immediately and I love being a part of the production team there.

*Photo by Mat Norman

And back to the beginning. Can you tell us who inspired you to start DJ’ing and something about the first clubs you played in?
Tim Lennox at the Number One club was a huge inspiration in the late Eighties, he was playing to an absolutely rammed sweatbox of deranged deviants every Saturday. It was incredible to be a part of that dancefloor. I was also going to Nude at the Hacienda and Mike Pickering would play hip-hop alongside disco and acid house, I loved the eclecticism of his sets. Around that time, my partner was organising an Aids Day benefit in Liverpool, but couldn’t get a DJ to play for free, so we decided to do it ourselves. We had a riot, so we started our own monthly night called Loose and there was a real gap in the market in Liverpool for young queer clubbers – they were a brilliantly friendly crowd to play for.

How would you describe Flesh to somebody who has never been?

The Hacienda was created in the image of American gay clubs like Paradise Garage so it was always going to be a buzz to see it full of queers with Tim Lennox at the helm. Each one was a real event with a different theme or happening taking place, so the punters would go to great efforts to be dressed for the occasion, and the space would be dressed to impress too. It was a massive crowd, always well over a thousand and mixed, you’d see drag queens, dykes, rent boys and even naked people wandering around and it was incredibly friendly. Anything went and I seemed to spend a lot of time laughing at the insanity and debauchery of the scenes there. My Flesh sightings include Leigh Bowery ‘giving birth’ to a woman on stage, the Fire Brigade pushing an ice cream van away from the dancefloor in case the petrol tank blew, a collapsed swimming pool which flooded the place, members of Kraftwerk and the Pet Shop Boys partying and people having sex. Not bad for a Wednesday night.

Which night or club was the most important for you in terms of Manchester’s history that you have DJ’ed at?

I feel tremendously honoured to have played at the Hacienda over the course of 5 years and Flesh is obviously very important to me, but I have a very special place in my heart for Homoelectric. We were getting really tired of the increasingly tired mono-culture around Gaychester in the late nineties and I was lucky enough to be involved right from the start as we tried to create a new club where all misfits were welcome and the music was very eclectic. Notoriously old-school lesbian club Follies outside the Gay Village was our well-matched home and Ryan Minchin’s fanzine The Homoelectric Chronicle was our manifesto. I was the first resident and played there for about 8 glorious years. The crowd were a dream come true, very open to whatever we played: disco, house, pop, jungle, hip-hop, funk. Philippa Jarman and I were running the 2 main record shops in town (Piccadilly and Vinyl Exchange) so we had all the music well stitched-up. I like to think we paved the way for the alt-queer clubbing scene in Manchester and Homoelectric is still going strong 20 years later with an ace team behind it.

What is it about radio and the way it connects with people which has seen the medium endure for so long?

As a lifelong radio consumer I feel it leaves my imagination to run free whilst I’m listening. There is something very passive about watching television but radio is a different kind of experience, it is the perfect companion to our days and nights. The buzz of hearing an old favourite or a brand new track is just as strong for me as it was when I was a kid. I listen to a lot of speech radio too and worked on Radio 4 for several years where the output is very different but equally inspiring at times. I just co-produced Marc Riley’s A-Z of Punk which was a big success and podcasts are going to become increasingly important over time as there is a huge appetite for them and we now love on-demand content.

Which artists, writers and musicians have inspired you most, both within and outside of electronic/ dance music?

When I was a kid I was very into Adam and the Ants, I loved the double drumming and thought he was the ultimate performer. In terms of dance music, when house music caught fire I was hugely inspired by Frankie Knuckles and that led me to seek out soulful house and garage by the likes of Masters at Work, Murk and Mood To Swing. In relation to dance music, I think Norma Jean Bell is an under-rated talent. Away from the decks the artists that have been mainstays over time for me tend to be female singers that plough their own furrow like Bobbie Gentry, Millie Jackson, Nina Simone, Betty Davis and Dusty Springfield.

Has too much nostalgia destroyed the creation of new music and culture?

I think it is disappointing that the emphasis is still on Madchester as so much of what is being portrayed is such a straight, white, male story. The reality was very different, Manchester District Music Archive are doing a lot to redress that balance. Also the City Council trade off the back of the heritage of clubs like the Hacienda whilst closing down most of the independent venues in town to build faceless budget hotels. However I think the club scene in Manchester and increasingly Salford is as vibrant as ever. Bollox is an incredible community space – very inclusive, but hedonistic and subversive. I’m thrilled that I’ll be playing there and the much-loved underground club Kiss Me Again over the next few months.

How did it feel to be included in the Suffragette City MCR exhibition at Refuge? What do you think the benefits will be moving forward?

The exhibition which reflects women from all aspects of the Manchester music scene has been a major success, bringing much-needed profile to some unsung heroines and celebrating the considerable talent in the city, it has been wonderful to meet some of the other women involved too. We had a big closing party with 16 hours of an all-female DJ line-up, it was an extraordinary event, the technical quality of the DJing was very high and we really rocked a great party. We got a mixed, very up-for-it crowd in, it was wonderful to be in such a warm supportive environment and we were all having a great dance to each other sets, there were no egos at all, a proper buzz.

And finally. Which programme have you most enjoyed working on at BBC 6 Music?

I really enjoyed working on Jarvis Cocker’s last live Sunday Service programme on Christmas Eve, we had the lights down low and twiglets on the go, it was very festive. I also produced a documentary about the queer roots of punk with Jon Savage presenting called ‘Queer as Punk’ which was a labour of love that I’m very proud of.

https://twitter.com/kathmcd22

https://www.facebook.com/kath.mcdermott.98

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Al Bradley Q&A

Hello Al and welcome along to Magazine Sixty. What have been the highlights for you in the past 15 years, as 3am Recordings has been releasing music since 2003!?!

Hi & thanks for having me! There have been several along the way, I guess the ones which stand out are the first time I heard something off the label being played by DJs we really looked up to (that was Silicone Soul playing a track from TAM001 at Basics in Leeds in 2003), then Rob Da Bank playing Alex Moran’s “New Fish To Fry” on Radio 1 too, a pretty cool moment. I think at that point I expected to take over the world haha. Gig-wise really the highlight was having fabric host us for the label’s 10th birthday – it seemed like a real recognition for the hard work put in, plus naturally it’s such a brilliant venue to play at.

How have you seen the ‘industry’ develop in that time for better and worse – which I guess may run parallel to the rise of the Internet, easy access and streaming?

I believe there are pros & cons to how it’s changed; in one respect, the internet and digital aspect has really blown open the old level of ‘control’ (for want of a better word) that labels had, for all genres, whereby artists needed a label to get their music out there. People can really follow a DIY path now, so it’s much more democratic in that sense – you don’t necessarily need thousands of pounds to get something out there now, via digital platforms. However the flip-side of this is that artists don;t seem to take their time now; as soon as someone has finished a track, they’re desperate to get it out there, so the number of demo emails I receive which have one track on there, CC’d into about 4000 email addresses, is ridiculous. This leads to a huge amount of disposable music and what seems to be a bit of a desperation just to get stuff ‘out there’, rather than developing a selection of sounds and targeting labels which are appropriate to what you want.

What is it about four on the floor that still ignites your excitement after all this time?

Good question and I don’t think I have a real answer! I bought my decks in 1991 and thought it’d just be a passing fad, but here I am 27 years later…. There’s an energy in house music, people are still reinventing how it sounds, new people (much younger than me!) find it and want to push it forward and create fresh excitement, so there are constantly changing nuances in the sound; I guess those are the reasons it still has a hold on me really. There’s just something about getting some records & putting together a mix, playing in a club, or just checking out new music with a friend to compare what we have, when you hear the beat and the energy contained within, it just still works for me. When I received the TAM088 vinyl, which had my first ever track on 12″, I got all emotional when the first kick on my track played throguh the speakers. It’s a bit ridiculous really, but that’s the kind of hold it has on me!

Celebrating the anniversary is the labels next release on June 4 which features four tracks by four artists. How does the release represent 3am’s direction in 2018 and can you tell us about how you choose these productions in particular?

The release I feel showcases what the true ethos of 3am has tried to remain true to over the years; it’s not easy pushing new artists right at the start of their careers, but it’s something I’ve tried to do throughout. So on this release it has Ceri, whose debut ever release was for 3am (a remix of Askani), plus I’m giving Helsinki-based Twisted Puppies their debut on vinyl. Michael Lovatt is an artist who has become close to the label in recent years, representing us at gigs in Berlin several times, plus he’s an artist who is on the rise, so it wa the right time to get him on the label. Danny – aka Dubble D / Moodymanc – featured on 3am a few years back, so he is making a return as a long-time friend of the label. So this EP represents artists who’ve been involved with the label one way or the other over recent years, plus for Ceri she was always going to be back on 3am and it’s a pleasure to get her onto a 12″, likewise for Twisted Puppies – they’re the fifth artist making a debut on vinyl from the last three 3am 12″s, so that’s something I’m really proud of. Especially after I was told I couldn’t sell records without big names…

Pre-order: https://www.juno.co.uk/products/ceri-dubble-d-3am-wax-vol-2/677958-01/

How did you first get into Dance Music? Which clubs and DJ’s initially inspired you? And how would you describe the scene in Leeds now?

I’m originally from Stockport so it was ventures up the road to Manchester which kick-started it all; predominantly the Hacienda but also The Boardwalk & Konspiracy (!!) were places I went. The Hacienda was the main influence though, I was actually there on the last night it was open too, I’ve got the ticket framed in my hallway even now (geek alert…). Outside of Manc, Leeds was a regular place I visited, Back To Basics and the residents there really adding a new dimension to the music I play; Ralph Lawson & James Holroyd in particular really showcased sounds which still influence to this day. For a relatively small city-centre, there is so much going on – you’ve got smaller places such as 212 & Distrikt which have great DJs on and free entry, then venues such as Wire & Mint which showcase a brilliant selection of styles and nights, up to Church and Mint Warehouse, which have the A-list DJs housed in much larger venues. So there really is something for all tastes; it’s a very strong city for electronic music right across the board, definitely.

Can you tell us what inspires you outside of the world of House Music. Any authors, artists, musicians, writer’s etc you would care to share?

Well my favourite writer is George Orwell; people immediately think of “1984” by him (which is, for me, the best book I have ever read), but his fantastic use of language and his clear distaste for the upper-classes (despite coming from a well-to-do background, which he shunned) is evident in his writing. “Coming Up For Air” is another of his books which still has a relevance in its story today, plus “Down and Out In Paris and London” is a really amazing insight into the North of England at the time of writing. I’m also a bit of a film geek; I tend to watch more films than general TV really; I’d say some of the films from the 70s would be my choices (Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Serpico etc), but more recently films like Shutter Island & There Will be Blood are favourites too. I listen to plenty of other music too, there was particular excitement when confirmation of Arctic Monkeys live tickets was sent to my friend Lyndsey, who managed to sort us two for Sheffield! Really looking forward to their new album, their previous one “AM” is an absolute gem & up there with my favourites of all time.

What are your feelings on nostalgia? Does such great emphasis on the past stifle creativity or enhance it?

Another good question! I’m not too keen on the word ‘nostalgia’ really; what has happened in the past of course is hugely important (otherwise why would I have a Hacienda ticket framed on my wall, from 1997 haha!), but I suppose it’s how these things are done. For example I’m not really a fan of “classics” type nights, where all the music is from say 1989 through to 1991, primarily because that’s not a true representation of what was played, it’s just the biggest/most well-known tracks from that period and it wasn’t really like that at all. I play old records in my sets, I love old records, but I play them within all the new stuff I have – I’ll do it as a little reminder of something from the past and also because it’s something I like and it fits with what I’m playing, but I wouldn’t want to do a whole night of “Hacienda Classics” for example. it’s correct and important to learn from the past, but don’t get stuck in it… When people say “the music’s not like it used to be” or whatever, that does bug me a bit – of course it’s not what it used to be, if it had stayed the same since 1988 then it’d be a bit stale! The whole reason I believe electronic music remains so vital is because it changes and progresses. Yes look back and get excited by old music, see what the early tracks were, that’s valuable and crucial to involve yourself in, but treat it all as an ever-expanding and changing sound – that’s the key for me.

And finally. Can you talk us through the process of creating music for you, from where an initial idea might spring from to how you then produce it, including a favourite piece of hardware/software you like to refer to?

I guess it just all comes from the music I hear and have heard over time – whether that’s consciously or subconsciously. As I’ve been buying records since the mid-80s, It probably explains why I’m rubbish at sticking to one sound. Production-wise I use Ableton; I tend to just muck about with basic ideas of drum/percussion and bass initially, then go from there. Software-wise I do tend to use Sylenth a lot, it’s something of a go-to bit of software for me really. The Eventide plug-ins have also been regular favourites, easy to use and great sounding. I’d love to say I have a studio full of expensive gear and name-drop some super-expensive synths, but I’d be lying I’m afraid! I can’t remember who said it to me, maybe Rob Small who does the 3am mastering, but it was something like “it’s not the gear, it’s the ear” – I’ll use that line anyway 🙂

http://www.3amrecordings.com

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Bobby Pleasure Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Bobby. Can you start by telling us about why you felt there needed to be a label such as Needs – not for profit, in the world today? And can you tell us about your personal philosophy for life and music?

When I conceptualised Needs it was around the time of Trump & Brexit. I was feeling a lot of social dissonance and I wanted to try and do something about it; using the music and scene that I love as a means to spread a message of unity and togetherness. Music is the most powerful force on the planet. In a world of ever-evolving technology, communal centres such as nightclubs are becoming increasingly important in terms of social interaction and it’s here where people and ideas can come together.

The next and third release features five different artists, each with a differing sound. What attributes do you look for when putting together a release?

I look for timeless music from artists that I love. Music that will sound great in 20 years time. With the releases being various artist EP’s I try to group them stylistically as best I can and also try to order the EP in a way that the release flows naturally, and makes sense when listened to as a whole.

*Needs003 is in aid of the refugee crisis. Featuring Lord Of The Isles, Mehmet Aslan, Petwo Evans, Bartellow, Nick Gynn. Released 16th April on Needs not for profit: pre-order link.

And can you tell us why you chosen the charities so far?

I chose charities based on several factors: the work they do, the demographic(s) they help, the reach they have and the areas they offer support. I also looked if they had any previous involvement in the music industry as I thought that would maybe make any potential partnerships easier.

In broader terms do you think Dance Music culture is more or less self-obsessed than other parts of society? Do you think that the ease with which the internet connects us all, also creates a sense of unease?

Definitely. I think it’s a general problem facing all of humanity. More and more we seem to be living a solitary existence as humans, with people mainly socialising and working from their phones and laptops. But like how I mentioned earlier, the thing that dance music culture has is the nightclub and also festivals. It’s quite a rare thing when that many people get together and interact and we should really embrace those experiences. It could be that we see important social movements emanate from these gatherings.

Your new single: Renegade EP co-produced with Adam Curtain is due out in April on Trouble Maker. How did the collaboration come about? And can you tell us about the process of creating the music?

Ahhh yes and I’m very excited about this! Me and Adam have been friends for a while and we hit the studio together about a year ago. We have very similar tastes but brought different vibes to this project. It was a very natural exchange of ideas and we created something separate from our own musical identities. However you can still really hear both of us in the music. It’s super nice when you collaborate with friends and it works out like this.

Do you think nostalgia has helped or hindered music creatively?

I think it can do both. From a production perspective it’s always helpful to look to the past for inspiration but it’s important to also do your own thing and find your own style. From a DJ perspective we’re in the midst of extreme rare record/digging culture, where the emphasis can sometimes be more about how rare or expensive a record is. However I believe dance music and electronic music is evolutionary by nature and will always naturally move to the future.

You recently launched your own night Pleasure Club at The Lion & Lamb in London. How did the night go and what are the ideas behind it? How do you choose a particular guest to play?

It went really well thanks. I’ve been involved in my fair share of parties over the years and I wanted to create an all-encompassing experience that was a culmination of everything I’ve learnt along the way, as well as a platform for me to showcase the music I really love. Pleasure Club will be my ultimate expression of this. Guests are chosen simply because they are the best selectors I have come across in my time as a DJ. Expect the best music, an open minded crowd, plenty of attention to detail and lots of extra treats thrown in. Keep your eyes peeled for a Pleasure Club membership card!

You are part of the first: inner city electronic, event in Leeds this coming June. Tell us some more?

I was label manager manager at 20/20 Vision for 4 years so I know Ralph Lawson really well. I’m so happy for him that this new vision has come together so well. It’s looking like a really incredible event which should be very exciting for not only Leeds but also the UK scene. I’m honoured to be involved at the first one and I can’t wait to see the action unfold.

And finally. What are your plans for the remainder of 2018?

In 2018 I’ll be releasing some more music (including my first solo EP), starting another label, DJing at lots of amazing parties & festivals, and where possible using Needs as a platform to raise awareness for different causes and charities.

https://www.facebook.com/bobbypleajure

https://www.facebook.com/needsnotforprofit

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