Your label: Lower East reaches its 45th release with your production â€˜At The Rave EP’. How has the journey been and what are the positives gained from running your own label, any negatives too?
It’s been one hell of a journey, and amazing looking back over the past 6 years seeing how far the label has come. I’ve had the honour of working with some of my peers and legends such as Larry Heard, Gerd + MK and also provided a platform to expose up & coming talent such as Alexis Raphael, MoodTrap, vs.Mode & others. Having my own label has given me my own identity and a hub for me to release my own music and help push others. I feel 2016 has been our strongest year to date and I am really excited about the musical direction we are going in and some of the amazing artists involved.
It’s fair to say that the EP’s excellent title track hints at the past, although that could also be a disservice as it feels very much set in 2016. How would you describe the current state of House Music: is it paying too much attention to its history, or is forward-thinking tearing the music away from its roots?
I have always liked referencing the past BUT to create the future. In recent times there have been a lot of 90’s references in House Music and many people jumping on bandwagons trying to replicate that sound. The 90s will always have a special place in my heart as they were my teen years and towards the late 90s was when I first got into raving, DJing and dance music in general, so I take much inspiration from that era, however, I like to be forward thinking with my music and not follow trends just to remain popular. It’s sad to see so much generic music about these days. So much of the same lazy formulated tracks seem to be knocking about. I guess that’s the problem with the digital generation, it has made music so much more dispensable.
Can you talk us through your production process and about your studio set-up with any particular favourite pieces of software/ hardware?
I have been collecting vinyl for over 18 years now so quite like digging through my crates to find samples. I usually take loops, hits and vocals etc then start working an idea around those. Am a big fan of hardware and quite often use the 808 and 909 and also Juno 101 and also recently been using the xoxbox for a bit of aciiiiiiid 😉
Your new custom made DJ deck stand looks pretty amazing. Please tell us all about it?
I’m very lucky to have an interior designer as a Fiancee. She designed it for me and found a carpenter who specialises in making wood with scaffolding furniture to make it for me. One of the best things I have ever bought. Love it!
How did you get involved with blooplondon.com and why do you feel radio is important in today’s digital world?
My agent at mn2s Joanna Miles had me down as a special guest one day and from there the bloop lads asked if I would host my own monthly show. It’s a great little studio set up run by a good bunch of lads. I’ve always been comfortable presenting radio shows as used to have my own many years ago on House FM. I find it’s a great platform to showcase new upcoming music from myself and Lower East. It’s also been great having special guests down to come in for a chat and guest mix.
Outside of Dance Music what are you most important influences?
Growing up I was a massive Michael Jackson fan. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who wasn’t in some way inspired by him. I’m very lucky to have got the pleasure of seeing him Live before he died, at Wembley Stadium in 1997. A musical genius and one of, or maybe THE greatest performer ever. I loved his musical diversity and have taken that on with my own music. I get bored easily so don’t like to always make tracks in the same style. Depending on my mood I can go from making jacking Chicago style house, to tribal party vibes or even more raw techno or rave influenced tracks.
Can you share with us your forthcoming plans for 2016 and beyond?
2016 started off nicely with a 5 track EP on VIVa feat. Roland Clark on vocals. I’ve just dropped a new single ‘At The Rave’ on Lower East which has been getting amazing feedback and support. Following on from this I’ve got a track forthcoming on Material’s ADE Sampler in October, a remix for SEFF on Twisted Fusion, an EP on one of my favourite labels, Waze & Odyssey’s Street Tracks, and a remix for Joeski also on Material. Few other bits in the pipeline too which I can’t say too much about right now.
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