Your latest: Nolan feat. Forrest – C’EST LA VIE is out now on Kittball Records. Talk us through how you came up with the idea for the track, and how you teamed up with Forrest?
We’ve made about 15 songs together now but only a couple have been released so far, this one on Kittball and the first was on Mother Recordings. Quite a few labels have been interested in the others but we’re in talks with a label in the US about putting the rest out as an album later this year so will have to see how that pans out. We’ve been working in a variety of different ways together though, being as Forrest lives in Canada and so we’ve only met the once when he played for DPM here in Brighton one summer. Most of the time i upload a load of instrumentals and if he likes one he’ll record a vocal over it and send it back for me to work into the project. Other times he’s sent me a clean vocal for me to write something around or has recorded a vocal over someone’s released track he’s been vibing on and ill replace the music by writing my own piece in the same key.
You moved to Brighton from London a few years back. How is life there, how would you compare the plus/ minus points?
I LOVE Brighton and living by the sea. My studio is just one road away which means my productivity goes down in the summer months but at least I get to swim most lunch times! Having spent 10 years living in London it was time to settle down and start a family and (assuming the trains are running) London’s still only an hour away. Everyone is so friendly round here and people chat with strangers without being seen as crazy!
Please tell us about your studio set-up, in particular any favourite pieces of software/ hardware that you like to use?
I couldn’t do without my Roland Juno keyboard that’s for sure. The studio I was at in London had a grand piano and 2 uprights so I had to buy this to carry on playing keys when I moved to Brighton!
I use Logic X whose new Alchemy synth is superb! Also I love Omnisphere 2 and Trillian from Spectrasonics and couldn’t live without Geist from FXpansion for my drum programming. I also use Ozone 7 and Neutron from Izotope for mixing and mastering in the box.
As a seasoned producer with releases on the likes of Get Physical and Mobilee/Leena how would you describe the general quality of releases these days, both creatively and technically?
There’s just too much of it! But I guess with the advances in technology anyone can have a go and come up with some pretty decent sounding tracks. That coupled with how cheap and easy it is to set up a digital only label these days the market is flooded with pretty simple sounding loopy tracks which makes finding music with more substance that much harder these days!
You have recently signed up with the Flow DJ Agency. How did that come about?
I’ve not had much luck with agencies over the years so when James Trystan who used to release on my old Berwick Street Records label a few years ago as Filth & Splendour set up Flow I thought I’d give them a go.
How do you feel about the ‘Art’ of DJ’ing today? Has anything been lost in translation since the days of mixing with vinyl and residencies in Nightclubs?
Haha.. can of worms?!! As with production, technology has enabled anyone with even the vaguest interest in music to have a go at DJing! With the dreaded sync button it’s hard to screw a mix up (although some still manage to do so!). So now we see thousands of Z list celebs getting in on the club circuit taking the gigs that seasoned DJs once had! It seems now that if you have a famous face or can shift 50 tickets up front for an event you’re more likely to get a booking over a DJ who spent years learning how to beat match and how to fill and keep a dance floor full for the whole night!
You also run tutorials via your website. What is the first piece of advice that you would give to someone new to it all?
I do a lot of engineering for people and do offer one on one tuition at the studio for those who want it, (which is what I think you are referring to, since there’s no actual tutorials on my site). My main advice would be to be patient and learn as much as you can from as many sources as possible. It took me 6 years of learning how to use synths and the full hardware set up I created with Alvaro Garcia back in the day (yep.. it’s his surname I kept!) before I was ready to ever release any of my music, and even then I had to set up my own label to put it out on! Also patience is needed when you do finally sign your music because some labels take around a year to release your stuff (and some even longer.. 4 years was the longest I waited for one to come out!)
Tell us about your T_Mo alias and what you’re currently working on?
I do a lot of downtempo / chillout music being as I’m not in the mood for banging out house beats every day of the week. Some of the chillout stuff I made found its way onto Cafè del Mar, Mambo, Savannah and Hotel Es Vivé Ibiza compilation CDs as well as onto TV shows like Masterchef, The One Show, Watchdog, Sky News and even Blue Peter. So it’s a guise I use for anything that’s not House music basically.
What do you do to relax?
I wouldn’t say playing with my 3 year old boy is really relaxing but it’s what I love doing outside of the studio time. I also do a lot of walking, sea swimming in summer, hot yoga etc. Listen to records, eat late and binge watch box sets with my other half Katie when the little boy’s gone to bed!
And finally. What are your plans for 2017?
Since a load of my T_Mo material got used on TV I’ve been focussing a lot at the studio on making music for sync/tv/films etc. It wont be coming under any of my Nolan/T_Mo or Timo Garcia guises but I’ve written a 14 track Electro Swing album for Sony/BMG’s production music arm.. and I’m half way through a Tropical House / Pop album for them too, after which Im probably going to do a D&B album on that pop/crossover kind of tip… as i say, it’s not music i would put my name to commercially but it’s fun making it all the same and i get to work with some amazing singers too. I have a load of new Timo Garcia material coming on some very tasty labels in 2017 as well as the new Nolan fodder too. Some big collaborations to watch out for too and I’m also now ready to get back on the road and start gigging again.. so promoters.. get in touch hey 😉