What I love about FUSE is how they inject a direct passion into everything they do. Not least of all in the music they produce. The second part of Enzo Siragusa’s excellent album now arrives, still celebrating their tenth anniversary year, with the same drive and rich intensity as when they began. Seven tracks feature on this release with collaborations featuring various FUSE residents all contributing to the nuance and compelling diversity of influences and styles. Opening with See You In Ten which has Rich NXT join forces to deliver typically feverish rhythms, while also co-producing the likewise delicious Enriched. Contributions also appear from Rossko on the fiery Dreamers, Archie Hamilton most notably on the deeper Aviva, and from Seb Zito on the chunky House grooves of What’s Going On and the lush atmospheres of What’s Happening which completes.
Welcome to Magazine Sixty Rich. Let’s start with your new EP: The Four Slip co-produced alongside East End Dubs. Tell us about how you first met, the decision to work together, and what the title refers to?
Cheers and thanks for this chat! I am very happy and excited that East End Dubs and I finally got together to make and finish an EP. We first met when FUSE was still at 93 Feet East every week. It was the summer of 2012. I had been on Beatport that week buying new tunes when I came across his stuff. When I heard them and saw the look of the artwork, I was thinking ‘hold on a sec this must be someone out of our East London scene’ and sure enough he came and said hi that very Sunday. I was playing his tune Jazz Me, we got on and have stayed in touch ever since. It took a while before we got into the studio together and that good because when we did it was nice an easy and natural, good timing. The title refers to when we work in his studio, we would wear slippers, so two pairs of slippers became the Four Slip EP.
Your production style is very intense and feels like a rush of ideas all at once. Who and what have most influenced what you do in terms of Dance Music? And are there any artists or writers etc from outside of the electronic world that have impacted on you creatively?
I have been influenced by many different types of music, from rock to hardcore, jungle to pop and loads in-between. In the early 2000’s it was more about club music, different shades of progressive, then new wave electro, then minimal house. I always want my music to have an impact, both physically and emotionally. People get the same amount of listening pleasure from so many different styles of music so it’s important when writing to stretch the boundaries a bit and do things a little differently. That said it would be wrong of me to try and pretend that our music doesn’t have a framework. Some things just don’t work on our dancefloors, but nevertheless the parts of our brains that might interpret the grunge angst of a Pearl Jam song are the same as those which respond to the intricacies of a subtle bassline harmony in a minimal house record. The maths and science are the same and music and its effect on feelings can be really subtle in its execution.
Can you talk us through the process of co-creating one of the tracks from the EP, including any software/ hardware that you like to use?
We just went into the studio and dived in. He had a basic loop that he was working on. I find it’s always better to start a collaboration with a loop, just to break the ice. We’d go through software, plug-ins and techniques that we enjoy using and as we talked and showed each other stuff, the track layers naturally started to build up. We left quite a long time before getting together again for another couple of sessions where we reviewed everything and started to realise the path of the tracks and way take forward to completion I really like using Native Instruments Battery 4, particularly for adding touches of percussion and FX to an almost finished track as glue to help the flow and feel. Whenever I am in the studio with a friend, I like to go through this piece of my arsenal.
In terms of the Art of production. Do you feel Dance Music is in a good place? And what are your thoughts on the function of nostalgia in it all?
I am really excited about where my dance music scene is. All of my label mates from FUSE and INFUSE are producing incredibly diverse, well produced beats with dancefloor impact. I am being sent loads of interesting music and taking it to DJ with real excitement. On the next What NxT Various Artists, I’ll be featuring as always tracks from established artists (Cuartero, Kepler and Nico Maxen) alongside newcomers (Antss, Aaran D and Marvin Morgan).
Regarding nostalgia, like any music, our music’s relationship with nostalgia can be criticised. Nostalgia for me works on lots of different levels though. My party experience travels with me everywhere I go and I want to recreate the vibes I have experienced for other people. Music always goes around in cycles, sampling has been around since the inception of the technology getting caught up in too much discourse around this or the merits of bootlegs, or whether it’s right to take from a sound that’s gone before, kind of takes away from the fun of it all.
You have been resident and involved with the development of FUSE since its inception over ten years ago. What for you are the most vital ingredients for running a party? And what is the most special thing for you being a resident DJ, rather than playing as a guest somewhere?
The most vital ingredients for a party as simple for me. Sound, music, people, venue and security. These need to be right or the rest doesn’t work. The most special thing for me about being a resident is the long term knowing of your sound and development, that feeling ‘coming home to play’ to our home party crowd, now that we all tour regularly, is a good one too. The party started here so just as important that as we take the sound on the road to all the great parties around the world, we still supply it here, where it all started, otherwise what are we?
Tell us about your history with 93 Feet East and what makes the club so notable for you as part of the FUSE story? How was the recent Bank Holiday event?
93 was really important as part of the evolution of my musical style. Being able to take my early tracks down week by week and test for the brilliant crowd and atmosphere along with the other tracks I would be playing helped me to learn what my DJ’ing style really was. When we returned for the 10th birthday after party last year, with all the people who were there from the start, reminded us of where this all came from and also showed how its grown. The recent bank holiday INFUSE event when I played b2b with Rossko was another perfect reminder of how we can still take it back to the roots and it still feels just as right as if we take it to Amnesia or Tobacco Docks.
And finally. Tell us about any forthcoming plans? Have you been thinking about developing what you do via an album?
My forthcoming EP with East End Dubs is dropping on Fuse London on 14th June, a month later I have an EP on Sante’s AVOTRE. After the summer I will release my 7th solo EP on Fuse London and the 6th release on NxT records which for first time has remixes on the label. What NxT is going to be producing two digital releases this year with some absolute dancefloor gems. Alongside all of this, I have completed remixes for Steve Bug on Snatch and Darius Syrossian on Moxy. About a possible album I don’t currently have active plans to seek to make it anytime soon. That said if it happens, it happens. Gig wise I have lots of look forward to like Cocoon In the Park, FUSE at DC-10, Deeperfect at BPM, Mint Festival and loads more… Nice speaking! 🙂
Underground Fables Vol.1
If you are not already acquainted with The Underground (DJ agency, Management Company and webzine) then you really should be, especially in light of this initial release on their brand new imprint: Underground Audio. A total of eight tracks comprise Volume one featuring the likes of Finebassen and Dale Howard whose Show Me How and Questions respectively sound suitably invigorating and forward thinking for a new label. JOBE’s excellent Something About Disco which as you can guess from the title explodes in bass fuelled delight accompanied by some, quite frankly, stunning vocal editing. The quality continues throughout as you will experience via the sound clips below, with the remaining music selected from far and wide, ranging from deeper to the funkier, while the emphasis always proudly on the word Underground.
Jammhot aka Matt Mason, Jamie Adams and Akara Etteh (as you might expect from Huxley and Jimmy Posters label) deliver first rate House Music that plays with your imagination just as much as it moves your body. Chrysalis opens with emotive strings, a playful jazzy bass and a haunting sense of melody that fire up the senses with a lush, cinematic production that is all about tone and texture. Wicked Walk eases the tempo letting its funky bassline provide the energy as another creative selection of sounds adorn yet another accomplished recording. Times When It Was Good, finishes the trio off on a more atmospheric note with crisp drums and yet more of that tasty bass in action.
Marc Askhen feat SOS
The Classic Music Company
You can’t escape the sheer sassiness of Classic’s latest release. In fact, I dare you to try not to move to this effortlessly funky, and extremely infectious bassline, that is all about melody and punch. Marc Ashken’s debut for the label gets frisky with vocal treatments and a blatant subject matter that will have you hot under the collar – X-Rated. Love the simplicity of drums which command your attention with only the bare minimum of extra sounds to pad it out. The Zombie Disco Squad Sleeay Ze Remx gets darker with sleazier notation and strident cowbell, leaving the Acid Jam version to fire the whole thing up circa 1988/2013 while getting freaky in the process.
Next in line from Enzo Siragusa’s Fuse imprint is Volume Two with further adventures into deeper territory opening with his and Leifko ‘In My Head’. Built around an insistent story telling voiceover which is backed up by an uncomplicated arrangement of sizzling percussion and unnerving synths this quickly becomes completely compelling. Next is Seb Zito’s Sunday Morning which proceeds to seamlessly build the tension with tough, tribal beats before dropping a fierce bassline alongside surreal voices. Rich NxT ‘Flux Two’ finishes with further unsettling vocals alongside flourishes of percussion and heavy stabs all feeling notably atmospheric.
This reminds me of one of my mid eighties residencies and if you’re of a certain age then this nostalgia will hit you all over again. Hi Energy played an important role in shaping the landscape of the early decade’s nightlife with the likes of Patrick Cowley and Bobby Orlando et al producing exciting/ vibrant up-tempo sounds that sprung from 70’s Disco. Wainscott takes the cue from that source, gives it a 2013 twist and plays it straight with tough syncopation, swirling fx and pumping percussion coupled with melodic vocoder vocals. Three different versions follow with a tougher Hi-NRG mix also feeling typically driving.