This production by James Solace ignites the imagination as darkly flavoured, filtered grooves heat up the landscape of potential. You get the sense that each layer of Setting Sun has been carefully crafted placing all sounds in order of impact, and yet the arrangement feels distinctly soulful with shimmering arpeggios offset by waves of emotive motifs alongside tough drums. Remixes come from the excellent East End Dubs who doesn’t fail to disappoint adding an extra energetic hit with fiery snares plus rugged bass, and from VONDA7 who’s heavier sequence more than enhances the Acid experience. Second track, The Light expands the theme via similar attributes, this time with a vocal enhancement, and is accompanied by a breezier Jansons version.
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! 🙂
The brilliant new EP from the hands and minds of long-term FUSE resident Rich NxT along with East End Dubs does all sorts of things. Firstly, E3 delivers hot, liquid funk that stretches the bounds of tension as its wild concoction of drums, twisted sounds and dark notes all hit the spot. Feeling full of energy, brimming with creative flourishes. Next the aptly titled Bubbles continues the theme, this time via hints of Acid teasing the edges producing with another starkly invigorating slice of music.
The Sub Of Queen West EP
Toronto’s Nathan Barato’s debut release on Stacey Pullen’s imprint is so good it hurts. Good that is you like deep, pounding rhythms and dark atmospheres programmed with a serious amount of shade. Energetic snares and pulsating sub-bass power this as various vocal snippets ingratiate themselves firmly into the groove on the very aptly titled Can You Hear Me? The Mitchell Rhythm on the other hand demonstrates even more percussive ability with sassy cowbells and twisted voices all feeling uneasy, yet completely engaging at the same time.
Mike Dunn meets Victor Simonelli & Luis Radio
Nothing Stays The Same
Number three in Marc Romboy’s Lost Treasures series sees this tasty House cut from 1997 got a timely reworking. And when you listen to the original version it’s all the more impressive that this doesn’t simply copy and paste into 2012 but adds its own distinct flavour to Mike Dunn’s cool spoken vocal. F.E.X remixes with a striking array of toms and beats spelling out funk, while holding back the rewarding soulful keys right until the fifth minute. Next is Melon who adds juicier bass and cowbell to his Chicago inspired reworking which feels more retro than F.E.X but every bit as good.
Love the way this builds your sense of anticipation as it deftly develops the instrumentation into a peak around the half way mark. And then proceeds to do it all over again. It’s a combination of what sounds like reversed Brass and moody chords that feel spellbound and most addictive on Dusty. RICHKLAP on the other hand features delicious, bluesy vocals over heavier rhythms and stabs, and once again is hard to resist. Both the Jackmate and the Viola remixes replay the elements with the later adding Fiddle and big-time breaks to what is certainly a refreshing angle.
This is outstanding work from Vincent Kwok who ends the year on an all-time high with this latest release from Transport. In fact, this easily surpasses the feelings generated with joyous, shimmering synths and a feel good rhythm section that all add up to peak-time business. Plus, with generous hints of melody and constantly evolving keyboard flourishes it’s quite possibly his finest to date. The following It Goes Around version then strips it all down to reinvent the parts on what sounds like classic early nineties styled chords progressions.
Great to see and hear this raft of new producers so obviously inspired by House Music from decades ago, yet firing it up with their own take on the sound. Sometimes imitation is the best form of flattery, although in this case opening number What’s Going On has a very definite 2012/13 twist to it. Driven by head-nodding beats and accompanied by sparse organ chords plus classy vocals this does the job nicely. The title track then ironically sounds much fresher with pulsating basslines and deeper moods, while the remaining Raw Moves and the standout Feel The Vibe rework the formula very effectively indeed.
Perhaps not to surprisingly East End Dubs define a time and place with their emphasis pretty much all on the Dub aspect. Four relatively stripped back grooves go to make up this EP with the pounding title track and much darker Charlie Foxtrot being the most notable. It’s pretty much down to the strength, and quality, of the hard-hitting production that makes these minimal grooves sound so good. Play either at the right moment to ensure a fevered reaction.