Hosting this Saturday’s Room 3 for the first time, we welcome Lost My Dog. The UK label is now in its 6th year and it’s been continually championed by both critics and musical peers for its fresh interpretation of house, embracing all facets of the genre and refusing to be pigeon-holed, DJ Mag simply described them as “vibrant house music with balls of steel.”
Representing the varied sounds from the label’s vast back catalogue and coming armed on Saturday night with a good mixture of cuts from deep house grooves to more techy flavours, will be Giom, Burnski and label boss Pete Dafeet. In anticipation of the label’s first takeover which will also mark the head honcho’s debut gig here in Farringdon, we caught up with Pete Dafeet to get better acquainted with all things Lost My Dog and present a remix of Giom's 'In Love' from the label maestro for your downloading pleasure.
Firstly, we have an incredibly important question, as we’re quite concerned about the dog situation - what happened to your dog? Did you really lose him? Has he since come back?
The RSPCA will be pleased to hear that our dog hunt is fictional! We wanted a name that caught people’s attention and went against the mass of labels that took themselves very seriously – not that we have anything against that approach as some of my very favourite labels fit in that category, but it wasn’t for us. The name also let our artist Pippa go crazy with her designs, and has helped us attract a few unorthodox fans!
For those who may not be familiar with the Lost My Dog sound, can you tell us more about the label?
I started the label in 2005 with Ian Straker and Najan Ward, two friends from Loughborough where I’d been studying. Ian ran nights at the student union, and Najan ran the local record shop, so as a budding DJ they were the people I had gravitated towards during my time in the town.
We each came from very different musical backgrounds, so while the label has its roots firmly in deep house, we’ve always been keen to mix things up with different sounds. Our worst nightmare is becoming stale, and we enjoy taking people by surprise even if it does split opinion on occasion.
When did your love affair with house begin?
I started DJing in 1999 as a 15 year old living with my parents near Reading. I had mucked about with my cousin’s decks and desperately wanted a pair of my own. I didn’t really know what you did with decks but the idea stuck in my head, so I saved up over a few months, bought some old belt drives and immediately started buying house music that was in the charts—my first record was Armand Van Helden’s You Don’t Know Me… I’m proud of that one!
My tastes went deeper when I went off to university in Loughborough. I’d spend hours in Najan’s shop and he’d play me underground stuff that I had never been exposed to at HMV. A lot of it had roots in Chicago and was like nothing I’d ever heard—stuff by Derrick Carter, DJ Sneak, Brett Johnson - I was hooked. After a couple months I started to get gigs, then started to make music, then got a few records signed, and I’ve never looked back. It’s in my veins!
From then, to today, and you’re bringing the Lost My Dog crew to fabric on May 7th with your takeover of Room 3, what can we expect?
Proper house music, pure and simple! We like to get people dancing and smiling, and there will be no moody faces in the booth. We’ll also be bringing a load of the family – we’ve been lucky to develop a great following in London so hopefully Room 3 will be packed!
It’s also your first time playing here and since you kindly described our EC1 residence as “the world’s best club”…are you ready? Have you got anything special planned?
I am ready! I’ve been desperate to play fabric for years to tell the truth. My first fabric experiences were through the CD releases: the Jacques Lu Cont and Doc Martin CDs in 2003 changed the way I thought about music. They’re my two favourite mix CDs and I still play them loads. My first experience of the club itself wasn’t until 2006 (I have hazy memories of that night but I know In Flagranti were playing in Room 3!) and I’ve been back loads, especially to support our artists when they’re playing… people like Jay Tripwire, Giom, and Nick Dare.
What have you been working on at the moment? Any news on a possible LP in the pipeline?
I’ve been working on a new EP for Lost My Dog, plus a load of remixes. I have no immediate plans for an LP, but it’s definitely something I want to do. I have a wide taste in music, I take a lot of inspiration from other genres, and it would be great to make an album that had its roots outside of just house music. I’m currently planning my first trip to South America for later this year so maybe that will provide the inspiration!
We’ve also noticed that Lost My Dog is fast approaching its 50th release (exciting stuff!) can you give us any more info?
We made a big deal of our 5th birthday last year (you can buy our 5 year compilation at all good record stores nudge nudge wink wink) so I think we’re going to pass 50 with a slightly more subtle tip of the hat, and hopefully with a good knees up somewhere in London. We’re delighted to make it to 50 though, it’s taken a lot of hard work and a bit of luck and hopefully we’ll be around for many more releases to come!
Looking back over the past 6 years of Lost My Dog, can you select 5 of your favourite tracks from the label’s back-catalogue?
In reverse order…
5. Jay Tripwire – Harmony and Peace.
Jay was a big favourite of ours from his releases on Leaf, Rescue, and Nightshift, so we were genuinely delighted when he asked to get involved. He’s a true gent too, and helped to get us into contact with other producers we went on to work with, like Fred Everything. This is my favourite of his original work for us!
4. Nick Dare – Dub People (Burnski Open House Mix).
It would be all-kinds-of-wrong not to include a track from our friend Burnski, who’s joining us in room three on Saturday. This remix was on Nick Dare’s first record for us and Burnski absolutely nailed it.
3. James Curd – Shake Shake.
This is a new one, and it won’t be leaving my bag for a while. James is probably best known as being part of Greenskeepers, but he’s been making some serious solo waves in the last couple years with releases on DFA and Permanent Vacation, and not to forget us of course!
2. Pete Dafeet – Alto (Nacho Marco remix).
One of the best things about producing music for my own label is that I get to choose the remixer! And I have to say we were spot on with this one… Nacho Marco turned ‘Alto’ into a peak time monster. There’s a fabric highlight here too: Fred Everything played it at your 10th birthday!
1. YSE – Bounce Back.
This is the ultimate Lost My Dog anthem and will most definitely be getting an airing on Saturday. Made by our good friend Ant (who’s also part of Rhythm Plate) it helped us jump up a few steps on the house music ladder. One of my personal Lost My Dog highlights was hearing Norman Jay play it on Radio 1 from the Notting Hill carnival - doesn’t get much better than that!