It’s difficult to miss Simon Neale in the UK’s house scene. The British artist broke through early on his career via his regular radio shows, first on Radio 1’s ‘In New DJs We Trust’ series and now every week on Rinse FM as Shadow Child. Since his landmark Shadow Child EP dropped on Dirtybird in 2012 he’s mainly operated under this alias, showing a flair for writing catchy house bombs in a carefree spirit. In recent years, these have mostly landed on Food Music, the label he runs alongside musical peers Kry Wolf. Ahead of his appearance at Forms this Friday, Shadow Child sent us a lively acid-house influenced mix, before explaining how his sound is starting to take a new direction.
I recorded this one in my home studio actually... I have a full DJ setup all ready to go here, so it’s easy to get stuck straight in. I’m not really into doing mixes in Ableton. I did do a Dave Spoon Essential Mix on it years ago, but that feels more like a production than a DJ mix to me.
Can you describe the mood of the mix?
It definitely reflects where I’m going at the moment, moving my sound on slightly. My DJ sets have always encompassed so much without keeping to one style, and you get a bit of these flavours here. I just get bored easily and want to offer people something slightly different to what other DJs may be doing. I actually try not to think about it all too much, and just play great music – new or old.
You’re a regular guest on Rinse FM – how does playing on a radio show differ to your club sets?
I’m fortunate to always cover a lot of ground musically on the show. If I was only on monthly then I guess it would be more like my club sets, but I see a frequent show as an opportunity to showcase all the other vibes I love, and not just what I might play to a dancefloor. I buy so much vinyl specifically for radio, so it’s not just a collection of the latest digital promos that I’ve received in my inbox that week.
How do you feel about London’s radio scene at the moment?
I don’t live in London so I only dip in and out of some online streams and podcasts really, but it seems quite vibrant to be honest. I guess it can seem quite saturated to some, but I think some brands go in and out of favour, just like anything. It feels good to be a part of right now though from my position, and Rinse’s new line-up is pretty tasty if you’ve not checked that out.
Can you tell us about your next plans release wise for yourself and Food Music?
It's all buzzing right now, I have a release out as part of the Dance Tracks series on DJ Haus’ Unknown to the Unknown, and an EP coming on Ovum too. There’s also another new project I can’t mention yet, but the tracks have been getting a huge response via Dusky’s recent sets, they’re the only ones to have them. I’m just playing with new ideas in the studio and putting the best of them out. After a while I think people get used to you just 'being there', and you need to stick the flag back in the ground. Food Music also has so much going on, with releases from Mak & Pasteman, Dennis Quin, Mad Villains and loads more. The schedule is always full and it’s great fun to handle A&R, however I am concentrating on a new imprint whilst I move my sound on from what I’ve been known for… so a new label will be announced soon from me. As much as I love Food Music and look forward to continuing with that, I can’t wait to do something fresh.