Ma Wonder – Unknown Artist [VWV]
So good. This one falls over itself in just the right way, the elements work so well together you forget what it's comprised of. Serious dancing music, I'd rather be on the floor than in the booth for this one. No idea who is behind it, but thanks for making it!
Do you remember where you found this record?
I keep an eye on a few distribution companies’ websites, as well as online record stores. For me there’s no reason for a store’s editorial to line up with my taste.
What do you think about the anonymous white label culture surrounding many of today’s vinyl releases like this?
To me the vinyl-only label is elitist and exclusionary, I see no reason to restrict the number of people who can own and enjoy your music. I guess it makes the artist, label and buyer feel special, but it’s not exactly spreading love. Anonymous artistry is fine of course, and often necessary.
Kill Bill Vol. 4 – Modeselektor [BPitch Control]
I put this on in the studio the other day. I clearly remember hearing this for the first time and being very excited when it was released, and I'm pretty disappointed in myself for forgetting about it for so long. I think I'm going to play it all summer, people are ready for fun hard shit like this again.
This is quite a jump from the record above. Do you have any techniques for making the transition between quite far-spanning sounds or genres in a set?
I don’t think in terms of genre when I’m thinking about the next couple of tracks to play. This may or may not be a mistake, I’ve certainly messed up jumping up or down a vibe, but also sometimes it’s the highlight of the night. I like drama, you don't get much drama in 3 hours of pure tech-house.
Ursa Minor – Hugo Massien [Tectonic]
A track like this continues the musical thread I have been awed by since my pre-teens. I don't want to put too fine a point on it, I think this would touch anyone who grew up listening to rave music in the UK. Reminds me of the feelings Rufige Kru’s Beachdrifta gave me. I’m excited to be sharing the bill with Hugo this weekend!
How much of an impact did drum & bass and dubstep have on you through the 2000s?
Huge – jungle and drum & bass was the first electronic music I got into in the late 90s, and I’m still very into those sounds.
Listening to your music you wouldn’t necessarily think of this. Was there a point where you started listening to and following more house artists?
I think as a teenager me and my mates had sounds we followed together and other sounds we didn’t have time for. As I got older I just opened my ears up to everything. I started making four to the floor tracks before I knew anything about the scenes.
Beginning Ballads – Nathan Micay [Whities]
Fucking magnificent, timeless shit. I am not exaggerating when I say this is the standard to work towards as a producer. So often I hear the “work” in a track, the method presents itself right at the front of the experience. This track is all vibe, it transcends the studio. Yet another sick Whities release.
Surely one of the UK’s most consistent record labels right now. Are there any others you’re following closely at the moment?
I think Radio Slave’s Rekids is on a roll, and Nina Kraviz’s trip is brilliant.
Sanctuary – Atlantic Fusion [Classic]
Only discovered this recently thanks to Honey Dijon posting it on a chart somewhere. Released on Classic in 2002, and feels absolutely contemporary – even politically timely. Luke Solomon and Derrick Carter have signed so many great records it’s silly.
That vocal is particularly arresting, the kind of thing that can capture the crowd if played right. Do you ever use vocal cuts as a tool in your sets?
Very occasionally if I come across something. I should do it more!
Light Trace – T.V.A. [Acido]
I like shifty tonality. Right place right time, this one brings a room together in wooziness. Sometimes as a DJ (I like to think) it’s your job to make everyone feel pleasantly dizzy. This whole release from Acido is interesting, like putting your ear to soda water.
Do you feel like being an established producer makes people view your job as a DJ differently? People may be disappointed if they don’t hear your tracks, for example.
Perhaps someone might, but I always play something I’ve made even if they don't know it. When I DJ I’m a DJ, when I produce and I’m a producer, when I sing I’m a singer. We love to restrict each other’s personal and professional ambitions, but fuck that. You can be everything.