“In the end it all comes back to house and techno.” The outspoken producer explains why he has no time for ‘fads’ like nu-disco.
Because it connects with my soul!
If you weren’t making music what would you be doing?
Being a chef, or an illustrator, which I am qualified in.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Never give up.”
What inspires you?
Passionate people doing what they are passionate about.
Best club experience?
Watching Derrick May at Bugged Out back in 1998 in Liverpool. I’ll never forget that set.
What inspires me? Passionate people doing what they are passionate about.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
When I was 18, I lasted 40 minutes at Burger King and then threw my cap at the manager and walked out. I needed something to fund my vinyl addiction at the time but then I just went and worked in the record shop for no pay but got paid in records instead. True story.
How do you know when a track’s finished?
When you cannot stop playing it to yourself and are feeling mega excited.
What was your last day job and when did you realise you could give it up?
The last day job I had I loved. I was managing the vinyl section at Crash Records in Leeds and did it for years. It was a sad day when we finally closed the vinyl section in 2009 due to vinyl sales suffering globally, due to digital take over, but then it was a blessing in disguise because I turned my focus to producing and it has got me to where I am now.
Which song do you wish you wrote?
Pretty much any Prince track.
What’s the easiest way to make it in the music industry?
There is no easy way but hard work! You can temporarily make it, get big with one big track and then do nothing else, but you will come back down as fast as you went up!
What’s the worst track you’ve ever released?
I released something called ‘House Of Maya’ in 2003, way before I started producing properly. It got a 4/5 on RA actually, which is good by RA standards, but compared to what I make now, I can see myself, I wouldn’t be happy with it if it came out now.
Recommend us a film.
Buffalo 66. It’s a bit weird and crazy, but actually quite quirky. It’s written and directed by Vincent Gallo.
Recommend us a book.
Unreliable Sources by John Simpson. If you read this you will understand why the world is so messed up. It explains well how certain governments have used media to brainwash people into going with things, such as unjust wars, that have had a knock-on effect that affects us all in a negative way. John Simpson is a legend and one of the best news reporters out there.
What or who is underrated?
What or who is overrated?
Hahaha! Are you serious? I think playing banging electronic music that has no soul, and trying to mask the blandness of the music by going to the crowd and throwing cake at them, or riding a blow up canoe over the crowd to stimulate people because the music can’t, shows that it’s Mr Aoki. But to be honest, I don’t think anyone who does what we do rates him anyway.
Maybe some of the too-cool-for-school people who claim to ONLY like one type of what they call REAL deep house, are overrated! Yeah yeah! We know what REAL deep house is, and yeah yeah over 14 years of running my vinyl shop I acquired 2,000-plus records of it on vinyl, but I don’t think I am better than the next person because I live in Berlin and play it!
What are you addicted to?
What is your greatest regret?
Never regret anything. Things happen for a reason…
What one thing would most improve your life?
Planes that flew five times faster than they already do.
What am I addicted to? Trouble!
What’s the worst gig you’ve ever played?
Years ago, way before I got to the level I am now, I got a booking. I won’t say where, but the promoter was meant to pick me up from the hotel, but he was playing and didn’t want to come off and wasn’t answering his phone. Then he finally came to get me one hour before the end of the night, and the venue wasn’t the best, neither was the sound system. But all these things are part of the process of getting up the ladder.
Collaboration: rich creative experience or pain in the ass?
100% rich creative experience. I love collaborating.
If you could only listen to one more track, what would it be?
Prince – ‘Raspberry Beret’. Or maybe Talking Heads – ‘Once In A Lifetime’.
How do you relax?
Cook, paint, make music, or dance. Honestly, I’m not lying – I can’t really relax unless I’m doing something creative.
What one piece of software/kit could you not do without? Why?
Wavelab Editor, it’s the best editing tool out there and I know so many things it is useful for.
Art or money?
Silly question. ART all the way. ART can truly make you happy, if it REALLY is your ART. Money is a tool to help you be happy.
Strangest place you ever wrote a track?
Unfortunately boring answer, I don’t use laptops to make tracks and need my studio, so all have been written in my studio.
What’s your single biggest frustration in the music industry?
When PR people hype up someone just off the back of one track, and then the magazines talk like this person has come to revolutionise house music, and a lot of people follow like sheep. It’s so annoying. Nobody can revolutionise house. House music is bigger than all of us.
Also, these so-called people who came to revolutionise house with their nu-disco sound, a few years ago, have all reverted back to house and techno. See, fads are just that: a bloody fad! In the end it all comes back to house and techno.
ART can truly make you happy, if it REALLY is your ART. Money is a tool to help you be happy.
What’s your favourite label? Why?
I don’t really care for labels. All labels have good releases and not so good releases. I’d rather you asked who is my favourite producer.
What’s the worst thing about making music?
Seriously nothing, I absolutely love it. Maybe when you are on a roll and don’t wanna stop but you realise you need to stop and pack as you need to head to the airport. I really don’t think I will ever get bored of making music at all.
What’s your motto?
Life is not about a destination, it is about the journey.
Tweet us a tip. What’s the best production advice you can give in 140 characters or less?
Always lock down perfectly the main HOOK of your track before you go to the beginning and start actually sequencing your track and laying it out.