Fred Everything’s deep house label Lazy Days are celebrating 15 years at the forefront of an ever-changing scene with a compilation of some of their finest moments. Label boss, DJ & producer Fred talks us through the collection, Track By Track.
1.Fred Everything and 20for7 feat. Vanessa Baker ‘Friday’ (Trentemoller Remix)
This track was written while touring in Australia in 2004. I met up with Byron Bay’s live house band 20for7 and their singer Vanessa Baker. We jammed in their house on top of a Reason groove I worked on, and recorded each musician from different rooms. I reworked and organized the jam into more of a song when I got home. Not long after, I played with Trentemoller in a small basement in Copenhagen. He was just coming up at the time and I was a big fan of his first release on Naked Music so I asked him to remix this track. I was a little shocked at first as the result was harder than what I expected but I knew we had something special there. I shopped it around to a few reputable labels at the time and nobody knew what to do with it. This was the sign I was waiting for to start my label; turning rejection into a successful release. A few of those labels later confessed to me they wished they had signed it!
2.Shur-I-Kan feat. Alexander East ‘Simply Yes’
I was always a big fan of Freerange Records and Tom (Shur-I-Kan) was a regular on the label. I think we were friends on MySpace and I asked him for music for Lazy Days. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard this track and its B-Side, ‘The House We Built’, as it was exactly what I was looking to release. To this day, Tom has been the most prolific artist on the label and his output is always of the highest quality.
3.Marko Militano ‘Down So Low’
As my friend Randy in Boston used to say: Marko is so talented, it’s annoying! Such a sweet person. Too bad we haven’t seen much of each other in years now but we’re still in touch. Diz used to play this track a lot. It’s quite possible I heard it from him first as he introduced me to a lot of music. It’s Marko singing on the record as well as playing all instruments and engineering. He also used to be part of a duo called Trademarq. Wonderful producer.
4.Frederico Y Vincenzo – ‘Too’
This one was written in Barcelona with my friend Vincenzo around 2006. They used to call me Frederico Todos so I used that name for the project. Vincenzo was living the bohemian life there for a few years. Visiting him felt a bit like the movie “L’Auberge Espagnol”. He invited me to stay over one weekend, but when I showed up, he forgot he had also invited a couple of friends of his as well. And of course, his roommate had his girlfriend from Italy visiting too, and they enjoyed each other many times a day and as loud as possible (!) so Vinny and I were confined to the living room, working from respective couches. We had written another track together on a previous trip so we decided to work on this tune as a B-Side. These were my early days of Logic, which was the totality of Vincenzo’s studio at the time. He did most of his classics on Dessous and Poker Flat that way. We used a midi controller and a computer; and I came back home and finished the track.
5.Fred Everything & JT Donaldson – ‘I Said’
Long before my move, I had gone to San Francisco many times since the mid 90s. JT and I knew each other already from his Chicago and LA days. He remixed one of my first ever records on Earth Recordings and we were on the same agency at the time. Our styles were quite complementary. Wherever he was playing one month, I was often the guest the next month and vice versa. We wrote ‘Here Come The Beats’, the A-Side, on a trip prior to my move and I believe we wrote this one when I had had just settled there in 2008. Our sessions were super easy going and it took no time for us to get where we wanted. His stuff is always an instant head nodder. We went with a bit of a 2-step groove on this one, with a string sample as the main hook. A very understated track that summarize well the vibe of Lazy Days.
6.Blacklodge feat. Guests of Nature – ‘Lay It On The Line’ (Fred Everything Remix)
I owe this one to my buddy Aaron Dae, who now runs Razor & Tape with JKriv. At the time, he didn’t have an outlet for this and thought of me for a release. Blacklodge and Guests of Nature are both from England. I had just gotten a studio space at the legendary Moulton Studios that I shared with Olivier Desmet. I made this remix very quickly relying heavily on my Juno 106. Everything came naturally. There’s a bit of that P-Funk/West Coast vibe on it. I was heavily influenced by Mood II Swing’s Pacific Ocean Highway Mix of Lucy Pearl’s ‘Don’t Mess With My Man‘. Every time I play it people ask me what it is. Very lucky to have been able to release this one.
7.Kruse & Nuernberg – ‘Chopped’
My buddy Florian and Nils! We met through mutual friends but also, Florian is Vincenzo’s half brother. They were emerging at that time and I got this first EP from them before we decided to work together on their first LP “Let’s Call It A Day”. This was a very interesting time in Germany because a lot of techier/minimal producers turned to a deeper house sound. I also remixed this one but I much prefer their original.
8.Fred Everything and Peter Christianson feat. Dave Aju ‘Feel’ (Doza’s Remix)
This is a collaboration between myself and Peter Christianson from LawnChair Generals and masterfully remixed by Carlos Mendoza, the other half of LCG. I contacted Dave Aju to sing on the track not long before he relocated to Berlin. I had to convince Carlos to keep the track as he felt it was still in demo mode. The raw energy is palpable and is a good representation of the darker shade of Lazy Days.
9.Atnarko feat. Nica Brooke – ‘Solid Ground’ (Fred Everything Unreleased Lazy Dub)
We released the original with a great Nacho Marco remix but I felt like adding my touch. I’ve always been a big fan of dub. I especially love the production values, which add space and dimension to a song. One of the people who showed me a lot of these tricks and encouraged me to explore that side of production was Mark Bell from Shaboom. We used to make music together at the end of the 90s in Blackpool. I was never much of a smoker – unless it’s around me, and that studio was smoky! I’m really happy how this one turned out. I think I used the Delay Designer in Logic. The drums would’ve been MPC3000 I think, and a lot of experimentation with the vocals and filters inside Logic.
10. Brett Johnson and Dave Barker – ‘On The Highway’
Brett and I had been friends for years but once again, it was Diz who used to play this on CDR back then. I recently learned that he apparently heard it first from Kenny Hawkes (RIP) and then it magically got to me. I used to run the label with my friend Mike Fresco. When I heard this and knew it was still available, I put him on a mission to contact Brett and get this deal signed. It’s the story of a man who gets into a bad accident on a highway but somehow fights to stay alive to tell his story. The Vocoded voice makes this even more haunting. Is he dead or alive or has his spirit infiltrated someone’s machine to make himself heard? I remixed it also but the original is the one for me. Pezzner also did some killer mixes of that later.
11.Demarkus Lewis – ‘Werkin With’
Another one from the Texan connection, this time from Demarkus Lewis. This is the B-Side of the great ‘You Remind Me’, which was LZD002. I used to play this a lot in places like Comics (Bulgaria) and fabric (London). It’s a mix between the Jackin’ and West Coast sound of the mid 2000s.
12.Lovebirds – ‘N2Deep’
I was a huge fan of his ‘Gentle’ track released on Teardrop, a label he founded with Vincenzo, so I got in touch to get some music for the label. Basti (Lovebirds) previously made music such as ‘Knee Deep’ and this was a bit of a left turn musically for him. It was written at a very prolific time and inspired his new alias. Also featured on this EP is the amazing slow jam ‘U Give Me’ which was also remixed by Greg Wilson for the 5 years of Lazy Days compilation.
13.Iz & Everything – ‘On My Mind’ (Montreal Dub)
When Lazy Days started, I began to play at a new place in Montreal called Salon Daome. It was a dance studio that my friends took over and turned into a club. I started to brand my monthly there as Lazy Days and I had a few guests. One of them was my friend Joshua ‘Iz’ of Iz & Diz, etc. Before going to play that night, we worked on a track. As we ran out of time, we would each end up doing our own versions. This is my dub, which features a sample from my track ‘For Your Pleasure’ feat. Karl The Voice on 20:20 Vision. Some of the keyboards I used back then would’ve been the Moog Voyager and the Korg Poly 61M.
14.Fred Everything & JT Donaldson feat. Aima The Dreamer – ‘Memories’
This is another collaboration with JT. We did this one after I moved to a bigger space at Moulton Studios as JT was in between a move to Brooklyn. I heard Aima The Dreamer on J-Boogie’s album on Om Records and he introduced us. I loved her voice and poetry. The session is a bit blurry but once again, I know I was using the Voyager for the Bass. I had just purchased a pedal to control the filter so this is how I did those changes in the cut-off of the bass. JT also did a great BK Dub edit on the B-Side.
15.Atjazz & Fred Everything – ‘Back Together’
Keeping the best for last? Martin (Atjazz) and I have been good friends since 1998. He helped me out, finishing my first album “Under The Sun” when I lived in London briefly, by letting me use his studio. We collaborated on countless projects since, but more than anything, he’s one of my dearest friends. This was written at his house in Derby while he was in between studios. We hadn’t seen each other in a while, hence the title. This was another case of each of us taking the project and making our own versions due to time restrictions and…geography! The only instrument I think I remember using for this was his Korg Poly 61M, which I bought not long after. I remember playing this in the main room at Stereo in Montreal in the morning with very few people left but a handful of my friends, dancing and smiling at 7 in the morning.
’15 Years of Lazy Days’ is available now.