‘Interlude’, that’s a bad track. It’s like a call to arms. Visually, I would say it’s like going from Panorama Bar to Berghain, that’s the kind of image I have of that track. You’re in the club and you’ve been there a while but you just happen to catch some lights out of the corner of your eye and it’s like, ‘What? There’s another room over there? Fucking hell, there’s a whole other room, a whole other place I didn’t know existed’.
I love that sexy kind of 80s hip-hop bell thing near the end. I think it is an old hip-hop sample, actually.
I love that sexy kind of 80s hip-hop bell thing near the end. I think it is an old hip-hop sample, actually. Some 80s hip-hop groove. It just hits the spot. It takes it to another level. It not only says ‘I’m bad’, it says ‘OK, watch this…’
There’s so much drama in that track. It’s less than four minutes long and I could have edited it to make it longer, but actually I think to myself, no, that’s its purest form. You can go home and edit it and make it as long as you like. Do what you like with it, but that’s how it came out. At the time I mixed it down, I’d had enough at that point. Once I brought the bells in, for me the story’s over. I’m not making club tracks where I’m making intros and outros and worrying about being DJ-friendly. There’s none of that going on. This is a set of jams for myself. In and out, in and out – it never gets boring.
The shortest track on the album. The title says it all, really. It’s one of those dark, dark, naughty back rooms that you enter into by mistake. ‘Oh my god, what’s going on in here?’ I’m an old dog, you know? I’ve played clubs all over the world, I know a little bit about life. I’ve seen swingers, I’ve seen everything in my lifetime. For me that’s like that moment, when you first enter that room and think, ‘Fuck! What’s going on in here?!’
It’s one of those dark, dark, naughty back rooms that you enter into by mistake. ‘Oh my god, what’s going on in here?’
It’s like trippy, hypnotic mud. It does nothing, it’s just a really good drum pattern that holds you because you’re trying to capture your thoughts. ‘Is this the room for me? Can I handle this?’ or ‘What the fuck?! I’m getting out!’ It’s never going to be a long journey in that room, is it? If you’re in, off you go. If you’re not, you’re back out the door. I was back out the door. ‘Woah! That’s not me. Let’s go back into the club.’
The last two tracks are getting you back on the floor, big time. ‘Thrust’ is my buzz of a sound system. The biggest buzz I get is to hear something big that uses the whole range of a system – I love that. When you hear someone like Mike Dehnert from Delsin, his sounds are super clean but yet they’re so raw. When you hear that on a big system, it’s really a completely different picture to what you get when you’re playing at home. That’s what this one is. Instead of coming in with a normal short hi-hat, it’s like a mad wall of sound, then it breaks down. At that point, typical me, I never like anything straight. I always like to walk a bassline or a melody in a completely different way, to make you have to work to understand the groove. I don’t like to give you an easy groove.
I always like to leave a club when I think I’ve heard a track that can’t be bettered. Whether it’s Jeff or Derrick or Ryan or Fred P, if I sat and watched them after my show, if I hear one bad track, I’m like, ‘Alright, I’m happy. I’m going home’. I’ve always been like that. I don’t wait for it to go a way I’m not too happy with and see if it comes back for me. I’m very clear – if I have my moment and it drives me mad, that’s it, I’m going out that door.
It’s not about being clean, it’s about painting a picture, and I’m rough and dirty.
‘Exit?’ is trippy in a nice way. I wanted to leave that nice melody in your head so you walk home and you remember that last track. The drums are quite soft to start with and it builds and builds almost like a little break, then before you know it it’s like, ‘Oh, actually, shall I stay?’ That’s why it’s ‘Exit?’ with a question mark. ‘Should I stay?’ It’s a great feeling, rather than, ‘Thank god I’m out’.
This whole album I feel is quite 80s in an odd sort of way, so I wanted a nice warmth. Cassettes were around at the time, so I put the odd track down through cassette. You remember those old TDK MA-XG tapes? It was in a metal shell and it was probably about £12 a pop. When you record on those, you don’t look at the meter, all you do is listen. It’s a metal tape, so its saturation point is waaay past where they tell you it is. On your cassette machine, you’ve got the meter fully red and you’re listening and thinking, ‘I can’t hear that breaking up’. Sometimes you get a little cross-talk and it makes a funny sound effect in the background, but I quite like that. It’s not about being clean, it’s about painting a picture, and I’m rough and dirty. There you go.