Paul Rutherford

Paul Rutherford will be appearing at the coming bank holiday Shoom Summer of Love Weekend Party’s in Hastings. Derek Hazel caught up with him recently for a catch up.

Q – So come on how did Paul Rutherford emigrate to New Zealand to farm sheep? and do the

locals know who you are?

A – My partner Perry is from New Zealand and after 10 years in England we decided it was time for

for him to come home. I also got bored with the UK music scene and so we did it and have lived here

10 years. The locals are well aware of who I am now and have been asked to village hall parties

but have declined everything,There’s lots of reggae music on the island which might have something

to do with the weed being so wonderful,there’s MDMA,Coke but loads are into Acid probs due to the

beautiful part of the world we live in, its great seeing the festival scene grow and there a few clubs but

it all seems to be a stoner thing here.

Q- Now on to the subject of Frankie, Dance music cost to fortune to make as opposed to todays rubbish

on a budget job, how much do you think them amazing singles cost with studio time and musician’s


A – Well the Liverpool album cost a million and one of the reasons why Holly left the band, first we were

recording in Jersey for 6mths then Amsterdam and finally Ireland. We should of made a fortune but it

was Trevor Horn who made the fortune. He was one of only three in the country who had a Fairlight and we

wanted the best we were hell bend on it !We would take tracks that we were listening to into the studio

from the Paradise Garage and the records which I would buy from Probe in Liverpool and Black Market

in Soho all the early House records. We would take him to crazy Gay clubs and say this is what we want !

Trevor was fun and a complete perfectionist and the studio was about waiting about, getting pissed and

redoing things constantly. Doing crazy samples for Relax like throwing water sponges around the studio

even getting recordings of naked women in the bath having fun just to get that cum sound on the track.

Always remember Trevor saying we have the final mix of Relax and being blown away…we nailed it.

Q – From Shoom to Taboo, how did you find your way?

A – I lived round the corner form Shoom in a Warehouse apartment which the local drug dealer would visit constantly.

My night outs would start on a Thursday and end on a Wednesday morning it was constant madness and

great fun. Taboo was about character’s and dressing up more Panto and theatre with music almost taking

second place. Shoom was like a out of body experience it had that unity and I would dance for 6 hours at

a time it was a magical place. Also I would go to Clink St which was much harder musically and darker !

Loved New York clubs and remember being switched on to Larry Lavan it was also a very special place,

A club called Save the Robots was fucking nuts bit like Taboo with everyone dressing up and completely

off it….all wonderful places.

Q – MDMA was rife in Taboo in 87,why do you think Acid House didn’t happened there instead of Shoom

A – As I said earlier Taboo was more theatre than Shoom,i was knocking around with DJs like Fat Tony and would start

clubbing on a Thurs night which would end on a Tuesday night, Wednesday was the day of rest but it was

Shoom that the music and the drug Ecstasy came together it was a case of right time and place.

Q – Get Real is a classic Acid House record, how did it come about? Have you got any unreleased stuff ?

A – First I got approached by Madonna’s, Michael Jacksons and ABCs manager who came up with an idea

to do a track called “Mr Wolf” which we played around but finally stumbled upon the idea of “Get Real”

after a heavy night on Acid and working with wonderful David Clayton and Martin Fry, I could tell you what

the track is about but I wouldn’t. The track got signed to Island Records after Julian Temple had heard it

and we were given 30k from the label and fucked off the desert with a bag of Acid to shoot the video for

2 weeks. My later music was more soulful and gospel probably the direction I would like to go now but who knows.

Q – What’s the plans for Paul Rutherford ?

A – After a successful gig in Liverpool that Andy Carroll and Derek Hazell had put on I started to work to on a few

project’s with Derek there’s a remix of Get Real to come out on Dave Seaman and Steve Parry’s label called

Selador with mixes from Darren Emmerson,Bushwacker and Gooding, should be out middle of September.

Will be working on more tracks and looking forward to the Shoom weekender on the 23rd and 24th August in

Hastings and a chance to shake my tail feathers again on the dance floor with friends I have not seen in years.

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BBC at Glastonbury

“Right now back to Jo Whiley”

“Weren’t the Arctic Monkeys brilliant? They told me backstage they were going to be brilliant. And they were brilliant.”

Mark Radcliffe: “Yes, they were brilliant. Now to the John Peel stage for another indie band, who were brilliant.”

Jo Whiley: “And now to a young person we’ve roped in. She’s looking at the other side of Glastonbury. The bit you don’t always see on the coverage. Apart from every year where we do a bit about the other side of Glastonbury.”

Posh bird whose parents could afford an unpaid internship: “This festival is brilliant. I’ve found some weird people. They’re weird. And brilliant. It’s what this festival is all about. Weird and brilliant things. Back to Jo.”

Whiley: “Right, later we’ve got the Stones, who I think will be brilliant. It’s brilliant they’ll be playing this brilliant festival. I’ve been loads of times and it’s their first time. Brilliant.”

Mark Radcliffe: “Now, for some urban sounds from the Black Stage. Here’s a black person.”

Posh kid whose parents could afford an unpaid internship but who’s talking a bit street: “Here’s my man Dizzee. He’s mad brilliant. Back to Jo.”

Whiley: “Brilliant. I just bumped into Grimmy in the VIP. He’s drunk! Brilliant. But no-one mention drugs.”

Mark Radcliffe: “Now over to a gay person who doesn’t normally work for the BBC talking to some trannies. Fabulously brilliant.”

Gay person: “I’m going to run around talking to the squares and making slightly acerbic comments. Then I’m going to talk to a trannie! I know! A bloke! In a dress! Dancing! It’s so free at Glastro, we can be ourselves. Brilliant.”

Mark Radcliffe: “I’ve got a joke here about Public Enemy, Flava Flav and the time they got on stage. I’ll tweet it in a minute. None of us have bothered with a Public Enemy record for 25 years, but we’ve all just remembered how brilliant they are.”

Jo Whiley: “And now. Chic. Disco. Brilliant. Nile Rodgers got people up on stage. It’s brilliant. That’s what this festival is all about. Now to a posh bird in a field.”

Posh bird: “Behind me is a giant spider in a field! I have literally never seen anything like it in my life. It literally is a giant spider. It’s literally brilliant. And as you can see behind me it’s sort of flashing lights with smoke coming out of it. [Looks behind her] Oh, wait. Nothing’s happening now. You should have seen it literally a few minutes ago. It was brilliant. Literally. Back to you Jo and Mark.”

Jo: “A giant spider in a field. It’s what this festival is all about. I was saying this to Florence of the Machine backstage earlier. Here she is doing an acoustic version of a popular song in her own unique style. Now Masterchef. At Glastonbury.”

Some other posh youth: “Burgers! At Glastonbury! It’s a long way from awful hot dog! Brilliant! I saw Kate Moss eating one! With Grimmy!”

Jo Whiley: “Brilliant! Everyone here is so brave, putting up with slightly inclement weather! Right, now off to Billy Bragg, who shows us that Glasto hasn’t lost it’s political edge. And later we’ve got the 10 O’Clock News with Huw Edwards. From Glastonbury. Brilliant. And highlights of Wimbledon. From Glastonbury. Brilliant”

Everyone: “Mumford And Sons are shit, aren’t they?”

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V/A – Intergalactic Space Odyssey – Inner Shift Music

Any record using the words ‘intergalactic’, ‘space’ or ‘odyssey’ let alone all three is guaranteed to get my attention. And if it also happens to involve the underground’s first couple of house and techno Brad Peterson and Rai Scott then all the better.

So the second offering from the Edinburgh-based duo’s own Inner Shift Music imprint, a four-track various artists affair entitled, yup, Intergalactic Space Odyssey, was always going to whet the appetite.

Warm, organic, spacey and with a generous sprinkling of funk is the order of the day on beauteous opener Cepheid Variable from Mick Welch, he of the excellent Elektrosouls imprint. When it comes to thoughtful, ambient-tinged beats then Rai Scott is rapidly developing into one of the best in the business. Her cut here, Beyond Earth’s Atmosphere, is deep-end deep and again straddles that line between euphoria and melancholy that she does so well.

With outings on the likes of Aesthetic Audio, Ornate and his own project Atmospheric Existence Recordings, Miles Sagnia has been around the proverbial block, in the politest possible sense of course. His contribution here, Tears Of Saturn, has a delightful, shimmering and tranquil quality thanks to those, dare I say it, warm pads that radiate emotion. Deep beats don’t get much better than this.

Head honcho Brad Peterson’s Ice Planets is spot on too if you like your deepness intelligent, soulful and with a chunky as bass. Quality with a capital ‘Q’.

Leonid – Midas – Photic Fields

Proper international man of mystery that Leonid. Indeed, ‘enigmatic‘ and ‘anonymous’ are the two words most often used to describe Paul Smith, the much-talented Irish-born producer now residing in Madrid. So not that anonymous then.

But he is certainly a man of few words and even fewer releases with a mere four in five years on his curriculum vitae. Yet he is also a man of much ability and his work, however infrequent, is invariably worth the wait.

On Midas for the Dutch-based label Photic Fields, he again has the golden touch. With 67 Jam, the tone of this lovely EP is established immediately. Understated, emotive and, yes of course, very, very deep. Followers of Leonid would expect nothing less. Yet whereas the opening track pumps with a very small ‘p’ and is the perfect scene-setter for Midas, SD2 is distinctly more relaxed and effortlessly beautiful with it.

Such is the strength in depth of Midas that closing cut Random Waves will, for many at least, steal the show with its gently soulful approach and atmospheric strings that transcend it and Mr Smith way above the also-rans of house and techno.

Shane Linehan & Shane Bambrick – Basic Grooves Volume 5 – Basic Grooves Recordings

It must be something in the water. Because Ireland seems to be producing no end of talent of a house and techno bent; John Daly, Bicep, Slowburn, the aforementioned Leonid and many more. Even Italian maestro Lerosa upped sticks and relocated to Dublin back in the nineties.

More recently though Shane Linehan, who cut his teeth gigging around his homeland alongside the biggest and brightest names in house music, has caught the attention of many thanks to a string of fine early releases on his own much-fancied label Basic Grooves. On this the imprint’s fifth release he teams up with compatriot and namesake Shane Bambrick for another must-have EP.

With the two Shane’s tackling a side apiece, it’s all about the original versus the remix. You pays your money and takes your choice.

The key to Bambrick’s track The Process is its sheer simplicity. Less is more is not always an easy trick to pull off but Bambrick manages to do so here with aplomb. Built around an incessant and beefy kick, the track finds its groove quickly and stays there to great effect. It’s hypnotic too and is aided and abetted by some delightful chords, sparing percussion work, an increasingly urgent synth and the occasional vocal snatch.

Linehan’s approach on the remix appears to be ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. And why not. So in some respects it is even more thrifty and direct than the original with a meatier bass and snappier tempo. Basic, yes, as the name suggests but beautifully executed.

Above Smoke – Inner Vibe – deepArtSounds

So key to the Spanish deep house scene are Minuendo’s Ernie and Deep Explorer’s Dubbyman that sometimes another of its own, the wonderful Above Smoke, slips under the radar somewhat.

Not that the man also known as Javier Álvarez (he is Dubbyman’s brother) is in the least bit underrated by those that know, the more discerning punters. No siree! Top-notch releases for the likes of Fear Of Flying and Yore are testament to his talent. So it is also credit to the Zurich-based deepArtSounds crew’s impeccable taste that they too have plumped for Álvarez for this strictly-limited two-track vinyl treat that more than hits the spot.

Inner Vibe is all about just that. Atmospheric writ large, heavily jazz-influenced and featuring a distant and credible sax that never strays anywhere near the ‘jazz house’ end of the spectrum, which is an entirely different thing altogether. Irresistible from start to finish.

On the reverse comes Tricks & Treats. It’s entirely a treat. The jazz motifs are dropped in favour of straightforward deep business, wave after wave of glorious synths washing all over the track leaving the listener no choice but to surrender and be drawn in. A cut above.

V/A – Stuntman Mike Car’s Soundtrack (Part 1) – Troubled Kids Records

Steadfastly deep and with more than a nod and a wink to Chicago and Detroit, there is something genuinely comforting about Troubled Kids Records. Now five years old and 10 releases in, the imprint appears to be really coming of age with its first various artists release that cherry-picks some of the underground’s best talent.

Taking the wheel first on Stuntman Mike Car’s Soundtrack (Part 1) is Chicago native Ricardo Miranda, who has appeared on the likes of Noble Square and Minuendo. The man from the Windy City kicks off proceedings with the superb Polysynthetic Jungle which, not surprisingly given its title, is an unabashed techy affair yet still groovy and infectious.

Label boss Jesus Gonsev and his Troubled Kids Gang are next up with the truly lovely Neon Nights, a deeply soulful offering leaning heavily on Marvin Gaye vocal samples, which can only be a good thing if done well. It is.

Things take a decidedly deeper turn with Winter Feeling from Life Recorder, French producer Kriss Kortz who has turned heads lately with some downright classy work not least of which has been for Keith Worthy’s Aesthetic Audio. Here Kortz lets it roll deep and soulful to joyous and uplifting effect.

Finishing, no pun intended, things off just nicely is the enigmatic man of mystery from Helsinki, Trevor Deep Jr. Although his cut T To Da P may not trip off the keyboard that easily it is certainly easy on the ear. A glorious slice of deepness from one of the producers du jour that bounces along wonderfully with plenty for the head and the feet. Highly recommended.

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Two Armadillos

The heart warming Two Armadillo’s project of Giles Smith and the late Martin Dawson will release their debut album called ‘Golden Age Thinking’ at the end of June. The album is a collection of nuggets that leave a legacy enriched with soul and embodied music cognition. We asked Giles to give us a description of each track.

A Walk in The Park
The name says it all really its just a laid back,breezy groove and quite a intro track. We’ve never tried to re-invent the wheel but just to make music that i wanted to hear in 10 years and even hopefully 20 years time. Quite a bit of the early Two Armadillos stuff like Butterfly Bee back in 2006 had a heavy jazz influence with its live sounding instrumentation. Other tracks on the LP are distinctly more modern and technoey but i still hope won’t age. We actually wrote 9 of the tracks from the first 3 12’s that make up 3/4 of the LP in two, two week sessions in 2011. Our process is really playing around finding a sound, such as a chord that grabs you and building something around that. Unlike many house producers we hardly ever started with the drums. This is a way of working or route that i had to kind of persuade Martin to take as with him engineering but me guiding the direction of the track i need something to latch onto to get inspiration very early on.

Its a deep techno track. More linear than a lot of the LP and of course takes cues from Maurizio but offset with strings and vocal samples that almost have a kinda Metalheadz influence. We just found 2 vocal samples that sat really well with the track and had the idea of adding the male part over the first 3 minutes fading it in and slowly opening the sample up and building the track very slowly to a break and then switching it to the female sample and that simple switch gives the track a new lease of life. With Flatlining we just wanted to write something that would sound heavy in a good system and big room like Berghain but in a warm up set – something that could get played very early or very very late in a cavernous dark room. Its quite minimal in the true sense.

Black Dahlia
This is one of the ‘new’ tracks that we wrote in the last month of Martin’s life so October 2013. I think Black Dahlia is one of my favourite tracks on the LP. We were messing around with a little analogue synth making a bubbling acid line and it was one of this tracks where from the moment i heard the acid line i kind of painted a picture in my head of how the track would develop and quickly narrated to Martin what i was thinking – even quickly jotting it down, like writing a dream down before you forget. Adding the african percussion, exotic vocals, little rave whistles and then keys. He was so quick at turning my ideas into reality which is amazing to see in front of your eyes. Of course across many of the tracks we were co-producing both coming up with ideas but this was a track where it all just came to me and Martin was a conduit for getting out what i had inside. Black Dahlia is the darkest flower there is and the closest to black. I guess this track has voodoo like vibe with the afro percussion and acid line but i like to think its also kind of beautiful hence the name.

This is a track we actually wrote with the initial batch of 10 in the first 2 sessions in 2011 but it didn’t fit with the other tracks or balance on the first 3 12’s so we just sat on it. In the last session we did just 3 weeks before Martin passed we decided that it might fit and balance the others on the final bonus part. It was definitely one of the more nostalgic tracks that was more heavily influenced by that driving chordy sound pushed by Chez Damier particularly when working with Ron Trent. I feel that we had moved on from this in terms of our later work that i guess became more modern and techno influenced with things like ‘Ronin’ and ‘Phantom’ but i had to almost get that style out of my system as its played such a big part in my musical DNA and development. I distinctly remember with this track we wanted to buy a few other bits of kit to warm up the sound, add a bit of grit and we went down to this great equipment shop in Berlin. We ended up buying a pre-amp called a fat track that really warms the sound and you could over cook the levels to give it that rougher more grainy sound. We really used that a lot on this track and it has that crackle and distortion.

I guess if i had to pick out one track that was a kind of peak time, high energy anthem on the LP it would be ‘Theme’. Martin at his own admission wasn’t the best at coming up with names for tracks so i named everything and i kinda wanted to poke / suggest that this was ‘our’ kind of anthem or big tune hence ‘Theme’ . Its quite long, epic and hypnotic with that relentless groove and i guess one of the few tracks we did with a big moment with the break. I’m really into grooves and i’m that into many tracks that to try to create a big hands in the air moment – that wasn’t and never has been our vibe, but i guess this was our go at doing something a little bit more peak time and anthemic. The track has a very bassy kick so you don’t realise that there is no bass in the track for the first 4 minutes just to let the groove breathe on its own but you really feel it when it does pop in. I left a copy of this for Zip and Ricardo in Hardwax and was obviously quite happy the when i was playing somewhere abroad and at 5 in the morning received a load of texts from people saying Ricardo had dropped ‘Theme’ at the peak of his set at Fabric and the place had exploded. It was definitely a highlight of our live sets which we had spent a year working on and just managed to perform 4 shows together before Martin passed.

Floating Fast
I’m massively into that Detroit atmospheric but high tempo live sounding stuff. I guess not unlike some of the releases on Delsin or say Los Hermanos. Very hatty with not so much mid range, more top and bottom. This is on that tip and yeah its fast at 128bpm. This is the a side to final 4th part. I guess its kinda hypnotic, soulful techno with quite relentless percussion.

Ronin was another of the more dance floor tracks we produced for the LP. It has these quite mechanical, futuristic drums and i think we knew we were onto something the minute we added the slightly mournful chords that people seem to latch onto so much. I wanted to do something more futuristic and sci-fi and also very smooth and drawn out. If i had to pick the most recognisable and standout track from the LP it would be ‘Ronin’. It had so much love from many DJs i respect hugely from DJ Qu, Nina Kraviz, Move D, Efdemin, Fred P and Cassy and ended up being voted 9th best track of 2012 in the Groove magazine end of year chart. I’m really not too bothered about charts or accolades like that but Groove really is the coolest dance music magazine on the planet so i was pretty happy about that and gutted i couldn’t share that with Martin as there were so many great records in that Top Ten. ‘Ronin’ is samurai warrior who has no no lord of master during the feudal period in Japan. According to the code of the Samurai, Samurai were supposed to commit ritualistic suicide upon the death of their master so those Samurai that didn’t were outcast by others Samurai and society. These ‘Ronin’ roamed freely and because no one would employ them they became mercenaries.

Phantom is another more technoey track. It starts off with quite a menacing, brooding bassline but is its smoothed out by the fluttering keys and strings. Even when we wrote a much more technoey track we always still injected a little soul or atmosphere into them. I think i find it very hard not to!

Detroit Dancer
This is quite breaky, frenetic and and robotic but still has a scatty jazzy live sounding percussion. Its quite different to a lot of the stuff on the LP and kinda quite a hybrid but i guess most influenced by Detroit techno. I recently saw a label this and it was only on its second release starting this year so that’s either a

These Feelings
I just wanted to write another soulful track that could be played in a club as it has the punch and kick but also really nice for home listening. Martin did some nice keys in this track and again it has many of the trademark more jazzy Two Armadillos signature sounds.

Another One for Larry
This is just in case anyone didn’t realise it was a Larry Heard tribute track. Possibly one of my biggest all time influences as i’m sure many others. Its not the first and won’t be the last tribute to him. I remember playing Martin a lot of Larry Heard records when we first hooked up in 2006 and we really connected on that level musically. We just wanted to make something very beautiful, melodic and ethereal more like one might hear on one of his LP tracks. We kept the kick very light and soft and in the background to really just focus on pushing the atmospheric and musical elements. Its kinda deep yet at the same time quite euphoric as the melodies really spiral and overlap at the peak of the track at the the break you have like 4 different melodies and pads intertwining with each other.

I guess a bit like the way the LP started with ‘ A Walk In The Park’ we wanted to write another track to close the LP that was very calm and serene. Doesn’t sound very rock n roll does it? Its the slowest track on the LP at 115bpm.

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Dave Seaman

Dave Seaman on the changing face of the print media since he was Mixmag editor in ’88

Eight months have now passed since the last copy of Faith did the rounds. Yes, I’ve been counting. And it may well not come back, but then again, it took Kenny Dalglish 20-odd years, so one should never say never; but either way, the hiatus has led me to think more profound things about the current relevance of the print media to this industry; so when an opportunity presented itself to go out on the hoy with Dave Seaman – editor of Mixmag when it was all kicking off in ’88 – I thought he’d be as good a man as any to profess about the current state of affairs, and how good it actually was in his day.

“I think back to what it was like when I was a kid, and I used to devour Record Mirror on a Thursday for James Hamilton’s column,” he says. “That was pretty much all the access I had to the information I wanted: one magazine, once a week, one page. If you compare that to the information that people have now, it’s mind boggling.”

True that. But a lot of the information is shite. In a similar way to vinyl-only labels trading off the fact that a physical product should mean better quality control, surely the reduced influence of magazines is going to make things worse?

“Magazines and newspapers are disposable items, apart from Vogue or Vanity Fair or something. Most magazines are not collectable.”

Good point. It’s very rare that a magazine can create the profound sense of ownership that a vinyl could, but there are exceptions. Faith would be a good example – it’s probable that many Faith readers would still have a healthy pile of them, I say. And Boys Own.

“I did used to love Boys Own. Terry was always an opinionated sod and used to make me laugh. I don’t think there is enough of that around these days. The Herb Garden and Jockey Slut used to be great too.”

But broadly, you’re saying that the public are better served now than they were in the days when the print media was stronger?

“I don’t know about every single person being better served… you’ve certainly got to be more organised. The choice is there for you – you’ve got to make your decisions of where you want to get your feeds from, but you’re not so reliant on the decisions from a few people – there’s a lot more choice. So I guess compared to what I had as a teenager, then yeah, definitely better.”

“Yes, I think it’s important for there to be filters like Resident Advisor, Ransom Note, Data Transmission etc… places that people trust; but of course with Twitter now you can just take the feeds from wherever you like… there’s your information… why would you really need to go and buy a magazine? I think the internet will hit the print media harder than it hit the record industry.”

He might well turn out to be right, but there’s no denying the weight that ye olde print media still carries, even in the face of years – or in the case of the British nationals – decades of falling circulations. The habit of people looking up to their authority remains – even Paxman on Newsnight still shows deference to the first edition of the morning papers. And then of course there’s the paradox of a medium like Twitter, which is lauded the world over for its potential to create democracy, but is actually elevating the status of writers that have come from the old guard that Twitter is supposed to be challenging.

“It’s interesting how many journalists from newspapers and magazines have huge Twitter followings now…. they’re almost becoming little stars in their own right… the likes of Caitlin Moran, Grace Dent, Alexis Petridis,” Dave says. “Alexis was a Mixmag writer, but now he has a big following on Twitter as a popular cultural commentator.”

“And they’re very good at commentating, because that’s the nature of what they do; commenting on things on a regular basis, and that’s the kind of thing that I’m interested in on Twitter.”

But where will the equivalent commentators of tomorrow come from, if the internet sees to it that there is no NME/Mixmag/Guardian to get them into the public eye in the first place? It’s a debate for another time. But it’s hard not to agree with the thrust of it – in fact it’s refreshing to see someone that was very much there in ’88 speaking up for some of the positive elements of the electronic music media today, as much as he loved the old days.

“They were glory years for me when I started at Mixmag… I was going out all the time… was going to the Hacienda every other week and all of these raves across the country. I was going out with Tony and Christine Prince’s [former owners of Mixmag] son and daughter… they came to work at the magazine… we had a little team of people. Talk about being right in the thick of it; but I don’t think we really realised what we were in the middle of. Obviously it was amazing but I think at the time we thought it was more like Punk… a few years and then that’s it.”

How Dave ended up in that position was through DMC (the original publishers of Mixmag), but how he ended up working for DMC was a bizarre chain of events that went something like this: already a member of DMC, in 1988 he won a competition that had the first prize of a week at the New York Music seminar, where he proceeded to impress the great and the good, including Pete Tong, Steve Walsh and Jeff Young. Thanks to a chance conversation in McDonald’s with a bouncer, he was able to first gain entry to the highly-exclusive Nell’s, and then proceeded to blag them all in when they were remonstrating at the door having been refused. In DMC’s eyes, this seemed to qualify him.

“When I got home I got a phone call from DMC, and they basically said ‘we want you to work for us… we’re not quite sure what you’re going to do, but we want you on board.'”

Before long, his previous experience working for an advertising agency was enough for him to be given the job as Mixmag editor.

“We were making the rules up as we went along, but that was the beauty of what was going on at the time.”

And it was under his stewardship that the magazine moved from subscription only to being available to the general public, the achievement he is most proud of as editor.

“I decided it was time to have a dance music magazine that launched for the public. The scene needed a voice for what was going on… it was a new generation… it tied in with the whole DMC ethos of putting people up there as artists and pioneering DJs. That was my main focus in the first couple of years… we were working on getting the magazine ready for the public. We launched to the public in July 1989.”

“By 1990 I’d started making music and the DJing started taking off. I didn’t have any qualifications – it was just being done on pure passion – so it was time for somebody else to come along who had the credentials. At that time we were only doing about 5,000 circulation. In all fairness, it really took off after I left.”

At its peak, Mixmag achieved a circulation of over 70,000, but now that number is around the 20,000 mark. Things have not gone completely full circle, but the figures make a resounding point about the sea change in reading habits in the last decade. But what does this do for the shelf-life of a DJ? With more immediate news sources taking the market share of the old magazine format, surely the rises and the falls will be more immediate too?

“You are really exposed like never before – there’s nowhere you can hide away. Think of some of the big pop stars in the 80s like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince – they never used to do interviews. They used to put albums out and hide behind this myth.”

“With this country generally, being so small, when we had a trend we used to milk it to death really quickly. But now that can get out of control.”

And there is also the negative momentum that can gather around promoters. Just ask Mulletover about the kicking they got after one bad night with one clueless venue last year. But it is only when the discussion turns to Peter Ridsdale and the demise of his beloved Leeds United that he says anything negative for a sustained period. The expedience of Seth Johnson and all those tropical fish at Elland Road seem of greater concern than the current state of the electronic music media.

“You still live and die by your content these days. My general rule is, people who say it isn’t as good as it used to be, probably aren’t as good as they used to be.”

Dave Seaman’s remix of the first release on his new label, Selador Recordings:

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Batti Batti

Think dance music and the Mediterranean and you think Ibiza. But there is another corner of the Mare Nostrum where for a small but talented and committed group of heads the force is also strong; Malta. And pivotal to the scene, the driving force at the very heart of it all, an increasingly key figure home and away, stands one man. That man is Owen Jay.

A vastly experienced DJ, producer and champion of quality deep underground sounds, Jay came to the attention of a much wider audience in 2010 when the truly memorable Memories Of You EP put together with compatriot and erstwhile collaborator Melchior Sultana was picked up and released by Underground Quality. And if it’s good enough for Jus-Ed…

It was, however, far from the beginning of the adventure for Jay who was already running his own highly-respected label Batti Batti which drew on a close network of friends, carefully-chosen artists and co-conspirators to further the cause of genuine quality deepness, influenced like many by Chicago and Detroit, often raw yet with elements of soul and groove and only ever selected to meet Jay’s exacting standards.

He keeps a close and watchful eye on all elements of output. Artwork is produced specially by local graphic designer and illustrator Moira Zahra, mastering of vinyl is by the excellent Spanish deep house producer Above Smoke (Deep Explorer/Fear Of Flying) while for digital the man on the buttons is Maltese sound designer Mario Sammut. Attention to detail is clearly king.

Such demands, expectations and enthusiasm have made Batti Batti – the name is derived from the Maltese word for ‘calming down’ – a growing force on the underground scene and why Jay’s own stock as a deep house DJ and artist is on the rise. His Monday night show on is also essential listening for those of a deeper persuasion. Partner-in-crime Sultana’s reputation is none too shabby either what with a forthcoming album with Deep88 on the Italian’s own 12 Records imprint, a solo long-player forthcoming on UQ and a track on much-rated young Spanish producer Satore’s label Hizou.

Yet despite the undoubted success and growing reputation Jay and his super label enjoy, over a pint or two in a Covent Garden boozer and sharing a mutual admiration for artists and labels such as Natan H, Ethyl and Flori, Contrast-Wax et al, he admitted “we couldn’t have this conversation in Malta”. Home it may be, but house is a feeling Jay must find globally.

That’s not to say it has stopped him from spreading the gospel at home. Far from it. An already sold-out Batti Batti boat party at the end of the summer suggests the message is getting through.

Passing through London on his way home from playing in Brighton, Jay stopped off to talk early days, impending fatherhood and all things deep.

It would be fair to say Malta doesn’t often figure in conversations about dance music, so what kind of scene is there?
There are a lot of events happening on a weekly basis. Besides deep house events, I am involved with Unfocused, which was started by local DJ Brian James back in 2001. It is all about deep and dark techno with the emphasis on good electronic sounds. Past guests have included Donato Dozzy, Mike Parker and Milton Bradley to name a few.

Your own sound as a producer and DJ is very much associated with the deeper side of things. How is deep house received there?
On a weekly basis deep house is mostly played in bars and lounges so it lacks the dance-floor element. I think that most people associate deep house with lounge music because they do not have enough opportunities to listen to the tracks we play on a proper club sound system.

However, we do have occasional events. Over the last decade events I have been involved with featured Mike Huckaby, Jus-Ed, Frankie Valentine, Matt Pond, Mike Grant, Pépé Bradock, Daniel Wang and Charles Webster. It is definitely a small scene of about 150-200 people but the love for the music gives us a drive to keep it going.

With such an obviously small scene, are there other people in Malta then who are making similar music to yourself and Melchior, or who would at least play deeper music?
Links who featured on BB02 [a beautifully brooding Detroit-influenced slow-burning track by the name of Pathfinder] is a local DJ/musician who is currently spending his spare time focusing on his skills as a musician. At some point I expect more music from him. There are a few other guys who regularly send me samples of their works-in-progress which I think are amazing but for some reason they don’t get to finish the projects.

As for local DJs playing deeper music, I totally support Melchior Sultana, SSoker (aka Links), St. James, Clint Giulivo, Liam, Dale Degas and Brian James.

What got you into house and techno in the first place?
In high school I used to listen to artists with varied styles; from acid house to Tricky, Primal Scream, Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers, which somehow led me to ambient and electronic music to the likes of Irresistible Force, Richard Kirk, The Orb, Aphex Twin, Autechre, Pete Namlook etc. With a growing interest in DJing, I got into house music in 1993. It was a logical thing to do since none of the bars or clubs were playing the music I liked. It also happened that I met like-minded friends Brian James and Joseph Felice and together this connection evolved into a weekly radio show, traveling for events and record shopping, organising events and production.

I started off in 1994 playing deep house from labels such as Nervous, Strictly Rhythm, Emotive, Tribal, Murk, Peacefrog, Acacia, Relief, Cajual, Balance, Nuphonic. By 2007 I was performing at nearly all major events in Malta so playing to larger crowds got me into techno and this exploration of new sounds gave rise to an interest in production. With the help of Edwin Balzan and Frank Cachia [aka Duo Blank] I had the opportunity to understand the whole process of production as I used to spend hours in their studio while they worked on their own tracks. I then bought a Juno 106 and a drum machine and the story goes on.

Nowadays as a DJ I play various styles within the deep house and techno spheres.

Who then are/have been your musical inspirations?
I believe that all the music I listen to and movies I watch inspire me in some way. Nowadays I find myself listening to a lot of jazz and soul music so, combined with the fact that we reside on a sunny island, our music tends to be positive and musical. However, I must admit that I do love dark and over-driven music, even though I have not released anything like that so far.

So why did you then decide to start Batti Batti? And why eventually the move into vinyl too?
Batti Batti happened by chance. Mauro Di Martino, a dear friend of mine from Italy, who runs the Inndigital website, happened to come over to my house and after listening to some tracks he highly encouraged me to start my own label, offering me all his expertise in distribution, publishing and other paperwork. In fact he still handles all the back-end of the label. The plan for vinyl was always there but I started digital because I felt the need to understand how the industry works before taking the plunge. Then after three years of digital releases and numerous requests from people for vinyl I decided to get this going.

What is the philosophy behind the label?
The music is the main priority, however I prefer to deal with friends or people who know me and trust what I am doing. The philosophy is to be original as much as possible and I need to feel comfortable with the tracks. To replicate the style of some particular artists is not what I am looking for.

Tell me about your working relationship with Melchior.
I have known Melchior for several years. I remember in 2004 he booked me to DJ at one of his events. Also I used to purchase vinyl from the label which he had set up with a colleague of his. Then in 2008 he sent me some tracks he was working on and I felt that if we combined our efforts we could come up with something interesting. He is the one doing all the melodies and leads while I am the one laying and structuring the track, applying compression and effects. We do not have a set way of working. Sometimes I start a track on my own and then he adds some of his flavour or vice versa.

I know you’re keen on your hardware. In fact you once described yourself as a ‘gear slut’!
We use both hardware and software. As for the hardware we use; MPC2500, Jupiter 6, Moog LP, Alpha Juno 1, Korg MS2000, Doepfer Dark Time and Dark Energy, Acidlab Miami, several modules, distortion pedals and other bits. Our tracks are processed through a compressor and EQ custom built by Steffen Müller, a UBK Fatso and a Phoenix Audio Nicerizer summing mixer for a nice widening effect.

As for the software we use, there’s Logic 9 as DAW and for several months we have been using NI Reaktor which is very vast and interesting.

It must have been a thrill getting signed to Jus-Ed’s label Underground Quality (UQ). How did that come about?
I got in touch with Jus-Ed after listening to his show on on Wednesdays. I sent him one track which he played on his show a week later and he was interested in checking out more tracks from us hence the Memories Of You EP on UQ036 was released. Ed was a big help and he has supported us a lot. If it was not for him the Batti Batti vinyl might not have happened. He opened a lot of doors for us.

You’ve played in many places globally. Where have you enjoyed most?
Each gig has its own fun even if it’s a small crowd but some events worth mentioning are DeepSystems in Brighton, Larifari party in Germany , Club Geluk in Antwerp and the last UQ Party at Tape in Berlin.

You obviously come across a great deal of music constantly but which artists, labels and DJs are interesting you right now?
I am quite sure I am forgetting someone but we are really enjoying the output from Natan H, Whatevernot, 2DeepSoul, Deymare, Ernie, Deep88, Satore, Funkineven, L.I.E.S., Ethyl and Flori, Dubbyman, Benedikt Frey, Esteban Adame, Inner Shift Music, Rawax, NDATL, Desos, Monochromatic, Benjamin Brunn, Moomin, Ethereal, UQ, Bu-Mako, ManMakeMusic, Hizou, Feelharmonic, Minuendo, Blank Slate, DJ Qu, Joey Anderson, Jesus Gonzev, This is Not Happening, Rowtag…

You are to become a father this year. Does this mean you will be taking a break from music?
Becoming a father is something I am highly looking forward to. I am quite aware that time will be limited so for this reason the past six months we have been spending more time in the studio. We have laid down numerous ideas and have several tracks which just need to be finalised. My wife is very understanding so I don’t think I will be taking any breaks. I’d rather juggle through it the best way I can.

Back to the music then, so what have you got coming up both DJ and production-wise?
This summer I am organising the first Batti Batti event aboard a sailing boat. It will feature Matt Pond (Bittersuite), Ernie (Minuendo), Melchior Sultana, Brian James and myself. The event is already fully booked!

Besides the Batti Batti releases, we [Jay and Sultana] have two records coming out soon on two of my long-time influential labels. Movement EP is a four-tracker due on Detroit’s staple label Moods & Grooves (MG#52) and Heat Rising is a two-track 10-inch on Spanish label Minuendo (MND#26).

Meanwhile, I am also working on a side project with Natan H [Ethereal Sound/ManMakeMusic].

And what then is in store for Batti Batti?
We have the latest vinyl release BBR04, which is another various artists EP entitled Analogue Signal featuring ourselves alongside Marco Nega, Nasty Boy and Nino. Pressing will be limited to 260 records in black or transparent orange vinyl. Supporting this release will be a limited number of t-shirts which will be available from the label website.

Out now too is Underground River EP, a digital release again from Italian artist Nasty Boy. I have been testing the tracks for a while and the response was really good. All three tracks have a great dance-floor appeal, with fat basslines and warm chords being the main ingredients. This will be followed by an EP from Musumeci. His album Astounding Science on BB10 was well supported and sales exceeded expectations. The forthcoming EP is even better so I trust it will be a success.

Also, as from September with an array of artists covering a wide spectrum of music a Batti Batti Showcase will be available for event bookings. The artist selection may include myself,  Melchior Sultana (DJ/live), Natan H (USA), Matt Pond (UK), Jaime Read (UK), Benedikt Frey (Germany) , Musumeci (Italy), 1Dan (UK), Nasty Boy (Italy), Cleveland (Belgium) or any other Batti Batti artist upon request. The selection may vary depending on the logistics and music styles.

This is as much as I can reveal!

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Paul Trouble Anderson is A true Legend within the Music scene all over the world. Now in His 39th year of playing, He is known and respected within many genres – funk, disco, jazzfunk, electro, rare groove, house and garage. From the first year of Him spinning those records, He was admired for His selection and style of playing and to be fair it started even
before that, when He spent his time on the dance floors as a punter, known as one off the best dancers around. From being such a keen dancer He knew what people wanted to hear.

His name grew and grew to be acknowledged as one of the best Dj’s around. Paul played a part in the founding of Kiss as a pirate Radio and later in 1990 when they became a legal radio station. His Saturday Mix Show was known to be one of the best radio shows around, followed by thousands, maybe even more, all over the UK.

It was around this time that Paul was not satisfied with just playing for an hour or two at His gigs. He wanted some where He could play all night, just to play the music He loved and where people could enjoy it with Him. So He started Trouble & Friends at HQ, for years nobody turned up, it was literally Trouble and a few friends. So in 1993 they
wanted to relaunch the night, Minnie His ex, came up with the name TheLoft – Hq being like a Loft.

They began to bring in Artists, names that Paul admired and played on his radio show, to many mention, Loletta Holloway, Jocelyn Brown ,Byron Stingily, Michael Watford and many many more. This is probably the only place you could come and watch these Major artists and only pay a fiver on the door. This really worked and the night took off, people would travel from near and far to be there on a Wednesday night. To experience the dancers, the Artists, but mostly, to listen to Trouble, doing His thing. He used to play the music He got off dats & tapes that He took down to Music House and had dub plates pressed of them, for His show and The Loft, an expensive habit but gave Him exclusiveness. The Loft was voted the best mid-week night for several years by a few magazines. And to be honest it probably was and is one of the best club nights ever. Still going strong in it’s 20th year.

Congratulations on 20 years! The Loft and Trouble played a huge role in launching my solo career!!! The Loft was the 1st club to play Get Up Everybody!!! The love that was shown to me by the Loft kept me going at a point when my career was struggling, I am forever Thankful!!!!!
Byron Stingily

Man!!! What can i say about the loft with out writing a book almost lol But for me the Loft was London England… you look forward to playing there as a DJ along side for me one of the worlds best Djs to ever do it in my opinion Paul “Trouble” Anderson! It was a magical place where the people wanted & craved good & new music and you will find every Dj/ producer from all over the world there just to experience the vibe… Ohhh i cant forget this you had to bring your A+ game when playing there cause if you didn’t you might not get invited back.
Terry Hunter

Barbara Tucker
Wow 20 years of the Loft. What can i say, Paul “trouble” anderson and the loft crew made me believe in the power of good music, and its ability to soothe and calm the soul in the most righteous way. I always looked forward to my nights there , where a PA was just the entree into a world that i was privileged to be a part of …. May the party never end….. G-d bless.
Joi Cardwell

I remember the first time i played at the loft. It was the best party in London for me. It was the foundation along with Norman jays High on Hope party’s .Big ups to my friend Trouble. Congratulations Bro!
Teddy Douglas

THE LOFT, WOW , WHEN I FIRST WENT TO THE LOFT, I WAS AMAZED TO SEE A DJ SPIN AND DANCE , I though the show was over, I always had a good time with Mr Trouble , good friends would always meet up there, to see me perform , like Sybil, Goldie and they always said Paul Trouble Anderson was u is the best dj in the world, lots of love Paul
Kathy Brown

“Just the mention of The Loft in London brings back memories of some of the best moments in house music and the underground scene. Packed from the front door to the back with heads just wanting to dance and sweat. The love from the audience when I performed there was electric every time! Paul “Trouble” Anderson rocking the building week after week was was a magical place for sure.
Ultra Nate

The Loft was such an amazing place. In my opinion, I had one of my best shows ever there. The sound was superb that night, the audience was so attentive and full of energy. I performed, Take Some Time Out, And I Loved You, and my new song Inspiration. AMAZING!! I left that place a Happy Man!!
Arnold Jarvis

Love the tributes on here! too many amazing memories…
dancing next to byron stingily, watchin the boogie boys, not just the music but how Paul and Freddie performed on stage-perfect dj and mc combo! blessed with gerideau and disciple in the house what seemed like almost every week at one point. witnessing louie vega give 2 of the most unbelieveable sets i ever heard, colonel abrams, barbara, loleatta, kathy brown, joi cardwell, john redmond, phillip ramirez the list of amazing talent we got to witness dont stop!…not just doing a gig, but you could see they LOVED it, i know it wasnt like ‘working’ for them cos of the energy in there, they loved it too :)
one night sticks in my mind, i think was Pauls birthday. Barbara tucker sang, joey washington sang, Jocelyn Brown arrived to surprise. Bless her, at the time ‘Make it last forever’ was out and the backing track got played, poor thing… she couldnt remember the song lol. But trust she still killed it that night…’Always there’ with every single person from front to back arms up and side to side in time with Miss Brown.
I could go on n on n on! but basically thanks for giving me this love for music that i have now, was taught to me in the LOFT!
Richard Wilson

To celebrate this occasion Paul has decided to put on the party of
the year.
Bringing in past and present residents, as well as bringing back guest
LIVE PA Lisa Millett.

This will all take place on Saturday the 13th of July at East Village:
89 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3HX London

9-330, Over two floors:



OR TELEPHONE 07786 121387


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Alex Danilov – iinnii EP – Contrast-Wax

Even with little back-story to go on, it would be fair to say the boys behind Contrast-Wax are on to a good thing. Just three highly-prized and limited releases in less than a year, the first two rapid sell-outs and with a dedicated following building too, the label is one of the best to emerge over the past 12 months thanks largely to on-point A&R skills.

For this their third outing they’ve done it again plucking the enigmatic Alex Danilov from the backwaters of deep house to join the Contrast-Wax family. By no means a newcomer having released on a variety of labels since 2008, Danilov is a talent that nevertheless may well have escaped the attention of even the most dedicated of heads. Which makes it even more pleasing to see him pop up on Contrast-Wax with such a tip-top two-tracker.

More Analog Vibes is, well, exactly that. Except unlike many of the current crop of me-too hardware merchants knocking out plastic “raw” this is the real McCoy thanks to that indefinable element that distinguishes the faithful from the fakers. For a track trumpeting it’s use of machinery it has real heart and soul.

By contrast the title-track is deliberately more obtuse and angular, a little more difficult to pin-down but no less interesting with a burbling bassline and crashing synth jostling for attention and promptly getting it. A slow burning treat.

S.H.A. feat Shawtyshank/ChangEd – The Oneness Of Sound And Its Echo Vol. 1 – Sound and Echo Records

A little bit of Larry is never a bad thing. Larry Heard that is. And although The Oneness Of Sound And Its Echo Volume 1 – the debut vinyl-only release for Sound & Echo Records – has nowt to do with the great man as such it does owe a significant debt of thanks to his pioneering sound. It also stands head and shoulders above much of the material posing as deep house and is quite the head-turning arrival for a new kid on the block.

Indeed the EP’s musical lineage is much more Larry than just a nod and a wink. Both tracks on the A side, from production duo S.H.A., feature Chicagoan vocalist Lee Pearson Jr., long-time friend and collaborator of Heard. And boy does it show. Both Who’s To Blame and I’ve Got This Feeling are reminiscent of Mr Fingers at his soulful, introspective and emotive best complete with Pearson’s very Robert Owens-esque vocals. An absolute treat for jaded ears.

Even the instrumental version of Who’s To Blame wouldn’t sound out of place in a Larry Heard collection and was recorded in the ‘one-time’ style [once made can’t be re-arranged or changed] favoured by S.H.A. on their analogue hardware.

Such is the strength in depth on this vinyl-only EP that it is easy to overlook the so-called bonus track, Wildest Dreams. That would be a shame. It’s a re-work of a Barry White and Tina Turner duet and a slow-mo Balearic odyssey the like of which is rarely heard these days. It is produced by ChangED, aka Ed Ayers, a chap with an alleged pedigree par excellence. Starting out as a session trumpet player working with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock and Roy Ayers, he also DJed at the Paradise Garage, was a leading figure in the early house scene and went on to marry Agneta Fältskog of ABBA. Hmm, really?

Whether the folks behind Sound and Echo are truly broad-minded musically or inherently old-school remains to be seen but with an EP this beautiful on their hands they won‘t go far wrong. Must-have.

Trevor Deep Jr. – DoRight! – HPTY Recordings

Somehow Finland seems an unlikely home to one of the hottest and most coveted talents deep house currently has to offer. Then again, the enigmatic Trevor Deep Jr. is no ordinary talent.

Helsinki’s man of mystery grew up listening to his father’s jazz records and watching the old man playing ‘dirty old Rhodes keyboard’ until hip-hop took a hold of him before moving on to the legends that are Moodymann, Theo Parrish and the daddy of them all, the aforementioned Larry Heard. Or did he?

Fact or fiction, it matters not. Thoroughly and constantly enjoyable, the sound of TDJ – whose mantra is House Music Everyday All Day – is not only influenced by the pioneers and heroes of Chicago, Detroit, New York and New Jersey, it is a sound that those dudes would be proud to call their own. It is steeped in what Trevor calls ‘deepness’.

It is also much sought-after by the heads. So although the DoRight! EP was the debut release on TDJ’s own label HPTY in 2011 (he‘s since popped up on Delsin and made a successful return to HPTY with this year‘s People‘s EP), this repress is a god-send for those flinching at the hefty price-tags the discogs hawks were demanding.

One listen, however, and it is so easy to understand why some buyers were willing to dig deep. Quality courses through this record.

Opener and title-track DoRight! is so right. A gorgeous mid-tempo homage to the First Choice/Al Green classic Love and Happiness, it effortlessly radiates levels of depth, emotion and soul that most deep house wannabes can only wet dream of.

Keep It Raw mines a similar vein though is decidedly brisker. Raw, of course, atmospheric and deliciously deep chords, it is impossible not to dig. And then comes Othaway; a warm, piano-led beauty where a bossa vibe is weaved around African drums. So full of soul and soulful too. Completing a formidable line-up is Our Love, another stunner driven by an infectious meaty kick and more sterling synth work.

Four ace tracks but like Trevor said, it’s all about one thing; deepness.

Owen Jay & Melchior Sultana – The Riot – Batti Batti

By his own admission, Owen Jay is a gear slut. Moog, Alpha Juno, Korg, Rhodes, Reaktor and much more, his set-up sounds more like a NASA space mission yet his list overlooks the Led Zeppelin factor found in all his releases; a whole lotta love.

Because whether it be his own productions or those of others released on his Batti Batti label, Jay really knows his way round deep house these days. So for the imprint’s latest vinyl adventure it is pleasing to see him renew the fruitful partnership he sometimes shares with Maltese compatriot Melchior Sultana.

It is by no means their first collaboration having worked together not only for Batti Batti but also on the excellent Memories Of You EP for Jus-Ed’s Underground Quality.

Here though they fly solo on a track apiece before joining forces on the remaining couple of numbers. It’s a revealing approach.

Comfortably the darkest cut on the EP is Jay‘s Silent Change, a menacing and brooding offering that chugs along with intent and purpose yet at the same time remains entirely engaging throughout. All of which makes perfect sense given that Jay cut his teeth as a techno producer back in the Nineties and his excellent Spank track on Housewax was from the seedier side of deep house too.

In sharp contrast comes the multi-instrumentalist Sultana’s beautifully dreamy Mirror, a track drenched in Mediterranean vibes and intoxicating soundscapes echoing his Maltese heritage as well as his house sensibility. It’s in the blood as the young composer has previous having released an album of downtempo electronica on Italian label IRMA.

Yet despite the undoubted quality of their individual efforts, in some respects it is together that the pair are at their most devastating and soulful. Afterparty’s laidback, unhurried and breezy approach is a welcome interlude, whereas The Riot – the pick of a very fine EP – is a touch more urgent and intense yet still retains that emotional charge found in the very best of deep house. Go buy.

V/A – Oscillating Metronomics – Appian Sounds

Timeless is what Appian Sounds’ owner Al Blayney promised on the Oscillating Metronomics EP and timeless is exactly what he’s delivered. And although release number three is the blossoming imprint’s first various artists venture the boss has assembled a selection that is, well, boss.

On Peptide the ever-ace Slowburn, very much favourites round these parts, explore that grey area between house and techno to superior effect managing to forge a sound that at first glance appears effortless and casual. It is of course anything but, rather it is a multi-layered joy that would be lauded considerably more should it have come straight outta Detroit rather than Dublin. Make no mistake, these boys know exactly what they are doing.

So too do LAAK. The production team behind the super Austere Recordings chips in here with the deeply hypnotic cut Semantics that moves, grooves and drifts at a suitably relaxed pace punctuated only by the intermittent and wholly-suitable Mutabaruka-style vocal snatches. Ace, totally.

Rob Belleville’s impressive and futuristic Recovered Desires is an equally comfortable fit on this thoroughly enjoyable EP, while Brazilian producer Ney Faustini flips the script a tad with Flying High that is unashamedly chunky and funky by comparison with the other three productions though no less decent; deep, dance-floor fodder if ever there was. Timeless.

Gari Romalis – The No Beat Left Behind EP – Hizou Music

You gotta love Hizou. Only four releases in and the independent Spanish label run with unbridled passion and enthusiasm by young producer Satore has already featured Anton Zap, Deymare, DJ Aakmael and Rick Wade.

So you know his A&R skills are none too shabby. For the latest excellent twelve the label has surprisingly yet very cutely homed in on Detroit stalwart Gari Romalis, a producer who is far from prolific despite his longevity in the game. Less, however, is sometimes more.

More than 30 years a DJ and leading figure on the Motor City techno scene, Romalis has managed the city’s famous Buy Rite Records, worked for Derrick May’s seminal Transmat label, played the infamous Music Institute and the notorious Tresor too. He’s truly old school.

On The No Beat Left Behind Romalis employs every ounce of his old-school know-how to deliver an EP that is not only immersed in the traditions of Chicago house and Detroit techno, it positively bursts with raw energy, is sonically gritty and exudes the kind of authenticity that could only come from one who was actually there; you can’t fake the feeling.

Dance Demo (Da Give It mix) is no messin’ pumping house at its very best, made entirely for maximum dance-floor damage. Pray is all about the feel-good factor; brash, bouncy and with more than enough funk for any man, woman or dancer. For a heavyweight tribute to the underground scene back in Romalis’ hometown there is Detroit Shuffle (Quick Step C mix), while First Love (Latenight Funk Breakdown mix) is a soulful groover for the wee small hours.

With Satore pouring his heart, soul and hard-earned into his beloved label hopefully this latest bomb will get the support it thoroughly deserves. Show it some love.

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Johnny Dynell, long standing member of House Of Xtravaganza, (the Latin house feared and respected, for its thousand trophies and fierce family pride) and New York’s clubland royalty, produced Elements Of Vogue back in 1990 with David dePino. A track which captured the vogueing scene through its fierce battle beats and David Ian Xtravaganza’s call to arms. Shortly after, a whirlwind of mainstream chart attention whipped up, through Madonna’s ‘Vogue’, which heavily borrowed from the track and scene, which had been cultivating since the 60s in New York’s Harlem ballrooms.
Last year Johnny Dynell remixed The Carry Nation’s ‘This Bitch Is Alive’ for Batty Bass and we’re very excited to have him back on the label for part 2 of the NY Series.
Marie Montana was born at the same recording session as Elements Of Vogue…so basically this is history baby….
Johnny Dynell
“After recording the vocals for “Elements Of Vogue” we were happy to be done and started (I almost hate to use the word —Damn you Scissor Sisters!) Kiki-ing in the vocal booth.
David DePino had this REALLY ugly shirt on and David Ian said, “Let me see the label”. He looked and it said “Montana” on it. We gagged because we assumed that it was Claude Montana but it was so damn ugly.
Then he looked closely and in tiny print above the Montana was “Marie”. It was a MARIE MONTANA! We completely lost it! “Marie Montana” was born.”

On remix duties, Sydney’s notorious DJ Sveta & production partner Tokoloshe serve up percussive slaps, vocal stabs and pounding kicks, perfectly capturing future club beats on their excellent mix.

Soundcloud link
Marie Montana – Johnny Dynell ft. David Ian Xtravaganza (Batty Bass)
w/ Sveta & Tokoloshe Remix

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a very small town on the border of Canada. As soon as I got out of high school I was out of there. Living in New York was always my dream.

What was New York like when you first ever started going to nightclubs?

I arrived Downtown New York in the late 70s. It was a very exciting place to be. Art, music and fashion were exploding and it was all happening in nightclubs.

How did your DJ journey start ?

My first job as a DJ was at the legendary Mudd Club. I was in art school and not really interested in DJing but it was a job. I didn’t know how to mix and didn’t even own a record. All of my records had recently been stolen by my junkie next door neighbor. You would think that this was an unlikely job for me but the Mudd Club was all about anarchy and it made perfect sense. I had absolutely no experience as a DJ but I guess I played fun music because I continued to get DJ jobs and eventually learned how to mix. I grew to love DJing

What were the kind of tracks you were playing at the time?

At the time, I was playing bass in arty Punk Rock bands at CBGBs and Max’s but I was also going to clubs like The Loft, The Paradise Garage, Crisco Disco and a lot of the other downtown Discos. So even though I was in a Punky environment I always DJed Disco and Funk. That was the music that I loved. My first night playing at the Mudd Club someone threw a bottle at me shouting, “Take this nigger music off”! My soundtrack back then featured songs like “Sex Machine”, “Soul Makossa” and anything by K.C & The Sunshine Band who I worshipped.

How did your first track Jam Hot come about?

In the late 1970s I started going to see the early Hip Hop DJs like Kool Herc, Grand Master Flash and Afrika Bambaataa. They blew me away with what they were doing. They were taking bits and pieces of old records and creating whole new soundtracks and rapping over them. I saw them as the great grand children of Marcel Duchamp. Kids were rapping, break dancing, bombing trains with graffiti, all to this new sound. The whole scene was really new and electrifying. In 1980 I wrote “Jam Hot”. “Tank, Fly Boss, Walk, Jam, Nitty Gritty, Talking’ bout the boys from the big bad city” was a tribute to those kids. “Tank”, “Fly Boss”, “Walk” etc. were all break dancers and graffiti kids that I knew. In 1983 I was working at Danceteria. Fellow Danceteria DJ Mark Kamins, hot off his success signing coat check girl Madonna, signed me as well. Mark, along with Kenton Nix, who was hot offhis success with the revolutionary song “Heartbeat” produced “jam Hot”. It’s such a crazy song. It’s out of tune, out of time and off the wall but it still gets sampled to this day. A few years ago the the term “Jam Hot” made it into the Urban Dictionary.

You’ve been involved in some legendary collaborations, tell us about working with Larry Levan !

I’ve been lucky to have worked with some very creative people like Malcolm McLaren, Arthur Baker and Larry Levan to name just a few. Larry was a very intense person. He always reminded me of a warlock. He had magic. I remember him editing my song “Rhythm Of Love”. Back then it was done with tape and razor blades. He was also working on the Padlock EP by Gwen Guthrie. He had literally thousands of tiny little pieces of recording tape stuck to the wall. Some were from my song, some were from Gwen’s songs “Padlock”, “Peanut butter” and “Seventh Heaven”. These thousands of tiny pieces of recording tape were totally identical to me but Larry would just reach out and pull one off the wall and it would be the exact piece he was looking for.

How did your initiation into House Of Xtravaganza come about?

DJ David DePino, who I knew from the Paradise Garage, brought me into the house sometime in the late eighties.

What was the ballroom scene like around the late eighties / early nighties?

The ballroom scene changed a lot in the eighties, especially the Voguing and Runway categories. I think that because a lot of the “carrying on” happened in public places like the Pier and Washington Square Park there was a lot of interaction with the straight breakdancing scene. Voguing became much more aggressive and showman like. Voguers started forming circles on the dance floors in clubs the way that the break dancers did. Voguers and Breakdancers also picked up moves from each other. I think that this was when “Old Way” and “New Way” split.

How much did it overlap with the club scene?

The ballroom scene and the club scene were very connected. In the early days, you would see ball children at the Paradise Garage. Later, clubs like the Tunnel, Sound Factory and especially David DePino’s and Danny Krivit’s Tuesday night at Traxx were ground zero for ball kids. The end of the night was always especially fierce for Vogue and Runway battles.

Whats the story behind Elements Of Vogue and Marie Montana?

In the eighties I was involved with Malcalm McLaren on his New York projects like “Duck Rock” and “Fans”. After “Fans” Malcolm was in LA working on this surf punk idea. I told him about the whole Ballroom scene in New York and about Voguing etc. At the time I was trying to help Jennie Livingston get money to finish “Paris Is Burning” and I (foolishly) sent Malcolm a video tape of her movie to show him what the scene was all about. Of course he just lifted sound bites from the movie. I told him about songs like “Love Is The Message” and “Love Break”. He used all of these ideas for “Deep In Vogue”. My wife Chi Chi Valenti wrote the lyrics. A few months later I was approached to record another Voguing record. David DePino, David Ian Xtravaganza, Chi Chi and I flew to London to record “Elements Of Vogue”. After immediately finding a cruise park and having a fling with a very famous fashion designer, David Ian bought a rhyming dictionary and wrote like twenty pages of rhymes which I boiled down to three verses. David Ian was a genius.

After recording the vocals for “Elements Of Vogue” we were all just kiki-ing in the vocal booth. Ian was busting David DePino’s balls about this ugly jacket that he had bought on 14th street. The label said “Montana” in big letters. “Is it Claude Montana “? Ian asked. No. It was Marie! We lost it and Marie Montana was born. Marie Montana became the girl at the ball who just doesn’t get it. Her face is wrong, her clothes are wrong, her moves are wrong. She’s the girl who gets chopped. One time at Traxx Claude Montana came up to David DePino in the DJ booth and screamed, “So who is this Marie”? It was very funny.

How did the legendary Club Jackie come about?

Basically we needed a place to go so we created one. The rest is Herstory.

How would you describe NY clubland today?

As someone who has been around for a thousand years I’ve seen New York go through lots of changes and we are definitely in a transition now. There is a really fun new House scene happening downtown and in Brooklyn and like all great scenes it started with a group of friends. Underground house parties like Wrecked, Spank, Westgay and The Carry Nation are changing the flavor of even mainstream club and circuit events. When I saw that the DJs for this year’s Black Party in New York were Tom Stephan, Honey Dijon and The Carry Nation I knew that the planets had shifted. This scene which seems to have happened over night has been bubbling under for years and it’s not a coincidence that this group of DJs play together and produce and remix each other’s songs.

In the late 80s we were suddenly bombarded by this brand new electronic disco coming from Chicago and Detroit. It eventually was called House and Acid House. I first heard it at the Garage where Larry’s friend Frankie Knuckles would bring him records from Chicago. These Chicago House people were all friends. Larry and Frankie were friends and had actually started their DJ careers together. A scene happens naturally (and magically) when like minded creative people are put together and left to simmer for a few years or decades. For instance, I did a mix of The Carry Nation (Will Automagic and Nita Aviance) song “This Bitch Is Alive” featuring Viva Ruiz. That made perfect sense since the very young Viva was one of our House Of Domination daughters at Jackie 60. I met the 16 year old Will Automagic when a friend brought him into my DJ booth at Jackie 60 and I’ve know Nita Aviance since he was a puppy. Tom Stephan and Honey Dijon were also regulars at Jackie 60. Pretty much all the people involved in this new house scene have long standing friendships and connections that go back years. Fate plays a big part in this chemistry as well. When Australian DJ Sveta Gilerman came to New York she somehow landed right in our lap and it was love at first sight. She could have ended up anywhere but she was ours. The same is true with the Horsemeat Disco boys. They fit in perfectly with the New York scene. Of course the fact that they are crazy party animals didn’t hurt. The next few years are going to be interesting as the scene starts to gel.

Marie Montana – Johnny Dynell ft. David Ian Xtravaganza is out now on Batty Bass.

Batty Bass Link

Johnny Dynell

Sveta & Tokoloshe

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Boe Recordings

More ale must have been downed than I had realised because afterwards I had got it into my head that Ben Parkinson had named his label Boe Recordings after a one-eyed cat. As if.

Speeding through the tape I reached the point at which he explained exactly how he had come by the name: “I am not pretentious in the slightest and I could not think of the vibe or feeling the label is all about,” he admitted. “So I named it after my cat. My cat has got on one eye and he is called Barry. So it’s Barry One Eye: B.O.E. It’s not deep at all, in fact it is shallow and lazy.” Right then.

Levity aside though, ‘shallow’ and ‘lazy’ are not words that you would readily use to describe the likeable Parkinson nor his super little label. In fact one commentator was sufficiently impressed recently to assert that with Boe ‘house music is in good hands’. A bold statement indeed but not unwarranted because with the minimum of fuss Parkinson has crafted and nurtured something to be truly proud of.

Now five years and 20 releases on and both are really coming into their own. Talking with Parkinson you get the distinct impression that he really hasn’t had time to be shallow or lazy since he launched Boe in earnest with little if any notion of how to run a record label.

“It’s been a massive learning curve. When I started I didn’t have a clue. I’d been playing records since ’97 but had always wanted to make more of it than just a hobby, to put something back as it were. Achieve something,” explained the adopted Londoner originally from Wakefield. “I always thought I had a decent ear, was really passionate about the quality of music and thought ‘Fuck it, I’ll start a label. How hard can it be?’. At first I didn’t pay much attention to it and thought it was easy but after a while I realised actually there was lot more to it than I thought.

“I did ask for advice but still did things under my own steam. I’m an only child and used to doing things on my own. I don’t know how people working together on labels are ever able to come to any compromise especially on A&R, artwork and things like that. If I was working alongside anyone else I’d never get anywhere. I like putting my own stamp on things and I’ll live and die by my decisions. If it goes shit then it’s my fault and if it goes well then good.”

So far so very good it is though for Boe. From the label’s debut release from Parkinson’s pal Burnski to the latest Boe XX – a tip top various artists package featuring Perseus Traxx, Kammerton, Outboxx and Machinesleet – the Boe selector has curated his imprint near faultlessly despite his apparent inexperience at the outset.

“I was good friends with Burnski from ages ago. He was putting music out, was on Morris Audio at the time, was just about to be on 2020 Vision and there was this one track that was like a catalyst, which I said I could put out because I knew it would do well,” he recalled. “Then I started looking around at other artists I liked. So I approached Kink. He had just had a release out on Odori but was being overlooked even though his music was technically unbelievable. So well polished and well done. He was well on board for it all. Then I approached Consistent and agreed a third record so I then had that package and went on from there.”

Indeed it has and Boe has recruited some of house music’s finest new producers of recent years, usually before their ability has been widely appreciated thanks to Parkinson’s savvy A&R skills. Deymare, Leif, Kris Wadsworth and Iron Curtis have all made appearances on the label. Yet despite his knack for talent-spotting, Parkinson insisted there has never been a plan when it comes to running Boe.

“I was at a funny time musically when I started the label in terms of what I was buying,” he recounted. “Historically I’ve always bought records but I’d never been involved in a massive scene when growing up so I was never really sure what I was into. About the time of starting the label Discogs was really starting to come in and I found myself really into older music, while the new music at the time – the whole minimal thing – wasn’t inspiring me. Don’t get me wrong, there were some great records made then but I was never into the weirder side of things.
“So with the music I was signing I wasn’t sure where the hell it was going to go or what the future held. But I am glad the whole deep house thing came back as it clearly rejuvenated me and my thinking as to what is good and what is not. It’s helped my A&R selection. Scenes will come and go but a good record will always be a good record.

“I’ve never cherry picked big names for a release. 800 euros to get four tracks from some Detroit guy? I could afford to lose that money but what would that do? That would be A. N. Other record on A. N. Other label. What I like is to find newer artists and forge our own sound, pushing our own artists and music.”

Although deep house in the broadest sense, the tag only tells part of the story and Parkinson was quite certain about what he was looking for when it came to signing new material.

“For me it’s got elements that I love; it’s got soul, it’s got feeling, it’s got emotion running through it. It is not particularly tied to any genre, any sub-trend happening now or in the future. And it is varied as well. It can be really slow like the G-Transition thing [The Second Transition] or it can be pumping techno like the Kris Wadsworth stuff. I like to vary things but even so I think every record I’ve released has had a Boe sound to it even though you might not be able to compare one to the next.

“It is about intuition or gut feel on a record. You know it sounds good, it gives you that feel. I listen to tracks over and over and if I don’t get sick of it then it goes on the label. It’s simple as that.”

Most recently his A&R radar was drawn to Soul 223, a producer with a fine pedigree having released for Soul Jazz and Delsin as well as Peacefrog under his Stasis moniker.

“I didn’t know he was Stasis until I dug a bit deeper,” admitted Parkinson. “It was such a different sound to his Stasis stuff. I’d got his record on Soul Jazz – can’t believe how long ago that was, 2005 – and I found him on Soundcloud and realised he was doing more stuff. Brilliant. He’d got his own sound, was influenced by a lot of things, but a seasoned producer and could make very simple-sounding music sound phenomenal. That’s what he is good at, making essentially simple-sounding tracks sound awesome. So I got in touch. He’s a great guy, very down-to-earth, family man, really sound, knows what he’s doing.”

The result was the excellent Eastern Promise EP, one of the best releases on a UK label last year and much more than simply a deep house record thanks to its broad influences and mature sound.

And there is still much more yet to come from both Boe and Parkinson including new projects once again from Soul 223 and Leif plus at long last from the boss man himself. “It has been a long time coming,” Parkinson admitted. “I am my own worst critic. I never love what I do but I am getting to the stage after five or six years of tinkering about where I am now thinking ‘actually I think it is alright’. I am never 100% confident especially when I have such amazing music at my disposal from other people.”

Once ready though it will represent a new chapter for Boe and you get the overwhelming impression that Parkinson is as enthusiastic and committed as ever. He shunned regrets even though by his own admission few of the label’s releases have made money and that the imprint’s balance sheet would make an accountant lose sleep.

“I do question myself as to why the fuck I am doing this but I do love it,” he confessed. “I love the people whose music I sign. I’ve got so much admiration for them. It’s music I love and will play at home. I get a buzz off people charting the records, reviewing the records good or bad. I get the biggest buzz when someone random comes up to me and says ‘wow, I’ve got a load of your records. They’re so amazing’.

“I don’t look back on things and regret them, I just look back and think they could have been done differently, as we all do whatever we look at. And because I literally started out with nothing, no idea how a label was run, I would like to start afresh just because I do know those things now. But Boe has a name for itself now, it’s doing well apparently so. I would like to do another label but I just don’t have the time. You can only cope with so many demos a year.”

Je ne regrette rien or otherwise, Parkinson did however reflect on declining record sales during his five years in the game and urged distributors to do their bit to rejuvenate the market and at the same time adapt or die: “Things do seem to be changing, the market seems to be changing and the way distribution is run has got to change. If you are a distributor running on processes that were in place ten or 15 years ago then you are going to die a slow painful death. There are new distributors coming along that are doing really well, not necessarily fresh to it but with obviously experienced people behind them, that come straight into it, bang, know what needs to be done, know the market, have the contacts and they can go out and do a great job.

“Distributors have got to pick up their game and change the way they do things and keep sales going. My sales have definitely declined over the last year even though in my opinion the quality of the music has got better. It’s one of those things that is so hard to judge.”

Having learnt the hard way and mostly on the hoof, Parkinson also had some sound advice for those also thinking of starting a label.

“Don’t bother,” he laughed. “No, I’d never say that. I know a couple of guys now who have asked me for advice. I try to give advice for what it’s worth as best I can to anybody in as much detail as you want because when I started I had no idea and if I’d known then what I know now I’d have done things differently.

“I’d say think about it longer. What is it you are trying to do? Is it your own music or someone else’s? Think about the reasons. Think about the image your label is going to portray, think about what the ethos is about. Think things through, don’t rush anything ever. Don’t be eager to start the label just because you want to start a label.”

Although something of a vinyl junkie (he tried digital deejaying but admitted he cannot multi-task and fell out of love for playing out because he wasn’t using his beloved records), Parkinson is nevertheless no blinkered evangelist of the black stuff. Instead he acknowledged the need in business terms at least for Boe to offer both mediums.

“Vinyl-only is more akin to what I am about. It is not about being exclusive. It is just what I do,” he explained. “I’ll never go vinyl-only now though because there are too many people out there that know the label, like the label and can only buy digital music. The majority of the world can only do that. It’s only us lucky people in Europe or the US and Japan who can afford to do that regularly. So what I’ve done for the vinyl buyers is to offer something extra to that available to the digital buyer.”

Yet digital is where a release can really make or break financially, as Parkinson pointed out: “Done right then that is where the money is made. That’s your cash cow. I’ve done releases where someone has charted one track, a major artist, and that one track has sold 20 times more than the rest of the tracks on a four-track EP put together. And I’ve managed to recoup a bit of money because of that.

“And that’s where digital wins because it’s a mass market. People go to Beatport, ‘what’s in the charts?’. Top 10. Download. Buy. Done.

“If you get a track in the top 10 on Beatport you are laughing, whatever top 10 it is. I know people who focus their business model on getting in there because that’s the best way to run things, that’s their business. And it’s very shrewd because that is how the market is run. You love it or hate it. Or try to do both. I love it when it works but I hate it the rest of the fucking time but that’s the way things are nowadays, you just have to accept it.”

Even so, Boe is perceived very much as a vinyl label, something Parkinson was ready to admit: “I was talking to a mate the other day, someone I’ve known a long time, he deejays, we’ve done parties together and I mentioned about doing less for the digital buyer and he said ‘well, you’ve been vinyl-only from the start’. Even he didn’t realise that I’d always done digital. Perhaps it’s because I’m a major vinyl head.”

He is also a key figure and face on an underground scene that in London at least is in rude health. “Underground house people are helpful and supportive of each other,” he explained. “There’s a really good scene in London, it can be difficult for those involved, but they always put on a great party and those are the sort of parties I want to go to. Always the same people at the same parties, brilliant. Might be a total of 300, 400 or 500 people maximum that come into contact with each other across the parties but I’d rather go to one of those any day of the week than say Fabric. Parties such as Night Moves, Northern Purpose, Kiss Me Again. We know each other, we’re friends. It’s a bit geeky but I like the idea of that.”

Back to Boe finally and Parkinson is deeply committed to the label still despite the ups and downs: “There are certain things you don’t want to think about like the amount of time I have spent at home listening over and over again to demos. If I worked out how much time I had spent on this it would be a large potion of my life over the last five years. You just don’t realise.

“But I really don’t want to stop the label. I absolutely love it. It’s part of my life now, it really is. I’m addicted to it.”

It’s like the man said, house music is in safe hands.

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