How has the British summer been for you, and what have you been working on?
Hi Graham, thanks for the chat. The summer’s been good thanks - I’ve been working on a couple of new tracks and talking to a few labels about them. I’m still finding my feet slightly, after taking a pretty big break from the music, but it’s going well - and it’s great to chat with some really big players in the industry. Everyone’s been really supportive. Especially the guys behind Precinct and Solar Storm - they’re proper legends!
I’ve actually just decided to set up my own label to release my tracks on - that way I can really push my own new sound and really build momentum again, rather than trying to follow other people’s music policies and jump from label to label. More details soon, but I’m focusing more on the techno and tech house side of things now. Pretty excited about it!
What has been the highlight of your music career, so far?
Good question - especially as it’s been a 50/50 split between performing and producing. A few proud moments include seeing my Fear 3 Silver Planet mix compilation for sale next to Sasha’s GU Ibiza in HMV London, and being passed a recording of a Sasha DJ mix where he played my Flash Brothers - Ways remix. Also being told that Atmospheric Graffiti was Nick Warren’s tune of 2004 was a huge highlight, and watching Jody Wisternoff play my Calanit remix as soon as I handed it to him on a Way Out West boat party was pretty special!
Performance-wise, I’ve loved playing all over the world. Shanghai and Turkey were real highlights. I’ve been so lucky to see a lot of the world as part of my music work. Looking back now, it all seemed so easy at the time. Now I’ve got a couple of kids (and a day job), it does mean I have to be much more focused about my projects.
If you had to save one piece of studio equipment from a fire what would it be?
I was going to say my new Korg Minilogue analogue synth - I love it - but actually I think it has to be my Novation K-Station. They don’t make them anymore but that synth was really central to developing my original sound. I guess the K-Station was more typically used in trance circles at the time but I carved out my own melodic patches with it - on a slightly old-school vibe. The Minilogue is a very close second though! That’s starting to define my updated sound more and more. Especially with the new tracks coming up.
What is your favourite venue and why?
It’s a tie between the London boat parties where I was resident for 3 years - Electronic Sessions - and a very cool underground club in Ankara, Turkey called Faces, where I’ve played lots of times. Electronic Sessions is still going but it looks like Faces has closed now.
The boat parties were fantastic - a great mix of huge names and some up-and-coming DJs - and the regular slot helped me build up a loyal following and really set the scene for the big names on the top deck. Always loved those sunset warm-up slots, but also played a few peaktime sets downstairs too. It was great to spin alongside legends like Slacker, Jody Wisternoff and Futureshock.
Faces was an incredible club. About 1500 capacity. I loved the feeling of walking down the steps into the cavernous club - armed with the latest tracks from my producer friends and my effects unit, and knowing it was going to be a big gig! I have great memories of playing to capacity crowds until the close - especially towards the end of the night when the energy kept building and building.
Xpander or Wavy Gravy?
They’re both absolute classics but I have to go with Xpander. Sasha and his crew have been writing legendary music for years and years, and Xpander still sounds as fresh as it ever did. I went along to one of his Refracted Live gigs at the Roundhouse in London and heard both Xpander and Wavy Gravy played live, but Xpander really tore the roof off.
In fact that gig was part of the reason that I’m back making music again now…! I’d taken a break from the scene for a few years due to family commitments and because the day-job took over, but it made me realise that all you have to do is turn on the keyboards again and you can start writing big tracks and rock a crowd.
Of course there’s more to it than that, but I woke up the synths again, upgraded my software and studio and got stuck in. And now I’m happier than ever to write and release music again. After I’d signed my latest single to Precinct, the guys asked me if I’d like to remix Jan Johnston - Flesh, and I jumped at the chance to put my spin on it and really push my updated sound. My remix of Flesh was just released last Friday on Solar Storm recordings, and it was great to hear some of the feedback about it from some of my DJ / producer heroes.
Anyway, it’s great to be back and I’m happier than ever working on new music again.