Jul 31, 2014

FEATURE: Keep An Eye On…The Nuclear Family
WORDS: Alex Caslano

‘We are The Nuclear Family, a house/techno production team from Glasgow’ states their bio on Soundcloud, and while they’re not giving much away in terms of musical identity, what is blatantly obvious is their skill at crafting super slick and deliciously fresh electronic music. Their recently released debut EP, ‘After Effects’, offers four dreamy slices of deep, alluring house, ranging from the club bumpin’ (‘Blind Spot’) to the outright Balearic (‘Mind’s Eye View’). It’s an accomplished listen, and it’s certainly got us excited.

‘We initially set out to make music that stands the test of time’ the duo confirms. ‘A bit of a lofty ambition we know, but having both collected records for years we know it's the timeless ones that we keep coming back to, so we'd rather our releases were a bit more rounded and personal rather than just a collection of minimal club tracks.’ It’s a policy which will ultimately stand them in good stead, and if their debut release is anything to go by, then they’re certainly going about it the right way.

Check out the ‘After Effects EP’ below, as well as an interview in which we find out more about how the project began, some of the artists who have inspired them and why it’s important to them to make music which reaches beyond the club:

Synth: So we have to say, it was a pleasant surprise discovering The Nuclear Family earlier this year as you seemed to come out of nowhere; can you start by telling us a little about how this project started?

The Nuclear Family: Drunkenly, at a friend's party. We've long been pals and musical like-minds and had previously produced music individually, but recently our machines were getting dusty. During an enthusiastic bevvy-fuelled music chat (I think about Fuse's Dimension ‘Intrusion LP’) we got talking about timeless records we loved, and resolved to get the finger out and start working together. All the best ideas come about from these kinds of chats...it's just rare that they're followed up with any action!

Synth: Your self-released debut EP, ‘After Effects’, has been getting some superb feedback so far. What was the writing process like behind this release? Did all come together quite quickly or were you bouncing ideas off each other for a while?

The Nuclear Family: These tracks actually did come together pretty quickly. A couple of them have samples at their core which was quite helpful at the start. Once we'd worked out how to recontextualise the sample, other musical ideas sparked off quite organically. There are some little technical details in the tracks which took a bit of extra time but hopefully they were worth it. ‘Blind Spot’, the most club friendly track on the EP, was definitely fun to write. It has some flanging and stuttering effects on the drums where we were just imagining what would push our buttons in a club.

Synth: You seem quite comfortable with different vibes and tempos, with the ‘After Effects Rerub’ sounding comparatively chill-out next to the aforementioned ‘Blind Spot’; did you set out from the start to make something that worked on and off the dancefloor? And were there any sounds or artists you’d reference as inspiration?

The Nuclear Family: We initially set out to make music that stands the test of time. A bit of a lofty ambition we know...and who knows how we'll get on, but having both collected records for years, we know it's the timeless ones that we keep coming back to; so we'd rather our releases were a bit more rounded and personal rather than just a collection of minimal club tracks.

Also, we've always enjoyed electronic music of different moods, so I think that was going to be reflected in our productions. We've DJ’d playing house and techno for years too, so while we definitely want to release some tracks which are really musical and maybe more home listening oriented, equally we want to do good floor-friendly tracks that we'd play out ourselves. In terms of inspiration: lots! We enjoy a lot of downtempo soundtracky stuff, reggae, funk, boogie and more. In terms of electronic music, historically: Larry Heard, Juan Atkins, Carl Craig, the UR camp, Maurizio, Chez Damier, Isolee, The Black Dog, Pepe Bradock, Masters at Work, Move D, Gemini, Gosub, Convextion and too many others to list.

The rerub of ‘After Effects’ you mention is actually a deliberately overt tribute to Larry Heard, although generally we try not to imitate anyone too closely. Creating your own voice takes time but that's what we're striving for. As for current producers and influences: the likes of Joe, Moon B, MGUN, FourTet, Donnie Tempo, Cliff Lothar, Pye Corner Audio, Floating Points, Acido records, DJ Sprinkles, Dj Sotofett and of course our talented compatriots like Firecracker, Fudge Fingas, Lord of the Isles and DABJ. Generally we listen out for anything with soul, musicality and a bit of attitude.

Synth: So obviously it’s still early doors and we don’t want to jump the gun, but can we assume that we’ll be hearing more from The Nuclear Family? Any other releases planned for this year?

The Nuclear Family: We're planning one or two more releases this year. Our second release features three new tracks plus a lovely remix by Moon B from Atlanta. After that, we'll see if we've got any money left!

The Nuclear Family ‘After Effects’ is out now from all the usual outlets. You can catch them DJ’ing from 18.30 this Saturday alongside House of Traps, Lord of the Isles and PVK on the Electric Frog/ Brunswick stage in the Merchant City.

The Nuclear Family Website
The Nuclear Family on Soundcloud
The Nuclear Family on Facebook

Jul 30, 2014

FEATURE: Catching Up With Silicone Soul
WORDS: Alex Caslano

Silicone Soul may well have been playing and releasing music for almost twenty years, but in 2014 they seem as excited as ever. One of Scotland’s most dynamic production duos and a tour de force on dancefloors the world over, Craig Morrison and Graeme Reedie have been on a long and inspiring journey; from warming up for Slam at The Arches in the 90s to their chart storming classic ‘Right On’ and the launch of their own label Darkroom Dubs, they’ve certainly earned their stripes. ‘We felt really proud to reach the ten year mark’ Craig tells us of Darkroom's anniversary last year. ‘It's a good feeling, especially the realisation that Graeme and I both still share the same passion and love for music as we did when we first started, despite all we have been through together.’

As any independent label-head will tell you, the last decade was a struggle in terms of music sales and management, with the onslaught of digital and illegal downloading making things unreasonably difficult. ‘Everything was going well for the first couple of years then the vinyl market began to collapse and two different distributors went to the wall on us’ Craig says, reflecting on the hard times. ‘The label is a passion though, so I guess you just keep going and it's given us a lot of pleasure over the years.’ It’s given countless others pleasure too, with releases from fellow Glaswegians Gary Beck and Sei A among the international talent keeping us dancing through the years.

Recently launching their new vinyl-only edit series with two sweet and funky re-rubs from German duo, Skinnerbox, while also playing a triumphant last minute set at T in the Park, the guys are not only enjoying the fruits of their labour, they’re chasing the next challenge, and at this stage of the game anything is possible…

Check out the first release from Skinnerbox on their new Darkroom Dubs Edits series below, as well as the most recent edition of Darkroom Dubs Radio:

Ahead of Silicone Soul’s date with Sub Rosa at the Sub Club tonight, we also managed to fit in a long overdue catch-up with Craig of the duo, talking in-depth about the early years in Glasgow, the role of social media in label strategy and why love for the music will always see you through:

Synth: Shamefully this is the first time we’ve ever interviewed you on Synth, but most people will be well aware of your heritage in Glasgow; do you have fond memories of the early years in the city? We saw you recently post about your debut on Depth Perception recently – that must be taking it back a bit!

Craig: Well you got around to us eventually haha. We’ve got very fond memories of the early days; it was a long time ago I suppose, but in a lot of ways things haven’t changed much. We started our own label Depth Perception in 1996, pretty much once we left school and started Uni with our close friends Peter and Chris. University obviously quickly fell by the wayside, especially once we started DJing around Glasgow and warming up for Slam at their Arches weekly. We then started our own residency called Relief (at The Arches) with Lawrence Hughes and DJQ; just great fun, all night studio sessions, lots of parties and the weekly pilgrimage to the Sub Club and The Arches. We released two records on Depth Perception and then signed to Soma as Silicone Soul. Looking back it was exciting times, and in fairness, all a bit hazy.

Synth: You’re based in France at the moment and we recently had a chat with Carlos Nilmmns who is living in Angers; is there anything you miss about living in Glasgow? Is it harder to get work done in France when the weather’s that much better?

Craig: Haha, I’m having trouble doing this interview with the glare from the sun on my laptop screen, though I would say that the wine is more of a problem here than the weather. I suppose it is harder to get music done in the summer, but managing the label and things like that is quite straight forward and it’s a nice environment to work and live. I live quite rurally so I didn’t have an internet connection for the first year or so. It was quite hard to keep on top of everything with the label and organise gigs (even uploading a DJ mix to our Soundcloud would take most of the day). Can’t say I miss sitting in McDonalds every day for their wifi connection!

The summer is always busy anyway with gigs and friends and family visiting, so you tend to get the head down in the winter. I’ve been living out here for the last seven years now, so I suppose here feels like home but I’m back in Glasgow a lot more now so I don’t feel too isolated from the action. I miss the usual things like going to the Subby on weekends off and the general convenience like shops, popping in to Rubadub and a good curry, and obviously I miss a few close friends and all my family is in Glasgow too.

Synth: You celebrated ten years of your label Darkroom Dubs last year; you must have felt a real sense of achievement considering the last decade was quite unforgiving in terms of the industry?

Craig: We felt really proud to reach the ten year mark; it's a good feeling, especially the realisation that Graeme and I both still share the same passion and love for music as we did when we first started, despite all we have been through together. We've made a lot of good friends along the way, both while DJing and through the label, released a lot of cool music and helped some artists who were just starting off gain the exposure they deserve; so there's a lot to be happy about. I'm surprised we've lasted 10 years, considering all that's gone down. Everything was going well for the first couple of years then the vinyl market began to collapse and two different distributors went to the wall on us, then after that all the illegal downloading. The label is a passion though, so I guess you just keep going and it's given us and others a lot of pleasure over the years. Realistically, there's only so much you can achieve with the resources at your disposal. We don't have any staff or big budgets, so we do everything ourselves, from production, A&R, management, right through to arranging the club dates; but you put all you can into it and reaching the 10 year mark gave a great sense of achievement.

Synth: There’s been some really hot stuff coming out on the label recently (particularly enjoyed Am$trad Billionaire’s EP last year); are there any artists you’ve been taking a special interest in and how do you go about sourcing music for the label?

Craig: Thanks, Am$trad Billionaire are a couple of really talented Glasgow lads and it was one of the most popular releases of last year. We have a lot coming up on the label and we’re mostly focusing now on the Limited Edition Vinyl Series and albums. We are just about to kick off a new vinyl only Darkroom Dubs Edits series. The first is by Skinnerbox with wonderful versions of 'Theme De Yoyo’ & 'A Love Supreme'. We’ve then got another three records pencilled in: a new Silicone Soul EP, a new release by Justin Robertson and another from Skinnerbox. They have made a record using a drum machine they created for Ableton, so it will be in conjunction with them. The next LP is one of the most original electronic albums we’ve heard in quite a while. It’s by a Portuguese producer, Pedro Aguiar, called ‘Landscapes & Heartbreaks’.

We've always tended to focus on newer, raw talent. I think despite all the changes in music formats and communication over the years, our general A&R process has stayed the same. Maybe in the earlier days you would find an amazing record in a store on your travels then track the artist down from the info, like with Will Dawson, Juan Iborra or later Freska. Where as now, you maybe get sent a great promo that just blows you away and you try find out more. We're quite fortunate to hear a lot of music from artists who perhaps have only had one, two or a handful of releases out or are in the early stages of their musical adventures. At different times, that's how we came across Klartraum, Antonio Olivieri, Jairo Catelo, Dimitri Veimar and Sei A (who we didn't even realise was from Glasgow). Soundcloud is a wonderful medium too; that's how we heard Of Norway's first productions, which were just fantastic and really different. A few of the guys who have had early releases on the label, like Gary Beck for example, have then gone on to have great international success. We've been fortunate too when we're planning a release. Sometimes the artist will recommend someone else for the remixes and that starts a new relationship, like with Uner and Los Suruba, or a new artist is recommended through a friend. Or sometimes you just get sent an amazing demo as with Skinnerbox. The music is what running a label is all about and that's where the pleasure is in it all. It's all about having good relationships and helping artists as much as you can whilst supporting what you believe in.

Silicone Soul drop Skinnerbox’s edit of ‘Theme De Yoyo’ at T in the Park

Synth: Social media is a huge part of promoting music right now; do you think the benefits of online marketing are worth the time and effort that’s needed to manage it? Is it something you’re actively involved in?

Craig: I think it works for some artists in terms of maybe promoting their new release or with DJ bookings. I think it is worth the time and effort…well I hope so because it is a lot of time and effort haha, and I think too that it sounds a bit fake if you have someone else writing posts for you on your own Facebook. So yeah, we are actively involved and do all our own social media. The danger is that it takes up time that could be spent in the studio. So I think for most electronic artists it’s a bit of a love/ hate or necessary evil, but is it important, nevertheless.

Synth: Graeme is back at the Sub Club for midweek party Sub Rosa tonight, and obviously you’re no stranger to the Subby booth; can you remember what it was like playing your first set there?

Craig: Graeme’s good pals with the Sub Rosa lads so he’ll be playing a few tonight. I think that’s the third party he’s done. Great vibe, so I’m told. Then we are both back for Subculture with Slam on Aug 9th. I actually can’t remember the first time we played the Sub Club. We had a Darkroom Dubs residency there before I moved to France and we’ve played Return To Mono and Subculture quite a few times.

Synth: And bringing things right up to date is there one tune you’re playing out at the moment which is really doing the damage?

Craig: Haha, in the true spirit of nepotism it’s definitely the new Darkroom Dubs Edits by Skinnerbox. ‘Theme De Yoyo’ and ‘A Love Supreme’ have been really tearing it up all year.

Synth: Finally, seeing as we’re half way through the summer already, what have been your main highlights so far and what have you got coming up that’s got you excited?

Craig: Definitely the Slam Tent at T In The Park; one of the DJs couldn’t make it so a late substitution was made…delighted. Also we were back at Barutana which is a large Medieval Fortress in Belgrade. It’s a proper all night long rave party. We’re really busy through the rest of the summer and looking forward to the re-opening of KaterHolzig in Berlin and playing in Morocco for the first time.

Silicone Soul play Sub Rosa at the Sub Club tonight (30th). Entry is £5 on the door or via limited guestlist. Check out the latest Darkroom Dub releases and edits on the label’s Soundcloud.

Silicone Soul on Soundcloud
Silicone Soul on Facebook
Silicone Soul on Twitter

Jul 16, 2014

WORDS: Alex Caslano

‘The weather's terrible but nothing a few pints can't fix!’ Speaking about her new base in Glasgow, Maya Medvesek aka Nightwave has an infectiously positive attitude towards life. Producer, promoter, DJ and singer, the Red Bull Music Academy graduate moved here from London in 2012 and has never looked back. ‘I love the people here, the humour, the general energy of the city and the passion for music. It's the most at home I've ever felt in my life!’ she enthuses. It’s a sentiment we share, and with her new label, Heka Trax, going from strength to strength, it’s clear that the less than appealing weather is working in her favour.

Originally from Ljubljana and attracted to dance music from an early age, Maya has already been on an incredible journey. Purchasing her first pair of decks at the age of 15 and making herself known to the city’s clubs, DJ’s and promoters (‘I was a trainspotter with a notepad and pen’ she recalls), she immersed herself in the sounds of Detroit and Chicago, obsessing over Dance Mania and Underground Resistance records. With production being a natural progression, she was able to teach herself the basics, eventually releasing music under the name of 8Bitch on labels such as Slit Jockey and Seed Records.

But it was in 2011 when Red Bull invited her to Madrid for their prestigious Music Academy that things went next level. ‘RBMA was the most wonderful and surreal experience of my life’ she reflects. ‘It really was invaluable to have amazing people like Erykah and (MF) Doom give a little insight into their musical journey.’ Brimming with confidence, skill and passion, she’s clearly taken things in her stride, producing innovative music which blends booty, bass, juke and techno into something entirely fresh. Recently releasing three explosive EPs on her aforementioned label, Heka Trax, as well as promoting hugely popular party, Nightrave at La Cheetah, the term ‘unstoppable’ springs to mind, but then she insists that there’s still much more to learn: ‘I've realised recently that I've based my life on achievements and ambition and that's not necessarily a good thing! My life so far has been fun and exciting, but I now want to really focus on my personal development, as well as learning, sharing and perhaps mentoring.’ It’s a healthy realisation to make, and certainly, if the journey so far is anything to go by we’re sure the next chapter will be just as exciting as the last.

Check out some of Nightwave’s recent productions below, as well as an interview in which we talk more about coming up in Slovenia, her experience at the Red Bull Music Academy and some invaluable advice for aspiring producers:

Synth: So you’re from Slovenia and spent some time in London before moving here to Glasgow; now that you’ve been here a while, is there anything about the city which you really love (or indeed, hate)? Presumably you’ve got used to the weather?

Nightwave: The weather's terrible but nothing a few pints can't fix! I love the people here, the humour, the general energy of the city and the passion for music. It's the most at home I've ever felt in my life!

Synth: You promote a regular party at La Cheetah called Nightrave which seems to get a lot of love; any particular nights or guests which have stood out? Your b2b sessions with Éclair FiFi always to go down well!

Nightwave: Doing Nightrave is a lot of fun and I get so much satisfaction from seeing everyone enjoy themselves! I love playing b2b with Fifi and sadly we've both been a bit too busy for it recently, but we'll be back! I think the launch night with us, Cleoslaptra and Rustie was my favourite - we had no idea what to expect and there was a queue down the block! We have a really special Halloween 'Nightgrave' coming up, watch this space hehe.

Synth: If we rewind a bit and talk about your entry to dance music, what was the scene like in Ljubljana when you were coming up? Did it act as a big influence in terms of sounds and styles or were you looking to other places when you started buying records?

Nightwave: I first got into the rave scene because I was intrigued by the crazy and fun looking clothes when I was about 12 and then got into happy hardcore and slowly started discovering techno and house later on. I bought my first decks when I was 15 which I was super proud of, but then I could hardly afford any records plus we only had one record shop in town that ordered just enough copies for the selected few DJs haha. I was very, very lucky that Ljubljana was heavy into Detroit and Chicago techno back then and I got so obsessed with it; I was a trainspotter with a notepad and pen by the DJs which they must have found endearing as a lot of them helped me out as I was learning to DJ.

Synth: We read a great quote from your TLG interview in which you advise aspiring producers to actually throw themselves into it and not be too proud to ask for help. Looking back, is there anything you’d do differently during your first years of production? And did you find it daunting taking that first step?

Nightwave: I'm still a beginner right now! The more I learn the more I realise that I know nothing! Certainly I would have asked for help and advice instead of self-learning, but that was just an ego thing I guess. There is a big support network out there right now with internet tutorials and all sorts, so make the most out of that! One thing I have learned recently is how important it is to empty your mind when you make tracks; I've wasted a lot of time analysing what I'm making and wondering if it's good enough for a release bla bla…what a load of nonsense!

Synth: Sound advice! You were a student at the Red Bull Music Academy in 2011 studying under the tutelage of Erykah Badu among others; what was it like learning from these legendary figures in music? Were there any moments of which opened your eyes or really resonated with you?

Nightwave: RBMA was the most wonderful and surreal experience of my life and it really was invaluable to have amazing people like Erykah and Doom give a little insight into their musical journey. I think Erykah's lesson was the most powerful, not only because I'm a big fan of her art, but because she is just such an incredible woman and that was very empowering and inspiring.

Nightwave: camouflage

Synth: Your sound has been described as incorporating elements of grime, juke and bass, and you often reference Chicago and Detroit as well as labels like Dance Mania as inspiration; are there any records in particular which you hold dear or you feel really influenced your direction?

Nightwave: Jeff Mills – ‘Berlin’ and Bangalter – ‘Trax On Da Rocks’ are two of my favourite tunes. Numerous UR tracks, Deeon and Paul Johnson tunes, as well as everything DJ Rashad has done - I'll be forever grateful for his work and the legacy he's left behind.

Synth: From what we gather it sounds like you’re very much an advocate of living life to the full, and other than producing and playing music, some of your past achievements and jobs are really quite incredible; do you have certain goals or ambitions that you’re working towards (both musically and otherwise) or are you just happy to take it each day at time?

Nightwave: I've realised recently that I've based my life on achievements and ambition and that's not necessarily a good thing! My life so far has been fun and exciting, but I now want to really focus on my personal development, as well as learning, sharing and perhaps mentoring. I want to get back to singing again and I'll do that as soon as I take these fucking braces off my teeth! I honestly can't wait; it's been an absolute nightmare!

Synth: We’re really hyped we finally to organise a mix with you as we’ve been listening to (and watching) the Overdrive Infinity session a lot recently; can you talk us through some of the big tracks in your mix? Are you one for planning mixes or do you just start with a record and see where it goes?

Nightwave: I did a little techno mix for you guys, slightly nostalgic maybe, with old Mills, Beltram, Drexciya etc in there! I do plan mixes a little bit as I play quite a variety of things, but very vaguely.

Synth: You launched your new label ‘Heka Trax’ last year featuring three EPs from yourself to date; are there any other artists you’ve taken an interest in recently that you’d like to sign?

Nightwave: I've already signed a few new acts but I better not announce anything so I don't jinx it! I'm always looking for more material so please send that through my page www.hekatrax.com! Heavy party music only, haha.

Synth: Looking forward, what plans do you have for the rest of the summer? Any forthcoming releases we should be looking out for? And when can we expect Nightrave to make a return?

Nightwave: I'm finishing off new material, doing a bit more touring, probably back with an EP in September and a few remixes...Nightrave is on holiday until after summer when the dark nights return to Glasgow and we can party all day long :)

Synth: Make no mistake, Nightwave is one of our favourite DJs. Where many dancefloors can slip so easily into a state of predictable monotony, Nightwave will keep you on your toes, mixing forgotten classics, upfront bangers and a few surprises along the way. From DJ Deeon to Tessela, Jeff Mills to Nightwave herself, this is a workout for your entire body. Standing at the bar isn’t an option…

1. DJ Deeon - Butterfly Rx Alternate Version
2. UR - Analog Assassin
3. I-F - Playstation (Instrumental)
4. Dopplereffekt - Voice Activated
5. Serge & Tyrell - House Countdown
6. Gingy & Bordello - All Day (Robert Hood Remix)
5. Jeff Mills - The Hypnotist
8. Joey Beltram - Mentasm
9. E-Dancer - Velocity Funk
10. Tessela - Gateway
11. Strip Steve - The Funktion
12. Nightwave - Grinder
13. Drexciya - Funk Release Valve

Nightwave’s ‘Hit It EP’ is out now on Heka Trax. Check the Heka Trax website for more news on forthcoming releases. Nightwave also plays Bestival in September.

Nightwave on Soundcloud
Nightwave on Facebook
Nightwave on Twitter

Jul 15, 2014

COMPETITION: 02ABC Presents…Public Enemy

This is the big one. Whether it’s hard-hitting social commentary on ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions…’ or the sample heavy and politically motivated anthem ‘Fight The Power’, Public Enemy are easily one of the most important rap groups of all time; in fact, make that one of the most important groups of all time. The fourth hip hop act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and famous for their socially conscious lyrics and energetic live performances, there’s no exaggerating Public Enemy’s influence over the last thirty years, with their first four albums all going either gold or platinum.

Of course, countless award nominations and global success speaks for itself, but it’s really the message that the group delivered and how they delivered it which seals their legacy. Using hip hop as a way of addressing some the issues facing black America during the 80s and 90s, they were a voice for those who weren’t being listened to. And it’s a voice which still resonates today.

Check out a video of the last time Public Enemy rolled through town via Tenement TV, as well as a full stream of ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back’:

Ok, so you’ve heard the hype and by now you probably know the deal! We’ve got two tickets to giveaway to see Public Enemy on July 30th courtesy of the guys over at the 02ABC. If you want to be in with a shot, simply head over to the Synth Facebook and type ‘02ABC Presents…Public Enemy’ on the wall - we’ll select a winner at random on Tue 29th. Please be sure to read the terms & conditions below.

Terms & Conditions: Please note that this prize is for two places on the guestlist for 02ABC Presents…Public Enemy on Wednesday 30th July. There will be one winner. The competition closes at 1pm on Tuesday 29th and the winner will be notified via Facebook comment (please check your Facebook entry in the hours following the closure of the competition). The winner must be 14 years or older. After we have passed on the winner’s details to the event organisers we then pass on responsibility for entry on the night.

Public Enemy play the 02ABC on July 30th in Glasgow. Tickets are £28.12 advance from Ticketweb including fees. Support on the night comes from Hector Bizerk and the Mixkings DJs.

Public Enemy Website
Public Enemy on Facebook
Public Enemy on Twitter
02ABC on Facebook

Jul 14, 2014

FEATURE: Moodymanc’s Top5
WORDS: Alex Caslano

It was around this time last year that we had the pleasure of chatting with Mancunian producer Danny Ward, aka Moodymanc. Speaking before his annual gig at DC Sessions, we talked in depth about the new generation of house producers ruling the charts, concluding that ‘the underground will always be underground’, you just need to dig a little deeper to discover the good stuff. Twelve months later and it seems like that sentiment has only grown stronger with a deluge of copy-cat producers flooding the airwaves and cashing in on the ‘deep house’ explosion. During that interview he also suggested that ‘the right people are always there for the right reasons’, and having been involved with music for well over twenty years, he’s certainly proof.

Frazer Devine and Jane ‘Jaya’ Ayres of DC Sessions also fall into this category, having been throwing parties in Glasgow for the last four years with guests ranging from Derrick Carter to Marc Romboy. Like Moodymanc, they only promote quality, original music, serving up underground sounds to those in the know. Having played for them every year since they started, Moodymanc’s appearance is always highly anticipated, sharing impeccable taste and a mutual appreciation for the dancefloor. Ahead of his set at The Berkeley Suite later this month we checked in to catch his top5 tunes of the moment, selecting fine cuts from the likes of Opolopo, Paul Woolford and James Winter:

1. OPOLOPO FT/ SHEA SOUL – BE ENOUGH (Tone Control Music)

“Simon from Tone Control gave me this on a pre-printed cd at a party I played at in Manchester recently. I was immediately impressed by the old school gesture (I'm increasingly addled by digital promos!), but not as much as when I got it home and played it - crisp production but with just the right amount of dirt in there, nice chunky analogue drums, and a great vocal. I'm really picky about vocals but props to Shea and to Opolopo here - really tastefully done. The dubbier versions are great too. I think this will be dropping pretty soon...”

Preview unavailable...listen here


“I've had an eye on Christian Neilsen for quite a while; not only a talented and prolific producer but also a lovely fella to boot. His last couple of EPs for Play it Down have been great for me - simple but incredibly effective. Great grooves, again with that dirt factor that rolls long and strong; perfect for DJ'ing. ‘Late Checkout’ is an afro-tinged monster with awesome drums and percussion; reminds me a little of some of Kerri Chandler's earlier afro grooves. This one's been out a little while; I'd fully recommend going and grabbing it and checking the rest of the EP too if you haven't already!”


“I've been both a fan and a friend of Wooly since we were label mates in his Bobby Peru days on 2020 Vision. It's a real inspiration to have seen him do so well after so many years of sticking to his guns and plugging away. ’Pandemonium’ of course is a no brainer in terms of a room rocker, but with Kink's added twist the energy gets raised even further. Darker than dark, deeper than deep…I LOVE IT, and it's now up for grabs as a free download. What are you waiting for???”


“I'm a sucker for the RIGHT kind of spoken word on a house track. If it's political, militant and says something for me I'll rinse it to death. James samples a UR interview here which for me is more than poignant given some of the distortions that I feel are prevalent in certain areas of the music at the moment. Marc Cotterell (Plastik People head honcho) brings an added depth to the release which ties it all together fantastically and allows a lot of options mix wise...I'm all over it!”


“Despite a slight tinge of shame at the self promotion, I have to include this. It's not often that I play my own tracks out (I've often heard more than enough of them by the time they're finished), but this collaboration with the mysterious Mr. Middles (HE's the moody fucker, NOT me!!!) is one that I have played lots and always provokes a great reaction both on the dancefloor and amongst the booth-hugging 'what's this one mate?' head-nodding crew alike. It's dark and brooding with a techno edge and has a Miles Davis vocal sample asking you to 'take a look in the mirror man'…It's also (now for the shameless plug) on my label Well Cut Records first 12" - a 4 tracker just out on 180g with ridiculously lavish artwork. The digital release will be very much limited to a couple of online stores (mates!) in a couple of weeks...howzat for blag?!”

Moodymanc plays DC Sessions at the Berkeley Suite on July 26th. Entry is £7 on the door. Moodymanc’s ‘Well Cut Records 001’ is out now.

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