WORDS: Alex Caslano
“Denis Sulta was this guy I imagined to be an Oil Disco Legend among the UAE underground music scene” reveals Heckter Barbour, the man behind the moniker. Having just dropped his debut EP on coveted Glasgow label, Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, it’s clear the young producer is keen to have a bit of fun with his new persona. “Explaining your creative process to someone can be quite dull” he continues, however his first release is anything but.
First aired on the DABJ Essential Mix back in May and later picked up by Jackmaster and Skream, ‘Sulta Selects Vol.1’ is an intoxicating cocktail of rapid disco house, soulful samples and raw, creeping bass. It’s pure club ammo and has been working a treat at the Sub Club where he’s a resident for new Sunday night soiree, Fly Club. “There will be another record out next year on a very different tip stylistically” confirms Sulta. “It's about the roof terrace up on my parent’s house; my brother bought Astro Turf and some decks chairs and turned it into a roof garden.” If that hasn’t got you intrigued, then it’s time to take yourself less seriously…
Check out ‘Sulta Selects Vol.1’ below, as well as an interview in which we find out more about the bold Denis Sulta:
SG: As some people might be aware, you were previously making music under the name Atlus, and you self-released an excellent EP earlier this year called ‘Midweekend’. What inspired the transformation to Denis Sulta?
Denis: I'm glad you liked ‘Midweekend’, thanks. Atlus has by no means been scrapped, he just didn't like the whole DABJ disco/house type thing. So he's left and is looking for other shit to do at the moment. I heard he's got a stall selling 'Atlus Burgers' this year at the Christmas market on Argyle Street. He'll be back at some stage once he matures a bit.
Denis was this guy I imagined to be an Oil Disco Legend among the UAE underground music scene, with ties to Arab cartels and four private planes. It fitted together in my head much better with the music I had ready to go at the time...and Sulta is just Atlus backwards.
SG: Your debut EP dropped on Dixon Avenue Basement Jams recently and people seem to be really reacting to it; can you talk us through the creative process behind the release and any influences which inspired you?
Denis: Explaining your creative process to someone can be quite dull. Creativity has basically been summed up by a concept I read about in a David Byrne book called 'Creation In Reverse'. I don't actually read books, but my computers dead at the moment and it’s pretty much all I can do and it’s driving me fucking crazy.
There's too much to discuss; the creative process is most certainly an ongoing one. It's pretty hard to turn it off sometimes (going out and getting fucking MWI is a good distraction) and really this record was built day by day from all sorts of sources and influences. Some of it might sound simple, but there are things I hear in all the tracks that take me back to exactly what was going on whilst it was being created. People just won't hear it the same or feel the same way about it as I do - trying to explain that to people is a lost cause. I could talk for hours on this...
SG: You’re currently a resident for Fly Club at the Subby; what have the resident nights been like so far? And how would you characterise your style and sound when you DJ?
Denis: FLY club has been great and the Glasgow venture has been going so well. Who knew people like to go out on a Sunday? Don't these people have jobs!? I play party music - very dancey. I used to try and mix as fast as I could and just rattle through tunes, but now I take my time a bit more thanks to Stay Fre$h bossman, Joshua. However, slow and groovey is all fine n' dandy, but you’re gonna need to set the gaff on fire at some stage and it’s very important to learn how to keep a smaller crowd interested with fast, energetic mixing. I'm still learning how to get that balance right; who knows how long that'll take.
SG: Obviously it’s still early days, but what should we be looking out for from you as we move into 2015? Are you working on a follow up to ‘Sulta Selects Vol.1’?
Denis: There will be another record out next year on a very different tip stylistically. I am SOOOO excited to let this one air out its club stink, GOD DAMN. It's about the roof terrace up on my parent’s house; my brother bought some Astro Turf and some decks chairs and turned it into a roof garden, but it looks kinda RUF. My Dad said it reminded him of scuzzy new builds in L.A. The name is in their somewhere.
‘SSV2’ will appear at some stage yes, but this next record is not it. I'll be playing my first London show this December alongside one of the tallest and kindest DJ's I know, Sam Telfort, who has some fucking dyno solo material dropping next year. I will also be helping The Palone Corp develop and grow as TOONICE hits the streets once again (1st Anniversary 20th Dec) which will be the best night of the year.
For the vast majority of 2015 I'll be working hard at trying to push the boundaries of what we all dance to and hopefully break through into the next dimension of sonic equilibrium. PEACE!