FABRIC 18TH BIRTHDAY SUNDAY REVIEW

0Fabric was not open last year as quite a lot has happened since the 16th birthday  including closing, the very public campaign and fundraising events, reopening, the new programming schedule,  and now arriving at another birthday the clubs 18th. We want to focus on the music and share our experience of the annual celebration from the Sunday afternoon rolling into Monday morning. All pictures credited to Nick Ensing here.

As we approach the club Sunday mid afternoon we saw a queue of fresh revellers and also some crew that looked like they have enjoyed Saturday night and came back for part two. As we entered the club we could feel the energy and intensity as we slowly made our way down to room one opening the doors adjacent to the bar and hitting a warm wall of sub bass emitting from room 1 as we heard Raresh going back to back with Ricardo Villalobos. Room 1 was busy as ever with a very varied and mixed crowd of revellers and dancers. The very distinguished figure of Ricardo stood out in the booth sharing lots of fun exchanges, laughs, hugs and comments with Raresh. As they opened there set with a beat less intro which looped and transcended time only building the anticipation until the kick drum dropped in minutes later. The room 1 sound system always provides a clarity and depth to the music being played through it and Ricardo knows better than most what it is capable off and how to maximise impact, power and affect. As we found a spot to dance on the bustling and loose dance floor we spotted several local djs in and around the venue as the birthday does turn into a occasion lots of people make effort for.

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We always try to keep our ears open to see if we recognise any of the tracks expressed and aired when Ricardo plays and it is always a rarity to know any let alone a few. Raresh looked as comfortable and relaxed as Ricardo and the big stage seemed effortless for both. We noted that Planet Love by Virgil slipped into the groove as the overall palette of techno, minimal and house cuts blended very seamlessly together. As the two settled into their back to back journey, the bar raised with the crowd reaction when the driving and spaced out groove of Svek aka Jesper Dahlback & Sebastian Ahrenberg My World came through the speakers. It is always an interesting and familiar experience in room 1 on the birthdays as the crowds pack in for the Saturday and Sunday with djs stretching out for long periods and unknown songs get breathed into arguably London’s finest sound system. A few hours in we spotted another cut which was an understated and stripped back number Roustam – Valparaiso took the mood deeper with intricate details and shuffling swing. Ricardo played a few of his own productions which always gets a strong reaction from the crowd and the energy levels stayed high throughout the back to back set. It was groovy and high paced with focus on keeping the frequencies tight and playful. It was a masterful and enjoyable experience seeing these two artists share the booth and create some memorable mix and blends.

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Next up was London’s Ben UFO who has played the birthday previously on a Sunday around the same time. Ben started shortly after 9pm and the dj booth stayed busy with staff, guests & djs. Ben is very in demand and very adept in big club situations. Ben immediately raised the intensity flicking between tougher techno cuts whilst slipping in some choice house numbers like Remember by BT the Mood II Swing Dub which was also played at a previous birthday by Perlon boss Zip. As Ben bopped and swayed in the booth with focus and intensity the energy raised and crowd reacted as he played one his newer Hessle Audio cuts by Joe called Tail Lift with its very fun cow bells and whistles. The groove is always humorous, fun and tougher with the Hessle releases and this release sounded very impressive on the room 1 rig. Ben also looked very loose and content and as we have heard previously at Birthdays Ben likes to play some forgotten classics, this year was no exception as he rinsed the Mighty Dub Katz – Let The Drum Speak this really got the hands in the air as the infectious chord lines & catchy vocal rolled out. The party most certainly was in full swing and the very metallic and large room 1 had a more house party vibe about it. The light show also needs to be given props as the lasers, lights and choreographed smoke machine always heighten the intensity and energy over some tracks. Another stand out number included Cham by Gilb’R & DJ Sotofett which had some serious groove which contrasted the clean and functional techno on display. House of Venus Dish & Tell Bitch Mix which came out in the 90s really got bodies jacking with its fun chopped vocals and cheers. Ben performed another standout set as the numbers in room 1 did not yield from Ricardo & , we endured having several bodies passing through to meet mates or get closer to the booth. In contrast Inland Sca Fell really gave the room 1 system a work out with it’s no nonsense chugging bass line, kick drum and percussion. Ben is very consistent, whilst being diverse, fun and humorous with his sets, it becomes very evident why he is very much in demand and a very unique selector still growing and exploring.

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As we took a fag break and checked the set times we thought we would wonder up to Room 3 to see Claus Voigtmann back to back with Margaret Dygas. Both played standout sets at the first Houghton festival a few months back so this session should set a high standard. Room 3 now has the dj booth placed at the back of the room facing the entrance hiding in-between the arches nestled in. As we entered the arches, the groove was deeper and more rolling in room 3 as we spotted Mountain People 8.1 being flexed with the crowd really enjoying the pace and smaller settings. Claus and Margaret also looked to be in high spirits, joking and laughing. The fabric staff came around with fancy dress for the occasion and the ravers enjoyed getting dressed up which only helped keep the mood high. Overall this set was locked into its sense of urgency, high energy and fitted the room 3 size and space. Hopefully we get to see these two perform back to back again as it most certainly had some stand out moments always keeping things deep and groovy. Margaret is strongly linked to Perlon and has really impressed over the last 12 months and Claus from ToiToi is growing in confidence and producing strong sets on the big stage.

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As it just past midnight we rolled back into the room 1 to see Ricardo at the helm, Ricardo very effortlessly flowed from old German techno to UK numbers including Jedi Knights May The Funk Be With You, it sounded very cohesive and very on point as we entered Monday morning. Ricardo has this very loose and long style of mixing which is very precise and floaty, to mix on big sounds system, with vinyl and make it look very doable is a skill in itself that’s not forgetting playing for hours, crafting a story expressed across multiple genres and styles. As we neared the end of his set one of the highlights included Stella by Jam & Spoon with its fast paced drums and driving chords, as we rolled late into Monday morning room 1 seemed to get busier and busier with more bodies shuffling for space to dance. As 3am rolled in Craig entered the booth and took to the decks. Craig has a very varied and diverse repertoire of sounds which always have a signature flavour, tone and spice to them. The first few cuts settled the vibe and then Craig dug deep into his record box. We clocked in a solid 12 hours and had enjoyed an exquisite display of djs, back to backs and that unforgettable room 1 sound system. This was an understated and musically very impressive, cohesive and groovy birthday by Fabric’s standards.

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As we enter the sprint finish to the year, the big NYE celebrations and then the start of 2018, Fabric is back open, they are seeing the weekly resident Craig Richards play monthly. Change is unavoidable and after 18 years the music you can be exposed to in Fabric is educational, innovative, classic, strange, wonderful and forgotten. We very much look forward to entering the club very soon and enjoying seeing new names rub shoulders with more regular acts. As we racked our minds to remember some of the tracks we heard including Fantasy Fear  of the Brane 001 release by Youandewan stood out as the track of the weekend as it got rinsed by Claus & Margaret in Room 3 and again in Room 1 by Ricardo & Raresh. Most importantly overall the music is consistent and of a very high standard throughout and is accompanied by the room 1 sound system making listening and dancing even more enjoyable. As Fabric remains open the underground electronic music community will benefit from the international acts to the more local up coming artists that it provides a platform for. Overall business as usual and long may it continue, we look forward to seeing how 2018 shapes up and the programming including Craig’s monthly new project.

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K / D P 20 – E.WAN

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K / D Keep It Deep have some newness, in the form of podcast 20 from E.Wan (Untitled, KMAH Radio, Fractal Club, K / U) who is a London based dj, producer & promoter. Ewan is one of the people that keep the community moving and also operates with style and grace. Super talented slowly making his mark and being measured and patient with it. From his co-run Untitled show with Chris G & also Aky on the radio side of the project. Ewan is also resident for Fractal club in Scotland bringing big hitters up north including Steffi, Virginia, Harry McCanna, DJ Tree, Saoirse & Nick Hoppner to name a few. Ewan has given us an honest account to his story, his passion and also reaching a dream this year playing at Fabric London. Enjoy the rock solid 90 minute journey through all things deep and based around nuances, details and groove. Check E.Wan on Facebook here. 

K / D: We met mutually through Rupes (Make Me) who booked us to play Kaleidoscope many years ago. I want to rewind and go back to your early years growing up how was family life?

E.WAN: Family life was fun. I have two sisters and I’m the middle child, which I blame most of my problems on, haha. Our parents took us on lots of great holidays around Scotland and the rest of the UK when we were young so I count myself lucky to have lots of good memories. I remember spending a lot of time outdoors.

K / D: What music can you remember from this time?

I’m very lucky that my parents have great taste in music. My Dad has a Blues band and my mum just loves music, so music was always playing at home. My parents would take us on camping holidays to Jersey every summer and on the long drive from Edinburgh to the south coast there was always music playing in the car. I remember the music they played in the car on these long trips. This influenced me without me even knowing it. I remember listening to David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, The Average White Band, Paul Weller, Squeeze, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, The Beatles & Eric Clapton on these journeys. We recently celebrated my mums 60th birthday and had a big party in their house, everyone went to bed but me, my sisters and my mum were up until 5am dancing and singing along to a lot of these artists.

K / D: As a teenager what interested you?

E.WAN: I’ve always been into music, but as well as that I loved drawing, playing football and I spent a lot of time with friends when I should have been studying!

K / D: Can you remember the first album you purchased?

E.WAN; I honestly can’t remember the first one I bought myself but I’m sure it was something absolutely terrible like the Ghostbusters soundtrack. The first ‘proper’ album I owned was Led Zeppelin – IV. I asked for something awful for Xmas one year on CD and my Dad refused to buy it and got me a few decent albums instead. The one I remember best was Led Zeppelin but I also remember having Michael Jackson’s album Thriller on cassette too.

K / D: Talk us through your first clubbing experience?

E.WAN: My first proper clubbing experience was at Creamfields in Liverpool when I was 17 years old. I went with a group of friends who were mainly into trance and hard house at that time. I liked house music more and remember sneaking off on my own to the Subliminal tent. I had been buying Mixmag & DJ mag for a year or two before that, so had read about a lot of artists and listened to the free CD’s that came with the mags. I guess that was what introduced me to electronic music and definitely inspired me dig for new and interesting sounds. About a month after Creamfields I bought my first set of belt drive turntables and some records. I’ve spent nearly every weekend in clubs since and I’ve never stopped buying records.

K / D: Can you remember the first time you went record shopping?

E.WAN: I remember going into one of the record shops in Edinburgh and telling the girl behind the counter I had just bought decks and needed some records to practice mixing. I told her what parties I had been going to, that I liked house music and I ran through a list of names I knew. I remember coming away with a good mixture of stuff. A couple that stick out are “Eddie Amador – House Music” on Yoshitoshi and “Mr Fingers – “Can you feel it”.

K / D: When and why did you move to London?

E.WAN: I moved to London over 7 years ago. I had been travelling all over the UK & Europe going to clubs and festivals for a number of years. I did a few seasons in Ibiza in my late teens/early 20’s, and had been going to Sonar every year since 2006 and had been to London a few times. I loved the clubs like fabric, Plastic People, Cable, Public Life etc.  I just love how diverse London is. To me London is one of the most influential cities for music on the planet. It was after a trip to fabric’s 10th birthday that really gave me a kick up the arse to move to London and stop just thinking about it. At this time I hated my job and I had run a few parties in Edinburgh and had played most of the big parties and clubs. I just felt like I needed a change and I had had a taste of what London’s nightlife. There was a lot of great daytime parties on Sundays like Secretsundaze, Kubicle @ Public life, Fuse @ 93 Feet East which really appealed to me, I’ve never been one to just go home after a club and I just loved the thought of clubs being open much later and especially liked the thought that there was always something happening no matter what time. Coming from Edinburgh I was used to clubs closing at 3am so it was very new and exciting for me. Though I must say in the last 5 years Edinburgh’s scene has improved massively and has some really great clubs and parties, but at the time I moved I wanted more. I managed to secure a job with RA and then I was off.

K / D: You have lived here for a few years how would you describe the scene?

E.WAN: The scene has changed a lot since I moved. There are lots of great things happening here. There is so much choice which puts pressure on promoters to put on bigger and better events and there are still really good underground things happening if you look for them. Of course there has been a lot of club closures and negative stuff happening in our culture in recent years, but this is just something we need to deal with it. There is a lot of positive stuff happening which everyone should focus on more. Look at fabric reopening, the Lion & Lamb, plus larger scale things like the Printworks. These are all amazing venues that are run by people who have dedicated their lives to music and will always find ways to keep us dancing no matter what obstacles come in our way. I think now having the night czar London is a great thing for our nightlife. Things can only get better from now on.

K / D: Where do you rave, hang out, dj, and buy records?

E.WAN: I love fabric and still try to go as much as possible, especially when Ricardo Villalobos plays. I think in the last 8 years I’ve only missed him there twice. For me fabric is the best club in the world run by the best people, the Lion & Lamb is another favourite of mine and Pickle Factory.  I use Juno, Redeye and Discogs A LOT for buying records but I also buy a lot of stuff at Phonica as I think its got a really good selection of quality releases. I work close by to Phonica so I do spend a lot of time in here.

K / D: What do you do for a day job and how do you juggle this and music on the side?

E.WAN: I work behind the bar in a steak restaurant in Mayfair. I also do playlists for restaurants and bars on a freelance basis. It’s flexible enough to allow me to focus on my own music. I’ve finally found a balance and a routine that works for me. I dedicate at least two full days to making music every week and I spend some time searching for new music every day and still spend way too much money on records.

K / D: Can you explain about your show on KMAH radio?

E.WAN: We’ve been doing a show on KMAH Radio since it started 2 years ago. My good friend Thomas Aky was offered a slot on a Friday 6-8pm and asked Chris G & I if we wanted to do it with him and we jumped at the chance. It’s a great opportunity for us to regularly play music to a wider audience and play stuff we wouldn’t necessarily play in a club. We all buy a lot of records so it’s pretty sweet getting to play most of them of them on the show. It keeps us looking for fresh new and old music. Chris and I leave a lot of the chat to Thomas Aky as he’s great at it and Chris and I play more music.

K / D: You hold down a residency at H&G and Fractal can you share your experience of this thus far?

E.WAN: We’ve been doing Untitled at H&G for a few years now and it’s always a nice party. We enjoy doing intimate parties with DJ’s we like and respect. With the venue being very small there is always a wicked atmosphere. We started this party so that we could have the freedom to play whatever we wanted. I’ve been friends with Chris for almost 20 years and we’ve always had very similar tastes in music. We ran parties together in Edinburgh and often played b2b sets as well as some marathon b2b sets at after parties, so it felt natural to do something together once he moved to London. We tend to book up and coming London based DJ’s that we like, who don’t necessarily get to play peak time slots very often, as well as some bigger guests. Highlights for me so far would have be when we managed to persuade Soundstream and Iron Curtis to play in that tiny room at the Horse & Groom, that was an insanely good party. Other highlights include Tommy Vicari Jnr and friends Harry McCanna, Truly Madly, Chris Seddon, Frazer Campbell and Anthony Campbell who have all played for us a couple of times over the years.  Fractal club is slightly different, this party is run by our good friend Stewart Clason, who has been planning on doing something pretty big in Edinburgh for a while and asked Chris and myself to be residents. It’s been great and we’ve played alongside some of our favourite DJ’s including Prosumer, Virginia, Nick Hoppner, Dinky and DJ Tree. We did a Fractal Club & Untitled party last month and brought our buddy Harry McCanna from Undersound with us, which was a lot of fun. I kicked of their podcast series last year too, which has had some pretty great mixes so far.

K / D: You just played your first Fabric set for WY how did it go?

E.WAN: Fabric was everything I thought it would be plus some more. I’ve been going there as a punter for years and spent so many hours in there listening to my favourite DJ’s so it was such a surreal experience to be playing there. We closed room 1 too, which was an amazing experience. I was over the moon when Jacob and Peter asked us to play and I can’t thank them enough for giving us a chance to play in my favourite room on this planet. We really hope to be back there very soon 😉

K / D: What does the future hold?

E.WAN: This year I’m really focusing on getting some music finished and hopefully released. I’ve made a conscious effort to spend most of my free time working on music. I feel like my productions have improved a lot the last 6 months. I have a few podcasts I need to work on the next few months. We will to carry on doing our Untitled parties and will continue to collaborate with other parties in various different venues, as well as doing our regular thing at H&G. We’ll continue with our Untitled Show on KMAH. We have some great guest mixes coming up in the next few months and look forward to letting you all hear them. Fractal Club has some really exciting things happening this year too that I’m very excited about.

 

K / D P 19 – FRAZER CAMPBELL

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K / D Keep It Deep Podcast number 19 comes from the charismatic Frazer Campbell, a productive London-based dj, producer, remixer, promoter & radio host. Frazer co runs his OPEN project with Anthony Campbell and slowly over the years has crafted his intrinsic, emotive & detailed sound through his productions on his OPEN label and also under his more left field and more experimental Elliot Project. The OPEN radio show can be found on Hoxton FM frequently. The OPEN parties have passed through various London night spots including Pickle Factory, Studio Spaces and also at London’s new under the radar bespoke rave pub Lion & Lamb. The OPEN project supports local talent and more internationally sought after heads with previous guests including Endian, Isherwood, Slow Life, Steve O’Sullivan, Jane Fitz, Saoirse & Voigtmann to name a few. We caught up with Frazer for a conversation covering Frazer’s younger years, first exchanges with nightlife including Fantazia tape packs, learning to dj at 16 and how we arrived to more recent times with his co run OPEN project, in the studio & nightclub licensing in London. Check the podcast for an illustrious electronic excursion over 80 minutes of blending tones, details and frequencies. Check Frazer  on Facebook here  & on RA here OPEN here & Soundcloud here

K / D: Can you share with us an insight into you upbringing with any stand out memories?

Frazer Campbell: Wow what a question. Here goes … I grew up in Fulham west London with my mum, went to pretty strict schools and didn’t really do much as a youngster except homework and sketch In my free time. When I got to secondary school music was my thing from about 11 or 12. Was never into sport and never will be frankly. I loved art and anything that involved using my hands like pottery and woodwork. Hahaha and eating. I defiantly enjoyed doing that!  Was a tad tubby as a kid and carry a bit of timber as an adult!

Trying to think of a childhood memory … ahh I suppose one particular memory that jumps to mind is when my mum fell on top of me when walking me to school, primary school of course not sixth form!! Anyway she always walked me to school and I always weaved from side to side being the young athlete that I clearly was; and I crossed her path, she fell on top of me and People in cars standing in traffic laughed hard at the awkward moment. She was mega pissed off and I felt like a real tool. Mum is tiny woman so it would have looked like a weird comedy sketch. That really stuck in my mind and emotionally scared me……haha

K / D: As a teenager what experiences did you have with music, what did your parents listen to?

Frazer Campbell: In my teenage years I glided through so many genres but was super passionate about all of them at one time or another. I suppose most teenagers’ meander through different vibes dependent on circles of friends …for me the real focused passion began when I got into drum and bass. Then something ignited inside me, which I have such fond memories of.

You asked about my parents. My mum was quite into music actually, collected bits and pieces of vinyl and one artist that I recall her talking about a lot was cat Stevens. I can even remember the retro vinyl racks and small stacks of 7 inch’s in a few different cupboards in the flat. Also the old school record boxes with flip over lid and little brass buckle with one of that suitcase locks… hahhahah a real journey back in time. It’s nice to think about those times. Dad isn’t really into music although I know he likes Dolly Parton and Cher…don’t think my vibe came from his genes!

K / D: Can you remember the first piece of music you owned either on vinyl, cd or cassette?

Frazer Campbell: Every time I am asked this first thing that jumps into mind is ‘salt n peppers’ ‘let’s talk about sex’. I had that on 7-inch wax. Wish I knew where it was! Always frustrates me that I can’t remember!! Apart from that record my collection was full of tapes …full!! I had hundreds of cassettes on a bookcase in my room. Many were recordings from pirate radio stations but one tape that I will never forget was a live recording Fantazia tape from castle Donington – DJ Donovan bad boy smith. That tape was key to me and really steered me in the direction of music. I played it non-stop. Lost that tape too. It had Fantazia written on it in tip ex pen. Pure hooliganism! Thinking back on the cassette days; I recall sticking cello tape over the top corners to allow you to re-record over it… those were the days! You had to use more than your ears to listen to music.

K / D: When did you first encounter local nightlife or went to a nightclub, how did you find this?

Frazer Campbell: My first outing was to club called Labyrinth in east London – Dalton I think. It wasn’t local but although I grew up in Fulham I was not into its nightlife. Labyrinth now that was truly incredible. I can remember many moments from my first ever night and will never forget. It was a beehive of small rooms, psychedelic backdrops and dirty underground sound, drum and bass, hardcore proper raving. Thinking about it makes me smile as it was so exciting and such an escape from normality. It was a new world to me…. an underground word of only music. Nothing else mattered.

I found out about it via my mates younger sister funny enough. He said she went quite a bit and it was really good so I braved it and left the comfort of my Yuppie surroundings and head east! I wasn’t disappointed and that then opened doors to what would become my true love.

K / D: Can you share early inspirations, artists, compilations, tracks, and mixes?

Frazer Campbell: I mentioned before the Fantazia cassette but on from that there were always key tracks, DJs and artists that grabbed my attention. ‘Follow me’ by Aly-Us is still one of the most ultimate house cuts ever and still has the same impact all these years later. But pre my house obsession, tracks like Greece 2000 on cream compilations and drum and bass track ‘Pascal’ p funk era were mind-blowing pieces that fed my hunger for all things electronic. You asked about compilations and this is a real easy one to answer. The renaissance series were always incredible, Nick warren, Dave seaman … they played sets that told stories, that took you away from life for 90 minutes and frankly I couldn’t give a shit about anything or anyone. Just me, a pair of average headphones and my imagination. Those times were when I didn’t take it so seriously I just truly loved what it did to my frame of mind. I do miss that and know that those times are gone. You get older and other stuff comes

Into your life and when it becomes a passion you begin to take it very seriously …bring back the days of listening to a mix in my bedroom, light off and not giving a fuck. One other slice I loved was ‘forever more’ by Moloko – Francois k mix. Fucking epic piece of house with the sexiest voice…! Standing in King Cross vibing to that…priceless.

K / D: When did you start to explore djing and records?

Frazer Campbell: I got my first set of turntables in 94 — I was 16. Spent all my Saturday job money on records from slamming vinyl in Kingston. Got the green 85 bus there every Saturday from Fulham and made a fool of myself playing the guys snips on my Walkman or humming something to them… felt like an idiot but to be honest it was worth it to get what you wanted, put it on the deck when you got home and bam! Still love that feeling 23 years later. Although thankfully gave up the humming to record store people…Walkman…. my yellow waterproof Sony Walkman also vanished with my first record and that Fantazia tape!

K / D: You also produce music can you explain this journey?

Frazer Campbell: Production… I hated it years ago. I worked with a friend of mine Richard. We called ourselves the damage boys. Hahahah I really struggled with it. Found it so hard. I was never into computers and found it a chore but thought it was something I should do. That was in the early 2000’s. Anyway about 5 years ago I really wanted to try it all again. This time it was different. I had an inner need to do it, a passion for it. So slowly but surely I started making bits and after about a year started Sending the odd thing out and tracks were being signed up. I have built up my studio over the years and at Time have been obsessed with equipment buying.  It was and still

Is so exciting and a fundamental part of my life. Expressing myself through sound is something that is quite exquisite. It’s so fulfilling and nourishing to who I am and although it’s tough sometimes, when it goes right … there is no better feeling. It was so exciting to have people from different parts of the world wanting to sign my music…. Columbia, USA…I mean what a feeling. I suppose that gives you the encouragement to continue. It’s so nice when someone sends a message to say how much they dig what you make. …Incredible.

K / D: Can you explain your current projects OPEN, Hoxton FM, Elliot project.

Frazer Campbell: Yeah sure … OPEN started off as a radio show, then a Party and now also a label. Not just a progression but like I described before, a personal need to do it! OPEN recordings launched last year and already has 3 releases out and 4th on the way. Have to say a big thanks to all the OPEN team and Artists involved, Anthony Campbell, Will Allen, Steve O Sullivan, Onirik, Alessandro Crimi, Nick Beringer, The Dnart guys and more but keeping those quiet for now…. Really blessed to have a great collection of people.

The funny thing is that in this industry a label can become pigeon holed quite easily in terms of a sound and that is something that I really hate. I pay no attention to trends, to particular styles. I love so many genres and flavours and that was really the conception of Elliot project. Because OPEN is associated to a party the styling of music can be expected which is fine but Elliot projects purpose is to push aside all that and just be a record with music on it. Nothing more. In fact I wrote a track called ‘Araline’ which is a deep drone type techno piece, which was 16 minutes long, and when I finished it II thought to myself ‘I want a label for this but it needs to be mine’. And so 2016 saw Elliot Project appear and I was so happy to receive such great response from global artists appreciating the concept and the music. Again a huge thanks to Artists that have joined me; Hemo and Stu Crosbie.

Hoxton FM has been such great fun. The OPEN show has run for 4 years or so and has been a weekly show. I have now reduced my appearance to once a month but it is such a great station. Full of passion…big thanks to Dan Formless and the team for keeping that cog turning all of the time.big up.

K / D: Just to indulge into your studio process can you share how you gained your knowledge, what hardware or software do you use and which producers inspire you?

Frazer Campbell: My Sacred man cave! In terms of knowledge if you can call it that, I pick things up as I go along. I have never been trained in particular software or hardware but tend to experiment nowadays while referring to my production handbook – You Tube. To be honest you tube is really helpful at times and you can eventually find out what you need or at least get close to it. I use Ableton as my DAW and have done for quite a while. My first introduction to production software was by a friend of mine Richard Carey. He is a computer buff and a passionate music lover and explored Cubase to start with. He showed me the ropes with it years ago and if I am being totally honest; I hated it …it was really tough, boring to look at and my small absorption rate of new information was limited.

He moved on to investigating Ableton and said that I would prefer it and he was right… For me Ableton can be used as simply or as complicated as you desire. You control the levels of difficulty and for that reason I really love it. I only use it for laying out tracks as 80 percent of my tracks are recorded in from hardware but there will always be a cheeky element that a VST will concur over the hardware. Both mediums are crucial.

In terms of producers I aspire to…that’s a big question! I haven’t seen many people in their own studios so understanding what people do and how they do it is tricky to judge but based on the sound created and the way it is presented then an easy top 3 for me are Steve O’Sullivan, Marcos Cabral and Linkwood. Steve O’Sullivan for his solid sounding kicks and bass with first class melodic hooks, Marcos Cabral for the creation of pure filthy sounds and distorted low frequencies and Linkwood for his specialized disco infused jazzy electro. 3 top pilots in my opinion who know the studio.

K / D: London nightlife has changed immensely over the course of the last 12 months what are your thoughts on this from fabric opening and closing, licensing getting more challenging, Printworks and new spots like the lion & lamb?

Frazer Campbell: London is a changing place that never sits still. This is what appeals to so many but is also results in the damnation of it. The licensing scenario is incredibly difficult for venue owners / leaseholders. Having created any business from the foundations is a massive challenge and then to forced into different directions with no control or input is incredibly demoralizing and has massive impact to owners, staff and customers. The Fabric scenario in my opinion was incredibly sad, as first of all we must remember that someone died foremost. Situations like this pass by for the majority of us but for that lad and his family it won’t. For the club to be held accountable for it – well that was silly and was not called for. I have no doubt that the establishment had many hurdles to jump pre this and have done so successfully for many years. Therefore there are other things going on behind the scenes and frankly as London becomes more powerful, more interesting, then so-called cool areas like this become more inviting for wealth and development and that’s how all cities become greater…not just here but the world over. ……….Jeer that was a tad deep! I tend not present my inner thoughts often but your question got me thinking. Other smaller venues have suffered too and indeed lost the fight to stay open. East London venues are suffering and this is because the areas are becoming so sought after that as the influx of new people and wealth arrives then the concept of the area changes and becomes a powerful place to reside. It is a shame as London will begin to lose its identity and that would be devastating as many great artistic cultures have been created here and cultivated.

K / D: How do you manage to juggle your day job, djing, producing, running a label, party, radio, social media etc., would you like to go full-time on the music stuffing the future?

 Frazer Campbell: If you can call it manage! It is incredibly difficult and exhausting. I suppose having a normal day job keeps me grounded and it is also an important part of my life. I own my own business, which I spent a long time developing so it also has a section of my heart or maybe my head. The music is something that I have always been passionate about. From my first outing to Labyrinth it became part of what I am. For that reason pushing through with everything is driven by love and lots of Coffee! Of course the some aspects of the work load are spread out between my brother, William and I but my schedules and work load are tough but if you plan well and understand your time limits then there is just about enough time for all… I say that I am always panicking and rushing around! An example is that I now only do the radio once a month at Hoxton FM so that I can use that time on Fridays for Label work, record digging and studio. Would I like to go full time doing what I love I would give it a go.

K / D: In this day and age do you think artists can live off djing and producing?

Frazer Campbell: It depends on what level you are talking about. For the youngsters living at home then you could probably get by but moving through the life cycle it would be very difficult. There will always be lucky ones who have the right connections as well as the talent but living in London is expensive so it wouldn’t be easy. Plus if you want to run a vinyl label for example the outlay costs are high if you want full control and the return is minimal so again a labour of love. Making money from releases as an artist again is tiny unless copies are flying out the door and in this niche sector that too is a challenge.

K / D: Any shout outs to anyone who has had a profound affect on your musical output over the years and helped you get to where you are?

Frazer Campbell: A big shout and respect to: Lisa Tonner (my Wife), Anthony And his wife Oksana, Dan from Hoxton FM, Steve O Sullivan, Onirik, Rakhee, Jason at Kristina, All Open and Elliot project artists. Big kiss to Stu Crosbie and Hemo.….All Promoters that have booked me especially Dean Marc, Guys at Wetyourself , Toi Toi …….Pickle Factory ……The list could go on and on……so many people play parts in your life but remember focus on what you want and go get it…..Time doesn’t sleep.

K / D: What do you have planned for 2017 and the summer?

Frazer Campbell: I say the same thing all the time but just to spend more time in my studio. I really want to make an album so this is always on my Mind. I don’t focus too much on it but never let it leave my thoughts. I have a number of finished pieces that sit in a folder ready for the right time. Gig wise this Month (April) my DJ schedule is pretty busy with gigs in Moscow, Lisbon and London.OPEN’s 4th birthday kicks off on the 1st April with Endian, Idealist and Anthony Campbell, 8th April I am in Moscow for the Mosaic records party with Steve O Sullivan and Annie Errez, 16th April in Lisbon with Jorge Caiado plus an in store at Carpet & Snares and finishing the month off at The Lion and Lamb in Hoxton. Probably going to be sleeping in May!! ….

In June I will be in Greece with Hemo (Elliot Project), which will be incredible …and super hot. …Lots of sun and good records…yep.

Label wise there is always so much going on. OPEN will probably have 005 released and Elliot project 04 has an EP from Dark Arts Label head Stu Crosbie… to be honest the labels take up a lot of time with promo, posts, YouTube, chasing plants and distributors but all worth it… so will be spending a lot of time on my laptop and the phone!

On a personal front a few exciting collab projects are also due out in the summer so that will very special too but not giving any more detail just now!

I am quite superstitious and Worry about jinxing shit all the time but I am blessed to have such great opportunities and to meet great people in this musical world.

K / D: The mix which weaves and glides for an hour & 20 minutes can you explain how it came to be, artist and labels it features?

Frazer Campbell: Thank you!! Podcasts are always a challenge as I collect so many genres of music. I spend a lot of time working out what vibe to go with which takes a few days to decide. I like podcasts to be showpieces and not necessarily what you would play at a gig but this time I went against the grain and wanted to present a close representation of a gig set. I am quite an emotional person so I like to think that all the music I collect even through from one spectrum to the other holds a core of emotion and thoughtfulness.

Lots of great labels and artists in there, which I keep close tabs on. Labels such as Minimood, Budare, Epidsodes, Kimochi and Ornate…. Artists to name a few…Lief, Paolo Tocci, Christina Viviano and Faune…so many now I can’t remember!

To all artists: I will mention you all in any posts! This is important for people to support and promote! Key! Records do not buy themselves!!!

 

 

 

K / D P 18 – CARL H

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We must be feeling giddy with productivity here at K / d Keep It Deep H.Q as we have our next feature podcast ready to publish. This one comes from the depths of Cleethorpes as we catch up with Carl H, who really brings that real integrity, honesty and passion front and centre with regards to the underground electronic music community. Carl shares the skinny on roller blading as a child, several parties he has thrown over the years, and more recently his latest project AOP Animals On Psychedelics. Check the podcast also for a really varied and trippy rave journey across styles & strides, proper. Follow the blog for all interviews and podcasts, check the Facebook page here for all K / D events also.

K / D: Growing up what do you remember as home and any funny memories?

CARL HARDY: So many fond and funny memories growing up I wouldn’t even know where to start. Rollerblading was a big part of my youth and so it seemed to be the case for a lot of children/teens in Cleethorpes area. So many kids got into skating down the seafront that the police started issuing a yellow and red card system if they caught you skating down the seafront, Obviously we never got a yellow or red card because they could never catch us.

K / D: Music at home, can you remember what you’re folks listened to?

CARL HARDY: Music growing up was pretty terrible in my house hold to be fair, I would love to say yeah I was exposed to jazz or Kraftwerk like a lot of people tend to say in interviews, but honestly Robsen and Jerome where the sound track to my youth and plenty of Simply Red.

K / D: As a teen did you delve into any scenes or groups?

CARL HARDY: As I said in the 1st question rollerblading was a massive part of my youth, so that was a scene I was very much a part of, I met some of my best pals to date through skating. We would travel the country finding different skate park or skate spots. This went on for a good 6 years which then led to a small hand full of us entering competitions and getting sponsored, which was cool free skates & clothes, but that soon came to an end when I hit the age of 15-16 and found girls and bottles of cider.

K / D: When did you get properly exposed to dance music, nightclubs and all that go with it?

CARL HARDY: Cleethorpes had a very vibrant scene for dance music, but I just caught the tail end of it. There was a party called Freedom who had an interesting booking policy, I think it was a monthly event. One month it could be Murk headlining and the next Month Nigel Ben would be behind the decks. But I was totally hooked, I got to know the Resident DJ of Freedom and convinced him or should I say pestered him to come teach me how to DJ, as I had just purchased a pair of real crap turntables. My 1st ever trip out side of Cleethorpes to a club was the Fez club in Hull and the music was hard and I mean stupidly hard, Lab4 was playing this crazy live set and the pair of them looked like the predator real freaky stuff I would love to see them perform again know actually, and see if I still enjoy it.

K / D: Can you remember what made you think decks, records djs?

CARL HARDY: My mate who I used to skate with and go to Freedom with, got a pair of decks, I had a little play and really enjoyed it. We bought allot of hard house / trance and a few bits of hard techno. I know longer own any of them records, but my mate still does and we had a little mix round his house with them a couple of years back and its safe to say its the last time they will be coming out.

K / D: Can you remember your first ever gig, where, who for and what you played, how was your mixing?

CARL HARDY: So this probably wasn’t my 1st ever gig but it was at least my 3rd maybe 2nd gig and its a lot better story than my 1st gig so we’ll go with this one. We have a local biker crew, as in Harley Davison bikes in Cleethorpes called the Warlocks. They had taken over this abandoned house and used it as a recording studio or just a place to hang out. They also put on a few very sketchy raves. I played at one of them at the age of 17, and its was scary as hell. The decks were set up behind a caged wall and the speaker stack to the right would just cut out when ever it felt like it, to kick start it back into action required a massive size 10 Warlock boot stamping on the ground in front of the speaker. Also on the same night one local loon got into the DJ booth and decided to do a hand stand and fell feet first onto the playing record on the turntable, stopping the music and I actually don’t think any one even noticed. My Dad would drop me of at 10pm and pick me up at 7am, what was he even thinking ha.

K / D: Fast forward and how do you find it living away from a big city, and how does this affect your musical needs?

CARL HARDY: I wouldn’t say it effects my musical needs, for me personally I would say it has given me much more variation as I travel to different cities to check out different nights across the UK, I have a daughter so going out partying every weekend is a thing of the past, So when I do get the chance to go out dancing I will take my self of to London for the weekend, Manchester or Leeds, which is fun as its like a little weekend away. Were as if I lived in say Manchester on my night of from Daddy duties I would probably just go for a knee’s up in Manchester. That’s my positive spin on it any way. Musically it can be cool also as I guess that your not getting to influenced by any trends or scenes that may be getting more exposure or vibrant. To be honest I don’t think that would happen now any way, maybe when I was younger and more impressionable. Plus we did just get the Internet here in Cleethorpes so I can now check out Juno / Discogs & Facebook, which pretty much helps with my musical needs :-). I guess the one thing I do miss is all my pals who did live in Cleethorpes, these guys are really into searching for records, chatting about music and anything related. Some of my best friends from Cleethorpes really know there shit, but unfortunately pretty much all of them over the last few years have been draw in by the charm of other cities, BUT they will be back.

K / D: Can you talk about the parties you have organised and the people, guests, venues and memorable night tales?

CARL HARDY: I have been involved in so many nights its a bit silly really, Northern Purpose was the 1st party I was involved in that was out side of Cleethorpes, And looking back the parties I used to put in Cleethorpes along with my pal Arron Whall were definitely the most fun and stress free I have ever been involved with. Its was a after party called Glitch that started at 2am-8am, Which for Cleethorpes, especially 10 years ago was absolutely bonkers, Not to say there wasn’t some fun characters down there, but this definitely added to the vibe. But it worked a treat and we were packing it out monthly. Two parties spring to mind for me after that. First one is Northern Purpose 1st birthday weekend bonanza. We did a party in London on the Friday night at Bar A Bar with Mike Huckaby, Jane Fitz & Dubbyman and a bus full of Cleethorpes ravers. Then on the Saturday it was down the M1 for round 2 at The Garage in Leeds with Jane Fitz & Dubbyman and also that bus full of Cleethorpes ravers who were still going very strong from the Friday. Safe to say they did Northern Purpose proud that weekend. The 2nd party is Sub:System that I put on with Tom Saunders, Venue was amazing and the decks were set up top of a grand piano, which was pretty cool, we did have to tape the lid down though to stop people having a tinkle on the old ivory’s, our guest was Jane Fitz with a crazy bag of Rave / Trance / Bleep etc. Musically it was everything we had wished for and more, this will definitely be happening again.

K / D: Can you explain to those that don’t know about what you do with bobbin Cleethorpes, animals on psychedelics & the current parties you run?

CARL HARDY: Animals On Psychedelics came about around 3 years ago. It’s very relaxed here at AOP HQ, which probably shows in the length of time between each release. My second release is due out soon from Miro SundayMuziq. I came across the next release in the best possible way I can imagine. Miro was playing in the Field Moves tent at Field Manoeuvres before Normal Behaviour, which consists of myself, John Hanley & Jane Fitz. About 15 mins before we was due to take over Miro played a track that had a number of vultures hanging over the booth asking what the track was, me being one of them. As it turns out the track was his own and it was unsigned, but it aint know more, ha. Its now the A side of his Butter EP, which is coming very soon. Animas On Psychedelics is also the name of the radio show I do monthly on KMAH in Leeds, And just recently AOP has found a home @ Distrikt in Leeds, I will be doing a hand full of parties down there this year. Got something real special lined up for June 24th, which is the date for the next one.

K / D: Lets talk about records, digging, finding new sounds, fave labels, dj mates & what’s getting you inspired lately?

CARL HARDY: When it comes to digging I am one of those pretty lazy ones who sit’s behind a computer desk. To be honest I prefer it that way, I often find my self feeling pressured to buy records and this is by know means any pressure from the staff working in the stores, its just a strange thing that comes over me, I feel cheeky or silly walking out empty handed. So being at home on a computer it gives me chance to have these records sat in carts on various sites, and listen to them a number of times before I purchase, I’m not the sort to purchase a couple of records a week, I Like to let my carts fill up and have a bulk buy every 6-8 weeks. I use discogs a lot along with pretty much every one. I find Discogs is a bit like a family tree when I get digging on it, There is lots of different paths and dodgy turns you can take to get the right answer but when you take the right paths it opens up a whole load of new shit that you aint ever heard of before. DJs who inspire hhhhhmmmmm this should actually be people not djs who inspire me. Jane & Jade who run Night Moves deserve a massive tip of the hat, I could rant on forever about what they do and how they bring people together. Every one needs a bit of them in their life.

K / D: Exciting plans you would like to share coming up?

CARL HARDY: Got a few gigs coming up which is always nice, Very much looking forward to a Sub:System take over at Virgo Festival, which is May 26th weekend on one of the Nights. Going to keep my ears peeled for more music for AOP 003 that’s going to be a big focus for 2017. as I mentioned earlier my parties down @ Distrikt in Leeds this year, and I am moving house that’s a pretty big deal right.

K / D: Can you explain a bit about the mix and the overall finished sound?

CARL HARDY: Pretty pleased with the overall finish of the mix, It was recorded at Home, few wobbles in there, but hay these are records we are playing after all. Its pretty much the opposite of what I have been playing out lately. Which made it a lot of fun to record and gave my ears a rest from trancey techno bangers. It’s a mixture of old and new records that will make for a relaxing listen I hope­.

AOP Animals On Pschedelics 

Carl Hardy

K / D P 017 MATT POND

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The first time we came across Matt Pond was in the Field Moves tent at Field Manoeuvres festival a few years ago. It was Saturday night and there was this no non sense, raw, deep and sincere energy omitting from the dj booth and as the dj grinned discreetly, the dancers effortlessly enjoyed the journey being shared through the speakers. Matt is one of a rare breed that quite simply lets the music do all the talking, front centre and then some. With an extensive period involved in the industry and an discipline and focus on his radio show check the skinny and also the exquisite podcast from this under the radar selector.  For all bookings and enquiries contact Matt direct on any of the links below. For more features and podcastS follow K / D Keep It Deep on this site for words and here for sounds to be kept in the loop.  

K / D: your teen years can you explain your first exchanges or interactions with music? Any significant artists, albums, places & faces that come to the surface?

MATT POND: It was through hip hop and electro when I was about 12/ 13 that really started things off. For years, I obsessed over hip hop and hip hop culture, but it really wasn’t until I heard ‘Rebel Without a Pause’ by Public Enemy that things got serious. I had a taste for hardcore hip hop- harder edged stuff, a lot of UK stuff from that time- artists such as hijack, gunshot, hardnoise, demon boyz, son of noise etc. a lot of the stuff id mix with was fairly up-tempo (for the time) so when I started going to raves in the very early 90’s I could really hear how this sound had inspired the very early rave tracks that were coming out of the UK. a lot of the same samples and breaks…

K / D: Djing and the process of coming into close encounters with 1210s, vinyl etc can you share some stories of this process of discovery?

MATT POND: Well I got my first pair of turntables when I was about 14 I think. It was a pair of Technics SL BD22 belt drive turntables with pitch control. That’s what I learnt to mix with. I was lucky enough to pick up a pair of 1210’s when I was about 16. Regarding records. it was never easy to get hold of records, especially growing up in a relatively rural area of the UK.  We had trading post in Stroud (still open!) and occasionally id travel to Badlands in Cheltenham and even to London now and again. Obviously back then there was no internet, so you really had to be making the effort to get new records. Also, we’d always swap records too as it was hard to afford new stuff all the time. At the time, it seemed like a good idea, but so many classic records were lost in the process.

K / D: vinyl as the format of choice, digging, record stores and the entire community and ecosystem around this part of djing how important has it been to your career?

MATT POND: Well firstly it’s definitely not my career although I wish it was! However I did work in record shops for about 10 years, Audio Lounge, that I set up with a friend and then later I was manager at Hedonizm Records.. both in Brighton. So, the whole record shop community thing was and is very important to me, although I don’t get out to the shops as much as I would like these days. The knowledge I picked up working in the record shops was invaluable. I learnt a lot about the music, the industry and met some really great people. Around 2006 the record shops shut down and around that time I started exploring the digital side of things, mainly because there was very very little coming out on vinyl. So I got really into downloading around that time, vinyl has never been the format of choice as such, I just go where the music is. fast forward to 2017 and its crazy the amount of good music on vinyl coming through… so I’m really enjoying buying and collecting some great records.

K / D:The last few years musically can you share how you have grown and things changed?

MATT POND: Things got kind of slow on the gig side of things if I’m honest. I stopped enjoying going out to (most) night clubs a few years ago, so I guess I started to distance myself from the scene when I was living in Brighton. it became harder and harder to put on parties, finding good venues etc. Then there’s like a new wave of people come in and do their thing…. Brighton is very much like that, its constantly changing. 2016 I moved to Bristol, took a bit of time out to enjoy my new home and check out what’s happening here. I must say that it’s a very inspiring city with a great music scene. I’ve heard many excellent local djs and been to some great parties since I moved here and I’m feeling super positive about getting things moving again. musically, I guess you could say I am being more ‘experimental’ these days, as I don’t play out much I’m never really in that frame of mind where I am looking for something that ‘will work in my set’.  I’m just seeking out the music that gets me.

K / D: You have a regular radio show deepsystems which you broadcast live can you share your thoughts and experiences?

MATT POND: My radio show is so important to me. I’m not sure I’d still be doing this if it wasn’t for the radio show. It’s what keeps me in the loop, it keeps me sharp, keeps me in touch with my record collection and its great discipline. Internet radio has always interested me since the dial up days, I remember discovering websites such as groovetech and betalounge and being blown away. Plus I was always a mix tape kind of guy, so doing this live on the internet was an exciting prospect.  It’s also been a great way of logging all my music, its rare I will sit and listen to a 12” record so having all these mixes is just a nice way to listen back to what I’ve been buying and collecting. The show is now in its 10th year and I’ve recently started broadcasting on Timeline Music.

K / D: What have you been up to more recently and what does 2017 hold in store for you?

MATT POND: As I mentioned earlier, I recently moved to Bristol so I’m just getting grounded here. The radio show will be continuing as usual every 2 weeks.  Gig wise not a lot in the immediate future but I’ll be playing in Brighton around Easter time and over the summer I have been confirmed at a couple of  ‘festivals’, more new on that coming soon. Fingers crossed I am going to get the label going again too. DeepSystems Music started in 2015, we did one release (systems001) and never did a follow up… that is going happen, hopefully this year.

K / D: What has taken your particular interest lately from the creative fields, producers, djs, parties, labels etc?

MATT POND: Glenn underground, Larry heard, Ron Trent, Anthony Nicholson, needs… those guys have been inspiring me for years. But there are so many new producers that I really love, too many to mention really. Last year I picked up on this guy called Terry Tester, a hip hop producer from Copenhagen who has also been making some amazing house music. House Of Mora is another one, don’t really know anything about this artist other than the 2 incredible ep’s they have released. This is what I love, finding out about new artists, new labels. Label wise Neroli is a massive favorite, such a great label. Also, I really love NDATL, it reminds me of classic labels like Guidance, real roots deep music. One of the best dj’s out there right now is Volcov from Italy, who runs Neroli funnily enough. I had the pleasure of having him at one of my parties a few years back and since then I’ve been a huge fan. Not only is he an expert selector through many genres of music but has a super humble nice guy, if you get a chance to hear him make sure you go! But really, the best djs I hear are usually mates at house parties or smaller events. Actually the Field Moves tent at Field Maneuvers is nuts, loads of djs you never heard of before but all totally amazing. That’s actually my favourite place to play at and go to, also Freerotation never fails to disappoint. I’ve been going to these parties in Bristol by this crew called Dirty Talk, really great parties with a super friendly atmosphere at interesting venues, well worth checking if you’re in the area.

K / D: With the increasing use of the internjet and social media, can you describe how this has affected the scene and your take on it?

MATT POND: Social media has seemed to turn a lot ‘djs’ into idiots to be frank. It’s all self-promotion, selfies, here I am djing at a stadium, logos, name dropping, branding, pics of my hotel room #this #that…… trying to elevate themselves to some kind of god like status. All image and no substance. All this kind of stuff has made me realize how much I hate dj culture, it’s almost embarrassing to say that you’re a dj because of this rock star image that djs aspire to these days. It’s really something I have no interest at all. I think in some respects this has held me back in the dj world in some ways, I find it really hard to ‘blow my own trumpet’, as they say, without cringing, especially on social media. On the flipside, I’d say it’s fairly obvious that social media has its benefits, especially with people promoting a release or a party. It’s something I wish I could live without but in current times it feels like it’s necessary to use social media to keep in the loop.

K / D: Can you explain the mix provided in terms of tracks, artists, labels and intentions for the 70 minute journey of deepness?

MATT POND: Umm well to be honest its mostly new purchases, just a bunch of new stuff that all kind of clicked together. Featured artists include Reggie Dokes, Fred P, Pitched Black, Darran Land, Ron Trent, Jus Ed, Terry Tester and Aleqs Notal to name a few. The whole mix has an overall deep and atmospheric vibe to it with a few punchy numbers. I usually plan my mixes over a few days, get it at written down and work out how’s it going to fit together. I try and make it special, something that people will want to come back to.  I guess it’s obvious, well to me maybe, but it’s got to flow like any good story, it has a beginning, a middle and an end. It was recorded at home using two turntables and a mixer… no frills!

MATT POND ON RESIDENTADVISOR

DEEPSYSTEMS ON FACEBOOK

DEEPSYSTEMS ON SOUNDCLOUD

MATT POND DEEPSYSTEMS ARCHIVE

K / D P 016 SOHO

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K / D Keep It Deep sit down with long time friend and guest Soho who lives in London but originates from & brings style and flavour from the middle east. Soho steps up for Keep It Deep podcast 16 and also gives an in depth and honest interview across many topics.  Soho forms part of The White Man & The Arab project alongside BLM of Fear of Flying fame releasing experimental house & techno on there self titled label. Soho Currently works at Phonica Records also working live and direct with vinyl, vinyl & even more vinyl. Soho is an digger from day one and collects and digs across all genres and has been booked to play several parties with the highlight coming to play at Fabric London as an key highlight alongside co-running the Like That parties way back in the day. Soho has also been an guest dj for our K / D parties last year and we are very proud to work with, support and share the back story to one of London’s dj / producers making waves. Enjoy the mix from Soho an showcasing and sharing an intricate repertoire of records spanning house & techno. This one has long been in the works and we publish this with immense pleasure, enjoy.  

K / D: Lets take it back to growing up can you share some of your earliest experiences and how this shaped your road into music?

Soho: I grew up in Abu Dhabi, a small coastal desert city on the Persian Gulf. Much more different to what it’s now seen as this glimmering shiny city. Wasn’t really much going on while I was growing up there as a kid. A kid of the 80’s & 90’s I was pretty fascinated and inspired by the music of that era like most kids of my generation. It was a good time musically to be growing up.  I wouldn’t say there were specific moments that lead me down a musical path, it was just the music that was around at the time that broadened my musical horizon. I remember hearing ‘M.A.R.S. – Pump up the volume’ when I was around 5 or 6 and that had a massive impact on me, I hadn’t heard anything like it. The music video for it as well was pretty special.  I also remember hearing Herbie Hancock’s Rockit quite early on in life and being mesmerised by the sounds. Definitely left a lasting effect on my musical taste.

K / D: As a teenager what music did you discover or what subcultures or scenes were you part of?

Soho: Like most teenagers of my generation hip-hop was the first kind of music that I was drawn to after my adolescent years of religiously listening to Michael Jackson. In Abu Dhabi hip hop albums were banned at the time, although they were all still easily found and purchased but usually it was an under-the-counter kind of vibe, I’m talking about the early to mid 90’s. So once I found out this type of music was banned we wanted to know more, I was intrigued by it all. That was the catalyst to discovering loads of new stuff like 2 Live Crew, Ice T, NWA, Snoop, NAS, shit like that. I stumbled onto discovering Drum & Bass around 14 when I found Fabio’s ‘Promise land’ mix cd thrown into a bag with a bunch of my cd’s after a house party. That was sort of the beginning of my exploration into the more electronic and dance music kind of sound you could say. I think I was around 15 at the time when I heard Sasha & Digweed’s northern exposure cd’s and that kind of opened a whole new world to discovering underground electronic music. As a teenager we didn’t have any record shops or access to good music from the radio like in England with John Peel and Pete Tong’s essential mix, so buying mix cd’s if we could find them at shops like virgin or our equivalent of was the only real way to hear electronic music and find out about artists and dj’s. I wasn’t really part of any specific subculture, because were I grew up there was a large middle eastern as well as American & European expat community, all these cultures merged, everyone kind of mixed together, so you’d have kids that were big on their heavy metal hanging out with kids so into hip hop they thought they were living in Compton or queens. So it was just this hodgepodge of all these different subcultures, we got the best of all worlds I guess.

K / D: What music were you surrounded by with family; do any family members play instruments?

Soho: My background is Arab & Persian so there was a lot of that kind of music around my childhood, lots of Umm Kulthum and Abdel Halim Hafez from my father’s side and lots of Persian folk from my mothers. My father was also a jazz fan, so that music was being played to me from a young age. My mother was also really into her disco, so all these types of sounds were around me.

K / D: How were college studies and what backdrop did music play whilst studying?

Soho: I made the move to London in the summer of 2003 to go to art school. I made a conscious decision to move to London specifically to pursue my passion for music. In my opinion London was and still is, always way ahead of the game when it came to the music that I was into, so it was a logical step.

K / D: Can you share with us the London experience, when you came and what you did here and how you explored music here?

Soho: When I moved to London it wasn’t my first time experiencing the city. London was always a home from home for me, I’d been coming and spending my summers here since I was born as my parents had a strong connection with the city living here before moving back to the middle east, so I was fortunate to come to London and spend my summers here. Musically at the time when I moved to the city the whole ‘minimal’ sound was exploding on to the scene. It was a totally new sound for me and I fully embraced and explored it. There were a lot of great labels and music coming out during this time. Party wise I used to hang out and hold a residency at this little spot called the pool bar on curtain road with a group of other dj’s playing for a party called Multi Vitamins. It was on every Tuesday between 04 to around 07, so there was healthy number of residents playing week in week out. It was kind of where all the London kids that were into that micro house and minimal sound converged. Lot’s of artists came through out of the scene that I was in from this night. Later on there was another seminal crew that I was hanging out with an experiencing the whole 3-day long after party scene with the famous Central street crew! Those were great years, meeting and rubbing shoulders with the loads of different personalities from all over the world all sharing a similar interest in music.

K / D: Can you talk to us about Like That; it’s inception and its story?

Aaaah the Like That years. I look back at them very fondly. I miss those days immensely. That was the time you and I actually met. Like That was a night that myself, Nick Moreno and Pablo Cahn started together in 2006. I had already been playing in London a number of years already by that point with the Multi Vitamins nights and at small parties around London, but our concept grew out of a frustration of not being able hear artists that we were feeling at the time at smaller venues as opposed to big clubs. Before the whole east end warehouse party scene exploded onto the London nightlife there weren’t many promoters doing that kind of thing in London at that time. Of course there was Secret Sundaze and Mullet over but they were huge events for big crowds. We came along and brought it all back down to earth slightly, organizing smaller and more intimate warehouse style parties. There was Sud Electronic that was also kind of doing that around then, but that’s about it really. I mean I’m sure there was stuff going on, but they weren’t on my radar especially the scenes that I was a part of. We tried to book artists that hadn’t played in London before. Artists like Dandy Jack, Ryan Elliot, Matt John, and Cabanne to name a few. Eventually the party died down in London when both Nick and Pablo moved out of London and the whole of east London became saturated with ‘secret’ warehouse events, which weren’t very secret at all. Although Nick has been able to continue hosting one off events all over north and south America since he left London, and we’ve hosted a few parties in berlin in the last few years at the now defunct Kater Holzig so it’s still somewhat alive and kicking. Maybe in the future we can recreate it once again in London.

K / D: What London clubs, dj’s, scenes, record shops and experiences can you share?

The club that obviously had the most impact on me was fabric. There were other great venues like The End and The Cross, but fabric was my clubbing mecca. It seemed to take all the good points from other venues and enhance on them to create a space for people to really lose themselves within. I remember reading about its opening and the sonic dance floor when I still lived in Abu Dhabi and thought to myself that I was definitely going to visit once I returned in the summer. I used to religiously go and party there on Friday nights for the Drum & Bass and break beat nights and then go on the Saturday for the house and techno. It was the Saturday nights that influenced me the most. I remember hearing Craig Richards for the first time work that main room and was totally blown away. Nights like Tyrant were Craig & Lee Burridge played epic back 2 back sets had a huge influence on me musically. They were playing a mixture of house, techno and breaks that I hadn’t heard many other dj’s playing at that time. The Amalgamation of Sound who also used to hold a fabric residency as well in room 3 was always a high light for me. Andrew weather all was another DJ that was pretty influential on me, I first heard his blood sugar mixes around 98 or 99 and had no idea what that sound he was playing was, which I later learned was Dub Techno. I’d make it a point to make sure to catch him play at every opportunity I could. Then obviously with the whole minimal sound, Ricardo Villalobos’s early appearances at fabric were pretty special too. Those were the days that he would actually warm up the main room as opposed to the circus it is nowadays. Another hugely influential night was LTJ Bukem and MC Conrad’s logical progression nights that used to be held at The End on a Thursday. Another influential dj for me was Theo Parrish, I’d try and visit Plastic People to hear him play whenever he was in town. More recently I’ve been attending more Dub / Reggae sound system nights, University of Dub is probably one of my favourite events in London at the moment, it’s not really a new night either, it’s been going on for years. The first record shop I remember visiting was Plastic Fantastic around 99, which used to be in Covent Garden. I was still living in Abu Dhabi at that time, so I’d come to London during the summer and buy between 40-60 records that would last me a whole year till I was able to visit record shops the following summer and repeat the whole process again. Eukatech and Swag records were shops that I would also frequent on my summer trips to London. Wasn’t till around 01-02 when a good friend of mine had moved back from the U.S. to Abu Dhabi who was also buying and playing records had introduced me to the one and only Jay Robinson aka Jay Massive from Massive records in oxford. He would send us a load of stuff in the post that we would listen to over the phone, this was before online ordering took off. We would have to wait a few months before the package would arrive because of the shitty postal service that we had over there at time. Then obviously when I moved to London in 2003 I would hit all the shops around the west end like Koobla, Vinyl Junkies, Black Market and eventually Phonica. M.V.E. and Honest Jon’s in Notting Hill were also shops I spent a lot of time in because I lived west so it was pretty convenient for me.

K / D: You work at Phonica how has this been?

I do indeed. It’s been 8 years now that I’ve been working their part time. I’m not really up on the shop floor but work downstairs for the website, although I do help out upstairs whenever need be and always happy to hook my friends up that come in looking for the hot shit. I guess like a lot of people into records and vinyl culture working in a record shop is a dream, and that was the same for me. I always thought I had a pretty good knowledge and understanding of music before I started working at the shop, but in reality I was a novice. Obviously working in a shop like Phonica you are exposed to a huge selection of all sorts of music from old to new, this has been the best thing for someone like myself who collects records totally across the board.

K / D: The White Man & The Arab can you explain
this project?

Ben Micklewright (BLM) from fear of flying and myself had been making music together for a number of years, eventually we realised that we were sitting on a number of potential tracks that we thought were good enough to put out. We thought of sending out the tracks to labels that would be interested but in the end realised that it would be best to put it out ourselves that way we wouldn’t need to compromise anything. We thought of putting the tracks out using our own solo artist names but decided that we should use something wholly new. We thought we’d come up with a name that was a bit tongue and cheek and that would stand out and that represented our relationship. The name kind of came about out of that. I’m very proud of our output, we aren’t trying to wow anyone with what we do, we are just making music that we know how to make and if people like it then we are doing something right.

K / D:  Records, collecting records, the ones that mean something can you talk us through the wax you have some of the gems you have found and some of your personal favourites?

Soho: I’ve always had a collector mentality if that’s even a thing. When I was younger I used to be a massive comic book collector. I guess, as I got older and become more interested in music that moved on to record collecting. I’m pretty proud of my collection today; it’s been 17 years now that I’ve been collecting records. I collect a wide range of music but I’d say I’m most proud of my jazz and dub / reggae records.

K / D: White Man & the Arab can you explain to us the work flow from ideas, the studio, equipment you use to getting some ideas down and then ready for eventual release?

Soho: I’d say we have a pretty lax approach to making music together. We never sit down and say ok let’s try and make this sort of sound or that kind of beat. It’s a very organic process. We trust our ears and know what we would like to hear if we were on the dance floor. We usually jam for a little while trying to build a foundation to a track, and then once we feel that we have something substantial we jam out one live recording that’s pretty loose. We then go back and clean it up, taking or adding things in and out and tightening it all up. The setup starts with the Jomox Xbase 888, we use this mainly for percussion although not exclusively. We also use Ensoniq esq1 as well as a Dave Smith Prophet 08, which is all wired up to a bunch of delay pedals and the eventide space reverb machine. All of this is sequenced in Ableton by sequencers made in max4live. Both of us bringing our own flavor to the table are what make the WMA sound. Long may it continue?

K / D:  London’s current nightlife, venues, sound system, promoters, musical trends & your take on it can you share some experiences and thoughts?

Soho: I’d say London is still at the forefront of cutting edge electronic music. You can go out any night of the week and be treated to a wide selection of great music. In my opinion London has always been leading the trends as opposed to following any.

With regards to venues, ever since I’ve been in London we’ve seen the closure of many key locations, The End, The Cross, old and new Tbar, Plastic People, etc. These have hit the city hard, but London clubbers are pretty resilient when it comes to going out and having a good time, they always find away. The scene is still thriving with a lot of young blood coming through organising events all across the city. Although when it comes to promoters I feel that a lot of them tend to play it safe with obvious bookings, or they tend to stick to a certain sound. I’d like to see promoters taking more risks with bookings and not making things so clique and exclusive. At the end of the day its dance music, it’s for everyone to have a good time, not for a select few in the know.

K / D: What does the future hold for the young record collector, dj, producer, label owner what are your next steps?

I wouldn’t say I’m a young record collector with 17 years of collecting under my belt and almost 15 years of DJ’ing. Of course there are others in the game that have been collecting and playing out much longer than I have, so i would like to think that I fit somewhere in the middle. As for the future, I hope to continue doing what I love which is playing music for people to dance to, continue collecting music that means something to me and continue putting out music that people enjoy, whether it’s as The White Man & The Arab or as Soho or even putting out other people’s music.
Stay tuned for the 5th installment of The White Man & The Arab, we got a got some serious heat lined up!

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K / D P 015 HAMISH COLE

hamish cole copy

Next up to the plate K / D Keep It Deep are proud to present Hamish Cole who currently lives in Leeds keeping things busy with djing and promoting his co run party Butter Side Up & also more recently starting the KMAH radio station to name a few highlights. Hamish has energy to dig for rare or hard to find records across specific genres including house, tech & hip hop. Hamish has an distinct flavour and presence when he dj’s and this is one of the reason’s Hamish is growing as an dj based outside of the capital making waves. We caught up with Hamish amidst his busy schedule to talk shop and get the skinny on the past, present and future. Check the KMAH radio link here & also Hamish Cole on RA with various social media links here. Enjoy the mix also with full track list at the bottom of the interview.

K / D: Where did you grow up and what part did music play?

HAMISH COLE: I grew up in Norwich, lapping up the exotic country side of Norfolk. My interest in music started at a young age, I have my two older brothers to thank for this. They were always making beats and blasting music out around the house, so I was introduced into great music from an early age.

K  D: What scenes were you part of as an teenager?

HAMISH COLE: I was a huge hip hop head from 15-18 years old, collecting old and new US & UK hip hop records. When I was around 16 I started hanging out with local mc’s and DJs from Norwich and soon after, we started our own hip hop night in the basement of a scruffy old pub called The Marquee. We did about 3 events there and they were great, it was vinyl only and we had an open mic at the end which was always fun. Unfortunately we couldn’t do another event after this as there was a huge fight between the hip hoppers and the local moshers from the pub…

K / D: What was the was club you went to?

HAMISH COLE: The Mustard Lounge (RIP) in Norwich was the first club I ever went to, using my brothers passport to get in. They used to have some quality breaks nights there back in the day. The first club experiences that really opened my eyes to quality house & techno were going to Back to Basics at Stinkey’s Peep House & Louche at Mint Club in my first year at Uni in Leeds.

K / D: When did you get some decks and what was the first record you bought?

HAMISH COLE: I bought my first set of turntables when I was 15. They were a pair of Stanton Str8-30’s if I remember rightly! Oooh tough question, I think it might have been Runnin’ by The Pharcyde.

K / D: How did Butter Side Up begin?

HAMISH COLE: Basically Bailey and I met from playing together at the Louche pre parties at Distrikt. After a few shandy’s one evening we decided we wanted to start our own night, so that we can play out more. It all started at a little bar in Hyde Park called Hukaz in October 2009. There was never ever any plan for it to be a proper club night with bookings like it is now..

K / D: KMAH can you explain your involvement and role?

HAMISH COLE: I am a co-founder of KMAH alongside a few other wrong’uns. My role for KMAH is working more behind the scenes with Kristan managing the station, together we sort out the schedule, sign up new shows, social media, upload shows to soundcloud and generally be on call 24/7 ready to deal with whatever problem is around the corner. It was a tough first year, but now thanks to our trusty interns and a lot of troubleshooting, I am really happy with where we are at with the station.

K / D: What does the summer hold?

HAMISH COLE: This year, I’ve got a busy summer with Butter Side Up & KMAH related gigs/festival partnerships. We are hosting a stage at Gottwood on the Thursday night with a very special guest indeed. We are off to Croatia a few times, firstly with BSU to host a party at Electric Elephant and then we are also hosting a stage and doing some live streaming out at Dimensions with the KMAH crew in August. Plus a few other bits and pieces in Leeds & London.

Also, literally yesterday I was asked to be a summer resident of a very exciting new Island project called Obonjan in Croatia. Full details have just been announced here.

K / D: Can you talk us through the mix?

HAMISH COLE: It was recorded from our KMAH Studio in Leeds using 2 technics decks and a stack of records. It’s a mix of mainly old house & techno records, however it also features a couple of drum&bass records slowed down at 33rpm. See below for the track list…

TRACKLIST:
Lawrence – Bonheur (Mule Musiq)
Astral Vibes – Deep Groove (Precious Materials)
Undercover Agency – Clever Endeavours (Music For Freaks)
BRS – Bouncing (Imperial Dub Recordings)
Morgan Geist – Womandre (7th City)
Titonton Durante & John Tejada – What You Like To Do (Residual Recordings)
Laid – Punch Up (Frankie Feliciano Original Edit) (Symple Sound)
Tom Ellis – Karma (MA Citysport Edition)
Marcus Intalex – Taking Over Me (Hospital Records)
Sycophant Slags – Ends With a T (Bombis Records)
Amir Alexander – Transcend (Anunnaki Cartel)
Ciudad Felix – Positive Directions (Silver Network)
Gemini – Ahi (Distance)
Swag – Felony Funk LP (Version)