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.