Posted: January 31st, 2014 | Author:givafizz | Filed under:INTERVIEWS, music | No Comments »
Washington, D.C. native Jacques Renault is a house & disco DJ/producer, with a slightly different background to the usual; a classical Violist back in the day, playing in punk bands. Nice!
Now based in NYC, Jacques Renault’s has been putting out a host of top notch remixes, edits and original tracks. For all you disco heads out there, you’ll surely remember his Midnight Magic “Beam Me Up” remix back in 2011.
When he isn’t globetrotting, Jacques works with long term friend Nik Mercer at the Let’s Play House label and club nights, putting on parties in various venues and releasing house and disco tracks from the likes of Dead Rose Music Company, Waze & Odyssey and local Aussie boys Mic Newman & Francis Inferno Orchestra. Jacques has also launched his own label, On The Prowl, which has featured original material and remix work from Azari & III, Tensnake, Coyote, and sloughs of various disco staples.
He’s now in Australia for a whirlwind tour and took a few moments to speak to us here at Givafizz.
Hi Jacques, thanks for taking the time to talk to us here at Givafizz and welcome to Australia! How are you doing today?
Thanks. It’s a pleasure to be here! I’ve been catching up on some work and sleep after the shows in Sydney, Adelaide & Brisbane over the weekend. I traveled from the mountains of Austria on holiday so the time change was still a bit of an adjustment.
Am I correct in saying this isn’t your first time touring in Australia? What do you like about playing here (apart from the weather!)? Anything different from other parts of the world?
Yes, I’ve been here a few times now and it’s always a pleasure to come back. I feel like I’ve made a bunch of friends over the years and these positive vibes are always here, I love it.
You’ve spent a lot of time in cities like Chicago & New York, which are steeped in house music history. Have these cities or people had any impact on your productions today? Tell us a bit about your musical journey over the last few years?
I would definitely say so – coming from Washington, DC and going to Chicago wasn’t night and day but I was definitely exposed to a different side of music. I was surrounded by all the different producers and DJs while I was working at Gramaphone, which sort of helped narrow my focus of what I wanted to do when I relocated to NYC.
You’ve been playing & putting out records with Nik Mercer’s Let’s Play House label for a while now. How did this relationship come about?
Nik and I became good friends when he first moved to NY and hung out a lot and bonded over music. We quickly decided to collaborate together on events which then led to the development of the label.
Tell us a little bit about the making of your upcoming release, “The Fake Out”? Any influences or style that went into this? As your first release in 2014, does this set the tone for the type of music you want to be putting out this year?
The new single is from a few sketches I worked on over the past few months. It was something that stood out in my sets and we felt that this would be a good single to start with. There are other things in the works that are a bit different!
What can people expect from a Jacques Renault set? Out of interest, how much preparation do you put into your sets – are you are a believer in free-styling it or are your sets well planned?
I always pick out tunes every week to switch things up and like to gauge how the crowd reacts to the tunes. I like to keep it loose and be open for the night!
What 5 tracks are doing it for you right now (you can’t say your own!!)?
Al Kent “Yes I Do”
FIO “Take No Time”
Debukas “Minus 24″ (DJ Nature remix)
Rat Life “Disco Train” (Dunkeltier Edit)
Avalon Emerson “Quoi!” (Tuff City Kids Clean Shave Mix)
Finally, we’ll buy you a drink when you’re in Melbourne, what’s your tipple?!
Let’s have a whiskey and soda ;)
Nice!!! Jacques is playing along side local Melbourne lads Otologic and Fantastic Man/Mic Newman tonight (Fri 31st Jan). So join us down at The Mercat tonight for a boogie. Details here and give this mix a spin to get you in that Friday feeling!
RUFUS are three guys from Sydney that have been creating waves down under and further afield with their unique blend of electro-pop. It’s not the electro-pop you know and love, it’s an experimental mix of sounds all churned together to produce an effortless, sun-streaked sound that stands out from the rest of the scene.
The trio already have Triple J radio play to their name and now boast a string of packed out shows across Australia, hitting Melbourne this week for 4 sold out gigs along with joining the stellar line up at Listen Out.
We caught up with the RUFUS boys to talk all about the new album ‘Atlas‘, the tour, their influences and what makes these guys so bloody great! Check it…
Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to talk to us here at Givafizz. How are you doing today and where are you talking to us from?
We’re currently hanging out in our studio in Cronulla. It’s a cosy little space that used to be a water tank. We’ve been spending basically every day for the last few weeks rehearsing here for our upcoming national tour.
How did the album launch party go a few weeks back – sore heads the next day?!
Haha indeed… it was a big night. It was a really cool celebration with all our friends and everyone we’ve been working with toward the album release. 10/10 would launch-party again.
Before we get into the album, tell us a little bit about growing up in Sydney. What music did you listen to back then? Anyone or anything that has influenced you along the way?
I guess we’ve all progressed through different interests and styles of music as we’ve grown up so we all have pretty varied influences and tastes. Tyrone actually grew up in an opal mining town called Lightning Ridge where he would spend hours just tinkering on the piano at home. I definitely think we all absorbed various strands of 90′s house and dance in our childhoods which seems to have found it’s way into our writing and production, whether consciously or not…
We know how you guys met, but how do you guys find working in a trio? Do you always get along, or do you sometimes have musical (or other!) disagreements?!
We find it pretty easy actually. We’re generally open to each other’s suggestions when it comes to directing an idea, there are never any really heavy conflicts but if someone’s really passionate about a vibe or a direction they will really push for it. It’s a healthy environment I guess.
We find your productions a breath of fresh air. Effortless, sunstreaked sounds that stand out from the rest of the indie electro scene. But how would YOU describe your sound?
That is very flattering. We would describe our sound as a hypnotic house voyage through deep space… However indulgent that may be…
We’ve had the new album on repeat for the last couple of weeks now – it’s the perfect soundtrack to the summer. Can you tell us about the making of the album? What influences & inspirations went into it?
There definitely was a bright influence that shaped the initial stages of the writing process. We were writing the original demos on a farm in Berry, and when we weren’t working we were playing tennis and listening to our favourite albums. From there we relocated to this water tank at the back of Jon’s parents place and renovated it into a studio. It was near the water and there was a really nice chilled vibe that tended to inform the remaining writing and production stages. Musically we were referencing artists like Trentemøller, Booka Shade, Caribou, Claude Vonstroke and Mujuice. We were channeling all these influences and looking to create a journey of light and shade, from brighter summery tracks to darker more sombre tones.
With all the hype surrounding you guys over the last few months, I’m sure you felt the pressure of releasing a debut album. Initial response from the album seems to have been super – what sort of feedback have you guys been getting?
The feedback has been really positive. A really cool point is how similar some people’s experiences of the music have been to our own, particularly in describing the sounds exactly how we described them 6 – 9 months earlier when writing and producing them. It’s like the music has translated really well to communicate exactly what we wanted it to.
I’m sure you are looking forward to the Australian tour and playing at Listen Out Festival. Tell us what to expect from your show? Can we buy you a drink when you come to Melbourne – what’s your tipple?!
Stage dives, deep sub movement, and indulgent levels of woodblock. We’re fans of a nice classic mojito… or a black russian.
What are your top 5 tracks right now? (you can’t say your own!!)
Isaac Tichauer – Take Over You
Chris Malinchak – So Good To Me
Breach – The Click
Sono – Keep Control (H.O.S.H. Remix)
Jagwar Ma – Four
Big upssssss! Thanks for your time. Keep up the great work. Hopefully see you in Melbourne for that drink!
Sampology‘s legendary AVDJ shows have earned him an undeniable reputation as Australia’s leading Audio Visual DJ. These performances have earned him praise from the likes of The New York Times and The Independent while his creatively effervescent, almost rugged technique and cheeky, irreverent sense of humour have caught the attention of artists like Peaches, Sinden and AC Slater. With influences ranging from the Beastie Boys to Bruce Willis, Sampology AV shows, DJ sets, mixes and original productions are unexpected and always ready to entertain. As he kicks off his new Australian AV tour ‘Stimulation’, we catch up with the master of sampling to find out what makes him tick.
Hey, thanks for taking the time to talk to us here at Givafizz. How are you doing today and where are you talking to us from?
No problem! From my home studio in Brisbane, today I’m working on new music cutting up samples from Bollywood soundtracks.
For the Givafizz readers who have had their heads under a rock for the last couple of years, tell us a little bit about your productions and how you got into audio visual DJin?
I jumped head first into DJing with videos in 2008 when the technology became available for me to basically use turntables to mix any content I wanted in sync with audio at the same time. The show has come a long way since then and developed theme-wise as well as technically in how I present it as well as make custom edits for the show.
When putting together a new production / show, where do you get your influences? Would you say you have a particular style?
I love taking either a song or a visual and Juxtaposing it by what I combine it with, the end result basically messes with peoples perception while they are watching. When I started getting into music originally what I fell in love with is the hip hop mentality of taking something existing & flipping it to create something completely new & futuristic, I love that shit.
You’ve recently collaborated with Brisbanite DJ Butcher and Jamaican artist Beenie Man. How did this come about? Tell us a little bit about what went into the making of this release?
Originally it was going to just be a free track Butcher & me were going to give away as we sampled a 1997 Beenie Man single but after we sent it to Beenie Man’s management we managed to get the sample cleared as they loved it so much. Shout out to Butcher!
You’re Australian “Stimulation” tour has just kicked off. What can we expect from this new show? Can we buy you a drink when you come to Melbourne – what’s your tipple?!
It’s a pretty raunchy show, early in putting it together I decided if I was going to do a sexual show I had to go all out & not hold back. There are some pretty steamy parts, funny parts & emotional parts. There was a pretty funny quote from a review after the first show that read something like “it’s as if he’s trying to make everyone in the audience cum, and he certainly came close”. It’s a whole lot of fun, & yep you can buy me a drink! I drink anything but XXXX.
You seem to be one of a small few who are leading the way with audio visual DJin. We’re interested to know what you think the futures holds for this type of production? Have you seen a rise in interest / more talent coming into the scene over the last few years?
Yep for sure, primarily in Naysayer & Gilsun & Ego who’s show’s are both unique & dope in the best possible way! What I’ve loved since the very start is it’s not defined like DJing has become, so everyone is way more bound to approach putting together a set in a completely unique way.
With the future in mind, what does it hold for you? More productions? Collaborations?
I have lots of originals I’ve been working on for ages & am genuinely really excited for everyone to hear sometime soon.
We’re always on the look out for interesting new producers & tracks. Is there anyone or anything we should be checking out?
Mark Prichard is still on point, I’ve been bumping the Travi$ Scott ‘Owl Eyes’ mixtape a lot atm, Paces, SCNTST, Kirkis have new music coming that’s gonna be great, Hiatus Kayote, Machinedrum, too much good new music at the moment.
What are your top 5 tracks right now? (you can’t say your own!!)
Collard Greens – Schoolboy Q ft Kendrick Lamar
The Trap – Fantastic Mr Fox
Ninja Mi Ninja – Ninja Man
If (Kaytranada Edition – Janet Jackson
Blocka La Flame – Travi$ Scott
Finally, you’ve got the chance to curate your dream line up in a club. You can book anyone to play alive or dead – who would you pick?
TOO HARD, but here’s a quick line up I think could definitely work from doors opening to closing
Barrington Levy with King Tubby on the desk
Big uppps to Sampology for this awesome interview. He is touring around Australia right now and we will be catching him when he lands in Melbourne next month. You can check out full details of the tour & dates in your area here.
With one of the best live dance music shows on the planet, Crazy P have been leaving their mark on the dance music scene for the last 17 years. To trace the origins of Crazy P we have to go all the way back to 1996. This was the year that brought together James Baron and Chris Todd. They met at Nottingham University where they tried their hand at producing records, sharing a love for bending & reshaping old records from many different genres. After a couple of releases under various different monikers, the work attracted the ears of legendary deep house label Paper Recordings and the creature that is Crazy P was born. Later developing into their current 5 piece format, with the addition of Tim Davies, Matt Klose and the vocals of the inimitable Danielle Moore.
17 years on, having effortlessly spanned the analogue and digital eras and ageing like a fine wine, their devotion to the lyrical side of dance music has given them much acclaim. Numerous albums, record sales, DJ gigs, and most pertinently, live shows across the world. In more recent times (since 2008 to be exact), the group has signed with Ralph Lawson’s giant House & Techno label, 2020 Vision… which has allowed them to reach out to a new audience and bring forth a string of amazing remixes.
As Crazy P line up for another great summer of gigs & festivals including the amazing Garden Festival in Croatia, we caught up with one of the founders, James Baron (aka Ron Basejam) to talk about the present & future of one of our favourite bands of all time.
17 years. Wow. That’s an impressive amount of time for not only a band to stay together, but to have your continued success. What do you think are the key ingredients that have kept you lot together & drive you to make more & more music?
In the first instance we’re pretty down to earth. We’ve all grown and gained confidence collectively over the years, pinching ourselves it’s happening most of the time. There’s no overpowering ego in charge, everybody knows their own strengths and that makes for an easy working dynamic. Plus we’re all mates and we love it!
Nearly two years on from your last album, can you pick out any highlights? How have things changed for the band?
It’s been a busy time! We’ve been doing lots more dj’ing and sound system shows which we really love. The last album was important for our development because it was a lot less pop/funk orientated than previous offerings and that put us in touch with our underground roots again. Also, having been around for so long it’s been nice to get support from new school acts like Wolf & Lamb, Soul Clap and Jamie Jones, they’ve certainly helped bring our sound to younger ears. Highlights have included our own sell out show at Koko, plus unforgettable gigs in in Bulgaria, Ireland, America and of course Croatia!
Looking at the current state of the dance music industry you could say that it was swamped with subgenre upon subgenre. You’ve always been purveyors of your own sound often pre-empting trends and had a massive part to play in the move back towards the disco & boogie sound back in the late Naughties. Where do you feel Crazy P fits in to the current musical landscape. And do you have any thoughts on how the Crazy P sound may evolve?
I think people who know of us have the misconception we’re a ‘disco/electro/pop’ band and that couldn’t be further from the truth. We’ve always tried to mix things up stylistically because thats who we are. Fitting in is never something that has overly concerned us and we’ve never made a conscious decision to move in a certain direction. When we make music it’s a very personal, organic process and can be influenced by so many things we generally don’t know whats going to happen next. It keeps things fresh. If it feels and sounds good to us, we’ll go with it.
There have been many super remixes of your tracks. Do you have a say on who produces these & what’s your level of involvement? How do you think these remixes have helped Crazy P? And can you pick a favourite – go on, if you had to choose one?!?
There has been some crackers, with 2020 Vision they’ve been good enough to get us involved in choosing potential remixers which has been great. Remixes are a great tool for getting your music onto dancefloors that wouldn’t normally hear a Crazy P record and that can only be a good thing. Amongst my personal faves are Art of Tones mix of Love on the line and maurice fulton’s mix of lie lost.
We’re loving the output of Hot Toddy/Ron Basejam. That remix of White Light was one of our favourite tracks last year! What does the future hold for these two projects? Any new productions in the pipeline?
We’ve been doing lots of remixes in our solo guises, I’ve recently done Basejam mixes for James Welsh, Finebassen, Leon Sweet and Hot Coins. Toddy has been busy as ever remixing the likes of Classixx, Dean Tyler. The new Crazy P album has prevented us from rocking some more original material but they’ll definitely be some more of that to come.
Can you talk to us a little bit about Crazy P Vs your solo alias. Do you ever feel they compete – in terms of time or your preference? Would you say the focus has shifted or is Crazy P still the priority for you all?
They are completely different entities. Crazy P is definitely the priority and we always make sure one does not get in the way of the other. The solo stuff just allows you to do your own thing and experiment a bit which is great fun but writing in the group dynamic as Crazy P can’t be beat.
Continuing on from the previous question, tell us a bit about performing your own material live as part of a larger collective vs Dj’ing? Do you have a preference?
Again, the live show and the dj/soundsystem shows cannot really be compared, they are so different. We try to make the live show a band ‘performance’ both musically and visually. You have to attack it in a very different way in order to hold the crowds attention and make sure you get all the requisite peaks and troughs a live show should have. The focus of the performance is of course Danielle who is great at drawing the crowd in. The sound system shows put us in touch with our clubier sides. The crowd become the focus here. Holding a dancefloor takes different skills and programming to the live show, having both helps broaden our output musically which is a lot of work but very rewarding.
We saw you at The Garden Festival in Croatia last year, and it was awesome, how was that for you guys – looking forward to going back? Any other gigs or festivals you are most looking forward to this year?
I don’t think we’ve ever had a bad gig at the Garden festival over the 5 years we’ve been involved. With that setting, vibe and amount of people it always goes off. It was a lot of fun last year but we’re looking forward to bringing the live show this year along with some new material… we’re also looking forward to Love saves the day in Bristol, Space and DC10 in Ibiza and of course Glastonbury!
In summary, what does the future hold for Crazy P?
New Album, new haircut, new shoes.
Finally, you’ve got the chance to curate your dream line up in a club. You can book anyone to play alive or dead – whom would you pick?
Haha! ok, well on warm up duties I’d have Neil Diablo from manchester who’s massively underrated and always been one of my faves (we do the garden boat party with him every year) then a couple of live acts maybe – War (with their original line up) and James Blake – then we’d dance into the night with Maurice Fulton and DJ Harvey on the ones and two’s…perfect!
Perfect indeed! Thanks for your time, it’s been great catching up with you Jim.
We’ll leave you with this super Dj set from the Crazy P boys when they played Boiler Room earlier this year. Enjoy!
We’ll be checking out Crazy P & the rest of the top notch line up at the Garden Festival again this year, yes, we love this little festival in Croatia. If you fancy joining us, here are the details:
The Garden Festival // Weds 3rd - Weds 10th July 2013 // The Garden Tisno, Croatia
The Garden Festival is Croatia’s original and pioneering event, revered for its intimate family ethos and setting on the beautiful Dalmatian coastline, beyond which glitters the enticingly warm Adriatic, and enters its 8th year this summer. Crazy P join Floating Points, Eats Everything, Justin Martin, Krystal Klear, Theo Parrish, Danny Krivit, Metro Area, Space Dimension Controller, Outboxx and many more. (Image below by www.heathershuker.co.uk)
It feels appropriate to post this interview on the evening that I arrive in Brazil. As I type these very words I’m sitting on a hostel balcony, sipping a Caipirinha and looking out over Cocacabana beach in Rio de Janerio. Yes, it’s been a very long day to get here (just over 24hrs of traveling) – but it’s all been worth it. I’ve heard so much about this city, this country. And even on first appearances, I can tell it has an electric energy and vibe that I may just fall in love with!
We spoke to HNQO last week, the amazing deep house producer from Brazil, who told us of his times as a kid in the southeastern city of Curitiba in Brazil. The days are warm, and the nights are long. And apparently the of streets of Curitiba, boys become men, and souls are both lost and found. No one knows this better than HNQO himself. As a famed breakdancer in his youth, he went in search of himself, with little more than a dream and the voices of Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash to guide him.
Although house is far from the driving force of the dance music scene in Brazil, HNQO has relentlessly pursued his passion for all things deep, soul & funk. Last year was the year his effect repelled across the world, with a massive release on Hot Creations along with driving forward with his own imprint, Playperview. The boy is now embarking on a European tour (didn’t he have to go and do this when I was in Brazil!!)… but all jokes aside, he certainly is one to watch out for in 2013 & beyond.
So have a read at what he had to say when we caught up with him…
Hi Henrique, it’s Fintan here from the Givafizz blog. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. How are you doing today and where are you talking to us from?
Hello guys, it’s my pleasure, thanks for inviting me. At the moment I’m sat down on a chair in my room/office, based in Berlin during my European tour.
I’m actually traveling around South America at the moment, and due to be in Brazil in April. So far on my travels, I’m getting the impression that house music / culture is in its infancy across a lot of the continent. Is this also the case in Brazil? Can you tell us a little bit about growing up there? And has your home city, people or scene had any influence over the music you produce today?
The main culture in Brazil is samba, MPB and definitely not house music, but we are getting there.
Its big now in south Brazil, down from Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, places where you can find clubs such as Club Vibe (Curitiba/Paraná), D-Edge (São Paulo), Warung (Santa Catarina), Space (Santa Catarina), Beehive (Rio Grande do Sul) to mention a few that I personally like best. There are also festivals such as Tribaltech (Curitiba/Paraná), XXXPerience (São Paulo), Tribe (São Paulo), with crowds up to 15,000 people.
The music I produce is influenced by my life style, my family, friends, good and bad things, places i visit, the food i get to eat. It’s all about how i’m feeling and everything that happens can influence on my music.
So when I get to Brazil, what places would you recommend I visit? And where should I go to dance?!
You should check the dates at D-Edge, Club Vibe, Warung and Beehive. Each club in each area has great options and I’m sure you’ll have fun at them all.
Great, thanks – I can’t wait! So 2012 was the year the world first heard HNQO. Tell us a little bit about what you were up to before you hit our airwaves?
I was working night-shifts at a hostel while making music. I was studying global business, and DJ’ing at Club Vibe and Danghai Club, both in my city, Curitiba.
Your amazing track, “Point of View” seemed to be the one that propelled you into the spotlight. Firstly, can you give us any insight into the making of this track / how you landed on this style / inspirations? Did you ever think it would get the reaction it did?
Yes, it’s my stand out record. It was made during the hostel night-shift, using a notebook and headphones on Ableton. The process was normal, as I built the drums, the bassline and warped and cut the vocal just the way I liked it. I didn’t expected it was going to be on the likes of Jamie Jones, Russ Yallop, Solomun, H.O.S.H., Seth Troxler, Pete Tong, Groove Armada, Rodriguez Jr. Etc, though!
Like many now, we’re big fans of your productions. You seem to have developed your own style. But how would you describe your sound? Do you have a direction you want to take your productions going forward?
Firstly, thanks for the compliment. My goal is to keep making music the way I like, if I’m happy with it I can move forward, if not, I’m not that keen to keep making something just because it’s maybe going to work. I like to feel 100% comfortable with what i’m producing and I expect people to like it the way it is. My plan is to keep my characteristics and try to build tracks for me and the people listening to be happy with.
Tell us a little more about the label you started with your brother – Playperview? Will there be a focus on Brazilian producers, as a way to build the scene there? By the way, loving your recent release “We Do It”, and the H.O.S.H remix is so funky!
Yes, Playperview is our little kid and it’s being raised to open space for new producers, Brazilian or otherwise. Our goal is to give the artists great support. We also like to have steady names on it, which is why the last release came with remixes from H.O.S.H., Kolombo and Atapy. There is more yet to come, we are discussing terms for remixes with Pillowtalk, Madmotormiquel & Sebo K and some others. Let’s hope we can sort all this out and have a great 2013 for the label and the artists evolved.
So what does the future hold for you HNQO? No pressure after such a big 2012! What releases can we look forward to & when?
I’m on tour at the moment, so i’m out of studio for 3 months. There is a remix I did coming on Playperview in about two months. It’s of a Dimitri Nakov track, ‘Fire in My Heart’ feat. Cari Golden. The EP is coming out soon with a great remix from Giom, too. Also coming on Playperview, there is a remix I did with my brother Fabø to Funky Fat’s ‘Why Go Home’.
There is another big remix for a big label and artist but it’s still on secret terms and I’m not sure I can give anything away just yet. I just hope it will get finished soon and I can concentrate on more HNQO releases.
Having played many gigs over the last year, can you pick a favourite?
Last year was a b2b set, myself and Fabø at the 11th year anniversary of Club Vibe in Curitiba. We played for 8 hours non stop, and it was madness, there were sweat dripping from the ceiling and I had to put a cup in front of the mixer so the drips didn’t wet it and run the party! It was so much fun and we had all our good friends on stage, too!
How much preparation to you put into your sets – are you are a believer in free-styling it or are your sets well planned?
Well, I do a lot of planning when i’m downloading and selecting tracks for my sets, but there is no plan when I’m DJ’ing, I like to mix House with Deep House and Tech House and it’s all based on the crowd’s reaction.
Can you tell us what 5 tracks are really doing it for you right now?
Jaymo & Andy George – Remember
Jackname Trouble – Light Again (Kink Remix)
LCD Soundsystem – Sounds of Silver (Fabø’s Shazam Wont Get It Mix) – This one is an exclusive and I love to drop it
Dimitri Nakov – Fire in My Heart feat. Cari Golden (HNQO Remix)
Dake – With All – Sexy track upcoming on Playperview
We’re always on the lookout for new talent & tracks. Can you recommend any other new artists or tracks we should be keeping our eyes/ears open for?
This guy Dake, from Brazil. He’s a good friend and very talented. You can check his stuff here.
Quick fire round, are you ready?! If you had to pick one of the following which would it be…
Big room or small & intimate? Small & Intimate Sunset or Sunrise? Sunset Vinyls or Mp3s? fuck! i play with cd’s and USB but i love vinyls Running or sleeping? Sleeping Making music or making love? shit, you got me here!
Finally, you’ve got the chance to curate your dream line up in a club. You can book anyone to play alive or dead – who would you pick?
Daft Punk, Trentemøller, Jamiroquai, A Tribe Called Quest and Morphine for the closing – That’d be some journey! (hehe)
Ha, it really would! I want go to that night!! Thanks for your time, it’s been great catching up with you.
HNQO is currently touring around Europe, with his final set at Love System Festival (Croatia) this summer. Check out the dates below & more details here.
One thing we love here at GIVAFIZZ is finding new music talent, and boy we struck lucky when we found Patrick Topping – a native Geordie & new to the Hot Trax crew, lead by head honcho Jamie Jones.Dedicated to a more underground dance floor orientated aesthetic, Hot Trax is a subsidiary label to the mighty Hot Creations, and Partick Topping is one the first few to be signed. We caught up with him recently to see how it all started and what are his plans for the future…
Hi Patrick, thanks for taking the time to talk to us here at Givafizz. How are you doing today and where are you talking to us from?
I’m good thanks! I’m just at home working on a new track. I usually try to work on music everyday, so I spend most my time locked away in my studio. If you can call it that! It’s really it’s the spare bedroom with a Mac, some monitors and loads of clubbing posters.
So you were born & bred in Newcastle, what music did you grow up listening to? Anyone that influenced your work today?
Yeah I’ve been going out proper clubbing for a few years now when I was sneaking into Shindig (second oldest running house club night in UK after Back to Basics), since I was 17. That was around the time I fully got into dance music. Before then I was always really interested in music, but listened to loads of genres. I’ve been lucky to be living in Newcastle, there are always wicked DJs playing every weekend. I was living away in Edinburgh for four years at Uni so that also helped, as the scene is quite strong there too.
But the biggest shift was going to the first Cocoon in the Park (which is in Leeds), in 2009. Before that I was into house and techno, but I also liked electro and some trance. At Leeds I saw Sven Vath for the first time. That gig changed me musically speaking. I gave up electro and nearly listened to real house and techno music exclusively. Shortly before that, I also saw Luciano in Edinburgh and that was also a bit of watershed in my musical taste. I still rate both artists very highly.
Tell us a little bit about being a resident at Motion– from what age did you start DJing there? How did you get involved?
Motion is having its 3rd birthday in May 2013 and I’m buzzing that Lee Foss is going to be headlining! He played for us in September and it was class, so couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate 3 years. Motion came about at my mates 21st birthday, where I DJ’ed for the first time in public. I had decks lying about for 2 years or something, but never mastered them. Then, he asked me to play at his party, so I locked my self away in my uni flat and finally taught myself. At his party, where I rather badly mixed 128 bpm techno, his family were there sitting around eating, I then had the confidence to start my own night, so I said to a group of mates lets do it. Then, 3 months later we had our launch party with Mendo from Luciano’s Cadenza.The reason I got decks in the first place was when I visited Ibiza for the first time in 2005, I loved the place so much I thought; ‘How can I go back every year?’ and I thought being a DJ would be the only way! I have been back for holidays every year since. Anyway Motion is now one of the biggest parties in Newcastle and we have brought acts such as Art Department, MK and Tale Of Us to the city for the first time, so it’s an honour to be part of it.
We’ve read that Jamie Jones himself scoped you out. How did that happen?
It was actually one of my mates sent him a track of mine, called Fat Ballistic, At the time, it was only like the 3rd track I had made since I started spending serious time producing. I liked the track, but wanted to wait until I had a few more before sending them to people.
As it turned out, Jamie’s tour manager Paolo got in touch and said he liked the track. He asked for the file, then a month or so later I asked him what Jamie thought of it and he said Jamie had been playing it! He then sent me a video of him playing it at Pacha in Marrakech. For a year I was making tracks and sending them to Paolo,3 of which he passed on to Jamie which he also played. Then just after New Year, Paolo got in touch and said Jamie wanted to sign Walk On and could I get in touch with him.
We’ve recently come across your work and instantly loved it – especially the acid house influence you incorporate so well. How did you decide that ‘Walk On’ would be your debut on Hot Trax? Were there any other contenders for the first signed track?
Originally Walk On included vocals but Jamie preferred the instrumental version, which is coming out soon! I still play the vocal one sometimes in my sets, depending on the crowd. Jamie then asked me if I had a B side, but I didn’t think any of the tracks I had written at that point were right for Hot Trax, so I made What Do You Mean and sent him it and he liked it.
What would be your top 5 tracks right now?
Hi-Fi- Italoboyz is a wicked new release.
Nikola Gala, Jerome Sydenham- Brooklyn Rock, sounds mint in a club.
I really love Aphrodite- Cozzy D, heard Darius Syrossian finish his set with it a few weeks ago and sounded wicked.
Then this older one Luciano used to play: Josh Brent- Dicargo, absolute beast.
And a new one I just made last week: Holiday – Patrick Topping
Are there any tracks you have to include in your set?
I love to include the odd track from 2009, when I was really into what Sven Vath played; a lot of them still go down really well. If possible I also love to include at least 1 new track of mine each time I play.
How much preparation do you put into your sets – are you are a believer in free-styling it or are your sets well planned?
I do plan my sets, but at the same time I with take a few CD’s with me of extra tracks, in case I want to change the direction of the set.
Any interesting plans for the future?
Motion is hosting a pool party at Hideout Festival in Croatia this July, so I’m really buzzing about that. I’m also hoping to play out as much as possible and share my music with as many people as I can, as now I have 40 unsigned tracks.
After hearing the anthem ‘Sunset’ by Compuphonic last year, it was agreed that it was one of the highlights of the summer in 2012. Although Compuphonic was an established artist since the early 00’s, with tracks on big labels such as Turbo & 20:20 Vision , 2013 is proving to be quite an exciting one for him; and its not even at the end of the 1st quarter! He’s a busy bee, with re-releases, a new music video and a new album set to come out this summer. We here at GIVAFIZZ got together with the man himself to see how he’s coping with it all …
Hi Maxime, thanks for taking the time to talk to us here at Givafizz. How are you doing today and where are you talking to us from?
Hello! I’m speaking to you from the Belgian countryside. In front of me, the sun is shining and I’m looking onto an amazing view, a great forest stretching off to the horizon.
I’m sure you get asked this all the time, but what’s behind the name Compuphonic or how did you come up with it?
My name just comes from the very first synthetizer I owned, the Roland Promars Compuphonic. I had been booked to play at a party and I was on the phone to the promoter and had to quickly choose a name, when I looked around, I saw that word ‘Compuphonic’ which I thought was nice and simple, so I chose that and have kept it ever since.
Tell us a little bit about growing up in Belgium – who were your influences growing up? Did it have any impact on your productions?
You actually get very interesting music on the radio in Belgium. Because we are stuck between France, Germany, the UK and Holland, there are lots of different kinds of music reaching us all the time.
When I was younger, I was listening to electro stuff like Kraftwerk or Jan Hammer, eighties stuff and New Wave bands like Human League, Depeche Mode, even rock artists like Queen. Here in Belgium you can find lots of interesting records in people’s living room, so we’re exposed to so much and obviously, this has influenced me greatly in my music creation.
How was learning a demanding instrument such as the cello since a young age? Did it make you focus on your music more?
Yes, the cello is a very demanding instrument, it requires a lot of work and training. I was forced to be very involved into learning to play it, you have to be otherwise you just don’t make any progress.
To be honest whilst I actually find its sound interesting it’s also quite limited, I always wanted to be able to create more elaborate music than something composed in just one key at a time.
I have never played again after I stopped, and honestly I don’t regret it. I consider the cello as the first thing that lead me into studio based music.
Sunset – wow! The reaction has been amazing for that track! Did you anticipate such a response?
Not at all. You never expect this kind of response. Now truthfully I felt that the track had something special, a little magic, but I always make music with the same exact energy, so it surprised me anyways that this particular piece functions much better than all others.
How did the label Get Physical become involved? Whose idea was it to re release it with such a variety of remixes?
When I finished the track, I sent it to Turbo, Get Physical and DFA. I got 2 positive responses. DJ T from GPM answered me 5 minutes after I sent the track, “I want this track on Get Physical!”
Sometimes in life things just work out like that… As for remixes, we chose them with my management. I find them all really varied and all of them very interesting.
Do you have a favourite of the remixes (go on- we won’t tell anyone!)
Honestly it’s so hard to chose, they’re all great and do very different things, but personally to my own music tastes I would have to say that I have a preference for the disco classical style of Aeroplane’s version and the really fresh re-reading from Waze & Odyssey.
We’ve read that you have a new album launching in 2013 – can you tell us a bit more about it? Any interesting collaborations?
I prefer to talk about the album when it’s finished, right now everything isn’t completely defined, but what I can say is that I’ve been working very hard on it!
On a broader note, (deep) house music at the moment seems to be taking much influence from the earlier days of house (New York, Chicago, Detroit etc). Do you think that’s fair to say? How often do you call on the earlier years for inspiration?
Electronic music is constantly recycling itself, taking elements from the past and mixing them with new sounds and Deep House like any other style nourishes itself with many of the tunes from those times. The music from the first few years of dance music might be richer because it was a brand new creative movement. For that reason, the first years of techno and house inspire me very much.
What are your top 5 tracks right now?
Urulu & Steve Huerta – Things I Didn’t Mean
George Fitzgerald – Every_Inch (Deetron Remix)
Real Connoisseur – Faux De Baux
FCL – It’s You (San Sodas Panorama Bar Acca Version)
In Deep We Trust – Basen (Pool Party Dub Mix)
You’ve a few sets coming up in Belgium in the next few weeks– what’s it like playing to a home crowd? Are there any venues that stand out for you from a DJs perspective?
There are so many great clubs in Belgium! There’s Mr Wong in Brussels, an old vintage Chinese restaurant was transformed into a club whilst keeping the original decor, then there’s le Cadran & le Studio 22 in the very centre of Liège, the classical Café d’Anvers, and of course the techno temple named Le Fuse… We have many excellent clubs here which have all a very well defined identity of their own.
How much preparation to you put into your sets – are you are a believer in free-styling it or are your sets well planned?
Personally I prepare my sets a lot, but then when I’m actually playing it is usually a mix between what I’ve prepared and improvising. I’ll always prepare a few transitions which I find good, make a few edits of my own especially for my sets and think about what I will play. But then during the set itself, I’ll react to the public, the ambiance, sound and atmosphere of the club.
Thanks for your time. Keep up the great work
Compuphonics ‘Sunset’ has a new video out NOW – check it here :
When it comes to new music, I’m like a kid on Christmas morning. And that’s exactly how I’ve felt every time Nolan has put out music this year!
The Brighton producer has had a phenomenal few months. Since putting out his first record back in February, he has gone on to work with some great labels and got support from some of the best producers in house & disco. In fact, I first heard about Nolan when I interviewed Trickski earlier this year. They put me onto his Ghetto Bicep track, which has been one of my favourite tracks of the summer. Massive tune!
Since then, I’ve been playing & blogging all his releases. Lots of support from team Fizz! So as you can imagine, I was pretty damn excited to catch up with this new talent and find out a little more.
Not only did the very generous Nolan agree to give us an interview, he has also given us an exclusive download of his recent Go Slow mix (you can check out the mix just below the interview).
Hi Nolan, thanks for taking the time to talk to us here at Givafizz. How are you doing today and how is life treating you down in Brighton?
Am doing fine thanks and loving it down here in Brighton. The fresh sea air and rolling hills of the South Downs on my doorstep.. what’s not to love?!
Clearly your debut release Thief was the start of something special, but tell us a little bit about yourself and the musical journey before this year? What is your musical background, what did you listen to growing up and when did you start making or playing music?
Growing up my parents listened to a lot of folk music on their reel 2 reel tape machine and vinyl deck so I had a laid back approach to music – so I never really got into Rock but I do love my Disco and of course House music so I guess that’s why I make a mix of Deep/Disco House these days ;-) Having said that I’m also partial to a bit of Soul which i guess is why i went down the route i did with Thief and stole that soul sample ;-)
We think all your productions this year have been unique & varied – which we love! But how would YOU describe your sound?
Yeah I like to mix things up a bit but i guess Nolan is mostly a Deep House kinda guy.
Ghetto Bicep has to be one of our most played tracks over the summer. And we love the recent Go Slow EP, with a top remix from Finnebassen. Can you tell us a bit about your releases this year? Do you think there was a turning point or track that has helped propel you forward?
Releasing on Nurvous, Connaisseur and OFF has been a great way to get noticed with my first couple of tracks for sure and that Finnebassen remix of Go Slow is sublime Deep House at its best! I love what he’s done with Amber’s vocal.
And the releases don’t stop there; as you’re putting out two new EP’s this month? Freak On EP on Gruuv, which we blogged a while back, and another release on Get Physical I believe? Do tell us more?!
I’m really excited about my EP on Gruuv… it’s always great to get that slab of vinyl in your hands with your own music on. The remixes on this EP by Kyodai and John Tejada are also phenomenal. I couldn’t have asked for more. Also as you say i have another track called SKAT coming out on Get Physical later this month which I’m buzzing about.
So now that you’re on the Nolan steam train of success, what does 2013 hold for you? Big plans we hope ;-)
Yeah I have quite a few new tracks written now and a couple of remixes on the way… one I just finished for Exploited and Culprit asked me about remix work when I released Thief so hopefully that will still happen. I’m just finding the right labels for all this new material so fingers crossed they won’t take too long to come out.
Great, can’t wait! We had a quick look to see if you are DJ’in anytime soon, but can’t see any dates planned – what are the plans, where can we see you work your magic?!
I recently did a 5 date tour around Hong Kong playing some amazing venues including a pool party on the roof of the W Hotel over 70 floors up with glass walls and an infinity swimming pool which didn’t do my vertigo any good at all but was fun and an experience all the same! I’ve actually just joined Climbers, Amine Edge & co on the Kumasi agency roster so hopefully they will sort out some nice new bookings for 2013 and the end of this year.
What are your top 5 tracks right now?
Sorry for the blatant self promotion here but to be honest it has to be the amazing remixes of my latest releases and also Amber’s previous release which got a superb remix by No Artificial Colours. Also, Maceo Plex and Jon Dasilva’s fantastic cover of one of my all time favourite Disco records originally by the The Jones Girls and now resung by Joi Cardwell called Love Somebody Else. So here goes…
Nolan – Freak On (Kyodai Remix) [Gruuv]
Nolan – Go Slow ft Amber Jolene (Finnebassen Remix) [OFF Recordings]
Nolan – Bitter Sweat (John Tejada Remix) [Gruuv]
Timo Garcia & Manu Delago – The Hang Track ft Amber Jolene [Hedkandi]
Maceo Plex & Jon Dasliva – Love Somebody Else ft Joi Cardwell [Ellum]
Finally, if we offered to buy you a drink in the club, what’s your tipple?!
I’m a JD & Coke fan in the club… but if its hot and sunny then ill have a Caipirinha please ;)
Thanks Nolan, see you in the club!
Here is a recent mix Nolan has put together to celebrate his Go Slow release and shares some of the tunes that have been turning him on recently. He’s been very kind to give us an exclusive download. So give it a spin & grab your free download below.