What was the first record (or tape) you ever bought? How old were you and what did you like about it?
I was 11 years old and I bought the cassette single of SL2 On A Ragga Tip. I probably liked it because it didn’t have any guitars or ‘singing’ in it. Thought I was too tough for singing when I was young, you had to either be a rapper or Bob Marley.
You first started DJing in Bath, where you attended university. What was the scene like at the time?
The scene in Bath was absolutely tiny which actually was probably a good thing as it wasn’t long before I was playing in clubs as there wasn’t too many djs in front of me.
Ibiza seems to have influenced the course of your career. How would you say the music scene in Ibiza effects what happens in the UK? – Or is it the other way around?
Ibiza is like a season long dance music exhibition. Cities such as London and Berlin are the factories, but the factories are creating their products with the sole purpose of being used in a place like Ibiza. Most producer’s picture their music rocking a certain dancefloor, and I bet the majority of producers have somewhere like DC10 or Amnesia in mind.
Not many debuts are met with overwhelming accolades. Were you surprised at the incredible response to the release of your first single ‘I Can’t Wait’?
Yes, because being a debut I’d never experienced anything like it before, so everything was new and therefore surprising. But I suppose it wasn’t a debut in truest sense of the word as I’d been making tracks for years without putting them forward for release. So surprise in one sense but a lot of the time in music you have a good idea what is going to work and I had a good feeling about the ep which is why I chose it to be my first.
Throughout history, music scenes have reflected movements and shifts of attitude in society. What would you say the current UK scene says about our society?
Observations like that are usually made retrospectively, and also I think it mainly applies to pop music. Dance music evolves based on what came before it, and to some extent what musical influences the current age demographic i.e. people in their 20s and early 30s, have. For example garage and hip hop were big influences on this generation and you can hear that in the music.
You’ve known the Crosstown Rebels crew since long before house music made it’s explosive come-back. How did you meet?
Ibiza. Standard! As well as being a music exhibition the island also serves as a convention for wronguns who’d rather spend their summers partying than working.
You’re set to play for Junk Department at the Eastern Electrics after party in Proud2, are you excited about getting your hands on that amazing sound system? Have you experienced the venue before as a producer or a punter (even as matter)?
Yes I went to Matter a few times and was gutted when it closed. Very excited about playing such an awesome venue.
Recent years have seen significant changes in the UK festival scene as more people seem to move away from the larger, more commercial events, to smaller, intimate events. Last year saw the sad demise of the Big Chill following a take-over from Festival Republic. How do you think this is reflective of the current music culture and do you think the more commercial events will need to adapt their policy in order to continue enjoying success?
I don’t really think it is reflective of music culture at all, more that the festival scene is big business and very competitive. Also it seems strange to say that people are moving toward smaller festivals when the biggest one of them all, Glastonbury, seems to be more popular than ever.
Are you a festival man yourself? Do you have a funniest festival memory you can share with us?
I’m a bit too much of a comfort lover for most festivals these days to be honest. I got arrested at Burning Man so I discreetly discarded my wallet which the cops then found and fined me $150 for littering!
To celebrate the return of the summer (fingers crossed!) Can you tell us a great summer tune?
God so many… Such a vague question too! For some reason when I think of summer my brain defaults to Madonna – La Isla Bonita!? That’s almost so uncool that it creeps full circle and starts being cool again. I dunno, I’ll have to go with that. Though please don’t post a youtube clip of it!
Is there anything in the pipe-line for 2012 you can share with us?
In the next month or so check out my remix for good friend Matthew Bushwacka as part of the Layo & Bushwacka album launch. Also finally my edit of Oscar Offerman’s Fluffer will drop which is a just a simple edit I did in the back seat of a car but seems to be my most requested track of the last 12 months.
Bringing the fire to Proud2’s second room is Junk Department, the London based offshoot of Southampton’s award wining Junk Club. Known for their love of high quality underground goodness, it’s no surprise Junk bring with them house music veteran and old friend of EE, Damian Lazarus. Joining the Rebel honcho is Russ Yallop, the freshest Hot Natured kid on the block and Junk Department residents.