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I was trying to look for the way that your style sort of evolved over that time, but it seems like you’re not moving in a linear direction towards something, you’re still going back and you’re playing the garage, breaks, electro, and acid, as well now playing styles like trance. Do you see yourself as moving towards something or are you just feeling it out?
I’m not really. I’m just playing around with different styles. At the moment I’m playing more techno and stuff. I really enjoyed the European gigs, and that sound kind of helps get more of those as well. I don’t really have a plan in mind, like of where I want to be in like five years, I just take each weekend as it comes.
With regards to your interest in trance, is there someone you saw playing the trance that got you interested?
I guess Adam Pits plays wafty trance sort of stuff, and I think his productions are sick as well. I like listening to older stuff that came out back in the ’90s, because it’s quite nostalgic, I like the feel of listening to it. But in terms who actually does play a lot of trance that I see: A for Alpha, we did a back-to-back in Bristol not so long ago, Narciss, Angel D’lite, LUXE, and Rat Party, they’re a super fab party/collective in Leeds with an incredible community behind it, which is a big part of why nights like Subdub and Love Muscle are so special to me too. On HÖR sets you tend to hear a lot of trance, and my partner listens to a lot of trance as well.
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I guess you pivoted to a bit more of a European presence being on German agency Suo Motu Bookings and being involved in that network as well. And then the Berghain set, how did that come about and how was it?
I guess they had Partiboi69 on, and I did a stream with him. It just came about, I was surprised! It was really, really fun. It was one of the sets that kind of went how I really wanted it to go I played for three hours, so it was nice to play a bit longer, because a lot of UK gigs you play are like an hour, and I feel like you don’t quite get into the groove so much. When you have longer to play, you can get through a bit more. DJ Spit was playing before me and he was playing a lot of speed garage, so I went into it with speed garage, trance, some electro, and then more acid techno sort of stuff to finish off with. I think I finished on a donk tune actually, just had to be done before Partiboi69 started.
You just mentioned a minute ago as well some of the nostalgic components of trance; I was thinking about the enduring relevance of rave iconography and references. When you make some more vintage selections, playing hardcore and stuff, do you resonate with some of that?
Yeah, definitely. I love all the hardcore, really breaks-y stuff that people are playing at the moment. Even with speed garage reminds me of my childhood. So, it’s quite nice to have that kind of come back in a way. I’ve actually got a book, which has all this old hardcore artwork, all the posters, which I bought because I thought it’d be cool to flick through and see all that stuff, I think you see it a lot more now. I like a lot of the artwork that’s getting made for nights as well, that kind of like old hardcore aesthetic coming through. Even like people putting out tapes and no one has a tape player; I’ve got a few tapes I can’t do anything with. I love all the memorabilia sort of things, I’m a sucker for that.
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I was wondering, have you dabbled in production at all?
I think that my goal for the next year is to learn it. I actually did a bit over lockdown. I did the Rhythm Sister production workshop, which was really good. It was a few weeks long and they had sessions with an Ableton live tutor, but then they also had a guest producer do a session every other week. So, there was people like CCL, Yazzus. Hopefully over the next year I’ll actually play around with it a bit more.
Do you have a tune in mind that you want to make?
Everyone that I’ve spoken to was like, just start doing mashups and edits, that’s quite a easy in, and then you can kind of work out where you want to go from there. I’d love to make the garage; I think that’d be that’d be really fun. In terms of people that I really look up to as a producer, I think Anz is just incredible. Her breadth of genres as well is something that I would really, aspire to. I really enjoy layering vocals on top of other tracks, and I love watching how someone like VTSS does it, she’s smashing it.
Can you tell me about how you out this mix together, what tunes were you excited to drop in there and what you are trying to do/show with it?
For the mix, I wanted to showcase a small flavour of the different styles of music that I love. Some UK sounds, some of the more floaty trance bits, and some harder electro and techno too. I’d say it’s fairly representative of the progression my mixes or sets will normally go through at the moment. I had to get one of the International Chromies releases in there as it’s a banging label, so I was really excited to play ‘Neva Been’ by Frenquency. ‘Sounds from the House of Dread’ [by Dreadzone] is a record I’ve been wanting to play for a while. It’s got all the fun elements: acid, trance, ravey warehouse vibes. I’m not much of a digger when it comes to records, so the ones I did play are nice and cheap.
A stand-out song for me would be Adam Pits’ remix. He’s a friend and incredibly talented producer/DJ and watching Space Cadets (Adam Pits & Lisene) drop it during their Secret Garden Party set was a highlight of the summer. Another is Casper Hastings’ track, taking me back to a time when I’d play a lot more electro, so it was nice to revisit some old playlists.
I found it difficult to fit everything I wanted in. One hour goes so quick! I think two to four hours is my sweet spot because it gives you a chance to get through some sounds and change the energy in a way that isn’t just linear. I feel like I missed so many tracks that come to mind as soon as the mix is done, but there will always be more chances to play them. It’s definitely not perfect but a fun one anyway!
Fraser Dahdouh is a freelance writer
PMM – Starchambers
Bluetoof – Jinx
Amor Satyr & Sit Mata – Lights Off
Seo John – Dreams Collide
Subb-an ft. Oli Gosh – State of Flow (Adam Pits Remix)
Kiara Scuro – Habibi Fitness
Hammer & DART – Tint (Maruwa Remix) [forthcoming]
Dread Zone – Sounds From the House of Dread (Boomshanka Mix)
Vintage Millenium – Expanded
Arnaud – Plasma Mission (Shawn Cartier & Comic Book Guy Trance Remix) [unreleased]
Casper Hastings – Tangerine Meme
Dagga x Manao – Process Three
Sunju Hargun – Sēkrit
Three-State Logic – Gradient on Path
Von Riu – France Progressive
DJ DEEON – Yeah
Frequency – Neva Been
Written by: Tim Hopkins