Interview: Freddy Be & Savi Leon

Interview: Freddy Be & Savi Leon

A staple of the L.A. scene, Freddy Be and Savi Leon are keeping it strictly underground. 

Freddy Be and Savi Leon are true purveyors of the underground. The longtime friends and recent collaborators have been supplying the West Coast with fresh beats separately for the last twenty years as DJs, promoters and producers. Releasing tracks on some of the world’s most respected labels and playing equally credible sets at Coachella, BPM FestivalAvalon Hollywood, Exchange (LA), Audio (SF), Sound Nightclub and the Busan mega club Hive, in South Korea.

Since combining forces, the two talented producers have brought their deep, dark, late night style to a string of prominent UK based imprints, most recently the home-grown Liverpudlian label New Violence Records. We chat to Freddy and Savi about their music and carving out a career in L.A. in this exclusive interview. 

Read to the bottom of the page for the brand new guest mix from the guys, featuring a lot of their new music. 


How and when did you guys meet and start working together?

Savi:  I met Freddy back in 2009 when I started going to his weekly party Monday Social. Throughout the years, we kept in touch as he booked me to play for him at MNS. We started working together about a year and a half ago.

Freddy Be: We’ve known each other for many years through the LA club scene, and always had similar tastes when it came to producers we both admired. With that said, it just came down to chatting one day on the phone when I suggested the idea of maybe collaborating on some music which ended up as our debut release on Under No Illusion titled Benevolence EP which featured remixes from Ki Creighton, Joeski and Doc Martin.

You guys are both based in LA, a town known for it’s rock and roll heritage. What’s it like trying to build a career in electronic music there?

Savi: Building a career in electronic music in LA has definitely been quite a challenge. There is so much going on here when it comes to music culture. But thanks to guys like Freddy the underground electronic scene has been alive and well for over two decades.

Freddy Be: I actually moved to LA after living in the UK for 12 years in the early 90’s, right when the Rock Scene took a nose dive so that’s kind of an interesting question. By chance, I met a famous English actor (Hint: used to be on Coronation Street) that gave me my first pill and introduced me to Acid House, which belw my mind.. This was when the underground scene was just starting to take shape here in Los Angeles. Most of these parties were organized by UK ex-Pats, who came to Los Angeles for the great weather, among other things and, during those early years really did lay down the brick work in LA for a movement that’s still thriving to this day.

Honestly from that point on there was no turning back, and eventually catapulted me into a vinyl addiction followed by the start of my DJ career in 1994.. This all eventually lead to throwing one of the most legendary weekly club nights that I’m best know for in the mid 90’s called the Monday Social which hosted many LA debuts with some of the biggest names in today’s underground dance world. It also broke the record for the longest running weekly house music event in America which I put my heart and soul into every Monday for over 20 years (1996-2018).

How has the rise of EDM affected the LA club scene, has it made it easier or harder for underground house music?

Savi: The rise of EDM (lol).. Well that fad lasted a few years. But ya you would only see these type of acts in the big commercial clubs. So I’d say in ways it made it easier for the underground events to succeed as no body who was into underground music would be caught dead in commercial nightclubs. But in ways it definitely made it harder for underground music to have success in bigger clubs.

Freddy Be: I’ve always looked at EDM as more of a gateway drug for newbs who eventually figured out that the music that opened their minds to dance music was actually complete rubbish (lol), forcing them to explore and realize that there are many more interesting sounds and sub genres yet to be discovered.

These days you have all the big casino money being throw around again and entertainment companies in places like Las Vegas who have been lining up residencies with the likes of Soloman, Jamie Jones and The Martinez Brothers so, for good or for worse, it’s obviously made underground dance music stronger (or more commercial) when you look at it from that perspective. It’s the same thing that went down in Ibiza with Ushuaia etc, the landscape on the island has changed so much over the years but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.. There’s always going to be different types of people attracted to what becomes “trendy” music, so hopefully people actually “get it” and are into it for the right reasons!

You are both regular faces on the US DJ circuit, do you have any plans to play in the UK soon?

Savi: Would love to play in UK as I have heard amazing things. But no plans as of yet as we are still working on building our profiles so that we can have more of a draw out there.

Freddy Be: I’ve played in the UK a few times back in the day, first at The End’s 8 Year Anniversary Party with Mr C and Layo & Bushwacka, at The Mint Club in Leeds and also at an underground party in Shorditch called Deeper Substance.

Right now like Savi said, we’re just trying to build our profile with all the various releases we have under our belts, so hopefully the opportunity to play in the UK will present itself at some point in the future, once the doors start opening up for us a little more.

Your ‘Sands Of Time EP’ is released on 5th March on UK based imprint ‘New Violence Records’. How did you start working with the team there?

Savi: Been following New Violence for quite some time now as they are one of those labels that’s always releasing interesting music. I sent them over Sands Of Time as I felt it was something that they would be into. Lucky enough they were 🙂 and I’m happy they were as they were one of the labels on our bucket list.

Freddy Be: I was first introduced to New Violence indirectly through Ki Creighton who also released an EP on the label around the time we first started working with UNI last year. My good friend Pirupa also worked with the them and highly recommended the idea when I told him they were interested in possibly releasing our second EP. The tunes on this release have a more unique sound so we were super stoked to find a forward thinking label like New Violence that got the vibe and were equally as excited to release our follow up EP!

Do you have any more collaborations in the pipeline that you can share with us?

Savi: We are currently working on a handful of projects. And also looking forward to our follow up EP on Under No Illusion that’s coming out later this year.

Freddy Be: Yeah, loads of new music on the horizon, and each one we finish is always, in our opinion, the best thing we’ve ever done lol.. We’re both super excited about the new material that we’re sitting on, and eager to get them on the conveyor belt for people to hear.. each release is a progression and musical accomplishment for us so very excited to find the right homes for them per say. Besides that, there’s one other collaboration that I worked on last year with long time friend Freaky Chakra that Sasha signed to Last Night On Earth, we still have no confirmed release date for this though so fingers crossed that it will come into fruition this year, you can hear this one on our mix (2nd from last track), and the others mentioned above on the first part of the mix!

Between you, you’ve had past releases on highly respected labels like Toolroom, Greatstuff, Natura Viva, Zulu, Under No Illusion, Perspectives Digital, S.O.U.L Vibration and now New Violence Records. What would be ‘the dream next release’ if you could choose any label?

Savi: Ah man so many to choose from. But I’d have to say 8bit or Repopulate Mars.

Freddy Be: It’s tough getting labels to pay attention to music these days but if I had to narrow it down, would probably be either Knee Deep In Sound or Crosstown Rebels maybe but like Savi said, too many to mention so any of these labels run by producers we both highly respect would be an honor really.

Now for the big question…. Who is your favourite superhero?

Savi: Lol another tough one, I’m gonna go with Batman :)”

Freddy Be: For me, it would definitely have to be either Hong Kong Fuey or The Incredible Hulk (the TV Series from the early 80’s). That Incredible Hulk theme song was so melancholic and always made me feel sad for David Banner at the end of every episode 🙂

We Share House Podcast 010 Mixed By Freddy Be & Savi Leon


You can read more exclusive WSH Interviews here.

Interview: Rustem Rustem

Interview: Rustem Rustem

We put the South London renaissance man in the hot seat.

Rustem Rustem, a DJ whose mix series is called ‘From Disco To House’, has an ethos that is exactly that! Playing original 70’s soul disco mixed with edits, remixes, 80’s soul, disco house, current new wave disco and everything else in between.

Up until 2016, Rustem Rustem was part of DJ and production duo Electronic Youth who’s biggest record was a cover of the Angie Stone classic, ‘Wish I Didn’t Miss You’. Along with his production partner Trevor King, EY travelled the world, held residencies in Ibiza and founded their successful label Sexy Trash Digital

After a five year journey Rustem decided to stand down from the music industry for a short while, but Trevor continued to fly the flag for EY and the label Sexy Trash. Now he is making a triumphant return to music and we have the lowdown.

Learning a trade in the music scene before Electronic Youth, Rustem worked in vinyl distribution and as a head of A&R. Putting together releases for many house and techno labels across the world, all the while building his own labels and dropping a few cheeky white labels.Rustem RustemWe have had a close relationship with Rustem since DJing during the early days of Dorringtons (now known as Studio 338) and couldn’t wait to ask him about what he has in the pipeline. He has also been kind enough to record an exclusive WSH guest mix for us as part of his ‘From Disco To House’ series.

You’ve been heavily involved in the dance music industry for some time now, DJing,  producing, promoting, running record labels and everything in between. Which cap do you feel most at home wearing?

First and full most I’m a DJ. I started DJing at 13 years old, starting running parties from 15 years old and I get most enjoyment out of DJing. Producing and creating music is an amazing feeling too. To create something from thin air and it give people an emotional response is an incredible feeling. But I also massively love running a label too, putting out music for myself and other artists, communicating with record stores and so on. I love it all!

You are best known as one half of Electronic Youth, what would you say was your biggest highlight under that name?

We had many highlights as EY. Two residencies in Ibiza, signed a single record deal to a major label, Pete Tong playing our track on Radio one, top ten records on Beatport and Traxsource, working with some incredible singer/songwriters. Just to name a few. But above all that working with Trev in the studio is always a lot of fun.

How does it feel moving from writing music as a duo to producing solo. Is it daunting not having someone to bounce off, or does it set you free creatively?

It’s different, exciting and frightening! Frightening in a positive way, one that makes me driven. Almost makes me want it more. Before when I’ve worked with people you share ideas, responsibility and mix agendas. Now as a solo artist it’s ALL ME…

You’ve been back in the studio recently with Trevor from Electronic Youth, can you tell us what this means for you as a team in future?

Trev still works as Electronic Youth, and as I just said I’m doing my solo stuff. But a few years ago when we were signed to a major label and we had our single forthcoming our management said we should write an album just in case the single blows up. The single didn’t do well, and we got dropped from the label. We moved on musically and shelved the album. So Trev and I decided to get back in the studio a re-work, remix and polish the album and put it under our new artist name MIXUS. Watch this space…

Tell us a bit about your new mix series ‘From Disco To House’. What prompted you to launch the idea?

I’ve always been a massive disco fan. So a couple years ago when I had to have a break from music I started listening to all types of music except dance music. I kept going back to disco. I started buying loads of it and really crate digging. As I was buying I realized the direct relationship between disco and house. The samples, energy, stories and vocals. I’ve never had the chance to play disco before and now starting again I can play what I like and tell my story in my mix series ‘From Disco To House’.

Recently you’ve been exploring your love for disco music. Is that a path you’d like to stay on musically?

YESSSSS! I really love disco and its relationship it has with the dance floor. I’ve got one track with K&K who features the amazing vocals from PowerDress forthcoming, Working with Trevor on a separate project of a remix of a classic house track, I’m writing a solo EP as well as another collaboration with the K&K boys, And some new MIXUS music too.

If you could eternally be stuck in one year’s music scene, which year would it be?

This is a really hard question for as I’m a fan of music in different times of history. But for me it would have to be late 70s early 80s. It was a time of the DIY ways, creativity was incredible, open minds and hearts, fashion and all that with new technology. It was the birth of some of the most important musical statements that we still look at today. punk, new wave, hip-hop, disco, house, garage and loads more…

And finally… Favourite superhero?

I don’t really care for superheroes. But if I had to choose one it would be Wonder Woman. She is a great heroin and beacon of strength for women and that’s the type of superhero I want my daughters to admire. Much better then all the macho male superheroes…

We Share House Podcast 009 – Mixed By Rustem Rustem

You can follow and support Rustem Rustem and his music below. 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/djrustemrustem/
SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/rustemrustem

Atriea

Interview: Atriea

UK DJ / Producer Atriea, real name Chloe, is no stranger when it comes to being behind the decks. Formally half of successful duo Toucán, she has played some of the best clubs in the UK and Europe and is now ready for the next chapter.Interview: AtrieaAfter touring for 2 years, Chloe ventured off into a new solo tech-house project and started making music under new alias – Atriea.

Following this, Chloe has had tracks snapped up by the mighty Lost Records, including her remix of Kevin Knapp and Sacha Robotti ‘s track ‘Stay With It’, which proved a success and held its place in the Beatport Tech House Chart.

Known for her lively and energetic DJ sets it’s clear to see the passion Atriea has for music, and with music now signed to Underground Audio, Material and Hippies, she is certainly one to keep your eye on.Interview: AtrieaWe was lucky to grab a quick chat with the super busy producer to find out more about her next chapter, studio time and how she likes to relax when she is not making music. Chloe was also kind enough to record the next instalment for the We Share House podcasts. (See at the bottom).

Some people may know you from your previous project as half of the duo Toucán, where you were gaining widespread support. What prompted the decision to go solo?

Toucan was a wicked experience and I’ll never forget some of the shows we played. We had so much fun together, we just wanted to go in different directions musically. I started the new alias because I wanted to start something new with the music I’m really passionate about.

Talented female artists are getting a well deserved spotlight in the industry right now. Do you feel you’ve had to work harder or prove yourself more, just to get acknowledged?

Well I’ve definitely had to work super hard to get Atriea going with this new sound and new audience. It’s really not easy to build something up from scratch! Defiantly harder than I thought it would be. I was quite optimistic but I’m an extremely motivated person, I have goals and aims, and I won’t stop until I achieve them. I’ve made a lot of sacrifices in my life for music.

Do you have any advice for new artists, particularly women that are trying to break through in such a saturated market?

To be honest the only thing I can really say is it takes time. Years and years. I’m also constantly learning and I become a better producer each year. My advise would be if you really want to be successful, you’re going to have to work really hard for it and give it a lot of your time, for a long time. You also have to have such a thick skin as the music industry is brutal, so many ups and downs you really have to believe in yourself even when you feel like no one else does. 

You’ve released some amazing music and we wanted to find out a bit about how you plan your time in the studio. Can you tell us what routines or structures you follow when creating your music, if any? 

Yeah so my studio days have always been Monday, Tuesday + the weekend. I get a solid 4 days a week to make music which is great. I’m not too much of an evening producer I like to wake up and crack on first thing in the morning and do all day. I have my own space at home and I go between there and a shared industrial studio down the road from me which is a proper sound treated room, (so I can really blast it there) which is essential for getting the kick and bass right etc. First thing in the morning is when I’m at my best, I’m literally bursting with ideas.

What kind of studio setup do you have at home? Or do you prefer a ‘professional’ studio?

So at home I have an iMac, a set of Yamaha monitors which are very true sounding, Apogee One Sound card, Keyboard and Arturia Mini Lab controller, and in the studio down the road it’s got a set of Genelec 8040s, Apollo 8 UAD Interface, Komplete Kontrol Keyboard and a Minimoog! 

What can we expect to see from you over the next few months, are there any big plans you can share with us?

I’ve got an EP out 15th December on Mihalis Safras’ Material Series and I’ve got another EP coming next year and a single in March on a label that I’m very excited about! But I’m not going to say until I’ve actually signed the contract. 😉

Next year is looking good though release wise.

When all the partying is over, how do you like to relax and spend your time away from the dance floor? 

To relax I’ll put some incense on and I’ll do some mediation, works absolute wonders I used to mediate every single day. I’m really into it and that spiritual way of life and thinking. I’m a pretty chilled person 🙂 

And finally, the big question that we like to ask everyone. Who is your favourite superhero?

The Incredible Hulk because if I cry my eyes go so red + my pupils go the greenest of all greens! It looks so freaky like I’m about to turn into an Incredible Hulk!

We Share House Podcast 008 – Mixed By Atriea

You can follow and support Atriea and her music below. 

 

SKAPES

Interview: Eskape Musik Head Honcho Skapes

The busy producer and label boss talks to us about his latest project.

Skapes is a relatively new name on the underground house scene, but you may already know him as one half of Twocker (with Low Steppa). As Calvertron, or from his earlier work, clocking up well over 100 vinyl releases under his real name Alex Calver.

skapesSome of Alex’s career landmarks include releasing his music on Data (Ministry of Sound), Toolroom, 3Beat, Cr2, New State and remixing a diverse plethora of big league acts like Guru Josh, Korn, Skepta, Sander Kleinenberg, Zero B, Stanton Warriors and Enter Shikari.

He has also enjoyed a successful career as a DJ touring the globe several times over making regular appearances all over the States, Europe, South America, Asia and Australia, where he mixed a successful Ministry of Sound compilation album. 

His new pseudonym Skapes is already making waves with regular plays on BBC Radio 1, Rinse FM, 1Xtra and Kiss FM. His latest releases on labels like Simma Black/Red and Criminal Hype have gained support from heavy hitters Todd Terry, Carl Craig, Mark Knight, Richy Ahmed, Claude VonStroke and Steve Lawler to name a few.

In late 2015 Skapes founded his own label ‘Eskape Musik’ and was nominated no.2 by Traxsource in their ‘10 Artists to watch’ featured in ‘Magnetic Mag’.

SkapesWe have always followed Alex’s work and it was a honour to ask the man behind the many alter egos some questions about his time in the industry.

You’ve had many alias over the years, producing various styles. What genre would you say you’re most comfortable writing?

I’ve enjoyed all of it, I loved making the hard techno stuff and it was nice having everything released on vinyl. I think the physical medium gave more value to the music, tracks seem so throw away now. I enjoyed running my Jack knife label and was lucky enough to tour the world off the back of it through its Beatport success.

What has been your biggest lesson you’ve learnt during your time in the industry?

Always keep it fun and enjoyable, once that goes what’s the point?

You’ve been in the scene a while now, who has always been ahead of the game, production wise in your eyes?

Some producers I dig are Camelphat, Mihalis Safras, Riva Starr and Hauswerks

What is the one track that never gets old for you, no matter how many times you hear it?

Another tough question, I don’t really spend much time listening to older dance music. If I’m at home listening to music, letting my hair down I’m more likely to listen to Rock n metal.

You’ve recently teamed up with Abode resident Jimmy Switch for their latest release “You Think”, how did that come about?

Jimmy hit me up and asked if I wanted to collaborate on an EP. I said yes so we swapped some sounds, samples, loops etc and got to work.

What is one mistake you see a lot of up and coming DJs / Producers making?

I don’t pay enough attention to notice anything like that.

You had some massive hits back in the day with Will Bailey (Low Steppa) under Twocker. Can we expect any forthcoming releases under that name again or is there other plans for you two that you can share with us?

Twocker is very unlikely to resurface but we enjoy making music together and occasionally get together to do the odd EP or bootleg.

And finally, who is your favourite superhero? Fiction or non?

Spider pig

We recently reviewed his ‘You Think’ EP with Jimmy Switch, which is out now on Abode Records. Check it out here and see what we thought.

Keep up with all things Skapes and tune into his 4 weekly radio show on Grant Nelson’s ‘D3EP radio network’.

Beatport – https://www.beatport.com/artist/skapes/430038
SoundCloudhttps://soundcloud.com/skapes-1
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SkapesMusic/

Jacky - Interview

INTERVIEW: Jacky

We got talking to one of the rising stars in house music right now.

In a time where the meaning of ‘house music’ is constantly evolving, a new generation of producers and DJs are breaking through. An artist who is riding this exciting wave is Jacky.Jacky_HiRes_Digital-3Jacky’s love for music started as a young boy, when he was growing up in East Africa. It was there that his passion for drumming took hold and he realised that music was going to be more than just a creative outlet, and his sights were set on forging a career in the industry.

Jacky made a big splash with Barcelona based institution Elrow, in 2015, with the release of hit EP ‘Diskotek’, which made a serious impact on dance floors throughout clubland and went on to reach number eight in the Beatport chart. Firmly establishing him as an artist to take note of.

Beyond Elrow, Jacky has made his own mark on the underground club scene with the launch of his own event series, Jacky & Friends. Since breaking ground, J&F events have sold out several of Europe’s key venues including Sankeys MCR, Fire London, Digital Newcastle, Mint Warehouse Leeds, Eden Ibiza’s back room and Benimussa Park where they invaded the Treehouse stage during the legendary Zoo Project events for a string of dates throughout the summer 2017 season.

Fast forward to Autumn 2017 and Jacky has a whole lot in the pipeline including a string of releases on some of the underground’s hottest imprints. Namely, seminal London label DFTD, where he dropped his EP ‘Sensations’ which took him to the top five on Beatport’s tech house chart. 

Jacky also launched his own label ‘Red Lunar Records’ back in 2014, with a close friend of his, Richard Heiniger. They have featured artists such as Jey Kurmis, Di Chiara Brother’s, Atove and Sascha Sonido. Based on this great foundation, the pair have big plans for 2018.Jacky_HiRes_Digital-8We got the opportunity to speak to the renowned happy chap about his journey so far and a little bit of what goes on inside the mind of Jacky.

How did it all start for you, what made you want to become a DJ and produce music?

You usually hear of artists playing with their parent’s records from the age of like 7 years old or something, but that wasn’t the case for me. I went to my first rave when I was 18 in Newcastle and I fell in love with the (I hate using this word but) ‘scene’ straight away. I got my first pair of decks around a year afterwards and I never looked back. I was 19 when I had my first gig in Newcastle – I threw a little party for myself and my mates in a small bar, and then I suppose the rest is history.

When would you say was the turning point for you musically?

I went through quite a range of music throughout my childhood and into adulthood. When I was younger I played drums and was in several bands, often listening to and inspired by heavy metal. Then I got into more commercial dance music through secondary school. As I left college and started clubbing I was listening to everything from electro to dub step. It was only when I was old enough to get into nightclubs that I found my love for house and tech-house. Techno hasn’t ever been something I have found myself drawn to, but I wouldn’t turn a night down at Drumcode if my mates were heading to a party.

You had a huge release on Elrow in 2015 with your ‘Diskotek’ EP. Would you say that had an impact on your success over the last 2 years? 

It definitely helped. Working with the Elrow guys was really cool. They are a great bunch of guys and were very welcoming to me since they signed my ‘Diskotek’ EP. I played for them for the first time at Sonar in Barcelona back in 2016 and since then I’ve played with those guys several times after. Their parties are ridiculous.

As well as releasing on various labels you also run your own record imprint ‘Red Lunar’ which has featured some amazing artists. What can you tell us about the future releases and upcoming artists you have signed?

Next up on Red Lunar is my ‘Blast’ EP which is out on October 6th. I plan to personally release through the label every 5th release, and this one marks the 10th release of the series. We don’t like to give too much away with regards to releases but we are stepping up our game as of now, so all I can say is keep your eyes open and all will be revealed soon!

What is your ‘go to track’? That track you go to when its a tough crowd or your just want to raise the roof and get the attention from the dance floor?

‘Music Sounds Better with You’ (Sante Sansone Tribute edit).

You’re always smiling and look like you’re always having a great time but what bugs you about the Industry? 

The politics. Some people can get quite wound up by little things but I try my best to ignore it and just stay out of it all. Some DJ’s forget they are doing a DREAM job. Some people would give a right testicle to do what we do, and they still whinge about daft things. Everyone just needs to chill the fuck out and have a really nice time.

You’ve recently remixed for the electronic music duo ‘Basement Jaxx’. How did that happen? 

I don’t even know myself mate, ha! I got an email from my manager a few months back saying, “Felix from Basement Jaxx requested you remix a track on their label Atlantic Jaxx”. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first read it and I had to read it again just to make sure I wasn’t going absolutely mental. As if one of my greatest electronic music influences of all time asked me to remix for them…I still have to pinch myself! It was a pleasure working with those guys and I look forward to hopefully doing more with them in the future!

Now the important question… Favourite superhero?

Easy. Bullshit Man from South Park.

jackyYou can catch Jacky playing at a venue near you, be sure to follow him on Facebook to keep up to date.

Tom Frankel - Interview & Mix

INTERVIEW: Tom Frankel

We asked UK Producer about his musical journey. 

Born and bred Londoner Tom Frankel is a UK producer who over the years has had the opportunity to perform alongside some of the biggest names in house and techno. His talent has seen him play venues such as Fabric, The Egg and Lightbox in London as well as Sankeys, Privilege and Zoo Project in Ibiza. Tom has produced tracks on Warner Bros USAFreakin303Bloxbox, IncognitusIt’s On Dot and Go Deeva.

His rapid climb to success is attributable to his hard work and endearing character, which combined with his expert musical knowledge make him a serious one to watch in the coming months.Tom FrankelWe had the chance to speak with Tom about how he started, his time in ibiza and what gives him satisfaction. He has also provided us with a guest mix for the WSH Podcast (listen below or click here for tracklist).

How and when did the musical journey start for you?

It’s a long story, but basically starts right at the beginning as both my parents are musicians. My dad a music teacher and my Mum plays in the BBC Symphony Orchestra, so from an early age I was surrounded by music. Early teens I played piano but was mainly into a lot of heavy metal and rock stuff, everything from The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys to Slipknot and System Of A Down, which also lead to me learning to play a bit of the Guitar as well.

Eventually through people I met, that progressed into an obsession with Drum N Bass and Garage during the latter years of my teens, but It wasn’t until I was around 17/18 that I really got into DJing. Mainly after watching Andy C at a few parties and being mesmerized by his ability to blend tunes together to seemingly make a whole new track. I was obsessed with him and Mampi Swift, they were instrumental in me getting more into DJing, double drop mixes and three deck mixing just fascinated me, haha.

I can’t forget to credit friends like my mate Dave Edit who was also instrumental in getting me into DJing through watching him mix at his house, and eventually running a few Drum n Bass parties locally with him. My musical partner in crime Dayne Harper who I’ve played b2b with a lot over the years at various parties and still to this day, we have ridiculous amounts of fun dropping beats together. We’ve held residencies together for parties like Private Life and Care3.

Having a great circle of party people I’ve met over the years around me is important to keep the journey going now!

After starting on the path, what moment made you want to pursue this professionally?

It was sort of a happy accident, I don’t think I ever made a conscious choice to be a “professional”. I’ve been very lucky to have been out as a clubber over the years, all over the country, spent time in Ibiza and made some amazing friendships and connections that have led me to some incredible promoters and experiences.

I still work during the week so it’s weird to think of myself as “professional DJ”, I am very grateful for what started as a bedroom hobby, leading me to all the amazing people I’ve met and the parties I’ve played or attended over the years.

To put it in one sentence though, “making people dance and have a good time”, I remember thinking one day, if you can do that as a “professional job” sign me up, haha, and here we are now.

After doing the Ibiza season for a few years, how do you feel about the continuing changes on the island?

I was lucky to do 3 amazing seasons in 2011-2013 and I made some incredible friends out on that magical island. I got to work with some amazing talented people out there, but to me I think its a personal thing, Ibiza in general, the island will always have it’s charm and be a place of magic for people. The VIP culture is certainly on the increase, but places like Underground Ibiza will hopefully always be around to fly the flag for what most have come to love about the island.

Some are there for the whole VIP thing, but a huge quantity of people go there for the real Ibiza, real parties, real music. Not EDM and cake throwing and DJ’s waving their hands in the air whilst 3 tracks somehow magically mix themselves together. I mean, there’s a geezer getting booked with a bloody marshmallow on his head. Sums up one side of it, But I digress, that’s more the industry as a whole.

Unfortunately it’s more the increasing restrictions on sound levels at beach clubs like Blue Marlin and Bora Bora which I think will be a massive issue in coming years. The authorities really seem to be clamping down in recent years, asking for reductions of music as low as 65db. For a huge amount of people the day parties and beach clubs are a fundamental part of the experience, whether it’s a messy rollover or just warming up for the night ahead.

Ibiza will always be Ibiza for those that know where to look though!

You’ve supported a lot of great artists like Steve Lawler, Nina Kraviz, Nice7, Darius Syrossian and Russ Yallop. Is there a set that stands out as a wow moment for you?

Yeah, it’s been amazing over the years to be lucky enough to play on the same lineup and stage as some amazing DJ’s, a lot of which i’ve looked up to.

The night I warmed up at Sankeys in Ibiza for Move D in 2013 was pretty special, the dude just oozes cool, was drinking red wine and playing vinyl whilst smoking a joint in the basement and then whips out, Layo & Bushwacka’s “Love Story”, the room was just an absolute vibe was definitely a special one!

Warming up for Julian Perez at the mythical and legendary outdoor Plan Be venue was also a belter! That place was so special, such a shame it didn’t stand the test of Ibiza politics!

Big shout to Sam for the chance to be the warm up resident there for one summer though, dream come true to play that gaff!

While being a busy DJ and successful producer, you still find time to teach music production. Which of these three, if any, gives you the most satisfaction?

I’m just starting to dip my toes more into the teaching side of things, I did a few sessions a while back with a few friends and it is massively rewarding, but it’s always something i’ve wanted to do more of so starting to book in a lot more session recently with people.

It’s tough to choose which of the 3 is the most satisfying as all are satisfying in different ways. DJing I find the buzz, the journey and the energy is absolutely unreal, production is both excruciatingly frustrating, but hugely rewarding once you get it right, that moment that the tune just comes together, or you start a new one and know you’re onto a winner, that’s a great feeling. But teaching is different, it’s when you notice things click in people’s head, and you see them develop as an artist, it’s very rewarding to be able to help someone achieve something they’ve wanted to do for a long time.

Your track ‘Different Hoods’ has just been released on Marshall Jefferson’s ‘Freakin303’ imprint. How does it feel to be releasing on such a dance music icon’s label?

It’s always a great feeling when any label wants to sign your music, but definitely getting a track on a label like Freakin303 feels like a huge achievement. The compilation is great as well and features tracks from some very talented producers and friends in the industry like Tom Finn, DAF, Daniel Anthony, Kayne & Sanchez, Acid Kids and many others. It’s a double buzz to be on the label on a release with friends and good company as well of course.

You are an artist with a big future ahead of you. What track would you say sums up your journey so far?

Thank you, I hope so. That’s a tricky question, haha. I think it’ll come as a surprise to some but I’m gonna go with Bill Withers “Lovely Day”.

If we’re talking about summing up the journey, it takes a lot of determination, anyone that knows me will know that I talk about “positive vibes” a lot, that song is the epitome of that really, waking up in the morning with those good vibes and keeping your eyes on the prize! It’s a fantastic track, maybe not so much for a main room club set, but whipped out at the right time by certain selectors, that tune could unite a few festival crowds for sure.

Now the important question… Who is your favourite superhero?

I’ve never been a huge super hero person to be honest as mad as that may sound to some, and bizarrely that probably makes this the hardest question.

I’m gonna just go with another curveball and say David Attenborough, as no one can really say he isn’t a superhero! He’s the boss! Everyone would love him as a grandad. He’s been all over the world for years and made the best documentaries, with the most mental footage.

Real life superhero our grandad David, not all heroes wear capes.

We Share House Podcast 004 Mixed By Tom Frankel

You can catch Tom Frankel playing in and around London, be sure to follow him on Facebook to keep up to date.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TomFrankelDJ/
SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/tomfrankel
Beatport – https://www.beatport.com/artist/tom-frankel/

 

Interview D-Jaw BYLB Recordings

INTERVIEW: BYBL Recordings’ Founder D-Jaw

D-Jaw‘ aka Dan Bartholomew has been a regular face on the London club scene for a long time, regularly playing at some of the capital’s best known venues and most loved parties, while solidly supporting some of the biggest artists in the world. Since founding his own label ‘BYBL Recordings‘ in 2013, D-Jaw is emerging as a strong artist in his own right, with releases on Crossworld, Purple Sun and Plus Plus, and a residency on Hoxton FM with guests like Brett Gould (Solid Grooves) and Strickland (ViVA).

 

We got the chance to ask Dan a few questions about the journey so far and plans for the future. He was also kind enough to provide a guest mix for the WSH Podcast (link at the bottom).

How did you first get started out in music?

I was 14 and my best mate’s back garden backed onto mine, I remember hearing his older brother blasting out the Ministry of Sound Annual 2. I remember hearing Faithless ‘Insomnia’ and Hysteric Ego ‘Want Love’ and feeling the call of the beat like it had some tribal hold on my soul. That’s when I knew what I felt was something I had to act on in life.

Then I started to really get into Garage, Double 99 ‘Ripgroove’ and 187 Lockdown ‘Gunman’ got me into collecting music, I never had the money to buy decks so I used to make tapes by recording the tunes from pirate radio stations, cutting them and recording them.

It wasn’t until I worked abroad in Faliraki at 18 working as a PR for Twice as Nice until I started to really want to learn how to beat match so the following year all my mates went out to Zante and someone told me that one of the clubs was looking for a DJ, I flew out there with a CD bag and blagged a trial set saying I was a Ministry of Sound DJ back in London. I didn’t know how to beat match but got through the trial set and went to the club during the daytime and taught myself through the headphones. DJ’ing out there you had to play all genres, House, Garage, Hip Hop, RnB, Old School Rave and even Rock and Indie. I was very lucky to be given the opportunity to learn how to mix lots of different genres, it gave me an appreciation for all types of music at an age when most people would just stick to what the liked to play the most.

You’ve been DJing for a long time now, and played at some classic, and sadly closed venues. Do you have a top gig?

Weirdly I don’t have a specific gig that was better than all the rest, I think that’s because I’ve been through a number of genres which have been London’s sound at the time. In the Electro House days I used to love playing at seOne, we’ve had some crazy times in there playing for Hoi Polloi when they used to host a room for Sick! On the Dancefloor. It’s a real shame that place is closed now. Playing at Herbal for Get Twisted was great, headlining Matter’s second room for Perverted Audio when I was part of Ketrano DJ’s was a special gig. After parties playing Progressive House at London Stone and playing Minimal Techno at Public Life were some of the best parties I remember too. The Techno Toilet they used to call it, man I miss that place. Small, intimate and everyone still going from the night before, that’s when the real ravers come to life.

More recently some of the mini festivals I’ve played at for The Doghouse have been special with great headliners, that’s a brand I’m really lucky to be a part of at the moment.

You’ve played a lot of different gigs recently, including Standon Calling Festival, all with varying styles of music. Do you have a favourite genre when DJing?

Well, I consider myself to be a House DJ first and foremost but I’d never pigeon hole myself to a particular style. For me, being a DJ is all about feeling what the crowd want to hear and providing a service to them, my job is to make people dance and have a good time. So, depending on the night I’m playing for, the venue, the age of the crowd and anything else I can use to gauge what people want to hear I will try to give them what they want based on my knowledge and music collection.

I like to take on gigs which push underground House and Techno, mainly Tech House at the moment but I also take on gigs playing Nu Disco, Electronic 80’s and Rare Groove, Old School Hip Hop and Reggae.

Away from BYBL, you’ve signed tracks to great labels like ‘Crossworld Records’. Where do you see yourself as a solo artist in five years?

My aim is to release enough quality music and hit the number one spot on a few of the download charts so I can become a full-time DJ travelling the world doing what I love. I would like to see BYBL Recordings become self-sustainable and give young artists a platform to launch their careers from through good management and support. I visualize that as if its already happened because I believe if I keep saying “one day I hope…” it will never happen.

The BYBL parties at Café 1001 have been going from strength to strength. What’s the next step for you guys?

Yeah I have really enjoyed putting on parties there, it’s been a great platform for us as a brand and an opportunity for me to showcase the residents who are all very talented. It feels like we have grown a little family of artists and friends who are in some way contributing. Its been great for building the following too and we have had lots of good feedback from people who have attended by email and through our Facebook page. I feel very fortunate to have so many people who believe in our vision and are contributing even though I’m not asking them too. They want to push it just as much as I do which gives me the energy to look for new opportunities.

As much as I’ve loved 1001 being our home I feel we should also be putting on parties in other interesting spaces. London has a lot to offer when it comes to venues but you have to find one that works financially and musically so watch this space in the coming months. We are already looking towards summer 2018 and trying to get involved with festivals as we believe we have something to offer that market. There might be a few partnerships on the cards but nothing I can reveal just yet.

If you could sign any artist to BYBL Records, who would it be?

Good question, there are a lots of artists I’d love to sign. Dennis Cruz and PAWSA from Solid Grooves would be next level. Noir is another artist who would complete the top three on our hit list.

What track sums up House music to you?

Oh wow, there are so many. Jaydee ‘Plastic Dreams’, Lil Louis ‘French Kiss’, Cajmere ‘Brighter Days’, Raze ‘Break 4 Love’, Noir ‘All About House Music (Funkagenda Remix)’, but currently one of my favourites I like to drop is Eli Brown ‘Hocus Pocus’.

Batman or Superman?

Haha, classic question. To be honest, I was always into Sci-Fi rather than superheroes, so let me throw a curve ball back at you. Who would win in a fight between Batman, Superman and Darth Vader? I think you know 😉 

We Share House Podcast 003 – Mixed By D-Jaw

You can catch D-Jaw and a whole host of special guests on the BYBL show on Hoxton FM the second Sunday of every month at 3pm.

Soundcloud (D-Jaw): https://soundcloud.com/d-jaw

Soundcloud (BYBL Records): https://soundcloud.com/byblrecords

Point Blank Fred P

Point Blank Interview Fred P + Exclusive Remix Competition 

Win with Point Blank.

Point Blank sat down with NYC native Fred P for an interview and a breakdown for his track ‘The Point Black Project‘.

In this video interview with Point Blank’s Carly Hordern, Fred talks about the London scene and how he has a loving connection to the city, a look into his background and his new label, Private Society, as well as some nice production tips.

Watch the video and find out more details on how you can get the chance to win a vinyl release on Fred P’s label Private Society as well as a copy of Ableton Suite and Komplete 11.

How to enter

  1. Download the stems – note, you must register with Point Blank in order to access the stems.
  2. Create a remix, completely open in terms of genre – entries will be judged on their quality and originality!
  3. Upload your track to SoundCloud and submit the track via the Tracks channel of Plugged In.

Please ensure the track title includes ‘Fred P Remix Competition’, the competition ends 31st July. Good luck!

Point Blank are currently offering a huge 35% discount until July 17th plus a free copy of Ableton Suite or Logic Pro X with a wide range of online courses Click the image below for more details.