First of all, congratulations on your successful Kickstarter Mix CD campaign. It’s the very first Mix CD funded solely by fans. Could you tell us why you decided to go for a Kickstarter campaign?
I just wanted to do something different to be honest. I’d done almost 30 mix compilations through traditional channels with the likes of Global Underground & Renaissance and doing another one of those felt a bit “same old, same old”. Taking the Kickstarter option was a out of my comfort zone, a bit of a risk and sometimes you have to do that just to feel alive. I also firmly believe that this is going to become an increasingly popular way in which artists and their audiences make things happen. By cutting out the middle and opening up a direct line of communication between fans and artists, can lead to all sorts of interesting possibilities.
After this success, do you think many campaigns will follow?
I don’t see why not. We learnt a lot on our first campaign. And there are definitely things we would do differently next time and other ideas that have since developed. I certainly hope it won’t be my last foray into crowd funding.
You’ve said the Mix CD is in a niche market again. Why do you think this is?
Because those days so many more people are downloading their music digitally and as a result physical formats have suffered greatly. But there is still a market for CDs & vinyl. I for one, and I know i’m not alone, still like to buy physical stuff. I’m a collector. I have a library at home with all my vinyl, CDs, DVDs & books. It’s my favourite room. I don’t get that kind of relationship from my hard drive! From disposable files on a computer. And I think that there will always be people who will agree with me. Cloud computing maybe the ultimate in convenience but it’s very soulless.
Some people would think a Mix CD is just as easily put together as a DJ set. Could you show us some insight in the process of creating a Mix Compilation? What are the main things you have to deal with?
Maybe for some people it is just like recording a DJ set but for me, I spend weeks and weeks crafting these albums. I want them to be extra special, to stand the test of time and I utilise all the tools available to me to make an album that just wouldn’t be possible to do as a live set. With software programmes like Ableton you can layer upon layer tracks so that they all almost become remixed in the process. For me it’s not just about segueing from one track to the next, it’s about creating a collage of audio that is coherent as one single piece. Also, when you’re doing a live set you don’t have to worry about the licensing process which is another major factor you have to throw into the mix.
You’re the founder of the Audio Therapy label and helped found Stress Records. Recently you decided to start up a new label – together with Steve Parry – called Selador Recordings. What do you want to accomplish with Selador?
To put out great music. Plain and simple. I love the process. I didn’t realise how much I’d missed it after closing Audio Therapy a couple of years ago but am so glad to be back in the game. And Steve is the perfect partner. We’ve know each other for such a long time and I think our tastes complement each other. His enthusiasm is infectious too. Which always helps
How do you select new artists for the label?
There’s no hard or fast rules. We’re always on the look out. The first release on the label from Samu.l came about as he is a friend of my cousin and I heard it as demo over a year ago. The Paul Rutherford ‘Get Real’ release was something that Steve had always wanted to put out as it’s one of his favourite tracks ever.
You’ve been the editor at Mixmag from 1988 till 1991 if I’m not mistaken. When was the point in life you decided to leave the music journalism business and focus on a different music career instead? Were you already a DJ before starting at DMC/Mixmag?
Yeah it was just a choice that i had to make as I couldn’t keep doing everything. At least not to the standard I want to do things anyway. If you spread yourself too thinly then something has to give and my DJing and Production careers were starting to take off so it was the journalism that I had to leave behind. I decided I’d much rather be a bird than an ornathologist!
Got any other big things we should keep our eyes on?
I’ve got quite a lot of productions on the horizon. First up is my new collaboration with John Fleming, the follow up to last years Pixelated, which is called Unexpected Item In The Packing Area. That’s coming out on Pro B Tech with remixes from Hernan Cattaneo & Martin Garcia plus one from Dubspeeka too. Then there’s a new thing I did with Guy Mantzur called ‘Feline’ that’s being released through Mihalis Safras’ Playmobil label with a remix from Mihalis himself. After those look out for collaborations with One Million Toys and Funkagenda which will be both out before the end of the year. I’ve also got a couple of remixes to do soon too. I’ve been busy pretty studio wise this year.
Are you a coffee drinker? How do you drink it?
Medium Latte with two sweeteners please
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