Press

DJ Harvey – UK Tour

Harvey lands back in the UK later this month for a series of 3 shows.

If you haven’t already – get on the bus…

http://www.redbullmusicacademy.com/events/dj-harvey-and-friends-uk-tour

 

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Greg Wilson Chats to The Pool About His Brand New Mixtape and Record Label

What was your creative process for compiling this mix?

Kermit and his writing partner Luke (EVM128) had already recorded 7 Blind Arcade demos, and it was those tracks that sold me on the project. I then listened through a number of works in progress, stuff without vocals, or with only part of them recorded, and picked out another 5 tracks. With the mixtape idea in place I’d already planned to contribute additional material, via a number of edits I’d put together that complimented the Blind Arcade vibe, creating sections for Kermit to lend his vocal to – also Katherine and Carmel Reynolds, who I’d just recorded with for the first time (they appear on the about to be released Schooled In The Classics 12″) , for I was sure they could make a telling contribution, which they most certainly have, plus Tracey Carmen, who I’ve worked with for many many years (and also happens to be my wife). Some of these edits I brought to the table, others were Kermit’s suggestions – eventually half-a–dozen of these would make it onto the finished mixtape.

It was then a case of 3 pretty intensive days recording in Derek Kaye’s studio. Intensive in a good way though, working, for the most part, quickly and decisively, the ideas really fluid. We even found time to record a new track Kermit had just written, the 19th and final one to make the cut,  and very much the joker in the pack – ‘Red Stripe And A Spliff’. We then systematically mixed the stuff off, again without dwelling too long on things – the nature of a mixtape being that there’ll be those rough edges. It needed to retain some of its knockabout feel, for this is part of its charm, whilst at the same time we wanted to add further depth, so we paid particular attention, where possible, to the bottom end. It needed that fuller flavour.

Eventually I had all the individual tracks and began the jigsaw of piecing them together into a whole, connected via the transitions I created. Again, I was able to work fairly quickly, and, fortunately,  didn’t really get bogged down at any point along the way.

The mixtape was completed on May 28th, the day Maya Angelou died, with some of her wise words the final addition. It was a fitting conclusion – I knew it was complete then.

We love the artwork for this mix over here at The Pool could you tell us a bit about who created it?

The original hooded man image is from a San Francisco poster by Bonnie MacLean from the psychedelic summer of love in 1967. Dominic Mandrell, who did the Schooled In The Classics coat of arms, adapted it, adding the appropriate title within the purple globe. For the cassette inlay idea, which includes the tracklisting, we went for a distressed look, inspired by a well worn  inlay I’d seen of ‘Revolver’ by The Beatles online.

The project seems to be harnessing some of the energy of the 60’s psychedelic movement. Was that a big influence on the project? How did you go about channelling that into the mixtape?

I’m something of a 60’s obsessive – it’s been a main area of interest for me since I began to devour everything Beatles, not long after I’d packed it in as a DJ in the mid-80’s. I remember the taste of those psychedelic days back in the 60’s, which I experienced as a child, and although the full Haight-Ashbury trip never quite reached New Brighton, where I grew up, its influence was clear in the music of the period – this strange otherworldly flavour that even, sometimes, made it into straight up pop records of the time. The title alone, ‘Blind Arcade Meets Super Weird Substance In The Morphogenetic Field’ evokes those times, although, in reality, this was inspired by the Dub classic ‘King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown’, plus a nod to comic writer Alan Moore (‘super weird substance’ being a term he mentioned in an interview, as a quantum physics expression relating to information), and the man who came up with the theory of morphogenetic fields, Rupert Sheldrake. So yeah, there is certainly a sprinkling of psychedelic fairy dust throughout the mixtape, but there are also definite links to the second summer of love in the late 80’s, including that free spirited De La Soul album ‘3 Feet High And Rising’, which was the soundtrack of the summer months exactly 25 years ago. I suppose it’s this summer of love connection that relates strongly to the mixtape – we very much see it as something which totally comes into its own with a few rays of sunshine, an addition to the summer soundtrack for sure.

Could you tell us about how Howard Marks came to be involved in the project?

He’s a friend of Kermit’s. We recorded the part from Genesis at my house, which slotted it in at the intro of ‘Universal Prayer’, Kermit’s ode to the green stuff. Howard was obviously the ideal person for this role, given his history. We also recorded Kermit’s poem, ‘Lies And Other Fools’ that night, which symbolically draws a line under his murky heroin addicted past, which became public knowledge during his Black Grape infamy of the mid-late 90’s, the period when he was last in the limelight. We put this out as a limited run single sided 7″ for Record Store Day, and it’s in complete contrast to the positive life-affirming qualities of the mixtape. Not a comfortable listen, but a necessary symbolic part of our process. Kermit had, of course, nearly died, having contracted septicaemia from a dirty needle, having to retreat from the music business for the following decade whilst his health deteriorated and he waited to have a heart operation that had resulted from the infection. Thankfully it was a complete success, setting him off on the road to redemption, and culminating in this latest work.

You used to manage Kermit and the Ruthless Rap Assassins. Do you have any anecdotes you can share with us about that incredibly fertile time for British music, especially in Manchester?

The Assassins were as Manchester as they came, but they didn’t have that baggy thing going on, and they happened to be black, which sadly worked against them, and meant that lesser bands were getting more airtime because they fit the Madchester stereotype of the time. In context to the mixtape, what was interesting is that, on the day it was completed, by total coincidence I came across an online review of the ‘Killer Album’, from when it was re-issued a few years back. There’s been some great stuff written about the Assassins down the years, but this guy, from Switzerland, had really got what we were up to back then, and articulated it so well. It was a very karmic thing to be reading on that particular day, and sums up the Assassin’s role in the Manchester narrative of the late 80’s / early 90’s:

http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/BTTL_rra-killeralbum.html

 Structurally this mix reminds us of a classic Hip Hop mixtape. Is this what you were trying to capture? Is Hip Hop still a big influence on your work?

My relationship with Kermit is tied in with the evolution of the UK Hip Hop scene back in the early-mid-80’s. He was one of the kids that used to come to Legend during my time there, and, even though he’d started out as a Jazz-Fusion dancer, was a big fan of the Electro direction I took during 82/83. He was one of the founder members of Broken Glass, the now legendary breakdance crew, and the first time he recorded was on the Broken Glass track, ‘Style Of The Street’, which I produced in 1984 for what turned out to be the ‘UK Electro’ project. We also, of course, worked together when I managed / produced the Ruthless Rap Assassins, so, as you can see,  our musical relationship has Hip Hop at its very core. Mixtapes are very much a part of the Hip Hop approach, so this felt like the right way forward for Blind Arcade to be introduced.

It’s great to see Kermit making such a triumphant return having been seemingly lost to the demon of addiction. Could you tell us about how it’s been working with him again and accessing his creative energy that seems to have lain dormant for too long?

He’s an older / wiser version of the guy who I last worked with during the Rap Assassins days, who, was slipping deeper into heroin addiction towards the end of our association. We remained friends after it had all fallen apart, and I was touched when, a few years later, he came to Liverpool, during a particularly difficult time for me, to play me a cassette of the Black Grape album, just ahead of the final mixes, and ask my opinion. I was bowled over with what I heard, and the album would go on to top the chart, catapulting Kermit to pop stardom. With Kermit and Shaun Ryder both junkies, Black Grape was always going to implode at some point, but they had a decent innings, and for that golden period they were the hottest band in the country. After that he launched a short-lived project called Big Dog, before distancing from the business to sort out his health issues and await the op. Once he realised he’d been given another chance in life he threw himself, like a man possessed, into writing new tracks and also poetry. What impresses me so much is that he’s been able to approach things with such positivity, accepting his past and embracing his future, whereas lesser people may not have been able to shed the negativity of former ways, or been able to shake off the anger of what they may have regarded as wasted years. Having crawled out of the abyss, Kermit has picked himself up, brushed himself off, and re-entered the fray with a smile on his face, not a scowl, and looking a million dollars, which has got to be a source of inspiration for anyone who’s struggling in life, be it with drug problems or otherwise. It’s that classic tale of redemption, which has been told throughout time, but given a contemporary context here. I have to say that it’s been a pleasure to work with Kermit again – I’ve been able to feed off his seemingly inexhaustible energy, and we are very much in accord with regards to how to move the project forward.

Could you explain to us how Blind Arcade came together? What was your role in the formation of the new group?

It was the result of Kermit moving to Chester a few years back, for this is where he met Luke / EVM128 (who’s subsequently moved to London). They’d also brought in vocalists BB. James and Amy Wilson on some of the demos, BB. taking the lead, to great effect, on ‘Give It Away’. I’d initially declined Kermit’s invitation to come onboard as producer because I was too busy as it was, with my DJ work and the rest of it, but, once I’d heard what they were doing, that all went out of the window. I had to get involved, for this is what I’m all about – you rarely get the opportunity to contribute to a project of this type of quality, so I wouldn’t have been true to myself had passed the offer up.

 

This mixtape also announces the beginning of a new label for you, Super Weird Substance. Could you tell us a bit about what you would like to achieve with the label?

I just want to put out good music that people enjoy, both tracks that are commercially accessible, and those which have more of a cult aura. At the same time we want to develop the live side of things, either stand alone Blind Arcade gigs, or full Super Weird Happenings, a series of which we’re currently planning for a handful of cities in the autumn. Moving onwards, we want to release an official Blind Arcade album, combining tracks from the mixtape that we’ve worked further into and new recordings – this is looking forward to 2015, when we also want to have a greater presence for both Blind Arcade and Super Weird Substance on the festival circuit, both in the UK and Europe.

Thanks Greg!

Listen and download the new mixtape here: https://soundcloud.com/gregwilson/blind-arcade-meets-super-weird-substance-in-the-morphogenetic-field

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Greg Wilson Summer Schedule – 2014

Greg’s busy summer kicks off this weekend, catch him at a spot near you over the coming months..

Take a ride on Mr Sen’s Ghost Train..

We at The Pool love a trip to the fun fair and when we last visited we took ourselves for a fright on Mr Sen’s Ghost Train.

We speak figuratively of course but for those in the know this new single from Richard Sen dropping on Especial comes with all the eager anticipation of your first whirl on the dodgems…

A swirling vortex of cavernous proto house drums, ebm throbs and discombobulated apache chants ‘Ghost Train’ has caused quite the storm already with Hugo Capablanca, Mark E, Andrew Weatherall, Cosmo Vitelli and Bad Passion already heavily repping the test pressings that went out at the start of the year.

On the flip a more gouged out dub sits alongside ‘Meteor Shower’ a workout that sees icy trills of keys marry with pounding percussion hits and searing bursts of white noise.

To celebrate Mr Sen’s return to the fair we have 10 copies of his fantastic UK house compilation cd ‘This Ain’t Chicago:  This Ain’t Chicago: The Underground Sound Of UK House & Acid 1987-1991’ to give away.

To grab one simply email thomas@thepool-london.com with the answer to the question…

“Which friendly ghost had a film made about him starring Christina Ricci in 1995?”

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a quick chat with Harri & Dom..

In advance of Harvey dropping in at Sub Club in Glasgow this weekend, we caught up with main men Harri & Domenic for a very quick chat…

 

Hi Guys, thanks for taking a few minutes for this, So… Harvey is in next weekend then. I believe he’s not played in Scotland for nearly 15 years, but have your paths crossed a great deal before?

I met Harvey last time he played the Sub Club and once I think in Plastic People, when it was on Oxford St…..so not a great deal.

I imagine the Californian surf’s a bit different than Greenock!  but have either of you ever had designs on moving somewhere with a slightly less challenging climate/different dancefloors?

Domenic lived in Barcelona for a few years and I stayed in Aberdeen for a few years…does that count ?

Following on from that, how much do you tailor your sets to the guests you have down to the club, as its been a fairly diverse selection over the years?

Just depends on the night really, usually I would try and play an appropriate warm up and not try and steal the guests thunder.

Also (and be honest now) have you had guests through where you’ve thought, ‘hmmm maybe that didn’t really work!’ ?

Most of the guests we have had generally know the score and play well. Its all down to personal taste though….just because I might not perhaps enjoy someone else’s music doesn’t make it rubbish. One mans meats another mans poison.

Obviously you’re famous for holding it down at the Sub Club since time immemorial, but in terms of travelling & playing elsewhere which I know you do pretty consistently, what other spots particularly keep calling you back?

I always enjoy Ireland, festivals in Croatia…Edinburgh was amazing a couple of weeks back. London’s usually good….everywhere really :)

DJ’ing double acts: always seem a good idea to me, enabling you to have a long piss or fall over drunk safe in the knowledge your faithful partner is doing the business in your absence! Do you guys still relish playing back to back & how do you structure it when you play away from Sub Club?

Normally when we go away, we toss a coin to see who starts first, and Domenic always wins….strange.

Obviously Sub Club’s licence is until 3am, I always thought that kind of ‘line in the sand’ (if you like) allows DJ’s to leave them ‘wanting more’ and make real end of night moments that stay with people, rather trying to pump life into a dwindling dancefloor at 9am! What’s your take on that?

I completely agree, its good to see the finishing post ahead and go for it!

You have also been doing some parties at Dance Tunnel in London recently, how’s that been going:  Lots of exiled Scots out on manoeuvres?

Yes, we had a ball at the Dance Tunnel a month or so ago, was like a Scottish reunion. The Nest in Dalston last week was also really good.

I read that the Boiler Room you guys did with Optimo got like 40,000 views or similar, Does the growth in popularity of that medium surprise you at all, and have you checked out many other BR shows online?

My son Jasper introduced me to the Boiler Room, I have only really watched Mr Gs Boiler Room. It is a concept I find hard to grasp or understand, but hey ho, I’m not complaining.

Finally, 20 years of Subculture: can you still remember the first one and any records that might have got played?

No :-P……The saying goes, if you remember it, you weren’t there!

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DJ Harvey – Wildest Dreams

DJ Harvey releases a Wildest Dreams’  7″ for Record Store Day on Smalltown Supersound today.

Wildest Dreams are a Modern Day Equivalent of the L.A wrecking crew.

They make music inspired by the landscape of L.A and it’s surrounds for your road and acid trip. The brainchild of Harvey Bassett as a means to keep his multi-instrumentalist hand in so to speak.  The album was recorded over a week a couple years ago and unearthed by Smalltown Supersound.

Hunt it down wherever you do your shopping !

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New Roster Addition – TELEPHONES

Another addition to The Pool family, this time straight out of Norway (via Berlin) the very exciting talents of TELEPHONES

A killer debut release on Full Pupp & more recently 2013’s acclaimed collaboration with DJ Fett Burger on Sex Tags UFO has seen his star very much in the ascendancy..

Again we have an exclusive mix from the man himself, and a quick chat to see where he’s at as of now..

– You are originally from Bergen but now based in Berlin, right?

Correct. Allthough technically I’m from Sotra, at least I grew up there for the most part. It’s an island one hour outside of Bergen. I’ve been based in Berlin since summer 2010.

– Your recent work has featured a healthy amount of collaboration with DJ Fett Burger from Sex Tags. Is collaboration a good way for you to work? Will you look to collaborate with others in the future?

I guess it all depends on chemistry. Earlier I’ve found it hard to work with others as I’m (probably quite annoyingly) picky in the production-phase, but recently I’ve enjoyed it very much. I always have too many ideas and too much recorded raw material, then to have someone help kill your darlings and zoom out can be very productive when you’re on the same page. Had a lot of fun with Fett Burger and we’ve been talking about doing another session soon.

– You recently performed a live show in Norway. How was it? And what can we expect to see when the Telephones live show comes into our discotheque?

The gig was a commissioned hardware-show for EKKO Festival in Bergen, along with my friend Even Brenden aka Chmmr. It was a bit stressy due to the amount of equipment, but much fun. We had about 13 synths, drummachines and boxes running up there. It was all original new material we’d worked on together, stretching from 80s VHS-house and tracky afro/cosmic-stuff to chicago-tingled balearic workouts, ending up at a some sort of pianobar in Detroit. We’re gonna do more shows together, and I’ll probably look into doing some on my own as well.

– You’ve put your hand to some great edits that are up on the web. Any plans for these to be commited to vinyl?

I haven’t been so keen on releasing edits, but a few of them have sneaked their way into the pressing plant. There’s a 12″ EP coming with some edits/reworks, plus a remix I did of Skatebård, on Keyboard Masher’s new label Pleasure Unit any day now. And there’s a polish edit on The Very Polish Cut-Outs vol.2 12″ Sampler that’s also out soon.

– Do you know Pool’s long time Norwegian brother Terje? If so when, where, how, why did you meet?

I am familiar with the Terjebrother yes. I think we first “talked” on the internet in 2006 when I sent him a message on MySpace, asking for a track on a mixtape he did with Dølle Jølle. The track was only released on a danish cd-single, which I went through some hassle to find and order. Then it came out on a 12″ on Eskimo some years later. It was an early dub-version of that “Yes Maam (All Nite Long)”-track by Visti & Meyland, but then from someone called Castor Pollux, I don’t know how that’s all connected. First time we met in person I think was in Berlin 2010 when we both played at Kleine Reise.

– We recently heard that a record label based in the UK, is making a movie about the Norwegian… Cosmic / Balearic / Disco scene. Do you feel that such a scene exists in Norway, if so how do you fit into that jigsaw puzzle? Where there any Norwegian artists that particularly influenced you in the past?

Ooh I don’ know, I’ve never been very good with puzzles.. Maybe I’m this annoying bit you have to bend or break to make fit? Hopefully it’s got a nice motif on it, some fruit or a funny dog at least. In terms of influences I’d definatly have mention Erot and Bjørn “The Codfather” Torske. Those are my long-time heroes since I first accidentally heard Torske’s “Nedi Myra”-album on a borrowed cassette-tape in 98′. Also the crew and local DJ’s around Mikal Tellé’s recordshop in Bergen was a big influence in my formative years.

About the scene, there’s definitely a bunch of talented and devoted DJ’s and producers around but I don’t really know if it’s a scene? If you go to Norway with this vision of the Great Norwegian Disco-scene you might be disappointed. It’s a very small country.. Like two weeks ago playing in Poland a girl told me she was on holiday in Norway and had travelled to Moss, a small city of around 30.000, because her boyfriend told her that’s where Sex Tags Mania are from. So she went there. And slept in a tent outside an abandoned factory, and then went home to Poland.. But there’s a lot of good music and good people around, but it doesn’t really feel like a scene.

– Did you have to twist Prins Thomas’s arm to put your record out? Or was he stalking you for many years?

Haha, he contacted me actually. I had some early demo-stuff up on MySpace, and he somehow heard it and got in touch. I had looked up to him for many years, so I was definitely stoked about that. I was just in the start of developing my music, so it was really a good push which I’m very thankful for.

– Is it right your next release is on Gerd Janson’s Running Forward records? Tell us about how you guys connected? We do love Gerd here.

Forward we go yes! It’s a four track EP due in a couple of months, which I’m super excited about. I had some tracks that I wasn’t sure where to put and Fett Burger gave me Gerd’s email, so I sent him some stuff which luckily he was very into. I still haven’t met him in person actually, but he’s very nice on the email.

– Your favourite local dish from Bergen?

The west-coast classic christmas dish “Pinnekjøtt”. The meat is salted, dried and cured lamb ribs, sometimes also smoked. This is then soaked in water for at least 24 hours, then steamed for about 3 hours. Then you pop it in the oven for them to crisp up and caramelize slightly. Served with good potatoes, a mash of kohlrabi, or swedes I think you call it, and then you do a sauce from the fat/stock left in the steaming-pot. It’s very simple and classic, but there’s all kinds of delicious touches you can do. Give the mash a subtle touch of vanilla, throw in a star-anis or two, some carrot, cream and butter and so on. All served with a mandatory good aquavit and some decent beer on the side.

– Can you tell us a bit about the mix you recorded for us?

It’s a selection of old and new stuff I like and enjoy playing. I like playing somewhat eclectic, so I tried to do this like a compact snapshot of the vibe I’m into, perhaps more about that rather than genres or floor-mindedness.

– Ideal pool party line up? (Dj, Grill Chef, Cocktail Waiter)

DJ: Beppe Loda 7″ bonanza

Grill Chef: Heston Blumenthal

Cocktail Waiter: Peter Sellers

Telephones is available for bookings now.

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READ THE LABEL

‘Running a label should not be a case of randomly soliciting music from across the world.’

Ron Morelli

‘Now, it’s kind of ‘Okay, I’ll enter that arena, and I’ll use those reference points’. There was a charm thing that has been eroded by the speed of communications now.’

Adrian Sherwood

Record labels, much like running an abattoir, are one of those endeavours that everybody thinks they could easily have a stab at but nine times out of ten their efforts result in a bloody mess. The glitz and attraction held in the prospect of curating and designing recorded outputs for artists frequently overshadows the realities of sluggish record sales, pressing plant nightmares and crippling overheads. This is the inaugural edition of what we hope to be a regular feature on the blog that will seek to doff a figurative cap to the efforts of some of the Pool’s very own label owners who fight against these tides of difficulty to deliver us new and exciting music.

To start we are casting our gaze upon one of the two labels that are owned by the Pool’s multi-faceted power players Soft Rocks. Vibrations is the house imprint started by Chris Galloway and Piers Harrison in late 2010. Since its inception the label has continued to release captivating house and techno music ingrained with a permanence that the bulk of the music in this inherently transient arena lacks. The first Vibration to touch the public’s collective cochlea saw the wormhole house approach of Mark E subverted with a wash of bright new-age hues.

Subsequent releases have given us more of the lush jazz inflected house from Jaime Read’s nascent LHAS Project, served up extra helpings of the clattering machine funk of DC’s Protect-U and given airtime to previously unheard of acts like Last Floor Hotel who graced us with some suitably melon mangling acid.

In an early interview the guys spoke of wanting to cast Vibrations as a house label in the same way that On-U Sound is a reggae label. Four years on and seven releases in and the label owners have been caught in an unprecedented purple patch for the humble record label. The two quotes at the start of the feature are included not only for the affinities that Vibrations have to the respective label owners quoted but also serve to highlight the pitfalls of label ownership in the internet era. Whilst the logistics and mechanics of running a label have never been easier to acquire and master what can often be lost in the scrabble to gain ascendancy is the intangible charm of the slightly mysterious and thoughtful label that releases the music of friends even if it doesn’t quite fit with the favourable micro tags of the minute. Vibrations, in The Pool’s humble opinion, has certainly become one of those rarities. What follows is an honest evaluation of the successes and disappointments that the guys have had in coming to this point….

Hello Guys, So let’s start with Vibrations. You’re seven releases in and going from strength to strength. In an earlier interview with RA you spoke of the label in a rather jocular fashion as a vanity project and another outlet to waste your money. In seriousness has the label fulfilled what you wanted from it?

A distributor we know once said he didn’t take on ‘vanity projects’, which would probably wipe out 95% of the records you see in shops like Phonica etc. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with vanity projects or hobbyist record labels in honesty. At least they’re free from financial shackles and the weight of expectation that bogs down more ‘serious’ projects.

I’m not sure we had any massive expectations of Vibrations beyond ‘let’s do a house based label’. We’re quite slack in terms of promotion and that often means we just release these records into the wild and see how they get on, for better or worse. I like the idea that something can have a life of its own and people discovering something. On the other hand, I’d like to have seen more sales as well. Sadly in this day and age, if your record doesn’t make an impact in the first week of its release, it generally won’t make any impact.

I think Vibrations also got a bit buried in the vast numbers of hand-stamped house labels floating around now. Which, for me, is part of the reason we’ve not done anything for a while. We never really saw ourselves as part of that. House music has been as important to Chris and I as much as any other music for as long as we’ve been dj’ing. We’re bloody old so that’s some time.

When starting the label was it the case that you had a bank of releases that you were sat on waiting to release or have you just been waiting for the right releases to come along to you?

We had the Mark E record cued up and I think that was about it. We’ve worked with Jaime loads and know he has tons of unreleased material so he was an obvious choice. There’s no shortage of wonderful music looking for a home out there, so we were confident that we’d find stuff and stuff would find us. We reach consensus pretty easily – generally if one of us doesn’t want to release something, the other will accept that. We haven’t reached fisticuffs over a B2 track just yet.

The house and techno music on Vibrations can veer between a very, for want of a better word, vintage sound and in some instances a highly contemporary sound. Is this accurate or do you see it differently?

Yeah, I guess so. As I said above I think we’d probably be looking for stuff away from the vintage now (barring Jaime who I put in a wholly different class to the vintage house pastiche market). I think our tastes in house music are catholic enough to encompass most things. I know that we’d love to sign a real song as much as abstract machine music.

The Roots Unit material seems like the quintessential Vibrations act but you have released stuff on other labels. Will you be releasing any more Roots Unit stuff on other labels?

For me, Roots Unit still needs to find its working method. Chris and I need to do some heavy R&D to get it in the right place. We blundered into this practice of recorded loads of analogue stuff and then arranging in logic which seemed like a nice melding of vintage and contemporary but I’d like to rethink that a bit. I don’t know where I see it going next.  I’d love Roots Unit to be a true blending of dub and house but that’s so tough.

In terms of other labels, yeah, we’ve been speaking to people but it’s mostly a case of us getting together and making the tracks. With kids, jobs, Soft Rocks DJ gigs and owning a dog it’s just really, really hard to find the time. We’ll get there though!

My personal favourite of all the releases thus far was the Asian Project. Could you tell us more about that release?

Ours too! Bobby Soft Rocks did the tracks with Julian from Bah Samba and originally they were slated for the Soft Rocks LP. Somehow they ended up on Vibrations, they blew our minds and I thought they’d do so well. I met Protect-U when I first dj’d in Philadelphia and we stayed in touch hence the remix. Again, I really felt they nailed that one and I was super-proud of the collaboration and end result. Sadly, the record buying public felt differently. Maybe as it was an unknown artist, or maybe just because it didn’t really sit in any camp…. which kind of makes it the perfect Vibrations record in a way.

You’ve self identified influences on the label that include On-U sound and Nu Groove. In terms of contemporary influences are there any modern labels that you draw inspiration from?

Standard answer, but LIES. Not so much that I like every record but in the way it’s a complete extension of Ron’s taste, vision and personality. Full respect for serving up thoroughly uncompromising music and finding massive success. Others I love include Public Possession, Future Times and TFGC.

Could you tell us about what future releases are in store for the label?

We hopefully have a world music / house fusion from Tiago and a mixed artists e.p that inc an acid banger from Ulysses of the Neurotic Drum Band.

 Words by Thomas Govan. & thanks to Piers & Chris for sharing.

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Music, Press, Soft Rocks

Greg Wilson : 10 yrs back in the game

So, its a bit of a special one for Greg this weekend, marking as it does the tenth anniversary of his return to DJ’ing.

To celebrate, Ralph Lawson, who was at that night in Manchester a decade back, talked to Greg about his return:

Ralph Lawson – Greg Wilson – When the Legend Returned

Also check out Greg’s take on it at the time below…

and more recently on his blog – 10th Anniversary Flashback

And so tonight to complete the circle, Greg returns to the scene of the crime with fellow killer selectors and all round nice guys; Danny Webb & Solid State.

So if you’re in Manchester get down there and enjoy what’s sure to be a big fun night .

Big up Greg and enjoy the party!

If you can’t make that, then catch Greg at one of the below shows over the festive period & check out a live mix from Berghain in Berlin from last week…

 

 

 

 

 

 

POSTED IN

Events, Greg Wilson, Music, Press

Talking to Thomas

Speaking in a 2008 interview Thomas Bullock muses, “disco is not like,“good or bad, it’s just whether you disco. Do you or don’t you disco?”

In answer to his own question Thomas Bullock’s freewheeling, nomadic, overwhelmingly creative and sometimes overtly hedonistic existence has been very much a case of doing disco; its ethos of acceptance and exploration firmly ingrained in him.

Without needlessly re-treading old ground, its simply worth pointing out that whether amongst the yellow bass bins of Tonka, delivering debauched dance sermons to the sweating masses of NYC via early Rub N Tug, or tweaking out with his mate Harvey as Map of Africa, Thomas Bullock is well travelled, spiritually as well as geographically.

His boundless creative exploration has taken him into pastures (or should we say canyons) new, within the past few years.  Thomas has found himself falling head over heels for the distilled sap of the agave plant commonly known as the Mexican produced spirit Mezcal. So much is his love for the liquor that he has set up his very own import company named the Spirit Bear Mezcal Company and has embarked on a quest to spread the word on the wonders of the drink.

The latest instalment takes place this weekend in Bristol with Dirtytalk bringing Thomas to the Looking Glass on Saturday 23rd November for a unique tasting and dancing session. Dirtytalk are long term fans of Thomas’s output and burgeoning Mezcal aficionados, so this party promises to be a first for Bristol in many ways.

In anticipation of the night the Pool took the opportunity to peel themselves away from work for a wee while and direct some questions to Thomas.

Read on for some chat that takes in Berlin oblivion through to Thomas’s new experimental music group… and a sneak shot of the new Tom of England record that drops this Friday…

As a man that has travelled a lot and lived in many places, how do you find living in London in the year 2013?

It took a minute to switch gears from NYC but I have it now, locked in 5th and I wouldn’t want to go back. It’s a mysterious place London, I find. Far more private and subtle. I feel I’m learning a lot from it.

Have you been back to Cambridge since you have been living in London?

Yeah, for a minute. Felt good. It’s so easy. Like a good dream.

Did you ever try and visit Syd Barrett in Cambridge? Was his work an early influence?

He used to visit the town some days. He’d appear, fairly regularly, in the Market Square, long black hair matted, a vest and no shoes yelling wildly in the streets. Really. He was a fixture as I grew up. Just another one of the maniacs we were familiar with in the town. Wasn’t till I was a teen someone pointed out who he was. Didn’t change the way I felt about him. I still liked him.

Do you have a pre-existing relationship with Bristol as a city? In terms of your musical direction, or are we talking uncharted waters? Any Bristol memories..

I played here 3 times in the 80’s. Twice in the Thekla? is that right ? And once, a Tonka do that ended up in a blues that got a bit hot when it was understood we’d all just played and been paid so we chipped smartish.

Is it true Bristol resident… Mr Tim Goldsworthy is involved on the long awaited Rub N Tug LP? How did you guys originally connect what is his role in the project?

Indeed, TG is now at the helm and we’re delighted. I met him in 2000 over a meeting with DFA to sign my band ARE. I was into it but the other two said no. It was the beginning of the end to be honest.

You and Eric were from memory very early to play what is now the legendary Ostgut/Berghain club in Berlin. Do you have any memories from that time when you first brought the Rub N Tug invasion to Berlin / Europe that you would like to share? 

No

Ha ! Just kidding. Sure, but they’re all straight forward memories of you know, being wasted in Berlin. It was cool. Nothing special. Rub n Tug. People liked what we were doing. I think it was new there. Our sound and style.

Is there any chance map of Africa LP 2 will ever see the light of day? 

As to Map Of Africa II, I think so. The songs are recorded and really quite good. I’ll have a word with Harv . .

Has a Map of Africa live show ever happened?

In the barn, many a time. Harv and I, floppy boot stompin’ around in the woods. Some of it we recorded and made the record from.

I saw you getting some nice praise in an RA ‘favourite DJ’ feature last week, anyone you’re keen to big up that you’ve come across recently?

Really ? How nice. I swear, I exist creatively in a bubble. Never any idea what’s being received or how. DJ’s/music for me : The Melbourne/Bamboo Crew. Georgia, a genius duo out of Manhattan. EYE from the Boredoms. I would never miss a set of his if I had the chance to go. Theo Parrish too.

The Spirit Bear Mezcal Ensemble came out with a remarkable record this year. Are there any plans for further releases or was that just a single instance live happening never to be repeated?

LN-CC 005 – SPIRIT BEAR MEZCAL ENSEMBLE from LN-CC on Vimeo.

Oh, we’ve done another with a few extra players joining the core group. We had Dave and Steph from Soulwax sit in, literally, on the ground, for 5 hours. And Susumu from Zongamin too. All recorded. Nice session.

What is the Spirit Bear and can it only be summoned upon consuming the correct amount of mescal?

Si. Soy el espíritu oso and you’ve got to drink the good hooch to tune in. Seriously. Not that every one must drink it. But if one does, it does put you in a great and unique place.

Have you always been a fan of spirits or has it been something that has come through your maturation as a person?

Ha. No, I’ve never been into spirits at all. Just the Mezcal. It’s got it’s own thing which is the thing I like.

The venerable Morgan Geist is effectively at number one in the UK right now, any designs to be on TOTP from your end? (Mezcal + Bears, what could go wrong)

Number one what ? DJ ? I had no idea. Well that’s cool. I’ve always preferred the B sides, so to speak, so mainstream action is something I’ve never understood as attractive at all.

Do you have an Mexican disco records we need to know about?

Good question ! I might come to think of it . . Or a least a coupla western themed bad boys. I’ll try dig em out for Saturday