What do you think modern music would sound like had we not had the invention of DAWs?
I really have no idea! I imagine things might not be that much different as the technology was basically there but it would just be the fact that not every single DJ and music enthusiast is releasing their tracks. This has no doubt influenced the sound of dance music a huge amount and probably not for the better!   Although the basic hardware needed to make dance music became affordable for the masses in the 80‘s and early 90‘s it was still a much larger financial commitment to build a set-up than it is now with everything being available on a £200 computer from the high street. 

Let’s talk about how you filter through music. How often does the range within your own curation change? Do you float from one ‘musical phase’ from another or is it all quite centralized idea-wise?
I think the labels’ sounds draw parallels with my DJ sets so rather than going through musical phases over periods of time and excluding one style for another, I prefer to try and incorporate a variety into a set. This naturally extends to switching up styles a bit from set to set depending on time, place, crowd, venue etc. I don’t think there’s ever been a period of time when we’ve released a bunch of quite similar sounding releases as we’ve got very short attention spans! We much prefer to try and mix things up within the scope of our personal tastes.

A while back, you mentioned that you were more or less finished with vinyl. Is this still the case?
Hmm.. yeah that quote from an RA interview continues to haunt me! It was in 2007 when I had just transitioned from playing only vinyl to CD’s. I was loving being able to make and play edits as well as the ease of traveling after having two boxes of records stolen on different occasions by ground staff. I never did put my vinyl into storage and now I’m lucky enough to have a large enough space in my studio to have them all on the shelves. Every now and then I take vinyl on gigs with me and always really enjoy playing it and have been buying a lot more again recently. Mainly from Discogs but also get quite a bit of new stuff if it’s a vinyl only release. I think the resurgence of vinyl DJ’s and vinyl-only labels in the last few years has been really healthy for the scene and has injected a lot of new energy as well as some amazing music.

Apparently, vinyl-only parties have been gaining ground in London’s underground at the moment,  what do you think about the direction of such a movement?
There are plenty of people who say the only important thing is the DJ’s track selection and that format is irrelevant in a club. I don’t agree and think that watching a vinyl DJ adds an extra element for the crowd and the anomalies you get from playing vinyl such as less precise blending, more dynamic range from track to track and more limited choice of music depending on the size of your box can all be really beneficial to a set. So I’m all for it even though it’s not my own personal preference for the majority of my gigs.

You’ve got an upcoming party w/ White Label at RADION June 3rd – this is your second visit to the venue?
Yes, we had a Delusions Of Grandeur showcase at Radion last December with myself, Session Victim and Medlar and it was a really nice night. The club has a great vibe, very down to earth and lo-fi but with great sound and a nice crowd. Having the two rooms makes for an interesting night as the vibe is quite different from room to room making it feel like you’ve been to two parties in one night and things get particularly wonky in the smaller theatre room afterhours!

You’re also working on a FreeRange 20 year compilation?
I’m very proud to announce it’s our 20th Year with Freerange this year and we’re celebrating with a 5 vinyl Box Set which contains 20 brand new and exclusive cuts from the likes of KiNK, Detroit Swindle, Andre Lodemann, Pittsburgh Track Authority, Manuel Tur, Kuniyuki, Soul Of Hex and many more! I’m so grateful to the regular Freerange guys and newcomers to the label alike for putting in so much effort to create this great music for us and in my own humble opinion there is not a filler in sight! All tracks have been tried and tested on the dancefloor and I’m excited for everyone to hear it. The sleeve shows an image of our Freerange HQ which has stood us in good stead the last 10 years without falling down even though it looks like it’s about to. And we have some nice liner notes from Kristan J Caryl telling our story since our beginnings in 1996.

20 Years Of Freerange – 5 x Vinyl Box Set LP is now available on Freerange Records.

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