George Smeddles in a young and high flying DJ/Producer who has already made quite an impact with releases on the likes of Ultra, Whoyostro & Under No Illusion. With him now launching his own imprint “South”, we caught up with him to find out more about his plans for the label, and it’s first release “90’s”…

Hey George, how are you? How has 2022 started for you?

Hi Guys! I’m very well thank you! It’s been an amazing start to the year!
My diary is getting full already & all the feedback about South has been mind blowing!

You’ve just launched your own label South, what’s the aim with it – why start it, why now, and what music do you look to put out?

Having my own label is something I’ve wanted to do for years. When I was coming up in the scene, I always struggled to fit my music onto the bigger labels as many of them were either following trends, only wanted bigger artists, but mainly it seemed they didn’t want to gamble on a music style that they hadn’t heard before! The same labels who passed on my music would be in contact as soon as the tracks I sent them would go into the top 10 of the charts!

I could go on.. but what I’m trying to say is, I wanted to create a place where I can put out new sounds (including my own) and not just if there’s a video of a high profile artist playing it somewhere for example.. labels say they don’t care about all that shit.. but let me tell you, they do 😉 haha

South isn’t going to be focused on one specific sub genre. It’s all going to be about putting out good quality house music with up & coming talent, combined with some of the best in the business.

How will you judge success, is it by sales, high profile support, or do you only care about you liking the music?

Good question! I think it has to be about me liking the music & what I think is good for the label. I want the label to have longevity & I’m hoping for plenty of success each year!

If a release Is doing well, it’s pretty easy to tell by sales, support & feedback.. But I’m extremely hard on myself, especially when it comes to my music. For me, one huge part of success could come in 5-10 years time when I can look back on the label, be proud of every release that I put out, & they all still work in clubs just as much as they did when I signed them. As I just said, Longevity!

Per the Ep title “90’s”, what were you doing in the 90’s, what are your memories of them?

I was actually born in the 90’s, so my memories aren’t that great! But to this day, most of the time I’m digging for records, it’s from that era. You can’t beat the raw sounds & love that went into the music then.

Why do we revere them so much do you think?

I think there’s so many reasons why! From what I’ve been told, what I’ve read & so on.. how the world was then, how the clubs were then, no social media pressure and so on.. I think you can really feel that in the music from that era..

These days there’s so much more to worry about than actually producing good music.. It’s great we can make music anywhere these days! I possibly wouldn’t be talking to you now if we couldn’t, but there’s a lack of love & time in today’s electronic music that seems to be getting worse as of late.

What about the music of that era influences you?

Kerri Chandler, Chez Damier, Armand van Helden, to name a few, these guys are heroes!
Most of the old MK mixes of that era are untouchable, and I don’t think there has been remixes like them since..
Strictly Rhythm, Smack, Defected, I could go on all day, but all these influences played a huge part in what I do today, and will no doubt be an even bigger influence on South.

How did you approach this Ep? Was it with all the above in mind?

Funny story actually! A friend of mine actually sent me a voice note of a record at an afterparty. We tried to find the record, but it was sold out online & was valued at a few hundred pounds on eBay. I think it was a rare white label from like 94-95 or something..
I had a show that weekend & couldn’t get that track out of my head & wanted something like it to play, really driving & feel good.. So that night, I tried to keep some of the sounds in mind, wrote a raw drum groove, a vocal from an old hard drive, and I made 90’s..

Malt Whiskey was made after. I was playing at Lost Beach in Ecuador and wanted something really funky & driving for their huge sound system!
The remixes were a last minute thing after my manager & distributor suggested the first release being all about me. So I thought, lets really make it all about me haha!
I wrote both remix ideas that day & finished them the following day.

What gear do you use, does that matter, did you use any of the original stuff that would have been used to make that music back then?

I don’t personally have too much gear to be honest. If you know your plug-ins well enough then you don’t need much I don’t think, even though it is more fun!
I used a 909, machine jam & various plugins to make this EP

Where is your best environment as a Dj? A small dark club or a huge outdoor festival stage? Late at night for the weirdos, or early so you can play slow and eclectic etc etc?

Would have to be small dark clubs & late & night with all the weirdos, including myself haha
I love setting a mood in a club, low ceilings & raw systems..
There’s something about low ceilings, it’s like the vibe gets trapped in the room, it’s like everyone comes together so much more in smaller venues, I love it!
Atmosphere & connection is easily lost on big stages sometimes!

What else have you got coming up?

So I held so much back during covid! This year I have more releases coming out than ever before! Some exciting projects to announce for myself & South, & some wicked gigs & tours that I’m very excited for!

Thanks guys!

George Smeddles EP “90’s” is out now on South
Grab it here

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