So, the sexy Deep House sound is huge right now. How old were you guys when you first heard it? J: For me, it goes back to 1994⁄95 when music was categorised in a more relaxed way. When I discovered Deep House, I discovered House in all its various forms. The consumption of media was different and it wasn’t really a case of being into a single genre - it was about the whole scene. T: I was quite young when I first started listening to House music, but it was really terrible stuff. It wasn’t until I started sneaking into gigs and things that I really began to appreciate the deeper end of it, and like James says, it wasn’t until recently that the genres became so distinct. So it’s always been there.
Do you think that the rebirth of UK House lacks a physical heart, à la FWD» for the birth of Dubstep? J: There is always a backlash to the rise of any genre, particularly in the UK. Looking back through the last few years, Dubstep, Minimal Techno, Tech House and even Hard House, were all victims of a fickle “drop it now it’s hot” attitude that made the scene move faster than it needed too. That attitude to one side though - for me Deep House was never reborn because it never died. It’s possible for me to track a prosperous genre in the UK from way back in the 90s to the present day! Just look at Inland Knights and Drop Music. T: Yeah, I think the lack of a physical space is more a sign of the times. It’s to be embraced.
Who do you think is breaking barriers in EDM right now? J: Going to go for the usual suspects: Artists - Detroit Swindle, Timmy P, Leon Vynehall and Waze & Odyssey. Labels - Aus, Extended Play, Sccucci Manucci, Hypercolour.
You guys have pressed many of your releases on vinyl. Could you explain the importance you think it has in beat culture? T: The resurgence of vinyl is an amazing thing for the scene! I am far more interested in releasing on labels pressing wax. It shows a commitment to the artists and makes music more valuable and less perishable. It acts as quality control too; any label releasing vinyl is putting cash on the line and that is rare.
Your latest release, Bump 2 Bump, shows off some superb vocal sampling. What kind of thing do you look to for source material? J:I can hear samples on old records one day and think they are worthless, and a week later I go mental for them. I try to find samples first and write the track to work with them. It seems to work better for me. A lot of our samples are recordings we have done; the release on Exploited called Bounce was our recording.
If Bump 2 Bump were a time and place, when and where would it be? J: A festival, as the sun goes down.
Do you go with a jack of all trades approach with the production, or do each of you have specialities in the mix? T: Our approach to production varies massively for each track. We both have a pretty good ear for the mix, samples, and sounds, and can work on a track in isolation from one another for a week or so before sharing it. Usually James works a lot with the final arrangements and mix downs as his studio is better suited for it. J: Tony does do few more of the live mixes we get asked to do, I think this is because he has the patience to restart them if he drops a mix whereas I throw my toys out of the pram. That said I ALWAYS end up doing the track listings. T: And I don’t drop mixes.
Everybody’s a gear junkie. What piece of kit do you feel that you really need (even though you totally don’t)? J: My Mac, I really couldn’t make music without it. I have a few bits I wouldn’t want to be without like my TL Audio VP-5051, but it would be possible to get by with them. T: It’s not a sexy piece of kit but I love my Korg NanoKey. Its really handy for working on the go but they don’t stand up to much abuse - I’ve been through four already!