Al Bradley Interview

 

3am Recordings owner, Dj, Producer, Remixers Al Bradley is a name most will have heard - he’s one of the people that gets on with it, produces good stuff, vinyl and digital, and a busy DJ. Whilst he’s a name I know, a person I see lots of posts on social media from but beyond him having a dog I know nothing about the guy - so I took the chance to ask a few choice questions!

 

Nice to meet you Al, you’ve been doing this for longer I have (2003 3am started), what got you into it - what’s the back story to all this?

 

Likewise, good to meet you! Yeah, 3am was launched in June 03, it had been something that myself & a friend, Guy, had been thinking about for a while, particularly as I’d been starting to DJ a fair bit more around that time too and we felt there was a real strength with the ‘deep house’ scene at that time. Guy isn’t involved now, but was instrumental in setting the label up with me, and was involved for the first couple of years, after which point I’ve been flying solo!

 

Why the name 3am?

 

Primarily because the stuff we liked seemed to always sound best at 3am…..

 

You got back into vinyl recently - how’s that going for you?

 

Yeah, it’s been good! Moved back in 2015, so the next release, TAM091, will be the fourth vinyl-only outing since that move. It feels like how I want the label to be; I’ve nothing against digital and have a little side project called Bass Clef Music, which is digital (although I’m looking at getting those releases on vinyl too next year), but as my background is vinyl and I play vinyl, it seems right for me to keep it on vinyl. I feel like I’m part of the scene by offering a physical product, that’s something which matters to me.

 

Any tips for labels wanting to get into producing vinyl?

 

Be prepared to spend money & be patient in getting it back! Also, the whole process is longer; once the mastering and art is ready, it can take 3-4 months to get a vinyl release pressed & ready, particularly when Record Store Day is happening, so it’s not an ‘instant’ thing, like digital is, where you can pretty much get something up & online within a few days. There are pros & cons to both – I like the fact that digital is quick & also allows people to get great music out there, but there’s a labour of love with vinyl, as you’re putting a lot of money, time & faith into a product, which ultimately does give a buzz when received. You can lose a hell of a lot more though (as I discovered around 2006, when the whole distribution network shut down in the initial vinyl crash!).

 

How much do you put into your social channels and do you think that’s crucial these days or are your gigs the thing you think brings people to you and 3am?

 

Hmm, I don’t do enough probably; I guess it’s an age thing to some degree – there wasn’t really any social media when 3am started, well apart from chatrooms (remember them?! Undergroundhouse.net was a big one for me, and the Back To Basics forum in Leeds!), so the whole “get everything filmed & whack it onto Instagram” side of things doesn’t appeal to me really. I like the “no phones” ideal in clubs in Berlin, as it definitely helps focus people more. However, I know that for a younger audience, the social side is massive; whether it would make a big difference to 3am really, I’m not sure – I press a small number of 12”s & once they’re gone, that’s it. I should probably do more for my personal side of things re: my gigs and productions, but I’d rather spend the time making music! If I got paid more for it, I’d probably get some ace PR to do that for me (hint there for higher remix & DJ fees, to anyone who is reading!)

 

What’s been the highlights of your career so far?

 

Well I’ll give two, one related to DJing and the other for productions. The DJ highlight was being booked to play fabric for the 3am 10th birthday, back in 2013. When I started DJing in the early 90s, then gradually getting into running the label & productions, I never for one moment believed that I’d play at a club such as fabric, so hosting the label event there was a real sense of achievement for the label and me personally. Production-wise, it was when I got the test-pressings back for TAM088. That was the first release moving 3am back to vinyl, and the opening track on the EP was my own, called “Kindergesicht”, which was also my first time on vinyl. So, hearing my first track on vinyl, on my own label, which was moving back to vinyl, was something incredibly special to me. I’d already had around 150 digital tracks and remixes released by then, but putting the needle on the test -pressing & hearing my track come through the speakers, on my own label – it just was one of those special moments. I got emotional, I’m not going to lie! Mainly because I realistically didn’t think I’d get a vinyl release, plus I didn’t think I’d get 3am back on wax, so it was a double-whammy of emotion!

 

Greatest influences? DJ’s, people, labels…?

 

Influences – initially Graeme Park & Tom Wainwright at the Hacienda in 1990, that’s who inspired me to get turntables originally. However, the main influences overall have been the late 90s UK house labels such as Paper, 2020 Vision, Toko, Pagan, Glasgow Underground etc, as they were the key influences for 3am when it was launched. DJ-wise then definitely Ralph Lawson, James Holroyd and the Basics crew in Leeds have remained big influences, along with Harri, Domenic Capello, Craig Richards, Rob Mello etc, all have and continue to be the kind of DJ I’d love to be.

 

Favourite place to DJ?

 

Well fabric was definitely that, just a guaranteed crowd who allow you to play what you like. Distrikt here in Leeds is another favourite – a smallish basement, which always has a solid crowd & always up for it, so yeah definitely there, plus it’s a place I’ve played for nearly a decade!

 

What’s your usual preparation for a set? Picks tracks, sleep…?

 

Cleaning records, that’s the main thing! As I get booked for different types of set and play almost exclusively vinyl now, it’s usually just cleaning records & sorting a load out. I’m abysmal at taking the required amount, so I’ll usually end up taking around 50 for a 2-hour set. When you consider that I often play for much longer than that, you can see what a nightmare of geekily cleaning my vinyl can become!

 

Top tip/s for up and coming DJ’s?

 

Wow. I’m not sure I’m the best person to answer that, particularly as I guess from social media that the things which are the most pertinent nowadays aren’t what were pertinent when I started! All I’d say, as these things are consistent, are – don’t expect it to happen overnight, don’t be an arrogant dickhead (never a good look), get yourself out & about so you can meet the right people & be nice to them, stay positive because there’s a million others all wanting to do what you want to do. Oh, and perhaps the most important (because nobody goes straight to headline gigs really), learn how to warm-up correctly, regardless of what genre DJ you want to be. That means don’t just buy/play the ‘big’ stuff, learn how to build a set with deeper vibes, take care of the levels & EQ on the mixer, and know that the warm-up is equally important (often more important) than the main DJ in terms of the overall flow for the night. You’ll also end up with a way more varied selection of music, which I guarantee will serve you better over the years (as someone who’s been DJing out since 1991, I can say that with 100% certainty).

 

What’s your sound for production and how does it differ from the label sound (if at all?)

 

Well I’m atrocious at doing one style, so I make all kinds of stuff, from slower backroom vibes, through to techy business. Which I guess reflects me as a DJ, as I get booked for sets covering a wide range of sounds too. Overall, I think my sets & what I buy/play/hear naturally bleed back into what I make. I do tend to waver within the general “house” spectrum I guess, but I don’t think anything really sounds that similar to anything else I make, not sure if that’s a good thing or not! I’d get a bit bored making stuff which was the same all the time though.

 

How do you feel production has changed over the years (good or bad) - do you still get as much pleasure from it?

 

I think in most ways it’s improved, because people have so many options now and the general quality of available sounds, plugins and equipment is excellent. However, I do think sometimes the simplicity gets lost with that; if you listen to something like “Jack Your Body”, there are only around 8 sounds in it, mainly because there was a limit to how many channels a producer had free at that time in 1987, but it’s the rawness which sounds brilliant. I know I’ve tried over the last few years to reduce the number of channels I use, because more often than not, less definitely is more, and it allows each sound to be heard properly.

 

What’s your production set up?

 

It’s Ableton, with a 48-key midi keyboard; I’ve got a group of good plugins which I use often, the Eventide ones are great & Novation too. The Abbey Road plugins are really nice too.

 

Top tips for aspiring producers?

 

Similar to the DJ tips really, just keep at it & don’t expect to be signed to top labels immediately! Just stick at it, and remember there’s no rush to get stuff out there, just enjoy it, that’s the most important thing.

 

What labels are killing it for you right now - tracks you’re playing and loving?

 

To be honest, I don’t really stick with one label, I think that’s because I buy such a wide range of stuff to play out, so there’s not one which gets bought more than others. I tend to go for sound, I’m not bothered about buying certain names etc, it’s all about the sound for me, if I’m honest.

 

Any DJ’s you’ve seen and think we should check out?

 

I’ll give a future big-up to Lewis William, based here in Leeds. He’s 15 & already plays a brilliant selection of quality house, old and new, playing vinyl too. He’s already played most of the venues in Leeds (he’s got a very understanding Mum haha), so I think he’ll keep pushing on & can really hone his sound, as he’s getting into production now too. So yeah, definitely a shout out to Lewis, one for the future.

 

What’s on the cards for the next while - gigs to watch out for?

 

Okay so I’ve got the next 3am 12” out on Nov 18th, that’s TAM091 & features cuts from V.I.C.A.R.I, Adventures in Daydreams, Alixander III, plus a collab from myself & Aussie based Leeds ex-pat Carlo Gambino, which is a really cool tribute to his Dad, who sadly passed away a couple of years back, so that’s something special, with Carlo of course being a close friend & long-time 3am artist. Gigs, I’m at Outlaws in Leeds on 7th Nov, Colonel Porters in Newcastle on 21st Nov, Doghouse in Leeds on 23rd Nov, then starting a new series of gigs at the newly-refurbished Mission in Leeds, on Dec 7th, which I’m really looking forward to. Oh and Distrikt at the end of Dec on 28th, with long-time DJ partner Phil Towers.

 

Links

More like this

Al Bradley Interview

 

3am Recordings owner, Dj, Producer, Remixers Al Bradley is a name most will have heard - he’s one of the people that gets on with it, produces good stuff, vinyl and digital, and a busy DJ. Whilst he’s a name I know, a person I see lots of posts on social media from but beyond him having a dog I know nothing about the guy - so I took the chance to ask a few choice questions!

 

Nice to meet you Al, you’ve been doing this for longer I have (2003 3am started), what got you into it - what’s the back story to all this?

 

Likewise, good to meet you! Yeah, 3am was launched in June 03, it had been something that myself & a friend, Guy, had been thinking about for a while, particularly as I’d been starting to DJ a fair bit more around that time too and we felt there was a real strength with the ‘deep house’ scene at that time. Guy isn’t involved now, but was instrumental in setting the label up with me, and was involved for the first couple of years, after which point I’ve been flying solo!

 

Why the name 3am?

 

Primarily because the stuff we liked seemed to always sound best at 3am…..

 

You got back into vinyl recently - how’s that going for you?

 

Yeah, it’s been good! Moved back in 2015, so the next release, TAM091, will be the fourth vinyl-only outing since that move. It feels like how I want the label to be; I’ve nothing against digital and have a little side project called Bass Clef Music, which is digital (although I’m looking at getting those releases on vinyl too next year), but as my background is vinyl and I play vinyl, it seems right for me to keep it on vinyl. I feel like I’m part of the scene by offering a physical product, that’s something which matters to me.

 

Any tips for labels wanting to get into producing vinyl?

 

Be prepared to spend money & be patient in getting it back! Also, the whole process is longer; once the mastering and art is ready, it can take 3-4 months to get a vinyl release pressed & ready, particularly when Record Store Day is happening, so it’s not an ‘instant’ thing, like digital is, where you can pretty much get something up & online within a few days. There are pros & cons to both – I like the fact that digital is quick & also allows people to get great music out there, but there’s a labour of love with vinyl, as you’re putting a lot of money, time & faith into a product, which ultimately does give a buzz when received. You can lose a hell of a lot more though (as I discovered around 2006, when the whole distribution network shut down in the initial vinyl crash!).

 

How much do you put into your social channels and do you think that’s crucial these days or are your gigs the thing you think brings people to you and 3am?

 

Hmm, I don’t do enough probably; I guess it’s an age thing to some degree – there wasn’t really any social media when 3am started, well apart from chatrooms (remember them?! Undergroundhouse.net was a big one for me, and the Back To Basics forum in Leeds!), so the whole “get everything filmed & whack it onto Instagram” side of things doesn’t appeal to me really. I like the “no phones” ideal in clubs in Berlin, as it definitely helps focus people more. However, I know that for a younger audience, the social side is massive; whether it would make a big difference to 3am really, I’m not sure – I press a small number of 12”s & once they’re gone, that’s it. I should probably do more for my personal side of things re: my gigs and productions, but I’d rather spend the time making music! If I got paid more for it, I’d probably get some ace PR to do that for me (hint there for higher remix & DJ fees, to anyone who is reading!)

 

What’s been the highlights of your career so far?

 

Well I’ll give two, one related to DJing and the other for productions. The DJ highlight was being booked to play fabric for the 3am 10th birthday, back in 2013. When I started DJing in the early 90s, then gradually getting into running the label & productions, I never for one moment believed that I’d play at a club such as fabric, so hosting the label event there was a real sense of achievement for the label and me personally. Production-wise, it was when I got the test-pressings back for TAM088. That was the first release moving 3am back to vinyl, and the opening track on the EP was my own, called “Kindergesicht”, which was also my first time on vinyl. So, hearing my first track on vinyl, on my own label, which was moving back to vinyl, was something incredibly special to me. I’d already had around 150 digital tracks and remixes released by then, but putting the needle on the test -pressing & hearing my track come through the speakers, on my own label – it just was one of those special moments. I got emotional, I’m not going to lie! Mainly because I realistically didn’t think I’d get a vinyl release, plus I didn’t think I’d get 3am back on wax, so it was a double-whammy of emotion!

 

Greatest influences? DJ’s, people, labels…?

 

Influences – initially Graeme Park & Tom Wainwright at the Hacienda in 1990, that’s who inspired me to get turntables originally. However, the main influences overall have been the late 90s UK house labels such as Paper, 2020 Vision, Toko, Pagan, Glasgow Underground etc, as they were the key influences for 3am when it was launched. DJ-wise then definitely Ralph Lawson, James Holroyd and the Basics crew in Leeds have remained big influences, along with Harri, Domenic Capello, Craig Richards, Rob Mello etc, all have and continue to be the kind of DJ I’d love to be.

 

Favourite place to DJ?

 

Well fabric was definitely that, just a guaranteed crowd who allow you to play what you like. Distrikt here in Leeds is another favourite – a smallish basement, which always has a solid crowd & always up for it, so yeah definitely there, plus it’s a place I’ve played for nearly a decade!

 

What’s your usual preparation for a set? Picks tracks, sleep…?

 

Cleaning records, that’s the main thing! As I get booked for different types of set and play almost exclusively vinyl now, it’s usually just cleaning records & sorting a load out. I’m abysmal at taking the required amount, so I’ll usually end up taking around 50 for a 2-hour set. When you consider that I often play for much longer than that, you can see what a nightmare of geekily cleaning my vinyl can become!

 

Top tip/s for up and coming DJ’s?

 

Wow. I’m not sure I’m the best person to answer that, particularly as I guess from social media that the things which are the most pertinent nowadays aren’t what were pertinent when I started! All I’d say, as these things are consistent, are – don’t expect it to happen overnight, don’t be an arrogant dickhead (never a good look), get yourself out & about so you can meet the right people & be nice to them, stay positive because there’s a million others all wanting to do what you want to do. Oh, and perhaps the most important (because nobody goes straight to headline gigs really), learn how to warm-up correctly, regardless of what genre DJ you want to be. That means don’t just buy/play the ‘big’ stuff, learn how to build a set with deeper vibes, take care of the levels & EQ on the mixer, and know that the warm-up is equally important (often more important) than the main DJ in terms of the overall flow for the night. You’ll also end up with a way more varied selection of music, which I guarantee will serve you better over the years (as someone who’s been DJing out since 1991, I can say that with 100% certainty).

 

What’s your sound for production and how does it differ from the label sound (if at all?)

 

Well I’m atrocious at doing one style, so I make all kinds of stuff, from slower backroom vibes, through to techy business. Which I guess reflects me as a DJ, as I get booked for sets covering a wide range of sounds too. Overall, I think my sets & what I buy/play/hear naturally bleed back into what I make. I do tend to waver within the general “house” spectrum I guess, but I don’t think anything really sounds that similar to anything else I make, not sure if that’s a good thing or not! I’d get a bit bored making stuff which was the same all the time though.

 

How do you feel production has changed over the years (good or bad) - do you still get as much pleasure from it?

 

I think in most ways it’s improved, because people have so many options now and the general quality of available sounds, plugins and equipment is excellent. However, I do think sometimes the simplicity gets lost with that; if you listen to something like “Jack Your Body”, there are only around 8 sounds in it, mainly because there was a limit to how many channels a producer had free at that time in 1987, but it’s the rawness which sounds brilliant. I know I’ve tried over the last few years to reduce the number of channels I use, because more often than not, less definitely is more, and it allows each sound to be heard properly.

 

What’s your production set up?

 

It’s Ableton, with a 48-key midi keyboard; I’ve got a group of good plugins which I use often, the Eventide ones are great & Novation too. The Abbey Road plugins are really nice too.

 

Top tips for aspiring producers?

 

Similar to the DJ tips really, just keep at it & don’t expect to be signed to top labels immediately! Just stick at it, and remember there’s no rush to get stuff out there, just enjoy it, that’s the most important thing.

 

What labels are killing it for you right now - tracks you’re playing and loving?

 

To be honest, I don’t really stick with one label, I think that’s because I buy such a wide range of stuff to play out, so there’s not one which gets bought more than others. I tend to go for sound, I’m not bothered about buying certain names etc, it’s all about the sound for me, if I’m honest.

 

Any DJ’s you’ve seen and think we should check out?

 

I’ll give a future big-up to Lewis William, based here in Leeds. He’s 15 & already plays a brilliant selection of quality house, old and new, playing vinyl too. He’s already played most of the venues in Leeds (he’s got a very understanding Mum haha), so I think he’ll keep pushing on & can really hone his sound, as he’s getting into production now too. So yeah, definitely a shout out to Lewis, one for the future.

 

What’s on the cards for the next while - gigs to watch out for?

 

Okay so I’ve got the next 3am 12” out on Nov 18th, that’s TAM091 & features cuts from V.I.C.A.R.I, Adventures in Daydreams, Alixander III, plus a collab from myself & Aussie based Leeds ex-pat Carlo Gambino, which is a really cool tribute to his Dad, who sadly passed away a couple of years back, so that’s something special, with Carlo of course being a close friend & long-time 3am artist. Gigs, I’m at Outlaws in Leeds on 7th Nov, Colonel Porters in Newcastle on 21st Nov, Doghouse in Leeds on 23rd Nov, then starting a new series of gigs at the newly-refurbished Mission in Leeds, on Dec 7th, which I’m really looking forward to. Oh and Distrikt at the end of Dec on 28th, with long-time DJ partner Phil Towers.

 

Links

 

Al Bradley Interview

 

3am Recordings owner, Dj, Producer, Remixers Al Bradley is a name most will have heard - he’s one of the people that gets on with it, produces good stuff, vinyl and digital, and a busy DJ. Whilst he’s a name I know, a person I see lots of posts on social media from but beyond him having a dog I know nothing about the guy - so I took the chance to ask a few choice questions!

 

Nice to meet you Al, you’ve been doing this for longer I have (2003 3am started), what got you into it - what’s the back story to all this?

 

Likewise, good to meet you! Yeah, 3am was launched in June 03, it had been something that myself & a friend, Guy, had been thinking about for a while, particularly as I’d been starting to DJ a fair bit more around that time too and we felt there was a real strength with the ‘deep house’ scene at that time. Guy isn’t involved now, but was instrumental in setting the label up with me, and was involved for the first couple of years, after which point I’ve been flying solo!

 

Why the name 3am?

 

Primarily because the stuff we liked seemed to always sound best at 3am…..

 

You got back into vinyl recently - how’s that going for you?

 

Yeah, it’s been good! Moved back in 2015, so the next release, TAM091, will be the fourth vinyl-only outing since that move. It feels like how I want the label to be; I’ve nothing against digital and have a little side project called Bass Clef Music, which is digital (although I’m looking at getting those releases on vinyl too next year), but as my background is vinyl and I play vinyl, it seems right for me to keep it on vinyl. I feel like I’m part of the scene by offering a physical product, that’s something which matters to me.

 

Any tips for labels wanting to get into producing vinyl?

 

Be prepared to spend money & be patient in getting it back! Also, the whole process is longer; once the mastering and art is ready, it can take 3-4 months to get a vinyl release pressed & ready, particularly when Record Store Day is happening, so it’s not an ‘instant’ thing, like digital is, where you can pretty much get something up & online within a few days. There are pros & cons to both – I like the fact that digital is quick & also allows people to get great music out there, but there’s a labour of love with vinyl, as you’re putting a lot of money, time & faith into a product, which ultimately does give a buzz when received. You can lose a hell of a lot more though (as I discovered around 2006, when the whole distribution network shut down in the initial vinyl crash!).

 

How much do you put into your social channels and do you think that’s crucial these days or are your gigs the thing you think brings people to you and 3am?

 

Hmm, I don’t do enough probably; I guess it’s an age thing to some degree – there wasn’t really any social media when 3am started, well apart from chatrooms (remember them?! Undergroundhouse.net was a big one for me, and the Back To Basics forum in Leeds!), so the whole “get everything filmed & whack it onto Instagram” side of things doesn’t appeal to me really. I like the “no phones” ideal in clubs in Berlin, as it definitely helps focus people more. However, I know that for a younger audience, the social side is massive; whether it would make a big difference to 3am really, I’m not sure – I press a small number of 12”s & once they’re gone, that’s it. I should probably do more for my personal side of things re: my gigs and productions, but I’d rather spend the time making music! If I got paid more for it, I’d probably get some ace PR to do that for me (hint there for higher remix & DJ fees, to anyone who is reading!)

 

What’s been the highlights of your career so far?

 

Well I’ll give two, one related to DJing and the other for productions. The DJ highlight was being booked to play fabric for the 3am 10th birthday, back in 2013. When I started DJing in the early 90s, then gradually getting into running the label & productions, I never for one moment believed that I’d play at a club such as fabric, so hosting the label event there was a real sense of achievement for the label and me personally. Production-wise, it was when I got the test-pressings back for TAM088. That was the first release moving 3am back to vinyl, and the opening track on the EP was my own, called “Kindergesicht”, which was also my first time on vinyl. So, hearing my first track on vinyl, on my own label, which was moving back to vinyl, was something incredibly special to me. I’d already had around 150 digital tracks and remixes released by then, but putting the needle on the test -pressing & hearing my track come through the speakers, on my own label – it just was one of those special moments. I got emotional, I’m not going to lie! Mainly because I realistically didn’t think I’d get a vinyl release, plus I didn’t think I’d get 3am back on wax, so it was a double-whammy of emotion!

 

Greatest influences? DJ’s, people, labels…?

 

Influences – initially Graeme Park & Tom Wainwright at the Hacienda in 1990, that’s who inspired me to get turntables originally. However, the main influences overall have been the late 90s UK house labels such as Paper, 2020 Vision, Toko, Pagan, Glasgow Underground etc, as they were the key influences for 3am when it was launched. DJ-wise then definitely Ralph Lawson, James Holroyd and the Basics crew in Leeds have remained big influences, along with Harri, Domenic Capello, Craig Richards, Rob Mello etc, all have and continue to be the kind of DJ I’d love to be.

 

Favourite place to DJ?

 

Well fabric was definitely that, just a guaranteed crowd who allow you to play what you like. Distrikt here in Leeds is another favourite – a smallish basement, which always has a solid crowd & always up for it, so yeah definitely there, plus it’s a place I’ve played for nearly a decade!

 

What’s your usual preparation for a set? Picks tracks, sleep…?

 

Cleaning records, that’s the main thing! As I get booked for different types of set and play almost exclusively vinyl now, it’s usually just cleaning records & sorting a load out. I’m abysmal at taking the required amount, so I’ll usually end up taking around 50 for a 2-hour set. When you consider that I often play for much longer than that, you can see what a nightmare of geekily cleaning my vinyl can become!

 

Top tip/s for up and coming DJ’s?

 

Wow. I’m not sure I’m the best person to answer that, particularly as I guess from social media that the things which are the most pertinent nowadays aren’t what were pertinent when I started! All I’d say, as these things are consistent, are – don’t expect it to happen overnight, don’t be an arrogant dickhead (never a good look), get yourself out & about so you can meet the right people & be nice to them, stay positive because there’s a million others all wanting to do what you want to do. Oh, and perhaps the most important (because nobody goes straight to headline gigs really), learn how to warm-up correctly, regardless of what genre DJ you want to be. That means don’t just buy/play the ‘big’ stuff, learn how to build a set with deeper vibes, take care of the levels & EQ on the mixer, and know that the warm-up is equally important (often more important) than the main DJ in terms of the overall flow for the night. You’ll also end up with a way more varied selection of music, which I guarantee will serve you better over the years (as someone who’s been DJing out since 1991, I can say that with 100% certainty).

 

What’s your sound for production and how does it differ from the label sound (if at all?)

 

Well I’m atrocious at doing one style, so I make all kinds of stuff, from slower backroom vibes, through to techy business. Which I guess reflects me as a DJ, as I get booked for sets covering a wide range of sounds too. Overall, I think my sets & what I buy/play/hear naturally bleed back into what I make. I do tend to waver within the general “house” spectrum I guess, but I don’t think anything really sounds that similar to anything else I make, not sure if that’s a good thing or not! I’d get a bit bored making stuff which was the same all the time though.

 

How do you feel production has changed over the years (good or bad) - do you still get as much pleasure from it?

 

I think in most ways it’s improved, because people have so many options now and the general quality of available sounds, plugins and equipment is excellent. However, I do think sometimes the simplicity gets lost with that; if you listen to something like “Jack Your Body”, there are only around 8 sounds in it, mainly because there was a limit to how many channels a producer had free at that time in 1987, but it’s the rawness which sounds brilliant. I know I’ve tried over the last few years to reduce the number of channels I use, because more often than not, less definitely is more, and it allows each sound to be heard properly.

 

What’s your production set up?

 

It’s Ableton, with a 48-key midi keyboard; I’ve got a group of good plugins which I use often, the Eventide ones are great & Novation too. The Abbey Road plugins are really nice too.

 

Top tips for aspiring producers?

 

Similar to the DJ tips really, just keep at it & don’t expect to be signed to top labels immediately! Just stick at it, and remember there’s no rush to get stuff out there, just enjoy it, that’s the most important thing.

 

What labels are killing it for you right now - tracks you’re playing and loving?

 

To be honest, I don’t really stick with one label, I think that’s because I buy such a wide range of stuff to play out, so there’s not one which gets bought more than others. I tend to go for sound, I’m not bothered about buying certain names etc, it’s all about the sound for me, if I’m honest.

 

Any DJ’s you’ve seen and think we should check out?

 

I’ll give a future big-up to Lewis William, based here in Leeds. He’s 15 & already plays a brilliant selection of quality house, old and new, playing vinyl too. He’s already played most of the venues in Leeds (he’s got a very understanding Mum haha), so I think he’ll keep pushing on & can really hone his sound, as he’s getting into production now too. So yeah, definitely a shout out to Lewis, one for the future.

 

What’s on the cards for the next while - gigs to watch out for?

 

Okay so I’ve got the next 3am 12” out on Nov 18th, that’s TAM091 & features cuts from V.I.C.A.R.I, Adventures in Daydreams, Alixander III, plus a collab from myself & Aussie based Leeds ex-pat Carlo Gambino, which is a really cool tribute to his Dad, who sadly passed away a couple of years back, so that’s something special, with Carlo of course being a close friend & long-time 3am artist. Gigs, I’m at Outlaws in Leeds on 7th Nov, Colonel Porters in Newcastle on 21st Nov, Doghouse in Leeds on 23rd Nov, then starting a new series of gigs at the newly-refurbished Mission in Leeds, on Dec 7th, which I’m really looking forward to. Oh and Distrikt at the end of Dec on 28th, with long-time DJ partner Phil Towers.

 

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