Rory Cochrane (Deep Site Recordings) Interview
Rory Cochrane is that guy everyone knows. Charmed - model looks, beautiful wife, a record label or two and a quality DJ. The kind of guy you can share a beer with down the local or the main stage with at a gig and always feel he's your mate. Rory's been around the scene for as long as I can remember but we've never talked beyond exchanging promo and the odd nod.
Great to catch up with you after all these years Rory, I know you’re a busy man... I wanted to start with your back story - how you got into the music scene way back in the beginning?
Hey Richie…great to catch up indeed and thanks a lot for the invitation to come chat and do a mix for you guys!
I guess i got into the scene or into Djing firstly through one of my good mates Patrick Devereux who i do our Label Tokyo events with, he was the first guy i knew who had a pair of turntables, i’d say i would have been probably around 16 at the time he basically taught me how to mix vinyl records, we were spinning all sorts from Italian house, hardcore, old school and some house & garage that a few us mates were starting to hear from radio shows & tape/CD recordings from local club events going down around this time. It was fun and i loved it and decided to get a pair of my own 1210s and start to buy records which i still have at home and have served me very well up till now!
From here the next years were kind of spent going out to club nights around the North East at event nights at places like Shindig, To The Manor Born, The Empire, The Arena, Hard Times & Tall Trees.
So from hearing House Music in clubs during these early times, this was the point of no return for me…we went out a lot to clubs listening to Djs like Roger Sanchez, Farley & Heller, Masters at work, Holloway & Eastwick, Scott Bradford & Scooby, Paul Trouble Anderson, Graeme Park, Alister Whitehead, Tom Wainwright, Dj Pippi, Dave Morales, Julius Papp, Miguel Migs, Terry Hunter, Full Intention, had absolutely great great times and memories from this era!! I’d certainly say ‘To The Manor Born’ in Sedgefield near my home town Durham which was last Sunday of every month had by far some of the best Dj acts playing around our area at the time, there were a few Monday sickies thrown in at work i can tell you haha but overall i really enjoyed the scene, i met a lot of people through this and i started pushing my interest with the Dj thing, connecting with a few local Djs who happened to work in record stores and stuff so that was cool and from there i started playing some small local parties
What attracted you to deep house music specifically?
In general we didn’t have all these sub genres back at that time house was house and thats how it was but i was enjoying a lot the US House vibes towards late 90’s with the stuff i was listening in clubs, Djs i was hearing and the music i was buying myself.
I started hearing this Deeper House sound coming from a lot of West Coast artists and labels, i was buying and shipping over a lot of vinyl from the states and Tweakin Records in particular in San Francisco, there was just something different about this Deeper house i was starting to listen to, it had certain elements of sophistication, warmth, very atmospheric, percussive…hypnotic, moody what ever it was it led me to explore further into a whole world of artists & labels on this new to me sub genre.
Favourite labels, artists, DJ’s or tracks from the back then inspired you?
I was all over labels like Naked Music, Inspirit Music, OM Records, Deeplay, Seasons, Airtight, Siesta, i Records, Large, DIY, House Cafe Music, Imperial Dub, Dessous, Guidance and i was just loving the stuff producers like Miguel Migs, Rasoul, Fresh & Low, Fred Everything, Dj Ino, Charles Webster, Dubtribe Sound System, Hippe & Halo, Vincenzo to name a few were putting out…the list could go on really.
How’s the Deep House scene in your hometown of Newcastle (UK)?
Although there is a big music and club scene i’d probably say sadly for me there is not such a huge following specifically for Deep House here in Newcastle, however there are some great Techno and Soulful/Disco events going down, its a great vibrant party city no doubts about that, i currently run a bi-monthly Deep Site label soiree in the city which previously we held @ Alvino’s Bar, we are now @ Tokyo Bar Terrace which is one of my favourite bars and we play quite a bit of Deep House and we’re always busy and seems to go down well, we’ve had some really good nights and have brought artists SIRS, Fresh & Low, Dj Jauche, Johnny Da Cruz, Forteba, 2Lani The Warrior, Matt Prehn, JHNS, Neil Smallridge, Loz Goddard, Damien Exton, Tony S….the Delve Deeper Lads have been up to play also.. so i’m trying to push the Deeper sounds and introduce new Djs to the City, looking forward to kicking back off in April after a little winter break.
Best advice anyone gave you during that time?
One piece of advice i remember an artist i really respect saying to me a few years ago “Just be patient” and i think that goes for a lot of things in life, i do see in the the music industry especially, a lot of hungry young Dj/Producers starting out and want everything happening and they want it now.
What’s your usual preparation for a DJ set? Sleep, choose tracks to the moment you start...?
Nothing to out of the ordinary i guess, I would usually start looking through my library few days before and putting a nice playlist together suited to the type of gig whether be more of a club/bar or chilled vibe….if its a warm up set i may plan something in advance but other than that i’ll just play of the cuff. If I’m following on from somebody i always like to get there bit early to scope the place out, check the vibe and settle in…nothing worse for me than having to rush to get to a club or wherever arriving right before for your set.
Any advice for young DJ’s looking to make their name?
Again i’d probably say be patient and take the time to learn your craft and educate yourself through exploring and finding things for yourself rather than copying what others are doing, finding your own little music circles for networking and making a solid social media presence for yourself, this seems to have become important these days and from experience has helped me lot at times.
Favourite venue to DJ at?
I would have to say D-Edge in Sao Paulo, Brazil… my good friend Johnny Da Cruz arranged a booking for me to open the Lounge there in December 2016…that was a great experience for me to play at such an amazing club with such a world class reputation, somewhere i would love to play again for sure.
Who are your personal favourite DJ’s to hear play?
Over the last recent few years i have to say Dj Ino has been one of my favourite Djs and producers who was and still is a huge influence to me, i have some plans afoot with Ino during this year which I’m really looking forward to!
I’d love to hear Sunshine Jones again heard him in 2012 and he really blew me away, Steve Bug is wicked caught him in Miami last year would love to see him play again, big fan of his work.
Dj Jauche from Berlin, phenomenal Dj who i’ve also been listening to for many years and had pleasure of having him play at our Deep Site party last year….I also love to hear Pat Heart from Prague who i was introduced to in the last couple years and also my man 2Lani The Warrior down in South Africa who is absolutely top class these guys are all Jedi spinners and highly recommend you check them out.
You DJ’d in South Africa in 2016 - how was that as an experience?
Honestly i didn’t really know what to expect other than that i knew there was a massive following of Deep House going on down there which excited me a lot to hear. I had become very good friends with 2Lani The Warrior who got in touch with me a fair while before the trip, i did a remix for him and his label Deep Stitched, we became close as i said and it was he who invited me to play a couple of parties representing his label DeepStitched with him.
We played a a couple of DeepStitched Nights parties in Johannesburg & Durban which were fantastic made some new friends in the local scene, super friendly passionate people down there who are all about the music and are simply some of the best supporters i’ve come across over these last years.
I since returned twice to play with 2Lani in 2018 and also 2019 i got to venture to Cape Town to play, all have been very different experiences and every time has been on point, amazing country to play, i’ve been very fortunate to experience this, i’ve always been well received and supported the and that means a lot to me.
Tapping into that community - did you see any benefits for you or the label as a result?
Benefit wise i’d say i’ve certainly seen a noticeable growth over the last few years with regards to social media support with followers and such like towards the Dj sets i put out and also the Deep Site label output which is nice to see, i think it’s safe to say South Africa has become the most supporting country of late.
Tell us about Deep Site Digital & Deep Site Vinylized?
Deep Site Recordings was started up 2012 which was primarily a digital label, kind of a release platform for music friends, likeminded and upcoming artists we find suited to the label, we say Deep Site is all about sophisticated production on a level that respected artists will recognise so we try to carry that on.
We then started ‘Vinylized’ a couple of years later which is when we split the labels we usually release one vinyl per year, which maybe a couple of special tracks we have received or come across from a more established artist to who we are a fan of who we’d really like to attract to work with on a project.
How did you and Tom (DJ Funtom) come to work together on the labels?
A little while, probably a year or so before Deep Site started out Tom had come across some of my work and invited me to feature a guest mix on his Groovesite Radio show in Zagreb, following this we began talking quite a lot became very good friends, we shared a lot of similar interests, influences and tastes in music over the years, we spoke about labels and all sorts of stuff…shortly after, Tom started up Deep Site Recordings and invited me to join him as A&R thats how things started between us, still very good friends i’ve visited Croatia in the past years and played there also beautiful country which I’m sure i’ll return at some point in the future.
How do the labels differ in output and sound, you must have great relationships with the guys helping you on them?
The difference with output between the labels is just a less frequent format for vinylized, we’ll have one annual release on 12” with a ‘Remixed’ EP which follows up few months later and although the digital only label is a lot more frequent i’ve cut back releasing so much, i would rather give a release some time marinade a little between releases than put out 4-5 a month or even more which I’m seeing a lot from labels these days.
Yeah we have a nice relations with the guys working with us, some artists do come and go its natural in the industry but nice to see some guys stick around and happy to continue to release.
What do you class as your most successful or best release to date?
It was really great to see the Pete Moss Remix of Anna Cavazos track ‘Persephone’ get some BBC radio airing when it released around September last year, overall we got some fantastic feedback on this record i’d say this release or DSV005 V/A - Talkin’ Deep EP which includes original tracks by Marc Cotterell, Evren Furtuna, Fresh & Low And Addex would be our best releases so far.
What’s the best bit and worst bits of running a label?
I generally love putting releases together selecting remixers i feel would remix a certain track well and seeing how they put their spin on it, always a buzz and interesting for me to hear people feedback after putting a release together, see how it goes down, i like to bring artists together in some way, I’ve enjoyed introducing artists through Deep Site some of which have build further relationships and work on other projects elsewhere always good to see that kind of thing, music does bring people together and gives me a pleasure to be a part of that where i can.
Of course it is very time consuming putting releases together, takes a lot of effort and money at times, sometimes you feel you’ve nailed a release and that it should have made more of an impact than it actually does, that part can get a bit disheartening from time to time.
You also produce right?
I do, i enjoy producing a little on the side when i can or if a label comes forward for a remix and i like the project i’ll go for it, I’m a little selective of what i do these days just because of my work and family life commitments, so far i’ve had a few remixes/releases out on Limitation Music, Dubwise Records, Deep Stiched, The Purr & Deep Site Vinylized.
Towards the end of last year i released some material and remixes with my partner under the production duo of ‘Funtom & Cochrane’ releasing on Deep Site, Deep Stitched, Oh! Stockholm & Sound Vessel Records, we will take things forward into this year with some more projects we’re working on in the background so we’ll see how that goes.
How do you approach your music production - do you have a routine or wait for inspiration to come for music?
No routine as such as i work away quite a lot of the time, usually this is the time where i get the chance to put some ideas down if I’m working on a project as i have more time to myself, i can get a rough track or remix down which i can polish off when get back to my home set up.
What’s your typical production set up?
I always use Logic with VSTs like Arturia, Omnishpere, Trillian, Sylenth, Rob Papen.. including a couple of favourite Logic in built VSTs, i run with a MOTU interface, Korg Minilogue synth and Genelec Monitors
Any key things you think every aspiring producer should know or do to make their best music?
I’d say taking the time to learn and study whichever DAW you choose to go with. At times i have thought things were not going well or become frustrated and changed to try something different, i always ended up going back to Logic having already learned a fair bit and now I’m a lot happier with it, so be patient (again) just have fun and enjoy working at it, thats what its all about.
What does your average day involve balancing work loads for everything you do?
I work on a 5 week on 5 week off rotation so i have really good quality time off at home throughout the year, my average day when I’m at home would probably be school run in the morning then it’s coffee on, emails and enquiries and either catch up on some label work or other mix or production projects i have going whichever is pressing at the time, bit of family time later if i have my kids staying or pop to see my parents who live close by, very much a family man when I’m home although i do still like to enjoy the occasional night out here and there.
What plans have you got for 2020, releases, projects, gigs?
I’ll be kicking back off our bi monthly Deep Site party from April where we have James Reid coming to play with us first up and then i’ll be working on guest selections for the next few so I’m looking forward to planning that.
Few other bits and pieces including a remix coming out on Be Adult Music around March/April for Dj Ino & MC Johnny Def as part of Ino’s 25 years Deep House Revolution project which I’m excited about, these guys also happen to be releasing an amazing 4 track vinyl on Deep Site later in the year tying in with the project so I’m working on that currently…it’s absolutely fantastic and can’t wait to get that out!
I’ve been a massive fan of Dj Ino for such a long time pleasure to be working with him he’s a great guy and super talent.. we are looking to do a release party later in September for that particular release, location is TBC at the moment.
We can also expect some more ‘Funtom & Cochrane’ works during the year for sure, probably more so than myself.
Its early in the year, i don’t really push for gigs these days they tend just to unfold themselves and if not then i’m quite happy pushing the Deep Site event which I’m enjoying.
There is one event in particular which i was involved in from 2001-2006 in Durham City near to where i live, which we will see a return of later this year in the summer, should be interesting after all these years, this was a really cool unique event where we play a bit more broad spectrum of house & disco vibes so looking forward to that.
I’m working on a few more Deep Site releases at the moment and also will be continuing hosting our monthly radio show ‘Deep Site Sessions’ at our home Bloop London I’m going to add a few more guests during this year mix it up a bit month to month.
We also have a new revamped website for Deep Site Recordings nearing completion thats also something that has been on the back burner for a while and will be great to have us back online with that finally.