Time Out New York: Having all three of you on the phone at once makes me feel like I’m at a veteran-Chicago-DJ convention.
Derrick Carter: It’s amazing that you were able to get us all at the same time.
Time Out New York: Yes, I feel like that’s accomplishment in itself, and that we could call it quits right now.
Derrick Carter: Okay—peace out!
Time Out New York: Wait a minute—while I have you all, we might as well chat. You guys go back quite a bit, don’t you?
DJ Sneak: Yeah, especially Mark and Derrick.
Derrick Carter: Mark and I have known each other for about 25 or 26 years, and we’ve known Sneak for at least 20. So we go way the heck back. I’m gonna curse—we go way the fuck back.
Time Out New York: Curse all you want.
Derrick Carter: Yeah, it’s not TV—fuck that! [Laughs]
Time Out New York: I’m guessing that you guys have all played on the same bill before.
Mark Farina: Yeah, many times.
Time Out New York: But the Tomorrowland festival was the first time you had done a back-to-back-to-back set?
DJ Sneak: Indeed, and it was superfun. I think the best thing about it was that we actually didn’t have a plan. I asked Derrick and Mark, “What are we gonna do?” And they said, “We’re just gonna play.” That’s exactly what happened, and it turned out to be a great experience.
Mark Farina: And it’s a good thing we didn’t die in a tragic boat accident.
Time Out New York: What do you mean?
Mark Farina: To get to our stage, we had to cross this green lake, and we had to take a boat. And it was a little boat!
DJ Sneak: Black people don’t like boats.
Derrick Carter: This black people don’t like boats, anyway.
Time Out New York: Luckily, the boat didn’t sink or anything, and you “wove together the entire history of house over two magical hours,” according to the press release.
Derrick Carter: Oh, my goodness—did we?
DJ Sneak: I think we just played whatever, man. We just had fun. And it was actually three hours, by the way.
Derrick Carter: I don’t want to overstate anything, but we all know what we can do. And we can do it pretty well. It’s kind of like jazz: We can just start riffing. Being that we each have well-storied musical backgrounds, it’s easy just to pick up where the last person leaves off; the next person comes in, and—boom!—he’ll just do his thing. It’s challenging, but it’s fun to hear. It’s good music, and people seem to get a kick out of it.
Time Out New York: Were you bumping into each other at all?
DJ Sneak: Not exactly. But we didn’t have three separate setups; there were just two setups, so we were doing a lot of jumping on and off.
Mark Farina: I liked rotating like that. It was kind of like Double Dutch!
DJ Sneak: It was a straight gang bang. I don’t know how else to put it.
Time Out New York: We’ll be looking for a gang-bang situation when you’re playing here in NYC.
DJ Sneak: It sounds kind of dirty.
Derrick Carter: We’re gonna run a train on y’all! [Laughs]
Time Out New York: The New York gig will be the first time that you’ve done this since Tomorrowland. Since you’ve had time to think about it, will there be any preplanning involved this time around?
DJ Sneak: That’s what other DJs do. We just freestyle, you know?
Derrick Carter: Yeah, man—who has time to plan stuff? There’s kids, I have seven dogs.… I’m not gonna plan nothin’. You just get on, and you just bang.
Time Out New York: Derrick, I knew you were a dog guy—but I didn’t know you had seven of them!
Derrick Carter: Oh, my goodness. I have two French bulldogs, two miniature pinschers, a Brussels griffon, a hairless Chinese crested and an English bull terrier that is licking my face right now!
Time Out New York: Sneak, you have two kids, right?
DJ Sneak: That’s right, a boy and a girl. And two Chihuahuas.
Derrick Carter: There you go.
Time Out New York: And you, Mark?
Mark Farina: Yeah, I have a son who’s almost three, and a Yorkie who’s following me around right now.
Derrick Carter: Pumpkin!
DJ Sneak: We’re family folks here, man.
Derrick Carter: We’ve got responsibilities! It’s definitely helped us flesh out as people, instead of just being party monsters. There are people who depend on us. We’re not doing this just to be cool or the latest thing. This is what we do.
Time Out New York: One thing I’ve always admired about all three of you is the way that you’ve all stayed true to your sounds. Not that you play the same exact music you did 20 years ago, but you’ve certainly managed to stay away from any short-lived trends over your careers.
DJ Sneak: We know that those things come and go, but we all think that our style and our music lives forever. We can go back 20 years, or we can push ahead another 20 years, and it’s still gonna be us.
Time Out New York: Does the fact that you’ve all stuck with your styles over the years make it easier to play together?
DJ Sneak: I think knowing your partner and trusting your partner is the main thing. I mean, I would leave my kids and my dogs with these guys, and that’s saying a lot. When you have that kind of trust, you don’t really have to think about things too much.
Time Out New York: I don’t think I really have to ask you this—especially you, Sneak, given what happened in Miami—but has there ever been any temptation to go for the bucks and jump on the EDM bandwagon?
DJ Sneak: The whole EDM thing is kind of silly, because I think the three of us—especially Mark and Derrick—opened a lot of doors for what’s going on today. I don’t know, man–it’s just a trend, but we’re here forever. That stuff just comes and goes. It’s great that something is happening in America because something needs to happen, but at the same time, you shouldn’t be ignorant about the prior 25 years and the work that people have put into this in America.
Derrick Carter: I’m not going to turn my back on what I’ve been doing since I was, like, 11, just to see a bunch of 20-year-olds jump around. I mean, I’ve been seeing 20-year-olds jump around since before I was 20! And besides, there’s no bandwagon big enough for me to jump on.
Mark Farina: Yeah, we just do what we do. If our style somehow gets encompassed into that, then so be it. But it doesn’t really matter to us.
Time Out New York: I guess the hope is that at least a small percentage of kids who are into EDM will take the time to find out more about the music and its history.
DJ Sneak: If some kids are waking up to that, cool. The Internet allows them to go back and research, so if they want to know what happened before, they can go back and listen. Whatever, man—EDM is just a word. Or three letters, really!
Derrick Carter: I don’t even like those three letters. They sound stupid! It’s like, “I have EDM—I’m itchin’!”
Time Out New York: As you said before, you guys have all played on the same bill—but have you ever done so in New York?
Mark Farina: I don’t think so, not even back in the rave days.
Time Out New York: Perhaps you can whip out some rave-era classics!
Derrick Carter: One of the things that I like about what Mark and Sneak and I do is that, to some degree, it has a timeless element to it. There’s a taste that we’ve built up over the years, and there are lots of gems that fit into that. I’ve always said a DJ’s value comes from their collection. When you’ve been playing for well over two decades, you have a fairly extensive musical knowledge you can draw from. I’ll play stuff from 1990, and kids will come up to me and say, “What the hell was that?” I’ll tell them that this literally came out when they were born, and they’ll bug out like they can’t believe tracks like that existed then. A song like “Move It” by Rhythim Is Rhythim sounds fresh, but it came out in 1988. I was still in school myself when I got that one!
Time Out New York: Do you feel it’s part of your job to turn kids on to music like that?
DJ Sneak: Yeah, you can turn on a lot of kids to stuff like that. I just had the Martinez Brothers for a few days in the studio, and was picking their brains, like, “How far do you guys really go?” And they were like, “Yeah, play us a lot of stuff that we don’t already have!” So I was playing stuff on my computer, like, “Check this one! Check that one!” They were kind of freaking out. There was one Ralphi Rosario track, and I told them that he was one of my biggest influences in 1988. They only knew him from something that came out maybe ten years ago, so I ended up opening this whole folder of Ralphi Rosario stuff circa ’88 or ’89. They ended up leaving with a hard drive full of shit!
Time Out New York: The Martinez Brothers are obviously a special case, but I’ve found that when young clubbers hear the old stuff, they’re usually into it.
DJ Sneak: Yeah, they can definitely relate to it. That relates to what Derrick was saying about our collections. Mark has so many records, and Derrick, you have what—like three houses full? We all come from he same generation, when you would go and shop at record stores and share information. There’d be something that Mark or Derrick would be playing, they’d tell me what it was, and then I’d go and dig for that record.
Derrick Carter: I wouldn’t always share information! Sometimes I wouldn’t tell you what something was until after the party, and then I might let you know what it was, just to see the look on your face.
DJ Sneak: Well, back then I was on a different tip. I was on a Bad Boy Bill tip, you know what I’m sayin’? But in ’91. I went to a loft party where the DJ was Julio Bishop—Mark and Derrick will know who I’m talking about—and then I was hearing Mark and Derrick, and Spencer and Lego and Traxx and all those guys, and I was like, “Wow.” And after that, I just started shopping the same places that they did. We basically just wanted to know what Mark and Derrick were playing.
Time Out New York: And here you are, years later, all playing together.
DJ Sneak: I don’t know about the other guys…but for me, it’s a beautiful thing. I feel very blessed to be in the company of these two gentlemen. It’s a new thing, but in some ways, it’s an old thing, too. I’m gonna shut up now and let Mark talk!
Mark Farina: Well, I was playing until 3:30 last night. I’m tired! But I will say this: Just coming from Chicago, I think you kind of learn to play all kinds of housey genres early on. We’ll play vocal tracks, we’ll play beat tracks, we’ll play acid tracks, we’ll play a cappellas.… We all kind of have the same interpretation of house. House is such a vague term nowadays, but I like to think that our vision of house is a kind of proper, old-school-meets-new-school one.
Derrick Carter: We come from an era when you could get away with murder. If it’s hot, you play it—as long as you get an emotional response, it’s good.
DJ Sneak: If Derrick wanted to play a Ricky Martin vocal over a track, he could. Everybody would be like, “Damn, that’s Ricky Martin. But it sounds really dope.”
Derrick Carter: “Shock the Monkey”—that’s the one! You play that out of context, and people will freak out a bit, because it doesn’t fit in the narrow confines of what people think house is. But you rock your influences; you show your colors.
Time Out New York: And that’s what house music is supposed to be, right?
Derrick Carter: That’s what it’s always been, man! “Shock the Monkey” and Ricky Martin.
After years of producing music under various guises, Jon Charnis found his true calling in the slower, darker, and deeper spheres of House music. The re-invention manifested beyond music as the former DC native relocated to the city of Los Angeles while launching his new moniker (his actual birth name). From then on it didn’t take long to make his impact felt. His track ‘Prophecy’ was spotted by Innervisions boss, Dixon, who signed the track to his prestigious Berlin based label after road testing it at some of the world’s premier parties.
WHEN Terry Francis and Nathan Coles started throwing parties, it was pretty much a reaction to their circumstances.
Already committed to London’s fledging acid house scene, and both influenced by rare groove and up-tempo soul, they wanted to do something for themselves, just for their mates, with DJs they liked.
Acid House pioneer and ‘Godfather of Tech House’ Eddie Richards was duly installed as their resident.
And thus the legend was born.
Held initially on a monthly basis at a variety of often secret locations and promoted strictly through word of mouth, the club has grown and developed through it’s policy of promoting the original ethos of the acid house movement; it’s sound system booms, it’s atmosphere unpretentious and where absolutely everybody is having a great time.
Nearly two decades later these three roving Ambassadors of Tech House are still igniting dancefloors around the world with their unique fusion of cutting edge House and Techno, ensuring that Brand Wiggle, the catch-all term covering record label, clubnight, artist name and attitude – remains at the forefront of people’s consciousness.
A 10 year residency at Fabric, arguably the UKs most important and influential underground nightclub, and Terry’s installation as weekly resident there, is testamant to the far reaching global impact that the Wiggle brand has had.
Numerous world tours have seen thus unholy trinity of Tech House Titans touch down in major cities around the world preaching the Tech House gospel to their adoring disciples.
Constantly striving to stay one step ahead and with their fingers firmly on the pulse of the underground, Wiggle’s sweat-soaked Warehouse marathons have played host to some of biggest and highly respected names in the DJ firmament including Stacey Pullen, Richie Hawtin, Maetrik, Layo & Bushwacka, Richie Hawtin, Pure Science,Tigerskin, Maetrik, Audiofly, Simon Baker, Dachshund, Saytek, Jay Tripwire, Alex Celler, Richard Grey, Mr.C, Stimming, Abe Duque, Glimpse, Geddes, Raymundo Rodriguez, Dj Three, Todd Bodine, D’Julz, Corrie, Geddes, JB, Mr G, Cesar Merveille, Liz Edwards, Asad Rizvi, Grant Dell, Felver, Lewis Ryder, Clive Henry, Colin Dale, Dave Mothersole, The Pushamann, Get Fucked, Tangun, The Freaks, Claire Ripley, Arnaud Le Texier, Kenny Hawkes, Magnus Asberg, J. Jeff, Bob De Rosa, Big Hair and Little Mike.
It seems incredible to think that Wiggle, arguably London’s best underground tech-house night, has reached full adult age.
This hugely influential Wiggle collective Nathan Coles, Terry Francis and Eddie Richards have helped define the late-night, bass-driven house sound that is now so ubiquitous across dancefloors around the world.
When Wiggle started they were instrumental in defining a new sound where the Jack of Chicago and the Machine Funk of Detroit and Berlin were seamlessly melded with the Deep house of New York and London.
It’s now 2013 and Deep House/Tech-House music’s popularity has never been more apparent.
As Wiggle prepare to celebrate their 19th birthday on the 25th of may, in the rarified atmosphere of The Paramount club 384 feet up in the central London skyline they can be justly proud of the mark they have made in clubland.
SINCE his acclaimed album release in 2009 with ‘When A Banana Was Just A Banana’, Josh Wink has been heavily touring and working on building a new studio.
Last year he produced his greatest creation to date, a beautiful baby son.
After taking some time out to enjoy his newly found fatherhood, he finally got into his brand new studio towards the end of 2012. The outcome was ‘Balls’ – a ten-minute drive of pulsing intensity bating towards a huge breakdown.
The reason the track is called Balls according to Josh is because you have to have balls to play it!
Clubz caught up with him last week for a quick chat…
How was your birthday bash last month, Winkdown?
It was amazing. A small sweaty dive bar with great sound and a verbally happy and smiling crowd!
And how was the gig with John Digweed and Danny Tenaglia in Miami?
I’m sure you would have needed a bigger boat for that one?
It was great to play for John along with playing with old friend Danny T.
Great boat, great sound, great crowd, great weather! What more do you need!?
How did you feel when your classic Higher State Of Conciousness was voted one of the top 40 greatest dance tracks of all time in Mixmag?
I was wondering why it was in the top 40 of that list. And why only this track?
If I’m going to get in a chart like this why not shoot for the stars. However, I try and make timeless music, without thinking of this kind of chart!
Did you have an idea though when you made that particular record all those years ago that it would stand the test of time like it has?
Not sure. However, I’m a firm believer in timing. All worked with timing and this release. it was in the stars! HAHA.
You’ve had a lot going on in your life not least with the arrival of your son. How has fatherhood changed you?
You can’t explain unless you’re a parent. And once you’re a parent.
You’ll know how things have changed. But, I love it.
I only want to stay at home and be a father! It’s crazy and intense!
Great to see you back with new single Balls, your first for four years.
It’s a ten minute incendiary romp? How did you approach making it?
And why did you decide to smash out a techno destroyer after a lengthy break in production?
If fatherhood has softened you there is certainly nothing soft with this track!
Things just happened. I think that maybe after not releasing music for many years I felt an angst not being able to express myself through music.
So, maybe this tension and feelings influenced the outcome.
With me production, like DJing is spontaneous. I never know how things will turn out! But I’m happy with the outcome of Balls!
What projects are you currently working on and what have you got coming up with Ovum?
I’m solely focusing on Balls. But we have been entertaining working with festivals for Ovum and Profound sound stages, which we’re all very happy with! Ovum always has great things brewing.
You can keep up to date by tweets and ovum website. But good things to come real soon.
What is your view on the EDM mania that seems to have swept through the US?
It has it’s purpose. Like pop music, it will be tested in quality and what stands after a period of time.
However, if you can open someones mind to electronic music. Why not? Being introduced through EDM, there is a % of people who will dig deeper and get to know the underground as well!
What are you looking forward to in Ibiza 2013?
Just doing some great gigs. Our annual Ovum party at Space.
Cocoon, ENTER. Loco Dice’s new night and perhaps a first time at Vagabundos along with some small things as well.
Joshwink.com will help people be on top of things!
THERE’S a formula for videos for dance music, right? Girls in bikinis and people running.
But happily that’s not the whole story. From Chris Cunningham’s twisted visions for Aphex Twin, to Royksopp’s infographical “Remind Me” and The Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” epic, there have always been great experiments with dance videos.
I don’t think I’ve reached those heights with my videos, but I’ve always thought video is incredibly important to reach people with my music.
Even when I was just starting out and struggling to pay my bills, I forked out what cash I had to get videos made.
I’ve always preferred a visual way of thinking. I used to be a scientist and always preferred topics where I could use visual models for my understanding. So it might seem odd that I’ve ended up a musican, but the two are inseparable to me.
When I’m writing music, I have a picture or scene in my head. I think about how that makes me feel, and then I try and make the music I’m writing make me feel the same way.
Say a picture has certain shapes, or changes in colour. Those changes be directly linked to how notes change, or how synthesisers are modulated. That’s one way of translating aspects of a picture in to music.
Once you start on this way of working, it opens up an endless source of new ideas for music. It doesn’t just have to stem from pictures, either.
Recently I wrote a track called “meadows”. I had the image of a warm summer meadow in mind, and the feeling that would give me.
The music was relaxed, and moved slowly overall.
But underneath that, there’s a hive of activity happening.
It’s like grass waving slowly in a meadow, but lots of individual plants and animals interacting out of sight.
Using ideas like this gives a very rough translation to a piece of music.
To some people a meadow wouldn’t sound like that at all, but the main point is that it provided me with an interesting set of ideas to work with, hopefully lead to an interesting piece of music.
For the video for Meadows, I worked with the filmmaker Andrew Brewer / One False Move. I’ve worked with him many times in the past. Andy has a knack for using my ideas to create a story. His visual approach always seems to fit.
Andy brought the themes together perfectly to tell a story of a meadow in the wind, rain and sun, employing Moire effects as a theme throughout.
I’m very excited about my next video as well, Numb. It’s a song with Katrin DeBoer, the vocalist from London band Belleruche. The video was made by the German video artist Henning M Lederer.
The vocal in the track says “I don’t feel you anymore”. The idea was to turn that into an animated story about how the modern world is like a machine that wears you out. It was a lot of fun to work on.
Max Cooper and Kathrin DeBoer’s “Numb” is now out. The video is coming May 6.
Forward Strategy Group, one of Perc Trax’s central acts return with their first EP since their debut album ‘Labour Division’ was released in May of last year. Since then they have gigged around Europe including gigs at Berlin’s two temples of techno, Berghain and Tresor and have had their album tracks remixed by UK industrial/synth fusionists Factory Floor and Perc Trax’s man in Athens, Sawf.
Continuing the expansion of their sound first heard on ‘Labour Division’ the EP opens with ‘We’re Looking For Manpower’, one of their most expansive tracks to date based around floating chord sequences and a momentum heavy, clap driven groove. Next ‘Clean Neckline’ toys with broken beats and grinding machine noise, somehow distorted & saturated in sound whilst remaining clean and crisp.
Finally the epic ‘Code # 3’ continues the sound of Code # 1 and # 2 from their debut Perc Trax EP with a rock solid 4/4 kick, a snare that could floor a toddler from 50 paces and a host of rattling percussion patterns providing all the rhythmic interest your ears could desire.
Released by: Perc Trax
Release/catalogue number: TPT058