“Now they’ve got to grips with what I do they are really pleased, but it took a while. I started working in music back in ’86 or ‘87. I was an apprentice in a recording studio earning not very much money and trying to convince my family that I was going to be involved with music. And they were like ‘but you can’t read music, you can’t write it and don’t play an instrument, what are you going to do?’ It was about 10 years later that they got the gist of it. Now they are pretty proud.”
“When I was a teenager I was listening to punk, reggae, blues, r ‘n’ b, James Brown and all that stuff they called 'rare groove'. I was listening to everything basically, apart from opera.”
“My first paid job in music was in Lillieyard Studio’s in Fulham. I worked there nearly 3 years as a tea boy, then tape op, then engineer. I did an apprenticeship really. The first projects that I think said 'I've arrived’ were ‘Soul II Soul’s first two albums; I engineered and mixed them. Then with Siouxsie And The Banshees I did a song called ‘Peek-a-boo’ and then ‘Killingjar’. That set me on the road to where I am now. I started working with Mo’Wax and James Lavelle in the early ‘90s. I was doing a lot of stuff with this Japanese label called Major Force as well, all their early stuff. Round about ’93 I set up my own label Pussyfoot. I just carried on doing things really small-scale, releasing 12s and not doing any album projects. I was working on 12s and club stuff, hip hop and trip hop, that sort of stuff. Then bands started asking me to produce them. Björk asked me to produce and write with her, U2 asked me to do two albums with them. So I did one called ‘Passengers’ and one called ‘Pop’. That’s been me really; small things and big things.”
LABELS & PRODUCTION
“Pussyfoot’s still going. It’s small, there’s about 6 or 7 acts, and it’s really diverse. I just want to put out good music - I’m not bothered what it is really. I’ve recorded the Skelf stuff and it's out on Mo’Wax. That’s the really nice thing that’s happened to me - I started off with Mo’Wax, I was the second release on the label, and I did a whole lot of stuff with them. Then I left and went off to do my own thing and now I’ve come back to them again. Our relationship has always been good - it’s been strained at times because of music taste, but I’ve known James Lavelle for over 10 years which is a long time to know someone in this business and still be friendly with them. Mo’Wax had a space for me to do it - I played James some of the Skelf over a year ago and he went crazy for it, saying ‘I want it, I want to do something with it’."
“I’ve been DJing since I was a kid. I had one deck and a cassette player. It’s the best way to learn because you are listening much more than if you had 2 decks. If you are working off one belt-driven record player and you can’t change the speed I think it makes you into a better DJ. You’re much more aware of tempos and what will work together rather than trying to make it work. I play everything - reggae, 2 step, electro, hip hop - I go all over the place. I like to play like that 'cause I like to make people feel really secure with what they’ve got and then fuck ‘em up! Fuck them up with a good tune, push things. I like swapping tempo’s - it’s more interesting for me and means I’m not playing the same set every time I go out. That’s why doing the FABRICLIVE mix was so difficult, because I never usually think about a set before I play it. I arrive somewhere with 2 bags full of records and just see where it takes me. I DJ now more than ever. The last year and a half it’s built up more and more. Usually it was about once a month but now I’m doing about 2 to 3 gigs a week, which is wicked and I’m loving it. It’s really good, it keeps me in touch with what’s going on in the clubs. I’m going all over Britain, all over Europe, Asia, America, all over the place. It’s just a great way of staying in contact with what’s happening and it’s a good way of people coming to meet you as well because they know you are playing there and a DJ is quite an approachable person. It’s easy to just come up and give them a cassette. A lot of the stuff I’ve put out on Pussyfoot has come from meeting people in club environments."
“I love playing at fabric. I like DJing and playing live because I just love coming here. I’ve been coming since fabric opened and I’ve got a really good relationship with everyone here, even the people behind the bar, I know them all. It’s just a great environment, I feel like I can go and do whatever I want when I’m here. When I do the live stuff it’s great. It suits the environment and especially room 1. It just goes off, cause the sound is quite a minimal sound but here it sounds massive. It’s the same when I’m DJing - the sound fills the space.”
“I’m producing Sly & Robbie, over the summer. I’m working with this Scandinavian woman called Bertine - I’ve written about 6 songs with her this year and I’m going to produce her album. I’ve also just completed an album with Hubert Noi entitled “Music For Astronauts & Cosmonauts”. I’m working with Italian Dance Group “5 + 1” choreographed by Leone Barilli – playing live music for their shows. I’ve got a lot of things going on.”
“It’s a typical set of what I would play down at FABRICLIVE. It’s got humour, mad grooves, mad sounds and some good songs. There’s some stuff in there that I know people don’t have.”