The deep house don from Queens steps up to the plate for this week's RA podcast.
If you've been paying any attention to the new wave of house music producers that have been springing up in and around New York over the last few years, the chances are that you'll already be very familiar with the work of one Fred Peterkin. Releasing both as Fred P and also under his Black Jazz Consortium moniker, Peterkin has been responsible for some of the smoothest and most evocative four-to-the-floor tracks to come out of the Big Apple over the past decade, coupling his intense, shuffling percussion with simple but effective melody lines that hit you right where it hurts.
Having witnessed New York's house music legacy firsthand in clubs such as The Red Zone, Sound Factory and Tunnel, Fred has plenty of dance floor experience to draw from, but his own sound is much more introspective than what we've come to expect from the city's house sound. This is none more apparent than on last year's Structure full-length as Black Jazz Consortium, which featured into our Top 20 albums of '09 poll and paved the way for an increasing number of live outings across the Atlantic. These shows, along with a sterling mix for Underground Quality's night at Berlin's Tape, have quickly bolstered his reputation as a force to be reckoned with behind the decks, so we thought we'd give him another chance to showcase his turntable skills on this week's RA podcast.
What have you been working on recently?
I have been working very hard on finishing my third album—my first as Fred P—for Soul People Music. That and touring a bit around Europe.
Where and how was the podcast recorded?
This mix was recorded at my home in Queens, New York, in the corner of the living room where my decks are. I used Technics SL-1200 MK2, a Behringer DJX750, and a Stanton S-550 recorded live into Cubase.
Can you tell us a little about the idea behind the mix?
I had a bunch of ideas that kind of faded away when I got down to it. I wanted to put everything I love to listen to in this mix, but the reality is I only have a certain amount of time. So rather than presenting all my tastes, I chose to present myself, where I am right now and what vibe I am on. I guess the idea is, this is me "On This Vibe"!
You recently appeared on the Reagenz album. Can you talk a bit about how you hooked up with Move D and Jonah Sharp?
This is a good question because the history of it is very organic and cosmic—I never get tired of breaking it down. Also I get to shed some light on some facts that may have not been mentioned. My first solo EP on Soul People Music was called No Looking Back, and it got some attention from a very talented forward thinking DJ and also a very sweet and amazing person, Tanja Harde, who at the time was playing the title cut on a show she co-hosts on Frankfurt radio. I was then invited to play a couple of gigs in Germany, which was my very first time overseas. One was at a very special club called Hafen 2 and other was at another very special place called Cube. There I met Move D, and right away I was like, "this guy is really cool." His playing style was on a different level, and he blew me a way with his technique. So there it all began. Here is where the story gets cosmic: Jonah Sharp—one half of Reagenz—is also Space Time Continuum, which was and is still a huge inspiration to me back in 1999-2000. This is when I was getting back into production in the first place. He and Move D did a rendition of "Everyday" from the No Looking Back EP live in Japan, and this track went on to become "Keep Building" from the Playtime album, which still to this day makes me believe in the power of music and how it brings people together, as these guys are heroes of mine that influenced me and made an impact on my life years before we met.
You used to do hip-hop before you came back to house music. Who are some of the producers and MCs that were particularly inspiring to you at the time?
It was the golden age when you had to be on point so everyone was fresh and new at the time. Off the top: Tribe, De La, D.I.T.C., Showbiz & AG, Diamond D, Cella Dwellaz, Da Bush Babiez, Masta Ace, Lord Digga (production), Rahzel (he MCs also), The Roots (they came later near the end), Gang Starr, Leaders Of the New School, Black Sheep, Shakey, The Beatnuts, Black Moon, Mobb Deep, Pete Rock and CL Smooth and the list goes on and on. They all make up the my history and still inspire me today.
Have you brought some of those lessons that you learned listening to and making that music into your house music production today?
Well, listening to music in general, there are things that I adapt and apply to help me express my voice. That touches a lot of genres, from hip-hop to rock to pop to classical. I mean in the sonic sense not so much the content, more of the experience of the listener. For example, how does if feel? More clearly how does the sound make you feel? So I adapt from influences more than technique or content or even sound. Feeling is where it's at, the exploration of it and the possiblities.
What are you up to next?
The second Earth Tones release for this fall with a really great line up, and also my album on Soul People Music, The Incredible Adventures Of Captain P. The Captain P project has been in the works for a long time. It's a bit different from Structure and Re:Actions Of Light in that it has different styles and tempos of electronic music. I use a playful name to present a serious vibe that relays my story. I am very excited about it again. It's a love hate thing, you love it or you hate it. That's all good with me as long as it's honest and grounded in all its forms. There are other projects in the works but it's a bit early to bring them to light. At this stage, they are still being developed so it's a very busy time and I am grateful for it.
Photo credit: Seze Devres