The New Zealand-based producer brings the funk.
If you only knew Recloose's ubiquitous 2005 single "Dust" it would be enough to ascertain his influences. Jazz, soul and funk have all been overt in the producer's (real name Matthew Chicoine) work since debuting on Carl Craig's Planet E label back in 1998. Their hook-up is a well-worn tale but it bears repeating: Chicoine supposedly slipped Craig a demo along with his sandwich as he served him at a Detroit cafe. There followed a run of EPs through the imprint, before Chicoine relocated to New Zealand in 2001and continued to proffer his highly musical take on house and techno through European labels like Playhouse, Peacefrog and Rush Hour. In fact, the latter has recently released Early Works, a collection of Chicoine's unreleased or unavailable material from the beginning of his recording career.
As far as Chicoine's mix goes, this is house music that pushes hard at the boundaries of the definition, with brand new material from the man himself thrown in for good measure.
What have you been up to recently?
I've been busy hosting a weekly radio show in Auckland, New Zealand (www.hititandquititradio.blogspot.com), working on lots of new productions (pending on Rush Hour) and, by day, coordinating a full-time DJ and production programme in Auckland for up-and-coming artists.
I'm also finishing up a full-length radio compilation and mix (Hit It & Quit It Radio Revue Vol. I) with my radio partners that will be released in June along with a double-vinyl Serato Pressing to commemorate the release. The Oliverwho Factory and new Recloose track in the podcast are just two of the exclusive tracks that will appear on it. (World premiere!)
How and where was the mix recorded?
I recorded this at home using Serato Scratch Live, The Bridge and Ableton Live.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the idea behind the mix?
I did the bulk of this mix in early February when everything was first jumping off in Tunisia and Egypt (and now Libya, Bahrain and elsewhere). I've been glued to the news ever since of course and wanted to acknowledge the struggle that people are enduring, hence the title Three Words and starting with Kenny Larkin's 1990 opus "We Shall Overcome" (and of course, The Jones Girls...). I tried to maintain the intensity through the mix and the idea of music and dance being a form of release from the tensions that the world is going through.
You seemed to have moved further away from house and techno in recent years—would you say that these forms still excite you?
I think I found myself initially exploring these forms of music due to where I was living—Detroit. Before hooking up with Carl Craig in 1997 I had been more involved in DJing funk, soul, hip-hop as well as more dance floor-oriented music. So changing up the sound over the years has been a continuation of my artistic exploration and basically finding ways to continue to learn and challenge myself.
These days, house and techno are my focus in the studio and a big part of what we do on the radio show (though not exclusively; we still play lots of soul, jazz, experimental stuff, etc). I've become extremely fond of new technologies (specifically Serato Scratch Live and Ableton Live) which have both dramatically improved my work flow and, in turn, my studio inspiration. Sampling will always be a huge part of what I do (remnants of growing up with hip-hop I think) and it's been a lot of fun playing with new ways to freak audio in Live as well as doing some wild things with my synth collection.
What are you up to next?
In addition to the Hit It and Quit It Radio Revue Vol. I I've been in the studio most nights finishing up new material for Rush Hour. Having lots of fun and getting great feedback from Christiaan at RH. Very excited to unleash this new stuff, feels like the same headspace as I was in back in 1999 when Spelunking dropped...
Photo credit: Mike Weston