Fresh club sounds from south of the river.
South London Ordnance has a sound. You can trace it from his earliest releases through to Contact, his latest EP, which came out in May. His style sits between house and techno but often has the sort of rudeness that could drive a drum & bass record. The bass is heavily modulated, giving the low frequencies a slippery quality that hits hard on big systems. It's a sound that sits snuggly on Hotflush, who for the last couple of years have themselves been putting spins on big-room music—dig up last year's Revolver to see what we're talking about. Last year SLO started a label, Aery Metals. The first release featured collaborations with Brolin and the Finnish group Femme En Fourrure, remixes from Factory Floor, Chris Carter and JD Twitch and a range of tempos across the music, but it was interesting—and impressive—how the EP maintained the distinct SLO aesthetic.
You'll therefore be unsurprised that SLO's RA podcast feels like an extension of his records. Across almost 100 minutes he keeps the kicks tough and the bass moving, carefully building a session that transcends the club/home listening divide.
What have you been up to recently?
Quite a lot of shows combined with relatively relentless midweek studio time. I should feel a bit rough, but I'm actually enjoying making music and DJing the most I have for quite some time, which has taken the edge of it somewhat. I've always been really lucky to have one foot in the bigger rooms and the other in smaller, more leftfield spots, and I suppose my summer reflects that. On the one hand I did the opening of Space in Ibiza, but on the other I'm currently coming out of the back end of a weekend playing at Freerotation, and I recently did my first label party in a 100 capacity room two minutes round the corner from where I live in South. While I would never compromise what I play, I like to ring the changes in terms of environment, so this kind of thing has always worked for me. Otherwise I did a record on Hotflush last month, and I'm currently finishing up a couple of new EPs for my own label.
How and where was the mix recorded?
Using Serato and records at home in my flat in Brixton.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I recorded a couple of versions, but to be honest I tried not to agonise over it for too long. I don't plan my DJ sets, and in part I wanted it to reflect that sentiment. Obviously there are mixes in there I had thought about prior to recording, but there are also large chunks where I just ran with whatever I was feeling at the time. I'd like to think it nods to the stuff I play in my DJ sets, but also the stuff I just check at home—stuff that I love but rarely find myself playing.
Tell us about your new label.
It's been great to have full creative control over my releases and I've really enjoyed working with people like Nik Void and JD Twitch etc. I was really happy with the Max McFerren record we did recently, people always ask about it when I play it out, which is great. I'm sitting on plenty of stuff I plan to release in the future—my own music and some tracks by other artists that could be slowly shaped into a few strong 12-inches, but at the same time I'm not in a huge rush so we'll just see how it goes.
Which are your favourite parts of South London?
These days I couldn't possibly say—it's just home really. I've lived in and around the same couple of postcodes for the best part of 25 years, so I've seen particular areas change drastically, and others remain completely untouched—for better or for worse. No doubt this is a bit of a cliché, but the now defunct IS Records where I used to shop aged 12 or 13 was undoubtedly my favourite place as a kid. I bought some truly terrible music there, and really it wasn't a great record store, but amongst the rubbish were some of the records that really shaped what I'm into today—records I still play in my sets now.
What are you up to next?
I've got a handful of UK and European shows lined up before I'm back out in the States for a load of dates round Decibel. Stuff like ENTER. in Ibiza, Bestival and fabric amongst others. Mostly though I'm trying to finish loads of music. I've been putting a lot of time into a side project, which is more of a live thing and quite a departure from the SLO tracks. I'm enjoying developing it hugely and as such I've been spending way too much time fiddling about rather than actually finishing tracks, hopefully soon though.
South London Ordnance plays this year's Decibel festival in Seattle, which runs from 24th to 28th September.