House music to dance, laugh and cry to.
In a track review last year, we called Finn McCorry "dance music's honourary motivational speaker." In these trying times, that description feels more and more apt. Finn's prolific discography is a reminder of the joy that house music can instill: look no further than his 2018 mega-hit "Sometimes The Going Gets A Little Tough," a hopeful house anthem for the ages. But to portray Finn as some E'd-up purveyor of pure elation wouldn't do him justice. The thing that makes his music truly resonant is its emotional depth, the melancholy that lurks underneath the most chipper melodies and vocal samples. It's the rush, the dance and the hangover all at once, from someone who knows the ups-and-downs that this stuff brings.
McCorry's mix shows that he has this down to a science. Flitting through UK garage, bassline, bleep and his beloved filter house, it's a masterclass in oh-so-British rave music, from the Forgemasters to Smokin Beats to Gage and Finn himself, alongside great American cuts from Martha Wash (via Todd Edwards), DJ Boobie and more. It's extremely upbeat, uplifting and full of earworm vocals, both heartbroken and triumphant. Finn, his label 2 B REAL and its parent Local Action embody an ideal of UK music that's humorous but wears its heart on its sleeve, full of soaring melody and genuine feeling.
What have you been up to recently?
Physically, absolutely nought! Total couch potato. I've been trying to get lots of music out mainly, both my own stuff and records on 2 B REAL.
I had loads of fun pulling a productions "sampler" together earlier this year, on cassette. We're releasing a run of 12-inches with tracks from that tape now. We've done FINN001 so far. I end this mix on one of those tracks.
How and where was the mix recorded?
Recorded in my bedroom on the NTS Manchester CDJs and mixer. I mixed it all in my headphones for my housemates' sake.
Can you tell us the idea behind the mix?
I just wanted to give a good account of myself as a DJ! Trying to "find the feeling" I guess!
While clubbing is "on pause," my head still feels stuck in the Soup basement really. I started a new night with Anz, Chunky, Jungle Joe and Tom Boogizm this year, "A Party Called." We threw our first and only party at Soup the weekend before everything locked down. That night felt pretty transformative for me. Atmosphere was super heady, there were some moments of total rave escapism that have stayed with me since. It's definitely informed how I've mixed and dug for records this year, thinking about what I want to play at those parties when we can get back together again.
There's lots of old rave stuff in there, some awkward New York house records, garage, some bleep hardcore too. A new track from Gage and something new from me and Shanique Marie. There's a proper showstopper piano house track at the end too, big Northern stomper. It's all dead upfront dance music, at the end of the day. I also added a soppy little intro in, because I'm sentimental!
Your music is generally extremely positive and dance floor-oriented. Has the pandemic—and being forced to stay at home—changed your relationship with or approach to this kind of music at all?
Not really! I think there's been a bit of misplaced hand-wringing about dance music’s place outside of clubs this year. High energy dancefloor stuff has always happily existed on tapes, CD packs, radio, whatever. I think that's a vital part of most people first finding it and falling in love with it.
So while I am missing clubbing intensely, and I might start tearing up if I think about it for too long, I don't think dance music or DJing falls apart in the absence of clubs. It still makes sense.
In terms of positivity, I haven't been feeling all that sunny lately. But I guess I've always found "good vibes" in dance music quite cathartic, like almost aspirational, I guess? Great dance music has often thrived in adversity. There's a real escapist and romantic streak to positive rave music that's quite evergreen I think.
Your 2 B Real label has really come into its own lately, with a very strong style that's easy to hear but hard to pin down. What are you looking for in the music for the label, or how would you describe it?
Thank you! It’s been a super fun year, really proud of everything we've released so far. I wouldn’t say I’m looking for anything specific, certainly not consciously anyway. I guess I’m predisposed to club music with lots of character and idiosyncrasies. But that all comes from the artists anyway. I dunno if I want to think about it too much, it’ll probably take some of the fun away. I just want to release Great Dance Records at the end of the day, in whatever form that may take!
What are you up to next?
Next up for me, a bunch of 12-inches on Local Action this year and start of next. I've been working on music with Shanique Marie for a while now, which has been really exciting. So that project should materialise this year too. On 2 B REAL, we've got a super exciting Clemency project coming soon, a new Gage record in the works and a super exciting vocal mixtape from a Manchester artist that's coming together slowly but surely too! Buzzing!