Q. What was the first thing that attracted you to the world of electronic music?
A. A combo of Goldie, Josh Wink’s ‘Higher State of Consciousness (Original Tweekin’ Acid Funk Mix), Prodigy ‘No Good Start The Dance’ and Nine Inch Nails. I was into grunge before that.
I went to school in Wolverhampton, Goldie’s neck of the woods, and ‘Timeless’ dropped when I was there. Really inspirational to see a local guy make it big.
Q. Do you remember any record or particular concert that made you see everything differently?
A. The infamous Oasis Knebworth concert in 1996. The line-up was wild. Chemical Brothers and Prodigy were there. It was before ‘Fat of the Land’ came out and probably the first time anyone heard ‘Fire Starter’ and ‘Breathe’. I was near the front, sandwiched in between 125,000 people, and the crowd couldn’t dance as it was so fresh. I was like, what is this? Punk, bass, jungle??? And Keith fronting a whole track? They really changed things in a big way. A seminal moment in music history and I was lucky to be there.
I then saw them at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall and I was at the front again. Keith crowd-surfed and his hair was on my hands. Felt like barbed wire.
Q. Since you got into this professionally, what have you missed on a national, international level? And what helped you grow the most, including believing in yourself?
A. Can’t say I’ve missed anything. My world has expanded exponentially. Made some tight friendships within the industry, most were my DJ heroes growing up, and it’s such an open and welcoming community. Mr.C without a doubt helped me grow the most career-wise. He’s been a massive supporter since day one and that opened a lot of doors. In terms of believing in myself, I often question whether my music is too out there for people to like. It’s intentionally different – disjointed, disharmonious, dark and imperfect, like Yohji Yamamoto’s clothes. It’s also based on minimal classical music.
It happened when I remixed Jokandus’ ‘Burning’, but then Annie Errez put it on one of her SoundCloud mixes, so I realised the music does connect with people. The key is to do stuff you like, have faith in the process, and it will resonate with people.
Life’s short too, so it’s not worth wasting precious time doubting yourself. This hit me hard when the Chicago house legend Paul Johnson died. His remix of my track ‘It’s Me’ was one of his last tracks. I had such a laugh working with him.
Q. How did you decide to embark on your last project?
A. I’m an artist, I’ve just published an art book and I’ve got an exhibition coming up. I wanted to create an immersive experience, seeing how far the art would spread. Yves Klein was an inspiration. He had a concept called ‘La Vide’ and it’s like falling endlessly, with no boundaries. He patented his own blue colour, and gave the audience at one of his exhibitions blue cocktails. The blue went through the people’s bodies and then flowed into the Parisian sewers.
The book, the exhibition and the new EP are called ‘All of Me’. They’re not separate, but are all part of the same art project. They’re spreading across the universe in some very unlikely places. Copies of the book are now held in the permanent collections of The British Library and Oxford and Cambridge University libraries – all renowned for preserving copies of original books for centuries. The EP is essentially a sound sculpture and it will hopefully spread through clubs, festivals and people’s homes globally.
Shout out to Jay Tripwire for his two killer remixes on the EP.
Q.Have you written many books before?
A. It’s my first one. Loved doing it so there will probably be more. Maybe short stories with a painting and soundtrack for each story.
Q. How are you experiencing the music scene in your city with this murky pandemic situation?
A. No one really went out during lockdown. Tokyo dealt with it really well afterwards, with temperature checks in bars and clubs and everyone wore masks. Things are slowly getting back to normal.
Q. What are your favorite places to hang out in the city?
A. In Tokyo, Zubar and Womb. I loved Contact, amazing sound system, but it closed down unfortunately.
Q. Have you had time to focus on making music, spending time with your family, or planning future projects?
A. Absolutely. I’m really disciplined.
Q. Do you have any last words of wisdom?
A. Try skydiving. Will change your life.