I've just moderated a comment that said that this blog was losing it in not so many words. Well, we're all allowed a hiatus now and again aren't we? Anyway, I do agree. Over the last month or so it's become a playlist site and nowt more. I can be bothered, btw, but sometimes you need a rest. Not to worry. No promises about 2009 being a year of discovery. The blog will rise again, rather like the North, but better.
In any case, there won't be a whole lot going on between now and the New Year. I'll be on my hols soon so nothing over Christmas. There'll be an interview with Mark Henning soon, and Kris Wadsworth. I do need to push myself though.
Derrick Carter was, I have no doubt, the first DJ I really got into and could truly say I was (still am but not of the music he currently plays, which hasn't moved on) a fan. I saw him for the first time at one of the Soma (no relation to the seminal Glasgow label) parties that took Paris during the mid-nineties. Myself and some others were lucky enough to be on marvellous drugs and catch what I believe might have been his first European gig (if you know better let me know) in May '95. Derrick was playing in a vast hal to about 150 of us, while the Drum Club's Charlie Hall was next door with about 800 nutters going bonkers to his hippy techno. Tony Thorpe of the Moody Boyz was playing in the foyer.
Carter was nothing short of inspirational that night and embodied for me everything that a DJ should be. Technically amazing and devil-may-care but, more importantly, able to play records idiomatically. When I look at some of his playlists I'm amazed I could listen to him, a bit too garagey sometimes, not dirty enough . . .but the total was may more than the sum of it's parts. Derrick could, and I hope still can (unless he can't be bothered any more), make me, and thousands of others, dance to music we wouldn't normally be seen dead listening to due to his selection skills and dextrous mixing. It was the start of a love affair that hasn't necessarily finished but will probably never be as upwardly mobile as it once was.
Anyway, saw DC many times over the following years and at one gig in Brighton organised by Skint's Andy Mac and Mr John Hassay, managed to secure an interview for a magazine I produced during my brief graphic design course at the London College of Printing. Mr Carter was lured back to Andy's flat and mercilessly pummeled by me and Hassay for Chicago house memories and drug-induced advice. A true gentleman. He agreed to answer my questions which were emailed to me, but not before I'd made a complete tit of myself trying to get to see him at the dj booth at Bugged Out in Liverpool but ended up falling into a bin in front of the entire club.
Right, I'm starting to talk bollocks now, but it's all true. Anyway, printed below are Derrick's answers to my questions. The only problem is that there are no questions. They're somewhere else. I'm sure you can guess what they were anyway . . .
>Well Chicago IS the home of House music as such but only in the way that
>Detroit the home of Techno or Seattle is the home of Grunge. I mean it
>exists in small pockets in its home environment but like these other forms
>of music respective to their home cities, its been received better in
>places. Sure its supported but I dont think any artist can make a living
>just in his or her home city
>House music is something that I cant even begin to start to try to define.
>Define red or yellow. Its a similar kind of question to me. I can give
>you examples and provide something akin to a clinical description, but when
>somethings power lies in its ability to educe emotion and provide
>something intangible the way that music does, it makes it very hard to say.
>As far as commercial success goes, I really dont care about it. I really
>dont. Unless it can be injected with the kind of idea trust that hip-hop
>has spawned itll be very hard to do.
>I like all my releases with the exception of maybe the first few. Pride
>goeth before the fall
>Putting a set together is a spontaneous activity. It happens because of
>something not in spite of something for me. Ill usually try to pick out
>records that Id like to hear out, and things that I think should be heard
>by a particular crowd. Its a weird science though.cant really explain
>Im not into comparisons. They tend to be biased by certain points of
>reference. Like if youre from a specific place or time it colours your
>a) DJs : Diz, Heather, J-Dub, Sneak, Luke, Ralph, Kenny, Domenic, Paul,
>Justin, Mark, Joshua, Dayhota, Gene, Milty, Colette, Me, Boggy,
>Honey, Carl M., Doc, Chris, Terry, Geoffroy, Raoul, Miles, Stcay, Mr.C.,
>Harvey, Ron, Frankie, Farley, Steve, Harri, Laurent, Masters, etc.
>b) Producers : All off the above plus Sebastian, KOT, Paul, Todd, Carl,
>Roberto, Tony, & many many more.
>c) I dont really have any favorite labels. I just like records.
>I just play records without a lot of thinking about it really.
>Day-Ra, ummmnot really. New York has its own ego to tend to, so things
>are a little different.
>Riding on my scooter, cooking, having as much fun as I can.
>Almost anywhere that I play, because I only play where I want.
>I might set up something on the other side.it remains to be seen.
>Thats because making records and playing records are really two separate
>things that operate in two separate halves of my brain.
>It works as a nice companion running in Tandem
>Maybe never, Maybe Tuesday
>I am a principle along with Luke and another fine Gentleman
>The people We have are quite nice.Lets just work with them and see what
>Its all a bit in your face really now isnt it.
As being prone to having funny hair.
>I dont care if the public at large is big on buying house music. Its not
>that big of a deal with me and what I do. Mass appeal is not one of my
>In about 37 years.
. . .and I also asked Kenny Hawkes and Luke Solomon for an interview too. I was a Space regular and had incalculable great nights down at Bar Rumba.
>What do you put the success of Space down to?
>Most popular guests?
>derrick, sneak, terry francis, doc martin, mark farina, joshua, weatherall,
>Who would you like to have who you haven’t managed to
>get so far?
>Who, for you, are house music’s current innovators?
>isolee, derrick, maw, 20/20,
>What are your respective definitions of house?
>music that is the result of something that began alittle over 10 years ago,
>that takes its influences from many different genres,and that also has soul
>and a funk too...
>What do you think the music you’re playing should be
>How do you market yourselves?
>? I dont, I just make and play records and have a whole lot of fun doing it
>Kenny, what are your plans for the future as a
>recording artist, and how did the remixes for Andy
>Weatherall, and vice versa, come about?
>Luke, I’ve just read that you’ve done a remix for
>Steve O’Sullivan on Mosaic. Do you see a close
>relationship between his sound and yours?
>I just think he is a cool bloke that is doing something that he feels
>strongly about, and thats enough for me...
>Wich is the most important: being a dj, producer or
>I dont really put a level of importance to the things that I do, I treat
>them all individually as they are all have their own importance.
>Do you agree with this statement: Good dj’s don’t make
>good producers and vice-versa.
>If you don’t, who, in your opinion (s), straddle the
>dj/production divide with consummate ease?
>I regard them as two separate talents, so yes that statement is definately
>Where, outside London, are you happiest playing; and
>if it’s not the same place, where are you most
>Belgium, Frankfurt, and Scotland is always a great deal of fun.
>Any plans to release a “Space II” cd; if so, who’d be
>on mixing duties?
>Luke: in an ideal world, who would you like to have
>recording for Classic?
>If there were to be some add ons to the family, I think they would include
>Kenny and Iz and Diz....
>Kenny: I read an interview with you a few years back,
>in which you said that you didn’t regard yourself as a
>technically good dj (ie: you didn’t think much of your
>mixing skills). What opinion do you have of yourself
. . .
Kenny didn't think the last question was worth his while it seems.
A little blast from the past. The interviews where conducted about eight years ago. More to come soonio.