Hot Shot Sounds

Words by Dr Rob
Test Pressing, Interview, 20 Questions, Dr Rob, Inkswel, Dopeness Galore, Hot Shot Sounds, Unthank, Burek

Where are you based?
Adelaide, Australia. My hometown. Over the years I`ve lived in Melbourne, London and Amsterdam.

What were you doing in Melbourne, London and Amsterdam?
I spent the last 5 years living in Melbourne, just used this as a base for making music, DJing, travelling etc. It`s a great city with some great people, but I definitely missed my home town, so eventually returned.

I lived in the UK in 2005/6 briefly, this was a huge inspiration on me early on, around this time I was submerged in the Broken Beat and UK Soul scenes. It really was a refreshing eye-opener for me! I returned with a very different perspective to how I listen and make music!
I lived in Amsterdam in 2010 briefly, for around 9 months with my ex-girlfriend. This was a pivotal time for me, making connections with my Rush Hour Family and meeting amazing, talented and supportive people. Big ups to KC The Funkaholic, Kid Sublime, Antal, Mark More Tea Vicar and Boye! Home away from home for sure!

What brought you back home?
I guess at the time, I ran out of money. Travelling is not cheap, and I had commitments back home which meant I couldn`t stay abroad, as much as I would of loved to have stayed in Amsterdam for a lot longer! Also it`s always good to be back home around your family and friends.

What is your first musical memory?
Car trips with my father in his Datsun. He would play tapes in the car of Public Enemy, The Cure, Milli Vanilli, Soul 2 Soul.

Sounds like your dad was pretty cool, though I`m not sure about the Milli Vanilli. My old man was rocking Nana Mouskouri and Chaz Aznavour.
Hey dont front! Cheesy-ness aside, I actually really dig the overall production sound of a lot of Milli Vanilli records, its pretty timeless Pop music. Although it`s corny and they had the controversy at the time also, I really have a soft spot for some of those jams! haha! Maybe I shouldn`t mention things like that. My dad is still a huge inspiration daily. He is the king when it comes to taste. Probably my first influence creatively was having him encourage me to pursue music.

What was the first record you bought?
Wu Tang Clan “Enter The 36 Chambers”

Test Pressing, Interview, 20 Questions, Dr Rob, Inkswel, Dopeness Galore, Hot Shot Sounds, Unthank, Burek, Wu Tang Clan, 36 Chambers

What was the last record you bought?
GB aka Gifted & Blessed new album, amazing stuff.

What inspired you to start making music?
An early obsession with Hip Hop culture, beats, rhymes and life sorta vibe. The whole Native Tongues and Public Enemy thing really got me inspired at an early age.

I am assuming you were playing Hip Hop and breaks when you started out. Who would have been your major influence as a DJ back then?
Back in my Hip Hop days, I was a turntablist at one point and really that style of DJing had a big impact on me. I guess I was heavily into people like Aladdin, Cash Money, Paul Nice, Rob Swift, Shortkut, Mixmaster Mike, Q Bert. I think DJ Spinna though was probably my biggest influence. He was heavy as a turntablist and club DJ, but also could flip Hip Hop and House productions with ease. That was a big shake up for me and definitely broadened my horizons. It made me find the natural links between all the music. Outside of that local Adelaide DJs like DL. Madcap and Code influenced me in my formative years.

What was the Hip Hop scene like in Australia and Adelaide?
At the time, it was very different to how it is now. It was very very small, and pretty segregated. On one side of the fence were the conscious rappers who where all about expression, on the other side were the graffiti-influenced hard heads who wanted to have fights and cause rawkus. I guess over the years it definitely evolved. There are loads of really talented people, but the distance Australia has to the rest of the world sometimes holds it back from really setting any relevant benchmarks.

What is it like now?
I wouldn't be able to tell you. I`m really out of the loop in all honesty.

How long have you been making music?
Around 15 years.

So you started producing and DJing around the same time?

What equipment did you start out with?
Old Hi-Fi turntables, Alesis Hr 16, Roland SP 303, Roland SP 202, Ensoniq EPS, MPC 2000xl.

What kind of music / tracks were you making?
Just beats really. Sampling and playing around with ideas, experimenting on my influences I guess.

How would you describe your sound?
Raw juice

Which production / release / remix are you most proud of?
Probably the EP I did for Unthank or Rush Hour

How did you hook up with Unthank and Chico Mann?
Umm. Originally I met Linkwood in around 2009 I think. He toured Australia and we hung out in his downtime between shows. He had a few gigs booked but then a few cancelled, so we spent the week hanging out in Melbourne, making music, talking shit, drinking lots of coffee. In 2010 I was in Europe and met up with Lindsay who runs Firecracker / Unthank in his old London office (he shared a space at the time with JAZZMAN records). We had already been in touch on email and just hung out. We became mates quickly and things came to fruition from all that I guess. Shortly after I put together the E.P. for him and the rest is history. To date that is a release I`m very proud of. The artwork and mastering are amazing and Lindsay has an amazing commitment to what he believes in! True Soul music warrior! Big ups House Of Traps!

Test Pressing, Interview, 20 Questions, Dr Rob, Inkswel, Dopeness Galore, Hot Shot Sounds, Unthank, Burek

The Chico Mann collaboration was a bit more simple. We just linked online and went from there. I made the original sketch to our jam one morning, and Skyped him shortly after, that same afternoon it was done and dusted. I didn`t even mix the final track! It was perfect how it came out!

Who is Benny Badge?
Benny Badge is a lifelong friend of mine. We went to school together, came up in Hip Hop culture together and both evolved over time and linking again later in life. He is a very talented producer, DJ and one of the best B-Boys in Australia. Amazing dancer and all round nice guy to top it off. He has put out some great records under his Freekwency and Nite Class aliases and helps me run the Hot Shot Sounds label. He has a new album dropping soon on Yam Who's label and just did a collaboration on the new Magic Touch record. Definitely worth checking out!

Did you get to choose the remixers for you new release on Burek?
The lovely people at Burek let me pick whatever remixers I wanted for this project and I was really happy to get such a great list of influences and talent on this record. IG Culture is an absolute king of modern club music and was great to have him onboard! It was dope having Milo aka Nature on the project also, really cool to have 2 kings of the London sound involved as its always been a huge influence on me! Plus Iron Curtis to top it all off!

Which production / release / remix would you most like to have done?
My favourite remix of all time is Pete Rock`s remix of “Shut em Down” by Public Enemy. That is an absolute masterpeice. I also really love DJ Spinna`s remix of Coolys Hot Box, that is bangin!

What are your favourite places to play / hang out in?
I loved playing in Peckham recently with Bradley Zero for the Rhythm Section party, great little intimate pool hall vibe! Guaranteed party! My other favourite venue worldwide is probably Denis Simachev in Moscow, amazing small venue with a really dope soundsystem.

Do you get to travel a lot? How often are you in Moscow and London?
I travel when I can. Most recently it`s been whenever I`m booked to play a party or do a tour. I was over in Europe in September 2013, played some great parties!

What is your favourite place outside of a bar / club / record shop?
Probably my house, the mountains and the beach. I`m more of an introvert in my down time. I love hanging out with my wife and dog, the outdoors is where it`s at for me. Nature is a huge inspiration.

Do you see yourself as part of any scene?
Not really, I`m part of the vibration of music more than anything else. I think the moment you start worrying about scenes you get caught up in egos and opinions. I would rather be a part of the music, and let people judge me based purely on my music.

Who does your artwork?
The most recent release with Merwyn Sanders from Virgo, that was done by Discreet Unit from the UK. He is the man behind a lot of great artwork over the years, the early Firecracker stuff and loads more. Check out his NTH creative site! Big ups Tim! Prior to that the other art has been done in-house by our graphic designer Ale Chambers.

Do you have a favourite visual artist, painter, sculptor, designer, etc.?
I am a child of the 80s, very obsessed with Keith Haring, Basquiat, Warhol, all the greats from that period! I think this stems from my love for graffiti.

Did you write yourself?
From time to time, nothing serious though. I guess I`m pre-occupied with music and helping my collaborators with vocals. That takes up most of my creative energy.

Who are you currently working with?
I`m doing a project with Ugly Drums under the name Uglyink, that will drop hopefully soon, maybe on Cityfly records out of Leicester. I`m also working on a collaboration with Dwight Trible, one of my favourite Jazz / Soul singers on a joint coming out on one of the Soft Rocks labels, Kinfolk or Vibrations.

What was it like working with Merwyn Saunders? How did that collaboration come about?
It was amazing! Working with Chicago House royalty really means a lot to me. Virgo was a huge inspiration on me when I first started getting into House music, and to have someone so prolific be so open minded and humble was great. I met Merwyn and Eric in Melbourne in 2010 when they toured as a part of Sugar Mountain Festival. They played live at the festival and then I was asked to open for them at their side gig at the TOFF. Merwyn was a really lovely guy, and we got along really well. He even came and played some records at one of my parties, the vibe was great! After that I got in touch about some tracks and he was thrilled to get involved. Funnily enough the stuff we have made is amazing, really great chemistry that I did not expect.

How did you connect with the Soft Rocks guys?
The Soft Rocks guys have been playing my records for a few years, and its really great to have such talented DJs and tastemakers give me that kind of love and support. I pretty much just hit them up and thanked them for the love. From there we moved forward and we`re now working on some records together. I`m really excited about the 2 releases I have done for them. Big ups Soft Rocks crew!

Who would you most like to work with?
I would love to work with so many different artists. Nena Cherry, Lady Alma, Maurice Fulton, Dwele, Steve Spacek are all names I would love to do something with. But in all honesty, I have a lot of vocalists that I work with who are amazing and I really want to put more energy into what we create.

Which vocalists are you working with, other than Dwight? Are they local artists?
Me and my wife are working on lots of music at the moment. We have an upcoming project under the name “Earlybird Soul System” which is coming out on Dutch label Dopeness Galore hopefully sometime soon. Three vocal house joints with remixes from Kid Sublime and Japan`s Kez YM. Outside of that, not many others at the moment that I can mention.

Does playing and making music pay the rent?
2013 to now, it finally seems to be paying my rent and letting me get by for sure. I think for the most part that is manageable with consistent gigs and remixes and what not, but you definitely need to hustle and keep pushing what you do. I think the see saw mentality of creative life makes it hard, some months you are doing good, other months you are in the red. It just comes with the lifestyle I think.

What sites, if any, do you regularly check on-line?
Ebay, Discogs, Popsyke

What was the last book you read?
“The I Ching, Physics Of The Impossible” by Dr Kaku. Prince`s autobiography.

Is Prince`s book any good?
Well I`m reading his autobiography, and yes its dope!

What is your favourite book?
Hemingway “The Old Man And The Sea”.

Why Hemmingway?
He is the master of story telling, I have read this book over twenty times and each time it`s like a new book to me. It really takes me to another place.

Test Pressing, Interview, 20 Questions, Dr Rob, Inkswel, Dopeness Galore, Hot Shot Sounds, Unthank, Burek, Hemingway, Old Man And The Sea

What was the last film you saw?
American Hustle.

It seems to have split audiences. Yea or nay?
Yeah I guess, I haven`t really paid attention to the critics though.

What is your favourite film?
“25th Hour” with Edward Norton

Why this film?
Spike Lee. Edward Norton. Can`t go wrong really.

What is your favourite piece of music? If that`s too difficult, what`s your current favourite piece of music?

Donald Byrd / Stepping Into Tommorow

Any memories associated with this, that you can share?
This is one of those records I`ve been listening to since my Hip Hop days, looking for breaks and it always sends chills and happy feelings through me. Such a groove!

I wasn’t at first, I believe it was my mid-nineties curiosity in The Residents (whose Kawliga track had been a fixture on London dance floors in the late 80s) that led me to discover the history of the art Punk scene in the Bay Area. There were a few other interesting acts from back then; Tuxedo Moon, Minimal Man, Flipper etc.., and I especially love Damon Edge’s later incarnations of Chrome, and his dark solo work before his sad death in the early 90s.

What inspired you to start DJing / making music?
Punk was probably my biggest inspiration. I collected a lot of Punk & Post-Punk records in my teens, then soon as I left home at 17, I spent all my savings on a guitar, a bass, a mic and Boss drum machine. I spent a few years learning to write songs & ended up playing guitar in a Punk band. We played mostly in the Anarcho-Squat party scene, and one night the DJ playing after the bands had to leave early, so I stepped in. Three records into it, and I had a near-religious epiphany, it cut right through me, that being behind the decks was my destiny. I never looked back.

What was the name of your band? Did you ever record anything?
We changed our name a bunch of times; Geno & The Whale and Elmer Fudd are a couple I can remember. We never released anything on vinyl, but I have a few photos and some lo-fi cassette recordings, that I can only listen to when I get really nostalgic. But I tracked down the bass player & original drummer a few years ago, so if we ever manage to locate our singer the plan is to get together and re-record some of our music.

Test Pressing, Interview, 20 Questions, Dr Rob, Jeno, Wicked, San Francisco, Noise From The Void, DJ Harvey, Tonka, Garth, Markie, Thomas

Where was the scene focused?
All over, but London mostly. There were probably around 50,000 squatters living in London in the mid/late eighties, not just in houses & flats, there were also squatted gig venues, cafes, bookstores etc.. It was very loose knit but creative community.

What other bands were playing on the scene?
Most are lost to memory, but I believe we played with The Instigators and Hagar The Womb? I can recall being heavily influenced by other Punk bands like The Mob, Flux Of Pink Indians, Poison Girls, Flowers In The Dustbin, & KUKL (Bjork’s Icelandic Anarcho punk roots).

Can you remember what records you played at the party?
Titles evade me, but I was so determined after my epiphany that I went around to the DJ's house the next day and he kindly agreed to let me borrow several hundred of his records, and take over his resident DJ spot. It’s a good example of how folks on that scene were very helpful, supportive and altruistic; values which stuck with me and were, not coincidently, a huge part of the foundation of the early House scene in San Francisco.

I`ve read elsewhere that you also had an epiphany at the last Stonehenge Free Festival. Was this before or after the formation of the Punk band?
It would have been somewhere around the same time, my late teens, which was a wild time for me. I got involved in music, lots of peace protests, including picketing in support of the U.K. miners strike, and I also hitchhiked to Stonehenge for the solstice. The Stonehenge festival blew my mind, especially once I realized it was focal point of a great deal of alternative culture in the UK. Hippies, punks, freaks, artists, musicians, & all kinds of regular & irregular folks gathering together for a month long celebration. It wasn’t just a Rock festival and some summertime fun, it was an alternative economy & primary meeting place for a whole community who lived off the grid. I didn’t want it to end; I went back home more motivated than ever to get creative and get busy, and that Stonehenge connection runs all the way into what I do now.

Do you still play bass & guitar now?
My interest was rekindled by my guitar playing son, who formed a Punk band called “$lotmachine” with his friends when he only 9 years old. They've long since called it quits, but roadie-ing for them reminded me how much I loved to play, so I dusted off my guitars, and yes, I do like to drop them into the mix from time to time. I like the hands on approach to composing, and it's fun to throw the human element in with the machine beats.

How long have you been DJing / making music?
Almost 27 years since I first DJed, plus 4 years messing around with Punk Rock. It's flown by, but I’m very grateful for this way of life.

I`ve heard some stories about you DJing at legendary squat parties in London`s King`s Cross. How long would these parties have been after that first DJ epiphany?
It must have only taken 6 months or so to get things going. Pretty fast I found a partner Rob, and we DJ’d together for a while, like Garth and I do now at Back2Back, one turntable each, and people loved it. Soon enough we were playing every weekend, at one squat party or another across North & East London. Rob dropped out right after I discovered Acid House, which sent me off a new musical adventure.

Again, what kind of music were you playing? Could you give me a top 10?
I’d play all sorts before I embraced House music in the late `80s, anything from groovy to dubby to noisy to trashy even. Here’s some faves from then:

Mad Professor / Kunte Kinte

Pigbag / Pigbag

The The / Giant

Psychic TV / Ov Power

Mark Stewart / Liberty City

Wayne Smith / Sleng Teng

The Slits / Heard It Through The Grapevine

Grace Jones / Unlimited Capacity For Love

Trouble Funk / Drop The Bomb

Cymande / Fug

Do have any specific memories of those parties?
Too many to mention, but one of my favorites was at the squatted Club Mankind in Hackney. I DJ’d there every week for a good while, and one night we had FiniTribe and several other experimental Industrial type bands playing live downstairs, and some of the Tonka DJs upstairs. Two different worlds that wouldn’t normally collide, and yet it worked so well.

Can you remember the first time you heard a House record?
Farley Jackmaster Funk “Love Can’t Turn Around”, which I recall seeing on Top Of The Pops on UK TV in 1986 or so. And also Nitro Deluxe “Let’s Get Brutal”. The UK release had a rather colorful mushroom cloud on it, which was kind of how my head felt after hearing it. Same kinda feeling from first hearing The Pistols.

Test Pressing, Interview, 20 Questions, Dr Rob, Jeno, Wicked, San Francisco, Noise From The Void, DJ Harvey, Tonka, Garth, Markie, Thomas, Nitro Deluxe, Let`s Get Brutal

Where would you have been buying your records?
I’d trade with friends, dig in used records shops, thrift shops, mostly in the Hackney, Dalston & Islington area. I forget the names now, but Reckless Records on Upper Street was a favorite. When I had money I’d head to Rough Trade maybe, or later on I discovered Black Market and the other stores in Soho for House and Balearic music.

The Wicked Sound System is associated with a mix of Acid Rock, Acid House and Disco. Is this a style that was developed in and inspired by San Francisco or was this a continuation of what you were doing in London?
There's no denying the influence of San Francisco, with it’s huge deadhead scene, the legacies of the Patrick Cowley driven Disco era, and Jazz and Art Punk scenes, but for me Wicked was largely a continuation of what we’d been doing in London.

From around ’88-’90 Markie, Alan, Trish, myself (all Wicked founders) plus DJs Para & Bones, and a crew of folks, did an intimate jam called Whoosh. As an alternative to the clubs and raves of the time, we’d immerse ourselves in the day-glo basement of a squatted bookstore in derelict East London, and have some pretty wild psychedelic all-nighters. Everything from Acid House to Disco. One really epic morning Markie dropped “Earthbeat” by The Slits and it brought everything full circle for me. My connection from Punk roots to dance music.

We’d also hit the big city on the weekends, and invite ourselves to any free parties that we’d heard were happening. We didn't ask permission we just showed up, set up a small system & decks in the corner, hijacked the space and the crowd, and had a riotous time. It was so much fun honing our skills that way, and it helped set the template for the early Wicked parties. Once in San Francisco, Garth added his musical talents, and then Thomas showed up. By then our sound gelled into something unmistakably Wicked.

Garth said he met you on the dancefloor of a rave where Harvey and Chocci were playing. How did you end up at Tonka?
I think it was a warehouse party they were guest DJing at, though I did attend a lot of Tonka jams. My roommate at the time went to school with Garth, so he introduced us at that party. We weren’t close friends yet, but I do remember him coming to one of our Whoosh parties right before he left for San Francisco, and he parked his tall self right in the middle of the dance floor, his fists pumping for hours. He had the best energy.

I was involved in the genesis of Tonka. I threw some quite legendary parties with Robert & Phil (who ran the Tonka rig) in the mid eighties, and helped persuade Robert to dust off his Turbo rig and get it into some of the squat venues I was using in London a few years later. Tonka was already a pretty full crew, minus the Tonka name at that point, but as they gravitated towards clubland, I made a conscious choice to instead, pursue the squat party thing a while longer. Tonka Mondays at The Zap, in Brighton, were a religious experience for me though, and listening to Markie on the beach afterwards, was the icing on the cake.

Garth gave us a Wicked “Top Ten”, would yours differ? And if so can you give us reasons / stories around your selections?
You can’t sum Wicked up in 10 records, nor 20, but I’ll give you some of my top Jenö / Wicked jams -

Farley / The Acid Life

Only for the headstrong, this was a Whoosh & Wicked favorite.

Colm III / You Take Me High

One of the first ever UK Acid House releases. I dropped it at the first full moon jam in San Francisco, and it’s been a Wicked classic ever since. You still hear other DJs drop it at parties out here.

Risque III / Essence Of A Dream

Another early Chicago track I brought with me to San Francisco. Dark, seductive, and timeless, kind of like Wicked.

The Inspiral Carpets / This Is How It Feels (Drum Mix)

I heard this on John Peel originally. It didn’t leave my record box for about 3 years straight after that. I love the dirty almost Punk sound.

Two Tons O’Fun / I Got The Feeling (Patrick Cowley Mix)

I would skip the cheese and drop the needle at the 2 minute mark, it would send the crowd into a disco frenzy.

Kym Mazelle / Was That All It Was (Def Mix Dub)

I wore through 3 copies of this in the nineties, and I bet Garth did too.

Inside My Mind / Joe Smooth.

My favorite cut from this Chicago legend. I named one of my most popular early 90s mix tapes in honor of this track.

Cleavage / Barah

I love the mix of live instruments and drum machines, would drop this at any time in the night.

True Underground Sound Of Rome / Secret Doctrine

Beautiful song, that ended up on one of my most classic mix tapes.

Mike Perras / Beginning Of Life

Another early San Francisco full moon favorite. Its dreamy mood still conjures up feelings of being at one of those amazing all night beach jams.

Didn`t you DJ at a Wicked Party under the Golden Gate Bridge the day after you arrived in San Francisco? Did you know this was the plan?
Alan (Wicked) had persuaded me to come visit him & Markie in San Francisco. They’d been gone a couple of months, staying with Garth, and I was beginning to wonder if they were ever coming back. My trip was intended to be a vacation fo’sure, and I had no idea that they were ready to celebrate my arrival with a party the very next day. It was so spontaneous, we didn’t have anything to put Garth’s turntables on, just a blanket in the sand. But it didn’t matter. That first beach jam, along with a Whoosh type party we threw in a local record store the next week, birthed Wicked, and the scene that followed.

Why where the parties thrown on a Full Moon?
Initially, it corresponded with my arrival, plus the bright moon was great for hauling equipment down onto the beach, but I can speak for Alan & Trish, as well as myself, by saying there was a definite pagan & occult element in what we were doing back then; it permeated the way we lived, the way we celebrated. The full moon, the solstices, anything that helped us feel connected to the planet, we were up for it.

Whose idea was the tour bus and how long did you spend on it?
After Alan & Trish went back to the UK, we decided to refocus and get the sound system out on the road with us. So the Wicked tours were born. We didn’t have the bus for the first 2 trips, but CB showed up in his beautiful Greyhound bus and then it really became like a Merry Prankster adventure. A fave moment for me would have to be driving through downtown Salt Lake City, the Mormon capital, cops tailing us all the way, with AC/DC’s "Hells Bells" blaring out from the bus’s external PA. Sweet Jesus!

Why did Wicked decide to call it a day?
Like a rock band, you could say we spent so much time and energy together, we got sick of each other. And without Alan, who was our father figure, to smooth out the bumps, over time, they became too much to bear. Looking back, it seems quite silly, which is no doubt why we got the band back together and are having amazing annual wicked jams again.

How would you describe your sound?
I do a monthly radio show called "Noise From The Void" and those four words pretty much sum up my sound these days. But I really made a name for myself rockin' squats, basements, warehouses and beaches from the late `80s through the `90s with my own take on Acid House. I developed a hypnotic story telling style that ultimately became synonymous with the West Coast scene. I still have a great affinity for that psychedelic infused sound; its vibrancy hasn't faded.

With the radio show, how much do you mix up genres?
It’s all a big spontaneous mix of genres, to the point where they cease to matter. I might start out a show with some ambient or mood music, go into some experimental or Industrial weirdness, into some Rock, Funk, Cosmic stuff, all sorts, and then later on, settle into a mix of house, Disco, or absolutely anything around that tempo. And, of course, any excuse to throw some Punk or darker grooves into the cauldron. I’ve been known to mix things together that shouldn’t ever be mixed together. I have a forgiving audience, haha..

Who would be current “Noise From The Void” favourites?
These 3 are in the playlist for the next show:

Dave Ball & Genesis P Orridge / Muzak For Frogs

Adrian Borland / Strange Terrain

Alphastone / Soulless Zone

DJing live, do you ever play something like Chrome, for example?
I have yes, but with the darker and noisier cuts I pick my time and place carefully. Which is one of the reasons I started Noise From The Void, it gives me free rein to share what I'm feeling at any particular moment, in an uninhibited way.

You seem to have been a man on a mission, is there a message is your music?
At this point, not explicitly. I do genuinely love music, for music’s sake, but I also love to tell stories. I love to weave the music together to create a narrative, whether it’s from a personal, a collective or less tangible point of view. So when I have a good set, or a great show, I hope it leaves those present with something extra, magical even, something greater than the sum of the parts, that they wouldn’t have experienced by listening to the songs individually or separately.

Which production / release / remix are you most proud of?
I still drop my Stormy Weather Remix of Rocket's "People," released on Garth's Grayhound label. The mix's transition from soft lulling chords to full on mind melting acid, and back again, still does the trick.

Which production / release / remix would you most like to have done?
Never too late, so whichever one, I'll be doing next!

Are you still producing a lot of music? Do you get a lot of remix offers?
I set up a studio in the late 90s, and was getting busy by the early 2000s, but lost my studio space, and along with the demands of having 2 kids, I had to re-prioritize and let it go. However, I pulled most of my gear out of storage last year and am now back at it, with some new music to follow shortly. I’ve got a couple of remixes on the burner, but otherwise I’m focusing more on my own productions, and this time, having other folks do the remixing.

What are your favourite places to play / hang out in?
I like to travel and DJ other cities, but San Francisco still rules. More than anything, it's the diverse & illicit after-hours jams that liven up weekends here, all year round, then summer really heats up with festivals and other outdoor events & things go to another level.

You have the annual Back2Back party with Garth, do you have any other regular local gigs?
I do a bi-monthly Acid House jam called “Cult," and I’m on informal rotation at a lot of the parties and after-hours around the city. I feel very fortune that so many folks still wanna book me after all these years. If you’d asked me when I started, I would never have guessed I’d still be at it, and loving it!

Do you get to DJ outside of the US?
Occasionally. I loved visiting Japan, and Canada. I wanna get out to Indonesia and New Zealand at some point, and back to Europe one day. Maybe not this year; I’ve some creative plans already in the works for 2014.

What is your favourite place outside of a bar / club / record shop (other than home)?
There's nothing like Northern California beaches to inspire my creativity. Sun, sea, surf and some of the most beautiful scenery along the Pacific coast. Even the summer fog that rolls in, brings with it a mystical quality that embraces the soul.

Do you see yourself as part of any scene?
During the `90s, sure. After our arrival in San Francisco, Wicked became the main catalyst and blueprint for the West Coast scene that followed, and I felt very much a part of something special. There's nothing like getting together with like-minded folks to share a common love. A lot has changed since then, and dance music has become so prolific and diversified that I'm happy to just enjoy my continued involvement on my own terms, without needing to fit in with any scene. I'm fortunate to have a creative life, a cult like following, and friends I can get together with to share a love for music. That and my kids make me a happy man.

Who does your artwork?
I've got a "Noise From The Void" label in the planning stages, which I'll also be designing for. I spent many years doing the designs for Wicked parties, and still do for our annual reunion, along with all the flyer design for Back2Back with Garth, my NFTV radio shows, and the Acid House jams I still throw in San Francisco. I love it, it's like composing a mix but with the eyes not ears.

Test Pressing, Interview, 20 Questions, Dr Rob, Jeno, Wicked, San Francisco, Noise From The Void, DJ Harvey, Tonka, Garth, Markie, Thomas

Which artists do you have lined up for the label?
First joint release is an original production with my friend Danja on vocals, and remixes from Blakkat & Spun (Rong Music), and Sunshine Jones (Dubtribe). Fingers crossed, some followup remix contributions from Felix Dickinson & local talent Blue Soul. Early days yet, but feeling good about it.

Do you have a favourite visual artist? Painter, sculptor, designer, etc.?
Too many to mention here, but I especially love to incorporate obscure `60s / `70s Sci-Fi and lots of dark themed art into my designs.

Who are you currently working with?
I often have guests on my radio show, encouraging them to bust out music they might not play at the club / party. It's a great way to collaborate. An old compadre from Tonka Sound System days, Felix Dickinson (Cynic, UK) contributed a beautiful California-inspired set for the Void just this month. You can check it here.

Who would you most like to work with?
I love a good movie like I love a good song, so I fantasize about making a film with David Lynch, him in the director’s chair, me on the soundtrack. I've worked on one soundtrack, so far. So yeah, music in film is something I'm aiming to explore more.

Does playing and making music pay the rent?
It does, but it's a struggle, so I don't know if I'd recommend trying it unless you're like the best of us, quite insane. Music has fallen victim to the whims of the internet-driven economy, so it's become a labour of love for most artists. Of course, that may only encourage the determined & gifted, but a word of advice, “Hold on to that day job!”

What sites, if any, do you regularly check on-line?
These days I unplug as often as I can, nothing like the more tangible and real world to connect to, but I love tumblr for all varieties of visual art, and I do check a bunch of music sites still, from Juno to The Growing Bin blog, for example.

What was the last book you read?
“Conquest Of The Useless” by Werner Herzog, one of my all time favourite film directors. It's enthralling, and about the making of one of my favorite films “Fitzcarraldo”. The story of Fitzcarraldo, a music loving loon, who was determined against the odds to bring Opera to the jungles of Central America, resonates in some ways with my own naive and youthful determination to bring Acid House to the beaches of California.

A 15K Tony Andrews Turbo Sound System for an Opera House?
Ha, ha, yes. That’d be a night to remember, I’m sure. A few years ago, I was booked for a couple of Opera themed events here in San Francisco. They had props from the San Francisco Opera set up in the space. I DJ’d right after an Opera singer who was singing over some subtle electronic beats. It was really fun, would love to do something like that again.

Test Pressing, Interview, 20 Questions, Dr Rob, Jeno, Wicked, San Francisco, Noise From The Void, DJ Harvey, Tonka, Garth, Markie, Thomas, Werner Herzog, Conquest Of The Useless

What is your favourite book?
Probably have to take me back to being 10 yrs old & reading “The Wizard Of Earthsea” by Ursula LeGuin, or the Carlos Castaneda books I read as a teenager. Heady, mystical and right up my alley.

What was the last film you saw?
"Beautiful Darling. The life and times of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar". In my humble opinion, a very well done documentary that's also about identity, and the toll of chasing fame.

Are you a Warhol fan?
I don’t feel a natural affinity with his art, business, or his appetite for fame. The only time I’ve had any desire to delve into his story was after reading about radical feminist Valerie Solanas, who shot and wounded him. She was a loon, but an interesting one at least, and her S.C.U.M manifesto is quite a crazy read.

What is your favourite film?
“Blade Runner”. It has stayed with me since catching its 1982 big screen debut. Its mind blowing dystopian vision captured my impressionable teenage mind. Epic Vangelis soundtrack too!

What is your favourite piece of music? If that`s too difficult, what`s your current favourite piece of music?
Today's favourite was an hour long layered mix of jumbled conversation, occasional loud splutterings of laughter, the quiet fizz of a radio, the random gurgles of a cappuccino maker and the cutting interruption of distant sirens, all backed by the rhythmic lulls and peaks of the street noise outside the cafe I was in. The chaotic human experience can be a beautiful symphony.

I like this answer a lot. It`s good to switch off sometimes and just be aware of what`s going on around you. The need for a constant musical soundtrack is something that I think has been sold / marketed to us. It also makes me think of Glenn Gould`s “The Idea Of North”, which I used to listen to when sleep would evade me. Can you name 3 records for sunset / sunrise?
I was brought up on Pink Floyd as a nipper, so I gotta go with the classic "Echoes".

Also Sergio Mendez / After Sunrise

and Peter Green / Just For You

Can you name 3 records to start a party?

Nice party starter from my pre-house music DJ days, Jasper Van't Hof / Pili Pili

Great to get the basement jam going,

The Garden OF Eden / Serpent In The Garden

And a still favorite garage gem

Ten City / One Kiss Will Make It Better

Test Pressing, Interview, 20 Questions, Dr Rob, Jeno, Wicked, San Francisco, Noise From The Void, DJ Harvey, Tonka, Garth, Markie, Thomas
Prah 001 & 002
Oliver Coates 'towards The Blessed Islands'
Bryce Hackford 'fair'


Moon B
Omega Supreme