Posts Tagged ‘floating points’

Red Greg

By Pavliné


 SWEAT is turning two, and the tropical party crew celebrate their birthday in style by inviting the mighty Red Greg to the laser basement for a soul explosion! Red Greg has been collecting and spinning dancefloor-ready soul obscurities for over three decades. His back-to-back with Ge-ology was the highlight for most Dekmantel 2017 attendees. Pavliné caught up with him ahead of the Sweat Birthday Bash to talk about his label peers Floating Points and Mafalda, time travel and what makes a good edit!


 

Hey Red Greg, firstly let me say how excited myself and the SWEAT crew are to be celebrating our second birthday with you. For those who might not know you, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your DJ career?

Hi Pavliné, thanks for the kind words. I must say I’m excited to be playing.

Music and DJing have always been something I’ve been interested in. As a kid, I would religiously record the songs from the top 40 and do mix tapes with a couple of cassette decks, by using play/pause buttons and trying to create stutter effects in a real 80s megamix style. I’m pretty sure this must have been in 1981-82 because Haircut 100, Kid Creole and The Weather Girls spring to mind.  

From then on, I’d save my pocket money and buy records. It wasn’t until I was 15 that I thought to try and DJ, so I bought some cheap turntables and modified them by adding pitch controls and taught myself how to mix and like every other kid on the block tried to scratch and do the fancy hip hop stuff.

I always collected records and started to play at local blues dances and quickly found myself playing around London at weekends. It wasn’t until 1989 that I really got into disco. It was the first time I heard many of Patrick Adams‘ records in a club environment. Shortly after a friend invited me to play at his Sunday night party at The Pig Club in Holborn, so from then on I was hooked and have since continued to play all sorts of dance music, which led to European gigs and more recently worldwide gigs and festivals.

You are affiliated with Floating Points and Mafalda’s Melodies International. Could you tell us how your relationship with the label started and about your work for them?

Yes, well that basically came about via an email from Sam (Floating Points) about five years ago. He got in touch and we instantly got talking about records and he invited me to Plastic People to check what he was doing there. So about a week or so later I walked in and was pretty overwhelmed to see a packed dance floor with the crowd singing along to Paradise by Jewel, which was very special. We chatted after hours about parties, music and the next thing You’re a Melody was born and the Melodies International label shortly followed.

I’ve always supported the label from the launch but never actually worked for them or had any output, until Disco Baby. It was a record I used to play quite often but when I played it at the third YAM party at Plastic People, everyone was really into it and shortly after we were playing the edit from a 7” dub plate and people were constantly asking about the record, so it made sense to license and release it. 

Like with all your edits, yours and Floating Points’ intervention on the Disco Baby record is really subtle. It’s like you’re giving it just enough punch to make it shine on a modern dance floor without removing any of its original intention. It’s a very humble approach to music and, in my opinion, the sign of a true selector DJ. Could you tell us what you’re looking for in a record to edit?

I believe that less is more when it comes to disco edits. I don’t understand disco edits that zap the soul and lose feeling from a disco record by quantising the whole track and adding a kick drum. Occasionally it can be done to great effect but in general I like to keep the natural feel of the groove and rearrange, so it still sounds like a song to some extent. 

There’s so many great records with amazing parts and equally dull parts, so for me it’s about removing the dull parts and really extending the great parts, allowing the song to shine throughout and work on a dance floor. I guess it’s looking back to the 70s and the way they used to edit back then.  

For me Ron Hardy was beast when it came to edits. The way he would stretch out that amazing part of a record and work it into his DJ sets was something else. I used to constantly listen to his mixes and without a doubt he’s my all round inspiration. 

I thought of having you playing at SWEAT since I heard you play at Dekmantel together with Ge-ology. It was the highlight of the festival for me. I was surprised to have read recently that you guys had never met before, something that I found hard to believe judging by the coherence of the selection and the flow of the mix. How did the idea of this back-to-back come to reality?

 
Thank you, glad to hear you enjoyed the Dekmantel set. I wasn’t sure how the back-to-back idea came about or how it would go.

Initially I was asked to play a regular set and then I later received an email asking if I would play b2b with Ge-ology. I had only heard his mixes online at the time but knew we had very similar taste, so happily agreed. We had no background history but I played after him at Nomads Festival about a month prior to Dekmantel. Unfortunately we never had time to get into deep conversation because we were both playing but we were both looking forward to playing Dekmantel together. 

I think not knowing or discussing anything about the back-to-back is the reason it worked, we had no idea of what selection or tempo we had between us but we were both feeling relaxed and went straight in with that approach. I basically put on a gospel record to reset the vibe and we just had fun and naturally bounced off each other for the whole duration. 

The Dekmantel guys had clearly heard us both play individually and knew exactly what they were doing by teaming us up, so a huge thanks to them and Ge-ology for being that super cool dude he is and an outstanding DJ.

What can we expect from your set at Superstore?

I’m really not sure but the good thing is that it’s in London. So I can bring an extra bag of records. I think variety and energy will be the key things here. 

Can you think of a track that would fit the tropical and hedonistic aesthetic of SWEAT?

I’m not sure, but I’m hoping I can play some feel good high energy disco bangers like this:

   

Finally, our favourite question here at Superstore, if we had a time machine ready to take you to any dance floor, past present or future, where would you like to go and why?

Ron Hardy at the Muzic Box, simply because he’s the boss and I like an open minded mixed crowd, where everyone can express themselves freely. 

 


 

Catch Red Greg at SWEAT on Friday 2 March from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore!

Cooper Saver

Joining us on the London leg of his European mini-tour is LA-based DJ, producer and partystarter Cooper Saver. He is the mastermind behind the Far Away party series in LA, whose list of past guests basically reads as a lineup to the festival of our dreams! He recently served up a far-reaching and uplifting selection on Dan Beaumont and Nadia Ksaiba’s Rhythm Connection show on NTS, and if that is anything to go by we are in for a real eclectic treat when he graces the lazerpit for new party Wave Pool!


Hi Cooper! We can’t wait to have you join us for Wave Pool! How has your 2017 been so far?

Yo! Thanks for having me, I’m super excited! My 2017 has been really intense in the best way possible. Things have been non stop but I’m stoked.

You are the mastermind behind the Far Away brand of warehouse parties, mixtape series and radio shows on DubLab. How did that project come to be?

The radio show came first. I did one party just as a way to celebrate the launch of the radio show – I didn’t intend on doing parties regularly. But of course one thing to lead to another and Far Away transformed into a monthly event!

Who have been some of your favourite guests at your Far Away parties?

We love to keep it in the family – pretty much everyone who plays is someone we’re already friends with or have some sort of mutual connection with, so with that being said pretty much everyone’s a favourite. Some frequent and standout guests include Avalon Emerson, Floating Points, Project Pablo, Courtesy, Young Marco, Tim Sweeney, Mark Seven, the Mood Hut crew… I could go on forever haha. We recently did a couple shows with Ben UFO & Daphni – those were really special and they’re the nicest people – so they’re high on the list too. Also shout out to my friend Nadia Ksaiba who played an incredible set for us earlier this year, I can’t wait to play with her again at Dalston Superstore!

You are taking us on a date in LA – where are we going to eat, drink and dance?

We’ll start things off downtown at the Ace Hotel where some friends are likely to be playing records on the roof. Food and drinks included. And then after that we’ll cruise further downtown for some late night dancing at one of the many secret locations to catch the best vibes LA has to offer until sunrise.

What is one thing that London could learn from LA’s party scene? And have we got anything going on that you feel is missing in LA?

There’s always a “grass is greener” aspect of traveling so it’s hard for me to criticize a place that is still always exciting to me. On the flip side, LA has a serious lack of decent clubs, which is why we do tons of DIY events at random spaces – and it seems London has plenty of cool venues that people actually enjoy going to – so LA could definitely learn from London in that regard.

What is the weirdest/best gig you have ever played?

Weird and best tend to go hand in hand so it’s hard to recall something in particular – but a few weeks ago I was invited to DJ before The Avalanches at their show in LA. Usually DJing at concert venues before bands is a very mellow situation – you’re typically off to the side in the corner playing at a low volume and nobody even knows you’re there. Little did I know I was gonna be playing on stage at full volume to a sold out room (about 1,200 people) on a Wednesday night. It was VERY unexpected and a lot of fun!

What is one track that you wish you produced?

This is a super tough question but I think I’ll have to go with something that’s kept me inspired for a very long time. Metro Area‘s self titled LP is perfection and every track is a classic – whenever I’m making music I often find myself thinking of those tracks, just because it’s important to remember that less is more in many cases. Simplicity is bliss! You don’t always need a million things happening in a track to make it beautiful, effective, and rich with feeling. These Metro Area tracks are the ultimate example of that – so I’ll just say that entire album is my answer.

Favourite release of the year so far?

I can’t get enough of Theme From Q by Objekt, it’s definitely a peaktime go-to track and will be in rotation all year!

Have you got any exciting projects in the pipeline that you can let us in on?

We’re about to start releasing some recordings from the party on cassette as part of the mixtape series – out soon will be Pender Street Steppers b2b Beautiful Swimmers. Really excited to get that out. Also finally going to have my EP finished this year…more on that soon!

And finally, in five words or less, what are you planning to bring to the Superstore basement at Wave Pool?

Uplifting positivity!


Catch Cooper Saver at Wave Pool this Friday 5 May from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore!