HEADMAN and BOZZWELL - two worlds colliding! To celebrate the imminant release of the latest compilation from the Relish label, Relish IV, we bought together Relish boss Headman and top Relish artist Bozzwell to break it all down. Marvel as they discuss dinner choices, England's north/south divide, memories of electroclash and the future of Relish. It's a no holds barred all out chat fest, and you people are welcome...
HEADMAN: How are you?
BOZZWELL: Yeah good Robi, just finished my dinner. Fish fingers, spuds and peas :) You looking forward to the new compilation coming out? Who did the artwork? It looks great!
H: Dinner, not breakfast? That's an early dinner! Excited to have the compilation coming out… I'm doing all the artwork at the moment. Actually I'm gonna pick up the final screen printed covers and inlays today…
B: Ah well… you see, up North in the UK, we have “dinner” whereas you have “lunch”, and we call our evening meal "tea"… We’re not like them posh Londoners down South :) Ahhh well the artwork looks great, cant wait to have one in my hands!
H: Ah ha, I see, North and South, so there's still a rivalry? You’re from Sheffield right? I'm very happy with the artwork. You will get a copy, just making 100.
B: Sort of I guess… London’s OK though, I just prefer it up here. The people seem to be friendlier. I’m from Wales originally and sort of moved up this way in the mid-90's. I can’t see myself living anywhere else really. So only 100? Ah well I see, it will become a collectors item then :) What’s happening Zurich-wise these days? You seem to be spending more time there than Berlin ?
H: Yes I'm in Zurich, still in Berlin sometimes, doing the artworks here now and working in the studio sometimes as well. Zurich is pretty small and easy to live in, a bit more pricey compared to Berlin. What about Sheffield? Some good music came out of there… Human League, Pulp… Gang of Four? And there was another great band from there whose name I can’t recall…
B: Ahhh yes that was so long ago though, they were fun times! I didn’t realise how big it got, it was pretty amazing, lots of great artists involved… proper pop star stuff! :)
H: Was it the late 90's?
B: Yeah, around 1999/2000.
H: Kind of trip-hop drum 'n' bass pop?
B: It seemed to be a mixed bag of everything really!
H: That's right, there was much more mixing of styles then…
B: What do you think of what’s happening right now in our kinda scene? I find it hard to find anything I really like these days…
H: Well, not sure which is my scene! But I think there's loads of good music around, vinyl only coming back again. That does not mean that just because something is vinyl only it has to be good, but still something’s moving. At least I hope so. After the big sounds that dominated the last few years, like techno and house etc. maybe the time is right for some more experimental music again on the floor. I also see loads of nice influences coming back in techno again, like the 80's sounds still pretty much present, some stuff reminds me of post-punk, new wave, funk and so on. I believe the influences are going the right way - I can't really say what is underground and what is commercial these days anymore. Looks like there's just social media hypes and if an act gets big, it is not really just for the music… what do you think?
B: Yes I agree. I’ve always gravitated more to the tracks with a vocal hook, or some kind of vocal I guess. That’s why I ended up (well me and you both) in the electroclash camp, whatever that meant. But yeah, I can hear the post-punk vibe in loads of stuff. I guess that’s why I like Relish really, and also what Morgan Hammer and Lokier are doing, it's all in there isn't it, that kinda ethos. Yeh things get hyped too much, I guess it's whatever label has the most money to put behind something these days. Anyhow as "Iggy Pop" says, some artists are never destined to become super big, it can be just as cool on the underground. There's not much money around but I'd rather have less and make what I think is good art than make a load of commercial nonsense just so I can buy a fancy car or something, if that makes sense .
H: Talking about lyrics, you always have nice lyrics, do you think in dance music people care about poetic lyrics or things with deeper meanings? Rather than just "yeah, I like it" or any shouts that just get used as a tool to add to the track? And yes, I feel something’s happening in the music... that's called integrity what you are trying to say.
B: Im glad you asked me that Robi, yeah well first of all thanks for the kind words. I think I'm trying to do something different, as I always have. If someone wants me or Hiem to do a remix I tend to use that platform for doing the big club tracks now. With the Hiem and the Bozzwell stuff words have always been important. It would be nice to think people cared about what I wrote about. I've had kids coming up to me and tell me they loved 'In My Cocoon' because it spoke to them about how they felt about depression/anxiety etc, so it does break through sometimes. I’m not trying to be William Blake or Shelley but it's cool when someone connects with what I'm saying :) I guess the dancefloor is for dancing not procrastinating on sometimes words.
H: That's why I like your music, it's more than just some dance track. Why not have some content and depth, these days I feel it's needed. The world is in a funny state.
B: Oh cheers Robi, ha I’m a sensitive soul see that’s all :) What’s floating your boat at the moment music-wise ??
H: Relish. I'm working on my reworks project for next year. Not sure yet if I do an album (keep hearing that albums tend to go under), that would be a compilation of the classic remixes I have done as in old tracks from Roxy Music, The Units, Unknown Cases. The new tracks are some Italo Disco tracks, I love the originals. So I like to get these reworks from the past and bring them to the dance floors again. Like I did with Stephan Eicher from Grauzone. Still deciding if I do an EP or a full album. Then there will be some releases with other artists and I'd like some people to remix something for Relish. What’s your next steps?
B: I really liked The Stephen Eicher track :)
H: Thanks again, very happy with how that release came out.
B: Well, Hiem have an album 'Hot Space' out next year through Nang, so we're hoping to do a few live dates and I'm hoping to get enough material together for a second Bozzwell album. The last one was with Firm Records in 2010 so lots of work to do. And of course I hope to be doing a few DJ dates and see my friends and stuff. I guess we'd both best just keep plodding on and getting our material out there. Ok Robi I'd best get back to finishing this mix for Local Suicide in Berlin, have a cool day fella.
H: Thanks, you too!