Ashley Beedle Talks
If you mention the name Ashley Beedle in house music circles, the word respect usually follows shortly afterwards. Thats because as producer and DJ of note for more than 20 years, hes done everything from make seminal deep house (see Blacker and New Jersey Deep) to crack the charts (with Lazy). Hes remixed Bob Marley and released an album (2010s Mavis) in tribute to The Staples Sisters and their soul icon lead singer, Mavis Staples. But more recently it feels like Ashleys come back to his roots, i.e making club music for people to get sweaty to again, with his Yardism EP that was released in 2012. Now with its follow-up ready to drop, I was lucky enough to sit down with Britains other national hero named Beedle, for a chat about the club scene and his place in it. I found him in a meditative mood; an artist sure of his place in the scene he helped create, even if hes unsure about where that scene is going not that he doesnt have an idea or two on that score, though. So here it is, the world according to Beedle from Weatheralls A Love From Outer Space to Julio Bashmore and unfinished sounding beats, via the return of his Heavy Disco parties and his love of jazz, we cover a lot of ground as we set the world to rights
When we first met Ashley, I think I told you that Id described you to my girlfriend at the time as being like Weatherall, but with more of a black music background and you seemed quite tickled by that. But I think the description stands up
Well, its a hard one to judge but that is nice, actually… Afro-futurist is how I describe myself now (smiles).
That reminds me, isnt there someone else using your Gentleman Rudeboy tag-line?
I bloody well hope not! (laughs) Well, if its Justin Robertson, its alright
I think it could have been I did think that that youd have been cool with it, so it may well have been him but back to that description of you, that is of course a simplistic view because youre someone who loves rock as well as soul, as you said in that great Chris Tubbs interview that sadly no longer seems to be online…
Oh, has it been taken down? Thats a shame.
Yeah, there was a lot of great content on there (the All Saints Basement Interviews site).
Well, Chris Tubbs isnt with All Saints anymore; hes started his own thing
Well, thatll be that then. Ive met him once, when thoroughly overexcited at the Harvey gig, but bless him, he was still very nice to me; he does those interviews very well. I believe hes friends with Daniel Avery for example, so Im sure hell be in one of those interviews before long
Now hes a guy Im really into at the moment; I think everything hes doing is wicked. I shouted him out on Twitter recently, for that Primal Scream remix he did, it was amazing
Yeah, I spoke to him about that and he did say hed never taken so long over a remix before well, I suppose its a case of growing up listening to a band and then youre working on a remix for thembut anyway, youve talked in the past about your love of rock as much as soul and it all comes back to your father?
Yes, absolutely. It does come back to my dad. And you know, the older Im getting myself, I find myself returning to a lot of the music my dad played to me when I was younger. Its interesting; you know I dragged out all the Creedence Clearwater Revival albums the other and stuff like that, folk stuff, you know? Which I never really got on with. The blues, as well, was something I never really touched on, either. I mean, when I was younger, I always found it a bit boring in its structure but then you realise that its the blueprint of everything.
I agree about folk; when youre young it can seem a bit soft, cant it? But I tend to think its something I will discover in my own time. A friend of mine is a massive folk fan and he can be very vocal on the subject of all the fake folk bands like Mumford & Son etc
Well, on a proper folk tip (smiles), theres one particular album by Fairport Convention, Liege & Lief which is a ground-breaking British folk album. I listened to it the other day and its still amazing; you can hear what they were trying to do by blending rock music with English folk and coming out with something that was really, really different at the time. That stuff now is really sinking in for me and I think that it is going to definitely hit when I start my solo album, which hopefully will be next year. That will be my first solo record but I think its something that will definitely creep into my music. That and world music; stuff from India, stuff from Africa, Im really interested in all that stuff.
On that note, I was surprised to see that Yardism was your first solo project?
Well, its funny actually Ive done a lot of stuff on my own but Ive always covered up; Ive always used aliases. Ashley Beedle presents and then come up with something weird, knowing that its just a puppet really (laughs). I think it was just being scared thoughbeing scared of putting yourself out there, because when you use your own name, thats when all the doubts come because youre basically naked. And you can think Oh God, Im too open to criticism here. I mean as were discussing Andrew [Weatherall], he had his first solo album out a few years back and I was shocked about that! (laughs)
And he sang! I mean, who knew he could sing?
He really can sing, I know! (laughs) I sing as well, which is quite interesting but he seems more comfortable with himself now.
Weatherall I think is someone whos good at reinventing himself, because he knows that the press thrives on an image, but hes also keen to talk about his influences; hes never claimed that he makes it all up himself that would be ludicrous
Thats certainly true; in interviews he really puts himself out there and talks about his influences about Billy Childish or whoever hes into at that particular time. I think were all like that; were all sponges in that sense when it comes to other artists.
But as were talking about Andrew, whos has such a renaissance of late with his A Love From Outer Space parties, how about we talk about your new event, Best Dressed Chicken?
(smiles) Oh, Best Dressed Chicken is something myself and my partner Vicky, and another mate of ours, Ein from Manchester (hes one of the best ragga DJs Ive come across- he goes under the name Bobby Irish I think hes living in New York now) started. So now its me and Vicky and were carrying it forward. Its just a simple thing we wanted to make our own jerk seasoning, which we did, and we just thought, Why dont we put on a couple of parties? which we did. And through that its just gone from there I mean next Sunday, were doing Brighton for the Heavy Disco revival.but Best Dressed Chicken is something we really want to take forward, were talking to a couple of people now, so were hoping that next year well be doing festivals with it, which will be lovely. I think I want to try and have that more as my business
So that in the same way that Andrew does ALFOS, youll do this?
Yeah, I guess so.
So whats it like musically? I mean, the name is a clear nod to the reggae influence:
Well, musically its reggae, a lot of really classic 2 step soul just generally a slower vibe. We dont play any house or anything like that. Its really, I suppose, the kind of people who are the older heads. but saying that, the couple weve done in Manchester have been absolute roadblocks with a mixed crowd; we were both surprised by how many people came!
But I think its that classic combination of food and music; it always works. Theres a couple of other people doing a similar thing, I mean I know Ralph Lawson is doing something in Leeds [Beat, which saw Ralph hook up with Yorkshire Chef Of The Year Tom Van Zeller to present a dining and dancing experience].I guess in many ways Im going back to my musical roots and its something Im going to be trying to develop more. To be honest with you (smiles) it would be nice to have some kind of legacy that my kids can argue over when I die!(laughs) Whos gonna get Dads recipe?
So as were talking influences, can we talk about your Mavis project? That was something you clearly felt very personally
Yeah, thats true. Well, it did what it did and I was really happy about it. We wanted to do two things; first we wanted to get an album out, obviously, and two, to do a live gig. And we actually did two gigs, one for the launch and one at the Big Chill, which was really amazing as well. My only regret about the project is that the record company in question, !K7, changed A&R men at the time, and the new guy who came in, Phil Howells (who worked at London Records) he came in and it was like, Well, new regime But I was really happy with what we did with Mavis, we had people like Mojo and Uncut magazines giving us good reviews and I was really chuffed with it. I was trying to prove something to myself really as both a producer and a writer, actually. But the people we worked with on that project were a dream come true for me this said, we didnt get Mavis Staples herself!
There is something about that era of classic soul isnt there the music, the politics, the hopeful nature of the lyrics, the very religious people singing secular music
And youve said that your mothers favourite records are things like Sam Cooke, the soul standards
Yeah and the hardline gospel stuff, because she still loves her gospel.
Sam Cooke was someone who lived a very secular life, but when he sings A Change Is Gonna Come, its a classic spiritual number. In fact, its one of the songs Ive been obsessing over as I did my research for this interview, the other being All Along The Watchtower, which is featured in the new Denzel film 2 Guns in remix form by Labrinth so the beats do work in a club those have been my obsessions of late. But when it comes to soul, its the foundation of house music
Gospel as well, because the immediate foundations of house, youre talking about records that transported people to a higher plane I mean, a lot of those Philly productions, the song-writing that Gamble & Huff did, they were about making the world better and attaining something. Positivity for black people, or for people generally. All those things came into those records, the ones that seemed to work with the pre-house vibe, that the likes of Knuckles and those guys were into, were those sort of records, so of course that would feed into early house records. All the Chicago stuff, all the Trax stuff, basically copied the basslines of those old Philly records. I mean then theyre gonna get [vocalists] Ricky Dillard or Jamie Principle in, but they ARE gospel records, I think
It was only really with the way that we in Britain took hold of Acid Trax as our fave tune that changed the emphasis, but the likes of Ten City, they were coming from that too. That is the kind of framework, the scaffolding of house, if you want to put it on those terms. Things like Acid Trax set other things happening though
But youve said that it was Norman Jay putting you onto that Tramps record that put you on a different path
Yeah, Where Were You Went The Lights Went Out? that was absolutely amazing. I try not to forget about those things. Im not someone who dwells on the past; Im not one of these guys who are nostalgic like that. But I think its great to touch base with some of that older stuff because it does revive the spirit. Thats why these records are so great, because they can do that.
Now Id like to take you back to the Shock Soundsystem era as we look at your own musical genesis. I wanted to ask about that because I believe you guys were one of the early soundsystems to play house at [the Notting Hill] Carnival, right?
Yeah, there was KCC (Keith Franklins sound), Colin McBean (whos now Mr G), Kid Bachelor, all those kind of characters. Kid Bachelor was one of the Soul II Soul camp, originally, if my memory serves me well. Those were some of the guys who got into house early, along with Eddie Richards and Mr C and all those guys.
So how old were you when you were with Shock?
I was probably (thinks) say, mid-20s. It was Stan and Dean who were the two brothers Dean now runs Tribe Records, Dean Zepherin who inherited the soundsystem from their older brothers, I think. It was great, I mean we started, like most sounds, with the reggae thing dying out and it was more of a rare groove, this was in the early 80s.
Because the soundsystem era is vital to the club scene we have now, isnt it, but I think a lot of people are pretty ignorant of its importance to the British scene
Well the reason why a lot of soundsystems existed I mean you had Trevor Nelson with Mad Hatters, Booker T and their crew, there were a lot of small sounds around, Soul II Soul, Good Times, which had been Great Tribulations when Joey Jay [Norman Jays elder brother] ran it well back then they wouldnt let any black kids in the clubs.(more sombre) If you went to a club as a black kid, you had to have a lot of white mates with you if you wanted to get in anywhere. I think the only way you could hear the music was to go to a shebeen and so you had these sounds to make up for the fact that you couldnt go anywhere. I remember when I was living in Harrow youd go to certain clubs and it was hard, it was hard getting in.
I wanted to ask you about this, as we said before, were two men of colour in a pretty white business. and a lot of people now see house as white music, which is ridiculous
Absolutely ridiculous but its called EDM now, isnt it?
Oh, dont start me on that.
Its true, well be here all day (laughs). But, you know, I despair sometimes at the way that they re-package things and take them away from their original places and sell them to kids. Ive seen interviews with people who go to these EDM dos and they have no [sense of] history.
And the history of dance music is all out there, you can read it for free online, cant you?
But its like they dont WANT to know, its all Im not into that!
The internet seems to have made everyone more passive. I mean, when I got into house in my mid-teens, back in the mid-90s, you had to buy the music, the magazines, whatever you had to involve yourself in the culture, but now you dont HAVE to do that anymore Terry Farley has mentioned that his kids have no real interest in house music and he says that life has become too easy and they have nothing to rebel against.
Well, my kids have a great love of all kinds of music Joe, my younger son, loves his hip-hop and Harry my older son, hes more into modern electronic stuff like house and my daughter , Helen, shes like me, she loves everything.
Now you mention Harry there, but his middle-name, John, comes from Trane [jazz legend John Coltrane] doesnt it? Is he still your musical idol?
Hes definitely one of them. Not in the sense of pulling him out to listen to all the time, because I have a lot of John Coltrane albums and some of them are very hard to listen to, youve got to pick your moments, but hes definitely somebody I carry as a kind of avatar, because I think he was. What he went through to get over his idea of what music was and what it should meant to people was immense. Its a shame he died so young.
I didnt realise it was when he was only 40
Yeah, liver failure I think it was, just after getting clean! And after coming out with something as amazing as A Love Supreme, which was his acknowledgement to his creator
It was his love-letter to his scene, his music and his people, wasnt it?
Very much so. People like that are sitting on my shoulder and I mean that with no ego but theyre there. I try and channel what they would do into what I do, even if my music doesnt sit where they sit. What I can bring forward is influenced by them, as I have been. I rarely go into the studio without the passion to make something; a production, an edit, even. I approach it with a passion, with a love of my music and I look at some of the characters in the business now and Im thinking I dont get it There isnt that passion there. Well, if there is, its not in the way that I can see it. I find it interesting now, that some of the new producers that are coming into the scene, its almost like they mix by numbers, like they bought a kit and they decided Right, Im gonna be a producer and Ive bought this kit and its gonna tell me how to do it! There doesnt seem to be any learning skills involved, theres no digesting of what went on before and using that as a jumping-off point. I have these conversations with some of the new kids and its just over their heads and then I think Why am I having this conversation with them? But youve got to try, havent you? (laughs)
Im glad were on this subject actually, as you of course are named on the Daft Punk track Teachers but should DJs be teachers?
Well, first and foremost as a DJ you have to be an entertainer, but a teacher? Its a tough one, because of course it was nice for Daft Punk to say that about me, but within that I think its a balance of both those things and trying to get over to people that this is an incredible vibe we have here and its precious and wanting to share that. Thats what Im about. I mean 9 times out of 10 Ill get very frustrated because Ill turn up to a gig and it could be busy, or not busy but youre there and youre playing what you think is amazing music and then they dont give a shit. It happensBut Im not here to moan. That in itself though, the whole club culture thing, I mean going back to Weatherall again, doing the ALFOS thing I mean, having to create that to create a vibe out of it; its almost like a little movement in itself, I think. Thats what youve got to do now. Getting on to Heavy Disco again, I mean thats been dormant for a long time now but weve re-started it now purely because we thought, Lets play that music that we used to play and get people FEELING those records again.
Because at the time of Heavy Disco, London was very minimal in its soundtrack and you guys were doing something different, which is one of the reasons that it worked
Yeah, that was some maxmimal music!
Its great to see it come back
Yeah, were re-starting it in Brighton in a lovely venue and we thought that doing it there takes us away from the whole London thing but we will be back, its just a matter of doing it outside, then bringing it into town.
I love that flyer as well; I think we have that in common, a love of black biker clubs [the flyer for Heavy Disco featured the East Bay Dragons, a black outlaw motorcycle club that has been in existence the 50s and which was mentioned in Hunter S. Thompsons book The Hells Angels]. I think there are a couple of books on the Dragons?
Dave Jarvis has one, I think.
Is that Soul On Bikes? [An autobiography of the Dragons founder, Tobie Gene Livingston]
No, its a big one, a coffee table book full of photographs.
I first heard of the Dragons in Hunter S. Thompsons book, he mentions the Dragons and them meeting the Angels and them getting on but its a bit edgy at the same time.
Yeah, yeah, theyre not going to hang out after are they? That kind of thing has always appealed to me, and I know it has to Dave Jarvis too, that kind of outlaw mentality I suppose. I think from a very young age, Ive always felt a bitI mean, at school, I had a lot of friends, but I remember not quite fitting in. Music is my salvation, my outlet. And Im very lucky and humbled to be involved in what I do.
I definitely agree with that. The thing is that were talking about club culture, but I often feel like were losing the culture side of that equation. Because I feel that perhaps that side of things didnt get passed down to younger people properly
I think whats missing is the community aspect of it you used to have record shops where kids would go and meet and talk about records and meet up and that doesnt really happen anymore as there are so few record shops as such. I mean, there are still a couple of good shops in the West End and around the country, and people seem to be getting back into vinyl and all that (on a very small scale, I may add) but I think its interesting that everything is done online now.
Well, yes indeed. When we first met you were about to go and perform at your first Boiler Room gig as part of the Hot Coins album party [curated by Danny Berman aka electro-disco maker Hot Coins and house & techno producer Red RackEm)
which freaked me out!
And you were with your son, werent you? Thats pretty amazing, that you can take your son down there
It was amazing for him, yes! (laughs) I think he lived off that for a good couple of months!
I would expect nothing less..!
It was great doing Boiler Room, because I wasnt really aware of how popular it is. Its like the new Top Of The Pops!
You know years ago, a friend of mine said to me, how about we film some intimate DJs sets and put it online and I very sagely told him Mate, no one wants to see other people having a good time, which shows what I know , eh?
(laughs) Everybody wants to go on Boiler Room, everybody.
And you basically used it to play all your new stuff, didnt you?
Yeah (laughs), totally
Which was nice for your fans as we watched and went Oh, heres the Yardism, heres the Candy Stanton ah, I see what hes doing! I know it meant a lot to Danny toohes someone who really feels music, isnt he?
Yeah, he certainly he. Hes INCREDIBLY passionate [laughs knowingly] and I love characters like that.
Well, Im glad you said that actually, because Dannys a massive hip-hop fan and you were talking recently on Twitter about Kendrick Lamars verse on Big Seans Control?
Now the thing is there that I was reading the verse
and its not much, is it?
Yeah, its all in the delivery, clearly, but I thought it was an interesting thing to do to call them out like that. Because its now become like hip-hop is scared of itself.
Yeah, I mean you talk about hip-hop culture, but now its like that culture side of it has been lost as well, like we were saying about house before. Its like the gangstas stole it. I mean, I love early gangsta rap and older friends of mine have told me that when NWA came out, it was like black punk to them, whod only ever heard De La Soul! But I dont think gangsta rap was ever supposed to be the dominant genre
No, no, it never should have been. But its easy to sell, isnt it? The thing is that villains dont want to make art, they want to make money. And as to hip-hop as an art form, well, no one talks about it as an art form anymore, do they? Its all about the money I mean, I want Jay-Z to go in with a producer and lay down some killer, KILLER soul samples and shit not sped up and just talk about his life in hip-hop. It doesnt even have to be Jay-Z, it could be any of those guys; go make that bloody record and put it out on a major [label]! Because if you do that, then watch the game change. Itll take one of these guys to flip a coin and do it. I mean, when he did 99 Problems, what an amazing record with an amazing lyric that most people didnt get because they got caught up with the bitch part but it was brilliant lyric and I really felt like something was changing in the game. I thought I could see something happening, but [Ashley trails off here & looks momentarily upset]
Everyone was talking about it and saying Kendrick bodied all those guys, but it did feel like, Has hip-hop come this? Is MCing no longer a contact sport anymore?
Well, Im hoping that one of the boys will come out on wax with a reply to Kendrick and well really see something.
Ok, well from hip-hop back to house youve already mentioned Dave Jarvis, so lets talk about Faith, the fanzine and the parties and your history with all those guys? I admit its the only messageboard I really go on
Well, Terry Farley was looking to do a party that was kind of a new version of Boys Own and he rang me up and said, Youre good with names Ash, what about a name for a new party? So I said, Let me think about it for a bit, and put the phone down. And then, this is absolutely true, George Michael came on the telly singing Faith (laughs), so I called him back and said Terry its called Faith! and he went Brilliant! and (wryly) hes never given me the respect for that(laughs). But I was always connected to Faith, though Im one of these people where I dont wholeheartedly dive into something. Even going back to Boys Own, I was always on the periphery, doing what I did, while having the facilities of Boys Own as a label to work within. I always felt I was observing Boys Own, rather than being fully part of it. Thats just how it was. It really was such a close-knit thing, with its own slang and its own jokes, but I always found it interesting because a lot of my people, from within the black community, got the wrong end of the completely. And Id get Ash, why are you hanging out with all these white guys? And Id say Theyre really good people and lest we forget, Im half white myself! But there was an element of that at first, but when they got involved with doing their Club Gang pieces [pictorials in the Boys Own fanzines that showed the crews behind clubs like Norman Jays High On Hope etc.] that people realised that they were just a bunch of very sound suburban soul boys who liked their house music.
Ive noticed that at the last Thunder, for example, there are a lot more black faces around.
I think there are a lot more black faces in the clubs generally, which is great to see.
Because before Ive heard many people say Oh, house, well its white music isnt it?, which is terrible really but you can see why people who dont go out much or really care about music can think that kind of thing, especially back in the minimal era
Now minimal was touch and go for me. There was a period in X-Press 2 where we were playing a lot of it and I have to say it wasnt my favourite period and while I understood the aesthetic of it, a lot of it sounded like those early Jack Trax records to me, which I think it was they were after. But I think with minimal, it fitted the drug at the time, as it goes.
Well, as were talking of gigs, I see youre playing at the English Disco Lovers party at Dalston Superstore soon?
Yeah, yeah. I met those guys via Andy Yam Who and I love their vibe. I love subversion and if you can take something like the EDL and subvert it then thats brilliant! I think theres more black kids in London clubs now and thats brilliant, Ive seen that and I think its great.
Whats it been like in Manchester [where Ashley was briefly living]?
There was a lot of black faces in clubs there and when we did Best Dressed Chicken it was pretty much half and half. And wed be told that was a rare thing, there was still a majority of white kids in clubs in Manchester, but saying that, I think there are a lot more black kids going out there. In Manchester, it can get a bit polarized; I mean there is a black scene out there as well.
Well, it can be like that in London as well but theyve always be at least a few black faces at the likes of secretsundaze or Kubicle.I mean I personally love seeing the likes of Seth [Troxler] or Jamie [Jones] doing well, but I just dont like the music they play. But in this very white business, seeing a couple of young brothers doing well for themselves is good, isnt it?
Its very good
Its just that whole Visionquest thing leaves me a bit coldI love 90s hip-hop and I love 90s house, but
Well, all that Hot Creations stuff, all I ever say about that is Good luck to them because when youre doing all this stuff and youre doing well out of it, this is the time to be feeding your family and laying your groundwork for whatever youre going to do in the future. I dont like to outwardly criticise a form of music like that, because its what they do, its not what I do. And in the same way, they probably look at what I do and think Oh, thats not really our cup of tea but anyway, respect due. You know?
Well on the subject of the new school, weve spoken about your views on Julio Bashmore before and he was at the centre of some controversy lately over his track Duccy seeming like it hadnt been mastered
Theres been quite a few tunes which sound bloody unfinished to me! (laughs) I mean there will be tunes that are out there, on the radio and everyones like Its the next big thing. And Im like, Its not finished!
I tend to think this is about the fact that now you have a generation who are only used to laptop speakers, so theyve never heard anything better.
But I would say that hes coming along in leaps and bounds as a producer and hes got some great stuff still to come, Im sure.
So as were talking about the younger generation, on the subject of mentors, who helped you when you were coming up and whom have you helped yourself?
Hmmm now, definitely the guys in Shock Soundsystem as they taught me a lot about spinning, presentation, how to get tracks out there, then after that Kid Bachelor, people like Norman Jay, Keith Franklin from the KCC Soundsystem, Phil Asher is another one. I saw Phil described in print as, a behemoth of house music and I totally agree with that. Hes someone Ive known 20-ood years and he is constant…hes always there, doing his shit, blinkers on and just looking ahead! Hes always made amazing, beat-driven, black-music influenced house. Hes someone who comes from the hip-hop / soul thing, you know?
So what about someone who youve mentored? I mean I know you and T. Williams have a relationship
Yeah, definitely! This said, Ive not spoken to T. in a while actually, I must send him the new Yardism EP! (laughs) But Ill be honest with you; I get a lot of love when Im out and about. I go out there to certain clubs, mainly underground club, and the younger DJs wholl be warming up for me, theyll come up and say Youre Ashley Beedle and now youre playing here here and I almost feel, sometimes, that its like, Am Im meant to be up there with bigger DJs? But I dont think I was ever meant to be, I think I was always about going into the grimy clubs and rocking it! Thats where Im coming from now these days and thats where I feel the most love. Its a two way thing thats where I feel the love and thats how my name gets remembered. But therespeople out there, like Luke Solomon, Toddla T, all those characters, they always give me love and thats a beautiful thing. Im truly humbled and truly grateful that people can still see what Im trying to represent. I dont cut corners; if you piss me off, you get called out. But Ive mellowed a lot I used to be a lot worse than I am now. A hell of a lot worse. Now I listen a lot more. I try and listen to what people have to say, because it might be from the mouths of babes, but it can still be wisdom.
Well, indeed. So now lets finish by talking about the new Yardism EP ready to drop on Toddla Ts label, Girls Music?
Yeah, theyve got everything from us now. Artwork, music, everything. And weve got people working on the press for it but weve generated a lot ourselves, which is really good.
So this is your take on modern bass culture?
Yeah, its a bit wider in its scope now, theres more elements [than the first Yardism EP]. Theres a Carl Craig-ish vibe in there, theres a booty track in there, which is called Amen, Hit That Coochie which is done as a total spoof, obviously. I worked with Zed Bias and Will from L.V., whos done an amazing mix with Charlie Dark [lately of the RunDem Crew road-running project, but who ran the seminal Blacktronica events at the ICA in the 2000s)
I always wanted to meet Charlie but never have, I always thought the name Blacktronica was amazing and I went to the last one he did
Charlie used to be the kid who, when I used to work in Black Market [now BM Soho] he was good friends with Zaki Dee and Theo Keating whos now Fake Blood and they come in for all their hip-hop and stuff like that. And so you watch these people grow and you become a part of what theyre doing as well. Charlies a futurist as well Afro-futurist, I love that term!
Well, now for my last question, can I ask you how you feel about the state of the house nation?
Well, I feel excited about it, in some ways, because I get sent some really, really incredible records. But theres not a cohesive movement anymore that guides them. Theres not this thing anymore where we all go Wow! I dont know, I think the internet has disseminated it as nothing can really grow slowly; I often think Shit! Give it time We wont ever get the acid house movement or something like it ever again, but there will be something that will act as a conduit for people to get together and make some amazing music. But as to when and where, I dont know. I mean the whole reason were doing the Heavy Disco thing theres very little press, its basically just that Facebook page is to play vinyl and its NOT about us bleating about nostalgia, its about saying These 12 records were made to tell stories. And when we do Heavy Disco, we arent gonna mix these records, were just gonna play these records all the way through.
Ah, Mancuso style?
Very much so. We took elements of the Loft into what we wanted, but we had to do it from a UK perspective; we wanted to feature records that were big here, like certain jazz-funk tunes that never saw the light of day in America. Of course, well play mad rock records too, stuff that you can properly wig-out to, which is very much what Heavy Disco is about. And I think all those kind of parties, like ours, like A Love From Outer Space, like English Disco Lovers, if more and more of those parties keep happening, I do think we are going to see something beautiful come out of that.
Ashley Beedles Yardism 2 EP is out in early November on Toddla Ts Girls Music label. But meanwhile youll find him playing at Dalston Superstore presents English Disco Lovers on Friday 6th September.