Pete Herbert – The Ransom Note Mix
One time proprietor of the infamous Atlas Records shop in Soho, London over a decade ago, Pete Herbert has been a purveyor of the most fine left of centre sounds for many a year. His absurdly prolific production work with Phil Mison as Reverso 68, with Baby G as LSB, with Tim Paris of Its a Fine Line as Challenge and the great Dicky Trisco as Disco Deviance has seen his productions vary in style but never in quality. He also co-runs label MAXI DISCS, has regular show Music for Swimming Pools and plays black discs all over the world…when does he have time to breathe?
This weekend Pete Herbert climbs aboard the Sancho Panza Boa Boa Boat party on the Thames as Disco Deviance with Dicky Trisco. Feathers, Funktion One and Frolicking. With this in mind we asked him to take Reverso68 as a starting point and go from there for his R$N mix.
Here is the result and below is a chat with Mr Herbert.
Please introduce yourself…
Who are you:
Where are you:
In the bible belt of Bethnal Green
What are you:
A reformed sinner
Why so many aliases? Why have you only ever produced 3 records under your own name?
Really is that all? Cripes, i thought it was at least 5. Yes I guess the answer to that question is hence why I haven't recorded so much solo stuff, as I do like to do a good collaboration when it comes to studio time. Having someone to bounce ideas off, share the work load (sometimes), be told when to stop tuning cowbells, and then go down the pub afterwards all makes for a good working environment for me.
What was the first electronic record you heard and how did it make you feel?
Unknowingly it would have been something like Depeche Mode, Japan, Eurythmics… i can remember liking, that my older sister was listening to at the time, it seemed so futuristic. I then went off all of those for a decade or so, and now love it all again, funny how it goes.
You’re a very prolific writer of aural beauty. What has been your biggest ‘hit’? Be it sales, licensing or syncs?
Personally it has to be Piece Together that i did with Phil Mison about 12 years ago (blimey). We put it out ourselves first of all, and then later reissued it on Eskimo Recordings a few years later. I can remember we were trying to make an ambient track at the time, got 3 minutes in, and hit a wall! hence the drums are introduced about 4 minutes in, but it seemed to work nicely, so we went with it. It was not necessarily a hit, sold loads or was used on any car adverts that we know about, but it helped define the sound of Reverso 68 at the time so definitely proud of that.
What were you thinking about when you wrote this record?
Ever thought about reviving Atlas Records in any shape or form or are your days of residing behind a counter long gone?
No i haven't to be honest, though I have been approached a few times over the years if I would. It was a real life changing experience to be involved in the shop, and especially during such a great period of time in Soho and the music scene then in the mid 90's.
We’ve heard you’re playing on a boat on the Thames this weekend. Care to tell us about your relationship with Sancho Panza and the great Jimmy K Tel?
Yes indeed I shall be playing with my buddy Dicky Trisco alongside Jim and Matt Brown on the first Sancho Panza boat party of the year.. I'm very excited about it… I think i may have met them through the shop, at some parties, certainly via Freddy Love who DJs with them and worked in record distribution companies at the time. To get to play at any Sancho Panza party has always been a real joy, the atmosphere, their crowd, attention to detail they put in, and the ridiculously large sound systems they always use make them special. They've been doing it 20 years, so I guess you could say they know what they're doing. Jim and I also hang out in the same church 😉
Favourite nautical record for a moving vessel?
that would be The Aloof 'Never get out the Boat'
What is a Bakazou (another alias of Pete's that spurned the great Risky Disko track)?
A Bakazou I believe is a very rare type of chilean nose flute. Coincidently it's also the spliced names of artists Hector Zazou and Bakooza that i once borrowed a part of their track on the wrong speed for a track called 'Risky Disko'.
Where was the mix recorded?
It was recorded at midnight of the last full moon at a secret location
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
It's the type of mix I do for a radio show called "Music For Swimming Pools" that goes out weekly on www.ibizasonica.com so I think a pool in a tropical environment would be ideal, as opposed to York Hall swimming baths in Bethnal Green on a wet wednesday.
What should we be wearing?
That's your call..
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format.
Saturday night on the boat would be a good start… nudge nudge Sancho…
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Maurice Fulton's 'Intro to its Sunny S outside' under his Boof name. I've been waiting for some new music from him for a while, and this is just amazing. So is the rest of the album.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
That's a tough one, as always seem to lose mixes over the years, but have recently been enjoying Trevor Jacksons recorded set from a recent Low Life party. Nostalgic.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
1210's and a shoddy cheap mixer, still the same now..
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
I'd say if you balls up with a first track of a set, at least you've got time to pull it back.. but a bad last track can leave a bad taste…for a while.
What were the first and last records you bought?
Fun Boy Three 'It aint what you do'"7"
Not officially a purchase but acquired. I bumped into Johhny Rock last friday in Soho and he kindly gave me a copy of Disco Hammam Volume 2..very cosmic.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
If it was a drink it would be an Aperol Spritz for sure..
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything…
Any of my early edits.. didn't seem that important at the time.
Upcoming in the world of Pete Herbert…
I have just set up a new label called Paradise Row with Dicky Trisco, which the first release is just out, cleverly titled 'Volume One' with some new productions from our good selves, plus we've just finished some remixes for Tensnake and Belle and Sebastian that should be out soon. Me and Phil have got some new Reverso 68 tracks ready, and I'm looking at setting up a Music for Swimming Pools label to put them out on.. plus some other collabs in the pipeline and some exciting gigs in Mexico, New York, Bali, Croatia to look forward to.
Pete Herbert climbs aboard the Sancho Panza Boa Boa Boat party on the Thames as Disco Deviance with Dicky Trisco. Feathers, Funktion One and Frolicking. There's a handful of tickets on the link above but be quick!