Rikki Humphrey: The ‘Shine A Light On’ Mix


Out of the Welsh valleys and now at home in Manchester, Rikki Humphrey has been hosting radio shows on KMAH and Reform Radio and has just kicked off a new residency on the city's NTS channel. DJing all over the country and across Europe and South America, Rikki has supported a gamut of wide-ranging jocks including Space Dimension Controller, Italojohnson, Tornado Wallace, Bicep, Xosar, Hunee and many more, and he still finds time to fulfill a residency at TEAK in Cardiff. He's pretty new to us, so we asked him to pull a set together, answer a few q's, and shine a light on what he is all about.

You’re pretty new on our radar, fancy telling us a little bit about yourself:

Who are you and where are you from?
Please introduce yourself…

Who are you: Rikki Humphrey
Where are you: Manchester (via North Wales)
What are you: Digger, collector, selector, resident DJ at Teak in Cardiff, radio host, part-time beat maker when opportunity (and time) allows.

Where was the mix recorded?

In my living room with a brew or two during a smooth Sunday afternoon in my boxers. It's more of a selections style mix, for the easy ear.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

End of a tiring working day, squished on the bus, rammed on the tube, on the sofa with a brew, cooking, sauna, massage, sexy time.

What should we be wearing?

As little as possible.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format.

Paradise Garage? Muzic Box? David Mancuso's Loft? Really check and test out the setup and crazy-good system he had! Some of the amazing spots I visited this year in Japan – Shelter, Bonobo or Oath. Somewhere warm with a great crisp sounding booth. Jacobs basement in Cardiff is always such great fun for club recordings with a live environment where the energy is so blinking high – truly unique atmosphere. Rotary mixer could be fun for quick mixing and sound, I’ve played on a djr400 a fair bit and they’re class. To be honest my front room works well especially with my trusty Genelecs and the kettle on hand with peace and quiet at my feet, and all my shelves to pull out from (depending on the direction). For a club recording – fabric room one – best sound system I've experienced.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

Bit daft to say I guess as an answer but they’re all favourites. I'd say the majority of records included in this mix are long term favourites, bar two new-ish bits. Ndikho Xaba And The Natives ‎LP is a big'un as well as Midori Takada – Through The Looking Glass LP. New YK Black Focus LP (included) is I guess the most 'current favourite', as it is the latest record I have purchased.

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

Top 3 mixes mostly for feel good factor and great memories attached to them – Theo Parish Live in Detroit 1999 CD, DJ Deep 1994 Mixtape (own all the records in that mix), David Mancuso Live @ The Loft NYC 2005.

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

Could always name the staple (now all sadly deceased) greats Hardy, Levan, Knuckles, Mancuso, etc, as any of those legends would have given me such an insight into the energy and the origins of the dance music culture – RIP. In terms of those that have had a bigger impact on me during my youth and the era I came through with (and have grown up in), it would probably have to be likes of Gilles Peterson, Theo Parrish, Sadar Bahar, Mr Scruff, DJ Harvey, Volcov, Ricardo Villalobos, Derrick May, Craig Richards or Zip. This would simply be as they are some of my favourite DJs I have heard play innumerable times across the years and those I look up to the most in recent times. Narrowed it down there haven't I?

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

First set up – Vestax VMX100 and the same 2x Technics 1210 MK2’s I purchased 10+ years ago (and still own today). I considered selling them a few years back before venturing off travelling to South America, but so glad I didn’t looking back – I have my mate Dill to thank for that. Since then I’ve owned a range of mixers, most recently the sweet sounding Ecler. Great sounding budget mixer for records I find. I'm looking at purchasing a Bozak AR-4 going forward hopefully, or an E&S (eventually).

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

For me the record you start with. You have to get the vibe right and make sure you set the tone in the correct fashion for whichever direction you want to take things, keeping people focused and their ears up for listening. You can use or lose the crowd with the first thing you drop the needle on, so make sure it’s the right one. That being said finishing on a belter also rounds things off nicely and sends people home smiling (usually). Although, in all honesty I kind of prefer it when people are in a more respectful state of mind to appreciate the music to it’s fullest.

What were the first and last records you bought?

First record: Stevie Wonder – Songs In The Key Of Life LP. Most recent purchase: Yussef Kamaal – Black Focus LP.

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

Drink: Double Yamazaki 12 – reasonably smooth and not daft expensive. Food: Watermelon – always refreshing (I hope).

If it was an animal what would it be?

Caterpillar – as it’s a small creeper.

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

John Coltrane – Ascension.

Upcoming in the world of Rikki?

Very much looking forward to fulfilling my new radio residency with NTS in Manchester. I’ve been lucky enough to become involved with the station recently during its expansion up north and there is an insane amount of talented local music heads from all different musical directions involved with it all. Shouts to Seb, Ben, Leon and Finn. Continuing with my shows on KMAH and Reform Radio also; always an honour to host amazing guests and friends – Sol Son, Ewan Pearson, Seelie, Amila, Tom Rio, Diego Perrisson, Sameed, Jelly Roll Soul, T.Wiltshire, Jason Spinks, Japhy and Mark Graham all coming up soon in 2017. Discogs binging, sharing old and new purchases with others whenever I am lucky enough to grace a party dancefloor, digging record and charity shops whenever time and location allows, holding down a monthly residency in Cardiff at my good friends' (Dave and James) club night TEAK (big-up to the lads and shouts to the homeslice Seka also). Knuckling down on tunes when and wherever I can allow time, travelling and exploring new places, and eating along the way.

Anything else we need to discuss.

The new Tribe Called Quest Album? Just a quick thanks for the invitation to interview and for hosting my selection of records. I really hope you and any listeners enjoy. Feel free to contact me on Soundcloud with any record ID’s. Hope to see some of you down at a TEAK, in a record shop or on a dancefloor soon enough.

Photo credit: CM Taylor. 

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