The ‘Shine A Light On’ Mix: Primitive World


Primitive World is an interesting character. His music has featured on the likes of Black Acre, Ecstatic Sound and Obsession Recordings. However this past week has seen him take the next step along his musical career with the release of a new record for R&S Records.  It's a very club orientated record: with off centre drums and percussion leading the way he has crafted four energetic techno tracks which will be hot property in dance clubs up and down the country in no time at all. This release sees R&S take a step back from some of the slightly more obscure and brings a sense of focus back to the dancefloor.  We caught up with him on the back of this latest feat and had him record a mix to accompany a rather charismatic interview which can be found below. Over to him..

Please introduce yourself:

My name is Sam Willis, and I make experimental house and techno as Primitive World for R&S Records, as well as co-running Ecstatic and Obsession Recordings.

Where and how was the mix recorded?

It was assembled in Ableton from various files ripped from vinyl, downloaded etc. then augemented with extra parts here and there, some subtle field recordings to add atmosphere. I always hated what the ableton warping modes did to full track audio, so when the penny dropped that I could avoid this mangling by choosing the ‘repitch' option I really started to be much more satisfied with the results. 
The concept of the DJ mix is so fragmented these days, there’s so many interpretations of what is authentic or ‘real’, vinyl only, no computer blah blah blah. If it’s not being done in a single take on turntables with the vinyl that you own, then why not go to the opposite end and put a ton of effort into selecting the best / most interesting tracks, working on the transitions, re-editing where needed, adding extra effects, filtering etc. to create a rich listening experience.

How do you envisage people listening to it?

In a foetal position rocking slowly back and forth.

If the mix were an edible thing, what would it taste like?

Plantains covered in a honey glaze.

If the mix were an English monarch, who would it be?

I have no interest in the monarchy, so don’t want to give them any attention, as such, I’ll say that this mix is more like Christopher Walken in The King Of New York.

Describe the mix with a GIF?

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

I'd say the start, as it really sets the tone of the whole piece – I really enjoy putting extra effort in to create that effect.Also everyone has such short attention spans, there’s a good chance that they clicked off before the end. Also, that’s another reason why I prefer making shorter mixtapes, I’d rather leave the listener wanting more than outstay my welcome.

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

NYC DJs Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito had an incredibly influential hip hop college radio show in the 90s that really blew my mind (check out their recent documentary – I only got to hear a handful of shows in the mid 90s, via imported mixtapes, but the selection of music was so consistently amazing and their surreal banter was hilarious. A lot of archival cassette recordings of the show were made by people in NYC at the time, that have since been digitised but you have to hunt them down. Check out this incredible freestyle between Big L and Jay Z that was one of their most memorable moments: 

If money were no object, what piece of kit would you like to get your hands on?

I’m lucky enough to own SP1200 and MPC 3000 samplers already, but if money was really no problem, I’d have to get the vintage Neve desk that Bob Power used to mix all those incredible 90s hip hop records.

If you could go back to back with any DJ, who would it be?

Wow.. probably Steve Poindexter back in the day at some crazy Chicago warehouse party or something.

What were the first and last records you bought?

First record was Depth Charge’s ‘Nine Deadly Venoms’, and the last was a Cameo DJ double pack.

What’s your favourite R&S release?

Outlander's ‘Vamp’ is right up there at the top alongside a ton of other seminal and amazing records.

‘Purple Rain’ or ‘Purple Haze’?

I’ve got to go with Prince really – one of the funkiest guys of all time – ‘Controversy’ is one of my all time favourite tracks to play out.


Well, both were on top form for GZA's 'Liquid Swords’ album which is a total hip hop classic, overall though, I have to pick RZA, as he’s probably the most original musical voice in hip hop, alongside Timberland and The Neptunes, and pretty under appreciated considering how much incredible music that he’s created for a huge list of classic records. What I love particularly about his stuff is the otherworldly weirdness of how he chops up samples, repitches, his imagination to fuse the whole Shaw Brothers / bad kung fu move dialogue with this super gritty, real hip hop that still had heart and imagination.

Best album that’s come out this year?

I don’t know about best, but I really enjoyed Dawn Of Midi’s ‘Dysnomia’ album a lot.

Show us a picture of something purple?

Here's Raekwon’s legendary ‘Purple Tape’ that’s referred to in ‘Only Built 4 Cuban Linx’.



What’s the coolest dinosaur?

Arthur Russell’s Dinosaur L has it all going on.

How much noise is too much noise?

I guess when it stops being fun? I saw the My Bloody Valentine play their reformation shows at the Roundhouse in Camden, and the sheer noise and intensity was brutalizing, and this was with good earplugs in. After a while I needed to step outside for a breather as it was all getting a bit too much. 

Kick, snare or hi hat?

Definitely snare.. smacking you in the face, snare or clap. Kicks can very quickly slip into hte dreaded metronomic 4 to the floor with no swing or rhythm which is pretty much the whitest sound alive. Also the hi hats on the Casio FZ-1 are pretty immense I have to say.

What’s your favourite episode of The Simpsons? 

I prefer South Park, so i’ll pick the Michael Jackson episode (ahem Mr Jefferson). 

Show us a funny YouTube video? 

This is pretty great…

Which album should I buy my nan for Xmas?

She’s a hip hop fan you say? Well, I’d suggest that she check out the Cannibal Ox album ‘The Cold Vein’ – it’s an incredible album of sci-fi hip hop produced by El-P now of Run The Jewelz fame.

Any other business?

I have an EP that’s out on R&S Records that’s really great and that you should buy on vinyl, and tell your friends about how really great it is.. oh, and maybe you should buy one for your nan for Christmas also, she’ll love it.

Buy the Primitive World EP HERE.