For anyone who's caught a Tony Neptune set, either online or offline, you'll know the Leeds DJ, producer and Dimensions DJ Directory member doesn't do things in half measures.
As both Tony and his other alias Yuri - a tip of the hat to Yuri Gagarin, the first human to journey into outer space - he's no stranger to 6-hour long mixes, sometimes immortalised in his lengthy back-to-backs with fellow Leeds DJ Mark 'Turbo' Turner.
Last month he shared his first productions with the world; a debut EP titled Reflections on a Daring Escape that moves through emotive electro and further serves as a vehicle for Neptune to tell a story for the senses, by combining his own visual paintings with the music.
In typical fashion for his Shine A Light On mix he delivers a live recording from his three hour set at Gut Level, a party in Sheffield, just before lockdown commenced. A journey through everything from oddball wave to slow industrial, EBM, new wave and electro, the mix picks up the pace continuing to build until its climax...
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you
I’m Tony Neptune, I’m 27 and from Leeds, I’m a visual artist, DJ and music producer. I’ve just released my Debut EP on Twelve Comets called Reflections on a Daring Escape.
What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
I’m influenced by a wide range of music from New Wave and Funk to the weirder side of Techno and Electro. When I’m behind a set of turntables I think most of this comes out. My bag is always pretty varied.
Where was the mix recorded?
The Mix is a live recording from Gut Level in Sheffield for Frazer an old friend of mine who’s been having me over to play in the city on a fairly regular basis at his Club Rush Nights. I was going through some pretty horrible stuff at the time but I turned up weirdly focused for the gig. I had a cold shower before I went on at 1am and I just got down into a rhythm nice and early. I was playing after some lad’s playing House so that first ambient track on Whities I played was a bit of a shock to the system.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
At the venue but failing that a bedroom with the curtains drawn, lights off.
What should we be wearing?
The new Leeds United away strip, it’s mint, you not seen it?
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
I would take any club at the moment but in regular times Freerotation on the Sunday in the sunshine playing big feel good House Music to my best mates.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
The Weatherall Dub of Jailbird has got to be one of my favourite tunes of all time. When the 808 electro beat comes in half way through I completely melt every time. But there was a new wave find that I found a few weeks before the gig by Midnight called 'Run With You' that has become a complete anthem for me.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
Easy. Theo Parrish’s live recording from Cutloose. Just a complete masterclass in how to DJ from start to finish.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
I would’ve loved to have been able to see one of my best mates Mark Turner strutting his stuff in the back room of the Orbit. Hearing so many people gushing about how good they were added to the fact that I’ve seen Mark mix records more times than I can ever remember makes me pretty gutted I couldn’t see where it all began for him. Having known him for a long old while it’s made me realise that you might get the big names dominating the circuit but in reality there’s a host of ridiculously talented DJs under the surface who would, in all likelihood, wipe the floor with them.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
A pair of Stanton str8-20’s and a numark MK1 Mixer. The TT’s were direct drive but the torque was so low that if a fly landed on the platter they’d probably stop in their tracks. I think playing on gear like that made me a better DJ though so I’m not complaining. These days I’ve got 3 1210’s and an E&S that I bought after selling a few paintings unexpectedly. And then an Ecler Nuo3 I use sometimes for faster mixing.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
I like to know what I’m going to start on and what I’m going to finish on and make it up in between when I DJ so I don’t think one’s more important than the other.
What were the first and last records you bought?
First CD was the streets Original Pirate Material. First Record was Extrawelt Zu Fuss back in 2011. Last record was DJ Omega - At the Club on Databass.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
A varied nine course taster menu that your Nan gave you a voucher for at Christmas last year.
If it was an animal what would it be?
Portuguese Man O’ War
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
I can never mix my own tracks satisfactorily. I think because I’ve heard them too much
Upcoming in the world of …
Like I said I’ve had my first EP come out over the last few weeks. One of the tracks ‘And Then There Were Stars’ was really kindly premiered on the Ransom Note just before release. Now I’ve paid of my credit card off for the first one I’ve got EP’s 2,3 and 4 ready to go so expect a string of releases over the next year. They’re a soundtrack to the paintings on the sleeves which are all about a fictionalised narrative of the first Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Its been genuinely quite humbling to have people mentioning the Sleeve Art almost as much as the music to me when giving me nice feedback for the record. I wanted to create something where the sleeve and the music were as important as one another and worked in tandem to tell the story rather than it just being an after thought. Obviously gigs at the present moment are pretty thin on the ground. Catch me most evenings through the window from my flat on Kirkgate.
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