INTERVIEW WITH DJ NATURE
Ahead of the anticipated release of his first solo album Return Of The Savage due out on Golf Channel Recs (NYC) in April and his appearance at Revive Her at Dalston Superstore. We caught up with DJ Nature a.k.a Milo at home in Harlem where he has been living since the 90s after relocating from his native Bristol to chat a little of his long history and what he listens to when he aint making dope house beats
When and how did you start DJ’ing, did you have any influences DJ/Radio/Soundsystem wise?…
Started dj’ing around late 70’s early 80’s. First influence was a local DJ called Seymour and probably John Peel. After that was Tony Humphries for the most part.
You started making House music as DJ Nature in the late 80’s ?…what attracted you to want to start making House music ?. Were there any pivotal records that drew you to the flame ?..
Started the DJ Nature project around 1990. I have been into it since the very first tracks hit the UK Stuff like Funkin’ With The Drums by Farley Keith and all that old Chicago stuff that was trickling through around the mid 80’s. I used to buy music and clothing for a store in Japan called “DJ’s Choice” run by my Sister in law ,and I used to by a lot of music from US based independents direct. Met up with some good people, like Frank Mendez who owned “Nu Groove records” who was quite supportive of my style of rough sample based house and he got me a lot of play with Tony Humphries at the time.
He linked me up with Felix Ortiz who ran Elegal/Black label records and he picked up my initial releases that I had put out myself on “Rough Disco” records. Another big positive influence was Charlie at Vinylmania ,who was really cool.
What’s your studio set up?…
Two keyboards Yamaha and korg, 2 samplers s950 and s3000 , pro tools, cubase, dangerous music d-box, that’s the main stuff!.
The album has a hip hop and house sensibility around it in terms of hearing hip hop samples mixed with house beats…are you still listening to Hip Hop..anyone your feeling?.
If I hear any Hip Hop these days it’s coming form my kids room and most of it is trash!. I live on 125th st (Harlem.. and you obviously hear stuff going past in cars but very rarely in the last 10 years has anything moved me. I like production quality of some artist like your obvious “Neptunes” and “J.Dilla” ,but most of the other stuff that I hear, doesn’t do much for me. I still have a massive collection of hip hop from 1980 – 1996 and I listen to that stuff ATCQ, Brand Nubian, Kool Moe D, Public Enemy, 45 king and all that stuff.
You are working with live musicians on this album, is it something you keen to continue with, more live projects lined up?
I work with soloists and to be honest my stuff would be crap without them they just take it to another level .But all that is part of the plan when i’m creating stuff anyway. I will without question be using soloists in the future as they are an integral part of the production.
When you have turned off the equipment for the day/night…what does Nature listen to for chillin away from Dance music?…
Pil, Manicured Noise , Joe Gibbs African dub chapters 3 and 4, Revolutionaries-Jonkanoo dub. Anything by Augustus Pablo, bit of Pat Metheny.
Five inspirational Lp’s ‘any genre’ that are naturally you?
In no particular order.. Don Blackman self titled album, Screaming Target – Big youth, Best Dressed Chicken In Town – Dr.Alimantado , Chocolate city – Parliament , Leon Ware-Musical Message …….
Nature plays Revive Her on 30th March at Dalston Superstore
Check www.golfchannelrecordings.com for album-ness.