Interviews

Robbi PromoterSix years have passed since we last spoke to world renowned promoter Robbi (find our 2009 interview here) who is celebrating 22 years in the business this month. Reason enough for us to revive our Interview section and reach out to the man who has been elementary to the dance music scene in and around New York...

Interview Kevind Hedge (Blaze) Blaze - Kevin Hedge and Josh Milan - are one of those rare artists whose music is truly timeless. Their catalogue totals over one-hundred and sixty published works, making it the largest catalogue produced by any single entity in the house music genre. As artists and businessmen, they have been involved in almost every facet of the music business - from producing and performing to managing, owning and promoting clubs, to distributing music - not many can come close to the artistry and business of Blaze.

It goes without saying that they are fundamentally important house music artists and DJ's from New York. These are the guys who set the scene for everyone else to follow, not just musically but through their legendary club Shelter too. They are known for their soulful, gospel and afro-beat take on house, inspired in part by their faith and spirituality, making sure that the uplifting feeling they get is apparent in all their work. They are well known for releasing their first album "25 Years Later" in 1990 - although not quite 25 years yet, they still share the same passion today as when they first started. Now they are about to release "House Masters - Blaze" through Defected Records, a collection of some of their most memorable classics.

Peter Oakden

Since buying his first record aged fourteen in the mid 90's, Peter Oakden can already look back at an illustrious career, with him being one of the brightest young names on the UK's underground house scene. Peter's past few years have included a residency at the prestigious Ministry of Sound Red Sea back in 2006, working for Hed Kandi's deep and soulful sister label Stereo Sushi in 2007 (he helped out with marketing and promotion for album releases and events in the midlands and north as well as resident DJ'ing duties). More recently he has played at many events and countries around the globe - USA, Slovenia, Spain, Greece, Lithuania, Portugal and Africa to name but a few, not forgetting his regular weekly bookings in the UK.

In 2008 he teamed up with close friend Jay Grooves to form Soul Free Productions then went on to release various records and remixes together, which got supported by the likes of Tony Humphries. Building up from this success, Soul Free Records was launched a short time later, which again, also gained sudden elusive support from Phil Asher, Osunlade, Ralf Gum, Anthony Nicholson and Groove Assassin amongst others, and all this within the labels first eight months… Soul Free Records is already growing into one of the UK's most sought after independent labels dedicated to releasing QUALITY MUSIC with SOUL.

Evan landes

After 7 years of collaboration, and methodically gaining support from a "Who's who" list of industry taste makers and a legion of fans throughout the world, Evan Landes & Parrish Wintersmith (aka Groove Junkies) have amicably parted ways to pursue individual interests. Their collective success story and achievements have made an indelible mark on dance music's history – one can hardly imagine soulful house music without thinking of the inimitable Groove Junkies sound and the uncountable classics they are accountable for.

A new chapter though has unfolded as founding member Evan Landes now represents the highly regarded Groove Junkies brand in a solo capacity. Right in time for the release of the debut artist album "In the Zone" (out October 4th on MoreHouse Records), Evan took the time to answer our questions.

Don't forget to check out our Review of the album and Fresh Grooves 598 featuring selected tracks from the album.

DJ Spen

House music is a labour of love. You only have to listen to it for a very short time to realise that at its best, house music can be an uplifting, all-encompassing, life-affirming experience. For some, the relationship they have goes beyond simply loving it to being an essential part of their existence. Once such man is DJ Spen, an artist who has spend his entire career creating music that stays as true to the roots of house as is humanly possible.

As such, he was the ideal candidate to select and mix the latest "For the Love of House" compilation - a retrospective series picking house gems from an exhaustive potential catalogue. We caught up with the man himself to get his views on love, life and most importantly... house music.

Osunlade

Osunlade is an intelligent, spiritually minded and classically trained musician, DJ and producer. Drawing influence from the wider sphere of world music and live instrumentation, Osunlade isn't a created professional persona, he really is at one with his art.

African beats, Jazz, Soul and captivating vocals are all part of the Osunlade sound, a sound with uncommon depth for house music but one that remains focused on the dance floor.

Here he tells gives us the 'scoop' on his new artist album, why he is so in love the work of the contemporary surreal artist Wangechi Mutu, his grumbles on remixes and why you won't be able to stop dancing to his new Strictly Rhythm Ibiza mix. Here's what the legendary producer had to say first hand...

Robbi Promoter He has been around in the New York dance scene for 15 years, and from day one he has drawn the attention from the world with his unique ways of promoting - this man is known as "Robbi - 5 Time Award Winning Best Promoter". Right in time for his birthday smash this friday we present you an exclusive interview with this truly unique personality.
 Marc Evans and DJ Spen He wowed the world of house and soul music last year with his eponymous album "The Way You Love Me", and now the man with the magnificent voice aka Baltimore's soul sensation - Mr Marc Evans is doing it all over again with a brand new re-issue. MuthaFunkaz beat master DJ Spen caught up with the artist to talk soul, the truth behind his music, the new record and what exactly would go into a Marc Evans smoothie…
Kenny Dope

On 17th of August, one half of Masters at Work - the legendary Kenny Dope - drops "Dope Jams", a collection of slick beats compiled, mixed and cut up as only the original beat master can.

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Over the years, Kenny has developed a reputation as a bit of a tyrant when it comes to interviews, but it's a reputation that seems unfounded - at least now. Ahead of the release of the mix and specially made collection of Kenny's edits, we caught up with him to talk about his aversion to downloading tracks, his recent health issues and why he doesn't mind being interviewed any more...

Joseph Mercado

Joseph Mercado, formerly known as DJ Dimension and one half of the MegaMen productions, founded Next Dimension Music back in 2005. But his musical journey started back in 1988 in clubs such as Tunnel or Sound Factory in New York City where he fell in love with electronic music we are used to call "House". Early in the 90's, he began to promote his own parties, DJ'ed in various clubs and was a guest DJ on WNYU's "The Candy Store".

In 1997 he started producing and soon after he collaborates with William Rosario to form the MegaMen productions (their first project "Hand's up (what?)" under the alias Ghetto Stylez was released by Strictly Rhythm back in 1998). Since then, various productions, remixes and compilations followed.

This brings us to mid 2005 when he moved on to form Next Dimension Music which now celebrates its fourth birthday with the 200th release specially selected to reflect the overall sound of next dimension and its artists – the past, the present and the future.

 

Image Defected Records once again brings together three of house music's most interesting producers on the album "Defected In the House - Miami 2009". All are from diverse countries and bring a little of their own experience and flavour to their new mix album. In the below interviews you will find out a little fresh info from the three.
Image First meet DJ Yass, a brand new unique signing from Paris, he is the protégé of the French house music collective that includes Bob Sinclar, DJ Gregory and Claude Monnet. His style is smooth and soulful and the mix perfectly represents the pool party vibe. DJ Spen is a veteran of the house scene and connects us directly with the US. He is immensely experienced, with an infinite knowledge of House, this is the guy that many DJ's try to emulate. He brings us his superb selection that sets up the vibe for his sundown mix. Finally mix three comes from David Penn. Originally from Madrid, he has been recently crowned "Best Club DJ' 09" and on top of being awarded "Best House Production" last year in Spain by DeeJay Magazine. He delivers a tougher peak time vibe with his in da club mix.
Image Simon Dunmore is the legendary British independent label head who brought us some of the finest dance moments in the last decade. His records hit both the underground and the commercial arena with equal force. Now the guy behind KOT "Finally", Roger Sanchez "Another chance" and ATFC "Bad habit" tells us what he thinks were his defining moments. Defected Records is his baby and he has built it from scratch initially employing three people to its current status as one of the best known global house brands around. Here he tells us what the ride has been like and who to look out for in the future.