Ellie Hewitt, London - United Kingdom - on 27/7/12
Another Amit, DJ, long time London boy and one of the five honcho's alongside George Fitzgerald of the imprint ManMakeMusic spoke to Pulse about his label, his passion for partying, his up and coming trip to Croatia (and whether it could be the next Ibiza) and that he's going to make sure his children do their homework, not go clubbing (we'll believe it when we see it).
Tell us about ManMakeMusic as an imprint, what’s the ethos behind it, how it was born into the world? ManMakeMusic started out as a party/ club night 6 years ago, when we were throwing warehouse parties in Hackney Wick, blending together house, techno, garage and dubstep. Over the years and as the night progressed we built up a network of close friends and family that were coming at dance music in a unique and exciting way, making music that wasn't genre specific and took its influences from all sorts of musical backgrounds. As a platform for us to put out this music starting the label was a logical progression as a way of getting the atmosphere and sound of the nights down on vinyl and into venues round the world.
What’s it like working with George Fitzgerald and Mixcloud founder Nikhil Shah? Do you all have different roles in the label or are you a united front? There's actually 5 of us running ManMakeMusic- George, Nikhil, myself, Sam (aka Love&Mercy) and Julian Neumann (who recently released on Third Ear). Its great working with them- running something you have a lot of passion for with your mates is a privileged position to be in. George has been the driving force behind getting the label to where it is, whilst Nikhil, Sam and myself have been running the parties and involvement with other clubnights and festivals. Julian's based out in Berlin, and been running things for us out there- we've got 2 more very exciting parties lined up out there this year. So I guess those are the areas that we are individually more focused on- day to day we're all involved in the A&R and organisation of all aspects of ManMakeMusic.
If you had to give three tracks to best represent Man Make Music as a label which ones would they be and why? 1. Leon Vynehall - Gold Language (MMakeM004) With its off-kilter drums its a beast in the clubs, yet the smooth vocal and piano chords bring it all back together. Its house music with a twist, and my favourite tune that we've put out so far. 2. U - Eah (MMakeU01) Our next release is a 10" 4-track EP of MPC cuts from newcomer U, who's stuff have blown us away. In fact just 1 EP wouldn't do the depth and quality of his work justice so we've got a series of releases in the pipeline from him. If there is an lead track it'd be Eah for me but we have differing opinions on this. Extremely excited to be putting this out- will be dropping in August. 3. KMA Productions - Cape Fear. This classic's become a bit of a staple at ManMakeMusic nights. Its something that we listenend and raved to back in the UK Garage days (it was first released in 1996), yet still goes down a storm in any new house set we're playing. Its a club monster, and so adaptable to house, garage or techno sets- which embodies what we are trying to do as a label.
Where are you based currently and how are your surroundings influencing your music? I'm based in Bethnal Green, East London. There are amazing lineups, new nights, new venues always popping up so hearing cutting edge dance music in its home environment- in the clubs- is on your doorstep almost every night of the week. And there are so many pirate radio stations available in London which means you're constantly exposed to new music.
What was your first introduction to music and how has that stayed with you? Would love to say my first exposure was when my parents were shocked as i sat down at a keyboard and started jamming. But unfortunately there's no classical music story of note here. My first exposure to club music was getting hand-me-down UK Garage tape packs- recordings from garage raves like Sun City, Exposure, Garage Nation- when i was 11 or so. That, and listening to 'Lush 107.4 FM', which was the best NW London pirate back then, was hugely influential in me being into dance music and getting into DJ-ing.
You’ve played and been a part of some very well renowned underground parties, mulletover, Eastern Electrics, Secret Sundaze, can you tell us about some of your fondest memories? So many fond memories… we’ve looked up to guys like Mulletover/ SecretSundaze for years so to be regularly involved with them has been awesome. Justin Martin came to play in our room at the Eastern Electrics we did in 2009, and it was arguably the biggest set we've ever had at one of our parties- he absolutely tore the roof of! Halloween Mulletover in 2010 was really special- our own Love&Mercy rounded off the night to a packed room (with an even more packed stage). We've always been big fans of SecretSundaze, so we were stoked to host room 2 for the NYE just gone- again can't imagine a better way to see the new year in than playing to a packed room until 7.00am, with so many close friends around- its moments like these that are the best.
You’re hosting a room at the Eastern Electrics official after party at the beginning of August, what are your favourite festivals? Free Rotation- small, intimate, great crowd and all about the music, without any of the festival hassle of trudging miles from your car to your campsite, worrying about the weather etc. The past 2 years I've managed to see some of my favourite DJ's and discovered a whole load of artists (new and veterans) who I can't believe I hadn't heard of before. Burning Man- Not enough words to explain, and in many ways no point- even with all the hyperbole surronding it is a mindblowing week- where music plays just 1 part of the whole experience.Traena, Norway- Despite going all the way to the Nevada desert for Burning Man, this felt like the most far-flung and exotic festival i've been to. Its on a group of tiny fishing islands off the coast of Norway in the Arctic Circle. So its 24 hours daylight, performances in caves and hilltop chapels, fresh sushi on sauna boats, all night parties on shipping trawlers. Def worth the mission.
Man Make Music is involved with Stop Making Sense festival in Croatia, which is hotly tipped to become the next Ibiza. Do you think Croatia could give the White Isle a run for its money? I've not been out there before- and am very excited! The part where Stop Making Sense is, Tisno, looks beautiful and relatively untouched at the moment- the festival isn't too big and doesn't overrun the village. Every few years there's a new place tipped to become the new Ibiza isn't there? The scale of the operations these days in Ibiza means that you go there for a particular sort of club experience- generally big room and very decadent. SMS festival has a very different appeal for me so i think its years away from giving Ibiza a run for its money. Or maybe it becomes the new 'what Ibiza-used-to-be'. Unfortunately since I’ve been able to go Ibiza's been €60 entry to clubs and €10 a bottle of water.
Do you think London festivals have a disadvantage over dance events in more secluded spots around the country, or abroad? Licensing and sound restrictions are a much bigger challenge for London festivals. Property is so expensive in London that there are few owners of spaces/ warehouses willing to take risks on events. And of course the whole Bloc situation has left everyone thinking that having London festivals is impossible. I always remember TDK Cross Central back when the Cross, Key, Canvas etc were all open- it was as good a city festival as i've been to anywhere. There are alot of super-diligent London promoters, trying really hard to juggle to restrictions placed on them by authorities with what the clubbers want, and do it really well- Electric Minds, SecretSundaze, Mulletover, EE, Warm, Krankbrother to name a few, so actually we really aren't bereft of great parties in cool, unique spaces here. Granted, places like Berlin have much more relaxed licensing laws which mean there are warehouse parties that go on all weekend. But that's in a big part because is so much more easily available property there, not just because 'everyone is so much more relaxed and liberal'. If you look at other cities in the world that London's not doing too badly in terms of underground music parties/ festivals.
Do you think people ever get too old to party? What clubbing advice/regulations would you give to your kids? No-one gets too old to party- my parents seem to go out more than I do! I'd tell my kids not to go clubbing and do their homework.
For more info on the Eastern Electrics official after party, head here
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