Alongside an exclusive mix to mark the his new EP on Thug Records (And The Bass Played A Sad Refrain) alongside Nick Anthony Simoncino and Mark Rogers, Tevo Howard talks to Oli Massey about 50 year old skateboarding, Beautifulle Granville and Chicago.
Hey there Tevo, thanks for taking some time to answer our questions. Where are you talking to us from and how are you today? Right now I am sitting in Downtown Beautiful Granville (my neighborhood) in Chicago and people watching. The neighborhood looks beautiful, of course, as it is a sunny summer day, and one can feel the breathing energy of the people of this neck of the woods.
Have you got any good highlights from the year so far you wish to share with us? Any good parties you have played or any records you have put out you are particularly happy with? I am excited to be here in Chicago and working with friends in music. Currently I have been working with my close friend Lionel Melgar who I've played music with for more than 20 years. As my official Dj partner back circa 1988, and as my right hand man at the guitar in 1994, Lionel has been the one most influential person to me in music originally introducing me to many house tracks and artists as well as bands like Everything But the Girl. I do take great pleasure in working out this part of my life with Lionel within the music. Our project together is called "Ruby" which is a shortened version of the original name for Lionel and I at guitar and bass guitar respectively. "Ruby" as a band consists of Me, Lionel, and another excellent musician and partner Gustavo Guerra. Other current projects include my project with the well respected Kate Simko. My project with Kate is called PolyRhythmic, and we are expected to play a small tour together with bookings like Panorama Bar on July 13th. It will be great to share the stage with Kate, and to add color to the PolyRhythmic project.
I heard you used to be a keen skateboarder, yet an accident in your early teens meant you had to stop. Was this what made you pursue your interest in music? Music was always a passion of mine, stemming from my first instrument, a violin that was smaller in size for children's use, yet still too large for my fingers on the fretboard. Skateboarding as an absolute love in my life, was and still is a getaway, and I would definitely say that music and skateboarding will always be in my life in some form. In Chicago, I actually had the opportunity to get some time skateboarding in this spring, and can absolutely see myself pushing around at the age of 50, power slides and bonelesses.
It was shortly after your skateboard accident that you went to Gramophone Records in Chicago and bought your first record. Can you remember what record it was? I was a newave fan back then. I Was a very big fan of Vicious Pink as a child.
Tell us a little about Beautifulle Granville Records. Why did you only chose to release 10 records and which of the 10 would you say is your favourite? Beautiful Granville Records was a 10 set release complete idea. I did feel that adding more releases would actually impede or dilute the concepts and very statements that the label set out to state. If I had to take a favorite, I would take Duša, pronounced Doosha in English, and meaning Soul in the Bosnian language. That to me was a fun record.
How would you say your sound has changed over the years, if at all? And if you had to pick one of your tracks as your favourite, which would it be and why? I take different favorites by the month, but some of my favorites include Spend Some Time, and the recently released Summer Romance, which came out on the UK label, Sounds of the Universe.
By the time this is published your new release with Thug records will be in the stores. Can you tell us a little about how you started working with Carl and Tim? I was contacted by Carl at Thug to do remixes for Tim Suspect. Loved the record label and name "Thug" off the bat. After I did the remixes, Carl asked some personal artistic notes on them, which furthered my faith in the label, as normally I don't see that amount of detailed care in audio. Later, Carl was able to show me the hidden parts of Sydney, Australia, and I thought that that was one of the best parts about being a part of Thug. Likewise, Tim Suspect and I have had our fair dabble of chilling' out in Berlin, Germany.
The release is quite an interesting concept, working alongside Nick Anthony Simoncino & Mark Rogers can you tell us about it? This all came as a surprise to me, but I have established my respect for both artists, and their integrity does show with this item.
Are there any particular artists or DJs that you really think are going places at the moment or that you feel we should keep our eyes on? Noleian Reusse is definitely one of my favorite underground Chicago artists. I am hoping to release more of his material on my label shortly, and I think that his side and shade of House music will open some of the doors of the world coming to understand the spirit of this genre.
If you could program your ideal club night over two rooms with any artists or producers (alive or dead), who would you chose? If this was all to be Chicago local Djs (I am a firm believer in supporting your local DJs):
Melvin Oliphant iii
Dj Supreme Court
Dj Big Tony Janda
What was the last...
Book you read? For Whom the Bell Tolls
Record you purchased? Forgotten track RomeoVoid
Band you saw? Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Movie you saw? Once
Finally, any parting words of wisdom you care to share with our readers? Please take good care in Chicago and beyond. Some people elsewhere than
Chicago may not know of the violence here in our hometown, but we Chicagoans have been rated in recent years as the world's murder capital, unfortunately. The violence is due to ignorance and lack of education, and absolutely the world should be aware of the reality of living conditions here. We cannot help each other if violence becomes too infiltrated in our popular culture. So, I am saying let's progress instead of a retrogression towards the dysfunctional educational structures of Chicago during the 1980s that empowered repression and violence. Stop the violence, please, because it is nonsense.
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